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An American Werewolf in London

Chapter Text

They worked well together, that’s all Hanzo had ever been concerned about when it came to McCree.

The reckless sharpshooter not only seemed to always know where to be so that Hanzo could cover him, but he also seemed to know in the fray of battle just where Hanzo’s arrows would be. More than once he’d stood absolutely still in a hail of scatter arrows, unscathed. More than once he’d lured an enemy from a blind spot, right into the path of an arrow.

It wasn’t just the uncanny way that McCree was aware of every shot that made Hanzo more than willing to always accompany him on missions. The scruffy cowboy had saved his skin on a few occasions, in the early missions together when Hanzo was still trying to figure out just how McCree could know that enemies were around the corner and be ready to fire before they were even in hearing range, let alone sight. Hanzo would get stuck on figuring it out, trying desperately to reason exactly how McCree was doing these feats, it would distract him, and next thing he’d know, the sharpshooter would aim over his shoulder and a body would drop behind him. There was never any taunting about it, just a chuckle and a far off hat tip. Hanzo had long since stopped trying to figure out what gave McCree his edge.

He’d be hard pressed to admit that every once in a great while, he would let his would-be killers get close, just to see that uncanny aim.

Back to back in close combat quarters was something else entirely.

McCree fought like a man possessed, firing shots with deadly accuracy, pistol-whipping anyone who strayed too close. He wouldn’t even flinch when Hanzo would fire arrows in close vicinity, once again sure of their path, that or he was just that trusting in the archer’s aim. He knew just when to duck, just when to lean, and just when to cover Hanzo’s back.

Before Hanzo had officially joined the recalled members of Overwatch, he occasionally accompanied them on missions that required far off and discrete cover. All of those missions had involved the gruff southern man.

After his official membership into the under-the-radar operation, he’d been sent on missions with others. He had observed them enough while working with McCree that he was aware of when to fire and when to hold his bow steady and wait, but none of them could ever match his arrows quite as well as McCree. He had to take care not to hit his comrades, only firing to cover. Not like with McCree, who set up opportunity after opportunity for Hanzo to show his skills, keep them honed out in the field.

It’d been brought up to him discretely by Winston after a close shave to his fur from an arrow. It was a kill Winston clearly had under control, but Hanzo was so used to McCree lining them up for him.

He wasn’t blood thirsty, but he felt rather useless when all he did was sit on a perch with his bow idle. When he’d explained to Winston that he was used to McCree’s style of combat, that it was common of him to fire in such close proximity to the cowboy, he’d been reprimanded. “This is a team game, Mr. Shimada. Unnecessary risks could mean a loss.”

Yet, when he’d stepped up and decided to speak to McCree about it, telling him he’d no longer be risking the cowboy with his arrows, he’d received a confused look and a shrug. “I ain’t never felt at risk. You were jus’ doin’ your job coverin’ me. I’ll settle for a few close shaves with those arrows of yours if’n it means I get to shave my beard another day.”

He would never be clear on the details, but after that chat, he was always paired with McCree on missions.

-

Their current mission had them stationed in Numbani. It wasn’t the most pleasant of cities for Hanzo, he was getting better about his prejudice against machines, they all slowly were as the wounds of war scarred and faded. But that wasn’t his only problem with the city.

Towers of slick glass and metal, winding streets, and a clutter of cars. He was an expert archer and climber, but all of the balconies he could get to were wide open and in a firefight, he’d be easily spotted and likely chased off. Prideful as he was, strong-willed as he was, he knew when to retreat and find other cover.

Thankfully, his perch on the balcony was less mission oriented. They were holed up in a small apartment that had been rented out under a pseudonym, one of the less luxurious and spacious buildings, but with their covert operations and limited funds, they couldn’t afford to be picky about location.

But Hanzo could afford to be picky about how much time he spent inside. He was slowly warming up to the other members of Overwatch, but it was a slow process and he’d rather not test his patience with them and wind up destroying some of those bridges his teammates had built with him. They’d given him anything he needed: space, silent companionship (even the chatty ones had quieted when he needed it), or just a friendly smile on a rough day. He couldn’t begrudge them for trying, despite believing himself unsuitable for such friendships.

So he avoided losing his temper with Tracer and Lucio who spoke quickly and excitedly and although they meant well, created a lot of noise when Hanzo desired some quiet before the mission tomorrow evening. The balcony was perfect, he could drone out the tunes Lucio was playing, muffled some by the glass door. He also suspected the kid had turned it down some when Hanzo had abruptly left the room.

He was sitting in a plastic lawn chair and drinking from his gourd, plum wine he’d brought to ease the time as they waited. It also served to keep his mind from wandering to subjects he’d rather not speak or think about. Things still raw to his heart, despite the passage of time.

“Figure I’d find ya out here.”

He glanced over his shoulder to find McCree meandering out onto the balcony with a pouch and a bottle of whiskey in tow. That was how he moved at all times when he wasn’t on a mission, slow and easy, yet on walks he never fell behind. He plopped himself into the other chair, kicking his spurred boots up on the rickety wooden table that creaked in protest, they’d brought it from inside for the sole purpose of being a footrest.

The cowboy fished out two shot glasses from his pouch, putting them on the matching plastic table that sat between the two chairs. With teeth he pulled the cork off of his whiskey bottle and filled both glasses. He didn’t speak as he pulled the cork from his mouth and dropped it between the shots.

Hanzo idly watched it roll to a stop as they picked up their respective glasses. With a small raise to each other, they tossed them back. The whiskey burned in the sweetest of ways drawing a hum out of him and the satisfied noise from McCree made his lips twitch ever so slightly into a smile that he was quick to hide. “Where else would I be?”

“I s’ppose you’re right.” McCree drawled, raising the bottle in an offer. When Hanzo set his glass back down, he refilled them both. This time they remained on the table instead of being picked up straight away.

Hanzo plucked a silver case off the table, his own that he’d left out here from the night before. He opened it and pulled a cigarette from the metal container before snapping it shut. He’d long ago stopped offering one to McCree, the man had his own cigars. He clicked his tongue, spinning the cig softly between his fingers. “What caused you to search?” He asked, stilling his hand, open end pointed toward the cowboy.

McCree was used to this routine by now, he pulled a cigar and his lighter out, doing the gentlemanly thing and lighting Hanzo’s smoke before his own. “Ain’t a mission without a good drink the night before. Figured I’d find my drinkin’ partner.”

Taking a drag, he rested his cigarette between his index and middle fingers. “One usually drinks to calm his nerves…” His eyes slid over to McCree who was happily puffing away. “Are you nervous about this mission?”

The sharpshooter chuckled, picking up his shot glass and pausing until Hanzo did the same. Another raise to each other, another down the hatch. “I ain’t been nervous about a mission since I got me a sniper watchin’ my back.”

“Archer,” Hanzo was quick to correct, setting his glass back down. As expected, it was filled again.

“Right, my own Robin Hood.” He purred with such a tone that if Hanzo wasn’t a more schooled man, would have brought a flush to his face.

Hanzo chose to ignore it though another drag on his cigarette. “You sure are trusting of my arrows.”

McCree lifted his head, looking at him. “Should I not be?”

The archer turned his head as well, looking right back at the cowboy. “My aim is never off.” It was as much a boast of his skills as it was an assurance that he’d continue to pick off the enemies that threatened McCree. “But you certainly are less…. Concerned about how close it can be.”

The boisterous laugh he received was infectious and Hanzo didn’t even try to hide the smile that wrapped around his cigarette. “A little thrill ain’t hurt no one, partner. The others just gotta get used to livin’ a bit risky again- they ain’t all been on the run like you and I.”

“I will drink to that,” He replied, and this time he was the one to pick up the glass first. Raise, down, refill. “I have learned that I cannot take the same shots with others as I can with you.”

McCree snorted. “And tha’s why I told Winston to pair us up for every mission. Wastin’ your potential, and that ain’t gonna continue happenin’ on my watch.”

The archer gave a wry smile. “How thoughtful of you, worrying about my potential.”

“No fuss now,” He replied with a deep laugh. “I’m bein’ selfish with it. It’s nice to have someone watchin’ me. And it’s mighty fun to see them panic when they realize I led them to meet their maker. You put the fear of god in men, Robin Hood.”

Hanzo curled his upper lip, like he’d smelled something foul. “I take it that will be my new nickname for a while?”

“If you’d rather go back to bein’ Legolas, I can do that for ya.”

He snorted, picking up his shot and downing it without waiting. When he set it back down he eyed McCree, head to toe. The man was dressed as he usually would be for a mission, sans his chest armor and sarape. Casual wear in the hideout. “Don’t be cheeky.”

The cowboy broke out into a fit of laughter, holding his gut. “You’ve been spendin’ too much time with Tracer,” He grinned widely, punching Hanzo’s shoulder. “mate.” He said, trying to mimic her accent.

They both laughed, McCree’s loud and rough, Hanzo’s soft and subtle, until a blanket of comfortable quiet settled over them. He enjoyed these moments with McCree, if he was honest. When he had first met the man, he would never have guessed that they both were aiming towards similar goals of redemption, that they both understood that the past should not be forgotten. Where they differed on that was whether it should consume the future or not.

It was getting easier to consider McCree’s view of not letting it clog up future opportunities. Spending time with the cowboy and what few conversations he’d had with his brother since their conflict in Hanamura were helping.

Somewhere in the middle of his second cigarette, which McCree had lit for him without even a word exchanged, he let out a deep sigh and relaxed in his chair. Slouching much like the cowboy, kicking his metal feet up on the table.

He reached over for another shot, was this the sixth or the seventh? He’d lost count, but judging by the gentle buzzing in the back of his mind, he was willing to bet seventh. It made him feel light and just the slightest bit fuzzy. Downing it, he didn’t miss the raised eyebrow from McCree, tipsy didn’t mean he wasn’t still sharp.

“You remember we got a mission tomorrow, Robin Hood?” The cowboy asked, his silent way of suggesting that Hanzo had had enough.

Hanzo held his glass up, staring at it for a moment. How easy would it be to say no, have a few more and sleep out here on the balcony? Even if McCree cut him off from the whiskey, he had enough plum wine to push the upper limits of tipsy, a guaranteed deep sleep. With a grunt he flipped the glass, placing it top down on the table. He was done. “You do remember that it is in the evening?”

McCree did the same, downing his shot and flipping the glass. He stood with a groan and offered his hand to help the archer up. McCree was thus far the only person he accepted a hand from, he knew the gesture was out of manners instead of thinking Hanzo was too in the tank to do it himself.

With a grin, he took the hand.

Either he had misjudged how much effort McCree was putting into the gesture, or he had missed McCree tossing a few extra shots back because as the cowboy braced himself to pull Hanzo up, he faltered and the archer wound up pulling him over and tipping the chair. They landed with Hanzo on his back, one leg thrown off to the side and McCree’s face jammed into his abs, hat crumpled between his yukata and McCree’s forehead. He couldn’t tell if it was the alcohol or the company but they both started laughing once more, this time less restrained.

Silence settled once again and neither of them made an effort to move, limbs buzzing with the consumption of more alcohol than what was probably recommended the night before a mission. The hangover, if any, would be slight.

“Hanzo,” He felt more than heard against his abdomen. He could see the sharpshooter’s hands grabbing at the chair, as if they had attempted at some point to help push him up but had failed him entirely.

“McCree?”

“I-“ The cowboy paused, hands clenching and unclenching and suddenly there was a crack in the plastic that seemed to help McCree find his voice again. “Yer kneein’ my pelvis.” He mumbled, words half muffled by the fact that he refused to lift his head.

Hanzo snorted, and wiggling the leg that was underneath McCree, noted that the place where his prosthetics began was indeed digging into McCree’s hip- he took some form of delight in the agonized groan he received from the motion. “I believe you are the one with the power to remove yourself.”

“Can’t.” Was the only response he got before McCree became dead weight on him.

The archer blinked. Once, twice, and was about to just accept his fate when the glass door slid open.

Tracer poked her head out, took in the scene for about one second before she began laughing, something Hanzo does not mirror this time around. “Oi, I heard a noise and thought one of ya dropped dead. I didn’t know you were havin’ a shag out here.” She teased crudely, stepping out and beginning to help haul McCree off.

The cowboy groaned, swatting at her as she helped.

“We were not having a ‘shag’.” Hanzo spoke as he rolled out of the chair with far more grace than he expected to have after being nearly eight shots deep. Or was it nine? “It was a drink.”

“Looks like many drinks to me, love.” She quipped. “Come on, help me get him inside.”

Hanzo stood and glanced at the carnage their tumble had caused. The butt of a cigar and a half smoked cigarette laid on the ground, their embers dying. And an entirely empty bottle of whiskey- of which, Hanzo had been sure that it was full when they had started drinking. It only confirmed his decision that McCree had been taking extra shots. He frowned, but made no comment as he helped to get the cowboy to his feet and dragged him inside.

The pull-out couch bed was merely covered in sheets, but they tossed McCree onto it and Hanzo didn’t even want to bother trying to figure out other sleeping arrangements. So he flopped right down on the other side of the rather uncomfortable ‘bed’ and ignored the giggle from Lena as she turned off the lights.

He was out in seconds.

Chapter Text

Had he mentioned how much he hated the balconies of Numbani? Because Hanzo really hated them. He hated them on good days, good evenings, and even good mornings.

This was not a good morning, not by a long shot.. What was he thinking last night? ‘The hangover, if any, would be slight.’ Hanzo had never been more wrong in his life.

He wasn’t completely dead to the world, but he must have drank more than he thought because his head felt like it was slowly expanding and when he would close his eyes, the pressure would lessen. He’d woken up next to a still passed out McCree, snorted at the man’s sloppy sleeping habits – drool on the pillow, one leg off the bed, and his flesh hand curled awkwardly under his body – and slinked back out to the balcony before he could be accosted by any of his teammates.

Hanzo had laboriously cleaned up the aftermath of their tipsy, although he now suspected it might have been more drunken, accident. Chairs righted, burnt out smokes tossed, and empty bottle hidden away. He stood at the rusty railing of the balcony, elbows leaning on the questionable barrier with a cigarette between his fingers. An awful habit that he’d been chided for a few times, not that he paid any mind to it, he had to relax somehow and this was one of his methods.

He chuckled as he heard the loud booming voice of Reinhardt followed by the excited chattering of Hana and Lena, no doubt in awe of something the knight was doing. He counted down the seconds: three, two, one. On cue, McCree opened the glass door, oozing out onto the balcony. He didn’t seem the least bit hungover and Hanzo scowled at him, the damn bastard had drank far more than him. That just didn’t seem right at all.

The cowboy rolled up his sleeves that had slipped down through the night, copying Hanzo’s lean on the railing. The object gave a shriek of protest and for a split moment Hanzo thought it would topple and have both of them falling four floors to the ground, but it held with a shudder.

“Mornin’, Robin Hood.” He drawled, hand coming up to scratch at his scruffy chin.

Hanzo grunted in reply, not fully up to speaking yet.

A deep chuckle sounded next to him, drawing another glare. “You sure drank an awful lot last night,” McCree commented.

It took him a moment, his mind trying to catch up through the swelling feeling. “Says the man who passed out on top of me last night.” He snapped, trying to fuel as much annoyance into as possible. He just wanted quiet, even more than he had last night.

“You ain’t soundin’ too upset about it,”

“Keep it in your pants, cowboy.” He hissed, at the demands of his throbbing head, but it was normal. This conversation between them was normal for mornings after a few shots. Flirtation and rejection, a pleasant and comfortable dance that was always the same.

It was always the same, so why did Hanzo suddenly feel like it was all very different?

-

The mission was supposed to be simple. They’d been hired out as a bodyguard service- enough of their faces weren’t associated with the old Overwatch to even cause a blip on that radar. When questioned by their employers about Tracer and Reinhardt, they had been able to play it off as old friends who worked well together, staying in business together. Not like the employer had any room to argue otherwise with the armed men and mech standing with the two ‘former’ Overwatch agents.

They had to escort a relatively well known diplomat to a summit meeting. Winston had seen it as a chance for them to make a good impression on a potential ally, someone high up who could vouch for the good intent of the new Overwatch whenever their cover got blown. It also paid really well.

There was fanfare for the diplomat, it seemed that many people were happy to see someone who was both addressing the pains of the Omnic Crisis but also trying to help people move forward and heal. People gathered, and it had made their job that much harder. D.Va was waiting at the drop point, Reinhardt, Lucio, and Tracer were escorting, and McCree was trailing beside the crowd, sharp eyes looking for any hints of trouble.

Hanzo of course, had found a wretched balcony where he could stand in the back and be hidden in the shadows. It was the best vantage point for the entire escort so that he didn’t draw attention to himself by jumping down and climbing up to another or by running across. He could stay here and remain hidden.

Or so he had hoped.

They swarmed fast, it looked like an angry mob, civilian clothes, but the way they moved in formations told an entirely different story. Covert ops, likely trying to look like protestors so that when they were inevitably shot down by the guarding forces, it would cause an uproar in the city. A rising in the wake of a ‘senseless slaughter’.

Hanzo wasn’t sure, and he would never be sure, how it happened. Looking back would only bring him to the moment when he realized McCree had vanished out of his sight, the damn idiot.

He was quick to change his position, sprinting along the walkways that were above the masses, trying his best to be discrete in the evening light. He couldn’t stop his rising heartbeat as he failed to locate the cowboy. Each balcony he peered from proved fruitless and he was about bark out over the commlink that he’d lost him – about to admit to a lapse in attention – when he heard gunshots. Six, rapid succession, the telltale sound of McCree fanning the hammer of Peacekeeper.

There was never a moment before where Hanzo had been so quick to scale a building. His chest heaved slightly from the effort when he got to the vantage point where he could see McCree. The gunslinger was aiming down an alley, at people he couldn’t see, wild grin on his face as he fought.

Hanzo couldn’t help mimicking the smile, pleased that the cowboy was unharmed and that he hadn’t failed his job as cover fire.

As if he could tell that now was the moment that Hanzo had arrived, the rumbling voice came over his commlink. “Line ‘em up,”

“Knock them down.” The archer replied, having heard McCree’s line one too many times.

The cowboy sprang into action, rolling to break the line of sight his attackers had on him. Readying three arrows, he launched them in rapid succession as the enemies rounded the corner to get at McCree, clearly unaware of an archer watching his back.

He was lining up a fourth arrow, but too slow as another man rounded the corner, gun ready. The shot went off and Hanzo watched in horror as Peacekeeper went flying, clattering near the entrance to the alley. He fired an arrow, striking the gunman in the chest, satisfied with how he crumpled.

It seemed that McCree was not, with the shake of his hand, likely hit from the shot to his gun, he ran headlong into the alley, not even pausing to pick up his gun. He had a look about him, like a man possessed.

“McCree!” Hanzo shouted over the commlink as the cowboy disappeared from his sight. He was quick to jump down, ignoring the ache in his knees as his prosthetics hit the ground and he took off running. Gunshots, and even if the archer hadn’t seen McCree run in without his gun, he would have known those weren’t from the revolver.

He dashed to the entrance of the alley. He could see McCree crumpled on the ground and regardless of how fast his heart was beating, he centered his mind.

It took only a second for him to nock the arrow, holding as he took a deep breath in. He didn’t waste time to shout, didn’t need to awake the dragons along his arm, they were already coiling, prepared to bite the attackers. Letting loose the arrow, the serpents flew with a roar, their bodies twisting together as their jaws opened wide to devour his enemies. They lit up the alley way as they coiled and maimed, pulling bodies apart and leaving only one behind before they fell to shimmering dust that whisked away in a breeze.

Being out of breath didn’t stop Hanzo from sprinting over to the body of McCree, stooping to grab Peacekeeper as he ran, panic gripping his chest when he finally got to him and rolled the man over. The groan from the cowboy did little to ease him, his hands tossing the sarape out of the way. There were large dents in his chest armor, and he’d had enough previous experiences with the bitchings of the cowboy to know that there would be large bruises on his chest from the impact.

But that concerned him even less than the blood seeping from McCree’s leg did. Two holes in the left thigh and a graze that tore his chaps and pants in the right. His flesh hand was clenched, shaking.

A metal hand gripped his wrist, and he looked up into wild eyes. The usual dark brown he’d grown accustomed to had been replaced with a more golden hue, a trick of the light perhaps. The cowboy’s lip curled as he twitched in pain, “Pliers, in my bag. Right side.” He groaned.

Hanzo frowned. “McCree, you are injured. Now is not the-“

His wrist was yanked and if possible, McCree snarled at him. A feral noise that made the archer’s blood run cold. “Get them out. NOW.”

No time was wasted as he hauled the man to lean against the alley wall, opening his commlink. “McCree has been shot,” He informed his teammates, fishing the tool out of the pouch. They were long, broadly tipped, and covered in what looked like dried blood. “We are in an alley off of the main square.”

“I’m headin’ your way.” He heard Lucio speak.

He eyed McCree who leaned his head back with his eyes closed, but his lip was still curled in pain, sweat beading on his brow. He was tense, in pain, favoring leaning more on his right side and if he had been confused as to what McCree wanted out before, he knew now. “I am going to remove the bullets.”

“Don’t! We don’t know what they’ve hit! Wait for-“ Lucio’s voice was cut off as a metal hand yanked the comm out of his ear, crushing it and tossing it to the ground. Winston would not be pleased about that.

McCree’s feral eyes were on him once more, staring in a way that made Hanzo feel like he was a piece of meat. Almost as if at any moment he would become the prey, and that was an unnerving feeling for him, as if his family were at his heels again. “Get. Them. Out.” The cowboy gritted out.

“Please.” It was quiet, begging, out of place among the rough words and actions of McCree.

Hanzo could only nod, taking the pliers and getting to work.

The first one was rough, he wasn’t sure just how rough he could be until McCree nearly yelled at him to hurry and get it out, that he could take it, they just needed to be out of him quickly. Every loud grunt and groan made him pause, the hisses of pain caused Hanzo to worry that he had harmed the man more than necessary- Lucio was absolutely right, there was no telling what the bullets had hit. He was no doctor either, he might have been causing more harm than good by digging around.

The second was easier, he was far more confident and there was no hesitation when he jabbed the pliers in. There was no noise either, McCree was silent and he worried briefly that he’d nicked something, caused the man to bleed out. The short, sharp breaths from the cowboy told another story, soothing some of the uneasiness he felt.

Lucio arrived just as he pulled it from McCree’s leg, frowning as he came over to take a look at the sharpshooter. “Tracer’s bringing a transport around.”

Hanzo felt the tone of the kid’s music shift, calming his speeding heart rate and easing McCree’s breathing. He needed to focus, he couldn’t dwell on the image of McCree crumpled at the mercy of guns, he couldn’t sit and stew in the delightful fury he felt when he watched his dragons tear apart the gunmen. “And the mission?” He kept his tone even, his eyes watching McCree’s face for any signs of further distress.

“All good, we made it safely.” The boy paused, before giving Hanzo a hard stare. “You shouldn’t have removed the bullets, I told you that you could’ve caused all sorts of damage. And pain, I’m sure you digging around wasn’t pleasant for him.” He reprimanded.

He could do little to retort, but what was there he could say? ‘Oh, I agree, but McCree looked like he was going to tear my head off if I didn’t.’, ‘McCree would have done it himself and that could have been messier, his hand was shaking.’, or ‘McCree begged.’?

Perhaps that was it. Fear did little to move him anymore, years of staring it down had trained him to never bow to the emotion and he doubted the man could have done it on his own. McCree might have tried, but he had been in so much pain. Enough to beg, the small ‘please’ that was so out of place. He’d been in enough pain that he was willing to have Hanzo dig around his body to potentially relieve it. He couldn’t tell Lucio that, so he stayed silent.

They remained that way until Tracer drove up in their transport van, helping to load McCree in and carry him into the apartment when they arrived. “Helpin’ you inside again, love.” She murmured to the cowboy, though he wasn’t awake to hear it.

McCree was put on the pullout bed again, this time with more care than the night before. Thankfully Lucio had been able to stop the bleeding, but Mercy would demand to check it all when they returned to Gibraltar.

The due comm-call to Winston waited until Reinhardt and Hana arrived, and then they discussed the events of the mission. They were all crowded into the little living room and dining area, made smaller by the need of having the bed pulled out, so seats were sparse.

Hanzo zoned out for most of it, sitting on his side of the pullout, until he realized that everyone was staring at him. He scowled at the attention. “What?” He snapped, feeling the fatigue of the dragons and the panic rise back when he thought for sure McCree was about to perish because of horrendous winding streets and balconies. Because he’d only volleyed three arrows instead of four.

“We know how McCree got separated, but what about after that?” Lena pressed.

Hanzo took a moment, gathering what had happened into as concise a report as possible. “I tracked down McCree and found him under fire. I covered him, as is my job. His gun was shot from his hand and when he went to retrieve it, he was briefly out of my line of sight and I could not cover him. I changed my location and took down any hostiles.” They were getting no more out of him and he made that clear with a cross of his arms.

“Who were the hostiles?” Winston’s voice asked from the communicator.

Everyone exchanged wondering glances- the civilian clothes had done their job and kept hidden who was had swarmed them.

A loud groan drew all attention in the room to McCree who was attempting to sit up. “It was Talon, the fuckin’ shitheads.” He cursed as he rose, hissing and trying to get his chest plate off. His shaking hand still wasn’t doing so hot and it only made sense for the closest one to him to help with the buckles and straps. Hanzo gently swatted his shaking hand away, working on the piece himself.

“What makes you say Talon?” Hana asked, tilting her head curiously.

