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A Good Heart

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Zenyatta leaves his class twenty minutes early as usual and is most of the way to his locker when he hears someone crying and he can't help but take a detour.  It's not like he isn't always a few minutes early for his Linear Algebra class at the university anyway so he has some time.  He follows the noise to a frequently abandoned stairwell at the back of the locker bay and then ducks under the stairs to find Genji Shimada, his face buried in his hands, his back turned to Zenyatta.  Zenyatta realizes that despite his best intentions, he had not actually figured out what he was going to say to this person in advance and now that he knows who it is, any vague ideas he had kicking around go straight out the window.  Genji is the king of the troublemakers at their school, a group of students who party hard, sleep around and skip a lot of class.  Zenyatta is pretty sure that he (a social nobody) has to be one of the last people Genji would ever want to talk to, let alone now with all the bad things that have going on in his life.  He's considering just leaving without saying a single thing when Genji turns around and wiping his eyes, says, "Why the fuck are you out of class?  Get lost, nerd!"

And Zenyatta freezes, can see the pain in his body language like he's screaming it and he can't go, not without trying at the very least.  Instead of leaving like Genji's asked, he sits down on the ground across from him, making sure to give him a wide berth.  "I was on my way out when I heard someone crying so I wanted to check and see if whoever it was needed someone to talk to.  Do you?" he says, tilting his head at Genji.

Genji stares at him as if he's never heard something weirder in his whole life before shaking his head.  "Sure, I'm just going to bare my soul to some guy I don't know at all. Great plan."

Zenyatta nods.  "You make a fair point but my offer is not contingent on us knowing each other.  I just thought that perhaps with everything that is going on with your family at the moment, you could use som-"

Genji springs to life, closing most of the distance between him and Zenyatta and grabbing the front of his shirt in a hand.  "How the fuck do you know what's going on with my family?" he starts to shout but quickly tones it down to a loud whisper.  "No one is supposed to know what's going on with my family."

Genji is very close now,  the whites of his deep brown eyes pink from crying, his eyeliner smeared and his lips curled in a snarl.  Zenyatta doesn't know Genji very well but he knows that in spite of his reputation, he's not a bully, knows that he doesn't start fights, only ends them.  He's also pretty sure that he can take him if push comes to shove so he doesn't flinch, just says, "My brother works at the courthouse so I spend a lot of time there.  I did not mean to overhear about your father's trial but I did."

Zenyatta watches as the tension slips out of Genji's shoulders.  "So you didn't hear that around school or something?  People aren't talking about it behind my back?"

Zenyatta shakes his head.  "Not that I have heard."

"Thank god," Genji says, letting out a long sigh.  He leans back and as he does, he realizes that he's still holding the front of Zenyatta's shirt.  "Sorry," he says, letting go and smiling sheepishly, "that was shitty of me.  I'm just… having a bad couple of weeks."

"That makes perfect sense," Zenyatta nods and straighten his shirt.  "But why are you so worried about it getting around school?  Surely the only people who know other than me are your friends and they would never tell anyone, right?"

Genji chuckles.  "You'd think that but for them to be able to not tell anyone my secret, I would have had to tell it to them in the first place which I have not."

Zenyatta cocks his head at Genji, his brow wrinkled with confusion.  "Why would you not tell your friends about this?"

Genji laughs a bit harder.  "You really are a huge dork, aren't you?  Telling that gang of chatty bored assholes that I'm having some sort of personal problem would basically be social suicide.  They'd get all," he waves his hands, "weird around me like I'm fragile and then talk about me behind my back and before the end of the day, the whole damn school would know.  Bleck no thanks."

"I see."  Zenyatta nods.  "But despite all of that, you still seem entirely unworried about me, a complete stranger, having that same information because… you assume no one will listen to me if I try to spread it?"

Genji rolls his eyes.  "No, well, maybe a little," Zenyatta opens his mouth to argue but Genji just keeps talking, "But mostly it's because you heard someone crying and you didn't even know who they were but your first instinct was to try and help them anyway.  That's some good samaritan shit if I've ever seen it."  Genji smiles at Zenyatta and it's a lovely smile.  Zenyatta thinks he likes it.

"Oh," Zenyatta says, a little stunned, "thank you?"

Genji nods.

"So in that case," Zenyatta pauses, looking Genji over, "did you still want me to go or?"

Genji shakes his head.  "Nah, this whole crying alone under the stairs gimmick is a lot less glamorous than it looks.  To be honest, I could use the company."

"Alright," Zenyatta smiles, thinking over possible conversation topics. "So did you want to talk about your father's trial-"

Genji cuts him off, waving his arms, "Noooooo, I'd rather talk about nearly anything else at the moment… like for instance, why you're not in class? You said you were going somewhere?"

Zenyatta shrugs.  "I take college level courses at the university so they let me out of my english class early so I can bike over there."

Genji shakes his head, "Figures that an egghead like you would be skipping out early for a reason like that."

Zenyatta smiles and raises an eyebrow, "By egghead, are you refering to my intellect or perhaps my hairstyle?  Because I believe the term could be applicable in both instances."

Genji looks from Zenyatta's smile to his shaved head and back and then groans.  "That is a horrible joke."  He starts to snicker, "Has anyone ever told you that you have like the driest fucking sense of humor because that was like a desert."  He starts to laugh harder, "Like the sandpaper of jokes, I'm not kidding."

"And yet you are laughing so I must be funny," Zenyatta smiles.

Genji tries to stop laughing but then gives up.  "Well, I have horrible sense of humor clearly.  We both should be ashamed of ourselves."

"Clearly," Zenyatta laughs.

Genji's still laughing and smiling when he asks a few moments later, "So when do you need to head out for that?"

