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Deadeye Saloon

Chapter Text

When Hanzo enters the bar, tucked in a quiet corner of the otherwise bustling city, he is pleasantly surprised. Despite its name, its interior is rather low-key and modern: dark red walls, comfortably dim lighting, cherry wood tables polished to a gleam. There are about a dozen small tables arranged around the space and as many stools lining the length of the bar counter. Soft music plays from the speakers--country, he guesses--filling all corners of the bar but not so loudly that it is obnoxious.

Cozy, he decides.

A tall man stands alone behind the sleek bar counter wearing a soft red flannel shirt rolled up at the sleeves, beard untrimmed and dark hair tied up loosely in a small, messy ponytail. A black cloth apron is tied around his waist. He looks up when Hanzo walks in and flashes him a friendly grin.

“Howdy! Welcome to the Deadeye Saloon,” he calls. He has a distinctly Southern American accent, Hanzo notes. Like a cowboy .

Hanzo nods in greeting, then looks around. The bar is rather empty; there only a few customers scattered around the various tables. Hands in the pockets of his dark jacket, he walks up to the bar and takes a seat at one of the padded stools there, shifting the weight of the large black guitar case he is carrying so it rests against his back more comfortably. Immediately, the bartender ambles up to him.

“Ain’t seen you ‘round here before. You new to these parts?”

“Do you think yourself familiar with everyone around here, then?” Hanzo asks, pulling his hands from his jacket and resting them on the bartop.

The man blinks, then replies smoothly, “I’d be willin’ to wager as much, yeah.”

“Hn.” Hanzo looks past him and scans the shelves of bottles and glasses stacked against the wall behind him. The selection is impressively large and varied. He nods.

“I will have a whiskey on the rocks, please,” Hanzo says.

The man gives him a quick once-over. “Sure thing,” he says agreeably, and reaches for a glass.

Hanzo subtly glances around again. None of the other patrons appear to be paying them any sort of attention, engrossed in their own drinks and conversations. Occasionally, a cheerful, short-haired woman pops out of the kitchen to check on them before skipping away. Now that he is looking more carefully, Hanzo notices some of the more quirky decorations. A silver horseshoe nailed above the door. A cluster of dartboards in one corner. Several acoustic guitars hanging on the wall behind the counter. And, strangely enough, a vase of tiger lilies behind the bar with a cowboy hat resting beside them.

“Here y’are.”

A glass of amber liquid slides to a stop in front of Hanzo. He lifts it, swirls the cool glass once to hear the pleasant clink of ice against glass, and takes a small sip. The whiskey rolls down his throat smoothly, cold and burning all at once.

“Whaddya think?”

Hanzo looks up. The bartender is standing in front of him with an expectant grin. Hanzo considers for a moment.

“It is… not bad,” he says, grudgingly approving.

“Heh, thought ya might think so,” the man says, almost smugly. “Took ya for someone who’d prefer their whiskey on the softer side, and not so sweet.”

That is indeed how Hanzo prefers his whiskeys, but he does not give the man the satisfaction of agreeing with him. He takes another sip of the drink instead, savoring the flavor it leaves in his mouth and noting a faint undercurrent of smokiness to it.

The bartender wanders away to take care of some other business and Hanzo takes the time to nurse his drink in peace and let the alcohol relax his tense muscles. It has been… a long day, to say the least.

Eventually, the bartender walks back to him, leaning against the counter. “Y’play?” he asks, nodding at the instrument case hooked around Hanzo’s shoulder.

Hanzo stiffens. It seems the man has nothing better to do with his time than talk to him. Hanzo sighs inwardly and looks at him sidelong. “Something like that,” he responds simply, and pointedly does not elaborate.

He finishes his drink.

“Well then…” Hanzo trails off.

“‘Name’s McCree. Jesse McCree. I run this here fine establishment.”

“Well then, McCree,” Hanzo says haughtily, placing a few bills on the counter and standing. “Good day.”

“See ya later,” McCree calls cheerfully to his back.

“Do not count on it,” Hanzo replies, and walks out.

 

---

 

Hanzo does, in fact, end up visiting the bar again. In his defense, he has found that most places in this new city are far too loud for his comfort, and the Deadeye Saloon had been--with the exception of the talkative bartender--blessedly quiet, relatively.

Reassuring himself with this fact, as well as the thought that he probably should not stay in his still-unfamiliar apartment alone to stew in his thoughts, he shoulders his guitar case and heads back to the bar several days later.

He finds the spot again easily enough despite it being nearly hidden at the end of of a wide alley. The front is rather nondescript--smooth concrete walls hosting a set of heavy wooden doors. The bar’s name is displayed in bold, slightly faded print on a large sign above the entrance, the red letters practically glowing in the light of the setting sun. A faint breeze picks up around him, cool with the promise of autumn. With the slightest trepidation, Hanzo pushes open the door.

The interior is just as he remembered it, albeit slightly busier today. He immediately spots McCree behind the bar. When the man sees him, his face splits in a broad grin.

“Howdy! I’ll be with ya in a sec!” McCree calls, turning to grab several bottles from the liquor shelf.

Hanzo stuffs his hands into his pockets and walks up to the bar, taking the same seat he had last time. The tiger lilies in the vase behind the bar have been replaced by blue lilacs, he notes.

There is another bartender working as well today--a giant, hulking, white-bearded man whose stature rivals that of a mountain--chatting with another customer at the other end of the bar counter whilst shaking a drink. He throws his head and laughs at something, the sound booming out and rumbling like an earthquake, startling Hanzo. A few of the patrons turn to look at the source of the sound, their expressions amused as if they have heard it a hundred times before.

“Don’t mind ol’ Reinhardt there. Man’s like a force o’ nature but he’s got a heart o’ gold.”

McCree’s voice snaps Hanzo’s gaze back to his side. The bartender has sidled up to him, wiping his hands with a towel. Hanzo notices belatedly that his left arm is mechanical. He still has that pleased grin on his face.

“What?” Hanzo cannot help but snap.

“Ya came back,” McCree says, stating the obvious.

Hanzo snorts. “Yes, well. I enjoyed the drink I had last time.”

“‘S that so. I assume you’ll be wantin’ the same today, then?”

Hanzo nods and McCree turns away. He is wearing another flannel shirt today, blue this time, with faded yellow stripes.

Hanzo looks around the space again. Due to the traffic, there seems to be one more waitress on duty in addition to the one he had seen last time--a woman in a tank top and jeans with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail, the usual black apron around her waist. As usual, the speakers are playing some variety of country music.

Hanzo had done a bit of digging on this place, after the first time. The Deadeye Saloon, opened 6 years ago, quietly, in a more discreet part of town. Generally well-received, boasting a good host of regulars, but enjoying only moderate success--unsurprising given its inconspicuous location and appearance; Hanzo is surprised he even managed to stumble upon it in the first place. Currently owned by one Jesse McCree, on whom Hanzo’s cursory research had, curiously, found little information otherwise.

McCree returns with his drink. “Here ya go.”

Hanzo takes it with, nodding in thanks, and takes a long sip. Soft-edged, not too sweet, a hint of smokiness underneath.

“I noticed ya didn’t answer my question last time,” McCree says. He is leaning against the counter behind him, arms loosely crossed, expression politely curious. “You new ‘round these parts?”

When Hanzo just looks at him, McCree shrugs good-naturedly. “I’m pretty good with faces, and I think I’d remember a pretty one like yours,” he explains, and winks at him.

For a moment, Hanzo is thrown. He quickly takes another sip of his whiskey so as not to look like a gaping fish, feeling a telltale burning at the tips of his ears. Damnit.

Figuring he probably cannot get away with avoiding the question again, he sighs. “You are correct,” he admits, staunchly ignoring the last thing McCree had said. “I moved here very recently.”

“Oh? Where from?” McCree leans forward.

“...Japan,” Hanzo says. He is sure McCree would not be satisfied with that answer, could have probably figured as much himself, but it is all he is willing to disclose.

Fortunately, McCree does not push him for more details. Unfortunately, he then switches the topic.

“So, what d’you do?”

Hanzo furrows his brow. Does the man not have anything else to do? A quick glance around confirms his suspicion; everyone seems to be happily occupied and taken care of.

“I would rather not say,” Hanzo says curtly after a beat, and hopes the man will get the hint.

“I take it you’re not a musician, then?” When Hanzo blinks at him, McCree nods toward his guitar case, smirking.

“...” Hanzo huffs and looks off to the side. He is saved the trouble of answering when a loud crash emits from the other end of the bar, the sharp sound of shattering glass carrying easily over the low din of the bar.

“Reinhardt!” the waitress with the long ponytail scolds the bartender. “What have I told you about being careful with the glassware?”

“Sorry, Brigitte!” Reinhardt laughs sheepishly at her, rubbing the back of his head.

“At this rate, we’ll be straight outta glasses by the end of the week, and then what are we to serve our drinks in?” she huffs, but Hanzo can tell she is not truly angry; her lips are pursed as if hiding a smile. The customers nearby laugh, unperturbed by the incident.

Hanzo glances back at McCree. The man is looking toward the commotion with a fond smile. When he notices Hanzo’s eyes on him, he turns back and grins wider. “Don’t worry, darlin’, happens all the time.”

“It’s true.” The other waitress--the short-haired brunette--bounces up to them, an empty serving tray in hand. “Sorry ‘bout the noise, luv,” she says to Hanzo, smiling apologetically. Hanzo notes her accent-- British, he assumes.

She turns to McCree. “Gonna need a gin ‘n tonic for table three, Jesse.”

“You got it, Lena,” McCree replies, already reaching for a clean glass.

“Brigitte’s right, though,” the waitress-- Lena --continues as McCree pours the drink. “We’ll be straight out of glasses soon if this keeps on. I’ve got to remember to ask Angela to order some next time.”

“Or, I could order the cups, seein’ as how I’m the owner and all,” McCree says.

“Jesse.” Lena fixes him with a flat look. “I know the kinds of cups you’d order. We don’t need more glassware with horseshoes or pistols or bulls or whatever it is that you cowboys fancy for some reason.” She stops, recoiling as if an awful thought had just struck her. “Or worse, glasses with spurs," she all but whispers, expression horrified.

“They don’t even make those!” McCree responds indignantly. “... Do they?”

“Not going to dignify that with an answer,” Lena says, singsong, before taking the drink from McCree’s hand and zipping off.

McCree snorts as she leaves, grabbing a towel and wiping down the counter absently. To Hanzo’s horror, his expression is… contemplative.

The noise has settled down once more. Hanzo focuses again on finishing his drink, letting the sounds of the bar wash over him. Muted conversations and clinking glasses blend seamlessly with the music playing softly in the background--some combination of acoustic guitar and husky vocals--creating a low hum that ebbs and flows around him like waves.

He drains the last sip of amber liquid from his glass. The alcohol sits warmly in the pit of his stomach and his head feels just the slightest bit lighter--nothing that would cause any concern, but enough so that the jumbled thoughts that have been rolling around in his mind all day settle down. Surprisingly, he finds that he feels at ease in a way that he has not felt in a while.

The clink of a glass in front of him pulls him from his reverie. McCree has set another drink in front of him, this one slightly lighter in color.

“Here.”

“I did not order another drink,” Hanzo says, staring at it blankly.

“‘S on the house,” McCree responds easily. “Another one o’ my favorites. A lil’ welcome-to-town gift, if y’will.”

Hanzo blinks. “... Thank you,” he says, accepting it, feeling warmer than the amount of alcohol he has had can explain. It is whiskey again, this time with a stronger woodsy taste. Hanzo finds he quite likes this one as well.

McCree offers him a pleased smile. “‘Course.” He gives Hanzo another ridiculous wink. “Y’can repay me by comin’ to visit me again.”

Hanzo feels his face slip into a glower. “Do not chance your luck, cowboy, ” he growls, scornfully.

McCree just tips his head back and laughs.

 

Chapter Text

McCree rolls out of bed at three o’clock in the afternoon with a groan.

He stumbles into his bathroom and peers blearily into the mirror. His rumpled reflection stares back at him hollowly. His hair is disheveled, he has tired circles under his eyes, and he hasn't shaved in weeks.

All in all, pretty as a picture.

Stand up straight, kid. Slumping's for corpses.

He scowls.

“Yer a right mess, Jesse McCree,” he tells his reflection. His voice comes out raspy and thick with sleep. One of these days he'll stop waking up so late, but today is, apparently, not that day.

He quickly brushes his teeth and splashes his face with water, forgoes trimming his beard another day even though he probably needs it, and all but trips into the shower.

The spray, cold at first like needles, finally wakes him up. He scrubs himself down mechanically, only dropping the soap once, which he marks as a win. He steps out several minutes later, reaches for a towel to dry himself. Then he ties it around his hips and tries not to think about how long it’s been since he’s so much as stepped into a gym.

He walks back to his room and digs around the piles of clothes for something that looks relatively clean, settling on a flannel shirt and a pair of worn jeans, as well as what might be his last pair of clean underwear. He checks his phone as he pulls them on; there’s a message from Angela telling him she’ll drop by later, but besides that, nothing. Same old.

He grabs his belt and hat from their customary place atop his dresser, next to a photo frame, then splashes on some cologne because why the hell not. Tells himself it's because it's always good to have some extra confidence and not because he's trying to impress anyone in particular.

He sighs. Can’t even fool himself today. Must be off his game.

He doesn’t give himself too hard of a time about it, though. After all, it isn’t every day that possibly the most drop-dead gorgeous man he’s ever laid his own two eyes on walks in through the door of his bar, he muses, thinking back to the previous night. He remembers, quite clearly, those sharp cheekbones and even sharper eyes, the fitted leather jacket and dark blue v-neck which had at some point given him a glimpse of a tattoo peeking from a toned chest. Not that he’d been looking. Not at all.

He shakes his head. Tells himself to get a grip--it’s been one day.

He pulls on his favorite (only) pair of boots and, wallet and keys in hand, heads out of his apartment at 3:40--enough time to grab a quick bite to eat.

It’s the same routine he’s had for months, maybe years, but he’s fine with it. Content, even.

He doesn’t think about how that’s the same damn thing he tells himself every day, too.

 

 

Angela shows up at the bar at five o’clock on the dot, a bouquet of bluish-purple flowers in her hands. She lets herself in through the back door, heels clacking against the polished finish of the floor.

“Well if it ain’t our darlin’ Doctor Ziegler,” McCree calls to her from where he’s wiping down the counter. “Finally thought about payin’ little ol’ me a visit?”

“It hasn’t been that long, Jesse,” she says, emerging behind the bar. She’s still wearing her white lab coat, hair pinned up in a tidy ponytail that is just starting to come loose. The light from the open door behind her casts a soft glow around her golden hair, like a halo. McCree catches himself staring and shakes himself out of it. Dang, if he ain’t getting old and sentimental.

He leans against the counter as she approaches. “How’ve you been, Angie? 'S been a while since you’ve come by.”

“I’ve been fine, Jesse. Just busy,” Angela sighs tiredly, then gives him a wry smile. “Why, have you been missing me?” She looks around and wrinkles her nose slightly. “When was the last time you tidied up around here?”

“I tidy up plenty,” he retorts defensively. He does --it’s just that sometimes he gets distracted and forgets about picking things up here and there.

“Uh huh,” she says, glancing at the empty boxes and bottles piled up in the back of the bar. She steps delicately around them, holding her bouquet closer to her as if to shield it from the mess.

“Nice flowers,” McCree says, definitely not in the least spitefully. “Did Fareeha give you those?”

Angela just lifts an eyebrow at him. “Of course not,” she replies serenely, replacing the wilting tiger lilies in the vase behind the counter with the fresh flowers in her hands. “I bought them at the florist’s on my way here.”

He watches her as she walks to the sink to fill the vase with water, blinks when she turns and gives him a hard look.

“You have been watering these like I told you to right?” she asks, tone accusing. “Otherwise--”

“--they’ll wilt. Yeah, yeah, I know,” he interrupts. “An' I have.” When he can remember to, anyway. He grins at her, bright and closed-eyed.

She just gives him one of her patented that’s-enough-of-your-bullshit looks, then walks past him.

“Did you know that blue lilacs symbolize tranquility and happiness?” she says thoughtfully. “And purple ones, the first feelings of love.”

Lilacs . So that’s what they are. “Didn’t take ya for such a flower enthusiast,” he replies, grinning wider. “You got someone new in your life, Angie?”

She just gives him an amused look. “Hardly,” she retorts, arranging the lilacs so they stand more prettily, or something. Hell if he knows. “The florist told me so.”

It’s been far too long, McCree thinks, since they’ve had a moment like this: peaceful, comfortable, their bickering companionable and familiar. They’d had a lot more of them before , back in the good old days, when they’d worked more closely together. But then shit had hit the fan and then, after, Angela had taken on the role of lead researcher at the biotech med labs and become relentlessly busy day in and day out. Even now, she looks slightly worn and frayed around the edges--which is just about as close to exhausted as Angela ever gets to looking.

“Don't push yourself so much, Angie,” he says, lowly. He knows all too well how it feels to burn yourself out with work, to run yourself into the ground for the sake of distraction. How dangerous and narrow of a road keeping busy can be.

Her posture softens. “Thank you for your concern, Jesse, but I can take care of myself. Plus, I have Winston with me.” She turns to look him in the eye. “Anyway, I should be telling you the same thing. It can’t be easy running this place by yourself, not after…” She hesitates, trailing off.

He knows she is referring to the incident years ago. The one that had left him with this place in his hands. The one that has been running through his mind nonstop like a one-track train to hell ever since. He sighs.

“’M fine,” he says gruffly. “It’s already been, what, four years now?”

“Five,” she corrects.

“Right, five. I’ve had plenty of time to get myself, and this place, together since then. ‘Sides,” he adds, “I ain’t alone, anyhow.” He’s got Lena, and Reinhardt, and Brigitte. Hell, he’s even got Bastion--the robot can be awfully useful when there’s heavy lifting to be done, though it doesn’t hang around the bar for obvious reasons.

“I suppose you’re right.” She clasps her hands together, folding slim fingers carefully. There’s a pause, then: “You haven’t… heard anything from them, have you?” Whisper-soft. A familiar question.

He looks away. Runs a hand through his hair wearily. “... Not a peep.”

She lets out a soft huff, shaking her head ruefully. “Of course you haven’t.” Her fingers clench ever so slightly where they are curled over her torso. “Neither have I.”

They lapse into a short silence, Angela looking at her hands and McCree’s fingers itching desperately for a cigarillo.

“You know,” she continues, voice distant, “I’m not even angry at them anymore--for leaving, the way they did. I just… want to know they’re safe.” The last part is spoken so quietly he has to lean forward to catch it.

He exhales heavily. “You ‘n me both, Angie,” he says. “You ‘n me both.”

 

 

Angela had left thirty minutes afterward, sweeping out the door with promises of returning in several days, or maybe a week, for sure, and make sure you water those flowers, Jesse. Soon after, Lena had burst in through the door. With her help, McCree had gotten the place in shape for the night.

As he's setting up the music, he glances again at the flowers Angela had brought over that afternoon. Blue lilacs for tranquility and happiness. Purple ones, the first feelings of love. His mind absolutely does not flash to the cool-eyed man with the black instrument case who had come in the previous day because that would be far too ridiculous, even for him.

Thankfully, he doesn't get too long to pursue that train of thought. Five minutes past six--the time the saloon opens for the evening--a familiar figure strides in through the front door.

“Fareeha!” he greets her. “Good to see ya.”

“Jesse.” Fareeha nods at him warmly and takes a seat at the bar, smiling at Lena when she skips past.

“Angie left already,” McCree says. “You jus’ missed her.”

She gives him a cool stare. “I do not come here only to see Angela,” she replies, though he swears that he sees her shoulders slump, just a bit. “I should hope you have a bit more faith in the quality of your alcohol than that.”

“Trust me,” he says, “I do.” He slides over a glass of an aged dark rum--her usual order--and she accepts it gratefully.

“How’s life as Security Chief?” he asks.

“For the last time, Jesse,” she replies. “I am not chief.”

He grins. “For the last time 'fore you become chief, you mean.”

She snorts into her glass. “Hardly.” She takes a sip before answering, “Busy, as usual. Nothing new.”

“You been takin’ care o’ yourself, yeah?”

“Of course I have,” she says, tone exasperated, setting down her drink. “I’m not a kid anymore, Jesse.”

“Heh. Guess not,” McCree agrees. There’s no way she’d be taken for a kid, not anymore. She’s much too tall now, for starters. “Though you’ll always be lil’ Fareeha to me,” he adds, only half-joking.

“Oh, shut up,” Fareeha rolls her eyes. She must be in a good mood today, though; she doesn’t seem too annoyed by his usual teasing. He leans back out of punching range, just in case.

He takes a moment to look her over. She’s wearing a simple black shirt and, over it, a dark high-collared jacket with the insignia of her company emblazoned on one shoulder. It’s true that she’s no longer the same little kid he remembers so fondly. Granted, he’d barely been much older himself, back then.

She’s plenty strong and capable now, he has to admit--she has to be, in her line of work. She’s got that confident set to her shoulders, that proud, unwavering gaze. He’s still not used to it--the way it catches him off guard sometimes, steals his breath away how much she looks, more and more with each passing day, like her mother.

“--Jesse.”

McCree blinks, startled. Fareeha’s looking at him, brows furrowed in concern.

“Sorry. Jus’ spacin’ out a little,” he says, flashing her what he hopes is a reassuring grin.

She searches his face for a moment and he resists the urge to fidget. “You look awful,” she says bluntly.

“Thanks, sweetheart,” he retorts dryly. “Always a pleasure to see you too.”

“I’m serious.” She leans forward. “I know it has to be draining, looking after this bar, even if it is just a hole in the wall. You have to look after yourself, too.”

“Hey now, that's my hole in the wall you're talkin’ about.” He crosses his arms. “I swear, it’s damn spooky how much you ‘n Angie are on the same wavelength sometimes.”

“It just means I’m right, then,” she says haughtily, “if Angela agrees with me.”

He raises his hands in mock surrender. “Alright, alright. Spare me the double whammy. My ol’ heart can’t handle it.”

She finishes her drink. “Seriously, though. You have to admit you’re woefully understaffed.”

“'S fine,” he says. “I swear Lena can do twice the work of a normal person, with half the effort. That woman’s a real trooper, I tell ya. Dunno how she does it.”

“Thanks, luv!” Lena calls cheerfully as she passes, on her way toward a group of customers who had just walked in.

“See?” McCree says as they watch her zip by. “Anyway,” he continues, “I enjoy it--runnin’ this place.” Keeps him busy. “‘S my pride ‘n joy, after all.”

Fareeha looks around. “... Right,” she responds, not sounding convinced. “Anyway”--she stands, tossing some bills onto the counter--“I gotta jet. I promised Angela I’d meet up with her tonight.”

He clasps a hand over his chest. “And leave me here in this bar, all by my lonesome? ‘M hurt, Fareeha.”

“It’s your pride and joy, right?” she smirks at him, quite heartlessly if he does say so himself. He tells her as much, to her back.

“Yeah, yeah.” She just dismisses it with a careless wave of her hand, without bothering to turn around. “See ya later, you old coot.”

She leaves him spluttering indignantly after her.

After she's gone McCree finds himself at a loss, feeling antsier than usual. It doesn't help, either, that business is particularly slow that evening. He tries to distract himself by wiping down the bar. Fiddles a bit with the music player. Sees those damn lilacs out of the corner of his eye again.

He sighs, then waves at Lena when he catches her shooting him a concerned glance. Get a holda yourself , he scolds himself, resolving to focus wholly on serving customers and being an upstanding bartender for the remainder of the evening.

And if he spends the rest of the night glancing toward the door in hopes that a certain ponytailed man will walk through--well, no one has to be any the wiser.

 

---

 

The man does come again, three days later. McCree had doubted that he would, would deny to his grave and back the elation he’d felt when he’d seen him walk through the door again wearing the same dark jacket. His hair’s in his usual ponytail and he’s carrying that large guitar case again. He looks as tired as he had the first time he came in, but damn if he don't look mighty fine regardless. And, McCree notes happily, he stays longer this time.

When the man leaves, McCree finds himself smiling like a loon at the door as it swings shut, then swears.

He’d forgotten to get his name again.

 

Chapter Text

Hanamura is always the most beautiful in springtime. Across the city, the sakura petals fall from their branches, drifting slowly in the breeze and coating the streets and rooftops in a thick pink blanket. The world seems softer this time of year. Quieter.

Hanzo watches the sight, a familiar presence at his side. Genji turns to him, a wide, infectious smile on his face. Hanzo can feel himself smiling back.

His brother skips ahead of him. Hanzo looks on fondly as he tilts his face to the sky as if the falling petals are snowflakes. He turns back to Hanzo and says something to him, but the petals muffle the sound.

Hanzo blinks.

The petals fall swiftly and silently, as far as the eye can see. Genji’s smile slips away. He mouths something else Hanzo cannot hear.

Something tugs at Hanzo’s memory. He strains his ears to catch his brother’s next words but, once again, the petals carry them away before they can reach him.

Genji frowns, brows drawn. The sakura fall yet faster.

Hanzo tries to move toward him. He remembers now: there is something he must tell Genji--something important. But the petals blow back against him, preventing him from taking even a single step.

Genji is shaking his head now, lip curling in--disgust? Hurt? His mouth forms the shapes of words, expression twisted in anger. Hanzo can hear only silence through the thick storm of flowers.

The sakura tumble furiously now. They whip dizzyingly around them, reaching a frenzy, obscuring Hanzo's vision. Ahead of him, through the white flurry, he can just barely catch a glimpse of Genji’s disappointed visage, turning away.

Hanzo tries to shout, but petals fill his mouth so he cannot cough out the words. When he takes a breath, they flood his lungs, choking him.

The last thing he sees before his vision blanks out is Genji’s tense, retreating back.

Hanzo wakes up gasping.

 

---

 

Although he has been in the city for over a week and now, Hanzo still feels hopelessly out of the water. Despite being thousands of kilometers across the world and constantly, obsessively checking that there is no one tailing him, Hanzo still cannot shake the feeling of being watched at every turn. He begins to doubt he will ever be able to.

He spends much of his time on his tablet, trying to keep in the loop by following a wide network of news outlets--as well as other, less savory, information sources to which he has access. So far he has found nothing to justify his clinging uneasiness, but it is better to be paranoid than careless, he tells himself.

The rest of the time, Hanzo occupies himself with wandering the city, scoping out its many districts and corners. It is quite the metropolis: huge and bustling, its skyline sleek and modern, its crowds like oceans with how he feels like they will swallow him up if he is not careful.

All the better to remain incognito, in Hanzo’s opinion. It is partially why he had come to this city in the first place, after all. It even has a couple of shooting ranges Hanzo had discovered with a cursory search of the map, though he has yet to visit one himself. And, despite how intimidatingly hectic it is, it has its own charm.

Immediately, an image of the cozy saloon pops unbidden into his mind.

It is small and discreet, Hanzo reasons. It is quiet, mostly, and close by. The alcohol is of fine quality. The staff is welcoming and friendly. It is one of the few places in the large city that has become somewhat familiar to him.

Even so, Hanzo chides himself, it is unwise to keep returning to the same place over and over. Perhaps even foolish.

And yet...

Hanzo finds himself outside the saloon for the third time in two weeks, hands stuffed the pockets of his jacket against the autumn chill and the hood of his sweater pulled over his head. He cannot believe himself, he thinks while staring at the sign above the door; how utterly ridiculous and irresponsible he is being.

He opens the door anyway.

As expected McCree is at the bar in flannel, messy hair tied back. At the moment he is leaning over the counter, chatting with Lena. They both look up when Hanzo enters, pulling back his hood.

“Howdy!” McCree greets him, straightening. Lena offers him a smile of her own.

Feeling somewhat self-conscious with both of them beaming at him, Hanzo makes his way to the bar as usual. “Are you here every day?” he asks McCree in an attempt to divert the attention.

“If I say yes, will it get ya to come back more often?” McCree asks, grinning roguishly. When Hanzo just glares at him, he shrugs and says, “We’re closed Sundays.”

“He may not look like it, but Jesse here is a real workaholic,” Lena chips in.

“Speak for yerself,” McCree retorts, then asks Hanzo, “The usual?”

Hanzo nods. Tries not to think too much about how he already has a usual.

“Anyway,” McCree says as he pours the whiskey, “I reckon I’ve been a damn shameful excuse for a bartender.” He sets the drink in front of Hanzo, who looks at him in confusion. “That’s three times you've come in now and I still ain’t gotten your name.” McCree grins, leaning forward on his prosthetic arm expectantly. Lena turns to him as well.

Hanzo hesitates for a beat under the weight of both their gazes. This is… probably not a good idea.

“... It’s Hanzo,” he says, then curses inwardly. Damnit.

“Hanzo, huh?” McCree says, as if testing it. His name sounds odd coming out of McCree’s mouth--the vowels are a bit too stretched and the syllables have a strange lilt to them--but Hanzo does not dislike it.

Lena smiles broadly. “Well, Hanzo, it’s always lovely to get new regulars here. Make yourself welcome anytime!”

Hanzo blinks, taken aback. “Alright,” he replies.

He suspects silently that he will not be able to stop himself from doing so even if he wanted to.

 

---

 

Sure enough, Hanzo returns again several days later. He walks into to see McCree arguing with two short figures by the bar. Reinhardt stands not too far away, mixing some drinks.

“--Now look here--” McCree cuts off when he sees Hanzo. “Hanzo!”

The two people--a dark-haired girl in a white t-shirt and cutoff shorts and a boy with dreadlocks wearing a green tank top and a pair of headphones around his neck--turn to look at Hanzo as he approaches.

Hanzo hesitates. “Good evening,” he says.

“Glad you could swing by! Grab a seat,” McCree greets him warmly, giving him an apologetic smile.

Hanzo nods stiffly and seats himself next to them.

“Jesse, you gonna introduce us?” The girl looks between them gleefully. Hanzo notes that she looks a bit too young to be at a bar.

When McCree just glowers stonily at her she turns to Hanzo, unperturbed.

“Hey there!” she says cheerfully. “Hanzo, right? I'm Hana and this is Lúcio. We're friends of Jesse's.”

Her companion smiles at him. “‘Sup, man!”

Hanzo blinks at the enthusiastic introduction. “Greetings,” he responds, somewhat bewildered.

“You a musician?” Lúcio asks curiously.