McCree grunted a thanks as his armor was finally loosened enough to take off. His body wavering until he leaned it against Hanzo’s. Shoulder to shoulder, he curled his lip, much in that wild way the archer had seen earlier in the alley way. “Silver bullets.” He said clearly.

There was a pause, even from Winston. It was Lucio who finally decided to question the injured man. “How would you know that?”

“If y’all knew ol’ fashioned guns like I do, you’d know.” He groused.

“I see.” Winston finally said, “I’ll get a complete debriefing when you guys arrive back at base tomorrow night.” The comm-line bleeped out, leaving silence in the room.

It was heavy, uncomfortable, at least for Hanzo. There was something being unsaid here, small gaps of information that weren’t adding up. There were no old fashioned guns in that alley way, McCree of all people would know that at a glance. There was no way McCree had been in any position to look at the missed bullets that peppered the ground see if they were a certain kind- he couldn’t have even known to look for something like that. Even if he had been able to, what did silver bullets have to do with Talon?

“I’ll make somethin’ for dinner, yeah?” Lena said, breaking the silence and hopping off the counter.

One by one everyone found somewhere other to be rather than in the living room, giving McCree some silence and time to himself. Everyone but Hanzo, who had unceremoniously become the leaning post for the cowboy.

Just because he was forced to stay here, didn’t mean he wouldn’t speak to him. “You were reckless, even by your standards.” The archer spoke.

“I s’ppose I was.”

“You did not have your gun.” He pointed out, thinking of Peacekeeper and how it was abandoned until after McCree was down, after the dragons had feasted.

There was a pause, stiff and awkward, something strangely out of place for the silver tongued cowboy. “I was shot up before I c-“

“Do not lie to me, McCree. You know very well that I watch everything you do.” He could feel the man straighten beside him, about to pull away, so Hanzo continued. He was unwilling to just let the cowboy off. “You did not bait them as you have done before.”

McCree stayed quiet, but relaxed some, the subject changed but not forgotten. “I guess I mighta lost my cool there for a second,” The sharpshooter admitted, bringing up his good hand, no longer shaking, and forming a fist repeatedly, testing the muscles. “Shot my shootin’ hand. I don’t think I coulda stood to lose that, so I- I ain’t got an excuse. I lost it for a moment.”

Hanzo hummed in acknowledgement. He knew the feeling well, after losing his own legs, he was waryaround anything that risked his arms- he would be useless without his aim and it would take years he didn’t have any more to learn to be as accurate with new ones. “Do you know what it was like to see you on the ground in that alley, McCree?”

Silence.

“It felt as if I had failed my job- that I was of no use anymore.” He sucked in a breath. “It was…unnerving, to think I was about to lose a friend.” His only friend. “I wish the dragons had left them alive so that I could have ended their lives myself, for what they had done.”

“’m sorry, Robin Hood.” He heard the cowboy mutter, leaning into him more heavily, the events of the day and the pain getting to him. It was nighttime, it was to be expected that he would require more rest.

“I do not wish to see you in that much pain again, so long as I am there to stop it.”

Chapter Text

Mei-ling arrived with a small transport ship the next morning, Tracer all but taking the wheel from her as they boarded.

The trip was peaceful, everyone decompressing in their own ways, gathering their thoughts for the debriefing that would happen when they landed. Reinhardt spent his time leaning into the cockpit, chatting with Tracer and Mei, and Hana and Lucio battled each other on some form of game.

Hanzo was in the back of the transport, eyes closed and relaxing to the best of his ability. There were no enemies aboard this ship and no one would bother him, there was no reason to. McCree, as usual, sat beside him. The company was easy, the cowboy was still groggy from his ordeal, and he had his hat tipped down to cover his eyes so that he could rest.

Initially it bothered Hanzo that there was plenty of room in the back, but McCree always insisted on sitting near him, talking to him or resting. Now he found himself accustomed to it, taking some form of comfort with the other. He could unwind from a mission, side by side with the man who always made things compelling for Hanzo- shoulder to shoulder with his friend.

McCree hadn’t even tried to strike up a conversation, slumping heavily into the seat beside the archer before falling asleep. He wound up leaning into Hanzo, their arms touching down to the back of their hands.

It was concerning to Hanzo, that the man was requiring so much rest. Perhaps he really had done some damage with the pliers and it was taking its toll on McCree. If he was honest with himself, the whole night was taking its toll on Hanzo as well.

Over and over he kept replaying the seconds when he saw Mcree in the alley. A strong man, someone who oozed confidence, crumpled on the ground and vulnerable. What would’ve happened to him if Hanzo hadn’t found him? Would he be dead? Or worse, taken by Talon and turned against them all?

At the thought, he subconsciously grasped for something of the cowboy, his fingers gripping what they could of McCree’s chaps. He didn’t know what he would do if McCree had been taken. No longer would he have his mission partner, his drinking buddy, or his friend. Had he been taken, turned against them, Hanzo couldn’t count on himself to aim his bow at the cowboy.

The image alone of the sharpshooter with one of his arrows sticking out of him made his grip tighten.

The movement roused McCree, uttering a soft groan that came out with a gentle rumble to it. Twisting and moving his arm, he threaded it underneath Hanzo’s, bending it so that his hand rest on the archer’s wrist. He leaned into Hanzo a bit more, slouching down until his head tilted over to rest on his shoulder, and with a happy hum and a small adjustment, the cowboy stilled once again.

Hanzo let out a slow, careful breath. He couldn’t coherently gather his thoughts to properly assess the situation he found himself in. The warm arm wrapped around his made him feel hot. The scruffy beard against his shoulder made his heart hammer. The deep exhales he could feel across his skin made his head swim. Too many sensations, but he didn’t want to push McCree away.

The man was injured, he needed his rest, and if he felt comfortable where he was then who was Hanzo to tell him to move away. Especially when, although a strange situation, he didn’t entirely mind the contact with the cowboy.

They spent the entire ride like that, arms twisted together like the twin dragons had moved. Quiet company and when Hanzo felt himself nod off for a nap, he didn’t care about letting his own head fall to rest on top of McCree’s.

His grip on the chaps never faltered, grounding him with the cowboy.

-

Mercy and Winston were waiting for them when they landed, worry clear across both of their faces. The doctor gave everyone a once over, checking for obvious wounds before she turned her full and fretting attention to McCree.

They seemed to have a silent conversation and when Mercy turned to walk to her lab, McCree followed after. Before he disappeared into the base, he looked over his shoulder at Hanzo, dark brown eyes piercing him.

Hanzo felt disconnected in that moment, like he was present and not, all at the same time, and it was only Tracer gently touching his arm that brought him back. It was just the two of them, everyone else had gone while he was left spacing, his mind occupied by the look in McCree’s eyes, trying to place what he had seen.

She beamed at him, “Come on, love, we gotta go debrief.” She urged.

With a nod, he followed her to the meeting room. It went by in a blur, he was sure he was paying attention at the time, but none of it would stick. Nothing but the way that Winston didn’t even ask about what happened in the alley after he’d found McCree- like he was avoiding drawing attention to the subject altogether.

It didn’t matter to Hanzo much, he was focused on the strange feeling he had in his chest that wouldn’t go away. Something was wrong, something Mercy overlooked in her strange rush to get to McCree. Normally she was thorough with checking on everyone, not just the simple glances she had given earlier.

The meeting couldn’t end fast enough, and as soon as Winston thanked them for the information, Hanzo slipped out the door. He was lightheaded, a dull throb behind his eyes, much like when he had been hungover. Hanzo made his way to Mercy’s lab, pressing the heel of his palm to his eye in an attempt to lessen some of the ache he felt.

It was silly, to go crawling to Mercy because he felt this way. He was exhausted, he hadn’t gotten any decent sleep the night before and his nap on the transport wasn’t enough to make up for that. He was lightheaded because he hadn’t eaten much- he was about to take up the doctor’s time just to have her tell him he needed to eat and rest.

The door to the med-room was shut, a sign of her being busy with someone else and Hanzo frowned heavily. McCree was still in there? Did he really fuck up that badly by pulling out the bullets? It would explain why the groggy cowboy had been sleeping for almost a solid day.

The awful feeling in his chest tightened, dragging a gasp from his lips and forcing him to sit on the waiting bench outside the med-room. Something was definitely wrong, this was more than just hunger or fatigue.

Hanzo’s eyes slid closed and he leaned his head back against the wall, one hand clenched to his sternum, as if that would ease the pain he felt. He felt as if he couldn’t get enough air down, his mind raced, trying to pinpoint when he’d begun to feel this way. The alley, before he’d let loose his dragons, everything was okay before that moment. Everything had been perfectly fine before he’d seen what he had surely thought was a dead cowboy. Had he silently tripped a gas mine or something? Slow acting poison mist? If Talon was using silver bullets, who knew what other strange things they would put out in the field.

“Howdy, Robin Hood.”

Hanzo’s eyes snapped open, his head swimming as he took in the sight of the cowboy before him. McCree looked like the events of the past few days were something Hanzo had imagined. He stood tall and with that confident cock to his hip, not at all in pain or like he’d been shot. Hell, he even looked like he’d shaved.

The sharpshooter leaned over, hand on his knee to steady himself as he tucked his metal hand under Hanzo’s chin, lifting his head so their eyes met. “You doin’ alright? You ain’t lookin’ too sharp.” He inquired.

For a few seconds, words seemed to escape Hanzo. The tightness in his chest eased, the pounding behind his eyes faded away and he was left with just that initial strange feeling. “Fatigued,” He spoke, “I was going to ask Doctor Ziegler if she had anything to help.”

McCree hummed, staring at the archer for a moment longer. “You sure? I ain’t kiddin’ when I say you look like somethin’ I accidentally ran over when I was a kid.”

He was close, too close. Despite sharing a bed, despite their constant proximity to each other, and despite having been tangled up in each other for hours, McCree was entirely too close. The worry, the concern was easy to read in his eyes. He was fretting over Hanzo, as if the archer had been the one nearly shot down in an alley in Numbani.

His lip curled, prepared to bark something out to wipe away the pity that was sure to follow, but he was distracted. His eyes watched as McCree’s gaze flicked to his lips and when he mirrored the look, he found the cowboy biting at his bottom lip – and later, Hanzo would swear his canines were sharper than any he’d seen before. Glancing back up, their eyes locked once more- gold boring deep into him.

“Ah, Shimada. Is something the matter?” Mercy’s voice cut through the rising tension.

McCree stood and turned, giving her an easy grin. “He ain’t doin’ to hot, Doc.”

Peering at Hanzo, the doctor nodded and motioned into her med-room. “You are rather flushed,” She agreed.

Hanzo stood, giving the cowboy a nod as he headed towards the room.

The hat tip and slow, purposeful wink he received in return only made the strange feeling worse.

-

Sleep and eat. That’s what she’d told him to do, just as predicted, and when he told Mercy that he was having trouble sleeping, she’d given him melatonin to help him get to sleep. “Perhaps you are preoccupied with something, but when you get to sleep, I am willing to bet you will sleep like the dead.” She offered with a smile. “If it does not work, come back to me.”

Two days later, the feeling hadn’t gone away. He slept proper amounts and he hadn’t skipped any meals, but still that strange aching feeling in his chest refused to quit. At least his head wasn’t swimming anymore, not  since he’d been sitting outside of Mercy’s med-room, worrying about the cowboy.

Today was one of their scheduled training days, which usually amounted to the two of them having competitions of some sort and then ending it with a drink or two before an evening meal. It was good, routine was good. He would settle back into things and forget all about that body, curled up in pain in the alley. He would move past the feeling of dread that seized his breath.

His hand rested on the panel to open the shooting range, he needed a moment. Deep breaths in to try and calm the throbbing ache he felt, it was only getting worse today, not better. He had to remind himself that going back to his routines would help, hopefully.

With a press of his fingers, the door slid open and revealed an empty room.

Hanzo frowned and stepped inside. They usually met here at this time, on Tuesdays at least, sometimes more during the week if they were particularly bored. It was as much a stress relief to them both as it was an opportunity to keep themselves aware of each other’s skills.

“McCree?” He called out. No response.

He curled his lip with a huff, the dull throb in the back of his head coming back, increasing as he began to search the range for the cowboy, to no avail. He most definitely wasn’t sprinting around by the end of his search, and he wasn’t playing the scene in the alley over and over in his mind. McCree, hurt, and Hanzo, too slow, unable to help.

Perhaps he was elsewhere? He had to be.

He made a bee-line for the weight room. He recalled McCree saying that he sometimes went in there because ‘Unlike you, Legolas, we don’t all got a giant bow that keeps us on parall the damn time’. The chuckle that accompanied the line pushed the image of the alley out of his mind, slowly easing the pain in his head. McCree was okay, he couldn’t get hurt on the base, and he’d looked better than a few days ago.

Soft grunting met his ears, a sound he’d recognize anywhere after having fought back to back with McCree time after time. That was the satisfied noise of a cowboy who enjoyed how hard he landed a jab. Taking a second to calm himself, he pressed a hand to his chest, that strange feeling growing more intense.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, could have prepared him for the sight he found at the punching bags.

He’d seen McCree shirtless plenty of times – one didn’t live in the secret agent equivalent of a college dormatory without seeing people in their underwear often – but this was different.

The cowboy wasn’t in any of his usual garb, only dressed in sneakers and sweats that hung too low on his hips. He was sweaty, all of him, it made his skin glisten and his chest hair damp. He was flushed red across his shoulders and his face, his hair tied back into a messy ponytail, a few strands sticking out here and there that adhered to his face with the moisture.

It was disgusting, but Hanzo found his mouth running dry as he stared, the feeling in his chest swelling and for a moment he felt like he might violently burst from the pressure.

It was bizarrely enthralling watching the cowboy assault a punching bag with fists. It reminded Hanzo that the sharpshooter wasn’t just deadly with his gun, he’d trained his body to be able to muscle his way out of impossible situations. He wasn’t cut, didn’t have well defined muscles, he was built with bulk under soft edges. A solid core of someone who had put his whole body into strength.

In the future, Hanzo would deny the sound that came out when he tried to speak was strangled.

McCree paused, glancing over his shoulder, golden eyes dragging over the entirety of Hanzo’s body. Maybe they had always been gold, and it was just the lack of lighting that occasionally made them dark brown. “Howdy,” He greeted with an easy smile.

The archer cleared his throat, crossing his arms in an attempt to look indifferent to the sweaty cowboy. “You were not in the shooting range.” He said.

Hanzo had to force himself to not look down at the trail of hair that dipped below McCree’s sweatpants as he turned to face him. “Ah shit,” He cursed, wiping the sweat slicked hair from his face. “I must’a lost track of time. Give me a minute and I’ll be ready to go.”

“No,” The word tumbled from Hanzo’s lips before he could stop them. “I do not mind sparring if you are willing to accept my company.”

The strange feeling, the fluttering and tightness, returned with a vengeance as McCree’s face lit up, his grin widening and the corners of his eyes crinkling in delight. “Hell yeah!” He barked and then took a pause. “You wanna go against a bag or me?”

Hanzo blinked. He had been thinking of working on his own bag, but he found the thought of sparring with McCree to be irresistible. He let a smirk slide across his face. “I suppose it falls to me to put you in your place.”

The cowboy laughed, grabbing a towel and trying to wipe away some of the sweat, an ineffective effort. “Cocky, I like that.” He rumbled, watching Hanzo like a hawk. “It’ll make takin’ you down that much sweeter.”

Hanzo turned away to hide his pleased smile, it had been a while since he properly sparred with someone. It had been ages since anyone even thought to challenge him. He slipped off his yukata, haphazardly folding it and leaving it off to the side. He could feel those eyes drag across his back, once again feeling like prey under a predator's gaze. He was helplessly caught and there was nothing he could do to escape it.

Turning back to the cowboy he tilted his head up and curled a lip, attempting to seem bigger than he actually was compared to the rugged man. “I expect there will be no pulled punches on my account?”

A chuckle. “I gotta, unless you wanna turn black an’ blue.”

Hanzo was quick to stride up to McCree, their gazes meeting, challenging each other. “Do not expect the same courtesy from me.” He brushed by the cowboy, ignoring the way his chest heaved at the contact of their bare arms. Now was not the time for dwelling on his ailment, he was here to hone his body and his skills with the help of a friend.

Their sparring was simple enough at the beginning, easy punches and kicks, some landing, some being dodged. It was awkward, starting and stopping occasionally until things started to ramped up.

The punches came faster and harders, legs swept each other to the ground. Grunts and blows were the only sounds filling the room, peppered here and there with deep rumbling chuckles. It became fluid, a graceful dance that the two of them engaged in, scarce connecting blows and hisses of pain interrupted the flow of their fighting.

Golden eyes watched every movement of Hanzo’s, drinking in everything he did, while the archer’s body felt every shift of McCree’s body. Trained killers sizing up the competition.

A particularly nasty leg swipe from Hanzo brought the cowboy to his knees, his lip curling in a snarl. “Playin’ dirty now, are ya, Han.”

The nickname froze Hanzo, wrong time, wrong place. McCree could see it, he sprung up and charged himself into the archer’s midsection,taking them both down to the ground in a grapple of limbs.

Sparring turned into wrestling. They pinned each other and slipped from holds, working Hanzo into a light sweat from the effort. It was unreasonable that they should continue this, their enemies would not wrestle, they would kill, but it was exhilarating. His heart hammered as he was pinned, marveling at the rivaling strength of McCree, and when he managed to slip out and turn it on the cowboy, he appreciated his own flexibility.

He wasn’t sure how long it went on, but it ended when McCree managed to pin him in way that he couldn’t get free from. Their chests heaved as they sucked in breaths, sweat coating their bodies, and at some point, Hanzo’s hair tie had slipped free so his hair clung to the sides of his face.

“Givin’ up yet?” McCree asked, catching his breath quicker than Hanzo could.

The archer struggled again, he knew he was caught, beaten, but refused to admit it to the other man.

McCree adjusted his hold, using his bulk to hold Hanzo down, bodies flush against each other. “Come on, Han. You ain’t gettin’ out of this one.” He purred with a curl of a lip, those large canines flashing dangerously.

“I am not done yet, McCree.” Hanzo spat back, trying to wiggle out again.

“I think you are,” The words were deeper, a sense of finality to them.

Hanzo couldn’t reply, he couldn’t do much of anything as rough lips pressed to his, demanding.

When he didn’t respond, the cowboy pulled away, hurt across his features as those golden eyes definitely faded back to a dark brown. He released Hanzo’s hands, lifted up to give the archer room to get away. “Fuck, Hanzo- I’m sorry.” He stammered, suddenly lacking the usual confidence.

There was no explanation for why he did what he did, and there never would be. As soon as he was able, he grabbed at the cowboy, pulling him back for another kiss. It was rough, unapologetic as he took what he wanted, and in that moment, Hanzo desired more of McCree.

Sweat slicked bodies were explored with roaming hands, groans slipping between their lips. Hanzo let out a loud gasp as he felt nails digging into his hips, back arching at the sensation. A dam had burst in each of them, patience run thin.

“Jesse,” He breathed when they broke to catch their breath.

McCree made it very apparent he wasn’t willing to break for long, nipping at Hanzo’s lip with a growl, golden eyes narrowed and furious. The taste of blood entered their kiss, a pleasant sensation for the archer, but he felt the cowboy seize.

Just as quickly as it had started, it was over- McCree was gone at a speed that Hanzo had never seen him move before.

Confusion gripped him, the swelling in his chest constricted painfully, leaving him to lay there on the floor. Blood stained lips, deep scratches on his sides, out of breath.

He tried to figure out what happened. He couldn’t rid himself of the ghostly feeling that McCree’s hands were still on him, his body still holding him down. What caused him to run? What caused their frenzy in the first place?

Hours he laid there, trying to work things out, until he blissfully fell asleep and into dreams of sharp teeth and wicked claws.

Chapter Text

Avoid him and ignore it.

That was the solution Hanzo came up with the following day. Avoid McCree and ignore the tightness in his chest.

It seemed like a feasible plan to get himself back together, but Hanzo didn’t take into account he would feel those scratches for days afterward- were they really that severe? He hadn’t planned on his mind still lingering in that alley. And,most certainly, he hadn’t considered dreaming of McCree, soaked with sweat and dominating, whenever he tried to close his eyes.

It was tough going, but Hanzo managed, right up until he was informed that there was a mission for them around King’s Row. There was Talon activity in the area, and a formal team was assembled to check it out. Caring about appearances or possible links to a resurgence in Overwatch were dismissed, as they needed a solid, cohesive team.

Cohesive meant McCree and Hanzo, without a doubt.

Winston, Tracer, Zenyatta, and Genji were to be the other members to join the mission. It didn’t bother him to be near his brother anymore, they’d begun to try and reconcile their past. It wasn’t an easy process and it was slow going, but Hanzo was to the point that he wasn’t angered by Genji’s presence.

He waited until the last second to board the transport, and sat himself in the furthest corner away from McCree. He didn’t miss the confused looks he received from the others for his behavior, he met them with a harsh frown and a lip curled in disgust. Who were they to judge his actions?

The one gaze he didn’t meet was McCree’s. He was still going with his plan of avoiding and ignoring. Avoid eye contact, ignore the heated stares. He couldn’t have whatever it was between them- he committed too many atrocities to deserve it and something he’d done disgusted the cowboy to the point of fleeing.

Rather than fighting to avert his eyes, he closed them. Flashes of wide open jaws haunted him, devouring him whole. Surely it was the twin dragons, punishing him for being so selfish- for assuming he could possess the cowboy. The ghosts of claws gripped him and it was getting harder to tell if it was the dragons pulling him apart from the inside out or if it was the memory of McCree’s nails digging into him.

A warm body against his side jolted him out of the maws of the dragons, caging him into the small cubby hole he’d found. The scent of smoke and whiskey wafted over him, a smell that lingered on him for hours after their sparring match.

“You don’t gotta say nothin’ if you don’t wanna.” McCree’s rough voice came out, hushed so that only the two of them could hear. “I’m sorry. I fucked it all right up, didn’t I?”

Hanzo turned only his head, raising an eyebrow. “What do you want, McCree?” The way he spat the name made the cowboy flinch, a reaction Hanzo felt in his whole body from their closeness. Too close, again, far too close. All he could think about were those hands grasping at him,fingers digging into his sides- but only one hand had nails and yet, it looked like claws had been raked down both of them.

The cowboy sighed. “I just wanna know that we’re okay. I don’t wanna lose my buddy cause I couldn’t keep my hands to myself.”

“Actions have consequences.”

McCree turned to him, full body, crowding into the archer’s personal space. Too close. “I’m willin’ to accept those, just stop dodgin’ me.” The sharpshooter swallowed and ducked his head. “Please.”

That broken sound, so soft and unlike the man, tore into Hanzo’s chest, ripping it wide open. He turned to McCree, found himself pressing closer, hand pulling at the cowboy’s chaps as he recalled the same word, the same tone, the alley. Raw, wounded, and desperate.

They leaned together, silent and contemplative. It was clear what they both wanted, but something held them back. Fear? The uncertainty their futures held? Could Hanzo get invested with McCree if he was worried that on every mission he’d find his body in another alley, without the chance to save him?

The image of what could have been caused him to unravel, hand reaching up to press against the cowboy’s cheek, silent words, and McCree leaning into his palm was a quiet response.

Hanzo couldn’t find the words to work around what he wanted to say, there were no metaphors of wisdom to express his confusion, so the truth poured out. “I do not know what we are doing here, McCree. I do not know what you want. But I do know that I do not wish to lose you.”

A soft chuckle came from McCree, “I ain’t goin’ nowhere. You’re stuck with me until the day I die-“

“That is what I am afraid of.”

“Hey now,” The cowboy’s warm hand covered his own, pressing against his scruffy cheek. “So long as I got you watchin’ my back, I don’t think I’ll be dancin’ with the devil any time soon.”

The words came sweet on his mind, and Hanzo found himself lost in that constricting feeling in his chest again. Neither of them seemed to have a clear answer about what they were doing, only that they couldn’t leave the other. He had no earthly idea why the cowboy stuck around him, but he knew that without McCree’s presence, he’d have trouble finding his balance. McCree, who had been there to help rally him about talking to his brother again. McCree, who had been there to challenge him and assure that kept his skills sharp. McCree, whose stories didn’t add up but who held an honest heart at the end of the day.

The man who caused this awful ache in Hanzo’s chest.

Hanzo pulled him in, kissing him and it hardly took half a second for the cowboy to reciprocate. It was soft, unlike their first, but it demanded so much more. Before, he could only focus on the way he wanted to hold onto McCree, but this time all he could feel was the sharpshooter’s need to envelop him.

Soft sighs turned into harsh gasps, their mouths mashing together. He was hardly worried about being seen, his angry scowls from earlier had chased everyone else away from the back cargo bay.

McCree crowded him more into the corner, hands grabbing at anything they could of Hanzo, bruising skin and pulling at clothes. Sharp teeth trailed down, biting the juncture at his neck and shoulder.

Hanzo felt as if he were being consumed, that everything around him belonged to McCree. He tangled his hands into the cowboy’s hair, grabbing fistfuls. The growl he received made him shiver and he felt helpless as he was pulled in closer. The transport melted away around him, all that mattered in this moment was the cowboy he was slowly becoming wrapped around.

“This is your pilot speakin’!” Tracer’s voice sprang over the intercom system, making both men jump. “We’ll be landin’ shortly, loves.”