Zenyatta looks down at his watch and realizes just how much time has passed.  He takes in a deep breath and let's it go.  No reason to wallow over things he can no longer change.  He looks up at Genji and shrugs.  "It appears as if more time has passed than I'd thought. I won't be able to make it on time now."

"Fuck really?" Genji says, eyes wide.  "But you must never skip class, how are you so calm about all of this?"

Zenyatta smiles slightly, "It is pointless to beat myself up over something I can no longer change, especially when, now that it comes down to it, I would rather have been here with you anyway."

Genji blinks at him.  "But why?  I mean obviously you're like super nice but no one is that nice.  I mean, you don't even know me and I'm kinda a bad kid..."

"But you're not," Zenyatta shakes his head.  "I've seen you around. Our lockers are in the same bay and you always close any of the ones that you see left open."

Genji shrugs.  "Anyone would do that."

"Not really," Zenyatta shakes his head more, "And you try to not make a big deal about it but you buy extra food and even whole lunches for people who can't afford them-"

"My dad has a lot of money alright," Genji shrugs, "Might as well spend it on something good from time to time."

"My point is," Zenyatta says forcefully, determined to not get swayed from what he's saying a second time, "People say you're a menace because you're a bad student and you like parties and you dye your hair bright colors but I know for a fact that you are a good person and today you were having a hard time and it looked like I could help so I wanted to try, okay?"

Genji just stares at him for a moment and then putting his face in his hands, starts to blush.  "Fucking hell dude," he mumbles into his hands, "you can't just... say stuff like that jesus."

"Sorry?" Zenyatta says, leaning forward to peer at Genji around his hands.

Genji sighs and peaks out of his hand at Zenyatta.  "It's fine… it's just," he pauses, "has anyone ever told you that you're a strange guy?"

"All the time," Zenyatta grins and nods, "why do you ask?"

Genji puts his face back into his hands and starts to laugh.  "No fucking reason," he says between chuckles, his shoulders shaking.

Zenyatta smiles to himself, watching as Genji laughs for a bit.  It's only been about ten minutes and already Genji looks better than when Zenyatta arrived, the last of the strain in his broad shoulders melting away as he laughs.  A minute later, he leans to try and look around Genji's hands as he asks, "So do you think you will be returning to class today?"

Genji takes his face out of his hands and shakes his head.  "Oh hell no, looking like this?"

Zenyatta takes in his face, noting that as usual, Genji has wonderful bone structure.  He's wondering why that would be a hinderance to going back to class when he realizes that Genji is referencing how his face is smeared with eyeliner and stained with tears which is a pretty good reason to not want to go back to class.  "What are you going to do then?"

"Hmmmm," Genji narrows his eyes as he thinks, "I have an idea.  Do you want to get out of here?"

"Me?" Zenyatta brings his hand to his chest, his eyes wide.

"No, the other guy hanging out with me under the stairs while I cry. Of course you."

Zenyatta pauses.  He has already missed his class and yet… "Are you sure you wouldn't rather go with your friends?"

Genji sighs.  "Yeah, see it's a great plan because you're funny and you know about my big secret so I don't have to pretend to have my shit together when I don't and you already missed your class anyway and this is a horrible idea, isn't it?" He pauses and looks at the ground.  "I'm just going to… go, yeah sorry to bother you."

He starts to get up and Zenyatta reaches out and grabs him by the wrist.  "I think it is an excellent idea," Zenyatta meets his eyes and smiles, "Where to?"

"Well," Genji says, a big grin on his face.

****

A few minutes later, they're in the school parking lot, Genji sitting on his motorcycle as Zenyatta stands nearby with his bike helmet on and looks on disapprovingly.  

"We aren't going to get very far if don't get on the motorcycle," Genji says, giving Zenyatta a wry smile.

Zenyatta frowns back unamused.  "I am not getting on until you put on your helmet.  You could get hurt."

Genji rolls his eyes.  "And ruin my hair.  I don't think so."

Zenyatta sighs.  "You are being ridiculous.  It is not like you don't always look great."

Genji stares at him for a moment, his cheeks starting to turn a slight pink when Zenyatta realizes how blunt what he'd just said is and starts to blush himself.

Genji looks away and coughs before grabbing his helmet and pulling it on with a quick tug.  "Happy now?"

"Yes I am," Zenyatta says, closing the distance between him and the motorcycle then climbing on the back seat.

Genji turns to look over his shoulder.  "You know," he grins, "you're going to have to hold on to me if we're going to go anywhere"

Zenyatta feels his blush grown darker.  "Right," he says, giving Genji's back a long, hard look before he scoots closer and wraps his arms about his chest.

He jumps when he feels Genji grab his hand and pull it slightly more across his chest.  "You're going to need to hold me tighter than that.  Motorcycles don't really let you leave room for Jesus." Genji chuckles and then lets go of Zenyatta's hand.

"Right," Zenyatta says again, his face on fire. He lets out a slow breath and then scoots even closer than before and holds Genji much tighter than feels appropriate after only knowing him for about a half an hour.

"That's better," Genji calls over his shoulder.  "You're pretty strong for a skinny looking guy."

Zenyatta nods but then remembers Genji can't see him right now.  "I do kai silambam so that probably helps."

"Nice," Genji says, "I do judo and kendo but not with the school teams anymore because I, uh well…"

"I understand," Zenyatta squeezes him quickly as a reassuring gesture and then worries that it was too forward.

A moment later though , Genji squeezes Zenyatta's hand quickly and then lets go.  "Thanks."  He pauses and then turns on his bike.  "Anyway," he says over the din, "let's blow this popsicle stand."

"Where are we going again?" Zenyatta asks.

"You'll see," Genji shouts back as he pulls out of his parking spot, a grin audible in his voice.

And despite the danger and the unusual nature of the events that are occurring, Zenyatta can't help but smile too.