Hanzo shifts the strap of his instrument case self-consciously.

“Lúcio is an awesome DJ,” Hana explains.

“Is that so?” Hanzo says politely.

Lúcio rubs the back of his head and grins modestly. “Heh, I'm decent.”

McCree’s eye twitches. “Don't y’all go changin’ the subject,” he forcefully interrupts. He rounds on Hana. “ You, missy, ain’t even s’posed to be here.” He looks accusingly toward Lúcio. “I thought I told you two last time. This ain't a playground.”

Lúcio shrugs. “Sorry man, she insisted.”

Hana crosses her arms and huffs. “Jesse, you jerk. Is this how you treat all of your friends? No wonder you don't have any.”

Hanzo barely suppresses a snort of amusement. Fortunately, nobody seems to notice.

“I’ll just stay out of the restricted age area,” Hana continues flippantly. “It’ll be fine.”

“This is a bar. The entire place is a restricted age area!” McCree growls, leaning across the bar menacingly. Hana backs up slightly.

“It will be fine,” Hanzo says, surprising himself--and everyone else, by the looks of it. “Why not let her stay, for just a little while?”

McCree gapes at him, dumbfounded. Lúcio and Hana turn to him in surprise then Hana grins at him delightedly. Hanzo feels somewhat awkward underneath everyone’s stare, but he maintains a stoic expression.

Reinhardt's laughter booms from the other side of the bar. Hanzo starts, slightly. “No harm in letting the lass rest here a bit, eh, Jesse?” he calls cheerfully.

McCree, having finally snapped out of his bewilderment, throws his hands up in exasperation. Hana pumps her fist and high fives Lúcio behind his back.

 

 

In the end, McCree lets Hana stay, muttering something about being a weak-willed fool. He refuses to let her sit at the bar proper, though, so Lúcio and Hana seat themselves at a table by the far wall.

Drink in hand, Hanzo takes a moment to relax in his customary seat. The vase behind the counter holds freesias today. Beside it, where it always is, sits the cowboy hat. 

The bar is livelier than normal--probably since it is the weekend--so McCree and Reinhardt are busy serving up drinks at the bar while Lena takes care of the tables. Even so, it is not so crowded or loud that Hanzo feels uncomfortable; he is still able to hear the usual country music playing and, more importantly, himself think.

“Jesse, gonna take a quick break now, if ya don’t mind,” Lena says, popping over.

“‘Course,” McCree replies easily. Lena smiles at them before skipping out the back door.

“Phew.” McCree stops next to him. “Doin’ alright?” he asks with a smile. Hanzo nods back.

“Hey! Can we get some service over here?” Hana calls.

Hanzo and McCree turn to look over at her table. She waves at them blithely while Lúcio flashes a sheepish smile.

“Why didn’t y’all order b’fore--” McCree starts irritably, then cuts himself off with a scowl. Hanzo can’t help his amused huff.

“Now don’t you encourage her,” McCree admonishes him, but there is no force behind his words. Hanzo just returns with a calm stare. McCree shakes his head and grumbles, “Abominable brat,” before walking out from behind the bar.

Hanzo watches as he stalks over to their table. It is the first time he has seen McCree not behind the bar. He is wearing a black apron around his waist as always, and, below that, cowboy boots and a pair of faded denim jeans that fit him quite nicely; Hanzo finds himself following the long line of them with his eyes. Then, he catches himself and looks away quickly, feeling a flush creeping up his neck.

He also thinks he saw Hana waggle her eyebrows at him, but he is not sure.

 

---

 

Three days later, Hanzo finds McCree in his usual position behind the bar with his sleeves rolled up. He is seated today, sprawled out on a tall stool, boredly throwing darts at the small dartboard on the wall across the room. When he notices Hanzo he perks up a bit, calling out, “Hello!”

Hanzo walks over to the dartboard; there are already a number of darts buried in it, all clustered tightly inside the red circle at the center. He pulls them out and brings them with him to the bar.

“Impressive,” Hanzo remarks. He offers the handful of retrieved darts to McCree.

“Much obliged.” McCree grins at him, slow and sanguine, accepting the darts and placing them next to him.

“Slow day?” Hanzo asks.

McCree lets out a long sigh. “Yeep,” he answers, drawing out the word. “Y’know how it is. Tuesdays.” He casually tosses another dart. It creates a graceful arch in the air then embeds itself dead center in the bullseye.

Hanzo does not actually know how it is but he lets out a sympathetic hum regardless.

“Anywho. What can I do for ya?” McCree asks, turning to him and leaning in close. His brown hair is coming loose from the small ponytail he habitually sports, the longer strands joining the messy bangs framing his face. Hanzo can see faint tired smudges under his eyes, which glint a warm honey-brown in the light, and he looks like he is long overdue for a beard trimming, but other than that he looks cheery enough. “The usual?”

“A whiskey on the rocks, yes,” Hanzo replies, leaving the exact choice of drink up to McCree.

McCree stands. “You got it,” he says with a wink before sauntering over to the liquor shelf. Hanzo watches as he makes the drink with practiced ease then sets it in front of him. “Cheers.”

“Thank you,” Hanzo says. It is a soft, smoky whiskey, just the way he likes it.

McCree goes back to tossing darts, leaning dangerously far back in his stool and throwing with his right hand while propping his left arm on the counter in front of Hanzo for balance.

Hanzo takes the opportunity to subtly examine McCree’s prosthetic arm as he sips his drink, admiring the sleek lines and contours of the polished metal. It is hardly the first time he has seen a prosthetic limb, but McCree’s is of an exceptionally fine make--albeit somewhat unusual, Hanzo thinks, eyeing the borderline-gaudy skull set into the side.

Hanzo pulls his gaze up. With McCree facing the dartboard, he has a view of his profile: strong jaw, straight nose, eyes hooded in concentration. Hanzo supposes he could be called handsome.

If McCree notices or minds his scrutiny, he does not show it. On an impulse, Hanzo grabs one of the darts and makes a toss of his own. They both watch the dart sail through the air and land right next to the others in the center.

McCree whistles and grins at him. “I see you ain’t too bad of a shot yourself, pardner.”

Hanzo feels the beginnings of a smile tug at his mouth before the sound of the door opening and the clicking of heels behind him draws his attention.

A pale, dark-haired woman wearing all black walks towards them, long ponytail swinging behind her. Without sparing him a glance, she sits elegantly two stools down from Hanzo.

“Well, well. If it ain’t Amélie,” McCree drawls, lifting an eyebrow and finally standing up. “Gracin’ us with your presence? To what do I owe this honor?”

The woman gives him a cool look. “McCree. Still your cheeky self, I see,” she replies archly, sliding a card onto the counter. Her voice is cold and accented.

Hanzo watches out of the corner of his eye as she converses with McCree lowly. He cannot make out the words. McCree looks uncharacteristically serious and-- guarded , Hanzo realizes; there is some history there, behind that expression.

Soon, more customers enter and sit down at the other end of the bar; McCree wanders away to attend to them.

Hanzo suddenly feels eyes on him, and turns. The woman is glancing at him sidelong, her gaze uncomfortably sharp and knowing. He tenses. Is about to open his mouth when Lena emerges from a door at back of the bar and bounds over to him.

“Hanzo! Hullo!” Lena greets him cheerily. “Good to see you again, luv.”

He nods at her in response. Notices Amélie’s golden eyes flicker between the two of them thoughtfully.

Lena then turns to the woman, eyebrows shooting up in surprise. “Oh! Amélie! How… unexpected.”

Amélie doesn’t bat an eyelash at the clumsy greeting. “What, not ‘appy to see me?” she asks, brow arching, not seeming offended in the slightest.

“Of course I am!” Lena giggles somewhat nervously. “Thanks for coming in!” Hanzo thinks he sees, briefly, the faintest trace of a smile on Amélie lips, but then it is gone as quickly as it had come.

Hanzo feels a wave of unease wash over him and looks back down at his glass, gripping it tightly. Something about the woman unsettles him, makes his skin crawl. He glances over discreetly. Lena is talking, hip cocked, while Amélie remains mostly silent and expressionless, occasionally sipping her drink--some red-colored cocktail. At some point, Lena says something that makes her roll her eyes and quip a reply.

Eventually Lena zips off, leaving the two of them to sit in an awkward silence. It stretches on for several long minutes, then:

“You seem quite comfortable ‘ere, for one so very far from ‘ome.”

Hanzo freezes at the silky voice, processes the meaning behind the words. He looks over at her. She tilts her head languidly and meets his stare with one of her own, sharp as a knifepoint. Her gaze slides pointedly to the instrument case over his shoulder then back to his face. Something cold and unpleasant settles heavily in the pit of Hanzo’s stomach.

“Oh, don't worry, little bird,” Amélie continues, smoothly. Like the hissing of steel. She runs a slender finger along the lip of her glass, nonchalant. “Your secret is safe with me. I don't much like playing fetch , anyway.”

Hanzo bristles. “I do not know what you are talking about,” he says measuredly, suppressing the sudden fight or flight instinct bubbling up within him. His voice, thankfully, does not waver.

Amélie just blinks once, slow and deliberate. Curves her lips in the slightest of smirks.

“No?” she responds, tone indulgent. “Some’ow I doubt that.”

She takes one last drink from her glass, draining it as McCree walks back over, and stands fluidly.

“Leavin’ so soon?” he asks with a lazy grin.

Amélie somehow manages to appear as if she is looking down her nose at him, despite being several centimeters shorter. “Hmph. I cannot stand to stay in this rat’s ‘ole so long.” She sniffs haughtily. “ Au revoir.”

She leaves without a backwards glance. Lena waves at her as she passes.

After she is gone, Hanzo takes a long sip of his drink, trying not to show how shaken he is. He must not be very successful as McCree immediately turns to him with a concerned expression.

“Y’ alright?” he asks. “She didn’t say anythin’ weird to ya, did she? She can be damn frosty sometimes.”

Hanzo shakes his head. “No. It is nothing,” he replies.

“Can’t for the life o’ me figure out why Lena likes her,” McCree mutters. “‘Rat’s hole’, my ass.”

“Is she a regular here?” Hanzo asks carefully.

McCree snorts. “Somethin’ like that. She comes in every now 'n then. Has been for a while. Always finds a way to be rude about it, no less.”

“Why does she come here if she dislikes this bar?”

McCree grimaces. “Likes the drinks? Who knows,” he replies with a shrug. “Fortunately, she always bolts real quick.”

There is something McCree is not quite telling him--Hanzo can sense it--but he decides not to pry. Instead, he orders another drink to try to quell the restless feeling in his gut.

 

Chapter Text

Hanzo cannot stop thinking about it.

About the Deadeye Saloon. Its location, tucked neatly, almost deliberately, away. The inconspicuousness of the exterior. Its lack of windows.

He thinks, also, of the woman Amélie being there, earlier. Her dangerous countenance, those knowing golden eyes, her unsettling words.

Little bird. I don't much like playing fetch.

Although he has never met her before, he has a sneaking suspicion of who--or what--she truly is. And, the company one keeps does reveal much about the self.

Hanzo swallows. He thinks of McCree and the familiar way he spoke with that woman. His prosthetic arm. Perhaps, also, that remarkable aim he had glimpsed.

He thinks of the few employees there--Lena, Reinhardt, Brigitte-- and how well they seem to know each other and operate together, far beyond what simple coworkers would explain.

Something does not add up. No, that is not quite right--rather, what is adding up is something else entirely.

He pulls out his tablet and unlocks it. It has been a while since he has exercised his unique authorizations.

 

---

 

Hanzo takes two days to think.

Late Thursday evening, he finds himself sitting on the edge of the small bed in his apartment. He stares at the bow he holds in his lap, its weight familiar and soothing in his hands.

He opens the large instrument case next to him and carefully places the bow inside along with his quiver, then closes the lid, snapping it firmly shut and double-checking the closure.

He has no intention of using it--not tonight, at least--but he does not feel safe without it. It has not left his side once in the past two years since he has been on the run, a fugitive of his own past.

His hands still in their motions as a stray thought and a familiar face come to mind.

What would his brother think of him now?

Hanzo shakes his head. Now is no time for sentimental rumination about someone he has not seen in over a decade. He has an objective .

He pulls on his hoodie and jacket then, shouldering the guitar case, steps out the door.

 

 

Hanzo walks into the Deadeye Saloon two minutes before closing.

“Sorry, we’re closed--” McCree starts, cutting off when he sees Hanzo. “Hanzo? You’re here late today.”

Hanzo does not respond. He makes his way to the bar, his steps swift and purposeful and, pulling out a stool, takes a seat.

McCree stops wiping the bar down and turns to fully face him. Gives him a careful once-over. “What’s up?”

“This isn’t truly just a bar, is it?” Hanzo says, deciding to take the upfront approach. “Nor are you a simple bartender.”

McCree’s expression does not change save for the slight narrowing of his eyes in understanding. He says nothing for a weighty moment.

Then he looks at Hanzo squarely and says, “You’re gonna hafta answer me this first: that case o’ yours don’t really hold an instrument, do it?”

Hanzo does not bat an eye. “Not of the musical variety, no,” he replies.

McCree snorts. “Thought not.” He leans back where he stands, arm crossed, and eyes him contemplatively. Hanzo stares back wordlessly. The music has been shut off by now so all that hangs in the air is an eerie silence that stretches on around them.

After several long moments pass, McCree says, calmly, “If you’re here to kill me, couldja let me know first? I’d like to have one last smoke ‘fore I go.” Casual, as if talking about the weather.

Hanzo blinks a couple of times, thrown. Of all the things he had thought McCree would say, he had not been expecting that.

“I didn’t know you smoke,” he says without thinking, then stops. Not the right time. “I mean--no. I am not here to kill you.”

“Oh, good,” McCree says, and relaxes just a tiny bit.

Hanzo furrows his brow. “Also, if I did intend to kill you, your first thought should be to run--or stop me --not take a smoke ,” he continues, tone reproachful.

McCree just shrugs, smiling wryly. “Don’t think I could run from you,” he says cryptically.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means --” McCree stops abruptly. Shakes his head. “Don't matter what it means. You came here for somethin’ else, didn'tcha?”

Hanzo nods curtly. “Yes,” he says simply. “The truth.”

McCree lets out a heavy breath. “Well, ain’t that a doozy to ask o’ a man.” He tosses his dish rag aside and plops himself down the tall stool behind the bar, hunching over the counter on both arms. He searches Hanzo’s face again; evidently, what he sees there satisfies him and he starts.

“As you prob’ly know, I ain’t always been a bartender.”

“Yes. I assumed that you did not come out of the womb in flannel and a black apron,” Hanzo retorts dryly.

McCree lets out a surprised bark of laughter. “Don’t sass me,” he shoots back, mock-scowling. “Anyway,” he continues, sobering, “I used to be somethin’ of a mess. Used to, uh. Dabble in some not-so-savory jobs, way back when. A gun-for-hire kinda deal.”

Hanzo nods. He is not surprised; what little he could dig up of McCree had been suspiciously vague and innocuous--a sure sign that things had, at some point, been carefully hidden.

“Got into some real shit at some point. Was almost smoked out--an' if I had been I woulda been shut away for life, ain’t no doubt about it. And lemme tell ya, that ain’t somethin’ any self-respectin’ kid looks forward to.”

“Wait,” Hanzo interrupts. “How old were you?”

McCree thinks for a moment. “Seventeen, I s’pose.”

Hanzo peers at him. “You were already a hitman when you were seventeen ?”

“Dunno if I coulda been called a ‘hitman’ back then, really. Ran with a gang, mostly. But yeah.” McCree shrugs. “Don’t tell me you of all people are surprised.”

Hanzo narrows his eyes. “What do you--”

“Don’t worry,” McCree says. “Didn’t do no diggin’ ‘bout you or nuthin’. But you look like the type to’ve seen some real shit in your years.”

Hanzo looks away. He cannot argue with that.

“Anyhow,” McCree continues, “I was pretty much taken off the streets by some sympathetic souls who had a use for my talents. A group of ‘em, in fact.”

“Overwatch,” Hanzo says.

McCree looks at him, startled. “How--”

“I did some research,” Hanzo explains, not bothering to elaborate. It is only because of the high levels of clearance to which he has access, thanks to his background, that he had been able to scrounge up any information on the highly secretive organization.

“Right. Well.” McCree clears his throat. “Yeah. It was called Overwatch, 'n it was all underground. Founded by some damn impressive people--ex-mercs, with the right hearts--tryin’ to bring some semblance of order to this crazy city and beyond, behind the scenes.” He fiddles with the sleeve of his red flannel shirt. “Was a real cozy group; less than a dozen o’ us at its core. But that was fine. Worked better that way. We were close-knit. Meshed real well, too.” McCree looks off over Hanzo’s shoulder, staring at nothing but the memories in his head, gaze distant and fond.

“We dabbled in all sorts of things--intel, recon. Hits, if it came down to it. We were real careful to have all our bases covered. As you can prob’ly guess, we had a lotta competition, in a big, chaotic city like this. ‘S partially why we opened this place.” he gestures around them, at the bar.

“As an information-gathering spot,” Hanzo says, realizing. The pieces are, finally, starting to sum up. “A watchpoint, of sorts.”

“Yeah, but also as a point o’ contact, or a hub t’ meet at sometimes. Occasionally a safehouse, if needed.”

Hanzo nods. McCree trails off for a moment, the faraway look still in his eyes, before he blinks and turns to Hanzo.

“In case ya didn’t figure it out already,” he continues, “we uh. Kinda disbanded. Several years ago. This has been mostly just a normal bar since then.”

The Deadeye Saloon could hardly ever be called a ‘normal bar’, Hanzo muses, but he keeps the thought to himself. He lets out a breath; his suspicions had been correct, after all.

McCree props his cheek against his flesh hand and observes Hanzo. “You’re a merc, I take it?”

Hanzo fiddles with the strap of his instrument case. He had prepared himself for this--for revealing information about himself in turn should he deem McCree trustworthy enough--but it did not make it any easier. “I suppose I am, yes. I have not been one for very long, though. Not long ago, I had a--falling out, of sorts. With my... family.” Hanzo can tell McCree knows without saying, by the weight behind his words, that it was no mere familial ‘falling out’.

“In Japan?”

“Yes. So, I left, and have been traveling ever since for two years. I came to this city because I figured it would be easy to keep a low profile here.”

McCree snorts. “You figured right,” he says, then adds, thoughtfully, “D’you think anyone’s…”

“There is no doubt they had people looking for me. Perhaps there still are, though I have not detected anyone in a long time.” He meets McCree’s eyes. Smirks minutely. “I am good at covering my tracks.”

McCree gives him a wry grin in return. “Somehow that don’t surprise me.” He leans back slightly and crosses his arms over his chest. “Well, if you're tryin’ ta keep your head low, ya came to the right place.” He winks. “And the right man.”

Hanzo looks at him, not quite comprehending. McCree shrugs. “Jus’ ‘cause Overwatch ain’t a thing anymore don’t mean I don’t still know the right people. Plus, as you’ve prob’ly realized, this place’s ‘bout as low-key as it gets ‘round here.”

Hanzo is not so sure but McCree sounds confident enough so he humors him.

A thought strikes him. “So you were with Overwatch until just a few years ago?” Hanzo asks. “That is… quite a long time.”

“Yessiree,” McCree answers. “A real long while. Pretty much grew up with 'em.” He sighs. “We respected each other--still do. It was a support network, built on trust. Kinda like a family.” McCree glances toward Hanzo. “In the good way,” he amends dryly.

Hanzo huffs but does not take offense. “And where are the other members now?”

McCree pauses. “Here ‘n there. Left, or otherwise missin’.” Hanzo does not miss the ways his eyes darken at the last part of the sentence but he decides not to push. That is a story for another day. They lapse into a brief silence.

“Well, now that’s outta the way--” McCree straightens suddenly. Uncrosses his arms. “Wanna get dinner?” he asks, and grins.

Hanzo stares at him blankly. “It’s 1 AM.”

“So?” McCree just looks at him. “Don’t tell me it’s past yer bedtime.”

Hanzo bristles. “Of course not.”

“Ya ate already, then?” McCree asks.

“Well, no--”

“Then it’s settled. We’re grabbin’ some grub.” McCree bounces to his feet gleefully, then pauses, expression sombering. “Unless ya don’t want to. That’s jus’ fine too,” he adds seriously.

“No, I--” Hanzo shakes himself and stands too. “It’s fine. Food is fine.”

“Great!” McCree grins broadly. Hanzo has lost all semblance of an understanding of what is happening anymore. “Let's go. I know a nice place 'round here we can walk to.”

He grabs the cowboy hat from next to the vase and walks around the side of the counter, taking off his apron in the process. Hanzo can see now that he is wearing jeans again and--

“Does your belt say ‘BAMF’?” he blurts out incredulously.

“Oh, uh. ‘S somethin’ of a bet I made, way back.” McCree rubs the back of his neck with his mechanical arm, looking sheepish.

Hanzo peers at him suspiciously. “... Is it.”

“It is!” McCree insists. Hanzo remains unconvinced.

“Anyway,” McCree says, a bit too quickly, “I’m surprised ya even know what it means.”

Hanzo scoffs. “Of course I know,” he says loftily. “I use the internet.”

McCree scratches his head. “Right. Well. Gimme a minute to close up real quick.”

Hanzo watches curiously as he makes a quick round of the place, then locks the front door. He walks back to Hanzo and all but herds him out the back door, grabbing his jacket and turning the lights off as he goes.

 

 

Hanzo feels lost.

This is not how he had expected the evening to go. He did not know what he had expected, really, but it certainly wasn’t to end up sitting in some greasy diner in the dead hours of the evening with McCree eyeing him delightedly from across a, frankly quite unsanitary, table.

Hanzo looks around the grubby establishment, nose wrinkled in distaste, before daintily picking up the scrap of laminated paper that is the menu, likely chancing exposure to several different diseases in the process.

“Oh c’mon now, don’t look so glum, princess,” McCree says, grinning broadly. His messy hair is down from its ponytail and now his hat sits jauntily atop his head. “There ain’t a lotta choices for fine dinin’ this late at night.”

Hanzo sniffs. “Yes, but did it have to be this choice?” He shifts in his seat. To his dismay, he thinks he is sticking .

“Hey, the food’s here ain’t bad. Trust me.” McCree responds breezily, scanning his own menu.

Hanzo pauses at that. Looks over at McCree thoughtfully. How many times had the man come here, or some other random place, after work for a bite to eat--just like this, but alone?

Hanzo shakes the thought. He himself is no stranger to being alone , anyway.

Before he can open his mouth to retort, a bored waitress shows up to take their order.

McCree, predictably, orders a burger with, to Hanzo’s slight disgust, a side of large chili cheese fries. Hanzo fumbles with his own order, settling on some sort of omelette.

After the waitress leaves, they are left sitting in a somewhat awkward silence. Well, awkward for Hanzo at least; McCree seems content enough to just watch him. Speaking of which…

Hanzo coughs. “I must say I… do not understand you,” he starts hesitantly.

“Oh? Why’s that?”

“You so easily reveal your past to someone you hardly know, whom you suspect may have been sent to kill you, no less--and then you ask them out for food immediately afterward. Have you no sense of self-preservation?”

“Well, ya said you ain't here ta kill me, right? And I believe ya,” McCree says, eyes mirthful.

Hanzo furrows his brow. “That is... careless, to say the least.”

McCree shrugs. “Let's jus’ say I got a gut feelin’ I can trust ya,” he says easily, smirking. “And my gut ain’t let me down so far.”

Hanzo thinks McCree must be either exceptionally perceptive or a serendipitous fool. It is probably the latter.

“Anyhow, I enjoy yer company.” Hanzo looks up, surprised. McCree is looking over the table at him, expression amused but sincere.

“But you don't know anything about me.”

“Well, that's why we're here, ain't it? 'Sides, I figured you'd tell me whenever you're ready whatever it is you're runnin’ from. Whatever it is you're searchin’ for.”

Hanzo stares at him for a moment before looking down at his hands, unsure of how to react. The man’s intuition truly is remarkable.

He is saved the trouble of figuring out how to respond by their food arriving.


Incredibly, McCree demolishes his meal in what seems to be the span of minutes; Hanzo watches it happen with his own eyes in horrified fascination.

McCree had been right, after all--despite the diner’s appearance, its food is surprisingly decent. However, Hanzo finds that he has little appetite and he ends up giving half of his mushroom omelette to the other man.

They make simple conversation. He learns that McCree is just one year younger than him, and that he smokes cigarillos, has for years and years now, and that the acoustic guitars hanging in the back of the bar belong to him and he plays them, sometimes. Hanzo tells him that his favorite drink is not whiskey but tea, and about the the cherry blossoms during springtime in his hometown, and that he does in fact play an instrument but it is not the guitar (it is the violin, though he has not touched one in many years now).

He finds out that McCree likes to frequent the shooting range, and that there is an underground one that he particularly favors. When Hanzo asks about it, McCree offers to take him there sometime. Hanzo divulges that his instrument case holds his bow, and that he carries it with him everywhere, and, yes, he is a ‘pretty damn good shot’ with it.

McCree offers to pay for his meal since he had pretty much eaten all of it for him anyway, ya rabbit . Hanzo bristles at being called a rabbit but acquiesces nonetheless.

It is surprisingly comfortable, Hanzo realizes. The sentiment is particularly unexpected considering their circumstances.

Afterward, the two of them step out of the diner into the chilly autumn night. Right before they part ways Hanzo stops short and turns to McCree, tilting his head up to meet his eyes.

“Thank you for dinner,” Hanzo says, pausing briefly before adding, enunciating each word clearly, “‘Bad Ass Mother F--’”

“You’re never gonna let me live that down, are ya?” McCree interrupts him before he can finish the sentence.

Hanzo just smirks at him, and leaves.

 

Chapter Text

“Are you gonna show up every Saturday?”

Hana smirks. “It’s nice to see you too, Jesse,” she says instead of answering, then blows a bubble with her gum.

Lúcio rubs his head. “Sorry man. Guess she can’t stay away from this place. It's got cool vibes.”

Somehow McCree doubts that’s the reason she keeps returning, but he bites his tongue.

“Hey, you two. Welcome back,” Brigitte greets them cheerfully as she passes, balancing a tray loaded with an array of drinks and cocktails in one hand. She’s wearing a black tank top and dark jeans, her hair pulled back as usual, long bangs falling loosely around her face.

McCree shakes his head at her in disbelief. “You too, Brigitte?” he says mournfully. “I thought you were s’posed to be the voice of reason. Am I the only one who takes the fact that this is a bar seriously?”

She just throws him an amused look as she walks off.

“Man, I keep tellin’ ya,” Lúcio says to him. “You gotta let me play some of my mixes here sometime.”

McCree frowns. “What's wrong with the music right now?” The dulcet blend of acoustic guitar and honeyed voices creates a warm and relaxing backdrop to the hum of the bar. At least, he thinks so.

“What's wrong?” Hana cuts in. “Hate to break it to you, old man, but it's boring .”

“Country ain’t borin’! It's classic.” He reels back, drawing himself up defensively.

“What's so classic about some sad dude plucking a guitar?” she rolls her eyes. “Next you're gonna tell us about how you were born in the wrong era, or whatever.”

“Now look here, young lady--”

Lúcio interjects before things can get too heated. “Whoa, whoa, man,” he says placatingly, “I'm sure she means no offense.” Hana sticks out her tongue from behind his back at McCree, who bristles. “And nothin’s wrong. All I'm sayin’ is maybe it'd be cool to shake things up a bit, yanno?” He grins winningly at him.

McCree sighs. Maybe the kid has a point. “I’ll think on it,” he acquiesces, then is promptly distracted by Hanzo walking through the door.

“Howdy,” he calls, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the way his heart skipped a beat at the sight of him. Hana and Lúcio give the man matching waves as he approaches.

Hanzo nods at them and settles himself onto a padded stool. He’s wearing the same dark jacket, though he’s gone without his hoodie today. As always, his black hair is up in a tidy ponytail--save for that lock of hair sweeping over his right eye--and his beard is neat and trimmed.

“Well ain’t this a pleasant surprise,” McCree remarks. “Wasn’t expectin’ to see ya back so soon.”

“Yes, well. I did not get the chance to have my drink on Thursday,” Hanzo replies simply.

Hana perks up. “Thursday? What happened Thursday?” she asks, looking between the two of them curiously.

McCree glances at Hanzo; the man is busying himself with setting the instrument case containing his bow on the ground next to his feet. Good, McCree thinks; it can’t be very comfortable lugging that thing around all the time.

“Nuthin’ happened. We jus’ grabbed some grub, ‘s all,” he replies curtly. Before Hana can continue, he fixes her with a steely glare. “Now get to a table or get out.”

Hana pouts, rolling her eyes, but grudgingly slides off her stool and heads to a nearby table, dragging Lúcio with her.

“They are back again,” Hanzo remarks, watching them leave.

McCree sighs heavily. “You’re tellin’ me,” he grumbles, turning to him. The other man is wearing an expression of faint amusement, the corners of his lips curved ever so slightly upward. The expression looks good on him; compared to his usual stoic countenance, he looks... softer. Gentler. McCree swallows thickly and quickly reaches for a clean glass. “The usual?”

When Hanzo nods, McCree steps away for a moment to grab ice and a bottle from the shelf, then turns back. The smile is gone from Hanzo’s face, replaced with a look of contemplation.

“How do you know them?” he asks as McCree pours the drink, referring to Hana and Lúcio, McCree assumes.

“Those two? Met ‘em through Lena, who met ‘em at some concert or the like. She’s the one who mentioned this place to ‘em,” he says. “Lúcio’s a DJ, as ya know, 'n Hana’s some kinda streamer. Apparently she’s pretty well-known, not that I'd know. Same goes for Lúcio.”

Hanzo hums, accepting his drink when McCree hands it to him with a quiet thanks , and raises the glass to his lips, somehow managing to make even that small motion appear graceful and dignified. His eyes slide almost shut as he takes a sip; McCree watches the downy sweep of his dark eyelashes on his cheeks as he does so, then fumbles for a dish towel.

“So,” McCree begins.

At that moment, Lena pops over. “Sorry to interrupt,” she says, smiling bashfully at them. “Jesse, luv, you’re wanted at table six.”

McCree looks over at said table. Naturally, Hana is there, waving merrily back at him.