As they caught their breath, he took stock of their position. Hanzo had one leg thrown up over McCree’s hip, metal hand tucked underneath to keep it in place. The cowboy’s face was buried in his neck, beginning to press kisses to his skin, licking at marks that, thankfully, were on the side of his neck that he could cover without it being obvious he was hiding something. His hands were still fisted in McCree’s hair, pulling the locks.He could swear he saw pointed ears but didn’t have time to dwell on it as the cowboy pulled back.

Gold. Deep and rich, alight with want. Hanzo was powerless in that gaze, his body melting against McCree who chuckled and gave him a rough kiss, quick and meaningful.

Hanzo was quick to pull him back for another, breathless and desperate for more. So much more.

McCree laughed again between kisses, his hand kneading at Hanzo’s thigh. “If I’da known this was in store for me, I woulda kissed ya sooner.”

“And I would have put an arrow in your knee.” He was quick to snap back, roughly grabbing at McCree and sliding over so that he straddled the cowboy. There was a sense of normalcy in this, flirtation and rejection- a fine balance as they collided.

Demanding hands grabbed his sides again, making Hanzo acutely aware that they still ached from being dug into. Images of McCree shirtless and sweating against him flooded his mind, morphing into a desire to have that skin against his fingers again.

The pain in his chest burned, drawing a moan from his lips. The pressure was sweet, spurring him on to get closer as he found his hips being guided to grind against the cowboy, not that it was needed as he worked of his own accord.

They were just beginning to find a rhythm when a rough cough made both of them freeze, all movement stopped cold. Jerking to look over his shoulder, he could just barely make out the top of Winston’s head behind the crates in the cargo bay.

“McCree?”

The cowboy grinned at Hanzo as he replied, as if wholly pleased to be caught in such a compromising situation. “What’d’ya need, partner?”

“There are a few mission details I need to go over with you.” A pause. “When you aren’t busy.”

Hanzo swore his face couldn’t get redder. How much had Winston seen of them? How much had he seen of the archer losing himself, giving into the swelling in his chest and letting McCree devour him? He scrambled off the cowboy as fast as he could, stung by the realization that he was acting like an infatuated schoolboy when he was a professional. This was his job, the one thing in life that was giving him a purpose.

And of course, leave it to McCree, the rough and tumble cowboy who couldn’t leave Hanzo alone to save his life, to quickly crowd back over him, and draw him back in for a demanding kiss, before departing with a quietly rumbled, “I’ll see you around, Han.”

As he watched the cowboy leave, he noticed his lip was split again.

-

The drive to the safehouse from the landing zone was quick, enough so that Hanzo decided to go back to his plan from the past few days. Avoid and ignore. Avoid the cowboy and ignore the absolutely devastating golden eyes that razed his body when no one else was looking.

He was thankful that the safehouse here was a brownstone, instead of a shoddy apartment. Plenty of space, plenty of room to keep his distance from the cowboy. He knew it was futile, at some point McCree would be sent out for recon and Hanzo would go with him to cover.

After a day setting up in the safehouse, he was about to break from his plan and speak with McCree, demand more clarification for what they were doing. This dance with the sharpshooter what tiring on its own, without knowing what dark hole they were spiraling down, it was outright exhausting.

He could smell something being burnt in the kitchen, an undeniable sign of the cowboy cooking something for breakfast that he would claim was done just right and the charring added flavor. He was about to round into the kitchen when slender arms wrapped around his exposed one and tugged him back.

The immediate desire to hiss and spit that someone would dare touch him was quelled when he heard the small giggle and saw the bedhead of one Lena Oxton. She released his arm once she had his attention, smiling at him. “Me and you gotta go do some recon, Hanzo.” She chirped.

He was surprised, genuinely. “You and I? What about…?” His words trailed off, his eyes darting to the kitchen where he could now hear humming. Something low and sweet.

She beamed at him. “McCree sticks out like a sore thumb-,” At the raised eyebrow from the archer, saying ‘have you seen me?’, she laughed. “-no matter what we put on him. You’ll blend in just fine, come on!” She darted off up the stairs to her room, leaning over the railing to make sure Hanzo came with her.

He followed, it was for a mission after all. Her room looked like she’d been living there for a month already, clothes spread everywhere, comic books laid open, and a collection of cans sat atop furniture. He stood in the doorway and crossed his arms. “I do not think your clothes will fit me, Lena.”

She spun to him, zipping over and gave him a look of pure look of disbelief. “Did you just make a joke?” She reached up, back of her hand to his forehead. “Have ya caught a fever?”

Under normal circumstances, he would have recoiled, but Lena had been the only one who didn’t treat him like a monster when he first arrived. She knew, she was somewhat close with his brother, but she had allowed him to make his own first impression on her. He couldn’t say that he was initially warmed to her. She was too touchy, too animated, but she was understanding and strong in her own right.

He swatted her hand aside with a roll of his eyes. “I am fine.”

She giggled and flashed around her room, searching for something and muttering under her breath. After a few moments, she was flinging clothes in every direction. “Gotta look casual. Pants or shorts, love?”

“Pants,” He replied instantly. Shorts showed far too much, allowed strangers to stare at the horrible scarring where his legs and prosthetics met and wonder more than they ought to. Sweat pants were flung at his face and he caught them mid-air before they hit their mark.

Lena shooed him and began digging into another pile, “Go ahead and change, I’ll find a shirt for ya.” A crash, something falling to the ground. “I put that shirt over here, I know I did.”

Rolling his eyes, he slipped into the jack-and-jill bathroom, disrobing himself and slipping into the gray sweatpants. They were more like sweat capris, the ends of them coming to just above his prosthetic calves where they cinched close- he imagined if his legs were still flesh the strange feeling would take some getting used to. Thankfully, they didn’t hang too low on his hips, not like the ill-fitting pair McCree had decided to spar in.

He exited with a huff, hoping that Lena found the shirt already so that he wouldn’t have to stand around half naked for long.

She came skipping over, a shirt clenched in her hands, but she gave pause as her gaze wandered over his chest. It wasn’t the same look the cowboy threw at him, eyes hungry, it was curious and concerned. “Love, you look like a wolf tried to maul ya.” She spoke as she tugged him over to the full length mirror in the room.

Indeed, he looked like he’d been attacked by some sort of beast. Bruises littered his shoulder and neck and his hips were red once more where the scratches were healing. He frowned, feeling the pain in his slightly swollen lip. Without his normal dress, every mark McCree had put on him was a beacon against his pale skin. “Just give me the shirt.” He groused.

Lena flushed and handed it over. “I don’t think it’ll help.”

It didn’t. It was a simple black tank top, one size too small so that it clung to his broad chest and rode up his waist as he moved. “Do you have nothing else?”

She shook her head, unabashedly stripping down to her underwear in front of him and pulling on her own clothes. Bright pink tights and shorts that were entirely too short- especially when she also donned a large sweatshirt that draped so low that she could have gone without pants and the world would be none the wiser. “I think McCree’s got a jacket you could borrow, might wanna ask him, yeah?” She offered, pulling on her shoes.

With a grimace, he stormed out of Lena’s room and down the stairs back to the kitchen where he could still hear McCree humming. His brows were furrowed in anger, after all, it was the cowboy’s fault he looked like this. “I need your jacket.” He demanded, McCree owed him this much.

Those eyes, he watched as they went from a soft dark brown to that hungering gold hue, drinking up Hanzo’s appearance. He would always deny that the rumble from McCree twisted his chest, the ache flaring to life. “It’s hangin’ by the door.” The cowboy paused, prowling over to him and circling around.

Hanzo refused to move, refused to acknowledge that the way he felt trapped in McCree’s presence made his stomach flutter. It thrilled him, like if he were to flee he would be chased- and not in the same way his clan had pursued him. He wanted to be caught by this predator, his breath hitching with the realization.

He wanted to be caught.

“You look good,” McCree purred, suddenly too close to his ear.

Hanzo turned his head and scowled at him. “I would look better without your…. Assistance.”

The cowboy chuckled low, sauntering back over to whatever he was cooking. “I think you look mighty fine,” His golden eyes slid over to watch Hanzo carefully. “Marked up like a chew toy.”

The distance between them cleared his head, he could concentrate instead of falling into biting and pawing at McCree like a dog in heat. He gave him one last glare and another curl of his lip before walking away, not giving himself to another second of this distraction. He had a job to do, he couldn’t get wrapped up in things that would only fan the fire burning in his chest.

He grabbed the jacket as he stalked out, and as expected, Lena zipped up right beside him, smiling happily as he put it on.

She was quiet, allowing him some time to calm down from his interaction with McCree. He was hot and cold with the man, he couldn’t get enough of him, but he was just as wary. There was so much that could go wrong, but he couldn’t imagine the cowboy to leaving his life. He couldn’t tell what he was feeling when he was with him, and figuring it out wasn’t becoming any easier.

He jammed his hands into the jacket pockets with a huff, eyebrows furrowed with thought. He knew what he wanted, there was no denying that, but there was something about McCree that put him on edge, something unseen that nagged in back of his mind every time he met those golden eyes. Something about those claws that dug at his sides, those sharp teeth, they all drowned him- and giving into their whims was the only source of air.

Once more, slender arms wrapped around his own, Lena leaning into his side with a hum. “So when did you and McCree happen?” She asked innocently as they walked around King’s row, scouting out any potential hideaways for Talon, and good places for him to perch in the event of a firefight.

He scowled. “We did not ‘happen’.”

She laughed, squeezing his arm tighter. “Love, you know the transport has cameras? I even tried to warn ya before Winston went back there.” She cooed. “I even tried distractin’ him when you two wouldn’t quit.”

“So you watched us?” He snapped, but it didn’t phase her at all.

“Not on purpose, I only noticed you were bein’ grumpier than usual. Wanted to make sure you were okay.” She paused with a soft hum. “I think you’ll be good for each other.”

He glared down at her. “I do not need your opinion on something that is not happening.”

“Sure it ain’t.” She quipped before falling silent again. It didn’t last long before she piped up again. “Between you an’ me, love, McCree’s been dealin’ with some demons for a long time. He wasn’t like he is now back when I knew him, even when he was in Blackwatch. He was even headed- if you can believe that.

“When we were recalled, he came back wild. I know he was on the run the whole time, but this wasn’t all from bein’ alone. His anger was like a switch, I remember findin’ the bags in the weight room destroyed, shredded.” She pauses, worrying her lip slightly. “It was hard to fight by his side on missions. I couldn’t figure out what he was doin’ half the time.”

“But then you came along and it evened him out some. He’s been winnin’ the battle with whatever’s eatin’ at him since you became his partner.”

She left it at that, sticking to lighter topics that didn’t touch upon personal introspection.

Their recon proved fruitful, as they nabbed some frozen yogurt from a shop and sat out on a bench to eat together. Lena spotted a group of people who looked out of place as much as they did in, much like the ‘protesters’ back in Numbani had. It was his sharp gaze that spotted the Talon insignia tattooed on the back of one of their hands and watched as they scurried into a building.

After waiting for them to emerge for a few hours, it was safe to say that was the base. They walked briskly back to the safehouse to report in, and after a heated discussion, it was decided that the sooner they could strike the better.

-

They waited until the sun had set before moving forward. Hanzo’s job was dull as McCree and Tracer entered the building, he could hear them laughing to each other on the comm-line as they caught Talon unaware. Banter that brought a soft smile to his lips as he waited in an alcove to pick off any that tried to come out on from the rooftop.

He felt heavy, exhausted from all of the emotional exertion of the past few weeks. The pain in his chest hadn’t left him, and fighting against that day in and day out drained him.

McCree swore over the line, “I’m under fire, Tracer can ya get round’em?”

He stood, leaning against the edge of the opening, bow half-drawn. His head swam- with worry, he realized as he heard McCree curse again, louder. His eyes focused on the rooftop, and everything seemed to fade out.

“Hanzo!”

He couldn’t hear Genji yelling out on the comm-line as he saw a sniper emerging from the top. He straightened up and drew back his arrow, taking in a deep breath and letting it sail. Right into the chest of the assailant.

“Hanzo, from the building!”

The words registered this time, dull, barely surfacing from the worry and exhaustion he felt. He looked down, seeing Talon agents on the ground, guns aimed up at him.

“Behind you, brother!”

Too late, too close, too slow. He turned just in time to see a figure raise the butt of a gun and bring it down on his head. Exhaustion. Pain. Worry. It all coalesced as he felt his knees buckle and the world give way under his feet. He could hear Genji yelling on the comm-line, he could hear the panic of his teammates.

But all of it seemed to mute against the sound of the air rushing past his ears as he fell four stories to the paved streets below.

Chapter Text

The pain in his skull would be far from the most prominent thing he remembered. He moved and found himself weak, sore and bruised. His vision waned when his eyes blinked open and he noticed he was lying chest down to the ground, head turned so that he stared at the side of a building; thebuilding he fell from.

Hanzo came into the waking world in a series of realizations.

First came the deep rumble- dark, threatening, and causing his blood to run cold.

Second came the darkness- streetlights blocked out as something covered him. No, it loomed over him, crouched low and protective over his body.

Third came the claws- dark and hairy, nails digging into the pavement.

Fourth came the smell- smoke, sweat, and whiskey.

And fifth came the gunshots- rapid and surrounding him.

Panic gripped his battered body and he tried to curl in on himself, to become as small of a target as possible. Talon, he hazily remembered, had guns trained on him as he fell. Yelling, in his ear as Genji tried to warn him and his teammates tried to reach him.

The creature, he couldn’t describe it, hunched down around him, protecting him from the spray of bullets. And with a deafening roar it sprung away, leaving Hanzo cold and exposed. The sound of screams echoed off the stone walls around them, the coppery smell of blood joining the heady smell of cigar smoke in the air.

Through blurry vision, he saw the creature between him and a slew of bodies, shredded across the ground. It raised up on hind legs, that of a canine’s, and let out a chilling howl. As the sound died off, the creature returned to him.

Hanzo shut his eyes and tried to calm his racing heart. This was how it was to end, splattered across the ground by some beast. He wished desperately for McCree to come running in and save him, just as he’d done for the cowboy. With a small twitch of his smile, he had the brief thought that the bastard would come at the last second, down to the wire. Thoughts flashed, of kissing him again, apologizing for avoiding him instead of talking. Of admitting he was wrong for ignoring it all instead of trying to figure it out.

Warmth suddenly surrounded him, a metal hand- no, a metal claw pulling him gently closer, tucking him into safety. There was a whine, keening with a gentle huff of air blown against the side of his face. Words surfaced in the noise, rough and desperate. “Stay with me, Han.” Another whine. “Please.” Raw and wounded.

As darkness consumed him once more, he swore that metal claw transformed in a series of clicks and hisses, back to a familiar hand that sought his own.

-

He broke into awareness violently, in cold sweat,, eyes snapping open to find himself in the safehouse, tucked into a bed. A dream, all of it a horrible nightmare. The fall, the beast. His mouth felt dry and he went to get up to fetch a glass of water, but as he lifted his head, his vision swam and a painful throbbing started up. He let out a gasp and dug his hand into his hair, wincing at the sharp pain in his skull.

A gentle pair of hands pressed on his arm. “Careful, love, you took a big tumble.” Came Lena’s voice, soft and assuring. “Doctor’s orders to take it easy.”

Hanzo groaned as his body reminded him of the fall, everything ached horribly. He felt like one of those steaks McCree would bring around and beat tender with a cleaver. “Doctor?”

“Yep, we got Mercy here in a hurry. Wanted to make sure you were okay and she-“ The pilot paused, biting at her lip. “She had to remove a whole lotta bullets from McCree.” She peered at Hanzo, trying to gauge his reaction to the information.

He was frozen, muscles tensed and his breath hitched. Bullets in McCree, wounds he’d been unable to prevent yet again.

“I wasn’t supposed to tell ya, but since you two are… y’know, I figured you deserved to know.” She hurried to explain when she saw he wasn’t responding. Her hands sought out one of his, holding it firmly and trying to ground him as if the knowledge that McCree was harmed would send him into a flying rage.

He looked at her lithe hands, nimble fingers, dexterous enough to use- “Pliers.” He muttered, looking up at her face. Her confusion was clear as day, she had no idea what he was talking about. “Did he not have his pliers with him?” The look only got worse. “I removed the bullets last time with them.”

She grew concerned, reaching over to gather his other hand, another firm squeeze to make sure he stayed with her. “Hanzo- there were so many bullets in him. He took them all for you.”

The words rang in his head, the pain in his chest swelled until there wasn’t room for air. He wasn’t just hurt because Hanzo wasn’t there to prevent it, he was hurt because he’d been protecting Hanzo. “Where is he?” He barked angrily.

Lena frowned, “He’s in the upstairs room- been there with Mercy since we got you two back.”

Pounding head and sore limbs be damned, he tossed off the covers from his legs and stood. He wavered, the sudden upright position shifting everything in his body and the rush of blood drowned out Tracer’s cry of his name. She was telling him to get back in the bed, but he pushed forward, ignoring her.

The hallway was easy, using the wall to guide himself, but the stairs were another story. Each step up was agony, and the only thought that kept him going was that each one was nothing compared to the pain McCree must have felt from each bullet. Hanzo could push through this, all he wanted to do was get to the cowboy. He needed to tell him how stupid he was, needed to reprimand him for trying to waste his life for someone like him who didn’t deserve it. McCree brought so much good to the world while Hanzo’s only skills were anger and killing- Overwatch needed the cowboy, Hanzo was but a convenience.

He could barely hear Lena yelling at him now, trying to get the attention of someone within the safehouse before he hurt himself further. The world tilted as he reached the door to the upstairs room leaning against the frame, trying to catch his breath, everything hurt- body and mind.

The door opened, Mercy poking her head out. “Lena? What in the world is-“ She paused catching sight of Hanzo right there, eyebrows knitted as he tried to figure out how to explain why he was here. “Shimada, you should be resting.”

“Which Shimada?” The voice was unmistakable, no matter how slow and groggy it was.

Hanzo found his voice, worry under a mask of anger as he snapped. “I need to see him.”

Mercy looked affronted, it was no secret that she was the least trusting of him out of anyone in Overwatch. She’d seen firsthand the destruction he’d caused, she’d been the one to fix it and try to piece back together what remained of his brother. “I do not think-“

“Doc, let him in.” There was a pause as Mercy looked over her shoulder into the room. “Please.” Rough and desperate.

The doctor stepped aside and gave Hanzo room to go in on his own, making no move to assist him. “I will be just downstairs if you need me, Jesse.” She spoke before striding away.

He took in a deep breath, prepared for the worst when he entered the room. He expected the sight of a broken body, still in desperate need of more repairs.

He was taken aback by what he found instead. It was McCree, but not McCree. It looked as if the beast of his nightmares were trying to take the form of the cowboy. It appeared far more beastial- covered in more hair and with claws instead of nails. It wasn’t McCree, but as it smiled at him, slow and easy, and those golden eyes lit up in recognition, he began to understand.

“Howdy, Robin Hood.”

Hanzo stumbled his way over to the bed in which this new McCree sat, standing at the edge of it and staring at the man. The beast. He knew, somewhere deep in his mind, piecing everything together. Fangs and claws that dug at his body, eyes that pierced his soul, and a rugged rumble that shook his entire being. A wolf in the body of a man, a feral creature in the form of a sharpshooter.

Wordlessly, he climbed into the bed, laying himself parallel to McCree, still staring. He couldn’t stop his hands from pressing against the cowboy’s chest, the hair there was thicker than when they had been wrestling. He felt larger, as if the beast inside could barely be contained. His hands trailed down McCree’s left arm, delicately maneuvering the prosthetic and remembering the whirs and hisses as it had transformed before his eyes- transformed just like he had seen McCree slowly do since that night in the alley.

He could see pockmarks, fresh and pale amongst the expanse of tan skin. ‘Hanzo- There were so many bullets in him.’ The beast had taken all of the hits meant for him, crouched over his body, shielding him. And McCree- full of bullets meant for him, had taken to slaughtering anyone who’d tried to harm him.

A children’s myth that no one believed, right before his eyes, under his touch. He felt less like the Robin type of Hood and more akin to the Red Riding variety, at the mercy of the wolf.

“McCree.”

Arms wrapped around him, dragging him closer to the wolf, caging him against that solid body. “I’ve got ya’, Han.” The words rumbled like gravel, sending tremors through his body.

His hands grasped at the cowboy’s shoulders, nails digging in as everything burst apart. That pain in his chest wound so tight, finally snapping. The worried throbbing in his skull faded into a gentle hum. He wound his legs up with McCree’s and tried to hold on as everything rushed over him- worry, need, adoration. He couldn’t breathe, gasping for air he couldn’t find, and it was only the soft murmurs of McCree that opened his lungs enough to gulp it in.

“I do not care,” He found himself saying. “I do not care what demons you fight, do not let me leave.” He could feel the hold around him tighten. “Please.” Raw and wounded.

They laid there for what felt like hours, woven together and silent. There was no telling which one of them fell asleep first, but even in slumber, they refused to untangle from each other.

-

Recovery took a few days, and at first Mercy tried to chase Hanzo back to his own room, but after a few harsh snaps from the cowboy, he spent as much time as he could laying in bed with McCree. They didn’t talk much, content to lay with each other and rest, sneak over to the window and smoke when Mercy left.

Hanzo’s hands wandered often, feeling the pieces of McCree that were so familiar but new. Pointed ears hidden under a wild mane, which when played with, caused the cowboy to hum softly and lean into the touch. Still he marveled at sharp claws decorating a hand so familiar to him, and at some point, he decided to show Hanzo the modification to his prosthetic- the metal limb morphing into a large claw before his eyes.

Years later, Hanzo would always remember they way the sun would hit the window, lulling them to sleep with its warmth. Naps in the sunlight, waking up staring into golden eyes that consumed him, wrapped in arms that refused to let him leave. He was caught, completely and utterly caught.

Physical recovery was smooth, effortless, but he was still struggling to come to terms with what he felt toward the cowboy.

He watched as McCree stretched, eyes trailing down the trail of hair that worked down his spine. Not hair- fur. It disappeared under the waistline of sweats that hung too low.

“Show me.” He said suddenly.

McCree glanced over at him, eyebrow raised. “Show ya what now?”

Hanzo tried to come up with something delicate, as to not offend McCree with what he was about to ask. He knew the man wasn’t easily bothered, but this was territory they’d never tread upon. What did he call it? What did he call him? His eyebrows furrowed as he looked down in his lap. “The wolf.”

McCree paused, staring Hanzo down like he wasn’t sure if he wanted to chase him out or ignore that he had asked. His lip curled as he turned away, “You don’t wanna see that mess.”

Before he knew it, the archer was on his feet, sliding his arms around the cowboy’s solid middle, his face pressing into the fur at his neck. He could feel the warmth of the other man against the bare half of his chest. “I know what I want, McCree.” He felt hands, metal and flesh, weave with his own and let out a huff. “If it is you that does not wish to show me, I can understand.”

“Sheeit. I’m dyin’ to show ya. But… it’s not what ya think. It ain’t some other creature in my body- it’s me. All me.”

His arms tightened around McCree, reassurance. “Please.” Rough and desperate.

They stood in tense silence before he felt the cowboy shuffle, and it was a few confused moments before he realized McCree had been stripping off his sweatpants- and that he had no underwear beneath them. “Hold these,” He grumbled, prying Hanzo’s arms off of him and shoving the pants into his grasp.

“What on earth are you doing?” The archer forced out, resisting to look below McCree’s waistline as he turned.

The man chuckled, backing away with a half-amused grin on his face. “I’d like my pants to still be around when I come back. Can’t be tearin’ through every pair I have.”

Hanzo clutched them close and resumed his seat on the bed, wrenching his fingers into the fabric.

Watching McCree was like watching a dancer. Every muscle shifted into each movement, calculated and precise. He was a predator, powerful and skilled at his craft. Body honed for stalking and killing. He let his eyes wander, no longer caring that the man was naked, invested in watching him turn before him.

The man bounced on his toes briefly before closing his eyes. He rolled his neck, muscles rippling with the motion. At a glance, nothing seemed to be happening, but upon closer inspection, the hair on his chest was spreading, thickening and swallowing him whole. There were soft cracks that took Hanzo a moment to realize it was the cowboy’s body emitting those sounds. The shifts were slow, body parts altering their shape- expanding and contracting.

McCree grunted at the first loud snap, his face contorting in pain, sharp teeth biting into his lip. He groaned, burying his face in his hands, curling in on himself and a large cloud of steam rolled off of him. The room grew warm, the beast folded to the ground, muffling screams of pain.

With a final expulsion of steam, the cries died down into gruff, harsh pants.

Hanzo felt sick, asking McCree to do such a painful process just to satisfy his curiosity.

When everything settled, when the room was silent save for the rasping huffs from the curled up beast, Hanzo slipped off the bed and went to meet him.

He was hesitant to touch the wolf at first, but knowing that McCree put himself through harm to show this gave him the resolve. He carded his fingers into the thick fur of what he assumed was McCree’s neck, hands stilling with each flinch. He pet him, watching the form relax and found his voice, murmuring soothing words in Japanese even though he knew the cowboy wouldn’t understand them. He tried to be gentle, tried to show his appreciation- all while battling the storm in his chest.

Hanzo was surprised, but not at the same time. There could have been many other things that explained McCree’s behavior, but somehow knowing this, finally seeing the beast- everything fit into place.

McCree rose slowly, that same meandering ooze he always moved with. His body towered a good three feet over Hanzo’s head, the golden, hungry eyes of a wolf staring down at him, claws as big as the archer’s head twitched, ready to snare him should he flee.

But there was no fleeing from this, he was caught. The hunter had become the prey.

“Beautiful,” He murmured, reaching up to sift his fingers through the fur on McCree’s broad chest, admiring the brown tones in the pelt. “But it hurts you to change.”

