The last thing Jaime expected to see while shopping for a cake was Genji’s older brother.
Genji had shown him pictures of his youth, pictures taken on the grounds of a luxurious and otherworldly castle. Most of them were ones he had taken himself and featured his older brother, who wore a slight frown that clearly displayed his annoyance at being photographed. The young man’s profile was stunning, though; his high cheekbones and sharp, earthy brown eyes caught Jaime’s attention, and the face had settled into the back of his mind for years afterward. At first frustration and a barrier of cultural dynamics were paired with that face, and those striking eyes seemed to belong to nothing but a heartless killer. He couldn’t wrap his mind around the man’s apparently easy work in stripping Genji of the majority of his humanity, and it made both Jaime and Jesse angry on his behalf.
As time went on, though, and Genji healed, so did Jaime’s view of his close friend’s older brother. He never asked for a name; it seemed unimportant to learn of someone he would never meet, and so the mysterious Shimada was all but forgotten. Jaime even made an effort to think of Genji, and by extent, his brother, as little as possible after he left Blackwatch. Standing here, now, though, was like being thrust back into the fringes of a past he wasn’t sure he was ready to face yet. At the very least it wasn’t Genji himself; Jaime wouldn’t have anything decent to say about his disappearance. Best to leave those sorts of things at rest.
Jaime walks up to the counter with a small frown, inspecting the line of cakes and doing his best not to make eye contact with Genji’s brother at his side. He brushes the bangs out of his eye before pointing at a particularly nice one on display.
“Excuse me, would you mind grabbing that cake for me, please? The one with the strawberries?” Jaime asks the employee behind the counter. They nod with a smile, opening the case and taking the cake out. It’s decorated with swirls of vanilla frosting and strawberries across the side and top- Winston likes strawberries, right? - and Jaime grins.
“Here you are, sir,” the employee says as they set it down atop the counter. “Will that be all for you?” Jaime glances over and notices that Genji’s brother looks a bit disappointed now, and is moving to turn away from the rest of the display.
“Genji, why do you have like fifty strawberry crates all over the floor in your room?”
“What can I say? Strawberries are fucking delicious. I didn’t have much opportunity to eat them when I was younger.”
“Why didn’t you just go out yourself and buy some when you had the chance?”
“There was never any time. My brother always promised to bring some back when we went on trips with our father, but… that never worked out. Always forgot which kind to get.”
Jaime quickly points to another cake, chocolate with bananas and blueberries adorning the top. He likes bananas way better than strawberries anyway.
“Uh, yes! I’d also like that one, please.” The second cake joins the first atop the counter, and Jaime turns to the already retreating figure. “Hey, mister! I think you’re forgetting something!” He watches Shimada turn slowly, an expression of confusion marring his regal features. He looks very different from Genji's pictures. The elder Shimada is sporting an undercut with a long, messy bun, along with a few piercings. Two on each cartilage, along with double piercings on the lobes and a pierced bridge. He looks a lot more intimidating, paired with those same sharp earthy eyes and prominent cheekbones. Jaime sucks in a short breath as Shimada makes his way back to the counter, now suspicious.
“I think you are mistaken. I have all of my belongings with me,” he replies, and wow, even his voice is intimidating. Jaime clears his throat as he holds out the strawberry cake to Shimada, who blinks owlishly in surprise.
“I saw that you had your eyes on this cake. Would hate to have taken it from, ah, under your nose? I think that’s how the saying goes.” Shimada tilts his head and chuckles softly. Jaime might be seeing things, but was that a blush on his face?
“Oh, yes, I was looking at that. How kind of you to pass it along.” Shimada gingerly takes the container from Jaime’s outstretched hands and nods once, offering a tiny smile. “You have my thanks.” Jaime can surely feel his own face heat up in a blush, but he hopes Shimada doesn’t notice.
“Of course. It’s no trouble at all.” he hesitates for a moment. “I, uh, hope I don’t come across strangely, but I think I used to know your brother. You seemed familiar,” he stutters out. Shimada’s smile immediately drops, and he rocks on his heels once.
“My brother? Strange, as you do not seem familiar yourself,” is the somewhat stiff reply. Jaime picks up the container for the chocolate cake, glancing down at the decorated top. Might have to pick the blueberries off. Is Emily the only one who likes blueberries?
“Ah, apologies. I’ve worked alongside your brother for a long time. I guess now that it’s over, I’m safe to say that I was a part of Overwatch, back in the day,” Jaime rambles. Shimada’s eyebrows raise in surprise.
“Overwatch? The fallen organization?” he asks incredulously. Jaime nods, glancing at the cake in Shimada’s hands.
“Yes. I remembered that he really likes strawberries,” he murmurs. Shimada sighs at the cake in his hands at that, as if it has personally done him wrong. The silence hangs heavy in the air as the employee behind the counter rings up the cakes and asks for a total. Jaime reaches into his pocket and hands them a few bills. Shimada opens his mouth as if to say something, but closes it again. Jaime takes his change.
“I did not take the time to learn things such as his preference of berries,” Shimada replies at last. He seems regretful, tone short and clipped. Jaime gestures toward a nearby table, and after a moment’s hesitation he follows to sit across from Jaime.
“I am,” he licks his lips as he seems to muster up the right words, “I am wallowing in times long past, more or less.” Jaime leans forward in his chair, offering a soft smile.
“There is nothing wrong with reminiscing. You've been apart for a long time, yes?” he asks. Shimada lets out a heavy sigh, glancing at the strawberry cake once more. His entire visage is telling of just how tired he really is; his shoulders droop and dark circles have wrung under his eyes. The bun tying his hair up is messier than Jaime originally thought.