“Oh, for the love of--” McCree bites back the rest of his exclamation. “Pardon me a minute,” he grits out, tossing his towel aside and making a beeline for the table. Lena and Hanzo watch him leave, trading amused looks.

McCree stops in front of Hana and Lúcio’s table, drawing up to his full height. “What can I do for ya?” he says, looking down at Lúcio with a friendly smile and then at Hana without.

“I'll take a sangria, if you got that,” says Lúcio, who at least has the decency to look sheepish.

“One sangria,” McCree echoes, “you got it.”

“I'll have the same,” chirps Hana.

McCree looks at her flatly. “An' a fruit punch,” he drawls, deadpan. “Anythin’ else?”

“Yes,” Hana says. She leans forward accusingly. “Why didn’t you tell us you two went on a date?”

McCree huffs, annoyed, and crosses his arms. Decides to humor her so she'd drop the subject. “It wasn’t a date . He jus’ came in late so we dropped by an ol’ diner nearby for some chow, ‘n had a good chat, and, uh. I bought him dinner.” Hana raises an eyebrow. “Only ‘cause I ate most of it!” he quickly adds.

“Sounds like a date to me,” says Lúcio unhelpfully.

“Didja kiss him goodnight?” Hana asks cheekily, twirling a lock of her hair around her finger.

McCree splutters. “‘Course not! ‘Cause it wasn’t a date !” He can’t stop himself from thinking about kissing Hanzo, though. How would he react? Would he push him away? Hit him? Kiss him back?

He realizes too late that he’d zoned out just the slightest. Lúcio and Hana look up at him knowingly.

“You've got it bad, old man,” Hana says, sounding far too smug for her own good.

“Shut it,” he growls.

She just snaps her gum at him, the impudent little devil.

 

---

 

McCree wakes up on Sunday to bright light streaming in from between shuttered blinds into his eyelids. He flinches. Rolls onto his side. Gives up and kicks the sheets off, then sits up on the edge of the bed. A quick glance at the clock next to the bed informs him it’s noon. Not 3 PM--that’s an improvement, he supposes. He stands with a groan and staggers groggily to the bathroom.

After taking a quick shower and freshening up, he pulls on a pair of sweats and walks into the small kitchen to brew himself some caffeine. Several minutes later, he has hot, blessed coffee in a clean mug--a red one that says ‘BAMF’ in yellow letters, courtesy of Fareeha many Christmases ago--and a bowl of cereal without milk. He really needs to do a grocery run, he thinks as he shovels dry cheerios into his mouth.

He thumbs through his phone as he eats; no messages, as usual. Absently, he wonders what the best way to get Hanzo’s number without seeming too desperate would be, then catches himself in that thought and shakes it the best he can out of his head. He can't believe himself--a 37-year old man acting like a damn schoolboy with a crush. He quickly downs the rest of his cereal and coffee, placing the empty dishes in the sink for later.

Afterward, he finds himself prowling around his apartment, feeling strangely restless. By habit, he pulls out a cigarillo from his leather jacket hanging on the door, then leans on his elbows out the window to light it. It’s a crisp, clear day, complete with blue sky and singing birds. Sunlight spills liquid across the buildings and streets nearby; below, the trees on his block are just starting to change color, the first fiery tinges of gold and crimson speckling the leaves.

The cool air nips at his bare skin and chills the metal of his left arm. He takes a long drag from his cigarillo, letting the hot smoke of it infuse his mouth and roll around the back of his throat, spicy and burning. He holds it there a moment, savoring, then releases it all in one languid exhale, breathing out the smoke in a stream in front of him. The wisps briefly dance, silver and curling, before the breeze carries the shreds of them away.

The act grounds him somewhat, helps settle his hands and his thoughts.

He glances back inside. The photograph on his dresser catches the light, reflecting it back in his eyes so he’s forced to squint. He breathes out heavily. Runs a hand through his drying hair and takes one more puff of his cigarillo before stubbing it out on the grey concrete of the wall outside his window and ducking back inside.

He pulls on a worn cotton t-shirt, changes out of his ratty sweatpants and into a less ratty pair of sweatpants, then slips into an old pair of sneakers that he digs out of the closet. He grabs his jacket with his keys and wallet and is out the door in less than five minutes.

 

 

A short while later, McCree walks in through the doors of the gym a couple blocks down. He greets the receptionist there, scanning his membership card--which, by some small miracle, is still valid--and heads down a familiar set of stairs to the lower floor.

As he makes his way down the hallway, a tall, muscled woman in a black tank top exits out of the weight room ahead of him, a towel draped around her broad shoulders. He stops short when he sees her--he’d recognize that pink shock of hair anywhere. When the woman notices him, her brows rise and a wide grin appears on her face.

“Hey, cowboy! Long time no see!” She strides toward him with a smile.

“Well I’ll be. If it ain’t Zarya,” he greets her warmly, looking her over. “Fit as usual, I see.”

“And you’re as scruffy as ever, McCree,” Zarya responds good-naturedly. “You still running that bar of yours? The-- what was it again?”

“The Deadeye Saloon,” he answers, grinning. “Sure am. You gonna drop by soon?”

“Heh, maybe I will.” She gives his arm a friendly punch as if to punctuate her statement. With great effort, McCree manages to hide his wince.

“It is good to see you,” she continues. She looks him up and down then adds, jokingly, “You’re looking old !”

“Thanks,” he retorts wryly. “I certainly am feelin’ that way sometimes.”

She gives him another tap on the arm. “It’s no problem. You just need some exercise and you’ll feel good as new!”

“”S why I’m here,” he replies easily.

“Good.” She grins. “Maybe I’ll see you around more often, then, da ?”

He reaches to tip his hat, remembers that he’s not wearing it, and tips his head instead. “That’s the hope.” He moves to the side to let her step past him.

“Remember, you still owe me that wrestling match, cowboy,” Zarya calls over her shoulder as she leaves.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he promises. Though he’d probably need to hit the gym a couple more times first.

After they part, he heads toward the punching bags hung in the back, tying his hair back and taping up his flesh hand in the process.

He stops in front of one of the bags and just breathes for several moments, trying to relax into the right stance. It’s been a while since he’s done this. He shifts, then throws a few testing punches to get back in the flow of things. Eventually, his hits speed up as muscle memory kicks in and he falls back into a familiar rhythm.

Chin up, kid. You're not gonna knock a twig flat hangin’ your head like that.

Years of training and experience surface to the forefront of his mind, as do words he’s ingrained deep and repeatedly in his memory. Words that have settled into his mind over the years like the grooves that water carves into rock, that have become as much part of him as his own thoughts.

Keep your stance low, and your hits lower.

He grimaces. Well, maybe not all of them.

He keeps his breathing controlled and his hits swift and hard, even as sweat soaks through the thin material of his shirt and his muscles burn with the strain. It feels good , losing himself in the steady tempo of jabs and swings and letting the world around him fall away as he narrows his focus to the red target in front of him. His mind clears; the world shifts into sharpened clarity.

He’d forgotten just how much he misses this.

Before he realizes it, two hours have passed. When he stops he does so grudgingly, stepping away and shaking himself with some difficulty out of the haze of concentration.

The workout leaves him satisfyingly exhausted yet refreshed, feeling better than he has in a while.

 

 

That night, he dreams of a concrete rooftop illuminated only by the glow of a waxing moon. The solid weight of his Peacekeeper sits reassuringly in the grip of his right hand. His armored vest is a familiar pressure around his torso.

A low, indistinct murmur in a familiar voice he hasn’t heard in a long time drifts into his ear from his left. He glances to the side; in the dark, he can barely see his companion crouched next to him, just the silhouette of short, spiky hair and the glint of a cocky grin. They share a quiet chuckle as they watch the shadowy street below.

He tilts his head back. The moon hangs heavy in the sky, huge and pale and luminous. In front of it, backlit by the glow, he thinks he makes out the faint flicker of cherry blossoms in the wind.

 

---

 

Predictably, Lúcio and Hana show up at the Deadeye Saloon again the following Saturday, as does Fareeha, who brings someone McCree has not seen before--a woman with long dark hair, dark eyes, and a serious, almost severe, expression.

Fareeha returns Reinhardt’s wave from across the bar as she and her companion walk up to McCree.

“Jesse, this is Satya,” Fareeha introduces them as they seat themselves at the bar. “Satya, Jesse. He’s the one who runs this place.”

“Howdy. Thanks for comin’ in,” McCree says amiably.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Satya replies, giving him a regal nod. She takes in the bar with an appraising, sweeping gaze.

“How d’you two know each other?” McCree asks. He chooses not to comment on how Satya’s gaze turns disdainful upon seeing Hana and Lúcio’s table before she promptly looks away, nose upturned.

“Work,” Fareeha replies, apparently oblivious to the exchange. “Satya’s an architech. She’s assisting us with an assignment.”

“I see,” McCree says. “Well, what can I get for you lovely ladies?”

“The usual rum for me,” Fareeha replies.

Satya hesitates for a beat, then says, “I will have whatever she’s having.”

“You got it.”

McCree glances subtly over at Lúcio and Hana’s table as he prepares the drinks. He doesn’t miss how Lúcio appears to be sending uncharacteristically hostile glances at Satya’s back. Best not to stick his nose in, he muses.

He places the glasses of rum in front of the two women, who seem to be engaged in some work-related conversation now.

“Thanks, Jesse.” Fareeha pauses mid-conversation to flash him a smile.

“You bet,” he responds with a smile of his own. “Jus’ holler if ya need anythin’.”

He wanders off to give them their space. Soon after, Brigette stops by and distracts him with an order of three cocktails. He’s so caught up with making drinks that he almost misses Hanzo walking in.

“Evenin’,” McCree greets him as he sits down. He can’t help the grin that unconsciously breaks out on his face.

“Good evening,” Hanzo replies. McCree swears that the man had smiled back.

The two make idle conversation as McCree pours his drink. After, Hanzo lapses into silence, seemingly content to sip his whiskey and soak in the ambience of the bar in quiet as usual.

McCree goes back to filling orders, whistling idly to the melody of the music playing from the bar speakers. Not ten minutes later, he spots a familiar blond head making its way towards the bar. “Angie!” he calls cheerfully. Hanzo reflexively turns to look at who he’s talking to.

“Jesse, hello,” Angela greets him with a smile when she reaches him. She glances at Hanzo curiously “And who is this?”

“This is Hanzo,” McCree says by way of introduction. “Hanzo, this is Angela.”

“Nice to meet you,” she says pleasantly. Hanzo nods at her politely.

She turns back to McCree. “How are you?”

“Great now that you’re here.” He winks, then adds, “Fareeha’s here, if ya don’t know.”

“Yes,” she replies. “I’m here to meet her, actually.” She shoots Hanzo another inquisitive glance but is soon distracted by Fareeha waving at her from the end of the bar. “Ah, there she is. Excuse me,” she says.

Angela begins to walk away, then stops short as if a sudden thought has occurred to her. “Oh, Jesse,” she starts.

“Yeah?”

She pauses. She glances again at Hanzo, though the man doesn’t seem to notice, having turned his attention back to his drink, and seems to reconsider. “Ah, never mind. I’ll tell you later,” she says, then walks off.

“Is she a friend of yours?” Hanzo asks.

McCree’s gaze jerks back down to him, somewhat surprised by the other man speaking up. “Ah, yeah. Angela’s an ol’ friend o’ mine. We go way back.”

Hanzo hums and falls silent again as he returns to his drink, expression unreadable.

McCree doesn’t get the luxury of dwelling on it as he’s soon tasked with another order, this time courtesy of Lena. As he goes through the familiar, easy motions of mixing drinks he looks out over the bar fondly. The entire space seems alight with an ember-soft glow--just warm enough to be cozy, the lighting comfortably dim, the music smooth and mellow--filled with the pleasant sounds of conversation and laughter.

At some point, Reinhardt and Brigitte join Fareeha, Satya, and Angela at the end of the bar, making conversation during a lull in activity; Lena stops by Hana and Lúcio’s table, chatting animatedly with them.

McCree feels a warm contentedness set in. Nights like these, surrounded by friends and the lively bustle of the bar, never fail to put him in a good mood. Not to mention--he glances over to where Hanzo is slowly savoring his drink close by. As if sensing his gaze, the other man meets his eyes, arching a brow. McCree winks at him; Hanzo rolls his eyes in return, but otherwise doesn’t seem too bothered by the gesture. Although the moment is brief, it’s enough to kickstart McCree’s smile into a full-blown grin.

 

 

Oddly enough, McCree catches Angela giving Hanzo strange glances throughout the evening. Hanzo, thankfully, seems too occupied with his thoughts to pay her any attention. Eventually, he sets his empty glass aside and stands. McCree is at his side in a moment.

“Leavin’ already?” he asks.

Hanzo nods, shouldering his instrument case. “Yes.” He pauses for just a moment then adds, “I… will see you later.”

“I’ll hold ya to that, pardner,” McCree answers, grinning in delight. Hanzo gives him another small curve of his lips--it’s almost too much for his poor heart to handle, McCree thinks, having Hanzo smile at him twice in a single evening--before walking out.

He looks back down at the glass he’s polishing after the door closes behind him and tries to will the dopey grin off his face.

The bar’s activity has mostly wound down by now; most of the patrons, including Hana and Lúcio, have left. McCree busies himself with wiping down the counter and cleaning up. He looks up when Angela walks over and takes a seat in front of him.

“What’s up, Angie?” he asks. “You had somethin’ to tell me?”

“Yes,” she says, then trails off.

McCree turns to her, giving her his full attention. “Somethin’ on your mind?” he asks warily.

“That man… You said his name was Hanzo, was it?”

“Yeah. He’s one o’ the new regulars here. Didn’t get a last name.”

She bites her lip thoughtfully. “And where is he from?”

“Uh. Somewhere in Japan,” he says. He’s not quite sure where Angela is going with this. “Some city called--Hanamura, I think.”

Her eyes widen. “Hanamura?”

He nods. “Why, ya know him?”

She meets his eyes and then, inexplicably, levels him with a forceful glare.

He recoils instinctively. “What is it?” he asks.

“I didn’t think you were this thick,” she tells him, rather rudely in his opinion. She gives him a look, like she thinks he’s the world’s biggest idiot--which, granted, she does fairly often, but still--crossing her arms and shaking her head accusingly. “Your friend leaves to travel for two years and you forget all about him.”

Time slows, and something clicks in his head, like the tick of the clock on the hour or the cocking of a gun.

“Hold up… Ya mean--Ya don't think Hanzo’s his --”

Angela stares at him levelly. “Why don’t you ask him yourself?”

McCree blinks, uncomprehending. “What?”

“He’s back, Jesse. As of yesterday.”

 

Chapter Text

Hanzo drops by the saloon late Tuesday night just before closing time, collar turned up against the wind. He has resigned himself to the knowledge that he cannot keep away--from the bar or its owner.

The exterior of the bar is dark when he arrives; faint light spills from underneath the crack of the heavy door. The moon is full and pale, its soft light interrupted periodically by the passage of the clouds.

He gingerly pushes open the door. To his surprise, when he enters he sees McCree talking to a dark-haired man at the bar whose back is to the door. The rest of the space is otherwise empty, lights dimmed, music off.

As he walks towards them cautiously, McCree spots him over the man’s shoulder and starts , looking like a deer in headlights.

Hanzo hesitates at this. A split moment later, the man twists to look back.

Hanzo freezes, stunned. It’s--

That spiked hairstyle. An achingly familiar face. Those same expressive brown eyes, now wide with surprise and recognition.

--Genji.

He looks just as he did ten years ago. Older, certainly, and his hair is no longer that atrocious shade of green he always favored. But there is no doubt that it is him , in a casual grey bomber jacket and dark jeans.

The shock of it hits him like a blow to the chest, squeezes the air from his lungs like a vice, sends him reeling.

Genji mouths, brother. Hanzo cannot hear it over the sudden roar of rushing blood in his ears.

He stumbles backwards. Too late he notices that McCree is already moving towards him.

Hanzo hesitates for another moment, then turns and flees, ignoring the call of “Wait!” from behind him.

He does not get very far out the heavy door. For someone who generally meanders everywhere with all the urgency of a sluggish tumbleweed, the man is astonishingly quick on his feet when he wants to be.

“Hanzo, hold up!”

At the use of his name, Hanzo falters for a precious moment. It is enough for McCree to catch up to him and grab his wrist with his flesh hand, the sudden contact scorching against Hanzo’s skin like a brand.

“Release me,” Hanzo snarls. He just barely suppresses the knee-jerk reflex to break out of the hold, mostly because it would likely dislocate the other man’s arm.

“Not ‘til ya hear me out,” McCree growls back, planting his feet stubbornly.

Hanzo clenches his teeth. “Yes? Well let’s hear it, then,” he spits.

McCree hesitates. Searches Hanzo’s face as he searches for the right words.

When he says nothing for several long seconds, Hanzo jerks against his grip impatiently and reconsiders the benefits of twisting McCree’s arm clean out of its socket.

“Y’ weren't s’posed to find out this way,” McCree blurts out.

Hanzo’s eyes widen, then narrow dangerously. He tenses at the sharp sting of humiliation. You knew--,” he hisses through grit teeth, low and furious.

“Not ‘til last weekend!” McCree interjects quickly. “He’s been gone two years, only got back a couple o’ days ago. An' I only realized after Angela confronted me ‘bout it. I was gonna tell ya next time ya came back.”

Hanzo stares at him in disbelief. “Are you thick ?”

“Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been called that this week,” McCree replies, then sighs and adds, quieter, “He jus’ wants to talk, Hanzo.”

Hanzo scans his face; McCree meets his intense gaze squarely and unabashedly. Hanzo can detect nothing but sincerity from the man. His initial anger is rapidly draining from him now, leaving only shaky apprehension and a bone-deep fatigue.

They stare at each other for a long, still moment. A chill wind blows down the alleyway, picking up stray leaves as it goes, biting against his cheek.

“Come back in?” McCree asks finally, imploring.

Hanzo swallows thickly. Belatedly, he realizes McCree is still tightly gripping his wrist. The other man seems to notice this at that same moment as he suddenly releases Hanzo’s hand as if burned. The ring where his fingers had encircled Hanzo’s skin tingles faintly in the cold air.

Hanzo forces himself to take a steady breath in, then out, and thinks of Genji's surprised face, so strange yet unchanged after ten years. Of his eyes, huge in the dim light, their depth shining with some emotion Hanzo could not place in the moment. Of the way he had said ‘brother’, naturally and without thought.

Of a retreating back and the sakura in springtime.

He turns, then, steeling himself, walks wordlessly past McCree back into the bar.

 

 

To his credit, Genji does not blink twice when Hanzo walks through the door the second time, not stopping this time until he reaches the bar. He does, however, glance at Hanzo's instrument case warily.

Hanzo seats himself at the stool beside him and carefully, deliberately sets the case down on the ground next to him.

“I am glad to see you are well, brother,” Genji says after a brief pause, as if Hanzo had not just dashed out the door at the sight of him not ten minutes ago.

“... Likewise,” Hanzo responds stiffly. It is the truth, but--he chances another glance at his brother’s profile. Genji turns to him and offers him a hesitant smile. Hanzo knows he must be gaping; it has not sunk in quite yet, the fact that he is once more face to face with his brother after ten years, here of all places.

A strained silence settles in. McCree has walked back around to stand behind bar, facing them; he crosses his arms and assesses the two men sitting tensely in front of him.

“Alright, that’s it,” he says abruptly. “Don't move a muscle.” Without explanation, he strides into a back room.

Hanzo watches him leave in bemusement. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Genji do the same. Moments later, McCree walks back holding a sealed bottle of liquor in his hands and sets it purposefully on the counter.

Hanzo reads the side of the bottle. “Japanese whisky?” He recognizes the label and series as that of a particularly esteemed Japanese distillery.

“Yep. Single malt, single cask. Sparse batch. Usually keep this baby in my reserve in the back, fer special occasions,” McCree explains, voice tinged with pride. Hanzo knows it cannot have been easy for the man to get his hands on this.

He grabs two glasses, placing them in front of the two seated men, then smoothly pops the top of the bottle. “Don’t even think about payin’--‘s on the house.”

Genji grins at the other man. “You always do have the best, don’t you?”

“...Thank you,” Hanzo adds, feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

“‘Course,” McCree replies easily. “Anythin’ for two friends.”

He sets the freshly opened bottle in front of them, then steps back. “I’ll jus’… give ya two some space,” he says awkwardly, making to move away.

“No, it is--”

“Wait--”

McCree stops in his tracks at the synchronized outburst.

Hanzo clears his throat and tries to grab at words. “Are you not the bartender--and this, your liquor? Is it not your duty to serve it to us?” He does not turn his head to look at Genji, who he knows must be shooting him an amused look.

McCree stares, then shakes his head ruefully and reaches for the bottle. “Can’t argue with that.”

As he pours the whisky, Genji turns to Hanzo. “I did not know you two knew each other,” he says, the ice seemingly broken.

Hanzo finally turns to face him, albeit uncertainly. “I could say the same for you.”

Genji snorts softly and answers, “Jesse has been a close friend of mine for a long time.”

“I see.” Hanzo does not miss how he calls McCree by his first name. Familiar .

“We were in Overwatch together,” McCree adds, handing them their glasses. He meets Genji’s eyes when the other man turns to look at him in surprise. If Hanzo were a less observant man, he would have missed the almost imperceptible nod McCree gives Genji.

“Yes,” his brother responds a beat later.

Overwatch, Hanzo thinks. Of course. He wraps his fingers around the cool glass in his hand, then takes an experimental sip of the honey-amber liquid. The taste of the vintage whisky is fuller and more complex compared to the usual whiskey McCree serves him. Spicy and fruity at once, rolling smooth and warm down his throat; in its wake, the faint traces of plum and cherry linger pleasantly on his tongue. He can feel his muscles relaxing already.

Genji drinks from his own glass, then abruptly says to McCree, “I cannot believe you did not once mention me to him.”

McCree holds up his hands. “Whoa, whoa--how was I s’posed to know Hanzo was the brother ya talked about? It ain’t like ya ever said his name or nuthin’.” He turns to Hanzo, “And you never mentioned your family much neither, much less a brother.”

“You talked about me?” Hanzo cannot help but ask.

Genji looks away as if embarrassed. “On occasion,” he admits, taking another sip of whisky.

“When I... left, ten years ago, I wandered,” he continues. “Eventually my travels led me here a year later, where I found Overwatch--or rather, they found me. I aligned with their goals and philosophy and I grew to have much respect for its members. They took me in, and I stayed here ever since, even after the group officially disbanded.

“I was fortunate.” He glances sidelong at Hanzo with a small, wry smile. “Overwatch helped me cover my tracks, those years. To stay low.”

Hanzo starts. His brother’s eyes are warm, his expression open. “How can you tell me this so easily?”

“Jesse told me,” Genji explains, “of your ‘falling out’ with the Shimada- gumi .”

Hanzo glares at McCree, who flashes him a sheepish smile and refills both their cups as if in apology.

“I could be lying,” Hanzo says sharply. “You should not be so naïve as to believe everything you hear.”

Genji just laughs lightly. “You always did love to lecture, didn't you, brother?”

Hanzo bristles. “I am serious, Genji. I--”

“And besides, do you think I would not have interest in the wellbeing of my own brother? I know of the state of the Shimada- gumi , and I know you left two years ago.”

Hanzo glances away. “You know nothing,” he says bitterly.

“Then tell me,” Genji replies, voice even.

Hanzo’s fingers tense painfully on his glass; his gaze settles on the freesias in the vase--a cheerful splash of pinks, yellows, and purples against the dark mahogany of the walls--but he does not see them. Who is this man in front of him? His brother of ten years ago would have riled up at that, reacted with anger and scathing words of his own. The Genji that sits in front of him now merely gazes upon him calmly.

Hanzo does not think he can answer that question, so he deflects it.

“After I left Hanamura,” he says finally, slowly, “I traveled, same as you had, and ended up in this city not long ago.”

He does not say, I was searching for you . Or, I missed you. Or, I'm sorry. The words are raw and jagged-edged still, and he fears they would tear his throat on the exit.

To Hanzo's relief, his brother does not call him out on his inelegant changing of the the topic.

“It is amazing, isn’t it?” Genji muses wonderingly. “What are the chances that after all these years we would end up in the same city--and in the same bar, no less?”

Hanzo huffs. What are the chances, indeed . Even now, he still cannot believe it. “Perhaps it is fate,” he replies dryly.

“Perhaps.” Genji smiles at him, tentative but sincere. Hanzo tries to smile back; he is not sure if he quite succeeds but his brother seems satisfied enough.

“Unfortunately, I must take my leave for now.” He stands, setting down his emptied glass. Rubs the back of his head like he always did when he was unsure. “I will… see you later, brother.” Take care of yourself, his eyes convey.

Hanzo glowers fleetingly-- think about yourself first-- then nods at him, at a loss for how else to respond. He feels that he should say something but he also cannot think of what it could be.

“Jesse. Thank you,” Genji says to McCree, who briefly inclines his head and gives him a half-salute in return. Without another word, Genji leaves, exiting out the front door with his hands in his pockets.

Afterward, Hanzo sits still for a long moment, shell-shocked, staring at Genji’s cup sitting innocuously on the counter.

“Y’all need to hug it out, or somethin’,” McCree says abruptly. At some point, he had sat down on the tall stool he keeps behind the bar counter.

Hanzo sighs, suddenly exhausted. “It is not so simple.”

“I only know a bit ‘bout the Shimada clan. Dealt primarily in weapons trade, drug trafficking, ‘n what, assassinations?”

Hanzo nods mutely.

“Sure ‘s all icky stuff, but they ain’t the only ones doin’ that kinda thing. ‘S a lucrative business, after all.” McCree pauses. “‘Sides, it ain’t so easy to up n’ leave an empire like that, ‘specially if you’re s’posed to be the heir. Genji told me as much.”

Hanzo grimaces. “Back when my father died and I became head of the Shimada- gumi , I was under constant pressure from the clan elders to do as they wished ‘for the sake of the clan’. I suppose I was little more than a figurehead to them.”

An obedient puppet on strings . He snorts derisively.

“And I… fell into that role, into their whims, all too easily. It was likely their plan all along.”

“You don’t think… they orchestrated your father’s death?” McCree asks slowly. “The clan elders?”

Hanzo looks at him, then back at his drink. “I grew to suspect as much,” he admits. “But there was naught I could do. It was my duty to uphold the Shimada family name, after all.”

McCree leans forward on his arms. Drums his fingers once on the counter thoughtfully. “Genji never did seem to have much good to say about the Shimada clan. An’, I’ll be honest”--he looks Hanzo in the eyes--“Overwatch did have a hand in sabotagin’ some o’ operations that the Shimada clan was involved with over the years. Mostly overseas ones.”

Hanzo nods pensively. “Many of the branches of the Shimada- gumi began falling out of power shortly after, as well. I suspect perhaps my brother had a hand in that, before he left Japan for good.”

He briefly studies the contours of his cup before speaking again.

“I eliminated them.”

“You--what?”

“When I left, I took out of many of the clan elders. Less trouble that way.” Hanzo takes a dainty sip of his drink.

“...’Course ya did.”

“Did you know?” Hanzo continues, almost conversationally, “they wanted me to kill him.”

“Kill--?”

“As the eldest son of the clan head, I always took my responsibilities very seriously. I did not think that there was anything else I could do in the situation.

“I thought it was what I wanted. What was best. But Genji would have none of it. He was always the rebellious type growing up. In many ways, I was… envious of him. Of his freedom. His courage.”

Frustrated and exasperated, of course, but envious all the same. Hanzo had felt strung up, tangled in the threads of his clan’s legacy, but Genji--Genji had never been content to let himself be tied down.

Hanzo swallows. Takes another drink of whisky before continuing, “When I took over for my father, they ordered me to get him in line, or kill him.” He tightens his grip on his glass. “They considered it to be of the utmost necessity. I attempted to warn him, to talk some sense into him for his own good.”

Hanzo chuckles humorlessly, remembering the heated, hurtful confrontation that had resulted.

“Needless to say, he was obstinate. It degenerated into a senseless argument. I... said things I should not have. And then he left immediately afterwards.”

McCree swears lowly. “ Dang . Ain’t that a right mess. They wanted you to murder yer own damn brother.”

“It is impressive that my brother managed to avoid capture,” Hanzo says. “Leaving one’s family--especially one such as the Shimada- gumi --is not an act taken lightly. I suppose it makes more sense now, that he had the aid of Overwatch this regard.”

He peers into his glass pensively. The warm glow of the bar reflects on the golden liquid within, creating glimmers that dance along the surface.

“Granted,” he adds after several moments, “the power of the Shimada- gumi only waned from that point onward, as it has continued to do for the past decade.” Hanzo cannot help the tiniest hint of satisfaction that seeps into his tone as he says this. McCree must pick up on it as the man’s eyes widen in realization.

“Well, I’ll be...” An impressed grin splits his face. “You were sabotagin’ yer own clan from the inside, weren’tcha?”

Hanzo makes a noncommittal noise. How perceptive of him. “Something like that, yes. Of course, I had to be... subtle about it, to say the least.”

McCree leans back in his stool, shaking his head at him with an incredulous smile. “You’re really somethin’, ain’t ya?”

Hanzo quirks his lips faintly, bittersweet, before looking down at the polished countertop.

“My brother is a much braver man than I. He had the courage to leave, years ago, when I did not. It was only after he was gone that I came to see that perhaps I was unsatisfied with my… duty. That maybe I had a purpose in life other than continuing my family's empire.”

“Ya did leave, though.”

“Much later… I should not have stayed so long.”

He thinks of their quarrel ten years ago, which had not left Hanzo’s memory since. Genji's hurt expression, his emotions written clearly across his features as they always were: rage, resentment, betrayal--an image that had haunted him for a decade. The long, solitary years afterward, never quite sure if his brother were alive or dead.

And Hanzo had been the one who had driven him off.

McCree speaks up, gently, rumbling, “He forgives you, ya know. Already had long ago.”

“I do not deserve his forgiveness,” Hanzo bites out.

McCree just shakes his head. “Don't think that's for you to decide, darlin’,” he drawls wryly.

Hanzo has nothing to say to that; he sits in silence with his glass, his brother’s words echoing off the walls of his mind. He thinks of his low voice-- then tell me-- the curve of his eyes in a smile. McCree lets him, standing then busying himself with cleaning up the bar, picking up here than there. At last, Hanzo lets out a tired sigh. “Thank you again for the whisky,” he tells McCree. It had helped to soothe his nerves, at the very least given him something to do with his hands.