There was a deep rumble before words formed. “If I force it.” McCree’s accent was thicker, coated with the dark tones of a growl. “Usually I ain’t showin’ this off to people. If I gotta do it, the adrenaline drowns it out.” He raised his prosthetic hand to press against the side of the archer’s head. “It didn’t hurt when I had to save ya, Han.”

“And going back?”

McCree ducked his head, pressing the side of his muzzle against the the archer’s face. “Less- ‘lot easier to melt it off instead of buildin’ it up.”

Hanzo pushed his hands upward, threading into the thick mane around the wolf’s neck, grabbing fistfuls and holding him close. Immense arms wrapped around his body, pulling him close and enveloping him in warmth and fur. He let out a soft sigh and buried his face into it all. Smoke, sweat, and whiskey.

Dwarfed by the large beast, he felt in limbo of safety and capture. Nothing outside could touch him so long as McCree surrounded him, but he couldn’t break free from the cowboy, even if he wanted to. “McCree- Jesse.” The name was muttered, accompanied by tightening his grip on the neck of the beast.

A rumble answered him, claws pressing to his sides, digging in to anchor him there.

“I need you.” The words, so simple in diction were far more complicated in context. Yes, he needed the cowboy in his life, he’d admitted to as much. Now he was admitting to needing more, wanting everything McCree had to offer him. Days of pain and worry swarmed his mind, thoughts of sweating bodies pressed against each other and heated kisses stolen. He wanted more. “Not-“ He felt his cheeks go red and attempted to bury his face away into the mass of fur. “Not as you are now.”

McCree chuckled, releasing Hanzo with a wicked grin, ready to snare him if he should run. Prey, caught in the eyes of a true predator. “I wouldn’t expect you to ride bareback your first go ‘round at the rodeo.”

Normalcy- flirtation, rejection. “If you continue to joke, I will change my mind.” He bluffed, letting go of the wolf’s neck and stepping back.

The change back was far smoother, bones still popped and the cowboy winced, but the excess burned off of his body in a thick vapor. It heated the room and caused McCree’s body to shine in a fine sweat. He huffed, tying his hair back, and turned to the archer when he was done, grasping his prosthetic and eyeing him down. A fanged smirk thrown his direction told Hanzo all he needed to know- the wolf was deciding if his prey could take his claws.

He moved fast, crowding Hanzo in the blink of an eye. He hardly had time to breathe before lips were pressed against his, demanding and rough. Claws tugged at his clothing, taking care not to rip the garments but had no such qualms about raking against his skin. The sting was divine, making Hanzo gasp into the fierce kisses, alighting his nerves.

The hands paused at his waist, a gentle motion that differed from the rugged man surrounding him. “You don’t gotta do this, Han.” His words were careful. It wasn’t just about them, it was about letting McCree do as he pleased- biting, scratching, and anything else that would come with the wolf.

It was an impulsive reaction to dig his nails into the back of McCree’s neck and drag him into another kiss. He bit at the cowboy’s lip until it bled, tit for tat, pulling away just enough with a satisfied smirk. “I believe it was I who demanded this.”

Golden eyes stared at his lips as he spoke, tongue slipping from between sharp teeth to lick at bloodied lips.

He crowded back over him, manhandling Hanzo until he was as naked as the cowboy, tugging him until they bumped against the bed frame. They fell in a tangle of limbs, rutting against each other and drawing out a myriad of gasps and moans. Dots of crimson stained the sheets as McCree’s claws dragged across his body, a thin trail of blood trickling from the corner of his mouth as the wolf bit at his lip in retaliation.

Hanzo hiked a leg around the cowboy’s waist, pressing their bodies closer against each other and delighting in the feral growls he pulled from McCree’s chest. “Jesse,” He moaned breathlessly, fingers scrabbling to try and grab more.

He heard the cowboy reach over and open a drawer followed by the tell-tale pop of a cap. Hanzo frowned, pushing McCree’s face away from his own. The cowboy gave him a concerned look, like he was worried that he’d hurt the archer.

“No.”

“You-“

“You are not putting those sharp things in me.”

His bluntness was rewarded with a mischievous grin that swooped in to bite at his neck, abusing the skin it found.  A scruffy beard tickled his collarbone as teeth broke the skin, playing like a distraction before he flipped them, putting Hanzo atop his form. “Guess you’ll have to do all the work yourself, darlin’.” The cowboy smiled, dangling the lube gently from his hand.

Hanzo scowled, snatching the bottle from him. “Do not mistake me for some blushing virgin, McCree.” He said, pretending to ignore the dark flush across his cheeks. Preparing himself wasn’t new to the archer, many lonely nights had found his hands wandering, exploring, but it was entirely new to have someone he desired so deeply to be watching him.

Slicking his fingers with a generous amount of lubricant, Hanzo pressed them to his entrance, slowly working one finger at a time. He took a deep, shaking breath as he felt a hungry gaze on him, waiting on their prey. Each gasp he drew from himself as he worked was met with a furrow of claws at his back. Hanzo stared, watching McCree eyeing up his form, causing every movement for him to build and soon he was rocking forward between McCree’s cock and back against his fingers. He balanced himself with a hand pressed to the cowboy’s hairy chest, his nails raking down and inflicting scratches of his own.

“I could watch you all day, Han.” The man beneath him murmured, roughly grabbing Hanzo’s hips and stopping his motions.

Hanzo grunted, eyebrows furrowing as he glared down. “Jesse,” He hissed with a warning, removing his fingers. “Release me.”

McCree chuckled, “I’ll be releasin’ somethin’ alright.” His eyes resumed trailing over every inch of Hanzo’s body, appreciating, as if committing the view to memory. The wolf dragged Hanzo forward for another rough kiss, the faint sound of the lube bottle popping open again was drowned out by the blood rushing through the archer’s ears and the growls of pleasure coming from the wolf. McCree pulled away for breath, running a metal thumb over his flushed cheekbone. “You best let me know if’n I need to stop.”

Hanzo nodded vacantly, his mind up in the clouds as McCree lined himself up and slowly began to push into his body. It stung, but it was nothing compared to the scratches across his body and in fact, the feeling only made his heartbeat quicken.

The wolf’s low rumble rose to a constant droning snarl, his muscles tensed as he let the archer slide down his cock at his own pace. It was clearly driving him mad to not be able to move, waiting for Hanzo to adjust.Shuddering once he was fully seated, McCree let out a needing whine, his back bowing.

It was breathtaking to see the confident man writhe underneath him, watching his muscles ripple with the effort of not rushing into this. It humbled Hanzo to see someone, who could very clearly take what he wanted, put themselves in a fit on his behalf. He rose up and slid back down on the cowboy’s length, his breath catching at both the sensation inside of him and the way those golden eyes snapped to his. Another bounce had the wolf growling, claws sinking deeply into his hips, so he did it again, and again, and again.

He began at a steady pace, closing his eyes and giving into the feeling of riding atop McCree, hands bracing against his chest for balance, grasping nails drawing blood.

A sudden snarl was all the warning he got before McCree was no longer willing to just spectate. His claws dug further in as he thrust up to meet Hanzo, setting a ruthless pace that soon had Hanzo biting into the back of his hand to quiet himself.

“No,” the wolf growled, sliding out and quickly readjusting them. He rolled Hanzo to his back, capturing both wrists within a metal grip while his other hand worked to hold the archer’s hips up. He pushed  back in with a deep growl, flashing a sharp smirk at the high keen that fell from Hanzo’s lips- a sound he would deny he ever made. “I wanna hear it all, darlin’.”

There ceased being anything tender or sweet about the way McCree drove into him. It was wild and frenzied with bites peppering his chest and drawing pinpricks of crimson. Each mark burned into Hanzo’s skin, brands that bound him to the wolf, searing wicked words of possession across his flesh.

“Jesse,” He gasped at a particularly well angled thrust, hardly having time to catch his breath between his moans. If he hadn’t known it before, he was well aware now of just how much power was housed within the man. Hanzo could feel himself unraveling in the wolf’s hold, a coil winding tight in his gut. He was exposed, at the mercy of the man surrounding him. “Please,” Raw and wounded.

The metal hand released his wrists, sliding behind him and grabbing at his back. He arched with a cry, hands fumbling to find his own release. “Please,” Rough and desperate. McCree bit hard at his neck, licking at the blood he spilled and murmuring against his skin. Hanzo was too far gone to recognize any of them, pushing over the edge with a cryof McCree’s name.

McCree’s thrusts became erratic as he sought his own end, finishing with a baying howl.

For once, in nearly a decade, the world was peacefully muted around him. There was no honor to uphold, no mission objective to hold his focus, no redemption to strive for. He was pliant, melting gently into mattress as McCree’s grip on him relaxed, hand gripping for something to be put within it. He felt at peace when a clawed hand was slipped inside it, fingers interlacing.

“Jesse,” He said, voice quiet and hoarse from crying wolf. “Stay with me.” He demanded, giving the hand a tug, rolling to his side. “Please.” Raw and wounded.

There would never be anywhere else where he felt as sound as he did in those arms. They anchored him, kept him grounded and chasing away the demons that lingered. Soft words were whispered into his hair as his body was held by McCree. ‘Gorgeous’, ‘strong’, and ‘mine’ were but a few of the words he could make out as a heady post coital bliss overtook him. Wrapped in the arms of a wolf, he was caught.


 

the wolf was deciding if his prey could take his claws

"the wolf was deciding if his prey could take his claws"
Sketch by akirata.tumblr.com

Chapter Text

When Hanzo woke up, there was no light streaming through the windows and he felt disgusting and sore. He wasn’t entirely surprised by the feeling, it was something that a shower could easily fix.

What did come as a shock was the lack of a hairy cowboy in the bed with him. The bed wasn’t warm, suggesting that he’d long since been abandoned. A quick glance to the clock told him it was just barely past nine, he’d slept for far longer than he anticipated.

Perhaps that was why McCree was absent- Mercy had deemed them healthy enough for duty again and there was work to be done. They couldn’t spend all day and night lying in bed, as they’d spent their recovery and if he was honest, Hanzo was feeling a little restless. He couldn’t blame McCree for wanting out as soon as possible, but he wished that the cowboy would have woken him up as well.

But it couldn’t be helped; there was no changing what happened and even if he had the power to rewind time, the rest was sorely needed after their romp.

Hanzo remembered the events with a soft smile as he slipped back into his clothes. He didn’t mind that they were dirty and wrinkled, he just had to make it to his room and the bathroom. Then he would enjoy a long shower.

He opted for slipping on both sleeves, despite the trip down the stairs being quick, he didn’t want to risk prying eyes. He didn’t mind the scratches, but some were rather severe, he must have looked cut to ribbons, and he didn’t want to be asked questions that he didn’t want to answer.

The shower was pleasant, warm water washing away all the stickiness and grime from earlier in the afternoon. The only downside was when it ran through some of the deeper cuts, stinging and making him hiss.

Stepping out, he found the disinfectant and cotton balls tucked within a cabinet. It wasn’t pleasant, but it needed to be done- there could be hellish consequences if he didn’t take care of his wounds and he’d rather not face Mercy with them. Hanzo didn’t want to sell out McCree as their cause and he didn’t want her chastising him for allowing them- she was a professional and she would treat him, but Hanzo didn’t want to deal with the judgement.

Hanzo was able to tend to the knicks at his wrists and the deep scrapes along his hips, but anything on his back was a lost cause. As miffed as he was that he couldn’t get to them, he wouldn’t have stopped them from happening for the world. Each furrow of claws into his skin had been rapture, a reminder that something stronger than anything he had faced existed. Something that could tear him apart but instead coveted him.

A sharp, rapid knocking at the door that led into the opposite room pulled Hanzo from his thoughts.

“Hanzo, love, are you done in there?” Lena’s voice was tinged with concern. They’d shared this bathroom long enough that he supposed sitting in the shower portion longer than usual would warrant a bit of worry on her end. Especially considering his recent injury.

“I am fine.” He responded briskly, taking a moment to stare at the disinfectant and let out a huff. He opened the door just a crack, peering through it. “Are you busy?”

The young woman shook her head in response.

“I… I need assistance.” He squeezed the towel wrapped around his waist and held the bottle out to her as she entered, toeing gently into the shared space. “I cannot reach my back on my own.” He admitted.

Her eyes went wide, taking in his full appearance. There were deep welts and bite marks all across his body that were just beginning to scab over, and deep bruises peppered his neck and shoulders where McCree had chewed on him. Rough cackling echoed in his head: ‘Marked up like a chew toy.’

“Hanzo, are you- how-“ She fought for words, coming over and delicately moving him around to assess the wounds he was painted with. “What happened?”

He urged the bottle toward her once more, wordlessly. She gave him a look fraught with worry as she took it and began cleaning what he couldn’t reach. “Nothing I did not ask for.”

He could hear the small frustrated noise she gave. “Who fights a man out of recovery?” She spat, “I’ll give them a right thrashin’ for this.” He admired her fierce desire to protect her friends- to protect him.

“It was not a fight.” Hanzo could feel her ire grating against the scratches that were deepest on his back. He felt uncomfortable letting her steam about something that didn’t call for such misbegotten feelings, but it warred with his desire for privacy. “I am a consenting adult.” He spoke softly.

The anger in her motions faded away, silence looming behind him as she finished. She came to stand in front of him, concern still etched across her face. “You ought’a take better care of yourself, love.”

He gave her a careful smile, meant to ease her worry. “Is this not taking care of myself? I could have risked infection if I did not care.”

She gave him a chastising swat, puffing her cheeks as she slipped back into her own room. He could hear her put on one of the tracks from Lucio’s album, a soothing noise that, while muffled by the door between them, eased some of the aches in his body.

Hanzo donned his usual garb, including his bow because, while he would never openly admit to it, he was still very much shaken by being caught off guard before his fall. A glance in the mirror told him that even though he wore both sleeves again, there were enough bruises and bite marks peeking up around his neck to draw attention. There was nothing for it now; he would make note to buy some concealer or some other form of makeup… should he and McCree continue their activities.

He slipped downstairs and out the front door, quickly leaving a note about going for a walk. He wasn’t going far, he just needed to clear his head and stretch his burning muscles. There was concern about the future between him and McCree, especially given the cowboy’s disappearing act while Hanzo slept.

Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have been worried. He’d had lovers in the past who would disappear before he woke up, but those men weren’t McCree. They weren’t people who fought countless battles with him and saw something, anything, beyond his family name. Ex-lovers with faded faces and names like ‘too soft’ and ‘sweaty palms’ weren’t men who had shared their deepest, most buried, secrets with him.

His plans to scale the building and spend a quiet evening alone on the roof were hindered by the figure of the very cowboy on his mind, sitting on the stoop with his shoulders slouching, looking rather miserable. The half smoked cigar and the litter of butts at his feet suggested that he had been out here for some time. His appearance was more human, the look that Hanzo thought was normal before his recovery. No more sharp teeth, no more claws, and no more line of fur down the cowboy’s spine.

McCree looked at his feet, eyes following Hanzo’s form upward and when they grazed over the concerned and confused expression of the archer, he was quick to turn his head away. With his gaze cast to the ground, it was like he was ashamed of Hanzo- a notion that caused a searing constriction in the archer’s chest.

He wasn’t being told to leave and Hanzo felt something was amiss that he’d regret not finding out. He flicked out his own case of cigarettes, putting one in his mouth and taking a seat next to McCree. Without the slightest motion or noise on his part, the sharpshooter flicked out his lighter and lit the end of it, drawing a smile to Hanzo’s lips. There was that, at least.

They sat in silence, each stewing in their own minds. Hanzo watched the smoke pull from the cowboy’s lips, thick curls that drifted upward. With a drag of his cigarette, he gently blew his own puff to intertwine with the heady stream of the cigar. McCree seemed to catch onto his game, and before long they were both intercepting each other’s trail of smoke. The cowboy would blow a ring and Hanzo would puff a sharp jet through its center.

It was only when McCree reached for another cigar that he spoke. “’m sorry, Shimada-san.”

The formality didn’t sit right in Hanzo’s gut; that name hadn’t passed the cowboy’s lips since before they became partners. After stiff introduction,,a few passings, he was relegated ‘partner’ or annoyingly ‘darlin’’ until he started equating him to cinema archers. And then ‘Han’. While it had only been his name for a few days, even going back to ‘Hanzo’ would have felt better than his family name. ‘Shimada-san’ was too proper, too ornate, something that demanded his attention.

Nor did he like the apology- was that why the cowboy had left the bed? Was sleeping with Hanzo something that warranted regret? “There is nothing to be sorry for, McCree.”

Hanzo didn’t miss the withered glance McCree gave him, hurt and yet still held a hunger within it. Whatever was going on in the cowboy’s mind, he couldn’t find the words to express it properly and buried his face in his hands- normal hands that looked so strangely foreign to Hanzo. “I can’t do this to ya.” McCree said, his voice giving way to whatever pain he was in.

The archer put a hand on the cowboy’s knee, keeping it there and squeezing gently despite the flinch. “What do you think you are doing to me that I cannot stop?” A lot, he reminded himself. Those powerful hands and that beastial hunger belonged to a being completely capable of overpowering him.

“I can’t let ya be with a monster like me.”

Monster. A word Hanzo paused at, never once had he spoke it, let alone thought of it. A beast, a nightmare, and perhaps even a feral force, yes- those were all things that McCree was capable of being. Never a monster. A monster wouldn’t have protected him, a monster wouldn’t have cared for his preference when he asked to be taken, and a monster wouldn’t play smoking games with him out on the stoop in the night.

He was quick to grab McCree’s chin with a strong hand, forcing the cowboy to look him the eyes. “You listen to me, Jesse McCree,” He said, trying to tamp down the swell of anger he felt at the word. Monster. “I have seen many monsters in my life, I have been the monster- you,” He put out the last of his cigarette and pressed his other hand against the cowboy’s cheek, sifting it through the thick hair to brush his thumb along a pointed ear. “You are no monster.”

McCree scowled, lip curling and eyes flashing a dangerous gold. “I’m a monster ‘cause that’s what they wanted outta me.” His hand came up to tug at the neck of Hanzo’s yukata, exposing bites and scratches. “Look what I fuckin’ did to ya, Hanzo.”

Hanzo bit his lip, face flushed red because he knew what McCree had done to him- but now was not the time to admit how much he relished each mark on him, that just the thought alone of receiving more bites from those possessive jaws was enough to make him want to drag the other man to bed again. The wolf was hurting, someone had wounded him. “Who wanted what out of you?” He asked, words soft and slow. McCree was on some sort of edge, and not the good kind.

“Talon,” Another word, this one more equated with ‘Monster’.

McCree didn’t say much else, so Hanzo pried the cowboy’s hand from his yukata, plucked the cigar from his mouth, stubbed it out, and pulled him into an embrace. The face buried in his neck was not there to press kisses on his collarbone, but to hide a grimace. Hands clutching at his pants were not trying to drag them off Hanzo’s body, but were trying to hold on.

“I used to be normal,” The cowboy murmured, adjusting so that his voice could be heard between the two of them. “As normal as you coulda been in Blackwatch.”

-

McCree always knew what they were doing in Blackwatch was shady, but he figured that the ends justified the means. They were helping people in some form or another. It might’ve gotten messy, sometimes, hurting a few people to save a lot more, but it was under the radar- no one knew that they were technically Overwatch operations.

What he didn’t know, what he wished that he’d realized sooner, is that someone outside knew. Talon, the beginnings of it, knew what they were doing. They had their eyes on all of them and had their fingers stuffed in Blackwatch and Overwatch pies. If anyone ever asked McCree, he’d tell them that’s what brought the whole place down. Not some feud between Jack and Gabe, not just some sketchy shit on the Blackwatch end, but Talon, behind pulling at the strings.

Jesse would bet real good money that they’d set everything up- because after it all fell, he was caught trying to run.

All he wanted to do was get out of there before he got himself another wanted poster, for some of the unsavory things he’d done in Blackwatch. He knew that if he had both Deadlock and Blackwatch history floating behind him, he’d never know peace. It seemed he wasn’t meant to know peace anyways after all the shit he’d done.

He got caught trying to go home, all of it a hazy blur until he woke up strapped to a table in a medical facility- but not the clean crisp rooms of Angela Zeigler’s care. They were grimy and dark, with the heavy stench of rot floating in the air.

McCree saw some awful shit in the time he spent in that lab. They did the kind of things you’d read about in those articles on the old wars or horror movies- experiments around the human body and its resilience. They starved people, sewed extra body parts onto others, and all manner of terrible, undeniably evil procedures. He thought he was dead.

He wished he was dead when Talon finally decided what to do with him. Needles and pain- things he’d never forget as they pricked and pumped him full of shit that felt like molten metal running through his body. He’d never forget the needles, would flinch and shake whenever Angela needed to prod him for years after. And he’d always remember the pain, its intensity, how it bit through him, like it was trying to tear him apart . Liquid fire burned him enough that he wrenched his hand loose from one of its shackles, mangling and shredding the skin- but it was nothing compared to the burn.

It felt like ages, he lost track of time in that lab, it might as well have been years, before the searing pain dulled. It was replaced with the feeling of teeth too big for his mouth and that the world was a lot smaller compared to him, the feeling of being bigger than his body. He became hyper aware- he could smell a lot more, though he wish he couldn’t, the scent of rust and decay making him nauseous, and he could see so much more than he ever wanted to of the wicked lab. Whatever they’d done to change him, he could hear murmurs of their satisfaction, and their next move with him.

Vivisection. They left him awake and aware as they poked and dug around, trying to find what made him tick. If he dared to pass out, they beat him awake. It was endless, sometimes the ‘doctors’ would take a break, leaving him there and open for god knows how long. He felt it a small miracle that his body, changed, was far hardier than before. There was no infection, no system shock, and wounds healed themselves faster- despite how much he wished for some sort of end to his torture.

Talon tried for weeks to figure out what could stop his regeneration, what could actually harm him and keep him that way. It was a joke that caused them to find out what could put him down. ‘How about silver, like they do on werewolves in the movies.’ His captors had laughed and joked, but one of them decided, why not?

The silver made him ill- poisoned his body and felt worse than the shit they had initially injected him with. The wounds caused by silver wouldn’t heal on their own, left to fester and rot and Talon decided, after watching him break his hand again to try and free himself, to chain him down with a silver shackle around his wrist.

It didn’t hurt at first, but he didn’t attempt to break free- resting on his skin didn’t bother him at all, but once it got into his body, then it would hurt. Talon, while pleased he had stopped breaking loose, was apparently rather upset that he wasn’t in constant agony. They poked at him with sharp rods tipped in silver, breaking the skin enough to make him snap and snarl and struggle to try and tear out their throats.

That’s when he made his mistake. All of the tugging at the tight shackle rubbed his wrist raw and exposed him to the silver. It started as a string, then a burn, and then he couldn’t describe worse. Pain, unlike anything he’d known, haunted him for days. These weren’t bullets that could be dug out, it wasn’t a blade that had pressed inside of him- it was on him and constantly, constantly, constantly grinding against his open wounds.

McCree was wild, feral, desperate out of his mind as he tried again to pull away from the pain, only to make it worse.

Giving up, finally breaking and accepting that he was gonna live out the rest of his days in this place, worse than jail, worse than hell, gave him a moment of clarity. Furious, red eyes assessed his trapped hand. The two times he had broken it, trying to flee, Talon hadn’t set it back. It was mangled and twisted, he would never have use of it again; that much was obvious. But in the back of his mind, a whisper, a thing he would later come to call his instincts, told him that the arm, festered from its prolonged exposure to silver, was the only thing keeping him here.

Stories came to his mind, things his mother had told him about old trappers. Hunters would find limbs stuck in the jaw-like vices that were primitive and inhumane, but no prey attached. The animals had chewed their own limbs off for freedom- coyotes were the most common with their strong jaws and thinner legs than that of bears or bobcats.

If there was pain, he didn’t remember it, all he could recall was fading in and out during the night, teeth and nails sinking into his chained arm. Nerves damaged, blood spilling as he grew desperate and when he hit bone, that was when the final shift happened. The jaws of a wolf snapped at his arm, cracking through the bone with sharp, repetitive bites. Freedom, he was desperate to be free from this pain. Even if he bled out, even if the silver infection led to his death, and even if he was gunned down outside the lab- he would not die, not in here.

They weren’t expecting him to get free again, and they sure as hell weren’t expecting the large wolf that stood before them. McCree took pleasure in the bodies he dashed across the ground, the screams they made as he tore into them just as they had to him. He would never forget the hatred and anger he felt- it burned, haunting him, and would resurface in his future. The only good Talon agents were the ones he could pull apart.

The cowboy knew he was damn lucky that when he finally got out, he recognized where he was, recognized the familiar scent of something almost like home. He was close to the Gibraltar outpost and surely there had to be medpacks somewhere in the abandoned building.

He didn’t make it that far, but he got close enough to set off the alarms and he would never forget the sheer joy he felt when Winston found him- his chest felt as if it would burst, the relief crushing him and driving broken sobs from his body as the excess mass and fur melted off of him.

The scientist tried his best to tend to the bloody mess that was left of McCree’s arm, but in the end he called in Angela. Of course, the doctor refused at first, Overwatch was no more and she didn’t want to put her practice and research at risk by even going near anything Overwatch again. All it took was a mention of McCree, of whom he later found out had been assumed dead, and a severe injury of a missing limb and the angel took the fastest flight to the base.

Winston and the doctor worked together on his broken body- mending wounds, developing a prosthetic for him, and helping him get used to it. While McCree owed the doctor his life, he owed Winston so much more.