“Up until a few months ago, we had not seen each other for ten years.” Jaime grimaces as he looks at his own cake, avoiding eye contact.
“I haven't seen Genji myself for around seven years. I have made it a point to avoid all of the other agents, as a matter of fact,” he murmurs in response. His eyes flick up to Shimada and he inclines his head slightly.
“I forgot to introduce myself. Jaime Morales.” Shimada tilts his head as well, dark and earthy eyes softening in welcome.
“Shimada Hanzo. Though I can't imagine you've never heard the name before.”
“As a matter of fact, I haven't. It's nice to meet you, Hanzo.” Now there's a name to the face. This face, who'd been nothing but a killer to Jaime for years. Now they sit face to face, and he's just bought Hanzo a cake. Talked about Genji.
“It’s nice to meet you as well, Jaime.” Hanzo’s eyes flick down to the cake a third time, hesitant. He almost looks nervous.
“This cake might be a bit much for me to eat on my own.” Hanzo’s cheeks darken and he clears his throat. Jaime raises his eyebrows, lips parting in surprise.
“I almost forgot, today is Christmas. You're not celebrating with anyone?” he asks. Hanzo peers into the box holding his cake, frowning.
“I had originally planned on getting into contact with Genji today, but I… don't know if it's the best idea.” He closes it again, and folds his hands atop the table. He pointedly makes eye contact, gaze piercing into Jaime. Everything about him is so… intense. It's like if you get too close you'll be cut by his sharpness.
“Unless you are celebrating with anyone else, would you care to join me?” Jaime feels his own face heat up, and he lets out a nervous chuckle, running a hand through his bangs. Once, twice. He is thankful for the steadiness of his arms, no longer able to properly tremble with adrenaline.
“I do have plans already. I do want to talk with you again, though. Why don't we trade phone numbers in the meantime?” Hanzo’s face falls just a bit, but he nods and digs into his pockets for his phone. They exchange numbers and stand from the table.
“Thank you again for the cake, Jaime.”
“It was no trouble.” Jaime holds out a hand, and Hanzo takes it, shakes twice. His grip is sure and strong, palms warm. He can't quite feel beyond the heat, and hopes his grip isn't too tight. Maybe I should get my sensors recalibrated. When they part, Hanzo makes his way further into the market with a wave. Jaime steps onto the streets outside with the cake secure in his arms. A glance is tossed back to the door before he begins making his way to his car.
The drive is quiet. Jaime can't bring himself properly enjoy any music, and leaves the radio off. He taps his fingers on the edge of the steering wheel, occasionally glancing out the window at the passing scenery.
Hanzo had been different from what Jaime expected. Is he usually… bashful? Hesitant? Genji hadn't said much of his brother, but recollection says that the elder Shimada was described as cold and distant, sharp and calculated. The man he'd met was softer, more friendly. Jaime’s phone rumbles with a text from the passenger seat, and he tries glancing at the screen before taking a right turn. Ah, shit. I'm running late.
Jaime shifts the box in his arms and checks the unread text on his phone as he walks up the short flight of stairs. He slows down as he reads it, an unfamiliar number displayed across the top of his screen.
???: I am not usually so forward. Apologies for earlier. Apparently Hanzo had no reservations about quick contact.
Jaime: Don't worry about it. How's the cake? He takes a moment to save the number into his phone. There are lights on inside. Jaime can hear faint laughter and music. It's not too late to turn back. This was a bad idea. Another vibration.
Hanzo: The cake is fine, thank you. I see now why Genji enjoys strawberries so much.
Hanzo: Enjoy your holidays.
Jaime: You too.
Jaime puts his phone back into his pocket and steps up to the door. Maybe I should have said something. What if I'm not welcome?
“Did anyone else say they were coming, luv? I think there’s someone at the door.” Jaime starts at the sound of a muffled voice rapidly approaching. Before he can make up his mind and turn back around, the door swings open to reveal a familiar smiling face. Her grin drops as Jaime ducks his head and inspects the cake in his arms.
“Jaime, is that you?” Lena’s tone is soft, incredulous, and she hesitates at the doorway. Jaime picks his head up again and attempts to smile at Lena, holding out the box in his arms.
“I hope I'm not interrupting anything important. It's… been awhile,” he replies. Lena steps back and takes him in fully, eyes wide. When her gaze flicks back up again, she whistles, smile returning.
“Quite too long, I'd say. You look so different! Where have you been all this time?” her words come out in a rush as she takes the box from Jaime’s arms, ushering him inside. “Come on! It's not much, but we're glad you came!” There are plain garlands and some holly berries hanging underneath a row of large frames as they traverse through the hall. They approach a dining area already displaying a hearty amount of food, and Lena puts the cake down to wrap her arm around Jaime's shoulder.
“Lena, who's this with you?” a petite redhead rises from the dining table with a smile. Jaime waves, allowing Lena to guide him towards the dining table. Next to the redhead sits Winston, who pushes up his glasses and waves in return.
“This is Jaime! Old friend of ours, haven't seen him in ages!” Lena replies. She guides Jaime into the seat next to the redhead, and skips to her other side.
“Oh, nice to meet you! I'm Emily. Glad you could make it!” Jaime takes the offered hand and shakes it once. Maybe things can be okay again.
“It's nice to meet you, Emily. I'm glad too.” Maybe I made the right decision. Maybe I'm coming back home.