“Sure,” the other man replies with a crooked smile, then picks up the bottle with the remnants of the whisky and puts it away in the back room.

“One last question,” McCree pipes up after he returns. When he is met with a look of voiceless resignation on Hanzo's part, he continues:

“You're not gonna hafta kill me now 'cause I know all this, are ya?”

Hanzo tosses back the rest of his drink instead of dignifying that with a response.

 

---

 

Three days later, Hanzo is back at the saloon chatting with McCree and Lena--or, rather, they are chatting at and around him while he sits deep in thought.

The two glance over Hanzo's shoulder when a familiar figure approaches, sliding into the stool next to Hanzo's. Hanzo does not need to turn to know who it is. Genji bids a friendly greeting to McCree and Lena, then offers a more subdued, though no less earnest, one to him.

“Hanzo, good evening.”

Hanzo takes a measured breath, then turns and meets his eyes.

“Hello, brother.”

 

Chapter Text

Weekends are the busiest time of week at the Deadeye Saloon. Even though the bar is relatively obscure, McCree never fails to thank all the saints he can think of for the blessings that are Lena, Reinhardt, and Brigitte--all three of whom are, as always, hard at work this Saturday.

McCree finally gets the opportunity to catch his breath during a lull in activity two hours after the bar opens. The door opens as he's polishing some cups, revealing a figure with bright pink hair and a familiar scar accompanied by a short woman with brown hair pinned up in a bun and thick-framed glasses.

“Zarya! So ya finally showed up,” McCree calls.

“Ho, cowboy!” she greets him. She’s wearing a navy sports jacket over her usual tank top, as well as an adorably fuzzy knitted scarf.

McCree turns to the woman bundled up in a warm blue coat at her side. “An’ Mei, it's a charm ta see ya as always.”

The bespectacled woman giggles. “Hello, Jesse. It is good to see you too!”

“Glad you two could make it,” he says with a wide smile. “Welcome to my humble bar. What can I do fer ya?”

“Give me a shot of your finest vodka,” Zarya says, leaning against the counter on her elbows.

“Do you have any sweet ciders?” Mei asks as she climbs onto a stool.

“Yes ma’ams.” McCree obligingly begins to prepare their orders. “So, Mei, how's the research goin’?”

The climatologist launches into an enthusiastic explanation of her current topic of research--something about the increase in the concentration of oceanic algae in the East China Sea as a result of rising sea temperatures and the complex chemical-ecological reactions therein. It all sounds incredibly addling. Still, her excitement is contagious to say the least, and McCree can’t help but to smile at her cheery disposition.

They make small talk for a bit longer after McCree fixes their drinks, but eventually the two of them migrate to an open table in the corner.

Angela walks in the door not long after, weary after a long day’s work. She waves at McCree and Reinhardt as she comes in; when she spots Zarya and Mei in the corner, she changes course and makes a beeline toward them. McCree watches as the two women greet her warmly as she slides into a seat beside them.

He is soon distracted by another familiar figure walking toward him.

“Well, look who the cat dragged in,” McCree drawls as Amélie approaches, wearing a sleek black trenchcoat and looking, as usual, as if she has just sucked on a lemon.

“I ‘ope that is not the best greeting you can muster for all of your patrons,” Amélie says frostily, pulling up a seat at the bar.

“Nope.” McCree flashes her a shit-eating grin. “For you, I make an exception.”

Before she can come back with some sort of scathing reply, McCree’s attention is pulled away by the door opening yet again, revealing, right on cue, Lúcio and Hana. He returns their waves with some resignation.

Amélie raises an eyebrow as Hana stops next to her. “This is no place for children ,” she scoffs derisively.

McCree can practically see Hana’s hackles rise at the snide remark. “Who are you calling a child?” she snaps, indignant. Lúcio rests a placating hand on her shoulder as if to stop her should she launch herself at the other woman.

“Now, now,” McCree chides. “Play nice.”

Amélie narrows her eyes at him scornfully. As if sensing the brewing storm, Lena pops up at that moment with a bashful smile.

“Ah, Lúcio, Hana--why don’t you two say hello to Reinhardt? He's been dying to see you,” she interjects, quickly herding the two of them away to bother the other bartender instead. McCree catches his booming greeting from the other end of the long bar--“If it isn’t D.Va and her DJ friend!”--then turns back to Amélie.

“You gonna be havin’ anythin’ or are ya just here to run yer mouth?”

Amélie rolls her eyes. “A man’attan,” she quips coolly, placing her card on the counter before daintily plucking off her gloves.

As always, McCree swipes her card and closes her tab straightaway--she never stays longer than one drink--before getting around to preparing her cocktail.

“Interesting clientele you attract ‘ere,” she remarks, taking her drink when he sets it in front of her. She glances disdainfully again at Hana, who now appears to be signing something on a napkin for Reinhardt.

“‘M glad you of all people think so.” McCree bites back the retort about interesting clientele on the tip of his tongue. Any bad blood they had is mostly behind them now, but he still can’t but feel antsy around her. He's pretty sure the only reason she comes in is to insult his bar and watch him squirm. That and make eyes at Lena across the room, the poor lass, but that’s definitely not a can of worms McCree’s itching to prod any time soon.

“I suppose it’s to be expected for a place with ‘istory like this one.”

McCree chooses not to respond and busies himself with wiping down the counter, stubbornly ignoring the way she’s eyeing him with amusement. Amélie is, quite frankly, the last person he wants to have a conversation about history with.

“You know,” she intones casually, taking her sweet time with her cocktail, “your past is closer than you think.” Cryptic, as usual.

McCree rolls his eyes, wishing desperately that he had drinks to mix right then so he doesn't have to deal with whatever the hell kind of conversation this is supposed to be. “‘S that s’posed to be a good or bad thing?”

“Who can say?” she says airily, taking another infuriatingly tiny sip of her drink.

McCree is saved from being driven out of his mind by the sweet sight of Hanzo entering the bar.

“Howdy!” he calls, beyond feeling any shame at this point at the relief apparent in his voice. Hanzo blinks at the enthusiastic greeting, then slows cautiously when he spots Amélie. McCree doesn’t miss the look the two exchange--Hanzo’s expression guarded and Amélie’s lips quirked smugly.

Amélie brings her cocktail to her lips. “Oh, if it isn’t the little bird again.”

“Do not call me that,” Hanzo replies shortly. He deliberately sits several stools away from her and turns away dismissively.

Unperturbed, Amélie finishes her drink and stands without another word.

McCree grins, sharp and toothy. “So long, sugarplum.”

Amélie immediately wrinkles her nose in disgust. “You will not call me that again if you value your life,” she hisses, low and threatening, before she turns and stalks out of the bar without so much as a goodbye. It's worth it for the flicker of a smile that he sees pass over Hanzo's mouth.

“Real charmer, ain't she?” McCree remarks cheerfully to Hanzo. “Bless her heart.”

“You should not goad her so,” Hanzo chides. He doesn’t sound too reproachful, though.

“Ain’t nuthin’ she don’t got comin’,” McCree retorts.

“Still, she is… in the business, is she not?” Hanzo places careful emphasis behind the word business. Headhunting.

McCree snorts. “Yeah, you could put it that way. Nuthin’ you gotta concern yourself with, though. Used to have some beef way back, but now she mostly keeps to herself these days. Likes to come in to rankle me every now ‘n then.”

Hanzo hums noncommittally then balks, startled, as McCree leans forward suddenly. “Appreciate you worryin’ over lil ol’ me, though,” he says with a grin.

Hanzo scowls. “I am doing nothing of the sort.”

McCree chuckles, stepping back. “Whiskey as usual?” At Hanzo’s nod, he adds, “How’s a Yamazaki sound to ya?”

“That will do fine.”

McCree reaches for the whisky on the shelf with one half of his mind, the other half on the man in front of him. Hanzo looks good : smooth skin and pale cheekbones, chocolate eyes shadowed in contemplation, mouth set in a thoughtful but relaxed line. His expression as inscrutable as ever, but McCree likes to think he can read him better by now. He looks tired but not too weary--less so than he had the first time he’d come in, for sure.

McCree slides him his drink. “Cheers.”

“Jesse, I’m gonna need four mojitos for table two,” Brigitte says, pausing briefly at the counter before throwing a quick “Hey, Hanzo” over her shoulder as she leaves again.

“Yes ma'am.” McCree tugs up his shirtsleeves and flashes Hanzo a wink. “No rest for the weary,” he jokes, grabbing four round glasses.

Hanzo looks past him, behind the bar. “You should probably water those camellias,” he remarks idly.

McCree glances back at the flowers Angela had brought in last Wednesday. They do look somewhat under the weather now that he thinks about it. “Ah, yeah. Keep forgettin’.”

Tsubaki ,” Hanzo murmurs, voice distant. At McCree’s curious glance, he continues, clearer, “That is what we call the camellia flower in my language. Where I am from, they generally bloom in spring.”

“Tsu-bakki, huh,” McCree muses, reaching under the counter for the lime juice which he pours into the glasses along with a sprinkle of sugar each.

“Close enough,” Hanzo replies, then adds, “In Japan they are a symbol of many things, and each of its colors carries a different meaning.”

“Oh yeah?” McCree presses fresh mint leaves against the insides of the glasses with his right hand while he waits for Hanzo to continue.

“Yes. For example, the white camellia symbolizes waiting. The yellow, longing.”

“An’ red?”

“Love, of course,” Hanzo answers, then smirks. “Although, they are not so lucky for samurai .”

“Why’s that?”

“When the camellia falls it does not do so petal by petal--but rather, swiftly and all at once.” Hanzo takes a sip from his glass, his lashes casting shadows over prominent cheekbones. “As such, they are considered bad fortune for warriors.”

“Heh, ‘s that so.” McCree glances back at the bouquet; the flowerheads are looking rather heavy, drooping pitifully on their stems like hanged heads. Perhaps he really should water them.

He turns back around. “You sound like Angie with all yer flower lingo.” At Hanzo's inquisitive look, he nods at the vase. “She's the one that brings 'em in, when she visits. Likes to drop by the florist’s on the way here.”

“Was she--?”

“Yeah, we were in Overwatch together if that’s what yer wonderin’,” McCree answers as he scoops cracked ice into the glasses, then grabs a decanter of a white rum from the shelf behind him and uncaps the top. “These days she’s a hotshot medical researcher. Still makes time to drop by, though, an’ she helps me manage this place here ‘n there.”

“I see.” Hanzo watches as he lines up the four cups and fills them all evenly with rum in a single pour-through, then tops them off with soda in the same fashion. “You are close, then?”

“Yeah,” McCree replies, garnishing the drinks with a sprig of mint each and a slice of lime on the lip. “We worked together many years, joined ‘round the same age too.” Finally, he pops a thin black stir stick into each glass as a finishing touch. “She’s like a sister to me.”

He catches Brigitte's eye as he sets the mojitos within easy reach for when she walks by again, miming a quick smoking gesture with his hand. When she nods once in acknowledgment, he turns to Hanzo, jerking his thumb over his shoulder toward the back door. “I was jus’ ‘bout to take a quick smoke break out back...”

Hanzo nods, setting aside his empty cup. “I will join you,” he says, to McCree’s surprise. Hanzo watches as he grabs his jacket and hat; when McCree rounds around the side of the bar he follows him out through the back door, his case hooked over his shoulder.

With the last rays of the sunset disappearing below the skyline, the temperature outside is rapidly cooling. McCree pulls his hat down over his eyes and leans his weight on one shoulder against the cool brick wall outside the bar. Hanzo mirrors his posture so they're standing close, almost toe to toe. McCree tells himself it must be because of the cold--the other man is wearing only his jacket over his v-neck shirt, after all. At this angle, the top of Hanzo's head just reaches his eye level. When he tilts his head down, McCree can catch a glimpse of the grey and blue tattoo beneath the other man’s collar in the dim light.

His fingers twitch with the sudden urge to brush through the inky lock of hair sweeping over Hanzo’s right eye.

“How’re things goin’ with you ‘n Genji?” he asks, quickly shoving his hand into the inside pocket of his jacket and grabbing for a cigarillo and lighter.

Hanzo frowns and crosses his arms. “I am… dealing with it,” he responds, giving no indication that he intends to elaborate.

“Are ya now?” McCree knows his brother is still a sore spot for Hanzo. Although their relationship is mending slowly it’s still rocky, especially since they refuse to just sit down and have a real goddamn talk. Damn Shimada siblings and their damn stubborn pride , McCree grumbles internally, pulling out the items he’s looking for.

Hanzo watches curiously as McCree lifts the wrapped stick to his lips and lights it.

“Is that--?”

“Yep. 'S a cigarillo.”

“Cigar-illo,” Hanzo repeats thoughtfully, brows knit slightly in concentration. It’s just about the most adorable thing McCree has ever witnessed.

“D’you--?” McCree raises his eyebrows in question.

“Hn,” Hanzo hums, eyes hooded. He leans in and up to pluck the cigarillo from McCree’s lips with his fingers and sets it between his own, delicately. McCree watches the minute motion of his lips as he sucks in a breath, the glowing end of the stick flaring for a moment as he does so.

McCree swallows against a sudden dry mouth, clears his throat. “Whaddya think?”

Hanzo breathes out, twin streams of gray smoke escaping from his nose and mouth, and blinks once, lazily. Pale wisps trickle out from the rosy part of his lips when he opens them.

“Spicy,” he muses, “but not bad.” He pulls the cigarillo from his mouth and reaches up to place it back against McCree’s. The soft pads of his fingertips ghost against McCree’s lips, barely-there and fleeting, before he pulls back.

McCree coughs. Realizes he’d been holding his breath and lets it out before drawing in a puff of the cigarillo himself.

“So, uh,” he starts, attributing the roughness of his voice to the smoke, “ya mentioned before ya wanted to visit a shooting range. I know a good one run by an ol’ friend o’ mine, and, uh. Tomorrow's my day off, so.”

Hanzo raises an eyebrow as if amused. “You are asking if I would like to accompany you.”

“Guess I am.” McCree rubs the back of his neck.

“Hn.” Hanzo glances off to the side. “I would not mind that.”

“Yeah?” McCree grins, giddy, as their briefly eyes meet. “How's four sound to ya? I'll pick you up here.”

Hanzo nods once in agreement then looks away, out across the darkening streets.

The two of them fall into a brief but companionable silence. Then Hanzo shuffles his feet. “It is cold out here,” he mutters grumpily.

McCree takes one more pull from his cigarillo then stubs it out against the side of the building. “Shall we?”

Hanzo nods, pushing off the wall. As he shifts, so does the edge of that dark tattoo on his pale skin; McCree finds himself loathe to tear his gaze away.

It’s not a fixation, McCree thinks as they head back inside. At least, he tries his damndest to tell himself that.

 

 

Angela catches him at the end of the night before she leaves, eventually coming up to the bar after the other two women depart. She’d spent a long while talking with Zarya and Mei. At some point, McCree had sent an Absinthe Martini her way along with another shot of vodka for Zarya and a different cider for Mei to try.

“Had a good catch-up?” McCree asks, handing her a glass of cool water with a lemon wedge without being prompted.

She accepts it gratefully. “Yes. I hadn’t seen Mei in a long time, the sweetheart. I’m glad she’s doing well.”

McCree hums. “You researcher folk sure are awfully busy all the time.”

Angela sips her water thoughtfully as he putters around behind the counter.

“Speaking of busy,” she remarks after a moment, “you seem to be doing better lately.”

“Oh? Ya think?”

“It's that new regular of yours, isn't it? Genji's brother.”

McCree tenses reflexively. Forces himself to relax.

“Hanzo? What about ‘im?” he asks casually. Angela gives him a knowing look.

“I saw you two going out back earlier,” she says meaningfully.

“I was jus’ takin’ a smoke break.”

“Yes, well”--she takes another sip from her cup--“he doesn't seem like the type to. Plus, don’t think I haven’t noticed how often he comes in.”

“We jus’ talked a bit, ‘s all.” His tone is definitely not defensive in the least.

“Mm, talking’s good. I'm glad you've got something on your mind, other than...” She trails off.

“Than--?”

She smiles wryly. “Keeping busy.”

McCree snorts. “You’re one to talk, Doctor Sixty-hour-work-week.”

Angela shakes her head, swirling her water absently. “You can’t fool me. I know how you cling to this place, like--”

“Like what?” he presses again.

She just looks at him sadly. Shrugs. “Like you’ve got something to prove.”

McCree furrows his brows as he processes her words. She opens her mouth as if to say something else but closes it again immediately.

“‘S my bar, Angie,” he says after a pause. Puts force behind the words. “My pride ‘n joy. I’m here ‘cause I wanna be.”

Angela doesn’t look convinced. “If you say so.” She sets down her cup with a soft clink .

“Anyway.” She turns the full force of her sharp gaze on him then smirks, sudden and devilish in a way that belies her name. “Have fun on your date,” she says slyly.

McCree splutters, taken aback and reeling from the subject whiplash. “What’re--what--?”

Angela just laughs at his no doubt gobsmacked expression. “Don’t try to deny it. I saw your face when you two came back in,” she teases. “You looked positively over the moon. You’re hardly subtle , Jesse.”

He scowls around the flush he can feel creeping up his neck. Fumbles a bit with his dishcloth. “You--,” he growls, "you shut it.” Shit . If he’s that obvious, then--

“You two are good for each other,” she speaks up, cutting off his panicked train of thought. “Introduce me next time, hm?” She smiles at him placidly.

He scrabbles around for a comeback. Words seem to be beyond him right now, so he settles for crossing his arms and glaring, at the risk of seeming sullen. “You done?” he grumbles finally.

“Never.” She flashes him a beatific smile. “But, I do have to go.”

“You need an escort or anythin’?”

“Thank you, but that won't be necessary. Fareeha’s waiting for me outside.”

McCree rolls his eyes. “'Course she is. You sure you two ain't an item?”

It's Angela's turn to blush this time. “No! It's… not a good time. We've got--too much on our minds.”

Too much baggage. Too much of the past weighing us down. She doesn’t need to say the words aloud for him to know what she means.

McCree shrugs. “All the better for some moral support, ain't it?”

“... We’ll see.” Angela slips her arms into the sleeves of her coat and grabs her bag. She gives him one more warm smile as she steps away, eyes bright crescents.

“Take care, Jesse.”

“You too, Angie.”

 

---

 

McCree pulls up outside the bar the next day at four PM, his brown leather jacket zipped up against the wind. Hanzo is already there in his jacket, his signature case over one shoulder.

When he sees him, McCree pulls off his helmet, shaking out the loose strands of his hair. His usual hat is tied securely around his neck, out of the way. “Howdy! Hope I ain’t kept ya long.”

“You ride… a motorcycle,” Hanzo says, expression unreadable, then shakes his head. “Of course you do,” he mutters half under his breath.

“You impressed?” McCree grins proudly, sitting back in the seat of his bike--a real beast of a cruiser-sport hybrid, customized, all sleek contours, smooth leather, and gunmetal steel. Red, of course.

“Hardly.” Hanzo steps forward. “I must admit, it is not quite what I thought you'd have.”

“We’ve been through a lotta stuff together over the years, this sweetheart ‘n me.” McCree runs his gloved hands over the curves of the bike lovingly.

Hanzo circles around it in inspection. “How are we…”

“Jus’ swing up over the back and grab onto me, cozy-like.” McCree pats the seat behind him invitingly. “Got an extra helmet with yer name on it.”

Hanzo eyes the bike skeptically. “Is there no other way?”

“C'mon, it'll be fine. I’m a great driver,” McCree grins at him in what he hopes is a reassuring way as he straps his helmet back on. “‘S wrong? You ain't ever ride one before?”

Hanzo gives him an unreadable look. “That is not the problem.” Nonetheless he approaches, if somewhat cautiously.

“C’mon.” McCree passes him the extra helmet strapped to one of the handlebars then leans forward to give him space. “Hop on.”

Hesitantly Hanzo settles behind McCree, who turns and looks him over then reaches into a side compartment and pulls out a red scarf, handing it to him. “Watch the wind chill.”

McCree half expects Hanzo to refuse it altogether, but he just thumbs the soft fabric briefly before wrapping it snugly around his neck. Then he pulls his own helmet over his head, mindful of his ponytail, and wraps his arms tentatively around him, his weight a comfortable line of heat against his back.

McCree grins at him over his shoulder as the bike purrs again to life. “Comfy?”

Hanzo just grunts noncommittally, shifting slightly to find his balance.

McCree chuckles, allowing him a moment to adjust. “You're gonna hafta hold on tighter than that, pardner.”

He doesn’t need to see his face to know Hanzo is huffing at him.

He also may be guilty of accelerating the slightest bit faster than normal just to feel the squeeze of the other man’s arms, startled and warm, around his torso.

 

 

Fifteen blessed minutes later, they pull up at a small parking lot of an unmarked, nondescript building. McCree parks his bike in an empty space and waits for Hanzo to slide off before swinging himself easily over the side as well.

They pop off their helmets and leave them with the bike. Hanzo’s still swathed to his ears in McCree’s scarf, his collar tugged up around it; to McCree’s delight, he doesn’t bother to take it off.

McCree tugs his hat over his messy hair. “Here we are. Don’t look like much from the outside, but it’s bigger than it looks. Promise.”

He leads them through a set of heavy metal doors. Inside, they see a stout, bushy-bearded man tinkering with some sort of metallic contraption in a back room. He looks up when they approach and emerges from behind the low counter, a wrench in hand.

“Torby!” McCree greets.

“Oh, if it isn’t Jesse,” Torbjörn calls, eyes curving cheerfully. “How’ve you been, boy?”

“Keepin’ busy. And yourself?”

“Can’t say I’ve been doing too bad.” Torbjörn eyes Hanzo curiously. “Brought a friend today, eh?”

“Yep,” McCree replies. “Hanzo, this is Torbjörn, that ol’ friend o’ mine I mentioned. Torby, Hanzo.”

“Greetings,” Hanzo murmurs politely.

“Well how d’you do?” Torbjörn answers, then glares at McCree. “And who d’you think you're calling old, sonny?” he scoffs. His eyes flicker to Hanzo's instrument case. “I take it you two won't be needing weapons today?”

“No sirree,” McCree says. “Usual room free?”

“Sure is. Step right up.”

McCree tips his hat at him gratefully.

“Usually this place ain't exactly open to the public on Sundays,” he tells Hanzo as they make their way through the halls and down a set of stairs, “but Torby lets me come 'n go as I please, mostly. An’ he's always here anyway, in his workshop.”

Despite the plainness of the building exterior, the interior of the facility is actually quite modern and clean, with steel-gray walls and comfortable, even lighting. McCree stops in front of a large door which automatically opens to reveal a shooting room, long and wide.

He motions for Hanzo to enter first before stepping in after him, the door sliding smoothly shut behind them.

“Whaddya think? To your likin'?”

Hanzo casts a sweeping gaze around the large space, taking in the high ceiling and the targets scattered at the far end. “It will do.”

McCree hangs up his jacket on the wall near the entrance. Instead of his usual plaid flannel, he’s wearing a more understated brown collared shirt today--the top few buttons fashionably unfastened--with a dark turtleneck undershirt. His holster with his Peacekeeper is already strapped around his belt.

As Hanzo sets down his things, McCree steps toward a panel on the wall nearby.

“Hm, lessee here…” He fiddles a bit with the touchpad controls. The lights adjust smoothly into a brighter setting and more targets appear to join the line of a half dozen already there, rearranging themselves into an orderly range of distances.

Satisfied, he walks back. The clack of his boots would no doubt be echoing around the open space if not for the walls, which by some miracle of engineering absorb sound quite effectively.

Hanzo has hung up his jacket and the scarf. Underneath, he’s wearing a long-sleeved, dark blue shirt, simple but of fine make, and black pants. It’s the first time McCree has seen him without his coat; he takes a moment to discreetly admire the way the slim fit of the shirt accentuates strong shoulders and a trim waist, then shakes himself out of his trance.

Without further ado--Hanzo does always have a way of giving him itchy fingers--McCree steps forward, pulling out his Peacekeeper from its holster at his hip and giving it an idle spin.

He eyes the marks briefly, lining up the shot, his finger hugging the curve of the trigger as he draws.

His focus narrows. Time slows. Clarity. Then--

He unloads all six rounds into six different targets, dead center.

Clean. Tidy. The familiar thrill of satisfaction that comes with landing bullseye, true and sure, surges through him like a pulse.

“Impressive,” Hanzo remarks--high praise from the stoic man, McCree can tell.

“Much obliged.” McCree tips his hat. Turns his Peacekeeper over in his gloved hand and spins it again, watching the ceiling lights glint off of its polished barrel with nostalgic fondness. “Feels good to hold her again, to be honest. ‘S been a while.”

Hanzo nods. “I know the feeling.” He kneels down and--finally--opens the lid of his black instrument case, which he’d placed flat by his feet. From within it, he pulls out a large bow, dark and sleek and remarkably beautiful.

McCree whistles, low and admiring. “Mighty fine weapon ya got there.”

Hanzo adjusts his grip on the bow, giving it a practiced once-over. “My Storm Bow,” he murmurs, running his hands over the shape of it almost tenderly, testing the bowstring. “It has been too long.”

He quickly pulls on an archery glove then reaches back into his case and takes out a quiver, from which he pulls three steel-tipped arrows. Then he stands.

McCree watches in fascination as Hanzo takes up his bow like he’s done it a thousand times before, his every movement precise and graceful.

When the camellia falls, it does so--

He plants his feet slightly apart, back straight, chin up, eyes lidded in single-minded focus. Fits an arrow to his bow, nocking it smoothly. Draws back in an elegant arch, string taut. Releases. Then repeats the same motion again twice more.

--swiftly--

Three arrows bury themselves in quick succession within the perfect point at the center of the farthest target.

Hanzo relaxes from his stance, then slants his gaze over his shoulder to meet McCree’s stare. He flashes him a small smirk, whip-like and confident. McCree feels his heart lurch at the sight.

--and all at once.

Aw hell , he thinks.

 

 

It’s well past dark by the time McCree drops Hanzo off several blocks from the bar. Hanzo squeezes his arms to let him know, “Here is fine.”

McCree pulls to a stop as directed. He knows it’s a sign of trust for the other man to let him this close to his residence--the very thought of it warms him to the bottom of his heart.

Hanzo swings off the bike and removes his helmet. Out of courtesy, McCree pulls his own helmet off.

“Thanks fer joinin’ me,” he says.

“Thank you ,” Hanzo replies, “for the lift.” He rebalances his instrument case then his eyes find McCree's deliberately, searchingly.

McCree hardly dares to take a breath as he leans in close, watches in slow motion as Hanzo braces his arm against the frame of the bike, which thrums beneath them. He presses the helmet to McCree's chest so it rests between them--McCree just barely has the presence of mind to grab it so it doesn’t fall--and unwraps the scarf from his shoulders and winds it around McCree's. Then he tugs him toward him by the ends of it and presses his lips, soft and sweet, to the corner of his mouth.

The contact lasts barely a span of seconds; when Hanzo pulls back, the very tip of his tongue peeks out as if to catch the lingering taste of the kiss.

McCree blinks against the stars in his eyes, clears his throat and runs his hand through his hair instead of doing something truly desperate, like giving into the urge to drag the other man back in.

He's pretty damn impressed by his own restraint, if he does say so himself.

“Seeya later, darlin’,” he manages, voice raspy, then grins lopsidedly.

Hanzo blinks at him once from beneath dark lashes, his bangs blowing in the breeze. A subtle curve graces the corner of his mouth, fleeting yet devastating. And then he leaves without a backward glance, his silhouette retreating against the dusky sky.

McCree sits there on his bike for several long minutes afterward, trying to remember how to breathe again.

 

Chapter Text

McCree splashes cold water on his face, then runs his flesh hand through his sleep-rumpled hair. He stays hunched over the sink, gripping the smooth sides of it, and watches the sluices of water disappear down the drain.

He doesn’t look in the mirror. Not today.

Slumping’s for corpses.

He straightens. His lungs don't seem to be taking in enough air. His head is swimming. A painful pounding has settled behind his temples, pulsing and incessant. And he’s only been awake for twenty goddamn minutes.

He staggers into the kitchen to pour himself some coffee but can’t quite seem to bring the cup to his lips. He realizes his hands are shaking. He gives up, sets the mug aside, and goes to his jacket to grab a cigarillo instead.

Clouds passing over the sun outside cause the dappled light streaming in through the gaps between his shuttered blinds to waver. The small frame on his dresser glints briefly in his peripheral vision but he resolutely doesn’t glance in its direction.

Throwing open the window, he leans out, heedless of the freezing air on his bare skin. He fumbles a bit with his lighter but manages to light the stick after a couple of tries, bringing it to his mouth with his prosthetic hand. The first hit of smoke burns the back of his throat, potent and stinging; the heat of it suffuses his mouth, dulls the buzzing in his mind. He holds the smoke in his mouth, blinking blearily, then exhales, gazing unseeingly at the grey block below for several long minutes.

He glances over his shoulder. The clock on his nightstand reads 3:23 PM. Reluctantly, he stubs out his cigarillo and ducks back inside.

In a corner of his mind, he tells himself that he needs to put on clothes; he’s still clad in only his boxers and he’s got responsibilities. Soon he has to go to the bar, get it ready for opening at 6, man it until 1. Seven hours, just like any other day. He can do this.

He becomes aware that he’s pacing, making restless circles around his small apartment. He stops and collapses into a chair. Runs his hand through his hair again. Stares blankly at the empty wall.

His phone lies a short distance away on the kitchen table, innocuously, its screen open to a message from hours earlier:

 

From: Angie
Thu 08:41
-
Will come by the bar at 7 tonight. Need to talk.

They’re back.

 

---

 

Angela had indeed dropped by that day as soon as she had been able, to meet McCree, Reinhardt, and Brigitte at the bar. Lena, who normally doesn’t work Thursdays, had been there too, chipper mood muted for once.

She’d relayed the news to them: Jack had contacted her that morning, out of the blue, the first time any of them had seen him since that incident. He’d finally told her then what had happened five years ago with Gabriel and Ana--a critical mission that had gone awry, and how the three of them had decided to go into hiding in the fallout.

He’d been pretty vague with the details, Angela had said, frustration obvious in her voice, and in fact had just waltzed into the medical facility where she works and asked for her like it was nothing. How very like him.