Anger, hatred, rage, any word for the all-consuming need to destroy that you could think of, he felt it. It would bubble up and burst forth in the middle of the night and he’d find himself tearing apart his small room; he felt as if he had escaped the prisons of Talon physically, but his soul still remained in those wicked walls. It was Winston, the socially awkward scientist, who helped him soothe that inner fury. He worked long days with McCree, trying to help him find some semblance of normal so that he could walk amongst the public eye..

With that calm, he was able to at least look halfway normal and anything extra he could hide. He could shave excess hair and he could cut his nails after he transitioned back to looking human again. Pointed ears covered by a messy swathe of hair, rumbling voice excused by too many cigars smoked in his lifetime, and an aversion to silver masked as a metal allergy.

He was free. Finally, finally, free.

-

Hanzo held him through the story, feeling fists tightening on his pants and mirroring the grip on the cowboy’s serape. Pushing his head against the cowboy’s hair, he buried his face in the mane, knocking the hat askew in the process. He didn’t have words to give McCree, he wasn’t good with comforting others, not with this. The best he could do was try to let the sharpshooter know he was here through physical means.

His heart sank like lead- to know that someone so kind and giving as the cowboy had suffered. Enough pain to drive him to desperate in a way that was equated with the panic of wild animals. It was no wonder he felt himself as one of them, as a monster. He’d had to don the monster’s hide to free himself.

“You deserve better than some fucked up outlaw,” McCree spoke. “Someone who won’t mess you up-“

“Shut up,” Hanzo snapped, “Just shut up and let me hold you.” The words were strange, demanding with a combination that he wasn’t quite used to. He was irritated that McCree felt this way about himself, but he knew that kind of pain wasn’t easy to get past. It was never easy to forgive your own flaws. “I will decide what is best for me,” He took in a deep breath, scrabbling to pull McCree closer to him, “And right now that is a mouthy cowboy with a bleeding heart and who knows just how to find trouble.”

He could feel the cowboy relaxing in his arms, could feel those hands slowly release his pants and slide around his waist to latch around him. “Are-“ He was cut off by a tighter squeeze from Hanzo. A hug, this was a hug, the archer deftly realized, meant to comfort and show affection. A slow chuckle rose from the cowboy. “Are you saying I got competition, Han?”

Hanzo was no fool- there was no possible way that sweet words and a close embrace had cured the cowboy of his self-loathing. It was there, buried beneath bravado and charming manners, but perhaps here on the steps was not the place to try and heal that festering wound.

The archer clicked his tongue. “You might. This cowboy of mine has quite the ego, I am not sure you could measure up.”

McCree picked his head up, pressing a kiss at Hanzo’s temple. “I’m yours now, am I?” He rumbled.

While not a solution, it appeared that his words were a soothing balm to ease the aches of the past for the cowboy. Hanzo huffed softly, as much of a laugh that McCree was getting out of him. “Perhaps,” He responded, pressing his face into what he could of the sharpshooter’s hair, smelling smoke, sweat, and whiskey. “But I think you must earn your keep.”

“And how’s that?” McCree purred and it didn’t take a genius to know what he already had in mind.

It wasn’t an awful idea, but not one Hanzo was willing to use to bury the hurt that had surfaced in McCree. He didn’t want the cowboy to use sinking into his body to sink away from his pain- in the end that would only poison the act until the archer became like silver to the wolf. “Stay with me tonight- sleep by my side.” He clarified, petting at McCree’s hair. “And this time do not leave before I wake.”

McCree hummed, feigning the act of considering the offer. “I s’ppose I could do that,” He said, leaning into Hanzo’s hand. “S’long as I can ask ya to keep playin’ with my hair?” The words were ripe with insecurity, as though Hanzo would call the deal off for such a strange request.

“It is a deal then, Jesse.”

The warm smile on the sharpshooter’s face made everything Hanzo had been through seem worth it. His family, his downfall, learning to work with others- all leading him to see that smile so free, unhindered and filled with such joy and adoration.

He sealed the deal with a kiss on those smiling lips.

Chapter Text

Hanzo’s chest heaved and his lungs burned as he tried to keep his breath from making a sound. He tucked himself behind the large crate, making sure his shadow was also hidden as the sun hovered low over the Gibraltar base.

He kept replaying Lena’s fate over and over again. She had been smiling, eager for the chase, so sure she could outrun their pursuer should they be found. He’d been sure as well, soft smile with a finger held up to let her know that they should be quiet.

They weren’t quiet enough, his breathless chuckle and her barely there snicker gave everything away.

Hanzo could clearly recall the pure terror in her eyes as she was dragged out of the shipping container, screaming in fear, crying out for Hanzo, her hands desperate to grab onto him and save herself. He’d been frozen as he watched her fingers grip at the edge of the container before she was dragged away.

Fight or flight kicked in, and there was no way he was fighting. He scurried away, sprinting clear across the base, hyper aware of his surroundings. He avoided stepping on the metal flooring laid into the ground, the sharp ‘ping’ of his cybernetic legs would only echo and give him away that much quicker.

That was where he found himself now, bare hand clenched against his sternum, trying desperately to control the rapid thumping of his heart. But surely even that was too loud.

He heard the heavy footsteps nearing his location and seized up, that telltale laughter, rough and pleased, punching the remaining breath out of his chest. It was all over, he was discovered. The archer listened carefully and as soon as he determined that the footsteps were rounding the crate from the left, he bolted to the right.

Too slow, and his attacker, too fast. A hand wrapped around his ankle, sending him sprawling, and dragged him back behind the crate. There was no helping the sharp shout he gave out, followed by a string of hissed curses in Japanese as he flipped over and tried his best to shove at the brute holding onto him.

Hanzo grabbed onto the thick brim of the hat his assailant wore and tugged down to obscure their vision, but no matter how blind they were, those hands were strong- their grip sure and steady and familiar on Hanzo.

Another chuckle, followed by the ooze of a sinful voice. “The last one,” The man caging him in purred. “Thought you could get away, didn’t ya?”

“Release me,” The archer snapped, trying a different approach and pulling the hat off the mop of brown hair, swatting wildly with it. “I will make it worth your while.”

An eyebrow raised in interest. “How’s that?” A fanged smile so sure of the offer.

With a frustrated huff he shoved the brown hat over the infuriating man’s face. “I will cook us a dinner.”

“Aw, Han,” The hat did little to muffle the desire and affection in that simple word. “Are you sayin’ you’ll take me on a homemade dinner date?” A hand released Hanzo to remove the hat from the cowboy’s vision, just enough, a small mistake.

Hanzo flipped over again, using one of his knees to knock McCree the other direction, and he sprinted away, uncaring about his steps this time. Distance, he needed to put as much between him and the wolf before McCree could recover. He scaled up any surface he could, his breath burning in his chest as he pressed his body to the limit- he would not be caught.

He climbed up to the highest perch he could manage, scooting to the back of the container he was on, back pressed against the cliff. Even if McCree knew he was here, there was no possible way for him to get there. Safe, he was safe.

“Come on out, Robin Hood!” He heard the sharpshooter bellow from below.

It was just supposed to be a simple game of tag. Hanzo had been reluctant to join, after all, it was a child’s game. But McCree and the younger members of Overwatch insisted- hell, even Winston was willing to join if they got a sizable group. There was one condition, McCree was not allowed to be it.

Confused, Hanzo pressed for why and while secretly deciding that he could easily outrun and hide from the cowboy, voted to make the cowboy ‘it’. Hana had also voted, followed by Lucio, but with the decision to have McCree be the hunter, Winston and Tracer exchanged looks of unsure terror.

He understood why now. Even if his beastial features were hidden, McCree was still a wolf. He was an expert at tracking down his prey.

Daring a peek over the edge, Hanzo was perplexed when he found no sight of McCree. The base was quiet, not even the usual seagulls squawked in the distance- as if they were aware of a predator on the hunt.

Clawed hands abruptly grabbed at his thighs and Hanzo let out an indignant cry as he was dragged back on his stomach. Still shocked, he was helpless as he was flipped over and a large body pushed down on him, pinning him effectively. Leave it to the cowboy to use every advantage he had to win at a game- Hanzo was entirely certain that those claws left scratch marks on every ledge McCree climbed..

“Cheater.” Hanzo said as soon as he regained his senses, swatting at the shoulder buried beneath the classic red serape. “Someone could have seen.” Not everyone knew about the beast beneath McCree’s skin, it was a secret more closely guarded than their involvement with each other.

“You’re a slippery devil,” The cowboy commented with a grin. “And the others are all tied up.”

Hanzo snorted and swatted him again. “Jesse,” He scolded. Somewhere, his fellow teammates were likely hog-tied and stashed away. A simple game of tag turned into a round-up for McCree. Should they ever decide to do this again, he was on board with the rule that the sharpshooter was not allowed to be it.

They laughed together, soft and low. He treasured moments like this. The ease in which they simply existed in the same space without having to worry about toes being stepped on or work to fill thickened silence, it warmed Hanzo’s heart.

An archer and a cowboy. Hanzo and McCree, together they simply could be.

The kiss was lazy, drawing Hanzo in as he smiled against chapped lips that whispered sweet nothings in the air between. There was nothing urgent, there was no dire need to feel skin on skin as McCree rolled them to their sides. Their hands didn’t wander, they simply held, each content to just embrace in their quiet slice of the world.

The crackle of the comm at McCree’s hip startled them both. “McCree!” Tracer’s voice, ruffled and strained came through. “Ah shit-” Her voice faded away and it was safe to assume she was no longer within range of the speaker.

McCree grinned. “I should probably go turn ‘em loose.”

Hanzo picked a stray hair off the other man’s cheek, “And I shall go begin making our meal-”

“I still got that? But-”

A press of a finger against the cowboy’s lips silenced him. “Being released, getting away- it is all the same to me… so long as you tell everyone that I won.”

The pure delight that spread across McCree’s face was infectious, drawing a broad smile from the archer. “Sure thing, darlin’. I ain’t never found you hidin’ all the way up here.” He pressed one last kiss, rough and excited, against Hanzo’s lips, stealing any breath hidden there. The cowboy stood, giving a devilish wink and a hat tip before beginning the climb down.

It took Hanzo a while longer laying up there to calm the rapid pitter-patter in his chest and finally catch his breath.

-

Hanzo would never admit to the panic he felt when he couldn’t find the cowboy one sweltering afternoon. He wasn’t at the shooting range, the weight room, and no one Hanzo asked could tell him. He tried not to think about McCree’s tale or about the alley- they were on base, it was safe.

He was so wrapped up in keeping the alarm of the missing cowboy at bay that he nearly ran into one of the newcomers to the Overwatch team. A gruff man, face obscured by a visor, with a work dedication that Hanzo admired greatly. “My apologies, Soldier.” He spoke, ducking around the weathered man, turning to him in a last second thought. “You would not happen to know where Agent McCree may be?”

There was an underlying suspicion of curiosity, hidden beneath the visor but portrayed through the silent stare.

Hanzo replied with more silence, he owed no explanation and his question was not ill-worded. If the secretive Soldier: 76 was unwilling to answer him, it would be based upon his opinion of Hanzo alone.

“Check Winston’s lab.”

Had he wanted to press the man for more information, there was no opportunity. Gone, like a ghost.

He could wonder on the mystery of Soldier: 76 later, for now, Hanzo headed for Winston’s lab. It seemed a good idea as any, the scientist was intimately aware of McCree’s situation, and as a fellow creature prone to rage, it would be logical that the cowboy would spend active time with him.

The lights in Winston’s lab were out, from what Hanzo could see through the small window. And if it not for the small flicker, he would have turned back to search elsewhere.

Curious, Hanzo gently pressed one of the doors open and slipped inside, footsteps light and careful, there was no telling what he was about to walk in on. The idea that he should have knocked floated through his mind, but he brushed it aside, things were amiss and should there be an intruder, he wouldn’t want to announce himself.

Worry and concern were quickly replaced with an indignant confusion as he found McCree and Winston huddled in a corner, sat in front of a monitor.

The two men had a large jar of peanut butter between them. Winston was just dipping his hand in while McCree was pulling a spoon from his mouth. They stared, spooked, between Hanzo and the flickering screen in front of them. There was a screech from the speakers, one Hanzo was all too familiar with- the two fiends were watching Godzilla.

Hanzo crossed his arms and curled his lip, awaiting an explanation. He wasn’t truly angry, but being gentle would get him no answers as to what he was witnessing.

McCree tried working his jaw, as if he were practicing words, and it took the archer a moment to realize, he was struggling with the excessive glob of peanut butter in his mouth. It was disgusting and amusing to watch the suave cowboy snap and try to get the substance unstuck with his tongue. He was a dog with peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth and as Hanzo smirked, McCree’s face turned to horror, knowing he would never live this down.

Seeing that his companion wasn’t going to be able to speak any time soon, Winston gave a reply to Hanzo’s silent questioning. “It’s peanut butter night.” He said, as if that was supposed to explain everything. When the archer merely arched his eyebrow higher, the scientist stuttered to clarify. “It- We- Once a month we watch old cheesy movies and snack.”

“On peanut butter.” He said with amusement, watching both of them closely. McCree was nearly free from his stick bonds.

“Yes. Not every interaction between agents is a basis for training sessions, Mr. Shimada.” The scientist replied defensively, as if Hanzo thought less of them for their stashed away times with a jar of peanut butter.

Hanzo let out a huff, a silent laugh, and shook his head. “I did not mean to give the impression that I thought otherwise. McCree,” The cowboy perked up, gaze wondering. “Do let me know next time you are to have this time with Winston- I would hate to interrupt again.”

McCree nodded with a grin.

“Have a good evening, gentlemen.” He said, walking back to the doors to the lab. “Oh, and McCree,”

Voice muffled by the remnants of the paste-like food, the cowboy responded. “Wha’shup par’ner?”

“Bring any leftover peanut butter with you later.”

Hanzo took a sick sort of satisfaction at the embarrassed grumble from Winston and harsh choking wheezes of McCree.

-

Hanzo didn’t have nightmares often anymore, the sharp smell of a predator guarding his back chased away his demons. Every once in a while, one would get bold and swarm around the archer, squeezing him like a vice. That demon would remind him of all he’d done in the name of the Shimada clan- all the destroyed lives and dreams, loosening his already frayed grasp on peace.

It wasn’t his own screams, as the memories tore into him and whispered pretty words of wrath in his ear, that woke him- though he was sure that’s what always woke McCree. It was the deep growling and all-encompassing warmth that broke him free of the demon’s hold.

The archer twisted, facing his lover and digging his hands into the thick mane of fur he found there, pressing his face up under the jaws of the beast. Large claws held him tight, dark rumbles of grounding words slipped into his ears.

He asked McCree about it once, why the wolf came out when Hanzo was restless. Why the cowboy went through the painful transformation to simply hold him.

“I gotta protect you,” McCree replied. “My instincts tell me to tear apart whatever’s hurtin’ ya, but there ain’t nothin’ I can do. I have no control over that change- it just kinda happens. The way I see it, it at least gives ya a big ol’ stuffed animal to hold onto.”

His own wolf, a guardian to the hunter. A beast bigger than his nightmares, whose only goal was to keep him safe from harm. There, buried in fur, he found peace. Under the careful gaze of those golden eyes, he could begin to heal.

-

Warm mornings reminded Hanzo of better days, before all the hatred and guilt twisted itself around him, holding him captive. Days when he was a boy, in Hanamura, enjoying the sunlight out in the gardens. Genji would run about, full of energy as usual, while Hanzo was always content to sit and watch with a smile on his face. Those were days when he admired his brother’s carefree nature, when he enjoyed being told ‘make sure you watch your brother, Hanzo’ because it meant that he would be spending time with Genji, likely on their own. Softer times before he truly became aware of what it meant to be a first born son of the Shimada clan.

Hanzo’s body ached, pleasantly humming after the activities he and McCree engaged in the night previous. He was never left wanting, the cowboy always saw to that.

Wandering hands pressed against his back and a weight settled on his thighs. Hands began to knead into his back, careful of claws- now was not the time to dig into him. McCree worked out knots and pressed kisses along the dragons that called his arm home, showering affection over Hanzo; nearly drowning him in it.

Those hands, rough in texture but soft in gesture, urged Hanzo to roll onto his back.

Half dazed from all of the attention he was receiving, he happily flipped, throwing his arms above his head without question. Moments like these were treasured, times that they were allowed to just be alone and let the worries of the world fade away.

The bed was a safe space. Among its covers there was no Overwatch, no haunted dreams of traps and murder. It was Hanzo and it was McCree- two hunters taking rest, alone.

Thumbs pressed at the ends of his legs, smoothing over the skin that was normally hidden away inside the prosthetics. In their refuge, there were times when Hanzo felt comfortable in his own skin, felt whole without the metal legs that now sat off to the side, propped against the wall for when he decided he needed them once more.

McCree offered him no pity about his legs, but he made sure to give them as much attention as the rest of his body.

Fingers pressed into the muscles cut below his knees, careful of the scarring along them and working out the stiffness and easing aches that Hanzo wasn’t even aware he had. Happy hums escaped him, no longer worried about what McCree would think of him for all the noise he made. The soft smiles he received in exchange for every whispered exclamation and hum of pleasure, spoke volumes to him.

He hesitated to call it love- that word was soiled for him. The love of his family had been poisoned by the very acts they bade him to commit. Yet, it was undeniable what he had developed with the cowboy, the beginnings of a new family. If McCree could transform an ugly word like ‘kin’ into something he treasured, perhaps the wolf could also transform the word ‘love’ for him as well.

There would be time to dwell on these things in the future.

Hanzo sat up, drawing the attention of the doting cowboy. He reached out, threading a hand through his hair, brushing over a pointed ear and earning himself a rugged, lopsided smile that he’d come to adore. Close to love.

He smiled back, warm, genuine, enjoying the way McCree’s face lit up more at the action. They were chemicals that reacted to one another, amplified feelings between them, smiles building smiles. Happy, he couldn’t remember the last time he hadn’t felt happy in the presence of the cowboy.

McCree couldn’t contain himself, throwing his body onto the archer and peppering his face with kisses. He trailed down, lips falling over Hanzo’s collarbone and between his pectorals. He could feel them feather over his abs, and let out a soft sigh. It was a pleasant feeling, being pampered, one he never believed he’d get to enj-

PFFTTTT .

A startled cry was ripped out of him as lips sealed around his stomach and the cowboy tried to blow. Raspberries across his skin, reminding him of the jealousies he felt as a child. Seeing other mothers press them to their son’s cheeks to tease them with affection, wishing his own mother paid half as much attention to him.

But this was different, this wasn’t jealousy blooming in his chest as McCree repeated the motion, drawing more and more laughter from him. His chest hurt and his lungs heaved for air as he howled, hands halfheartedly pushing at the cowboy’s head. He tried twisting out of the embrace but even that was merely done for show.

It felt good to play around, to let loose with someone he trusted so completely. They would never let anyone outside the room, the bed, the sanctuary they treasured, know about of this. Gleaming grins and stark laughter, while small hints revealed in public, peals of howling noise were sacred and secret. They had images to uphold, things to keep their enemies from seeing, but here, they could live.

Another raspberry, higher up this time, right over a fresh scrape, making Hanzo gasp for breath and writhe. He twisted violently, his elbow whipping across McCree’s face and with a sharp crack. They stilled.

Later, after Mercy scolded McCree about being more careful, watching his step so he didn’t fall to the ground and break his nose again, Hanzo would repay the favor. A soft raspberry against a rugged cheek; a smile and rumbling chuckle were his in return before a swift kiss.

Simple gestures he never thought he’d give or receive. His world, filled with nothing but guilt and hurt and raw anger, turned upside down and swallowed whole by the affections of a rough cowboy. The past was easier to bear so long as he was supported by the jaws of the wolf.

Chapter Text

The warmth of the late summer sun was nothing compared to blooming heat Hanzo felt in his chest as he listened to McCree over the comline.

The cowboy crooned a slow song in spanish, words rolling into Hanzo’s ears and painting a picture in his mind. He didn’t need to know the meaning, the feeling was there, underneath each rugged word and sound.

It was just them on a simple reconnaissance mission, with McCree wandering the streets of Dorado and Hanzo watching dutifully from  the rooftops. The mission was to be so easy that Winston hadn’t even briefed them, McCree had snagged him from the shooting range with a simple ‘Darlin’, we gotta jet at oh-two-hundred, pack up’. There were apparently rumors that Los Muertos were starting to get ‘too big for their britches’ again and at the behest of Soldier: 76, they were going to check up on it.

Hanzo found it strange to connect the vigilante to the Jack Morrison he’d heard stories of and seen spread across news all those years ago, but the original members of Overwatch - McCree specifically - trusted and treated him with respect. The archer would do the same until the mysterious man warranted otherwise with his actions.

When the moon meets your eye, like a big pizza pie, that’s amore~.”

The warbled words, purposely out of tune and off key brought a wry smile to Hanzo’s face, pulling him from his thoughts. “Have you run out of Spanish love songs for me already, Jesse?”

A rich laugh came over the comline and it warmed Hanzo to know that McCree held open the line just for him to hear that deep, rumbling cadence. Oh how the archer had come to crave that sound. “ Just seein’ if ya were payin’ attention… amore.” The cowboy cooed.

Hanzo rolled his eyes,returning his gaze to the red serape that sauntered through the streets- it certainly made it easier for him to keep tabs on the rugged sharpshooter. “I would rather be butterscotch pie again.”

Darlin’, you know I’d eat pie off of you any day. ” The cowboy purred.

Hanzo coughed to cover up the sputter, although he was unsure why- there was no one around him and McCree couldn’t hear him if he didn’t activate the comline. Force of habit. The wolf caught on quickly to how red Hanzo got from such bold remarks and McCree began muttering things under his breath in public, just loud enough for him to hear. “Focus, McCree,” He hissed back into the com.

Can’t help it when yer distractin’ me with dirty promises.

The archer shook his head and watched as the cowboy rounded a corner and leaned against the wall, serape fluttering out on the breeze, likely lighting a smoke.

A calm settled over Hanzo, while this wasn’t as exhilarating as many of their missions lately, it was a job he was fulfilling. He was able to keep an eye on the city from above and the other on  McCree- with so much riding on what he shared with the cowboy, he was more determined than ever to make sure no harm befell his companion.

His lip curled into a small smile as he recalled that McCree was much the same. He stuck like glue to Hanzo’s side in public whenever possible, putting himself between the archer and anyone who was roaming uncomfortably close.

McCree stayed around that corner until  there was no commotion in the streets as the sun began to paint the sky with pink and purple hues.

Part of Hanzo wondered if there was no rise in Los Muertos activity and this was some forced vacation under the guise of a mission. He wouldn’t put it past Soldier: 76 to request such a thing and for Winston to grant it- especially after the vigilante found the two of them rutting against each other in the weight room the other week. Perhaps he was hoping they would blow off whatever steam they had with each other in the privacy of a nice hotel room.

And the hotel was nice. A plush bed, a wonderful view of the city. An impossibly large bathtub, more than enough for two grown men.

Hanzo made a small hum and thought to remind himself to ask McCree to join him in it tonight. It wasn’t every day they could bathe, the Gibraltar base had community showers and while the weight room debacle had been spur of the moment, Hanzo wasn’t about to encourage such pawing behavior in public from McCree. No matter how much he enjoyed it- pleased that the cowboy wanted him enough that he’d let the whole world know if he could.

The lights in the city flickered on as the sun sank below the horizon, prompting Hanzo to rise and stretch his muscles with a groan. Definitely, a relaxing bath with his lover sounded just right. “Jesse, we should head back.” He spoke into the com.

Silence.

Had the brute fallen asleep?

With a sigh and a roll of his eyes, Hanzo nimbly climbed down from his perch. He weaved carefully through the remaining residents to the corner.

His intimacy with McCree had made him more prone to casualty, fooling around for the sake of fun, something he’d thought he’d lost when he was young. He simply reached out and grabbed the serape, aiming to pull it and tip the cowboy to the side and out of his slumber.

Except there was no substance behind the serape, no yelp and string of curses, no McCree.

The worn fabric followed his hand with a rip and Hanzo’s blood ran cold. He turned the corner, kicking something heavy and metal that skidded from him across the pavement. It drew his eye instantly, stealing his breath. Peacekeeper.

His gaze turned to the wall where he’d been sure the cowboy had been leaning for the past hour. There was a nail that had been driven into the serape, a small scrap of cloth stuck under the head

Han? ” The voice was small and soft, the exact opposite of what he wanted to hear right now.

“Jesse! Where are you?”

A pause. “ I dunno. ” Hanzo went to ask more questions, but it all died in his throat as the cowboy continued. “Look, they don't know I still got my com. They’ll figure it out once they hear me talkin’... Han, listen to me. You won’t find me… it’s just like- like last time. I’m… I’m scared. ” A shaky breath and choked up sob wrenched at Hanzo’s heart.

“Just tell me what you see, Jesse. Please. How long ago? We will find you- I will find you. You won’t have to-”

Hanzo.

A beat, silence that brought no comfort. Only dread.

I love ya, Han.

There was a bang and series of gunshots before the com went out. His stomach flipped as he stared a Peacekeeper on the ground- McCree wasn’t the one who fired those shots.

Hanzo fumbled for his phone, eyes wide, burning as he refused to blink. He couldn’t even risk wasting time blinking. His lip curled, trembling as he called up the secure line to the Gibraltar base. One ring was reasonable, two rings was too long.

“Hanzo! How’s-” Winston’s cheery voice brought out a snarl from the archer.

“McCree has been taken. Track his com.” He barked, a tremor in his voice.