McCree had shaken his head in disbelief at the tale. Son of a gun.

They’d all been speechless, caught in varying states between relief and outrage. Angela had been positively seething as she recounted the story, hands trembling and white-knuckled around her glass. McCree can only imagine the tongue-lashing Morrison must've gotten when she'd seen him. It had been, after all, quite the stunt they’d pulled, their vanishing act. How trying of the trust of their own comrades.

But, nevertheless, they’re back. Morrison and Reyes and Amari. A true, honest-to-God ghost story.

The news leaves him more shaken than he'd care to admit. Raw. Barely healed-over wounds, still tender, reopened, ripped at the sutures.

He abruptly recalls Amélie's enigmatic remark from last week. Your past is closer than you think.

So this is what she’d meant, McCree realizes, distantly. Crafty woman.

He thinks he should probably feel affronted--even she had known before he did--but all he feels is weary resignation like leaden weights strapped to his bones and a lingering sourness crawling up the back of his mouth.

 

 

Afterward, McCree had numbly gone through the motions of work the rest of the day Thursday, then Friday. Slapped on that familiar bartender façade, all smooth talk and easy smiles. A desperate attempt at normalcy.

At some point Friday evening Genji had come in, having heard the news from Angela. He’d entered, hands stuffed in his pockets, walked straight up to the bar, and sat down in front of McCree without a word. There had been nothing, really, to say. Everyone had still been in a state of shock. Even though Genji hadn’t known the three founders as long as the others had, he’d still been a member of Overwatch for many years.

He'd peered at McCree worriedly while the latter worked. Said something about McCree taking it hard, McCree can't quite remember. Genji had stayed a long while, nursing beer after beer, promising before he left to visit again soon. He’d made sure to meet McCree’s eyes, then. Told him, firmly, call me anytime, Jesse, if you need someone to talk to.

At the end of the night, Reinhardt had taken one look at McCree and declared that the bar would be closed the next day, despite McCree's protests, stating it would be for the benefit of everyone to take the day off to recover their vigor . McCree hadn't argued after that, if only for Lena, Brigitte, and Reinhardt’s sake.

Neither Reyes, Morrison, nor Amari show up at the bar in person. McCree has no idea when they will, if ever. He’d probably be bitter about it if he didn’t feel so damn hollow, like someone had taken a carving knife to his insides.

 

---

 

He spends all of Saturday holed up in his apartment in just his sweatpants, tense and listless.

Eventually, he loses track of time as everything blurs together. Long, dragging hours of constant droning in his mind, relentless and dizzying, paired with a dull ache in his left arm. Cold coffee and colder showers that do nothing to clear his head. He doesn’t dare look in the mirror. Can’t bear to so much as glance at his phone for fear of what he might see on it. His cigarillo hardly goes out the entire time.

After tossing and turning uselessly for hours, McCree gives up trying to sleep altogether.

He's in the middle of blowing lazy smoke rings out his open window late Sunday evening when he hears three sharp raps on his door. He starts sluggishly. Who--?

The knocking intensifies.

“Alright, alright, I’m comin’,” he calls irritably, voice raspy from smoke and disuse. “No need to bust the thing down.”

Lurching unsteadily away from the window, he grabs a shirt from the floor and hastily pulls it over his head, then stumbles to the door and yanks it open. He stares, his cigarillo almost dropping out of his mouth.

“...Hanzo?”

“Good evening.”

Sure enough, Hanzo is standing at his doorstep looking mildly put out. When McCree continues to gape, the other man frowns and peers past him. “Are you going to invite me in or must we have this conversation outside your door?”

McCree steps back, bewildered. Hanzo murmurs a polite “Pardon the intrusion,” then promptly strides past him, pausing to toe off his shoes by the entrance before continuing deeper into the apartment.

McCree trails after him, remembering at the last moment to shut the door.

It’s surreal. Hanzo is standing in the middle of his apartment in his jacket and gray hoodie and socks . McCree’s having trouble wrapping his mind around the situation. He dazedly stubs out his cigarillo.

Hanzo sets his bow case down against the wall and hangs his jacket up next to McCree’s, then turns and gives him a once-over; if McCree didn’t know better he’d think that’s worry in his eyes.

“You look terrible,” Hanzo observes.

“How’dya find out where I live?” McCree blurts.

Hanzo gives him a flat look like he thinks McCree’s being particularly stupid before glancing around the cozy studio apartment. “I asked Genji.”

McCree blinks rapidly several times then finds his voice. “That’s good! You’re talkin’ to him.”

“I am not here to talk about me,” Hanzo says, turning back to him.

“Then why’re you here?” McCree asks without thinking, then, realizing how rude that sounds, quickly adds, “Not that ya ain’t welcome or nuthin’.”

Hanzo’s expression doesn’t change. “I heard about the return of your… colleagues,” he replies, tone careful.

“Oh.” McCree stares at him dumbly.

There is a brief pause. “So?” Hanzo prompts. When McCree just gawks, uncomprehending, he taps his foot impatiently. “How are you taking it?”

McCree opens and closes his mouth. “... I’m dealin’ with it,” he responds finally.

Hanzo shoots him an unamused glare, apparently not appreciating McCree parroting his own words back at him.

“Hn.” Without another word, he turns and starts inspecting his surroundings--the open space with a couch and coffee table to the right of the front door, the small kitchen to the left. McCree’s unkempt bed in the opposite corner.

At a loss for what to do, McCree walks over to his bed and sits down heavily on the edge of it, knees buckling from underneath him, and watches blankly as the other man wanders around the sparse apartment curiously.

Of all the things he had expected to happen today, none of them had been Hanzo barging into his apartment out of nowhere, easy as he pleased.

“How’d you get here?” McCree asks.

“I walked,” Hanzo replies simply, examining the red BAMF mug McCree had left sitting on the the counter.

He pauses at the dresser, the photo frame McCree keeps there catching his attention.

“Is this…?” He picks up the frame, inspecting the sepia photograph contained within--a cheerful group shot, so familiar to McCree by now that it’s probably seared permanently into his memory.

“...Yeah,” McCree answers. “‘S the old Overwatch crew. Took that--almost twenty years back now, I s’pose.”

“Hm. That is quite a long time.”

“I was ‘round eighteen in that picture, I reckon. I look pretty different, huh?”

“Actually”--Hanzo glances at the belt and tattered hat on the dresser, the same ones McCree is wearing in the photo--“I would argue the resemblance is rather striking.”

“Heh.” McCree chuckles dryly. “What can I say? I’m a man o’ habit.”

“The three people standing on the left--Are they--?”

McCree sighs. “Yeah. They’re Overwatch’s founders--Morrison, Reyes, ‘n Amari. Those ex-mercs I mentioned before. They disappeared five years ago, back when we… disbanded. ‘Cept, now they’re back. Apparently.”

He rubs the back of his neck. “I s’pose you know already from Genji. I jus’ heard it three days ago myself. Got a message in the mornin’ from Angie.” He exhales heavily. “God. What a load to spring on a fella.”

“Why did they leave?”

“Five years back. Some top secret operation those three were on backfired ‘n they had ta go into hidin’. ‘Least, that’s what they say.” McCree runs a hand through his hair. “Angie said Morrison told her they did it to keep the rest o’ us safe. Unexposed. If Overwatch had got thrown out in the open it woulda been real bad for all o’ us, with the kinda enemies we had.”

He shakes his head irritatedly. “Don’t excuse what they did, though,” he growls, jaw clenched. “They coulda ‘least given the rest o’ us some kinda sign that they were safe--or even fuckin’ alive --‘stead of leavin’ us stumblin’ ‘round in the dark like they did.”

McCree realizes his voice had risen to a snarl. He takes a deep breath to try to reign in his agitation. “They always were awfully fond o’ keepin’ secrets, those three. Guess it came with their baggage.”

At Hanzo’s questioning glance, he explains, “I hear they used to be in some sorta special ops together, way back in the day. Reinhardt ‘n Torby too, but they never talk about it, neither.

“Anyhow,” McCree continues, “after they disappeared we ceased most o’ our operations. Guess it was all for the best, considerin’.” He curses lowly. “Still can’t fuckin’ believe it. Radio silence fer five goddamn years ‘n they don’t even bother tellin’ me straight that they’re back. Had ta hear it from Angie first, ‘n in a text no less.”

Hanzo hums noncommittally, still examining the photo. “You were close, were you not? That must have been difficult. You must have missed them.”

McCree drags a rough palm over his face. “Yeah,” he sighs tiredly. “S’pose I did. Actually, Amari--Ana Amari, the one in the hat in the picture--she’s the one who left me the bar.”

“So it wasn’t originally yours, after all.” Hanzo sets the photo back down, careful to place it in the same spot as before down to the exact angle, then turns to face him. “I always did think the appearance of the bar was surprisingly refined for someone of your tastes. Well, lack thereof,” he adds dryly.

McCree laughs, though the sound is hoarse even to his own ears. “I was co-owner, technically. Ana cut me out a deal when we opened the place: I got to pick the name ‘n she got the final say in the decoration.” He shrugs. “She always did have the better eye, I s’pose.” He pauses with a grimace. “An’ then she up ‘n left it in my hands anyway, all impromptu-like. Real shot from the hip, if y’ ask me.”

“Why did you not search for them?” Hanzo asks, walking over to stand in front of McCree’s slouched figure.

“I thought about it,” McCree admits. He rubs his eyes, which are probably bruised and bloodshot but he can't bring himself to care. “Thought about it a lot, actually. But, them bein’ the kinda people they were, plus the way they up ‘n vanished, jus’ like that--it kinda felt like maybe they didn’t wanna be searched for. And I--I guess I ain't ever tried to look for ‘em outta respect fer that, y’know?”

Hanzo regards him for a bit then shakes his head. “Sentimental fool,” he says, but his words lack bite.

McCree gazes off to the side, uncharacteristically silent. He sits there for a long moment, hunched over, shoulders slumped, elbows on his knees. He wonders how Angela is doing--how Fareeha is doing, with her mother suddenly reappearing. Even though she always keeps a tough exterior, McCree knows the past couple of years have been rough for her too, and she had harbored no small amount of resentment toward her mother for disappearing.

He doesn’t blame her. God knows he’s still pissed about the whole damn mess himself. He’s not sure how long it'll take for him to get over it--the long years of worry and bitterness and hurt.

“Stand up.”

McCree jerks his head up; he'd almost forgotten Hanzo’s still standing there. Then the command registers. “What?”

Hanzo stares down at him impassively. “Just do it.”

Confused, McCree drags himself to his feet so they’re facing each other, several feet apart.

Without warning, Hanzo shifts and moves in, expression intimidatingly serious. McCree tenses as he steps toward him, purposeful. Then Hanzo leans in closer still and wraps his arms around McCree’s torso so they’re pressed chest to chest.

McCree realizes, quite suddenly, that Hanzo is hugging him.

“What--Hanzo? What’s--?”

“Be quiet,” Hanzo mutters, voice somewhat muffled. “We are--how did you put it?--‘hugging it out’.”

“I… that's...” McCree stammers, utterly, hopelessly at a loss for words.

“You helped me; it is only right that I repay the favor.”

McCree almost pulls back at this, but is stopped by the firm resistance of Hanzo’s arms. “Hanzo, ya don’t gotta feel like--like ya owe me nuthin’.”

“No--I am not wording it correctly.” Hanzo turns his head to the side, rests his cheek against McCree’s collarbone. McCree swallows. “What I mean is, I want to do this for you.”

Belatedly, McCree brings his arms up, returning the embrace. His head is spinning. Hanzo is an enveloping pressure against his front, solid and so very warm . McCree feels like he is about to overheat. He desperately hopes that Hanzo can't feel the way his heart is rattling in his chest like a runaway train.

Yet, he can't deny that the gesture is comforting. The soft warmth of it helps to ease the jitteriness in his limbs and calm the mad tumult of his thoughts.

Abruptly, Hanzo pulls away, taking a step back. McCree lets his arms fall limply to his sides, already mourning the loss of contact. Hanzo can’t quite seem to meet his eye, instead gazing at some point past McCree’s shoulder and frowning. McCree isn’t sure, but he thinks he sees a tinge of pink on the other man’s cheeks.

Hanzo clears his throat before the silence can get too awkward and says, “Let’s get dinner.”

McCree blinks. “Like, right now?”

“Yes, right now. I take it you have not eaten yet today?”

McCree opens his mouth to protest but Hanzo’s right. He hasn’t had a bite to eat--hasn’t even given a thought to food--since he’d rolled out of bed earlier that afternoon, then spent the next few hours smoking and generally moping about. As if on cue, his stomach growls lowly.

Hanzo lifts an amused brow. McCree coughs. “Ah. Yeah,” he admits ruefully. “Sure, jus’--gimme a second to change.”

Hanzo moves aside so McCree can step past him, then politely turns away as he strips out of his sweats--not that McCree has a bashful bone in his body, though he appreciates the courtesy--and tugs on a pair of jeans. He doesn’t bother changing out of his thin black cotton t-shirt and ambles over to his dresser for his belt and hat.

Hanzo’s already waiting for him by the door by the time he’s ready, bow case over his shoulder again.

McCree grabs his jacket and steps into his boots, then they step out; McCree locks the door behind them.

“Got any particular place in mind?” he asks.

“No. I was thinking we could walk to someplace nearby,” Hanzo replies. “Do you have any suggestions?”

McCree ponders for a moment. "I might know a couple o’ good spots ‘round here.”

“Then I will follow your lead.” Hanzo falls into step beside him.

It’s a chilly evening. Next to him, Hanzo pulls up his hood and stuffs his hands into his pockets. McCree sneaks a peek at him out of the corner of his eye as they walk out to the street, maybe sticks extra close to him, using the cold as an excuse. Their arms bump every so often.

It still feels something like a dream to McCree. He resists the urge to pinch himself.

They end up going to a tiny Thai restaurant down the block. McCree picks at his chicken pad Thai when it arrives. It smells delicious, but the heavy knot of tension that has settled in his gut over the past few days makes everything taste like sawdust.

Hanzo notices this and glowers at him over his own food until McCree clears his plate to his satisfaction. By the end of it, McCree can’t deny that he does feel better now that he has something more filling than coffee in his stomach.

 

 

It’s past midnight by the time they make it back to McCree’s apartment. McCree turns to Hanzo once they’re back inside.

“'S late. Want me to give you a ride back?”

Hanzo regards him skeptically. “No. You are exhausted.”

“‘M fine,” McCree protests. He’s lying; he feels about ready to keel over. When Hanzo just narrows his eyes at him, he suggests, “Or you could, uh. Stay over?”

Hanzo hesitates at this. He looks at McCree again then glances out the dark window. “Alright,” he acquiesces.

“Great!” McCree beams lopsidedly. “Make yerself at home. I think I got a spare toothbrush layin’ around in the bathroom somewhere.”

“... Thank you,” Hanzo responds somewhat stiffly. He sets his bow case down and hangs up his jacket once again.

“Ain’t no trouble at all, darlin’,” McCree assures him, shrugging off his own jacket,

“Excuse me, then,” Hanzo murmurs, stepping toward the bathroom.

While Hanzo is, presumably, washing up, McCree changes back into a t-shirt and sweatpants, mostly for the benefit of the other man--McCree’s typically a boxers-only kind of sleeper.

Hanzo walks back into the room as McCree is tossing a fleece blanket over the lone couch--an old but soft one he’d bought secondhand at the insistence of Angela, who’d bothered him for the longest time about the lack of seating in his place.

“What are you doing?” Hanzo asks.

McCree glances at him and almost does a double take. The other man has freed his hair from his ponytail, the black locks hanging loose and silky around his shoulders like spilt ink. McCree abruptly catches himself staring and scrambles to remember the question. “I’ll sleep on the couch. You can take the bed.”

Hanzo frowns. “Don’t be ridiculous. There is no way you could get any sort of proper rest on a couch as small as that.”

McCree crosses his arms. “You’re my guest. Ain’t no way I'm lettin’ you take the couch, 'n that's that.”

Hanzo scowls. “You are so stubborn.” He contemplates the bed, then McCree. “... Very well,” he says grudgingly.

“Yeah?”

“We can both take the bed,” Hanzo decides, then lifts an eyebrow. “If you have no objections to that?”

McCree blinks in surprise, then grins. “None.”

“Hn.” Hanzo eyes the bed again. It's not overly large but there’s plenty of room for the both of them, McCree reasons. Hanzo seems to think the same, apparently, as he pulls his hoodie over his head without another word.

He’s wearing a blue short sleeved t-shirt underneath. McCree stops, struck still where he stands, and stares in delight; Hanzo’s tattoo, in fact, runs along the entire muscled length of his left arm, coiled from his wrist to what seems to be his collarbone, dark, twisting swirls of clouds and--is that a dragon ?

“McCree.” Hanzo shoots him a concerned glance. “Are you alright?”

McCree nods quickly, regrets it when it agitates the throbbing behind his eyelids. “Ah--yeah. ‘M fine.”

Hanzo squints at him. “I was not exaggerating earlier when I said you look exhausted.”

McCree shrugs. “Ain’t been able to get much shuteye lately, I s’pose.” Truth be told, he's hardly slept a wink in the past three days, only managing to do so in short, fitful bursts. Coupled with the recent events, he’s just about dead on his feet at this point.

Hanzo makes a small sound of sympathy. He neatly folds his hoodie and sets it atop his instrument case with the rest of his things, then pads over to his jacket to retrieve something from the pocket.

McCree stumbles into the bathroom as an afterthought. When he reemerges, he sees Hanzo fiddling with his phone, his back to him. He's dug up a pair of clean sweatpants from one of McCree's drawers and cinched it around his waist; they're slightly too long on him and pool loosely around his bare feet.

Before he knows it, McCree’s legs bring him up behind the other man. He hugs him, then, winding his arms, one flesh and one metal, in a snug circle around his waist. Hunches over so he can bury his face into the crook of his neck and shoulder. Hanzo smells good, like clean sandalwood and citrus and something flowery. Hanzo stiffens but relaxes immediately, seemingly unperturbed by McCree’s deadweight all but draped over his back.

Without lifting his head, McCree mumbles, “Hanzo? Thanks. For, uh. Y’know. This.” Checking up on me. Making sure I’m okay.

Hanzo hums in response. McCree feels more than sees him turning his head toward him; when McCree raises his, Hanzo presses a closed-lipped, feather-light kiss to his mouth, his short beard pleasantly scratchy against his cheek. This time, McCree doesn’t hesitate to lean back in and steal another, minty and chaste. Hanzo returns it briefly, eyes sliding softly shut, before shrugging him off.

McCree gets into the bed first, all but drops onto it in relief. The food has helped settle his stomach and the throbbing headache he's had for the past few days has finally receded to a bearable level. He moves over to one side to give Hanzo room.

Hanzo regards the room for a moment. Then, he turns off the lights before climbing into the bed next to him. By the time he does so, McCree's already fast asleep.

 

Chapter Text

Hanzo awakens to a view of an unfamiliar room, dimly lit by bands of pale sunlight. He is lying on his side in a bed--a comfortable one with soft maroon sheets that smell subtly of lavender and something spicy.

He senses a slight movement behind him and remembers where he is. He glances over his shoulder. At some point during the night, McCree had pressed up against him from behind and thrown his flesh arm over Hanzo’s torso. His eyes are shut, his mouth relaxed, lips parted ever so slightly.

That would explain the unusual warmth along his back. He shifts, trying to make space between them, but McCree just grunts sleepily and tightens his hold. When Hanzo wraps his fingers around his arm, he wakes with a soft snuffle, eyes opening blearily.

“Mmn. What…”

Hanzo pulls away from the now-loose grip and turns over. McCree peers groggily back at him, features lax, brown hair tousled from the pillow. His eyes are still slightly red-rimmed but the deep bruises underneath them that were there yesterday have faded.

“How are you feeling?” Hanzo asks.

McCree blinks languidly then flashes him a lazy grin. “Jus’ dandy, since yer here,” he slurs, voice rough with sleep.

At Hanzo’s unimpressed stare, he sobers.

“‘M serious,” he sighs. “I’ll be fine. Feel better already. Promise.” He smiles crookedly.

“Hn.”

McCree leans forward and presses a quick, dry kiss squarely on his mouth. Hanzo allows it for a moment before pushing him away. “You need to shower.”

McCree groans. “Spare a man, darlin’. ‘S only”--he glances at the clock--“9 in the mornin’, jesus.”

“Fine. I will use the bathroom first, then.”

Hanzo swings his legs over the side of the bed, ignoring McCree’s sleepy protests, and pads into the bathroom directly across from them. He quickly brushes his teeth with the spare toothbrush then steps into the shower. The warm spray over his skin is soothing. He helps himself to McCree’s shampoo and conditioner then scrubs himself over thoroughly with soap. Afterward, he dries himself with a bath towel hanging nearby, taking extra care with his hair, then pulls on the same shirt and sweats.

He walks out of the bathroom fifteen minutes later feeling awake and refreshed. McCree sits up when he does, staring at him. Standing, he crosses the space between them, steps in close and threads his fingers through the damp strands of Hanzo’s hair reverently, then leans in.

Hanzo shoves a hand between them. “Shower first.”

McCree pouts. Reluctantly, he pulls away and staggers into the bathroom.

Hanzo rummages around in the drawers in search of a clean shirt. He finds a soft red flannel one and changes out of his current t-shirt in favor of the clean one. It is too loose on him, but it is comfortable enough.

He lays on his elbows on the bed, thumbing through his phone. He sees a message notification from Genji from last night--he is still trying to wrap his mind around the reality that he has found his brother again, and that Genji is even willing to speak to him at all--and taps it open.

 

From: Genji
Mon 01:02
-
I assume you found the place
how is he?

 

Hanzo thinks for a moment. McCree seems tired still but is nowhere near as haggard as he looked yesterday, probably thanks to a good night’s sleep. And, he seemed cheery enough when he woke up. More like his usual good-natured self.

His state yesterday had been… worrying, to say the least. Hanzo has never seen him so disheveled and exhausted: broad shoulders slumped, brows creased, dark eyes bloodshot and shadowed, traces of smoke clinging to him like a gloomy fog. Hanzo would never admit it, but it unnerved him to his core to see the normally jolly man appear so… worn. Beaten.

He shakes the grim thoughts out of his head; McCree is better now and that is what matters. He types out a quick answer to Genji.

 

To: Genji
Mon 09:34
-
He is alright.

 

Less than a minute later, he receives a reply:

 

From: Genji
Mon 09:35
-
nice ;)

 

Hanzo frowns. What is that supposed to mean? And what is the purpose of the winky emoji?

In the end, he decides not to dwell on it and distracts himself by checking the local news and weather.

He hears McCree exit the bathroom behind him then stop abruptly a couple steps into the room.

“Yer wearin’ my shirt,” McCree says after a beat, stating that which does not require saying, in Hanzo’s opinion. Hanzo cannot quite read his tone.

“I am borrowing it,” he replies without looking away from his phone. “I hope you don’t mind.”

“Don’t mind at all,” McCree says. His footsteps draw nearer. "‘Fact, you should do it as often as ya can. I insist.”

Then he flops onto the bed, right on top of him, and snuggles into his back. For several minutes they lay there until Hanzo cannot stand it anymore. He tries to prod at McCree with his elbow but the man is remarkably clingy. Like an octopus.

“Why are you so huge,” Hanzo grumbles. McCree’s entire weight is on top of him, and the man is not light.

“Naturally blessed?” McCree replies cheekily, right beside his ear. He noses at Hanzo’s nape and hugs him tighter, thick arms coming around to circle his front. Hanzo realizes he has not even bothered to put on a shirt.

“Hmph. Get off me.”

“Oh I’m gonna get off alright.”

“You are absolutely ridiculous.”

“Aw, sweetheart, I even trimmed my beard fer you.”

Hanzo wriggles around under McCree’s bulk, maneuvering onto his back so he’s facing him, propped up on his elbow. He cups the other man’s chin with one hand and tilts his face toward him for inspection, eyeing the sharp curve of his jaw critically. McCree nuzzles his palm and flutters his lashes in what he probably believes to be a charming fashion.

He releases him. “Hn. Still shaggy.”

McCree huffs. “Gotta let a fella keep some scruff, darlin’.”

After some more shoving on Hanzo’s part, McCree finally rolls off of him, laying facedown on the bed next to him.

Hanzo glances at the other man out of the corner of his eye. A thought occurs to him. “Give me your phone,” he orders.

McCree looks up. “What? Why?” he asks, but still does as he is bid, pulling himself up with a groan and going to grab his phone. He obligingly unlocks it as well when Hanzo holds it up to him expectantly.

Hanzo fiddles with both their phones for a minute. “There.”

“What’d’you do?”

“I exchanged our contact information.” Hanzo looks at him matter-of-factly. “I thought it might be prudent.”

McCree, inexplicably, beams at him at this, wide and bright. Before Hanzo can react, he lunges forward and kisses him, clumsy and eager. Hanzo lets out a startled mmph at the energetic assault, eyes wide, hands flying to McCree’s shoulders reflexively for support. McCree takes advantage of the part of his lips to swipe his tongue hotly between the seam of them. In spite of himself, Hanzo lets out a small, surprised sound, eyes falling shut.

Abruptly, McCree pulls back, grinning down at him. Hanzo blinks dazedly. His head feels like it is spinning; when it finally stops, he glares at him.

“Was that really necessary?” he snaps, grimacing internally at how breathless he sounds.

McCree just continues to smile broadly, entirely unapologetic. Then he hesitates, unsure all of a sudden. Rubs the back of his neck. “So, uh. Are we. Y’know?” he motions between Hanzo and himself vaguely, expression endearingly hopeful.

Hanzo lifts a brow. He can’t help the small rush of amusement and fondness, and suppresses a smile. “Do you want us to be?” he asks carefully.

“More than anythin’,” McCree answers without pause, tone low and laden with sincerity.

Hanzo lifts a hand to the other man’s face again, tracing the strong arch of his cheekbones. His hand is pale against the other man’s darker skin. McCree returns the gesture by brushing warm fingers through the short, graying fringes of hair at Hanzo’s temple.

It is almost absurd how unconflicted he feels, Hanzo thinks. How at peace he is with this. After all that has occurred in the past few years, it is a welcome change of pace. He is not so foolish as to deny this much, at least. And he cannot remember the last time he felt this… comfortable. Secure.

He huffs out a contented breath. “Then, yes,” he replies simply. This time, he fully anticipates the kiss he receives in return.

 

 

Since it is Monday, McCree has to tend to the bar. The other man seems to be in a much better state so Hanzo allows this and, at his request, agrees to visit him for a short while.

He returns to his own apartment first; McCree drops him off with his motorcycle on his way to the saloon.

Hanzo dismounts the bike and hands his helmet back to McCree. “I will stop by the bar later,” he tells him.

“I’ll look forward to it, darlin’.” McCree winks at him from behind his lifted visor, giving him a jaunty half-salute with a gloved hand.

Hanzo just rolls his eyes, turning away. Behind him, he hears the purr of the motorcycle engine starting up again as McCree drives off.

Hanzo unlocks his door and reenters his apartment, making a quick sweep of it. Everything is as he left it--not that he keeps anything of value in the place, except perhaps his tablet computer.

He digs out a change of clothes. He left the sweatpants back at McCree’s place but he is still wearing the borrowed shirt underneath his jacket and hoodie. Quickly, he changes into a fresh set of shirt and pants, tossing his dirty clothes into the washing machine. He almost throws in McCree’s flannel shirt as well, but hesitates at the last second. He turns the shirt over in his hands; the red fabric is wonderfully soft and worn from use. When he brings it to his nose he can still make out the faint, pleasant scent of lavender soap and cedarwood and the lingering spiciness of smoke.

He deliberates a moment, then throws the shirt onto his otherwise tidy bed and starts the wash cycle.

 

 

He stops by the bar as promised at 7 PM after killing two hours in his apartment with his tablet. When he enters, he sees McCree in his usual place behind the bar. He is chatting with two people at the bar: the blond woman--Angela--and, to her right, a dark-skinned woman with straight black hair wearing a jacket with an insignia on one shoulder which Hanzo recognizes as that of the security firm Helix Security International.

“--I’m sorry, sir, we don’t have any exploding drinks or drinks that are on fire or anything else of the sort.”

Hanzo glances to the left; Lena is talking with two odd-looking customers seated at a table in the corner.

“How ‘bout a Molotov? Ain’t that a cocktail?” the thin, unkempt-looking man asks.

His companion--a giant, portly man wearing a black striped face mask--remains silent.

Hanzo walks past them just as Lena begins to explain that, no, a Molotov is not, in fact, a real cocktail. He does not catch the rest of their conversation as he is distracted by McCree waving him over.

“Howdy! Ya made it!”

Hanzo approaches the group. “Good evening.”

“Don’t think I’ve formally introduced y’all,” McCree says. He gestures at the two women. “Hanzo, these are my dear friends Angela Ziegler ‘n Fareeha Amari.”

Amari. Hanzo looks at Fareeha and thinks back to the photograph in McCree’s apartment. His brain helpfully makes the connection between the cheerful young girl next to Ana Amari in the picture and the dignified woman in front of him.

McCree continues, “Angela, Fareeha, this is Hanzo.”

“Hello, Hanzo.” Angela smiles at him. “Any friend of Jesse’s is a friend of mine.”

Hanzo does not miss the peculiar inflection she places behind the first friend , nor the brief, flustered scowl McCree shoots her, but he chooses not to comment.

“Pleased to make your acquaintance,” he says to the both of them. He seats himself on the empty stool next to Fareeha.

Fareeha nods at him. She has a curved marking under her right eye not dissimilar to the one Ana Amari had in the photo.

“You’re Genji’s older brother, aren’t you?” she asks. When Hanzo looks at her in mild surprise, she adds, “Angela told me. She’s the one who recognized you first, anyway.” She smirks. “Jesse sure can be thick.”

“I'm right here,” McCree complains.

They ignore him.

“I am,” Hanzo says. “I hear you are… comrades of his?”

“That's right,” Angela answers. “He’s a good friend. He’s mentioned you before, actually.”

“Has he?” Hanzo keeps his tone politely curious.

“Yes. I hear you’re quite skilled with a bow.”

Hanzo finds it difficult to believe that that is all they have heard, but he says nothing.

As if sensing his unease, Angela and McCree share a glance. Then Angela smiles at him comfortingly and says, voice serious, “Above all, Genji has told me he is grateful to have you back. And I don’t doubt that it’s the truth.”

When Fareeha looks at him as well, Hanzo can sense no distrust in her gaze, either. 

He stares, at a loss for words. He had expected wariness, hostility, or even blatant curiosity, but he had not been prepared for this-- this openness, this unquestioning acceptance. He swallows.

“I see,” he says finally, careful to maintain a dispassionate tone. “... Thank you.”

McCree sets down a whiskey on the rocks in front of him. “Here. Long-lost brothers reunitin’ is always an occasion for cheers in my books.”

“Somehow, I suspect that book of yours is quite long,” Hanzo remarks wryly, accepting the drink. The two women snicker at the quip.

McCree grins sunnily, eyes curving. “Ya wouldn’t be wrong there.” Then he sobers and turns to Fareeha with a more subdued expression. “So. How’re you doin’?”

She frowns, stiffening under his scrutiny. “I’m fine.”

“Uh huh.”

“I am,” she insists.

McCree snorts. “An’ I’m the king o’ Spain.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. They were gone, and now they’re back.” She takes a long sip of her drink.

She is referring to the previously-missing Overwatch founders, Hanzo can tell. He turns away slightly to give them privacy but keeps watching from the corner of his eye.

McCree regards her for a long moment. “You’re mad at her.”

Fareeha sets down her glass heavily, then scowls. “Of course I’m mad. Aren’t we all?”

“Yeah, but we ain’t all lost ‘n found our mothers.”

“She always did what she wanted,” Fareeha mutters sourly. She sighs. “I’m better now, though.” In a lower voice she admits, “Was way worse, last week.” Angela places a comforting hand on her shoulder and Fareeha gives her a small half-smile.

“Have you talked to her yet?” McCree asks.

Fareeha looks away, expression stony. “... No. I--don’t think I could right now, anyway. Not without it deteriorating into a screaming match, at least,” she adds dryly.

“You can’t avoid her forever, y’know,” he states firmly, then adds, “But, you’re prob’ly wise to wait ‘til y’all’re a bit more calmed down ‘bout the whole thing.”

Fareeha drains the remainder of her drink. She gives him an attempt at a smile. “I’ll be alright, Jesse. Thank you.”

McCree nods. “If ya need someone to talk to, I’m always here, you know that. Though I s’pose I ain’t yer number one go-to, since you got Angie.”

“I should say the same for you. I know how down you can get. Fortunately, it looks like you’re not alone, either.”

She says the last part in a deliberately low voice, but Hanzo still catches every word. He can practically feel the sly glance she throws his way. He pretends not to hear and busies himself with his phone, sipping at his whiskey.

To his relief, the topic moves onto lighter things after that. McCree is perceptive enough to give him his space and not loop him into the conversation--Hanzo does not know if he could handle any more of that tonight. Once he empties his glass, he clears his throat and stands. “I must take my leave.” He inclines his head at Angela and Fareeha. “It was nice to meet you both.” The two women smile back at him.

Hanzo turns to McCree and nods once. The other man meets his eyes in a wordless exchange of goodbye, honeyed gaze warm and intent like a promise.

“I will see you later.”

“I’ll hold ya to it, darlin’.”

 

---

 

Three days later, Hanzo sits at the bar less than an hour before it closes, idly regarding the bunch of purple irises in the vase next to the cowboy hat. McCree messaged him earlier that day, asking if he wanted to get dinner together after his shift ended, punctuating the question with a string of, frankly, befuddling and nonsensical emojis. Hanzo strongly suspects that ‘dinner’ is going to be grabbing something at that dingy diner again but he finds himself agreeing regardless.

He declines a drink when McCree offers him one, opting instead for a simple glass of water.

“Thanks again fer agreein’ to get dinner with me.” McCree smiles, lips crooked lopsidedly. “Jus’ sit tight fer a bit, yeah?”

Hanzo hums in response. The other man turns away to attend to the other customers.

He watches McCree as he works. As usual, the man is wearing a button-up flannel shirt, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, tousled brown locks pulled back in a small ponytail. His prosthetic arm gleams dully under the bar lights. There is something almost hypnotizing about the way he ambles around the small space, movements languid but efficient. The way he grips the glasses in his broad hands, idly twirls the bottles and cocktail shaker with his fingers, pours out drinks in smooth, effortless motions. The flex of his forearms as he mixes the drinks, chatting with the customers all the while, all charming grins and easy laughter.

Toward the end of the hour, when only a few straggling customers remain, a hooded woman enters. Hanzo notices her immediately. She appears older, features weathered but elegant, with a marking under her exposed eye, the other one hidden under the sweep of snowy hair, behind an eye patch. Her back is straight, stride confident and assured as she walks up to the bar.

McCree does a double take. Sets the cup he is holding down, slowly. “Well, well. Ya got some nerve showin’ yer face back here.”

“What kind of welcome is that to my own bar?” the woman shoots back, voice low and throaty.

Oh, Hanzo thinks.

McCree grins like a snarl, teeth bared. “‘S mine now, whether ya like it or not.”

Ana Amari tips her head back and laughs, a rich, dulcet sound like velvet.

Hanzo watches the both of them discreetly over the rim of his glass as she takes a seat to his left, one stool between them.

“It is good to see you again, Jesse. You haven’t forgotten my order, have you?”

“No ma’am.”

Hanzo observes McCree as he efficiently prepares her drink. He had seemed surprised, of course, when she walked in but he seems to be reacting alright otherwise.

Ana looks over at him curiously. “And who might you be?”

McCree steps in to introduce them. “Hanzo, this is Ana Amari, co-founder of Overwatch.”

Hanzo knows already, but he leans forward and holds a hand out for her to shake regardless. “Nice to meet you. I am Hanzo--”

“Shimada, yes?” Ana takes his outstretched hand with a firm grip.

Hanzo blinks. “... Correct.”

She smiles, letting go. “Well, it's a pleasure to finally meet Genji's brother. I would welcome you, but it seems that Jesse has already done that for me in my absence.”

“Yes,” Hanzo replies, “though his attempts at charm leave something to be desired.”

McCree splutters. Ana laughs delightedly.

“Oh, I like him, Jesse.”

“Ana?” Reinhardt’s voice booms out. He strides over to them. “It is you!”

“Reinhardt,” she greets him warmly. “I must say, you are looking quite well.”

Reinhardt blinks a couple of times then sniffs once, wetly. “And you are looking lovely as ever,” he replies, fond, eyes crinkling. Then his expression turns somber. “What were you three thinking?” he asks, leaning forward admonishingly

“Y’all gave us a right awful scare, y’did,” McCree adds.

Ana does not bat an eye at the their accusing tones, merely lets out a small, tired sigh. “I’m sorry. I-- we --needed time. And the last thing we wanted was to endanger any of you.”

“One day y’all’re gonna sit down and tell us straight what happened, y’hear?” McCree says sternly. “Don’t matter the reason--ain’t fair to any o’ us that stunt y’all pulled, ‘least of all to yer own daughter. She don’t like to show it, but I know Fareeha’s been worried sick ‘bout you these last five years.”

Ana looks away, brow knitted, an expression like guilt finally darkening her features. “I did what I did so she would be able to have a better life.”

McCree folds his arms. “Didja ever consider what she wanted?”

She bristles, eye flashing. “Of course I did, but I wanted what was best for her.”

He shakes his head. “She’s a grown woman, Ana, even if ya seem to forget sometimes. She can make her own decisions ‘bout what’s best for her.”

At this, Ana draws herself up and levels a truly impressive glare at him, steely and piercing. McCree stares back, spine straight, unflinching. For a moment, it seems as if she is going to argue further, but then she seems to deflate, shoulders sagging ever so slightly, the fight leaving her all at once.

“I… know,” she admits finally. Quietly. “I have perhaps been… a tad over-selfish.”

McCree uncrosses his arms. “Promise me you’ll have a real talk with her,” he says, voice lowered in kind. “Ya owe her that much, at least.”

She sighs wearily, then smiles, soft and sad. “Yes. You’re right.” She quirks her lips wryly. “Just for you, Jesse, since you asked so nicely.”

“Thank you.” That done, McCree draws back awkwardly, suddenly unsure.

Reinhardt steps forward. “Well now that that’s out of the way,” he interjects cheerfully, “how about some more liquor? I think the occasion calls for it, don’t you?”

Ana laughs. “Indeed.”

As the two old Overwatch members converse, Hanzo glances over at McCree, who meets his eyes and rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “Sorry ‘bout that,” he murmurs, walking closer to him.

“Do not be,” Hanzo says. “That was quite admirable of you. I am sure Fareeha would appreciate what you did for her sake.”

McCree smiles at him gratefully, then lets out a long breath. “God damn. Thought I was a real goner for a moment there,” he breathes, clutching his prosthetic hand over his chest and steadying himself against the counter with the other. He meets Hanzo’s startled look. “Bein’ on the receivin’ end of one o’ Ana’s glares is somethin’ I wouldn’t wish on anybody--’s real terrible for the heart.”

Hanzo does not question this. The two are silent a while; he watches McCree watch Ana and Reinhardt talking several feet away. In the low light, Hanzo’s sharp vision can just barely make out the faint dampness around the corners of his eyes.

“It is fine, you can go talk with them.”

McCree turns to him and shakes his head. “Naw, I’ll leave those two alone. I can catch up later. Can’t have the whole staff distracted.”

Hanzo chooses not to point out that McCree is distracted too, talking to him.

 

 

Reinhardt and Ana head out for evening thirty minutes later, after the other bartender helps McCree shoo out any remaining loiterers and close up the bar.

Before she leaves, Ana strides up to McCree and wraps him in a hug. McCree bends down to return it, burying his face in her cloaked shoulder wordlessly, his messy hair falling over his face, and clinging perhaps just a bit too tightly but nobody remarks on it. Hanzo looks away politely.

It is twenty minutes past one by the time McCree is ready to leave. Just like the last time, the two of them exit out the back door of the bar, stepping into the chilly night air. Their breaths collect in small, pale puffs before dispersing. It has only gotten colder over the weeks; Hanzo is glad for the warm hoodie he is wearing underneath his jacket, though even that is not quite enough to stop the biting cold that seems to seep through the thick layers to settle against his skin.

It is so strange to him. It has been only four weeks since the day he confronted McCree about his past--and three weeks since the day he had walked into the bar and seen Genji for the first time in a decade--and yet it feels so much longer than that. That had been a Thursday, too, when McCree told him about Overwatch and the truth behind the bar, when he looked Hanzo in the eyes, gaze open and sincere and amused, and told him that he trusted him.

Hanzo shivers.

“Cold?” McCree asks. His hat is tipped low over his face, his leather jacket zipped all the way up. He is wearing his scarf today, the crimson fabric draped around his shoulders like a shawl.

“No,” Hanzo replies, the hood of his sweater drawn up over his head and his hands buried deep in his pockets.

McCree moves closer anyway so they are shoulder to shoulder, arms pressed together. As if on afterthought, he stuffs his gloved hand into Hanzo’s left jacket pocket alongside Hanzo’s own, somewhat awkwardly, grabbing at his hand. Hanzo shoots him a glare but makes no move to push him away. Even gloved, McCree’s hand is warm in his own.

They do end up getting dinner at that diner again, because it is close by and really, you try findin’ someplace ‘round here that’s open at 1 in the mornin’.

Hanzo wrinkles his nose as they seat themselves again on the polyester seats. The diner is the same as he remembers it, down to the slightly flickering yellow lights.

McCree looks at him over the greasy table in amusement. “Ain’t it grown on ya?”

“Not in the slightest.”

“Maybe you’ll change yer mind after a couple more visits,” McCree muses.

Hanzo scoffs. “I think not.”

Soon enough, a bored waitress comes to take their order. When their food arrives, Hanzo watches in fascination as McCree once again devours his portion in record time. They chat quietly as they eat about idle topics; he is only half-paying attention, distracted by the way McCree’s legs are pressed against his under the table.

McCree runs his left hand through his hair, which he has since taken out of its ponytail. The metal of his arm glints, catching Hanzo’s attention.

“How did you lose your arm?” Hanzo asks abruptly. He quickly adds, “If you do not mind my asking.”

McCree blinks at him then glances at his prosthetic arm, turning it over under the light.

“Ah, that,” he says. “Funny story. It got, uh, crushed under some rubble durin’ a mission ‘bout--eight years back. Some buildin’ we were scoutin’ out turned out to be rigged with explosives. We jus’ barely got out unscathed before enemy agents swarmed in.” He glances at his arm. “Well, not really unscathed, I s’pose. I wasn't quite quick enough. Wound up gettin' trapped fer a bit. Reyes--one o’ the other Overwatch founders I mentioned--hadta save my sorry hide 'fore I got pumped full o’ bullets by some enemy gunmen. Got out eventually, though not in one piece, obviously.”

Hanzo stares. “That is not funny at all.”

McCree shrugs. “Was kinda funny, in hindsight. Reyes did always like to complain ‘bout my slow ass.”

Hanzo just shakes his head in bemusement. “You are so strange.”

You’re callin’ me strange?”

“That is what I said, is it not?”

Their knees bump again. Hanzo makes an attempt at finishing his grilled chicken salad, but fails.

“Ya really do eat like a rabbit,” McCree remarks, leaning back in his seat, his plate long since cleared.

Hanzo frowns. “I do not. I just do not inhale my food as you do.”

He gives up on his salad and pushes his plate aside. He can feel the other man’s eyes on him as he wipes his mouth on the corner of his napkin. The weight of his gaze is heavy but not unwelcome, as is the warmth of his leg where it brushes his. He looks up and meets his eyes.

“Wanna stay the night?” McCree blurts, eyebrows raised hopefully.

Hanzo regards him levelly then looks aside as if in thought.

“... Alright,” he replies finally, and ignores the way the resulting blinding grin from McCree does something peculiar to his insides.

 

 

Afterward, they return to McCree's apartment, shedding their shoes and jackets when they are through the door. Hanzo sets down his case and takes off his hoodie, folding it and setting it atop the case.

Then, he immediately rounds on the other man, grabbing him by the shoulders and yanking him down for a kiss. This one is far more heated than all the others they have shared so far. McCree reciprocates with enthusiasm, flesh hand coming up to cradle Hanzo's face. Without looking, Hanzo reaches up to pluck that ridiculous cowboy hat from his head and tosses it aside carelessly.

McCree breaks away. “Hey now--” he starts, tone almost affronted.

Hanzo cuts off the protest by pressing another searing kiss against his mouth. It succeeds in shutting him up, his discarded hat forgotten. Hanzo deepens the kiss and nips at his lips. Nudges his mouth open with his own and licks in, wet and sloppy and hot. McCree shudders, then pulls back just slightly.

“I thought we were takin’ it slow,” he mutters breathlessly.

Hanzo bites at his bottom lip--not too hard though--then tugs at it with his teeth. “When did I say I wanted it slow ?”

McCree groans, amber eyes darkening. “You're killin’ me here, darlin’.”

Hanzo’s mouth curves in a smirk. McCree leans back in and kisses it off his lips, rough and open-mouthed. When he feels the other man’s tongue swipe over his teeth then press slickly against his own, Hanzo shivers. He wraps his arms around McCree’s neck for support and pulls him closer.

McCree abandons his mouth in favor of biting a wet trail down the sensitive column of his neck, all sharp teeth and liquid heat. He mouths at his collarbone, lapping at the edge of his tattoo, then sucks on the tender spot just below the curve of his jaw. Hanzo tips his head back to give him better access. His heart is pounding behind his ribs, heavy and steady like a drum, thudding loudly in his ears. He feels jittery, as if he will shake out of his too-warm skin if McCree stops touching him.

McCree’s mouth finds his again, feverish and needy. He threads his fingers through Hanzo’s hair, undoing the ponytail. Then, he trails both hands down Hanzo’s sides, slipping them underneath the hem of his shirt and riding it up, exposing his stomach to the air. His palms, one warm flesh and one cool metal, slide roughly against soft skin, raising goosebumps in their wake. Hanzo shivers again, molds himself against him like he cannot get close enough.

McCree looks him in the eyes, his pupils almost completely blown out. “You wanna--?” His voice is deep, raspy.

“Bed,” Hanzo mumbles, tugging at him with some urgency.

McCree guides him backwards, hands heavy on Hanzo's hips. Hanzo makes quick work of the buttons on McCree’s shirt then pushes the fabric aside. McCree helps him by stripping out of his black undershirt, pulling it over his head in one go. As he is doing so, Hanzo runs his fingers over the letters of his gaudy belt buckle then tugs off the belt entirely, dropping it on the floor. In return, McCree gets his hands under the hem of his shirt again and slides them upward, fingers fanning wide along his torso, until the shirt is bunched above his chest; Hanzo shivers and lifts his arms so he can push it the rest of the way off. McCree drags his gaze hotly over the revealed skin, eyes lingering on his tattoo, appreciative and hungry.

They shed their pants and socks and fall back onto the mattress, McCree hovering over him.

“Have I ever told ya how goddamn gorgeous y’are?” he says, running his hand over the ink along his shoulder and arm.

Hanzo lifts an eyebrow. Licks his dry lips. “Are you simply going to stare or will you actually do something?”

“Patience, darlin’.” McCree trails his flesh hand over Hanzo’s chest, down over his stomach then lower, tugging lightly at the waistband of his underwear, considering. “How’d’ya wanna do this?”

Hanzo looks him over appraisingly, from the messy hair falling over his hooded eyes to his broad shoulders and wide chest, to the solid breadth of his stomach and the trail of dark hair leading downward. Without hesitation, Hanzo reaches down and palms him through his boxers.

McCree jerks forward, startled.

“I want this”--Hanzo squeezes once, meaningfully--“in me.” He glances up from under his lashes almost coyly. “Do you think you can do that?”

“Oh, I can definitely do that,” McCree agrees, mouth curved in a cocky grin. He crawls forward, scooting Hanzo backward until they are lying at the head of the bed, and reaches into the drawer of the nightstand. He tosses a condom and a container of lube beside them.

“Gonna make you feel so good, sweetheart,” he promises, voice a low, scratchy drawl that rubs against Hanzo's nerves just right.

Hanzo shivers. “Why don’t you demonstrate then, rather than just talking about it?”

McCree clicks his tongue. “So bossy.”

Hanzo hauls him down for another kiss to shut him up. McCree runs his hands along Hanzo’s skin, smooths his palms over his chest, tweaking his nipples as he goes, then drags his fingers down his sides again, the nails of his right hand scratching lightly. His touch is hot, electric; Hanzo arches into it, feeling sparks dancing along his skin wherever McCree touches him, like a current.

“McCree,” he rasps, “hurry.” He arches upward again, grinding his cock into McCree’s through the thin layers of fabric separating them.

McCree groans, finally tugging off Hanzo’s underwear before doing the same with his own. Hanzo grabs the thin tube next to him and uncaps it, squeezing some of the slick onto his fingers. Then he reaches down and shoves two of his fingers into himself at once.

McCree gapes at him, watching with an almost stunned expression as Hanzo prepares himself.

“Hey now, ain’t you gonna let me have some fun too?” He seems to find his voice, though it is somewhat hoarse.

Hanzo glowers at him, a high flush on his cheeks. “You were”--he lets out a breathy sigh as he scissors his fingers--”taking too long.”

McCree blinks dazedly. “My apologies.” Without another word, he lubes up his own fingers and inserts one in alongside Hanzo’s.

“Ah--” Hanzo’s eyes slip shut and he withdraws his two fingers. McCree immediately replaces them with two more of his own, spreading his three fingers inside him carefully, pressing against the soft, heated walls, stretching the muscle. The slow, slick pressure is maddening; Hanzo feels hot all over, like there is voltage running beneath his skin. He quivers, limbs restless and shaking, shuddering slightly when fingers graze against particularly sensitive spots.

Finally-- finally --McCree withdraws his fingers, reaching for the condom and tearing the wrapper with his teeth. Hanzo lifts onto his elbows to watch him roll the condom onto his cock and slick himself up. He swallows. The other man is... well-endowed, to put it delicately. His pulse hammers in anticipation.

McCree lines himself up between his legs, then looks up into Hanzo’s eyes.

“Do it,” Hanzo breathes, and McCree begins to push in slowly.

He is larger than Hanzo anticipated. He feels every inch of the burning stretch, eased by the thorough preparation but still overwhelming.

Hanzo shudders, elbows giving out from underneath him. “Ah--wait--”

McCree freezes immediately, eyes flying up to meet his.

“Just--ah --give me a moment. It has… been a while,” Hanzo admits, voice unsteady.

McCree rubs his hands along his sides soothingly. “Take as long as ya need, darlin’.”

It takes a few moments, but eventually Hanzo adjusts to the feeling, muscles relaxing. He presses his legs against McCree’s sides to signal for him to move.

Obligingly, McCree resumes his slow press into him, muscles straining with the effort of holding back. Hanzo arches, feeling himself stretching wide to accommodate him. The sensation is still intense, but it is bearable. Every inch of his heated flesh inside him sears him to the bone, the almost-pain dissolving into a simmering burn that makes his blood run fire-hot in his veins.

He moans, eyes squeezing shut.

“Easy. That's it,” McCree rasps as he bottoms out. He stays still, allowing him time to adjust.

Hanzo takes in a shuddering breath. Grits out, “Move.”

At his command, McCree thrusts in, shallowly at first, then again, deeper. He keeps his pace slow, careful, as if worried about hurting him. Hanzo writhes underneath him, aching for more friction.

When he does not speed up, Hanzo growls impatiently. “McCree--harder. I will not break.”

McCree grunts. His next thrust comes slightly faster, hitting satisfyingly deep, but it is not quite enough, still too-gentle, obviously restrained, and Hanzo wants more.

With some effort, Hanzo leans up and grabs him by the back of the neck. Stares straight into his eyes, baring his teeth. A challenge. “Fuck me like you mean it, cowboy,” he hisses. “I want to feel it in the morning.”

McCree’s eyes widen, then narrow as he flat out snarls, the sound guttural, lower than Hanzo has heard before, the thin honey-amber ring of his iris all but disappearing into black. He shifts his grip--hauls him closer, lifting Hanzo’s hips clean off the bed, then hooks one of his legs over his shoulder, fingers gripping the tender flesh of his thigh, folding him almost in half--and thrusts in hard.

“Ah--” Hanzo jolts as a sudden shock of pleasure surges through him, tearing through his veins and searing his nerves.

“There?” McCree purrs, sounding almost smug.

Hanzo trembles and melts into the mattress, arms falling away and hands gripping at the sheets, as McCree sets a punishing pace, his cock dragging against that same spot each time.

“You're doin’ so good, Hanzo,” he croons. “So perfect, sweet pea, jus’ like that.”

Hanzo moans, the sound ragged, as the friction builds, burning and intoxicating, pooling in his abdomen. His head falls to the side, hair spilling across the pillow. “Fuck, Jesse--”

McCree leans down to bite at his neck, licks at the shell of his ear. Babbles, so beautiful, darlin’, you feel so damn good, takin’ it so perfect for me-- Hanzo cannot fully process the words through the haze in his mind.

When he lets out a desperate, broken noise, McCree reaches down to wrap his right hand around him; Hanzo grabs his wrist before he can do so, shaking his head--a quick, jerky motion.

“No--I want--” Hanzo struggles to find the breath and the words.

McCree shushes him, understanding his meaning, and rumbles, breathlessly, “I got you, sweetheart.” He laces their fingers together, then, and presses Hanzo's hand into the pillow next to his head as he continues to thrust into him. His prosthetic hand grabs his hip painfully, fingers digging into the soft skin there hard enough to leave bruises. It feels divine.

The heat swells up within him, magnifying every tiny sensation, leaving him dizzy from the pleasure.

“C’mon, sweetheart”--McCree’s voice, gravelly and rough, right beside his ear--”that's it, beautiful. So good fer me. Lemme see you come, yeah?”

Another particularly hard thrust and Hanzo is arching off the bed with a choked-off moan. His orgasm feels like it is ripped out of him, intense and consuming, washing over him in violent waves. Distantly, he hears McCree’s groan above him, and his breathless, There ya go, darlin’.

Hanzo returns to his senses as McCree is making to pull out of him. Hurriedly, he hooks his legs around him, keeping him inside. “No,” he mumbles hoarsely, “you can-- ah --keep going.”

McCree groans, hips thrusting forward as if against his will. Hanzo trembles and wraps his arms tightly around his neck, holding him close. McCree peppers his face with kisses as he resumes his pace.

Hanzo quivers from oversensitivity. It is almost too much. He feels tender, nerves raw and staticky, residual pleasure combined with the feeling of McCree moving inside of him making his limbs weak and his body shake uncontrollably. But he likes it.

McCree bites down on the juncture of his throat and shoulder as his hips stutter and he buries himself impossibly deep inside of him. Hanzo holds him through his shuddering orgasm, feeling the sting of the bite, which will no doubt be a dark bruise come morning.

McCree lays there for a long moment, hunched over him, before he finally pulls out, as gently as he can; Hanzo shivers weakly at the feeling. McCree lifts himself off of him, tossing the soiled condom into the trash, and walks into bathroom, coming back with a warm, damp cloth.

Hanzo does not think his limbs would support him at the moment, so he lets McCree wipe them both off. His eyes drift shut as a satisfied, bone-deep exhaustion settles in.

“‘S that good enough for ya?” McCree asks when he is done.

Hanzo opens one eye and peers at him tiredly. “It was adequate.”

McCree huffs. “I’ll take that as a resoundin’ yes.” He grabs the blanket and pulls it over them.

Hanzo just leans in and presses a brief, sleepy kiss to his cheek in response.

 

---

 

On Saturday, Hanzo is sitting cross-legged on his bed with his tablet in his lap, wondering idly if he should ask McCree to accompany him to the shooting range the next day, when his phone vibrates with a message.

 

From: Genji Sat 18:35
-
I will be at the saloon at 8:30 today :]
would you like to join me for a drink? ^o^

 

Hanzo blinks. He hesitates only briefly before tapping out a reply.

 

To: Genji
Sat 18:35
-
Sure. I will be there.

 

Two hours later, Hanzo walks into the bar. Genji is already there, sitting at the very end of the bar counter with a small glass of a pale golden liquor. He waves at Hanzo when he enters. Across from him, McCree looks delighted by his arrival and waves as well. Hanzo smiles back before he realizes he is doing so, then schools his expression before taking a seat next to his brother.

“Evenin’,” McCree greets him.

“Brother. It is good to see you,” Genji says with a pleased smile.

“Likewise.” Hanzo is somewhat surprised to realize he truly means it.

“The usual?” McCree asks.

“Actually, I would like whatever he is having,” Hanzo replies, nodding at the drink Genji has in front of him.

“You got it.”

Hanzo brings the slightly chilled cup to his lips when McCree places it front of him. He lifts his eyebrows in surprise at the first sip. “Sake?” And a rather fine one, at that.

Genji shrugs sheepishly. “Sometimes I miss the taste,” he admits.

“‘S to yer likin’, I hope?” McCree grins. “I know the presentation ain’t ideal. Keep meanin’ to stock some actual sake cups.”

“Yes, it is… satisfactory.”

Appeased, McCree wanders off to talk to two people further down--a large pink-haired woman and a short woman with her hair pinned in a bun--Hanzo turns toward Genji, gazing at him steadily. He will not miss this chance. Not this time.

“I… am sorry,” he says in Japanese, voice heavy with the unspoken words.

Genji blinks, then shakes his head. “It is I who is sorry, brother,” he answers somberly, also in Japanese. “After all, it was you who had to carry the burden of my misspent youth. I know of what you did in your time within the clan after I left. It was not easy for you.”

“Still. I did not handle the situation well, back then. I should not have acted the way I did.”

“We were both at fault,” Genji admits. “But, the past is behind us now. What is important is the path forward.”

Hanzo studies him sidelong. “You have changed, brother.”

Genji chuckles. “So have you. My time in Overwatch taught me much, as well as my recent travels and the people I met during them.” He pauses thoughtfully. “Speaking of which, there is someone I would like to introduce to you sometime.”

Hanzo hums and takes a sip of his sake.

“I am happy for you, brother,” Genji says suddenly.

Hanzo glances at him questioningly.

Genji smiles impishly back at him. “No need to play coy; I know already.”

Hanzo furrows his brow. “I do not know what you are talking about.”

His brother rolls his eyes. “I am referring to you and Jesse.”

Hanzo starts. “How did you--?”

“News travels fast in this group.” Genji grins at his flustered expression.

Hanzo drains the rest of his drink. If Genji knows, then who else does?

“Jesse is… a good man,” Genji continues, staring at him meaningfully. “And a great friend.”

Hanzo cannot quite bring himself to meet his eyes. He cannot believe that he is receiving his brother’s blessing for his... relationship. He frowns at the absurdity of the situation, praying desperately that he does not start blushing. It is likely a lost cause.

Before he can respond, McCree wanders back over to them. The other man takes one look at Genji’s shit-eating grin, then at Hanzo, and asks, “What’re y’all talkin’ about?”

“Nothing,” both brothers chime at once, Genji cheerfully and Hanzo crossly.

“Ookay then,” McCree says, drawing out the word, tone openly skeptical.

Genji laughs brightly. Hanzo scowls and promptly holds out his glass for a refill.

 

Chapter Text

“Evenin’, Mei, Zarya.” McCree grins down at the two women. “Pleasure to see you two again.”

Mei giggles, a half-drank pint glass in her hand. She pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose, which is painted with a faint flush. “You too, Jesse.”

Next to her, Zarya leans toward him conspiratorially. “You would never guess it, but I practically had to drag her away from her stacks of papers to come here. Not an easy feat, I tell you.”

Mei blushes. “It’s good to get out of the lab,” she admits.

“Y’know what they say ‘bout all work ‘n no play,” McCree agrees, nodding sagely.

“Ho, cowboy.” Zarya is looking toward where Reinhardt has wandered to chat with Torbjörn. “Do you think your friend over there would be willing to accept a challenge for an arm-wrestling match?”

He blinks at the sudden question, then throws his head back and laughs. “Ol’ Reinhardt? I’d wager that’d make his day.”

“Oh?” Zarya grins, eyes lighting up, and slams back her shot.

“The music is different today, isn’t it?” Mei comments cheerfully. “It was country last time, right? I find both to be quite enjoyable.”