Tense seconds passed as he heard sudden shuffling and rapid typing. A pause. No good news could come of a quiet like that. “It’s offline. How did he-”

Broken, shattering from the inside out, he hissed one word. “Talon.” And hung up. It was up to him, he was on his own if he wanted to make the most of the time he had before it was too late.

He felt the warmth leave his body, his mind falling back to just years ago. He was an assassin, he was a hunter of man, and tracking McCree was another job he could do without fail, just as he had done countless others. To think any differently risked everything.

Wrapping Peacekeeper in the serape, he began his search. He had a job.

-

Hanzo searched endlessly, fruitlessly, and it was only through sending Genji and Tracer that they were able to pull him off the streets and back to the base. He struggled, tried to refuse, but inside he knew it was no use. He wasn’t of use.

Grief turned to anger as soon as he was in a room with Winston and Soldier: 76, the dragons along his arm writhing in fury as he placed Peacekeeper on the table. He knew he couldn’t, but he wanted to level this whole place to the ground. “A simple mission.” He spoke tersely, eyes focused on the scientist before flicking over to the former commander. “And you, you did not see fit to tell us that it was Talon we were truly looking for?”

They exchanged a glance, a secret.

“Did you not think that would be important to McCree given his history?” He sneered.

Winston ducked his head, pushing up his glasses sheepishly while Soldier: 76 took off his visor to stare at Hanzo with milky blue eyes. “McCree asked for it.”

“What do you mean he asked for it? Nothing warrants this kind of punish-”

“You’re misunderstanding, Shimada.” The vigilante’s voice was somber, filled with regret, a tone that Hanzo didn’t want to hear as acceptance of the fate that had befallen McCree. “I was supposed to be in Dorado; he asked for my mission.”

The words rose like the bile in the back of his throat. The only good Talon agents were the ones he could pull apart .

McCree had been expecting Hanzo to watch his back like always, to end his attackers before they got anywhere close to him. The cowboy had counted on him and his bow to keep his ass safe while he scouted out Talon activity in the area. He hadn’t told Hanzo it was Talon, it wasn’t just a detail he’d skipped over. It was deliberate, to keep the archer from worrying perhaps, or to hide how deep the cowboy was into dismantling the organization.

“We will keep looking for him, Hanzo.”

The words went in one ear and out the other as he numbly stepped out of the room, faded serape held close to his breast. The scent of whiskey and smoke choking him, burning him up from the inside out.

-

The first night found Hanzo sitting in McCree’s bed, staring at the door, trying to will the cowboy to come oozing through it with a charming hat tip, ‘howdy, darlin’’. It wasn’t until the sun began to peek out that he let the sorrow cinch tight around him. The morning glare provided a warmth that was eerily similar to the comfort he found in the cowboy’s arms. He didn’t cry, tears would just be a goodbye- McCree wasn’t dead. He couldn’t be.

The third night brought longing and sleep. Hanzo took the serape and wrapped it around one of his pillows. For just a moment, he could pretend his head was resting on McCree’s broad chest.

The seventh day brought correspondence. A hat, hung on the same nail that had held the serape in place with a scrawled note: ‘ the return of our research is appreciated ’. They were quick to retrieve it and while the team focused on trying to figure out who put it there and where they could have gone, all Hanzo could focus on was the dried blood on the brim.

The twelfth evening, they gave him the hat and Peacekeeper with hung heads. The numbness that had consumed him broke. His fingers dug crescents into the leather as he clutched the hat close, his screams drawing the dragons from his skin to break free and protect their master. They swirled around him, ethereal and furious, breaking apart the room as they tried to find the source of his pain. Teammates scurried, and it was only Tracer folding him into her arms that calmed the storm.

The thirteenth day brought it all down. There was no body to bury and so long as Overwatch was still working covertly, they couldn’t actively seek out a proper burial place. They gave McCree a headstone out near the coast so he could watch the sunsets in the evening.

Hanzo spoke to Winston that evening. “I am leaving Overwatch.” His voice was firm, there was no denying him this. The grief was all consuming and here, among the space he shared with the cowboy, and the friends who also mourned the loss of McCree, it would never get any better.

He almost wished they had a body- at least it would be easier. Taken by Talon was far worse, a grand scheme of unanswered ‘what if’s’. What if they kept him alive? Would they chain him up again, or would they condition him like they had LaCroix? What if they came face to face with the familiar visage of the cowboy, ready to hunt them down; who would shoot him?

Thoughts from weeks ago - maybe months, time slipped past him when he was with with McCree - flitted through his mind. Hanzo couldn’t count on himself to aim his bow at the cowboy.

“Where will you go?”

Hanzo took a seat, folding his hands in his lap, brows drawn together. “That is why I did not just run. It is my understanding that Overwatch still has control over my family’s compound, correct?” At the nod he received, he let out a breath. “I will be taking it. I will be returning home.” He had nowhere else to go. His roots were severed and the new ones he’d been growing in the soil of Gibraltar, weaving with the roots of McCree, had been ripped away leaving raw wounds.

He was the wolf, and the loss of the cowboy was his silver.

-

The end of summer faded away, breaking into a fall with crisp winds and a flurry of synthetic cherry blossom petals in Hanamura. Save for the occasional member of a cleaning staff, the grounds of his estate were vastly empty.

Silence.

He sat before the shrine, much like he had every year on the anniversary of his most wicked crime; only now he came every day.

His demons grew faces - golden eyes and rugged smiles - and swarmed around him even in the waking world. They reminded him of his follies and failures. Too destructive with a sword and yet too yielding with a bow. Their harsh words like searing claws across his mind: ‘ So long as I got you watchin’ my back, I don’t think I’ll be dancin’ with the devil any time soon.

At the baying of his spectral hounds, Storm Bow sat upon the dais beneath the swords he had slain Genji with. And resting atop its grip was McCree’s hat.

All of his sins in the world were gathered in front of him- fratricide, idle hands, and faithless devotion.

I ain’t goin’ nowhere. You’re stuck with me until the day -’

The drawl of his ghosts was interrupted by a hiss. It was such a familiar noise, bringing both a feeling of agitation and comfort over him- conflicting emotions churning in his gut. The last time he had sat in this very place with the same man at his back, he had been tormented by his guilt.

This time, Hanzo was tormented by his grief, and instead of hiding in the shadows, his visitor came and took a seat beside him. “You did not tell me you were leaving.” The voice of his brother pushed out the sweetened words of his demons. “This is the last place I expected to find you.”

The archer- the man, a bowman no longer, let out a long breath. “I would have told no one if it were up to me. I have nowhere else to be.” The silence that fell between them was calming, but nowhere near the soothing balm that McCree brought with him. His heart wrenched at the reminder. “I will not come back.”

“I would not ask you to.”

“Then why are you here, Genji?”

A hand was carefully placed on Hanzo’s shoulder, drawing his attention from the shrine to Genji. “I would not see you suffer alone for this.”

Hanzo scowled but he made no move to dislodge the hand from his person. The touch was grounding, made him feel as though he was different from the ghosts that smelled of sweat and smoke. “How many others did you bring with you?”

“I am here alone-” Hanzo narrowed his eyes in suspicion, he knew his brother well enough again to believe otherwise. “-but Tracer and Zenyatta are waiting for me at our hotel. I felt it was best to approach you on my own.”

He wanted to be alone, he wanted to sit here and listen to the cruel croonings of his demons.

He wanted someone to help him claw his way back to humanity, out of the numbing pit inside his chest.

“And what of Overwatch?”

“Winston will call us for our missions should we be needed.”

Hanzo sucked in a breath, slowly standing as he gave a long exhale. “I will prepare the guest rooms.”

-

The days grew colder as winter settled around them. Hanzo’s three guests, although they had become more akin to housemates at this point, flickered in and out on missions. At least one was present at all times, nearly- there was the occasional group of days in which he found himself alone.

The winter brought a chill that permeated the estate, despite the power of the heaters. When Hanzo began to feel it at night, he would drape the serape across his shoulders, the smell of McCree fading, and it was enough to warm him.

The first time he decided to wear it around his home, the worrisome looks from his companions had brought his ire. The dragons rumbled, restless in their master’s empty days, and just when they were about to urge Hanzo to strike, Genji stepped forward without fear. He reached out and adjusted the way the fabric rested on him and gave a small tilt of his head that Hanzo had come to learn was a gesture of a smile.

Soon after it brought concern if he was seen without it.

Those reactions alone were enough for Hanzo to hide his dealings with Peacekeeper. The gun, so cherished by the cowboy, was always neatly tucked into his yukata. Unloaded; he never intended to use it but the weight was an ever present comfort.

-

Spring did not prompt Hanzo to shed his winter coat. While the afternoons were warmed by the sun, the early mornings and the evenings were brisk.

Birds sang sweet melodies around the estate the morning Genji came to him about a mission.

Up until that morning, no one had spoken to him about missions. He was no longer part of Overwatch and he’d made it clear, with choice strings of words and days locked inside his room, that he did not want to partake in anything to do with the organization. He allowed them to reside here as his brother, his friend, and a peaceful acquaintance.

“I told you once already, Genji. I will not help you.” He hissed over a cup of tea, an offering brought to him by his kin in an obvious attempt to soothe him before asking for favors.

The cyborg shook his head. “This is not just some mission, brother, or I would not have bothered you.”

“Then why bring it up? What makes this one so special?”

Genji hesitated, never a good sign. When they were younger, hesitation meant that his brother had done something that would get the both of them in trouble. When they were older, hesitation was a sign that Genji screwed up and needed Hanzo’s help getting out of the situation. As adults, reborn after their strife, hesitation meant it was a heavy subject upon which they were about to touch.

“It is a Talon base.”

His demons, softer these days, swirled around him furiously. One phrase repeated over and over, rugged voices pulling at him. ‘Line ‘em up, knock ‘em down.’

“Why do you need my help now?”

More hesitation, extreme enough that Hanzo watched Genji transform into a young man again, flinching and curling in on himself as if his next words would draw scathing remarks from his older brother.

“We believe they are running experiments from this base- more similar to McCree.”

Anger, hatred, rage, any word for the all-consuming need to destroy that you could think of, he felt it.

Chapter Text

Hanzo could hear the bustle of the people in the streets above, the market around the Lijiang tower frothing with activity in the cool evening air. The constant hum was nearly enough to drown out the rough southern coos of his demons. Nearly.

He arrived at the rendezvous early, giving himself time to settle his mind and prepare his gear. He felt uneasy about meeting with more members of Overwatch- it had taken a month to break his houseguests out of their pitying looks, and he was willing to bet the farm that he’d be getting more from those who hadn’t spent the past few seasons in his company.

The idiom, floating through his thoughts, made him flinch. Such an impact, deep rending wounds on his soul, left from McCree.

A large piece of glass, a spare window of sorts, reflected his image.

The man before him was the same, and yet so vastly different. He hadn’t slacked on any of his training, his body still built and strong, but there were large, dark bags beneath his eyes- his demons didn’t allow for much sleep these days.

Hanzo’s hair was a good deal longer, spilling freely over his shoulders, and the soft grey that had been confined to the fans of hair beside his face now beginning to streak through all of its silky length. While Lena commented that it was coming much too soon, Hanzo knew it hadn’t come soon enough. The world and his sins weighed heavily upon him, and there was only so much youth his body could retain under such duress.

He eyed his outfit, close to second guessing his choice. The black kyudo-gi and hakama had been given up months ago in favor of white, both sleeves drawn up over a skin tight black undershirt that traveled up the entire length of his neck. The nanomesh fabric served dual purposes for Hanzo, protecting his neck from stray blades meant to kill and hiding the faint scars left across his skin left by McCree.

He wore black gloves up to his elbows, the sleeves of his kyudo-gi tucked in, and the feet of his prosthetics had been outfitted with barbs at the end. The chrome toes had always been for assistance in climbing walls, but these claws were sharp and serrated, built for shredding any enemies who strayed too close.

A serape, the serape, no longer a beacon of smoke and whiskey, was draped over his left shoulder. It covered half of the chest armor he donned, the ends tucked beneath a black obi. The decorated edges were frayed, knives and nervous picking at the loose threads equal culprits in its destruction.

Hanzo couldn’t bear to part with the red fabric, yet he was slowly taking it apart.

Tracer blinked into the room, all smiles and excitement, taking in his appearance for before breathing out “Woah,” as she circled him.

Hanzo allowed her to poke and prod at him, feeling better about his gear with every coo of amazement. Never to be admitted out loud, he was rather vain about his appearance in combat. He felt her fingers at the ends of his hair and kneeled, smiling softly at her laughter.

It was a ritual between them, wholly spurred on by one evening’s attempts to get him to open up about his grief. ‘It’ll be like a sleepover, love!’ she’d cooed, dragging him into her room where Genji and Zenyatta sat, murmuring between each other, upon her bed.

He refused, sneered in the face of something so childish, but with kind words and a smile that he was certain was made of light, Tracer convinced him. The evening was filled with stories of bravery in the early days of Overwatch, mishaps at the Shambali temple in Nepal, and unsavory but rather humorous jobs completed for pay in Hanzo’s travels.

In the early morning, when he and Tracer were tipping over into the delirium of weariness, she made the announcement that no sleepover was complete without braiding hair and painting nails. That was how Hanzo found himself getting his hair braided while Genji and Zenyatta painted the young woman’s toenails in garish neon colors.

Her hands were comforting and the braid pulled less of his hair than trying it up did- he was thankful that she never pried about why he asked it of her. He didn’t know if he could ever admit to being starved of contact since-

With a flick of the end over his shoulder, Tracer signaled that she had finished. “ Arigatō ,” He murmured with an incline of his head. He pulled the silk scarf from being tucked just inside his obi, folding it in half before tying it around the end of the braid. He was always amazed at how much hair he had, the plait plush and loose.

“I sure would hate to meet you in a dark alley.” She teased, resuming a slow circle around him, fingers trailing over the fringed edges of the serape.

Hanzo held his tongue, feeling the dragons writhe beneath his clothing- she was disturbing their nest.

A blessing and a curse, the other members of their team joined the pair in the store cellar. Zenyatta and Winston entered together, caught up in a conversation that died when the scientist caught sight of Hanzo. They were followed by Soldier: 76 and swiftly after, his brother.

While the others averted their eyes quickly, Soldier: 76 stared, appraising Hanzo with a tilt of his head. “Where is your weapon, Shimada?” He asked, turning his head to look for the Storm Bow.

Defensive and unable to help the slight curl of his lip, Hanzo turned away quickly, reaching down into his bag. “My fists are my weapons,” He spoke crisply, slipping what appeared to be simple armguards over his gloves. With the right amount of pressure and a flick of his wrists, a set of blades sprung forth, claws prepared to rend flesh with ease.

“Brother,” He heard Genji speak. “ Tekko-gaki will be no defense against Talon’s bullets.”

“I am no fool, Genji,” Hanzo replied, pulling his last piece of gear from his bag. A mask, carved with the fearsome visage of a wolf’s snarling maw, designed to cover his mouth and nose. An ancient piece of wear that he’d modified and outfitted with a comlink. “I will not need to defend myself against dead men.”

Hanzo had turned his gear, his visage, into a tribute to the man he’d lost.

The silence was tense, confusion and concern about his choice of weapon swirling around until it threatened to swallow him whole.

Soldier: 76, for all his doubt, questioned him no further. He pulled out a holo-disk, projecting documents onto the small table in the room. Without further prompting everyone gathered around.

-

Twenty minutes; that was the amount of time that Hanzo had been given to do recon.

Talon’s base of operations in Lijiang was a tower, perpetually under construction at its uppermost levels, the middle levels empty, but the basement a labyrinth. Standard blueprints gave the impression that the building only had a main basement and a sub-basement underneath- but in truth it descended two more levels after that.

The lighting was poor, making it easy for him to slip in and out of the shadows. Calm, as steady as a flowing river, he worked his way into the heart of the operation on the bottom floor. He was a ghost, silent, leaving no trace as he passed into the room.

‘ They did the kind of things you’d read about in those articles on the old wars or horror movies- experiments around the human body and its resilience. They starved people, sewed extra body parts onto others, and all manner of terrible, undeniably evil procedures. ’

Hanzo watched with a sinking stomach as ‘doctors’ performed procedures on people very clearly awake. It was a nightmare, McCree’s own personal nightmare, live in front of him. He shivered; if it was this bad, this nauseating to simply witness these atrocities, it was impossible to imagine how the cowboy must have felt, knowing it was likely to be his fate as well.

He wanted to turn away, leave this vile room, but he had a job to do. How many guards? What kinds of weapons? Any chance of rescuing survivors?

With narrowed eyes and a steeled heart, he scanned. A set of guards were spaced around the edges of the operating room. Weapons, military grade rifles, were held at a laxed position, but could easily snap to the ready given any suspicion. He dreaded to think how many bodies they’d laid on that table.

A glimmer of blue caught his eye, standing out against the red lights of Talon machines. An arm upon a table, its guts made of wires and cables spilling out from beneath it- dissected.

The room made Hanzo ill, but the sight of that arm, and it’s all too familiar skull plating, sent him spiraling. Sorrow, long kept at bay by the company he surrounded himself with and by the vigil he held every evening before the shrine, came bursting forth. He gasped for air that he couldn’t find and his hand tried to rip into his chest, dig through his chestplate, to tear his own heart out because it hurt- oh god, it hurt .

The dragons rose, twisting beneath his sleeves, demanding for someone to answer for harming their master- hungering for revenge against those who would slight him.

‘ The devil’s in the detail, Robin Hood.’

The detail: McCree’s arm on a table. A piece of cybernetics that had once upon a time held Hanzo’s hand as its owner begged him to stay.

The devil: Talon. If they hadn’t brought McCree here, then he’d been somewhere else and a piece of him brought here.

White hot agony turned into seething anger. This lab had a piece of McCree, a piece of his heart, in its foul depths, and for that, they would pay. Pressing a button on the side of his mask linked him into the comline. “I will need ten extra minutes.”

Is everything okay in there, Shimada? Don’t risk-

“It is alright- the route I am meant to take is blocked and I am having to go out of my way.” He lied, effortlessly, the cogs of a crimelord’s son churning in his mind. He had a goal, the swift annihilation of every Talon agent within the base, and with his expertise, it would be done without so much as a blip on the radar.

-

The thirty minutes, total, were up.

Hanzo knew this, not because he had an impeccable sense of time or because he bothered to look at the digital readout on his Overwatch com, but because the strike team breached the building. Not that there was much to breach.

He was picking up the gutted prosthetic arm when they found him in the lab, white armor streaked with crimson and god knows what else . He could read their expressions, or in the case of his brother and Zenyatta, their body language. They thought him unhinged, and the dozens of torn apart Talon agents scattered throughout were hard proof in their favor.

Looking down to the arm in his hands, he felt the anger that had caused his killing spree subside, leaving his chest hollow once more. The dim blue lights flickered softly and then blinked out, as if they had valiantly stayed alive until Hanzo found the cybernetic, just long enough to wink goodbye and tip that ridiculous cowboy hat.

Soldier: 76 was the one to approach him, barking orders to the rest of the team to secure the area, chasing them away before grabbing a chair and pushing it up behind Hanzo. The former commander didn’t pretend to be familiar with him, didn’t touch him or coddle him, “Sit down,” he gruffed.

Eyes still locked on the arm, Hanzo obeyed. This silence with the masked man was different than any time before. There was no judgement, no authority, but a mutual understanding between two broken men.

“You did good work, Shimada.” It was a cover, an attempt to drive the subject away from what Soldier: 76 knew was on his mind.

Hanzo trailed his gloved fingers over the prosthetic, familiar grooves catching the mesh, each scratch on the surface so familiar. For a brief moment, he felt as though if he pulled it, a wolf would come along with it, willing to fall upon him and wrap around him at his demand.

But there was no wolf, no rowdy cowboy tugging him into an embrace with sloppy kisses on the cheek over a job well done. There were no sweet words of how beautiful he looked in the heat of battle, no smoldering golden eyes promising consumption when they returned home.

Just the brutal reminder of the aching void in his chest.

-

The next Talon infiltration was an older base, one that had been dormant for years. Until a few days ago, someone had tripped sensors left behind by Overwatch when they’d cleared it out the first time, and a small team was sent to explore.

Stealth was the idea, in case the intruder still lingered, so the team boiled down to Hanzo, Genji, and another ghost that returned to haunt Overwatch’s halls in the absence of his mourning, Ana Amari. Hanzo knew next to nothing about her other than her amount of dedication, and that she held the trust of everyone in Overwatch, hardly any suspicion borne from her time spent ‘dead’.

The first thing about the base that hit Hanzo was the smell as they wrenched open a heavy iron door. The stench of rot had them reeling, his hand flying up to activate the filter of his mask, but that did little to stop the way that the air burned his eyes.

The dust along the dark, empty halls were disturbed by footprints in a steady stride, suggesting that whoever was here knew what they were doing. They had a mission, a goal, somewhere in the depths of this foul place.

Hanzo was wary, they all were, as they followed the path. Only their soft footsteps could be heard, steady like a beat, drums of war before a battle. Though, as they proceeded further in, it appeared as though the war had already been fought, the hall littered with skeletons, mangled and ripped apart- legs on the opposite wall from a torso, a pile of skulls with no bodies.

The hallway eventually bowed out into a sizable room, a lab, smaller in size than the one he had found McCree’s arm in. Hanzo could tell from the way that Ana’s nose wrinkled, that the rot was stronger here.

She climbed a few boxes and perched, keen eye watching out as he and Genji searched the room.

Hanzo found his way to the back of the room, following the disturbed line of dust, and came to a large bulletin with old fashioned polaroids pinned to it. It wasn’t unusual for Talon bases, the polaroids allow them to document whatever projects they’re working on, mechanical or otherwise, without risking someone else finding it among the digital codes.

The subject, however, stole his breath.

The man in the pictures was younger, but Hanzo would recognize that face anywhere and in any time- McCree. Close-ups of sharp teeth and eyes dull with pain. Detailed shots of the vivisections had Hanzo’s gut twisting. All of McCree’s pain, his transformation, documented and on display.

He was about to turn away from this nightmare when one of the vivisection pictures drew him closer. There was a scar, nestled just above the collarbone, one Hanzo would recognize anywhere. A mark from a stray bullet meant for the former archer, one that he’d peppered with kisses at every chance because it showed Hanzo just how much the cowboy was willing to risk for him.

The more he looked, the closer he inspected those awful polaroids, the more he saw ones that were more familiar, less faded. A full beard instead of peach fuzz. A solid and firm waistline instead of lean and fit. The freedom that McCree had so desperately fought for ripped away from him, putting him back within the prison he feared most.

Hanzo, ” Genji’s voice over the comline was unsure, hesitant yet again. “ There is something here for you.

When he found Genji, but he hardly registered his brother as he stared at the jar on a table. A tan arm, a left arm, submerged in some sort of solution, still rotted at the wrist though it appeared to be healing itself. Label: Project Shepherd - Jesse McCree - Left Forearm. A bright red ribbon was tied around the lid, a tag dangling from it.

With a shaking hand, he reached out to grab hold of the tag, delicately spinning it so that he could read.

Something to remember him by; fixed it up just for you.

Dread welled up in his chest and a glint of something behind Genji caught his eyes- a silver shackle. This wasn’t just a staging area to taunt them with McCree, this was where the nightmare began. Ground zero of the beast.

Hanzo felt bile sting his throat, his knees buckled and his chest heaved with silent sobs, desperate for air once again. But this time there were no Talon agents to unleash his fury on, it was just him, his brother, and a stranger. He felt Ana come to his side, a motherly figure in all respects as she tried to soothe his agony. She spoke to Genji, but he couldn’t concentrate on the words. All he could hear was a steady southern drawl.

“I’m a monster ‘cause that’s what they wanted outta me.”

-

More raids on more Talon bases, more thirty minute recons with more brutality that surprised even his brother. ‘ I know we were trained in hand to hand combat, but… never like this. ’ He’d killed more Talon agents in the past few months than he’d killed anyone else in his entire lifetime.

It was routine, their slaughter, so it surprised Hanzo when he hesitated to put his claws into the gut of the last scientist holed up in this base. He’d already maimed them in his rage, broken hands would never wield ungodly tools again should they somehow live. But they began laughing, uncaring of his threatening presence, chilling his blood and putting him on edge.

Snarling, Hanzo grabbed their collar and hauled them closer to meet his deadly gaze. “What is so funny?”

Their chortles bled into hysterics, a howling noise in the face of death. “They-” the butcher began breathlessly, “They said you’d come.”

He narrowed his eyes, dread settling like a hot stone in his stomach, making him uneasy and setting his body aflame all at once. “Who!?”

“Did- did you like the presents we left you?”

Animalistic, he tore into the scientist without remorse. He watched with a sick satisfaction as their insides spilled and they fell to their knees, still alive - not for long. As much as he would have liked to stay and watch his handy work unfold into a gruesome end, he needed to finished his ‘recon’.

It was a cleaner lab than the other medical facilities he tore apart. Shining chrome gleamed in the brighter lights, any and all failed ‘experiments’ disposed of, or neatly strapped to gurneys. Upon one of the slabs was a young girl, her life ended in the scientist’s haste to cover their tracks before Hanzo got to them: a story all too common, repeated over and over when it came to his infiltration.

The Yokai, they called him. White Demon, Ghost. No matter who said it, he was an apparition that plagued the Talon bases. His work made them angry, pushing them to focus more on munitions pilfering than they had before in an attempt to defend their labs against him. It only made them ripe for the picking for Overwatch, each payload defended faithfully.