McCree nods. He’d put on a different playlist at the beginning of the evening, courtesy of Lúcio. Instead of the usual country tunes, the bar is filled with a surprisingly mellow blend of electronic melodies and synth beats, with the occasional smooth vocals mixed in. Even though it’s not his usual jam, he finds himself tapping his feet to the addictive rhythm as he works.

“Yep, ‘s a mix made by a DJ friend o’ mine. Promised him I’d play it here sometime.”

Right on cue, Lúcio appears in the door of the bar with Hana.

“Ah, there he is right now.” He smiles at Mei and Zarya. “‘Scuse me.”

Mei gives him a small wave as he leaves.

“Hey man, lovin’ the tunes today,” Lúcio says with a beaming grin, sliding into a barstool. Hana plops herself into the seat next to his.

McCree snorts. “Glad you approve, seein’ as how they’re yours.” He frowns thoughtfully. “This don’t bode well fer me, though.”

“Huh? Why not?”

McCree sighs. “Reinhardt’s been tryin’ to get me to play Hasselhoff in here fer years now.”

Lúcio physically recoils. “You gotta be kiddin’ me.”

“Wish I was.” McCree shrugs. “Been denyin’ him all this time. No doubt he’s gonna hold this against me.”

Lúcio winces. “Ouch. Sorry, man.” He looks over at Reinhardt at the other end of the bar. “Seriously, though--Hasselhoff? Man’s gotta get himself some new tunes.”

“Couldn’t agree more,” McCree drawls. He quickly shoots Hana a threatening glare when she opens her mouth, no doubt to comment on his own taste in ‘tunes’. “Don’t you utter a word, missy,” he growls.

She huffs, blinking faux-innocently. “ Rude, Jesse. I was going to ask you about something else.” Then she quickly adds, “Though, yeah, pot calling the kettle black, much?”

McCree chooses to ignore the last thing she said. “Well, out with it.”

Hana sits up straight, eyes sparkling. “Would you let me stream in here sometime? I--”

“Absolutely not.”

“Whaat? But it’d be amazing for viewer ratings! Think of it as free advertising.”

“I don’t need none o’ that. An’ ain’t you conveniently forgettin’ you’re technically not allowed to be here ?”

She deflates, then rebounds at an impressive speed. “How about when I turn 21, then?”

“No.”

“Arrgh.” She lets out a frustrated noise and crosses her arms. “You’re no fun at all.”

He smirks. “Oh, I’m plenty fun, trust me. Now, you gonna order a drink or what?”

Minutes later, he serves up a strawberry-and-tangerine caipifruta on the rocks for Lúcio and the same concoction sans booze for Hana.

“Soo.” Hana cocks her head, cheek rested on one hand, twirling the straw in her juice.

McCree side-eyes her as he cleans the cocktail shaker in his hands with a rag. “So what?”

“How’re things going with you and the bae?”

“Me n’--that’s none o’ yer business,” he grits out. “‘Sides, who says ‘bae’ anymore?”

“Come on, Jesse! It’s been weeks. Please tell me you’ve at least gotten to second base.”

“I ain’t tellin’ ya nuthin’.”

“Hmmm.” She slurps her drink noisily, eyeing him then looking over at where Hanzo and Genji are seated. McCree turns his head and follows her line of sight. The two brothers are currently sipping their sake, the former in his usual dark jacket with the collar flipped up and the latter in a grey bomber jacket with green highlights; for once, Hanzo doesn’t have his instrument case with him. Their heads are bent toward each other as they talk privately about who-knows-what. Murder, maybe. Hanzo scowls suddenly in response to something Genji said while his brother just sniggers good-naturedly.

McCree turns back and sees Lúcio and Hana staring at him with matching smiles.

“What?”

Hana smiles wider, looking like the cat that ate the canary. “You have the dopiest grin on your face.”

McCree hastily scowls and sets the cocktail shaker aside. “Don't you got anythin’ better to do than bug me 'bout my love life?”

“So you admit you have one. That's progress.”

He shakes his head in exasperation.

She glances over at Hanzo again. “Since you insist on being so shy about it, maybe I'll ask him directly.”

He snorts, amused in spite of himself. “Go right ahead--I'd love to see that.” She'd be up for a positively frosty time; he can already see Hanzo’s frigid glare in his mind’s eye.

After five more minutes of ribbing, he's just about had it and banishes her to the farthest table in the corner.

Lúcio watches her slink away with her drink, then turns back and smiles apologetically at him. “You know she don't mean no harm by it, right? We're just happy for you, that's all.”

McCree sighs heavily. “I know. But ya gotta put yer foot down with rascals like her.”

Lúcio chuckles. “Sounds like you’re speakin’ from personal experience.”

McCree barks out a small laugh of his own. “You callin’ me a rascal?”

“Wouldn’t be surprised if you were one at some point.” Lúcio grins.

McCree glances over at Hana. She’s pulled out a bright purple and pink phone and seems to be taking pictures of the bar. When she sees him looking, she points her phone toward him and snaps a photo, then sticks out her tongue.

He grimaces. “You should prob’ly go keep her company before she sets fire to the place or somethin’,” he says to Lúcio.

Lúcio hops off his seat, expression resigned. “Roger that.”

 

 

Hana continues to make faces at him from across the room as he goes about attending to the customers sitting at the bar and serving up drinks. He resolutely ignores her.

Ten minutes later, Angela and Fareeha come in and sit down with Mei and Zarya, who have joined Torbjörn and Reinhardt. Lena and Brigitte stop by every so often to chat.

After checking up on Genji and Hanzo and refilling their sake cups, McCree saunters over toward the Overwatch group. Torbjörn’s laughing heartily at something Reinhardt has said.

Fareeha notices him and breaks slightly apart from the group, catching his eye as he approaches. He stops in front of her. “Evenin’,” he greets.

“Howdy,” she replies in an exaggerated drawl, and mimes tipping an invisible hat.

“Ha ha. Very funny.” He rolls his eyes.

She lets out a small laugh. After a short pause, she states, calmly, “I finally talked to my mother. Thought you’d like to know.”

McCree raises his eyebrows. “Didja now? Good fer you. How’d it go?”

Fareeha shrugs. “I still don’t agree with what she did, but… I’m glad she’s back.”

He hums in agreement. “I’m happy fer you--the both of ya. Really am,” he tells her, truly meaning it. Then he nods at her empty glass. “You want a refill on that?”

“Sure. Why not.”

She watches him as he grabs the rum and pours it into a fresh glass. “I heard you gave my mother a real scolding last week,” she says, giving him a wry smile when he meets her eyes.

He slides the drink in front of her and rubs the back of neck. “Wouldn't call it a scoldin’, really.”

“Hm.” She eyes him inscrutably while he grabs her empty cup and tosses it with the rest of the dirty glassware.

“... Thank you,” she says then, surprising him. When he looks at her, her stoic expression melts into a small smile, uncharacteristically gentle, eyes curving warmly. It softens her typically stately countenance, makes her look younger, reminiscent of before. McCree is struck by a twinge of nostalgia at the sight--an ache that blooms in his chest, bittersweet.

He returns her smile and replies, voice soft with affection, “‘Course. Y’know I can’t stand to see y’all unhappy.”

“You know,” Fareeha remarks, “with the way you fuss I'd think you sometimes forget you’re not actually my brother.”

“What, y’mean ya don’t think I’d make a great big brother?” McCree asks, mock-affronted.

“Hm…” She takes a long sip of rum, making a show of mulling over the question. “I'm not so sure.”

He shakes his head despairingly. “After all these years 'n ya still don't appreciate lil ol’ Jesse. 'M hurt, Fareeha. Wounded, even.”

“Oh don’t be so dramatic,” she says with a dismissive wave of her hand. Her tone is fond, though, and her eyes are bright with amusement.

“Fareeha!” Both of them turn to look at the source of the boisterous yell. Reinhardt beckons her over cheerily. “Come tell Zarya and Mei about the time you shut down the infiltration of that military base!”

Fareeha gives a long-suffering sigh and calls back, “For the last time, Reinhardt, it was a minor weapons facility, not a base. And I was not alone; it was all due to the combined effort of my team.” Nonetheless, she flashes an apologetic glance at him--he grins understandingly at her--and obligingly rejoins the others.

On the other side of the bar, Genji murmurs something to Hanzo, then leaves his side to wander over to the rest of the Overwatch group.

Hanzo’s left sitting alone, sipping at his drink, expression serene. McCree takes the opportunity to sidle up to him, smiling down at him when he looks up. Their gazes meet and stick.

Out of the corner of his eye, he spots Hana leering at him far too lecherously for someone of her age and appearance and tears his eyes away from Hanzo’s to glare at her. The other man glances over his shoulder, following his gaze. Hana’s expression immediately morphs into a bright, innocent grin when he looks in her direction. She waves.

Hanzo turns back, meeting McCree's eyes. He tips back the last sip of his sake and sets the cup down on the counter with a definitive clink.

“It is getting rather stuffy in here,” he remarks.

McCree doesn't need to be told twice. “Why don’t we go outside fer a bit to clear our heads? I’ve been meanin’ to take a smoke break anyway.”

Hanzo nods. McCree quickly swipes his hat and jacket from the behind the counter before rounding the side of the bar, Hanzo falling into step beside him.

A round of wolf whistles erupts from behind them as they make their way toward the back door. McCree shoots a flustered glare over his shoulder. Hana’s definitely guilty, if her shit-eating expression is anything to go by. As for the other--

“Et tu, Fareeha?” he grumbles, loud enough to be heard over the racket, feeling somehow betrayed. Fareeha just smirks at him and salutes him with her glass while the rest of the group sitting with her chuckle and smile knowingly.

McCree swiftly turns away, pulling his hat low over his ears as he herds Hanzo toward the exit. The two of them step out into the chill of the dark night, the door swinging shut behind them.

“Sorry ‘bout that,” McCree mutters, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. He wills the flush that’s slowly crept up his neck to recede.

Hanzo effectively distracts him by tugging him forward by the loops of his belt and kissing him, bringing an arm up to cup the back of his neck. McCree forgets all about his traitorous friends inside the bar as coherent thought slips away with the languorous slide of their mouths. Without breaking the kiss, he angles them so that Hanzo’s back is against the brick wall by the door, crowding in close to shield him from the wind.

Eventually--McCree can’t quite tell how long exactly--they pull back, but remain standing close. He tips his hat back and takes the opportunity to look the other man over. The single lamp above the door creates a small circle of light around them, casting uneven shadows over the elegant contours of Hanzo’s face. McCree’s gaze is drawn, as if magnetized, to his throat, where the stark lighting partially illuminates the milky skin, throwing the blemishes peeking out from behind his collar into sharp relief. He reaches up and pushes back the high collar of the other man’s jacket to admire the view. Hanzo’s v-neck does little to hide the scattering of bruises marking his neck and collarbone, contrasting with his pale complexion.

McCree traces his fingertips over the dark smudges on his throat, applies the barest hint of pressure to the particularly prominent one at the base of the right side of his neck just to see Hanzo’s eyes darken ever so slightly. “Well, ain't you a pretty paintin’.”

Hanzo purses his lips. “And whose fault is that?”

“Beg pardon,” McCree murmurs, not feeling contrite in the least. He noses at Hanzo’s jaw, trailing apologetic kisses over the spots he’d bitten and sucked two nights ago. Hanzo lets him, tilting his head back ever so helpfully. McCree gives a satisfied hum in response then draws back as a thought occurs to him.

Resting his flesh hand on the small of Hanzo’s back meaningfully, he asks, “You alright?”

“Yes. I am fine,” Hanzo replies mildly, glancing aside.

“I must not’ve done a very good job then,” McCree jokes.

Hanzo rolls his eyes. He nips at the underside of McCree’s jaw with sharp canines, then glances up at him through his lashes and smirks meanly. “A bit late for performance anxiety, isn’t it?”

McCree leans down and kisses him to shut him up. The other man’s lips are plush and open easily underneath his when he nudges at them to deepen the kiss. It’s warm and lazy and downright heavenly; he tastes the smoky flavor of whiskey and a heady sweetness that is all Hanzo.

Their mouths part with a soft, slick noise when they break for air, and McCree reluctantly steps back to give him space. Almost as an afterthought, he reaches into his jacket for a cigarillo, turning away to light it and take a drag.

He leans against the wall next to Hanzo, angling his smoke away from him, then glances over at him. He’s met with his profile; the other man is looking away from him, arms crossed loosely, expression smooth save for a small, thoughtful crease between his brows as he stares out across the night.

They lapse into silence. McCree feels no urge to break it, takes the quiet moment to savor his cigarillo and Hanzo’s presence at his side, content to just be in his company. He relaxes against the cool brick at his back, tips his head back to search for stars in the inky sky as the muted hum of the city and the muffled noise of bar wash over him.

All too soon it’s time to head back inside. McCree tugs open the door, stepping back with a tilt of his head to let the other man through first.

“After you, hun’.”

Hanzo raises an eyebrow before heading inside, discreetly adjusting his collar as he goes so that the marks are tucked neatly away. McCree follows behind him, eyes lingering, with some satisfaction, on a stray one that faintly stains the patch of skin just below his right ear.

 

---

 

The weekend passes, and Monday comes and goes. Tuesday rolls around and, as usual, McCree’s working the bar alone with only Lena on waiting duty. The evening crawls by, slow as molasses and dull as ditchwater. Customers trickle in and out throughout the evening as always, enough to keep him somewhat occupied in short bursts but not enough to distract him from the sluggish passage of time.

He’s so bored that he actually remembers to water Angela’s flowers during a particularly long lull in activity. Idly, he fills a glass with water and ambles over to the vase.

Angela had gotten quite the bouquet this time: the vase holds a dozen tall, green stalks topped with spikes of colorful, trumpet-like flowers stacked atop one another. They have some fancy name too, McCree recalls; he wracks his memory for what Angela had said when she brought them in last week.

Gladiolus. That’s it.

She'd talked to Morrison again--she told him as much when she came by, arms full with the gladiolus. Told him that Jack had said he’s doing fine, they all are, that he’d visit soon.

McCree rubs his eyes. He’s gotten over it, mostly. Fareeha had been right; he took the shock of the news pretty bad. Had dealt with it as he always did with such things like that: withdrawing into solitude and spiraling into a cigarillo-fueled gloom. He doesn’t want to think about how horrible he would’ve felt that Monday had Hanzo not shown up on his doorstep uninvited.

He feels a smile tug at his lips at the memory. For a moment there, when Hanzo stared him down in his own apartment, he thought the man intended to whack some sense into him in the most literal meaning of the word, or maybe put him out of his misery with a choice arrow and that fancy bow of his. Instead, he’d been pleasantly surprised by the actual turn of events.

He realizes he’s been zoned out for a good five minutes, staring unseeingly at the flowers with the cup in his hands, shoulders slouched unconsciously. With a heavy sigh, he lifts the glass, letting the water pour out into the vase. Now that he’s had more time to process, he’s feeling a lot better about the whole comrades-gone-AWOL-then-turning-up-years-later-out-of-the-blue thing. Still a bit pissed, a bit smarting, but… better. Which is good, since it’s only a matter of time until--

“What’d I always say ‘bout slumping?”

He jolts upright at that voice and whirls around.

A familiar figure dressed in all black strolls toward him. Speak of the devil. McCree sets down the empty glass before it can slip from his loose grip.

Gabriel Reyes steps up to the bar with his hands in the pockets of his hoodie jacket, his signature beanie pulled over his head.

“Hey, kid.”

“Reyes--,” McCree rasps, “you motherfucker.

“Hey now, watch your goddamn language.”

“I'll watch my language ‘soon as you watch yours,” McCree shoots back automatically.

Reyes flips him the bird then sits down on a stool, crossing his arms on the counter. McCree stares; the other man looks the same as ever: same dark beard and strong features, same grouchy expression under a heavy brow, same imposing presence. He’s got a new scar or two and his cropped hair has grayed more at the temples, but he appears otherwise unchanged--almost strikingly so, after how impossibly long the last five years have seemed.

“You here to serve drinks or just gawk, cabrón ?” Reyes’s bored drawl yanks him out of his reverie. McCree blinks, frowning.

“Speakin’ o’ corpses, ain’t you quite the lively one?”

“Fuck off. I’m not dead yet.”

McCree crosses his arms. “Woulda liked to know that sooner.”

“You think I'd kick the bucket so easy?” A scoff. “I'm offended.”

McCree regards the other man for a quiet moment then says, tone muted, “’S been a while, Reyes. Good to have ya back.”

The other man eyes him, expression unreadable. “Don’t you get all sentimental on me now. I’ve gotten enough of that from Ziegler.”

McCree scowls. “The hell’s wrong with that? Ya fuckin’ disappeared into thin air fer five years!”

Reyes rolls his eyes. “Spare me the lecture. I know what I did.”

McCree bites back the annoyed retort on his tongue, choosing instead to watch the other man glower pensively at the polished bartop.

“It was Talon,” Reyes mutters finally, the short statement coming out as a scornful growl.

McCree’s eyes widen at the mention of the familiar criminal organization. “Thought we took care of ‘em years back.”

Reyes snorts. “Yeah, well, apparently we missed a couple. And the bastards were out for revenge. Nothing we couldn't handle with a bit of tiptoeing, though.”

McCree shakes his head. He'd be in disbelief if it weren't so damn unsurprising. This is Talon they’re talking about, after all: the small but crafty criminal ring that had thrived on exploiting chaos to their own profit and capitalizing on corruption in the city. They’d even tried to recruit several of Overwatch’s own members at some point, to little success.

Back when Overwatch had still been in operation, Talon had been one of their primary targets; the criminal group been such a scourge on the city that Overwatch had received support for its operations against it from numerous parties in the city--including a division of the government. All completely under the table, of course. They’d carefully whittled the criminal org down over the years before launching a final assault on the diminished group six years ago, wiping it out entirely--or, so they’d thought at the time. Apparently, that had not been the case.

McCree lets out a breath. “So they're the ones who sabotaged that op y’all were part of five years back, I take it?”

“Yep. Gave us a real pleasant surprise.”

“Are any of ‘em still--?”

Reyes shakes his head in the negative, lip curled. “Nah. Fuckers are all done for now, six feet under or blown to bits.”

He grins suddenly, a wicked--nearly manic--sneer that’s all sharp teeth. The expression is just as terrifying and contagious as McCree remembers it. “Now where’s my fuckin’ drink?”

McCree reaches toward the shelves, grabbing a bottle. Pours him a shot of a fine, fiery mezcal--one of his favorites, smoky and earthy in equal measures--and passes it to him with a perfunctory “cheers.”

Reyes throws back the first shot in one smooth go. McCree refills his glass when he sets it down in front of him.

“You really oughta told us. We coulda helped. Ain't that the whole point o’ bein’ a team?”

Reyes scowls. “It was personal,” he says curtly. “Got nothing to do with you.” His tone invites no further conversation on the matter.

McCree tamps down on the urge to argue. Not the time or place.

He leaves the man to his mezcal and sets about polishing glasses instead. Soon after, Lena returns from her break, eyes widening comically when she spots Reyes.

“Gabe!”

Reyes nods at her. “Oxton.”

She zips over to them. “Good to see you again! Ah”--a group of people enter through the front at that moment, catching her attention--“sorry, can’t chat right now. Duty calls.”

McCree flashes her a grateful smile as she dashes off again, tying her apron around her waist.

Reyes looks around appraisingly, swirling his drink. “This place don't look half bad. Seems you didn’t do too shabby, kid.”

McCree can’t help but puff up his chest just a little at the grudging compliment. “Glad ya got somethin’ good to say 'bout it,” he quips, smirking smugly. “Woulda hadta chase ya out otherwise.”

Reyes gives a harsh bark of laughter. “You could try, escuincle. Can't get rid of me that easy.”

McCree grins wide. “Guess this means I got yer ugly mug to look forward to in here again?”

“Heh. Now that’s the wisecracking-little-shit punk I know.” Reyes smirks. “Moping don’t suit you.”

It’s such a ridiculous, Reyes thing to say that all McCree can do is shake his head wordlessly.

 

 

Reyes stays through four shots and then some. Eventually, he gets up, muttering something about meeting with Morrison before the pendejo ’s bedtime. McCree and Lena bid him goodbye and then he’s out the door swiftly as he had come.

The rest of the evening passes as normal. When 1 AM hits, McCree and Lena round out the remaining stragglers and clean up the place, wiping down the tables and putting away the chairs. 

At last, McCree gives the empty bar the methodical once-over--twice--then shuts off the lights and locks the doors.

The two of them step out the back exit.  McCree keeps Lena company under the light of the wall lamp while she waits for her ride.

“So.” Lena turns her face toward him. “Gabe seems to be doing well.”

He grunts. “Yep.”

She offers him a tentative smile. “Now we just need Jack to come by and the whole gang’ll be back.”

He smiles back at her--or, tries to, at least. He switches the subject. “Still keepin’ up with that pilot trainin’? How’s that goin’?”

“Sure am!” she says, perking up. “It’s going great! I’m--Oh, there’s my lift. I’ll have to tell you all about it some other time. Seeya tomorrow, Jesse!”

And then she's off. He waves goodbye to her as she leaves. She gives him a cheerful salute in return before hopping into the passenger side of the sleek black sports car that just pulled in. He swears that it’s Amélie he glimpses through the tinted windshield in the driver’s seat before the car speeds away in a squeal of tires.

Afterward, he stands in place, the chilly air biting at the skin of his face and sinking through the layers of his clothing to numb his bones. It’s quiet save for the distant rush of traffic and stray urban noises. The moon is close to full; the soft light of it spills over the empty streets and darkened alleys, the city’s twinkling lights, his breath that comes out as thin whorls of white.

Absently, he reaches into the inside pocket of his jacket with a gloved hand and pulls out his lighter and a cigarillo, lighting the stick then bringing the tapered tip to his lips with his thumb and forefinger. He pockets his lighter as he draws hot, acrid smoke into his mouth then releases it out in a long stream, feeling like he’s just let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’s been holding.

He stays there, leaned against the cold brick wall of the bar with his hat low over his eyes and his red scarf wrapped around his shoulders, puffing at the cigarillo until it’s no more than a glowing stump. Then, he stubs it out and straightens.

Before he leaves, he pulls out his phone to shoot Hanzo a message asking if he wants to stay over tomorrow.

 

---

 

McCree’s toweling his hair dry after his shower when a stray thought floats through his mind.

He glances in the nearby laundry hamper then calls out, “Hanzo, have ya seen my shirt? The red flannel one.”

When he gets no response, he wraps his bath towel around his waist and walks out of the bathroom. He immediately spots Hanzo lounging on the couch with his back against the armrest, preoccupied with his phone, wearing nothing but a loose t-shirt and black boxer-briefs, his hair down around his shoulders post-shower. A sight for sore eyes, indeed.

McCree prowls over to him and gazes down appreciatively. The shirt dips low, revealing enticing collarbones, and the tight boxer-briefs bare the creamy expanse of his legs to his enthusiastic perusal.

“Well, ain't you jus’ the sexiest thing I ever did lay my eyes on.”

“Thank you,” Hanzo replies, monotone, not bothering to even look away from his phone.

McCree pouts at him and remains standing where he is, still brazenly staring. Eventually Hanzo glances up at him, expression flat.

“Did you want something?” he asks, raising a single haughty eyebrow.

McCree grins at him lasciviously and drags his eyes deliberately over him from head to toe. “Only always,” he answers, giving him an exaggerated leer.

Hanzo rolls his eyes--McCree briefly wonders if the gesture ever gets painful for him, seeing how often he does it--before setting his phone aside with a sigh. He regards McCree consideringly, peeved expression morphing into something more heated, eyes going hooded and dangerous. McCree feels a coil of want stir low in his gut, warm and promising, and his grin widens.

He steps closer, getting right up next to the couch so that Hanzo has to crane his head back to see his face. When Hanzo doesn’t move, merely blinks up at him, languid and expectant, he takes it as an invitation to reach down and hoist him up off of the couch by the backs of his thighs. To his delight, Hanzo doesn’t protest, just shifts in his hold and wraps those lithe legs around his torso for balance.

McCree straightens with an armful of Hanzo, happy as can be. He presses a kiss to the side of his neck, murmuring, “Hanzo.”

“What.”

McCree just continues to nuzzle his throat, beard scratching against the skin there. He smells like McCree's soap and his own delectable blend of citrus and that pleasant floral scent. “Hanzooo.”

“Stop it,” Hanzo says crossly, covering McCree's mouth with his hand. When McCree sticks out his tongue to lick wetly at his palm, he wrinkles his nose in disapproval and wriggles in his grip. “Bed. Now,” he demands. “Or put me down.”

McCree opts for the first choice, carrying him easily to the bed and depositing him on the sheets. Immediately, Hanzo grabs the hem of his shirt, back making a fluid arch as he tugs it up and over his head then throws it haphazardly onto the floor. McCree’s mouth runs dry as he sweeps his gaze over the bared skin, taking in the toned curves and musculature, the tattoo wound around his arm and chest.

Dropping his towel, he climbs onto the bed so he's hovering over Hanzo on all fours. His head dips and his mouth finds Hanzo’s briefly--a hot, needy press of lips--before parting. Hanzo lifts a hand to his face and caresses his cheek, then slides it back to comb through his hair. McCree turns slightly to press a kiss to his fingers before lowering his head to nibble at his jugular. He noses at the faded marks, sucking and licking, teeth catching against soft skin. Then he kisses down his muscled chest, paying special attention to his nipples.

Hanzo's breath stutters when he mouths over one dusky nub then the other. When he starts to squirm from the attention, hand pushing at his head restlessly, McCree trails his mouth further down his stomach. Hanzo lifts onto his elbows to watch him, raising his hips when McCree tugs at the elastic of his underwear so he can pull it off entirely.

He’s already more than half-hard. McCree licks his lips at the sight. He glances upward to meet Hanzo’s eyes, shooting him a roguish smirk. “Eager, are we?”

Hanzo narrows his eyes and growls warningly, “McCree.”

“Alright, alright.” He raises up to grab a condom and lube from the bedside drawer, dropping them within easy reach, then leans back, taking a quick moment to admire the view of Hanzo splayed out and wonderfully naked on his sheets. Hanzo bends his knees, spreading them to accommodate him. McCree shifts closer, smooths his hands up the graceful length of Hanzo's legs as he settles between them, from his dainty ankles to the tender swell of where his thighs meet his ass. He sees Hanzo’s dark gaze flicker briefly to his prosthetic arm, tongue darting out to wet his lips. Interesting.

Then he places his hands on his hipbones, presses him down firmly, and takes him into his mouth.

Hanzo draws in a sharp breath, hips bucking. McCree holds him still easily with both hands as he runs his tongue wetly along the underside of his cock then bobs his head, feeling his length stiffen with the movement. Hanzo reaches down and buries a hand in his hair; McCree purrs at the feeling and Hanzo makes an aborted sound at the vibration around his cock.

McCree backs off slightly to mouth at the head, glancing up. Hanzo’s leaned forward on one elbow, staring down at him with glazed eyes, pupils blown, lips parted and bitten red, cheeks already flushed a deep pink--all framed by the loose, silken hair falling around his face. What a view.

Without looking, McCree grabs for the lube he’d set close by. He pops the tube open with his left hand, the other one still holding him down by the hip, and generously slicks up the metal fingers before easing one into Hanzo.

Hanzo shivers, glaring at him half-heartedly. “Cold.”

McCree takes him deeper into his mouth in apology, sucking lightly on the velvety flesh against his tongue as he carefully stretches him. With a gasp, Hanzo falls backward, splayed legs attempting to close but stopped by the bulk of McCree’s shoulders. He shudders at the ministrations, tugs at McCree’s hair with a desperate grip, but remains woefully quiet. McCree wonders distractedly about how best to coax a moan out of him.

Once it seems he’s adjusted enough, McCree slides another finger in alongside the first and scissors them. Already, he can feel the resistance of the tight muscle melting away as he rubs against the supple walls. He shifts his hand, crooking his fingers in search of--

Hanzo twitches, a startled shout tearing from his throat, as metal fingers bump against his prostate, and if McCree didn't have a dick in his mouth his lips would be curling in a triumphant smirk. He draws his head back to briefly lap at the salty drops gathered at the tip of his cock before swallowing him down again and going to town with his fingers.

Hanzo arches clean off of the bed with a cry, spine liquid, as McCree rubs roughly over the sensitive bundle of nerves, dragging his fingers outward only to thrust them back in against the same spot. His prosthetic fingers don’t let him feel the no-doubt searing warmth of his insides but he's not too disappointed, especially with the way Hanzo’s squirming desperately against him, torn between trying to buck up into the heat of his mouth or rock back onto the fingers fucking into him. McCree's firm grip on his hip doesn't let him do much of either, just holds him down and makes him take it.

McCree pulls off of his cock with a wet pop. Without pausing the motions of his hand, he moves back up Hanzo’s body to kiss him slow and deep, the taste of him still on his tongue. The other man’s mouth parts pliantly under his with a needy noise as McCree licks in hungrily. It’s a good few seconds before he dazedly returns the kiss, lips slack with pleasure, fingers tangled in the long locks at the back of McCree’s head.

McCree tears his mouth from Hanzo's and licks at the sensitive shell of his ear, fingers still thrusting steadily into him, applying blunt pressure to his prostate. “You love this, don'tcha, sweetheart? Love the feelin’ of bein’ fucked open on my hand, so wet 'n perfect for me.”

Hanzo clenches around him, a panicked noise escaping him that he quickly tries to stifle with the back of one hand. McCree gently tugs the hand away from his face by the wrist and pins it to the sheets above his head with his flesh arm.

“No, no, lemme hear that lovely voice, yeah?” he murmurs lowly, honey-sweet, then presses another slick finger into him to the last knuckle.

Ah, fuck --” Hanzo lets out a choked moan, clamping down erratically around the three fingers stretching him wide.

The wrecked sound sends a jolt of heat straight to McCree’s cock and he groans. “So damn tight, baby. Think I could fit four in there--stretch you out real good for me 'n make ya feel it fer days, how’s that sound?”

Hanzo shudders, eyes rolling back before falling shut, reduced to a panting, shivering mess on the bed--and, god, if that ain't the most gorgeous thing McCree's seen in all his years he don't know what is.

He presses his mouth to Hanzo's again, sloppy and spit-slick, biting at his slack lips.

“You're close, ain’tcha?” he rumbles. Hanzo lets out a breathy groan which McCree takes as a yes. He hums and mouths at the soft spot just behind Hanzo's ear, faintly salty from sweat, worrying at it with his teeth. “Gonna come for me real pretty-like jus’ from my fingers?”

McCree feels the grip on his hair tighten as Hanzo trembles violently, back bowing, eyes squeezing tightly shut. He swallows Hanzo’s moans in his mouth as the other man comes, stripping his stomach and chest in spurts of white. McCree works him through his orgasm with his fingers, milking that sweet spot inside him relentlessly, not stopping until Hanzo is pushing weakly at his shoulder, letting out muffled, almost hurt noises.

McCree finally withdraws his hand and pulls back, releasing Hanzo’s limp wrist as he does. With some effort the other man lifts himself up, sitting there a moment as he tries to regain his breath. McCree rubs his back soothingly, pressing their foreheads together and kissing him on the corner of his mouth.

After several moments, Hanzo licks his lips, shifting. “Want you inside,” he breathes, voice husky, raw.

Then, not waiting for a reponse, he shoves McCree onto his back and grabs his dick, already hard just from watching him. McCree lays there wide-eyed and stunned as Hanzo quickly rolls the condom onto him then seats himself on his lap and, without so much as a warning, sinks down around him to the hilt in one go.

McCree can’t stop the load groan that rips out of his chest as he’s suddenly enveloped entirely in a slick, constricting heat, the sensation so intense it blinds him for a moment. His hips jerk upward against his will, eliciting a grunt from Hanzo, before he forces himself to stay still, teeth clenching with the effort of holding back and not just forcefully pounding into him.

Hanzo has his eyes shut in concentration, brows drawn, bottom lip caught between his teeth as he rocks back onto his cock, seemingly unaware of the soft, broken noises spilling from his mouth in a steady stream. McCree finds himself staring at the spot where they’re connected, at the way Hanzo rolls his hips, the movement sinuous and hypnotizing. It’s only once Hanzo settles into a comfortable pace that McCree allows himself to move too, matching his rhythm so he’s thrusting up right as Hanzo’s pressing down. It earns him a breathless groan of his name; McCree growls out a curse, feeling himself burning hot with want and craving more of those sweet sounds.

When Hanzo’s pace stutters, his arms trembling from holding himself up, McCree surges upward, flipping them over before sliding back into him. Hanzo whimpers, wrapping his arms around his neck as he takes him in, all wet heat and tight pressure. McCree bites out a desperate groan of his own as Hanzo presses in close, nails digging into his shoulders painfully. McCree can't get enough of him. Adores the way Hanzo fits against him, like he belongs there. Relishes the way he shudders and squeezes around him, his tantalizing scent, the way he gasps McCree's name when he thrusts in just right.

Neither of them last very long--Hanzo worn out from the first round and McCree already worked up, almost at his limit, from watching him come undone twice.

A rush of white-hot pleasure overtakes him like a torrent and he shoves himself to the hilt into the tight, pulsing heat of Hanzo’s body with a long, deep groan. Distantly, he hears Hanzo’s shivery moan as the other man twitches and spills again weakly between their bodies.

They collapse in a spent heap, catching their breath. McCree withdraws gingerly from Hanzo, lifting up just enough to knot the condom and toss it into the trash before flopping back onto the bed, burying his face in Hanzo’s neck and throwing his flesh arm across his chest.

The other man huffs. “Have to. Shower. Again.”

McCree presses closer into his skin, feeling sticky with sweat, amongst other things. “Mmn, yeah,” he mumbles in agreement. “Shower sounds good.”

Hanzo attempts to sit up before falling back down again. “You will, ah. Probably have to assist me,” he mutters. It’s probably the closest to abashed McCree has ever heard him sound.

McCree blinks blankly; when he realizes what he means he can’t help his amused chuckle. Hanzo bats at his shoulder in retaliation, scowling. McCree kisses his cheek lightly and says, “Whatever ya want, darlin’.”

With a grunt, he sits up, sliding his legs onto the floor. Turning, he curls his arms around the back of Hanzo’s legs and lifts him up--the other man wraps an arm around his shoulders to steady himself--then carries him the short distance to the bathroom.

 

---

 

For once, McCree wakes up first. Hanzo is curled on his side facing him, his breath coming in small puffs against McCree’s collarbone. He carefully extracts himself from around the other man, who stirs at the movement, mumbling something incoherent--McCree’s not entirely sure it's even English--without opening his eyes.

“Shh. Sleep all ya like, darlin’.”

“Nn.” Hanzo grunts and rolls onto his back, then settles back into stillness.

McCree swings his legs over the side of the bed. He takes a moment to admire Hanzo’s sleeping figure-- blankets drawn snugly over his wide shoulders, black hair fanning out over the pillow, expression peaceful and lashes dark against his pale cheeks--before standing, joints protesting at the action. Damn. He really is getting old.

He quickly pulls on a pair of clean boxers--they hadn't bothered with clothes after showering yesterday, just collapsed back into bed and conked out immediately--before walking into the bathroom. After washing up, he heads for the kitchen, grabbing an apron and tying it around his bare waist as he goes.

Soon, there’s coffee brewing in the pot and a pan on the stove, the soft drip of the coffee machine and a savory aroma filling the room. He hears steps behind him and turns around just in time to see Hanzo padding into the kitchen looking mussed and sleep-soft. The man is wearing a pair of his sweatpants and one of his shirts--a worn burgundy one, rumpled and unbuttoned--which he’d probably picked up off the floor.

The sight stops McCree in his tracks momentarily. He doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to seeing Hanzo so casually wearing his clothes. He’d never admit it, but something about the way the familiar folds drape over the other man’s figure, just the slightest bit too loose, arouses some possessive urge within him, sparks a flare of satisfaction deep in his chest.

“What're you doing,” Hanzo mumbles, coming to stand beside him.

McCree feels a swell of something warm expanding in his chest, fit to bursting. He bends down and kisses Hanzo on the forehead. The other man scowls grumpily and bats him away. Adorable.

“I'm makin’ us breakfast, o’ course,” McCree answers. He'd actually gone grocery shopping for once, having thought to stop by the corner store after working out at the gym the other day.

“Hn.” Hanzo peers blearily at the bacon sizzling in the pan for a moment, bangs falling over his face. Then, without another word, he shuffles away toward the bathroom.

He returns ten minutes later looking much more awake.

“Coffee’s in the machine, if you’d like some,” McCree says, flipping the eggs in the pan.

Hanzo hums. He ignores the coffee and instead walks up behind him again. McCree sets down his spatula and turns to face him, hands settling on his waist. Hanzo reaches up and threads his fingers through McCree’s messy hair. “You need a haircut.”

McCree grins broadly. “Naw, you love my hair.” He recalls, acutely, just how much Hanzo had enjoyed grabbing at it the night before.

“Hmph.” Hanzo narrows his eyes like he knows exactly what McCree's thinking of. He stretches up onto his toes, whip-fast, and bites almost viciously at McCree’s bottom lip in retribution, stopping just short of breaking skin, then runs his tongue in a leisurely glide over the bruised flesh.

He draws away before he can react. McCree growls low in his throat and leans down to chase the taste of him. Hanzo allows the press of lips for a moment then steps back.

He smirks, slow and pleased, the corner of his eyes crinkling in amusement. “Weren't you cooking something?”

“Aw, shit--” McCree’s eyes go wide and he spins around. He hears the low, rich rumble of Hanzo’s chuckle behind him as the other man moves away.

 

 

The eggs are alright, salvaged right in the nick of time, as is the bacon. McCree loads up two plates and brings them over to the small dining table along with two forks. Hanzo accepts his portion with a murmured thanks.

As Hanzo settles down in his seat, McCree goes over to the coffee machine to fill up his mug. “Reyes came by the bar the other day,” he says.

“Oh?”

“Yeah. We chatted fer a bit.” He walks back to Hanzo and sits down across from him. The other man is studying his bacon and eggs curiously. “Guess it’s finally sinkin’ in. That they’re back.”

He can feel Hanzo’s level gaze on him as he stares into his mug. He lifts it to his mouth and takes a long swig of coffee.

“Are they going to reform Overwatch?”

McCree shrugs heavily, picking up his fork. “Who knows. Prob’ly not, but those three always did do as they please.” He pops a piece of crispy bacon into his mouth.

“No need, though,” he continues after swallowing. “Everyone’s settled down some. Talon’s gone. Business ‘s slow, so to speak.” He looks over the table at Hanzo with a wry smile. “Ain’t complainin’, though. A fella could really get used to the cushy life.”

“Hn.” Hanzo takes a bite of scrambled eggs, chewing thoughtfully.

“‘Sides, I’m happy as I am now. I got the bar.” I’ve got you. He thinks of the past few weeks, months, years. “What’s done’s done. No use wallowin’ in the past.”

Hanzo hums in agreement, meeting his eyes. “Indeed. The past lies behind, and one can only face the future by looking forward.”

“Speakin’ o’ the future…” McCree sets down his fork. Hanzo looks up from his plate questioningly.

McCree clears his throat, grabbing at the right words. “Are you. Going to… stay?” he tries finally.

Here. In the city. Settle down, after months, years of being on the run. With me.

Hanzo blinks. Glances down again. Swallows the food in his mouth before answering.

“I... suppose it would not hurt to stick around a bit longer. I am in no hurry, after all, and Genji is--mmph.

McCree cuts him off by lunging over the table and dragging him in for a kiss, positively giddy. After all, that’s as close to a resounding yes as he’s likely get at this point. His chest feels light, like he’s let go of something heavy. The past is behind them. What'll come will come.

For the first time in a long time, he feels like he’s got nothing to prove.

 

Chapter Text

The two of them settle into a comfortable routine.

As the days grow shorter, Hanzo finds himself staying over at McCree’s more nights than not. On those mornings, he awakens gradually with the sun, reluctant to leave the warm cocoon of blankets and a warmer embrace.

After allowing himself a few blissful minutes of idleness, he carefully disentangles himself from clinging arms--McCree’s slumbering state does not stop him from attempting to keep Hanzo from moving away--to use the bathroom. He takes his time in the shower, letting the warm water sluice over him and wash the sleep weariness from his bones. After he is refreshed, he walks to the kitchen to make himself some hot tea. By 9:30, he is sitting at the small dining table with a steaming mug of green tea in front of him as he reads the news from his tablet.

Eventually McCree wakes up, typically at least an hour after Hanzo does, always shuffling over to him for a sleepy kiss before meandering to the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later, he emerges and stumbles blearily to the kitchen, the sound and aroma of the coffee brewer filling the room soon afterward. Then he strolls out with his first mug of coffee in hand--he once had three in a single morning; Hanzo counted--to join Hanzo at the table. He never seems bothered by Hanzo’s silence, patiently waiting for him to glance up from his tablet to remark idly about some current event, or some piece of news, or an interesting tidbit he remembers. Sometimes, Hanzo sets his tablet aside and they talk, about everything and nothing at all.

Hanzo goes to the gym that McCree told him about on some days and the shooting range with McCree on others. It feels good staying active, especially since he has been, as the other man would put it, ‘taking it easy’. It is strange to have some semblance of stability, but not... unwelcome. Perhaps he is growing old; he can already hear Genji’s teasing in his mind.

He is still careful, of course. Vigilance is an ingrained habit, one which had been instilled in him since he was a child, but he lets himself acclimate to the more leisurely lifestyle. It is unlikely he will ever be short of money after all, especially not with the rather thrifty way he lives.

It is a lifestyle he had never thought he would be comfortable with having, and yet here he is: no job, pursuit, or pressing need to flee clouding his thoughts. No obligations, no role he must fill. He had never truly admitted to himself how his clan’s home had slowly come to feel less and less like one to him after the events of ten years ago; or how, with the loss of the last of his close family, he had taken up wearing a rigid mask every hour of the day in his own residence.

How different his apartment is now from the majestic, imposing compound of his family: the tiny flat is sparse, impersonal, meant to be temporary and containing only the essentials. He is used to such arrangements, having been on the road for so long and always taking care to travel light--the less baggage to weigh him down, the better.

The red flannel shirt hanging with his own laundry is the only dab of color in the otherwise plain space. Speaking of which, he needs to find some way to discreetly return it. He has taken to wearing it sometimes within the privacy of his four walls, not that he will ever breathe a word of it to McCree. The man is smug enough about Hanzo wearing his clothes as it is.

 

---

 

It hits him one morning as he is standing in McCree’s kitchen.

For once, the other man wakes up shortly after he does. He strolls into the bathroom while Hanzo is in the shower, barely awake, and, flashing a sleepy, cocky grin, promptly steps into the stall with him. Hanzo raises an eyebrow but lets himself be backed against the cool glass of the shower. He is rewarded with a tender kiss to the spot behind his jaw, and then they are rutting against each other under the shower spray, slick and hot and delicious, until McCree wraps a large, calloused hand around the both of them and finishes them off.

While McCree washes up in the bathroom, Hanzo digs around in the dresser for a shirt, finding what appears to be the last clean one, then pads into the kitchen and takes stock of the offerings.

The contents of the fridge are rather meager: three eggs, a third of an onion, a small bottle of hot sauce, and a carton of milk. He inspects the cupboards next. One shelf appears to be dedicated to McCree’s small but eclectic collection of mugs in varying sizes and colors. On the others: coffee, a canister of tea (Hanzo’s), a half-empty box of cereal (the kind with miniature marshmallows), and little else.

For someone who owns a bar, McCree has a curious scarcity of alcohol in his apartment. Hanzo sees nothing aside from a clear bottle of a golden amber liquor that he finds at the very back of a cupboard whose label is printed in what he thinks to be Spanish.

He really should force McCree to go grocery shopping more often given the pitiful state of his food supply. Unbeknownst to all but Genji, Hanzo has a hidden sweet tooth--dormant, mostly, but on the occasions when it makes itself known it is insistent until it is sated--and he has been craving daifuku. He eyes the barren shelves again. Perhaps he should stop by the store himself for both their benefits; McCree is running low on coffee, he notes, and he has learned that the man cannot function without his daily dose of the stuff.

A wave of something he has not felt in a long time washes over him: a soft swell of warmth and, faintly, nostalgia that he recognizes to be a deep-seated contentment.

He pauses, then, one hand holding the cupboard door ajar, staring blankly at the shelves, and mulls that thought over.

He is standing in the middle of a kitchen that is not his, feet bare, wearing one of McCree’s worn shirts and loose pants--it is more convenient than having to bring his own change of clothes--hair still down around his shoulders and damp from the shower. His tablet and phone are lying on the couch where he left them. His bow is in its case across the room by the door, next to his shoes and McCree’s leather boots. Above, his jacket hangs on the wall beside McCree’s, dry after getting soaked through with rain the previous night, when they were caught in a surprise thunderstorm partway through their walk back to McCree’s apartment.

He recalls their ensuing mad dash to the door, like children, McCree’s hand tugging him by his wrist and his laughter in his ear all the while as they burst inside, trailing water in their wake and creating puddles on the hardwood floor. How he gave himself over to a few chuckles as well at their carelessness--to have neglected to bring an umbrella, of all things--as they hurriedly shucked off their wet clothing and dried off, lest they catch their death of a cold. How McCree pressed him sweetly to the bed and they warmed themselves up with the caress of skin on skin and roaming touches until they were no longer chilled, then until they were both burning, desperate, and McCree slowed down Hanzo’s frantic movements to something more unhurried--yet no less hungry--with the heated, languid press of his mouth and hands as they chased their mutual pleasure until they both found their satisfaction. How, afterward, they laid together a long while, twined around one another with the patter of rain against the window and the soft, comforting murmur of each other’s breaths accompanying their slow lapse into sleep.

And now he is in McCree’s kitchen, thinking about restocking the pantry as he is about to make himself his morning cup of tea, and it feels a little bit like home.

“Please tell me we ain’t outta coffee, darlin’. Don’t think my heart could take that right now.” McCree’s voice behind him, still rough and blurry with drowsiness, interrupts his epiphany.

Hanzo turns, grabbing the bag of grounds and his tea before shutting the cupboard. The other man is halted at the entrance to the kitchen in his normal morning state of dishabille: undressed save for a pair of ratty sweatpants hanging low on his hips, beard messy and untrimmed, hair curled with moisture and pushed back out of his face.

He tosses the bag to McCree, who catches it with one hand. “Fortunately for you, it seems you shall live another day.”

“I swear you gotta be some kinda honest-to-god angel, sweetheart,” McCree replies with no small amount of relief, coffee clutched to his chest, and heads toward the coffee machine like a man on a mission, brushing a sleepy kiss against Hanzo’s cheek as he goes.

Hanzo just snorts, turning away to set the electric kettle to boil. “Flattery will not get you anywhere, cowboy.”

“Ain’t nowhere else in the world I’d rather be, darlin’,” McCree says easily, voice slurring low and warm.

Hanzo busies himself with scooping tea leaves into an infuser to distract himself from the flush threatening to heat his face. His prolonged silence does him no favors but he is having difficulty conjuring a fitting retort.

“Aw, honey,” McCree drawls into his ear, tone amused, hooking his chin over Hanzo’s shoulder, “you embarrassed?”

“I am nothing of the sort,” Hanzo snaps. He pops the infuser into a mug he pulls from the cupboard--this one adorned with a tableau of cartoon cacti and a tumbleweed--then fills the cup with hot water to steep, jostling McCree from his back with his movements.

“Come on now, buttercup.” The other man pouts when he is ignored and shuffles back over to the coffee machine.

“I feel the same,” Hanzo says after a lengthy pause.

“What’s that?”

“There is nowhere else I would rather be, either, Jesse.”

McCree noticeably reddens and fumbles a bit with the buttons on the coffee machine. Hanzo covers his satisfied smirk with a sip of tea and forgoes sitting down at the table for leaning against the kitchen counter beside McCree, who settles closer so their arms bump.

Hanzo takes the moment to savor the smell of green tea rising from his cup mixing with the nutty aroma of roasted coffee, the steady drip of the brewer and the muffled noise of the street outside the window, the soft light filtering in through the blinds, pale after the previous night’s storm, and lets himself relax.

It is mundane in a way he has not experienced in a long while. Peaceful. He has almost forgotten the feeling entirely, what with the constant paranoia that had clouded his mind for so long, which has gradually slipped away over the past few weeks.

McCree shifts beside him, a solid, comforting presence. Hanzo ponders the trails of steam curling from his mug.

He likes being here, with McCree. He has never once felt restricted or tied down; he has no desire to leave but he cannot promise he will never have to, and he knows the other man understands this. Despite this fact, whatever they have is, without a doubt, a sure thing.

He and McCree are a sure thing.

The idea terrifies him. Trips all of his alarms, sets his every instinct screaming. And he wants it more than anything. For this, he realizes, he is willing to take the chance, to set aside the mask, to put his trust in them, because he knows he can go whenever, wherever, should the need arise, for days or weeks at a time if he must, with the certain knowledge that he has a place he can return to, that there is somewhere--and someone--he can come home to, that McCree will be here, unfailingly, to welcome him back.

No masks. No clinging unease. He is content. No--he is happy.

The revelation blindsides him. He does not know what to do with the information. Holds it in his mind gingerly, clumsily, like rediscovering something that has become foreign.

“‘S matter?”

Hanzo blinks as he is pulled out of his musings. “Nothing.”

“You're thinkin’ too hard again, I can tell. Yer mouth goes all flat ‘n ya get this lil’ furrow, right here.” McCree pokes him gently between the eyebrows with his index finger.

Hanzo frowns by reflex. The other man just looks pleased at his scrunched expression.

“Better to think too hard than not at all,” Hanzo retorts airily. He always forgets just how perceptive the other man can be.

McCree snorts and grins lazily. “Dunno if I agree with that.”

Hanzo lifts his cup to his lips as the other man cracks a wide yawn. The coffee finally finshes brewing and McCree pours it, black as tar, into yet another tacky mug (this one reads, absurdly: ‘SAVE A HORSE RIDE A COWBOY’), from which he then takes a deep draught, throat working in long swallows. Hanzo resists the urge to wrinkle his nose; he still cannot comprehend how McCree can gulp down the bitter liquid so enthusiastically even after having witnessed the man do just that many times now.

“You are running out of clean shirts,” he informs McCree.

“Well whaddya expect when ya insist on pilferin’ from my closet every time I turn my back?”

“I seem to recall you had no problem with it the last time I checked.”

“Still don’t, darlin’. Trust me.”

“I do not understand how you can go so long without doing laundry.”

McCree’s grin is indolent. “‘S called bein’ resourceful, sunshine, an’ I'll have you know it's a valuable skill.”

Hanzo rolls his eyes. “Do your laundry; I am not wearing your filthy clothing.”

“Well maybe if ya moved in I’d actually remember to,” McCree jokes.

“Ah.” Hanzo stills minutely. Across the table, McCree freezes as well, wide-eyed like he is just realizing what he said, mouth opening as if to backpedal. Before he can do so, Hanzo cuts him off. “Maybe so, although I am not so sure even that would be enough to cure your chronic habit of piling dirty laundry everywhere,” he replies, tone light. “It is a miracle you are able to walk about without tripping.”

“Hey! I ain’t that bad,” McCree protests weakly. When Hanzo meets his eyes, his mouth curves in a tentative smile, uncertain and a little hesitant, like a question.

Heart racing, Hanzo musters up a smile of his own--or, tries to, anyway. It is probably more awkward than anything but McCree brightens regardless, an emotion like wonder flickering across his features. It does something strange to Hanzo’s insides, sets off a fluttering in his chest that ripples along his limbs and spine down to his toes. He holds McCree’s contemplative gaze for a several beats before he has to look back down at his tea to maintain his composure.

His pulse is pounding drum-like and far too loud in his ears, but with the way McCree is staring at him across the table, so openly sincere and smitten, he finds that he does not mind it.

 

---

 

On a Saturday, Hanzo receives a text from McCree asking if he will be stopping by the saloon that evening. He replies in the affirmative--he had been planning on meeting with Genji there that day.

After the first time his brother invited him to have a drink together, the two of them have met up at the saloon on several more occasions. It is the least he can do to make up for the lost time between them, Hanzo thinks. To his relief, it is becoming easier, slowly, to talk with Genji. It has become something of a habit for them to share a bottle of sake in a corner as they converse quietly in Japanese. He often catches McCree watching them out of the corner of his eye whenever they do so with something akin to fondness. He tries not to analyze it too closely.

At half past seven, Hanzo slips into his jacket and shoes, his wallet, phone, and keys tucked snugly into his pockets. After a moment’s deliberation, he leaves his bow case where it rests near the entrance and steps out of the apartment, locking the door behind him.  

Across the city, the trees are crowned in crimson and gold, dark branches visible amidst the fiery foliage. The sunset reflects off the glass skyscrapers in the skyline like molten flame. Hanzo admires the view as he walks toward the bar, hood drawn over his head. Everyone around him is bundled in scarves and coats, barely sparing him a glance as they hurry along their way in the last light of the day.

Urged by the wind, leaves fall lushly like the blossoms of Hanamura in spring, setting the city ablaze with autumn color. Hanzo draws his own jacket tighter around himself, thankful for the warmth of his hoodie underneath. Absently, he wonders if McCree would let him borrow his scarf--the thick red one with the geometric yellow pattern.

Before he realizes it, he has already reached those familiar red letters. Hanzo pushes open the door to the saloon and steps gladly into the cozy warmth, then pauses.

McCree is not in his usual position behind the bar, but rather sitting atop a stool by the dartboards, his cowboy hat on his head and the sleeves of his brown button-up rolled up, arms hugging the guitar in his lap while he croons some lilting country tune Hanzo remembers hearing over the bar speakers at some point into a microphone set on a stand in front of him.

To call his singing voice pleasant would be an understatement, Hanzo decides. His usual drawl is smoothed into a rich, deep timbre, that trace of velvet huskiness becoming more pronounced as his voice dips low on a note. Dextrous metal fingers play along the neck of the guitar while his other hand picks at the strings, skillfully strumming a honeyed harmony, one boot tapping out the rhythm as he rumbles something about fields of clover. Belatedly, Hanzo notices that a good portion of the bar's patrons are also watching the performance, many of them smiling or nodding along to the music.

McCree looks up. Without a hitch, his eyes find Hanzo’s and he winks. Hanzo shifts self-consciously but stays where he is, watching the other man play for a few minutes until he notices Genji waving at him from a table near the wall where he is sitting across from, strangely enough, an omnic.

“Brother!” Genji greets him as he approaches. His brother is wearing a vest jacket and a bright scarf, his hair in its usual spiked up style. “This is who I wanted to introduce to you. This is my sensei Zenyatta.” He motions toward his robotic companion, who is garbed in red and yellow monk’s attire and somehow manages to project an air of benevolent serenity despite his unmoving visage. “Master, Hanzo.”

“Good evening,” Hanzo says, albeit bemusedly. It is not everyday that one sees an omnic in a bar of all places.

“Greetings.” Zenyatta’s voice is even and placid, holding only a faint robotic distortion. “It is a pleasure to meet the brother of my esteemed pupil.”

“Pupil?”

“Indeed. Genji has requested that I teach him the ways of Shambali meditation, and I am more than happy to oblige.”

“Master and I met in Nepal when I was travelling through the area two years ago,” Genji provides.

Hanzo blinks, bewildered. “I see. That is--good,” he manages stiffly. Genji? Meditation? His brother had never quite taken to the practice in his youth--but, better late than never, Hanzo supposes.

Across the bar, McCree concludes his performance to a boisterous round of applause--and some cheeky whistling--from the patrons. He stands and tips the brim of his hat at the audience with an easy grin before sauntering back behind the counter, hanging the guitar in his hand on a vacant spot on the wall with the others and setting his hat back in its place next to the vase of chrysanthemums. He catches Hanzo's eye again and flashes a smile.

“Jesse is quite a talented singer, wouldn't you agree, brother?”

Hanzo jerks his gaze back to the table. Genji is grinning at him, eyes glittering in mirth. “Ah. I suppose he is.”

“I had not heard this ‘country’-style music before today,” Zenyatta muses as the usual background music resumes playing through the speakers. “I find it quite to my liking, as is this saloon.”

As Genji starts explaining the concept of a Western saloon to the omnic, Hanzo tunes them out and surveys the rest of the space. There are a decent amount of people scattered around the various tables and seated up at the bar. He spots Angela with a straight-backed woman with a jeweled headpiece several tables down. Nearby, Brigitte is chatting with the two odd strangers Hanzo had seen previously--the lanky man who requested a Molotov and his taciturn companion. Lúcio and Hana are bent over a flickering tablet at another table, two matching glasses of fruity drinks in front of them. At the bar, two women whom Hanzo recognize as Fareeha and Ana are sitting side by side; McCree stands across from them, occasionally glancing over toward the other end of the counter, where Reinhardt is talking with two unfamiliar, seated men.

Hanzo looks back. Genji is still talking single-mindedly to Zenyatta about something or other, gesticulating excitedly with his hands. The omnic nods thoughtfully along with his chatter, occasionally raising a finger to say something. Abruptly, Hanzo feels strangely awkward sitting there, like he is intruding on something. He coughs politely to get their attention.

“Excuse me. I am going to get a drink.”

Without waiting for a response, he stands and walks toward the bar, nodding a greeting at Lúcio and Hana when they wave at him from their corner. Lena is dashing cheerily between the tables, a loaded tray in hand, and gives him a chipper salute as she zips by him.

McCree smiles broadly at him, having noticed his approach. “Howdy!” he calls as he nears. Fareeha and Ana turn their heads toward him as he stops next to them.

“Pardon me,” Hanzo murmurs. He gestures to the empty stool beside Ana’s. “May I?”

The hooded woman smiles kindly. “Of course. Go right ahead.”

“Hanzo, glad you could join us,” McCree tells him. “The usual?”

Hanzo nods. “Busy day?”

“Always is, weekends. Ain’t been too wild today, though.”

Ana observes McCree as he pours out the drink and slides it toward Hanzo. “I believe owe you an apology, Jesse.” When he looks at her in surprise, she continues, “For leaving so suddenly, and dumping this place on you. For what it’s worth, you did a fine job with it.”

“Heh. Apology accepted.” He grins lopsidedly. “Guess I was the responsible one for once, huh?”

Ana chuckles. “I suppose you were.”

McCree crosses his arms and gazes out across the saloon. Hanzo mirrors his action, taking in the sight. The bar is alight with activity: the muted glow of the lights gleaming off the polished counters and cherry tables, the warm mahogany walls creating a vibrant backdrop to the lively bustle, the soft strains of music mingling with the sounds of laughter, indistinct conversation, and clinking glass.

In a tone tinged with pride, McCree states, “This bar’s mine now. Ain’t nobody gonna pry it from me ‘cept from my cold, dead hands.”

Ana and Fareeha exchange a fond, knowing look.

“‘M open to suggestions, though,” he adds, winking.

Ana seems to consider this. “Hm. Well, I would start by improving the music selection, for one.”

McCree laughs long and loud, then growls, “Not on yer life.”

Ana shrugs. “It was worth a shot.”

Hanzo makes no attempt to stop the small chuckle that escapes him. He does not realize he is smiling until McCree swings his amber gaze to him and lets it linger there.

Then he straightens, arms dropping. “Oh, uh. Hanzo. Got somethin’ fer ya.”

Hanzo watches, curious, as McCree rounds the side of the counter; his gait is the slightest bit off, as if he is nervous. When he is in front of him, he reaches into the back pocket of his jeans and, after motioning for Hanzo to hold out his hand, presses something hard and flat into his palm.

It is a key, silvery and unassuming. Hanzo stares.

“'S a copy of the key to my place,” McCree says, rubbing at the back of his neck. “I uh. Want you to have it. Guess what I'm tryin’a say is…”

He takes a deep breath. Looks him dead in the eye.

“Move in with me?”

Hanzo stares at the piece of metal in his hand then back at McCree, who is wearing an expression so hopeful that he feels it squeeze at his heart. He swallows thickly and very carefully and deliberately pockets the key.

Then he grabs the cowboy by his collar, yanks him forward, and kisses him squarely on the mouth, right there in front of Ana and Fareeha and everyone in the bar.

He hears whoops and whistles start up around them, can feel himself flushing to the tips of his ears, but he cannot bring himself to care--not even when McCree finally breaks out of his shock to kiss him back and the cheering intensifies, nor when he hears Genji’s voice in the mix.

It is worth it all to feel the curve of McCree's smile against his lips and the warm arm that wraps itself, tightly and assuredly, around his waist.