Somehow, McCree’s end was the leverage they needed to begin sinking their claws  Talon. Among all the sorrow and pain Hanzo felt, the knowledge that the cowboy’s farewell wasn’t in vain gave him a spark of warmth- hope that there might be a better future yet.

He came to a large door, bolted shut with heavy bars.

Shimada, what’s the status? ” Winston’s voice gave him pause as he gripped the locking mechanism on the door. It was unwieldy and intricate, meant for two or three people to work it at once- he would need help.

“Personnel cleared. I found a door- but I require assistance to open it.”

Jac- Soldier: 76 and Tracer are converging on your location, sit tight .”

He waited, hands feeling over each gear of the door. Strange, that the mechanism would be so exposed outside, easily disabled and torn apart with demolitions- easily unlocked if one paid attention to the mechanical gears and pins. There was no electronic lock, no retina scanner or print reader, anyone with half a brain and a few extra arms for help could walk in here and open this door. It wasn’t made for keeping people out.

It was made to keep something in.

We believe they are running experiments from this base- more similar to McCree.

Genji’s words floated through his mind once more. Were they successful?

They weren’t expecting him to get free again, and they sure as hell weren’t expecting the large wolf that stood before them .’

They had prepared for new wolves to get loose; safety measures beyond a single silver shackle.

His companions made it to his side and began helping him get the mechanism undone, twisting and pulling the levers just right until there was hiss, an airlock releasing. Pneumatic pistons made  the large door swing open with ease.

Hanzo took in a breath, stepping carefully into the dark room. He must of tripped motion sensors because fluorescent lights suddenly flickered to life, illuminating a large, solitary cage in the middle of the room. A large huddled mass, jagged with hefty ridges and bends, dark brown and thick with fur, was curled within the center of the cage.

Sleep disturbed by the sudden light, red eyes flashed open, training instantly on Hanzo. Everything outside of the cage seemed to fade away as the creature stood, stretching out to all its length.

The beast towered above him, it’s shadow would engulf him if it weren’t encompassed in cold light.  It was larger, sporting hardier claws and more wicked teeth. But there was no mistaking that small patch of missing fur above the collarbone from a scar so precious or the missing left arm. No doubt, no question about the wolf.

“Jesse.”

Chapter Text

“What’re we gonna do? We can’t just leave ‘im here.”

Has he been hostile- can we transport him?

“No hostile movement yet, he seems fixated on Shimada. Perhaps we should sedate him just in case.”

Sedatives do not work on him, I’m afraid. He is quite the difficult patient.

“Is the rest of the team on their way?”

Hanzo should have partook in the conversation; he should have been helping to find a solution for how to get McCree out of here, but he couldn’t.

He was glued to his place in front of the cage, unwilling to get closer because he feared the wolf would snap. A hostile beacon of fury and destruction that if provoked, would prove a hard battle to keep alive.

He was afraid. Scared that McCree wasn’t McCree anymore, in the same way that Amélie Lacroix became Widowmaker. Mind twisted and warped until it was wiped clean so that Talon could rewrite the script.

Polaroids of the cowboy’s tale flickered across his mind and he was certain that whatever Talon began with the wolf long ago, they finished here. The pit of his gut wrenched at the idea of Talon turning McCree into a weapon.

Hanzo was trapped into a battle that he wasn’t certain he could win. Eyes locked with the furious red gaze of a wolf that hungered- for what, he was uncertain. Gone were the gentle golds that warmed him in the cool rooms at Gibraltar, replaced with the burning fires that now swallowed him whole.

It’s like watchin’ a train wreck in slow motion.

His demons whispered. How helpless he felt, unable to do anything to change the way things unfolded, all one could do was wait with baited breath and watch the carnage tear everything apart.

Ages must have past with him seeking some form of validation that Hanzo’s wolf was the one wearing the pelt before him, the beast the first to break and moved once more.

Lips curled slowly, bearing wicked teeth. The maw of the wolf parted ever so slightly, trying to push a sound out. “Hhh-” At first it sounded like a wheeze, a grating force of air too  hard to breath, but it rolled into a growl, igniting the room. “Hhhhaannnn.” Low, reverberating and distorted through Hanzo’s ears- drawling like his demons.

The red thread connecting them, taut in their proximity, pulled Hanzo a step forward. Carefully measured so as not to draw the attention of the others in the room.

The wolf, however, was another story; its crimson gaze flicked to his feet before staring at his face once more, willing him to do it again. So he did. Another small step forward, a bone deep weariness overcoming the former archer, causing his feet to drag ever so slightly.

“Hhhhhaaannnnnnnn.” Lower, softer this time. The word coaxed him closer still.

“Do you know your own name?” The question slipped from Hanzo’s lips before he could register their weight. What if he didn’t? What if this was just a shell with vague memories of the cowboy it used to be?

Unflinching, the wolf responded, a throaty growl cascading into another word. “‘Creeeeee.”

Closer.

He pulled off his mask, bearing the entirety of his face to McCree. “Again.” He had to make sure.

“‘Creeeeeeeeeee.” A haunting sound, shrill with some sort of pain at the end.

Closer.

Hanzo knew he was too close, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, his two companions were just beginning to take notice of movement near the cage.

That cage- how long had it housed McCree? How many nights had the wolf spent within the bars, wishing for freedom? Or worse… ‘ He wished he was dead when Talon finally decided what to do with him. Needles and pain- things he’d never forget as they pricked and pumped him full of shit that felt like molten metal running through his body.

His wolf, his sweet sharpshooter. The man of many smiles and bullets, both equally as deadly when loaded by McCree. Hanzo’s chest ached, the polaroids still so vivid, the arm still heavy in his hands; oh how he wished he could reverse everything.

“Do you know who I am?” It was a selfish question masking the million others that piled up.

“Mmmm…”

The wolf attempted, but just the beginning was enough for Hanzo’s heart to fracture. No matter what sound followed, it wasn’t his name- it wasn’t Robin Hood, it wasn’t Butterscotch Pie, and it wasn’t even Shimada.

Hanzo hung his head, hands reaching up to grip at the bars of the cage to ground himself. He wanted to break right here, end all the grief he’d been suffering from. To have hope so close, just to have it eaten, swallowed whole, right before his eyes, was more than he could take.

“Mmmmiiiiiiiine.”

Too fast, and the former archer, too slow.

He could see the claw reaching for him and he jerked, turning, earning a snarl from the beast as its claws hooked into the right sleeve of his kyudo-gi, tearing at the fabric. Hanzo stumbled away, eyes wide, fixed once more on that crimson gaze.

“Shimada, get back!” Soldier: 76 demanded, dashing in, breaking the line of sight between Hanzo and the wolf, raising his pulse rifle.

He felt hands pulling him back, cold metal with rubberized grips against his bared skin and thick gloves tugging at his other wrist- Genji and Mei, arriving just in time to see him get too close to the cage.

They urged him to step away, but their words fell on deaf ears because all Hanzo could see was the beast cowering back, tail tucked between its legs. McCree looked panicked, eyes frantically darting around him. He let out a whine, soulful, reminiscent of the keen that had poured over Hanzo in King’s Row. The wolf was in pain, backing into the corner of the cage furthest away from them, sinking to the ground and curling- desperate to hide from whatever ghosts surrounded him.

Hanzo surged forward, a fresh wave of anger crashing over him as he knocked Soldier: 76’s gun from its aim. He would protect McCree, just as the wolf had done for him so many times before. “You will not point your gun at him.” He snarled, leaving no room for argument.

Silence blanketed the room, thick with tension; the smothering thought from each of them weighing them down. ‘ He is dangerous.

Soldier: 76 grunted, backing off for the moment as it appeared that McCree would not be leaving the corner of the cage any time soon. Out of the corner of his eye, Hanzo could see Mei scurry over to Tracer where the two whispered to each other, eyes flicking between him and the wolf.

His brother, however, was bolder, ignoring the scowl Hanzo presented. Genji silently moved closer to his side, angling his head to look at Hanzo’s bared arm, reading the secret he hid for months.

Red ink, vibrant against his pale skin, etched words into his flesh that were meant to honor McCree. A crescent rising, like the moon, over painted kanji spelling out ‘The Wolf Devours My Foes’. It protected him against his demons, kept him sane in the evenings when they would begin to condemn him for the downfall of the wolf- even now, as Hanzo turned his worried gaze to McCree, the words kept him grounded.

This wolf, his wolf, his cowboy with a silver tongue and hungry eyes would never hurt him. Of that, he was certain.

“Brother,” Genji’s synthetic voice pulled Hanzo to the present, his tone cautious as though the dragons might rise from his skin and strike. The cyborg wasn’t entirely wrong, the serpents coiled along his skin underneath his covered arm, restless and aching to destroy more of Talon because those fiends damaged McCree and in turn had brought more sorrow upon their master’s heart.

Squaring his shoulders, Hanzo steeled himself against the thoughts that rose; scenarios of what McCree must have suffered through playing through his mind, filling in the gaps of what he didn’t know with things he had seen done to unwilling victims in the labs he destroyed. “It is obvious that we cannot transport him today. Perhaps we should take quarter here for the night and get a carrier out here tomorrow.”

“We should take turns watching through the night, in case any lingering Talon operatives drop by.” Genji suggested, and when Hanzo nodded in agreement, the cyborg hummed. “Very well, I will go inform the others of this idea.”

There would be no argument, he knew, what could they say? ‘Put a bullet through McCree’s skull, pack it up, call it done?’ Over Hanzo’s dead body.

“I will take first watch.”

-

The others were sound asleep when Hanzo approached the cage once more. Up until then, as they all settled around in the large room, he kept his distance but would never go more than five minutes without checking to make sure McCree was still there- as if the wolf would evaporate at any moment.

His chest armor and kyudo-gi were removed for the night, his undershirt exposing the length of both of his arms, and he wrapped the serape around his shoulders. Sitting before the cage, he crossed his legs and buried his face into the folds of the wool garment. Though it stopped smelling like McCree long ago, the motion brought him comfort and eased the thundering of his heart.

Red eyes flashed open, the wolf’s body still as a statue as it’s gaze fixated on Hanzo.

“If I could have anything on this earth, any wish,” Hanzo murmured to the wolf, words quiet so as not to wake the others. “I would undo it all for you.”

For so long, he’d been strong, no matter how much he sobbed and his chest heaved, not a single tear was shed. Now, as he sat before the very thing he was so desperate to hold, dying to wrap his arms around, he cried silently and unmoving. McCree was near enough that he could feel his demons ebbing away, but not close enough to silence them.

Whatever chaos Talon had wrought, it put a chasm between them, just wide enough that it would be a leap of faith to get to McCree.

The wolf’s lips began a familiar curl, the rush of air sounding more like a whine than anything else. “Hhhhaaaaannn.”

Hanzo squeezed his eyes shut, fighting against the roiling fear in his gut. What if this was it? What if McCree was forever reduced to a beast who would hardly speak, caged because there was no telling if he was hostile- Hanzo knew more than anyone else, McCree would rather die than spend his life in a cage.

That notion had Hanzo curling in on himself, leaning over his legs in an attempt to stop the sudden rush of nausea. When fighting for freedom last, the wolf had chewed its own arm off… what had it tried in the months spent in the cage?

“Am I stiiiillll dreeeaaaming?”

Raising his head, he met McCree’s gaze, eyes no longer focused but far away and longing.

“Theeeey neeeevvveeerrr let me sleeeeep this loooooooong.” The words rolled with a growl, wistful and pained. “I wooonder if theeeey’ve giiiiiiiven up.”

Dreaming. McCree thought he was dreaming, and the idea that the wolf had dreamed of them arriving at his cage for rescue enough times that the real thing seemed like a figment twisted at Hanzo’s heart.

“Will yooouu pet meeee?” The wolf rumbled, slowly rising and lurching to the face of the cage closest to Hanzo. McCree laid back down, pressing his large back against the bars, bearing the expanse of fur to Hanzo.

“Why?” The question fell from his lips, though it wasn’t a protest. His fingers twitched to sink into the soft brown pelt, seeking comfort for himself and the wolf at the same time.

Throwing a look over his shoulder, he could see golden hurt briefly flash through those red eyes- a hint of the McCree he knew lying beneath the mangled surface. Tortured, Hanzo reminded himself, likely broken and this, not quite an animal and not quite a man, was the manner in which he coped. McCree was protecting himself just as he had always defended Hanzo from the nightmares: sinking into the wolf.

Only McCree had lost himself in there, because he was the beast. ‘ It ain’t some other creature in my body- it’s me. All me.

A soft whimper began in McCree’s throat, blurring into a plea. “You always pet meeee in mmmmmy dreeeaaaams.” The words were becoming recognizable, whole sounds and for a moment, it gave Hanzo hope that McCree was strong enough to breach through the pelt of the wolf.

How could he resist? Quick as he could, Hanzo scooted to the cage, hands finding purchase in the forest of fur and drawing a quiet rumble from McCree. He could see the tension melting away from McCree in a fine mist, almost unnoticeable were it not for the way it clung to the bars, gathering before sinking down. More hope filled his chest.

“What else do I do in your dreams?”

“Storieeeesss.” McCree rumbled. “Tell meeee stories of what’s outsiiiide my caaage.”

Hanzo bit his lip, wondering what McCree had dreamed of the outside. Were they happy and moving on in their lives? Did Talon pick them off one by one? Anything could have run through the cowboy’s mind in his attempt to cope. However, something stood out, taking his twisting feelings and wrenching them tight until his heart shattered into pieces.

Hanzo was always there with him in his dreams, telling him.

“Haaaan?”

“I am here,” He replied, shifting so that he could lay against the bars of the cage and were it not for the metal rods, he could have attempted to wrap around the wolf and hold him. His fingers dug into his fur pelt, sifting through and gently pulling through any tangles he found. Months, nearly a year, Hanzo reminded himself, alone . “Have- have I told you about our room in Hanamura?”

“Hanamuuuura?”

Hanzo’s hands stilled. “My home- you have been there.”

The soft rumbling stopped, silence swelling uncomfortably. “I don’t remembeeerrr.” McCree seemed ashamed, adjusting to press his back harder against the bars, trying to worm between them and get closer to Hanzo. “Wheeere is it? Tell meeee.”

Simple words sunk heavy into Hanzo.  It wasn’t that the wolf dreamed of life continuing outside, he dreamed of Hanzo reminding him that outside existed. Painting pictures of the world outside the cage. His chest ached, feeling hollow again- McCree had suffered so much.

“The trees are pink,” He began, building the scene from the bottom up. “The walkways are stone and the buildings are built upon towering pillars of wood. Most of it is outside, there are many buildings and many rooms, but mine- ours is the biggest. There is a mural of dragons on one wall, and scrolls adorn the other walls. There is a large bed in the center-”

“I miss haaaavin’ a bed.” Neglected, nothing but this cell and this room.

Hanzo’s fingers dug deeper into the fur. “It is all yours. Soft, always the right temperature and there is a window in the room in just the right place so that it lets the sunlight in- not too early and not too late in the mornings. It turns the room gold.”

“I wanna seeeee it.”

“You will.” Hanzo’s sure words were betrayed by the warble in his tone. “Every morning you will see gold and sunlight and pink trees and buildings that look old but are new-”

“And you?” Alone, with only dreams of Hanzo to keep him here.

“And me. Every morning you will see me and I will see you.”

Hanzo spent his watch painting pictures of the things he would do with McCree- sit by the ocean in the sun in Ilios, scarf down street food in the afternoon light in Dorado, and roam the bustling streets under camera-light skies in Hollywood.. Sunlight, there was always sunlight in his stories. Once he healed, Hanzo was determined to bathe McCree in the soft spring light and the summer sun. When the seasons would turn bleak and the sun would leave, they would follow, McCree would always have the sunlight.

When his time was nearly up, he pulled his hands out of McCree’s pelt, patting down and smoothing out the fur he’d twisted up in his grip as he held onto the wolf.

“Doooon’t leave.”

“I will be close, but I must sleep.” Hanzo urged, standing and adjusting the serape around his shoulders. He brought an edge of the fabric up to his nose, thinking smoke and whiskey lingering once more.

“They waaaake me up when you leaaaave.”

“Hush,” He soothed, leaning over and rubbing his thumb across the soft fur behind a pointed ear. “I will not let them wake you ever again. You need your rest, I fear tomorrow will be busy.”

-

He was both right and he was wrong. Winston called in, having gotten a carrier for them to transport McCree in, but it was a day and a half away. The wolf would spend one more night tucked away in the cage, fading from the world outside.

Hanzo was able to keep himself occupied as they had decided to spend the day going through files within the Talon base. There were papers on all sorts of experiments, attempts to repeat what they had made of McCree. Brutal studies of the body as it transformed from whatever they injected and polaroids paperclipped to almost every-other page.

It was Hanzo who found McCree’s files, stuffed full of papers of varying colors and ages. Days upon days of research and ‘interrogations’ logged onto the sheets. He thumbed through the top corner of each page, until he came across the most recent log. There was no hesitation as he pulled it out and began to skim it, desperate for answers.

Log 269 - Project Shepherd - Subject: Jesse McCree

Subject still will not obey commands, even under the effects of serum A473. The rage inducer seems have affected his physical appearance - larger body structure, eyes have taken on a red-hue, warped fangs and claws - but his mental will remains strong.

It has been noticeably deteriorating, he believes that dragons speak to him and will talk to himself through the night. Perhaps at a later date once the deterioration progresses, we can try the serum again.

For now, we should conduct another vivisection to see what other physical changes have occurred.

Quickly he slipped the paper back in before he was tempted to read further. The paper was filled with notes and Hanzo could only assume it was on what they found inside the wolf. He didn’t want to look- all he needed was the thought of his cowboy, all crooked smiles and thick drawls, somewhere inside the wolf in the cage.

Beneath the hurt that came with knowing McCree had been here long enough for 268 other logs to exist, was hope, warming Hanzo from the inside out like a heady shot of whiskey in the winter chill. He didn’t obey Talon, he fought against them and whatever beastial rage they had tried to instill. His strong wolf, his brave sharpshooter, was fighting.

No one stopped him when Hanzo took a seat near the cage, though he could tell they watched with baited breath as he leaned against the bars near where the wolf was lying. In his hands he held an MRE, the mouth of the packet open with a spoon pressed inside. It wasn’t the most glamourous of meals, something with chicken, he couldn’t tell, but he knew that something was better than nothing.

Hanzo smiled, forced and stretched thin as McCree lifted his head to look at him, muzzle pressing against the bars.” I have food for you, ” He murmured in Japanese, not wanting his companions to pick up on what he was saying. Genji would know, but he had faith that his brother would remain quiet. He worried little about McCree understanding, he was speaking to soothe.

He pulled the spoon up and offered the end to the wolf, hoping that he would eat something, anything. When a tongue flicked out, lapping at the spoon, Hanzo let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding.

We will eat better food than this. I will make you food in our kitchen, everything fresh and full of flavor. ” After a few spoonfuls, he gave up with the utensil, offering the open end of the MRE to the beast. He laughed, short and low under his breath as he watched the wolf jam his maw against the bag. “ I think we will go get those messy tacos first. Surely you must miss them, they are your favorite.

Hanzo spent more time than he should have at the bars of the cage. The MRE was long empty and still he sat there, nails lightly scratching at the short fur on top of McCree’s snout. If anyone were to have asked, he would claim he was making sure that the wolf stayed calm above all else, especially with the upcoming transport.

He wanted to talk to McCree, tell the trapped beast more tales, but it felt too intimate a thing to do with the others looking over his shoulder. Even if he were to continue in Japanese, he didn’t want his brother knowing that he was telling stories that were promises of all the places he would visit with McCree. Subtle words of the two of them pressed together under twinkling stars and a swollen moon in the sky; of hunger sated in the gardens of Hanamura under a bright afternoon sun.

The evening came once more, and the same as the previous night, Hanzo took first watch.

Without prompting, he laid against the bars, fingers digging into the thick pelt and the stories began once again. He included more people, reminding McCree of his friends and their features, fitting pieces of them that the wolf remembered on his own back into place, their adventures, and how much they loved McCree and would do anything for him.

“Haaan,” McCree said after a stretch of silence.

“I am here,” Hanzo responded, his hands still sifting through fur.

“I miss ya, daaaarlin’.”

Hanzo’s breath caught- the McCree he knew, silver tongue and warm eyes, was brimming just beneath the surface in those words. The drawl was thick and still gave way to the eerie tones of the wolf, but it was McCree. It was his cowboy.

The chasm between them yawned, menacing. He could jump it, but it was a risk.

Between you an’ me, love, McCree’s been dealin’ with some demons for a long time. -  He’s been winnin’ the battle with whatever’s eatin’ at him since you became his partner.

Hanzo pulled himself to his feet, ignoring the keening whine from the wolf as he left. He circled the cage until he found the entrance, a simple mechanism, once again designed to keep something in rather than something out. Hanzo made short work of it.

The door to the cage creaked open, and Hanzo stood frozen in the port, struck still by the eyes of the wolf.

Gold- like promised sunlight.

A leap of faith.

He was glad no one was awake to see him run, all but slamming into McCree as the wolf tried to grab at him first. Fingers twisted into thick fur around a broad neck and an arm wrapped around his waist with claws barely pressing into the bared skin of his arm. Hanzo buried his face into the pelt before him, holding onto McCree like he was afraid the wolf would turn into steam and drift away.

Smoke, sweat, and whiskey drowned him.

McCree sat down in a more human fashion, back to a corner of the cage, cradling Hanzo in his lap as the former archer held on, refusing to let go.

“Ya never come in the cage in my dreeeams.” McCree rumbled around him, pressing the side of his muzzle against Hanzo.

Pulling back just enough to speak, fisting tangles of fur, Hanzo’s chest heaved. “Jesse, you are not dreaming. We are here,” He tried anything to just press his body further into the hold of the wolf. “I am here.”

“What happens if I sleeeeeep? Will ya leave?”

“No,” Hanzo assured, tilting his head up and pressing his face underneath the wolf’s chin. “When you wake up, you will see me and I will see you.”

Even in their dreams, their hold on each other didn’t falter.

Chapter Text

To call it silence would be a mistake.

Getting back to base with McCree had been easier than expected, the wolf subdued under Hanzo’s guiding touch- the former archer was adamant in his belief that McCree wasn’t a threat to begin with. With Hanzo’s hand buried in his fur, the beast easily boarded on the transport and was quiet for the entire ride back.

That was two weeks ago.

Now Hanzo sat in the bleak hallway outside of Mercy’s medlab, the same as he did every day, waiting for word on McCree’s condition under humming fluorescent lights. The sound agitated him like no other, a constant droning so unlike the wild rumblings of a wolf. A sound he desired more than any other.

Hanzo leaned back, resting his head back against the wall, the tension in his chest making for a familiar scene. Nearly a year ago he’d been in the same position in the same place; he could feel the ghost of warmth of the cowboy looming over him, too close, golden eyes swallowing him whole.

Heavy boot falls interrupted his thoughts. Someone coming to sit beside him was nothing new, many of his former fellow agents would come to wait with him. After the first week, he stopped taking notice of who would sit beside him. He stopped caring about who’s voice urged him to go get some rest. He ignored their pacing.

All that mattered was the medlab door, the wolf inside, and the humming lights.

“What you did at the cage was reckless, Shimada.” It was Soldier: 76, and it appeared as though he was set on having this conversation now.

Without moving, Hanzo replied. “The risk was minimal.” He was unwilling to concede that opening the cage had risked them all. What if the docile nature at the bars was a ruse to get them to let the wolf out, just so he could do what Talon programmed him to? What if the files of McCree resisting had been fake? So many scenarios, more ‘what if’s floating about the condition of the cowboy, but they didn’t matter.

All that mattered was McCree.

“The risk was against protocol. You could have had your reunion after he was brought back and evaluated.” The former commander hissed. “You may have compromised his condition by thinking like a lover instead of an agent.”

The words stung, the weight sitting heavily on Hanzo’s shoulders. Yet, he felt no remorse about his actions that night, he would change nothing were he given the chance to do it again. He would still walk into that cage and hold the wolf close.

His only regret was not demanding to go into the medlab with McCree.

Surely it was just another torture chamber for the wolf, another place to be poked and prodded and examined.

Hanzo let out an even breath, collecting his thoughts. There were a number of things he could respond with: spiels of how much McCree suffered, explanations of simple things the wolf asked of him in that cage, and triages of how he knew the the cowboy better than anyone. But those were moments crude, opening both Hanzo and McCree wide, glimpses into the softer pieces of both men- they didn’t need to be aired in Hanzo’s attempt to defend himself.

“Perhaps that is because I am his lover and not an agent, or have you forgotten that I left?” His words were sharp and final, not willing to argue.

The medlab door opened with a telltale whir, forcing Hanzo to pick up his head and look. He desperately wanted it to be McCree, lighting a cigar after nearly a year without, giving Hanzo an easy smile that would soothe his wounded heart.

It was Mercy, who gave a warming smile to Soldier: 76, but as her gaze swept over Hanzo, it was more calculating and wary. A mother’s eye for a bully who had hurt her son. A doctor’s sneer for one who had brought about their most injured patient.

“You may see him now,” She spoke evenly. “He requires more healing, but physically I have done all I can.”

Hanzo didn’t run, but his pace was faster than his usual walk. Two weeks after knowing that McCree was alive, he’d been kept away. Fourteen days felt like a lifetime, despite the agonizing almost-year he’d spent mourning the cowboy. Not nearly enough time to heal-- definitely not enough to think of moving on.

So close and yet so far now, all he had to do was cross the threshold of the medlab’s door.

It wasn’t what he was expecting, it never was with McCree. He foresaw a bravado in a smile that was ‘ just tickled pink ’ at seeing Hanzo so worried and open arms waiting for him to burrow into.

What was laid out before him was a rugged cowboy fast asleep, claws tearing deep into a pillow he clutched tightly to his body and sweat gathering on his forehead. McCree’s lips were pressed in a tight line and his body curled, the same movement as if he were cowering in the corner of the cage. A nightmare or a memory?

Hanzo was quick to crawl onto the bed with him, wrapping protectively around the wolf, hand sifting through long brown hair. He painted him pictures, softly murmuring Japanese into McCree’s ear and soothing whatever plagued the man. Assuring him that he was safe.

Golden eyes fluttered open and McCree turned his head to stare at Hanzo. His gaze was distant at first, in a far away place, before focusing into reality. “I see you.” He murmured, his voice rough.

“And I see you.”

-

The summer sun shone brightly over everything in Hanamura and the Shimada estate was no exception. The worn, wooden decks felt warm beneath Hanzo’s bare feet as he strode the grounds, the red serape smelling of smoke and whiskey wrapped around his shoulders and held fast in the front.

The past month of having McCree with him in Hanamura had proved fruitful in helping to heal whatever nipped at the wolf’s heels. The buildings were wide and open, unlike the closed cage he was once kept in. It was bright and warm most every day and even when it rained, the sun shone through the clouds, vibrant enough to cast a prism of colors over the estate.

Paradise.

It warmed Hanzo, more than the sun, to know that the Shimada estate brought peace and comfort to the wolf. This place where swords clashed, and blood was spilled, was now a home filled with smiles and stolen moments.

Hanzo’s routine changed, instead of waking before the sun, he rose after it. Intimacy was new again, slow burning at the behest of McCree who still struggled with more severe emotions, but who also wouldn’t hesitate to show how much he adored and treasured the former archer. Hanzo spent lazy mornings in the solid arms of McCree, sweet nothings whispered between them with tender kisses.

Which was why it was odd when he awoke that morning to the absence of the cowboy.

The soft grass still retained dew, beads of it clinging to his cybernetics as he stepped into the large open courtyard. The synthetic pink petals of the sakura trees hung heavy, framing a large, brightly lit stone atop which was the wolf sleeping peacefully.

It wasn’t unusual for Hanzo to find the man sunning, but it was never this early and he’d never seen him do so in the form of a wolf.

Quietly, he crept forward and sifted his fingers into the pelt before him. McCree rumbled beneath his fingers but did not wake entirely, so Hanzo crawled up until he was sitting on top of the large mass of muscle and fur. He leaned forward, draping himself over the wolf, and smiled. “Jesse,” He cooed.

McCree shifted, nearly rolling the former archer off his body, but Hanzo leaned to keep his balance. “Han?”

“Yes, my lamb.” Hanzo replied, the endearment falling easily from his tongue. “You were not in bed, is everything alright?”

The wolf rolled completely over slowly, until his back was against the flat, sunbaked stone, helping Hanzo adjust to lay on his stomach and chest. The movement was a grand gesture of trust, the cowboy was relaxed enough that he didn’t fear displaying his soft belly to the world here.

“‘M comfortable.” McCree murmured, voice heavy with sleep.

“In the sun?”

The wolf hesitated before raising his head to look directly at Hanzo, gold eyes wary with… embarrassment? “As a wolf.”

Wordlessly, Hanzo hauled himself to sit once more, straddling the large barreled chest of the beast, fingers sifting through and soothing the softer fur there. His thumb brushed gently against the scar above his collarbone as he contemplated what to say. “You feel better being like this.”

It wasn’t all that surprising. The year spent at the hands of Talon was sure to have left some lasting marks, and if McCree being most happy in this form was the worst of it, Hanzo would count themselves lucky.

“Yeah… ‘m sorry, darlin’. You didn’t sign up fer-”

Hanzo cut him off with soft laughter, leaning down to bump his nose against the cold black one of the wolf. “There is nothing to apologize for.” He attempted to assuage the wolf’s worries. “I ‘signed up’ for you, and as you have told me before- this is you.” When McCree still stared at him, Hanzo hummed. “No one can see you here but me and I would rather you be comfortable always than sneak out of our bed in the early mornings.”

There was a gentle rumble, a chuckle as the wolf brought his claws up to Hanzo’s sides. One furred, one metal.

The new prosthetic made for the cowboy was similar in style to his old one, but had the nice bonus of switching modes automatically as the wolf switched forms. And a few extra bells and whistles such as a built in comlink and a ‘night mode’ which dimmed the lights along the sides.

“I will arrange to get us a larger bed… I do not think ours will fit you comfortably.” Hanzo dragged his nails over the skin beneath the fur, scratching and drawing pleased rumbles from the wolf. McCree preened over the attention, twisting and giving the former archer more access.

A gentle morning under sunlight.

-

With a considerable amount of effort, McCree was able to hold his human appearance, allowing him to stay close by Hanzo’s side as they traveled to a market one afternoon. It was calm, despite the amount of people around. They breezed from stall to stall, buying ingredients fresh from farms.

McCree stayed close by his side, rough fingers dancing up his arm when they stopped to browse- a rather reassuring himself that this was real, Hanzo was here. It was a common gesture, even in the privacy of the Shimada estate, wandering claws constantly sought purchase on something solid. That something tangible always belonged to Hanzo’s person.

He became acutely aware of the missing presence of the cowboy when there was no longer a weight on his arm.

Hanzo’s mind flickered back to the alley, a body prone and vulnerable. To Dorado, an empty serape. To the cage, a wolf alone and afraid. His hands fumbled for his communicator, grasping it tightly and trying to tell himself that he was overreacting, there’s no way McCree could just be taken without causing a scene.

That’s what you thought about Dorado. ’ a long-suffering demon whispered in his ear, surging forward at the absence of the cowboy.

Laughter, so distinct that it caused Hanzo pain, rang through the air. It was a sound he hadn’t heard for so long and it burned like fire in his veins.

More laughter there was, as he followed the sound straight to McCree.

Hanzo halted at the sight. The cowboy was covered in wiggly puppies, Akitas, if the sign on the pen was anything to go by. McCree was smiling broadly, laughing as one of the pups managed to snuffle and lick under his chin. Three others squirmed in his arms and the sharpshooter cracked an eye, golden and alight with life, to glance at Hanzo. There was no catching him unaware.

“Darlin’, look.” He urged, as if Hanzo wasn’t already wearing a smile from the sight. “I think they like me.”

“Jesse McCree,” He faux chastised in a whisper, striding up and plucking the cream colored pup from McCree’s arms. “If you think for one moment I will allow a dog in our home, you are mistaken.”

The wolf leered at him and a raised eyebrow. “You already do, Han.” And he was right.

“One- just one then.” Hanzo conceded, petting the pup in his arms to calmness. If it weren’t for the exchange, he would have allowed it anyways, just to see McCree so happy again. He was sold on the smile and laughter wrought from the man by the pup who showered affection on McCree.

“It’ll be lonely…” The cowboy’s words weren’t a jest or a passive haggle, they were genuine. Alone, at the hands of Talon too many times. Alone, as an outlaw fending for himself. Comfort and happiness found in a partner, long before they decided to mean more to each other.

It was a feeling Hanzo could sympathize with. “I will get this one,” He spoke, tucking the cream Akita into the crook of his arm gently. “And you may pick the other.”

McCree spent a long time considering the Akitas before looking up at Hanzo with wide eyes, puppy eyes trying to butter him up. To the former archer’s horror, it almost appeared as if the three pups in his arms mirrored the gesture.

“I can’t pick, darlin’.”

The pup tucked in his arm attempted a bark and Hanzo knew all was lost. A dragon brought down by a cowboy and four puppies, if only the world knew it was so easy.

-

It was the middle of the night when Hanzo had woken up to McCree missing, once again. Okami, his choice, woke him up with a sharp bark and a wiggle-run toward the half open door.

Plucking the serape from beside the bed, he wrapped it around his shoulders as he followed the Akita out. “If this is just to get me to play fetch again, you will never sleep in the bed again.” He grumbled a threat toward his dog.

His heart clenched tight at what he was led to- the large wolf laying in front of the shrine, moonlight bathing his form, and the other three pups sleeping around him. Butch, Sundance, and Ballou. Strange names that McCree had insisted upon.

McCree glanced to Hanzo and curled his lips in a wolfish grin “Why’re ya up, darlin’?”

The former archer wasted no time in taking a seat by the beast’s head, scratching at the soft fur behind the ears. “I could ask the same, Jesse.”

“Had to take the youngins out.” He replied, lifting his head and twisting slightly to place it in Hanzo’s lap. “I guess I got distracted.” A pause. “Why did ya give up the bow?”

“I…” Hanzo worried at his lip, “I couldn’t protect you with it. The swords and that bow… they have only brought me misfortune and loss-”

“Hey,” The wolf scooted closer. “I’m still here, Han. Ya didn’t lose me.”

“I did, Jesse. For nearly a year-- you have a gravestone.”

“I know of at least two people who are very much alive that have those as well.” McCree raised his head, tucking his muzzle under Hanzo’s chin. “Ya found me, I ain’t goin’ nowhere. Now you’re gonna pick up that bow ag-”

“I won’t.” He hissed.

A growl with no real threat behind it. “Hear me out, darlin’. Tomorrow mornin’, I’m gonna grab my hat and you’re gonna grab that bow. I don’t care if you never use it on marks again, but I am longin’ to watch you use it.” McCree pushed his head up further, causing Hanzo to lift his chin, and chuffed loudly. “A damn sight prettier than a sunrise.”

Hanzo stared at the item in question, heart racing as he thought about holding it in his hands again. He would be lying if he said he didn’t miss the feel of the weapon, the draw of the string,  the sharp jolt of an arrow loosed, watching the dragons ride the shaft as they sought his foes.

There was a certain excitement to the thought of McCree watching him; to the knowledge that McCree enjoyed watching him and missed it.

“I will consider it.”

Silence settled over them, warm and comforting. This was Hanzo’s family, a word no longer associated with manipulation and cruelty.

Family was a slow evening as he cooked dinner with McCree stealing scraps and the pups hounding at his feet for their share. It was early mornings of tiny howls, puppies desperate to be helped back into the bed after they had fallen out. It was moonlit nights of hands buried in a thick pelt and nightmares chased away by stories woven in different light..

Family was one word that molded and changed to the strong beating of a cowboy’s heart.

And one other.

Hanzo turned his head to the side, pressing his cheek to the top of McCree’s muzzle. “I love you.” His hands dug into thick fur around the cowboy’s neck, his heart thundering.

“I love ya too, Han.” McCree rumbled, scooting his body closer still. “Say it again?”

Hanzo chuckled, pressing his lips to the top of the wolf’s head. “You will have to earn it.”

“Aww sheeit, ain’t I already done enough to earn at least one more?” The cowboy teased.

“Perhaps.”

The wolf left out a soft whine, a nudge, a plea for those words again.

“I love you, Jesse McCree.”

Chapter Text

 

The bow was light in his hands, familiar, settling snuggly into his grip despite the time untouched. The dragons pulsed hot against his skin, purring at the sensation of the weapon once more by their side- a love that burned bright.

Hanzo’s eyes slid closed, a feeling of ecstasy washing over him, setting his nerves alight. The raw power of the dragons hummed, sucking the breath from his lungs and leaving him light headed.

The arrows were heavy, incongruous to the physical weight of the bow. They slipped into his fingers like there were grooves etched in his hands from their history spent striking down his enemies. He opened his eyes to look closely at them, spying spots worn on the shaft where his fingers religiously held the object- he would need new ones lest the warping of those spots throw the arrows off balance.

Muscle memory kicked in as he nocked an arrow, drawing the arrow just slightly, testing the give of his weapon. The target set up across the grassy courtyard was unsuspecting of how much power lay behind one single arrow fired from his hands.

Drawing it more completely, Hanzo took deep breaths to calm the thundering in his chest. It was okay, he wasn’t protecting anyone; this was just a show. He wasn’t fighting, he wasn’t saving the lives of his allies or ending the lives of his foes. It was just a dummy- it would require no clean up.

After tense moments, he let the arrow fly.

With a sharp thwack , it landed a bit to the left of center.

Hanzo’s eyebrows drew together, and when he nocked and drew back the second arrow, he was quicker to let it go. A little closer to the center.

The third and the fourth arrow were just as close, drawn and released faster still, but it was the fifth arrow that struck true; he felt an archer once more. It made the dragons coil and writhe along his arm, desperate to break loose.

With a huff, Hanzo bared his shoulder, pulling his left sleeve off and tucking it in within the obi around his waist. The sixth arrow, he didn’t aim, he let the dragons pull from his skin and skitter down the shaft and guide the projectile to strike.

They exploded into being with deafening roars, hitting the dummy, and leaving behind only the arrows. The creatures whipped back and swarmed around Hanzo with shimmering blue scales that brushed his skin, their pleased growls shaking him to his bones.

The dragons enraptured him completely with their dance - the powerful cries and majestic curling bodies - so much so, that Hanzo hardly noticed when strong hands fell to his shoulders and the dragons fell to sparkling dust. A groan slipped past his lips, eyes fluttering closed and those hands, one metal and one rough flesh, slid down the lengths of his arms.

Hanzo’s tattoo was sensitive, nearly raw feeling as the dragons settled into his skin once more, pleased and humming.

No, that humming wasn’t from the dragons at all. It was a deep rumbling- a wolf.

Rough lips pressed against Hanzo’s neck, to which he tilted his head to allow better access. The power of the dragons usually left him in a warm fog of need, and this time was no different.

“Godamn, you’re somethin’ else, Han.” The words were murmured against his skin, followed closely by a scrape of teeth.

Hanzo reached up, sinking his hand into a wild mane of hair while his other grabbed until his fingers interlocked with bigger ones. He ached- he missed the cowboy and if the hands that wandered down and grabbed his hips were anything to go by, the cowboy missed him just as well.

“Jesse,” He breathed.

Quick as lightning, McCree spun him around, crushing their lips together. Rough and needy, these were no tender kisses of comfort, but rather desperate cries of desire and passion. A floodgate finally giving way, leaving them to pour out their souls.

Hanzo hiked a leg up over McCree’s hip and the wolf got the message loud and clear, prepared to catch Hanzo’s other leg and hold him up when the archer all but scaled his body. Soft groans of want spilled between their lips and it was Hanzo who broke away first, leaving McCree snarling at him.

“Room,” He spoke clearly before pressing back in for another kiss.

McCree wasted no time in carrying him to their room, using his toes to keep the pups back as they tried to follow, shutting the door before they could scamper inside. Their confused cries did little to deter the way that the cowboy’s hands pawed at his ass.

Clothes were shed without a beat, the sounds of rustling clothes and unlatched buckles punctuated by a few rips from tears that Hanzo would later frown at. McCree picked him back up with ease after they were undressed, walking them over to the bed and flopping over into it. He covered Hanzo, grabbing at any inch of skin he could get his hands on.

“Jess-” Hanzo groaned loudly, cutting himself off as he felt those sharp claws dig into his hips, breaking skin. “McCree.” He tried again, his hands sliding up to cup the cowboy’s face, gasping when the meat of his palm was bitten lightly- a punishment for disturbing the wolf’s feast. “Will you be alright?”

McCree soothed the bite, licking at the reddening skin and nodding. “I can handle it better now, darlin’.” He answered before swooping in to kiss Hanzo senseless once more.

The archer couldn’t help the worry, all too often they had tried to do something, anything, further than heavy kisses and gentle groping. It brought McCree to a strange state where he had trouble controlling his form, the large beast slipping from beneath his skin in their soft frenzy. After too many times having to pull McCree out of some corner and assure him that it was alright, Hanzo didn’t mind waiting for him to be ready, they had deliberately avoided putting themselves in such situations.

Hanzo never would have guessed that watching him use the Storm Bow again would cause this reaction in McCree. He’d nearly forgotten the reaction it caused in himself.

Needy kisses turned into wicked bites down Hanzo’s neck and across his shoulder. Claws scratched down his sides as their bodies rubbed against each other, desperate to feel one another again. A fire raged in his chest, spreading warmth to the archer’s limbs as he arched into the touch.

It was rough, but not without affection. Each furrow of claws was followed with soothing fingertips padding across the wounds and each burning bite was cooled with a soft lick and a kiss of adoration for the mark it would leave behind.

His. The marks made Hanzo belong to McCree, as if the archer was not already willing to give everything, had already given everything, to the cowboy.

Hanzo was suddenly flipped, forceful hands raising his hips into the air and baring everything to McCree’s eyes. Oh , and he could feel that golden gaze, hunger raking down his back, watching his muscles move as the archer pushed himself up onto his hands. McCree watched as he shuddered when claws were teasingly raked up his thighs, not enough to draw blood, but enough to raise fine red lines of irritation.

He felt fingers walk across the small of his back, unclawed and when Hanzo looked over his shoulder, questioning the feeling, the cowboy merely wiggled a normal hand at him. A partial transition. “I ain’t missin’ out on the good parts.” McCree purred, “Now be a dear,” His eyes flicked over to the bedside table, just within reach of the archer.

No second prompts were needed as Hanzo rummaged blindly through the drawer for the lube. His heart pounded in his chest, his body tense with the anticipation of feeling the cowboy after so long without. He fumbled with the bottle just slightly as he tried to toss it back to McCree, and ignored the way the chuckle of amusement shot through his body.

“Perfect,” he heard the sharpshooter murmur, popping the lid and using his knees to slide Hanzo’s further apart, exposing him more.

As McCree prepared him, sharp gasps and keening whines slipped from the archer’s lips. His elbows buckled and he buried his face into his arms to muffle himself. He rutted desperately back, searching for more- always wanting, needing more of McCree.

The cowboy took longer than necessary, and Hanzo knew it was because McCree enjoyed tormenting him. It wasn’t until the archer was a quaking mess, throwing his whole body into seeking more friction, pressure, anything , that McCree gave in.

“I’ve got ya, Han.”

It was only a moment, but it felt like an eternity before the cowboy was sinking into him. The cowboy’s loud groan drowned out any sounds Hanzo made as he grabbed at the sheets to hold on. The feeling of McCree inside him was divine- the stretch and burn just right, familiar, expected and welcomed.

Through his panting, he managed, “Jesse, move,” and it was a demand he found instantly obeyed.

A quick snap of hips drove Hanzo into the mattress, but those strong and sure claws pulled him back. Rough and measured, each movement dragged the archer further away from coherence. All he could focus on was the guttural growling from McCree- adoring and possessive all at once. The wolf wanted to own and dominate him, the cowboy wanted to love and cherish him. McCree wanted.

He wanted all Hanzo was and ever would be.

And Hanzo was inclined to give it to him.

The archer managed to wedge his arm out from underneath his broad chest, reaching back to grasp at the flesh hand that had a bruising hold on his hip, prying each claw loose. “Jesse,” He whined, though he would continue to deny that he made such sounds. Finally, the cowboy relented, letting Hanzo wind their fingers together and pull him forward.

Draped over Hanzo’s back, his thrusts were shorter, but drove in at a different angle that had the archer seeing stars.

McCree bit harshly at his neck. “Mine,” he snarled against the skin, biting again and then lapping up the blood that seeped out of the marks.

“Yours; all yours.” Hanzo agreed through desperate pants.

It happened so fast, Hanzo will never really understand how he missed it. The body surrounding him, relentlessly driving into him, was hot. Too hot. Steam flooded around them and the pleasured growling of McCree deepened.

Everything around Hanzo seemed to swallow him up, but he was so lost in the feeling that he failed to notice what was happening until there was a greater pressure demanding entrance into his body and a wide tongue dragged up the side of his face. McCree’s control had slipped.

He knew what was pressing against him, the girth of the knot enough to make him think twice about continuing this.

However, there were a few factors that made him think a third time.

He was curious about the sensation- he knew it would be painful and leave him sore, but the tantalizing thought of bonding with the wolf that closely made him eager for it. Hanzo didn’t want to see the look of shame and hurt on the wolf’s face if he called for a stop, didn’t want to find McCree in a corner hiding from him and insisting that he was a monster because of this.

He wanted to continue, wanted to push their bodies further because when it came down to it, he was a selfish man who was unwilling to give up the pleasure he was feeling from being joined with his lover and loathed the thought of having to wait for this again until McCree’s control was firmer.

Pushing back against McCree to urge him on, Hanzo rather enjoyed the feral snarl McCree gave him, teeth grazing against his skin in warning. “More,” He murmured, and the tightening of claws on his hands told him that the wolf heard him, but was hesitating to proceed. The archer thrust back harder, feeling the knot spread him wider. “More,” He demanded, louder this time.

The feeling of the knot finally pressing into him completely wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but it wasn’t a feeling Hanzo would ever crave. The burn was enough to make him wince, enough that McCree licked at his face gently, murmuring in his ear, “So good for me, Han,”.

But the other feeling that came with the union, the one that Hanzo would dream about and wake up needing, was blissful. The knot was heavy, filling him and stretching him in ways he hadn’t thought he’d enjoy as much as he was. The pull as McCree resumed driving into him harshly was nearly as maddening as the way he pressed against his prostate, making the archer scrabble at the sheets to find some way to ground him to the world.

McCree leaned his full weight on Hanzo’s back, claws digging into Hanzo’s sides and raking down with each pull of his body closer to McCree. It was like he thought the archer might try to run; a predator’s clutch on its prey.

The wolf came first, a low howl reverberating in the room as he filled Hanzo, but he did not relent in his brutal thrusts. If anything, he sped up, biting down on the archer’s shoulder, wide tongue licking up the blood spilled. “So good,” He growled softly into his ear.

The dragons writhed along Hanzo’s arm in shared pleasure, the man falling to babbling in his native tongue as he begged and pleaded for his end. It loomed so close, he could feel it twisting and coiling in his gut, even untouched, the knot and the constant pounding against his prostate were driving him ever closer to his peak. He bit at sweat dampened sheets, groans pushed out of him with the continued thrusting of the wolf. If he could just touch himself, he could-

McCree snarled, grabbing his wrist and pinning it against the sheets, bucking harder. “Not done yet, Han.” He spoke, the graveled tone of the wolf sending shivers down his spine. It was a voice for when McCree wanted things a certain way, a voice he could always say no to if he wanted, but yielded to because there was power in those words. A power in the wolf that drove Hanzo to his end.

He came with a jerk, spilling across the sheets and muttering McCree’s name over and over, as if the word ‘Jesse’ would save him from the weakness in his body. Overstimulated, the continued thrusts of the wolf made him keen and cry out with each jab. He wanted it to end. He wanted it to never end. He wanted.

Hanzo wanted all McCree had to give.

And McCree was inclined to let him take it.

A long, loud howl came from McCree as he spent again inside of Hanzo, pressing down into the archer until he was entirely covered by the large wolf. He gave a few small thrusts before stilling, claws twitching against Hanzo’s skin as he tried to settle.

He felt full and disgusting, but satisfied. Everything was heavy, his limbs, his eyes, his belly. He could feel his own spend sticking to his abdomen as he was pressed into the mattress by the large wolf, the drying blood along his sides, and the gentle buzz from McCree’s pleased growls around him.

“Hold on, darlin’” He heard the wolf murmur. It was cute how he thought Hanzo had any strength left in him after everything. He might have been a fit man, but McCree was a wolf with brute strength on his side and it have been over a year since the last time Hanzo had been well and truly fucked.

With a gentleness that Hanzo adored from the large wolf, he maneuvered the both of them, still joined, until they were comfortable. McCree leaned against the headboard, Hanzo in his lap and leaning back against his broad chest.

The wolf lavished soft, pampering licks on the sides of Hanzo’s face and across all the bites he’d taken out of the archer. Large hands, mindful of the claws, massaged the archer’s trembling thighs one at a time, taking extra care not to jostle him too much.

“I’m sorry,” McCree murmured against the top of Hanzo’s head. “I couldn’t-”

“No,” His voice was rough, weak, but he continued none the less. “I asked for it. I…” He looked down at his stomach, bulging ever so slightly. With a smile, he ran his hand over it, adoring the feeling of it. He had taken what McCree had given. “I enjoyed it. Greatly.”

He twisted in the wolf’s grip, hissing softly as he felt the knot pull at his sensitive hole.

“Careful,”

Reaching up, Hanzo guided McCree’s head lower and pressed kisses all along his lover’s muzzle, closing his eyes and burying his face against the wolf’s cheek. “I would have all of you. This is you.”

A peaceful silence settled over them, McCree continued to massage what he could of Hanzo and the archer sifted his hands through thick fur and pressed occasional kisses to the side of the wolf’s face when it drew near.

Happiness, love, family. The blossom of lust that had burned before had burned out into a low simmer of contentment. This was where he belonged, in the arms of a wolf, with the small cries of young pups attempting to howl outside the door. His eyes snapped open.

“Jesse,”

“Yeah, darlin’?” The deep drawl of comfort in the wolf’s voice was a strong temptation to forget about the small noises outside the door. He was loathe to break the spell over McCree.

“The pups.”

McCree sighed, curling around Hanzo more. “Yeah, yeah. They’ll live. I just wanna hold you longer.” He muttered.

Hanzo laughed, pulling McCree’s head down once more and nuzzling his nose in the soft fur just under an ear. “I am not going anywhere.” He said, a mirror of words long past spoken when the burning in Hanzo’s chest was from worry and not from the intensity of adoration he felt. “You are stuck with me until the day I die.”

And until that day, Hanzo would always find comfort and love in the presence of an American werewolf.