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It was against his better judgement that he’d heeded his brother’s words and decided to join the reformed Overwatch. With the Shimada empire long since taken down, there was little else for him, and if his brother was to be believed, perhaps there was more for him ahead. And so he found himself in Gibraltar.

Aside from Genji and his master, as he called the omnic, there were quite a few other members who had responded to the recall and were slowly funneling in as days passed. Of course he was aware of Winston and his AI, Athena, as well as several other figures who were hard to ignore: Lena Oxton, callsign Tracer, presumably based on her ability to “blink”, Jesse McCree, a grown man in this day and age dressed like a cowboy, and Reinhardt Wilhelm, the enormous German man who wore a genuine suit of armor and carried a hammer into battle, among others.

Friendly as they all were, Hanzo found that all their interactions with him held an air of falsity. It wasn’t hard to see they were only superficially kind to him, he wasn’t a fool. And it wasn’t difficult for him to understand why, considering their closeness to Genji. It seemed everyone here knew what he did, could see the blood on his hands the way he did every night. Perhaps his foolish brother could forgive him, but Hanzo could not, could not forgive the agonized cries he has caused, the torn flesh and gore that had spilled from his brother. Actions he had taken so many years ago that had plagued him and shaped his life for so many years to come, it was a burden he had carried and would always, until the weight of finally crushed him. Redemption seemed intangible, something that would always float out of his reach. Genji, however, had found his own inner peace and seemed determined to drag Hanzo with him. On some level Hanzo must’ve still managed to hold a vestige of hope that he could change himself, thus he was here. The pathway to such a goal, however, could only be long and arduous, he was sure.

Days passed and turned into weeks, Hanzo spending most of his time training. For the most part he tried to avoid socialization, but mealtimes together were an unavoidable daily occurrence. He hadn’t made any friends with the rest of the team, per say, but they continued to attempt to bring him into conversation, friendly as always. It was hard to tell their sincerity, what was in his head and what wasn’t, and his distrust of most of them had not exactly lowered.

As he did on most mornings, Hanzo ate his breakfast in silence, sitting a healthy distance from the constant chatter of the rest of the group sitting at his table.

“Hanzo, always looking so lonely, sitting by yourself! How has Overwatch been treating you so far?”

Ah, and then there was that. Despite his best efforts to keep to himself, he couldn’t seem to ward off the Reinhardt, quite possibly the largest and loudest man he had ever met. It seemed every word that escaped his mouth was shouted, yet never angry. Comparable to a large but playful dog, really.

“It has been fine,” he responded curtly, cutting his breakfast short, “I am off to training now.”

Reinhardt’s smile dampened, but the rest seemed almost relieved after a moment of strain at the idea of forcing Hanzo into the conversation as he quickly left the room. They only furthered his self imposed isolation with the confirmation that none of them really had any interest in him.

Reinhardt, however, continued to be a different story. It seemed no matter what he did, it was impossible to go the whole day without the man barging into at least one of his daily activities. He would catch him training, making tea, walking around the base, always offering to tag along, join him, try to make conversation. He was by no means hostile towards him, always so warm with a wide smile and boisterous gestures to match his booming voice. The issue was that he could not for the life of him figure out why. The German has no reason to be associating with him, Hanzo, who had outcasted himself from the get go. He could think of no ulterior motives for it either, and his confusion began to start as a second force to eat away at him each night.

-

Unable to get rid of him most days, Hanzo had resigned himself to allowing the man to join him when he appeared, slowly forming a comfortable pattern. He trained every other day, which Reinhardt was generally present for, and on days without physical training, he joined him for tea or to take a walk around the base. Watchpoint Gibraltar was a surprisingly beautiful, and staying stuck inside his room all day was probably bad for his health, so he tried to get outside often. His patterns were predictable and Reinhardt quickly caught on and made a point of joining him, telling him stories about old battles and old team mates, talking about the weather and what they ate for lunch and something Torbjörn said last night and anything he could remember in the moment. Hanzo filled the gaps with “hm”s and “oh”s and other significations that he was listening, and he found that he really did enjoy most of it. Reinhardt’s voice was preferable to the silence when he got used to the volume, and although he wasn’t as talkative himself, the man managed to keep conversation flowing. Sometimes he asked Hanzo what he thought about things, his opinions on any collection of subjects, and sometimes he asked about Hanzo’s past, just simple things, as if he was trying to get to know him.

“I would prefer not to speak about my past. It is of little importance now.”

He was surprised, all though maybe he shouldn't have been, that Reinhardt had respected this, and simply continued on a story about Ana, the old sniper who’d turned out to be less of a serious character than he’d assumed, a close friend of the German.
-

As he had learned to do in his youth, Hanzo still enjoyed meditation, and tried to keep a habit of doing it most days. This task was made more difficult by the usual distraction, who did not appear to have a quiet bone in his body. Often times Reinhardt would try to sit with him, but only a few minutes would pass before he’d begin talking again and asking questions about how Hanzo’s day was going. He quickly realized that if he wanted to actually meditate, he would have to do it in his own room. Realizing the futility of the situation, he rose from his position on the ground and asked the German to join him for some tea instead.

“Of course! The tea you brought with you is some of the best I’ve had, I don’t look forward to the day you run out.”

“It was a special blend I had brought from Japan. To get more while here on the base would be a troubling task, indeed.”

As he usually did, Reinhardt asked him more about it, about Japan and what he was doing before he decided to come here. Hanzo still couldn’t grasp what he wanted from him, but his company was better than nothing, he supposed.

“Reinhardt, why is it you are always accompanying me? I don’t understand what you have to gain from speaking with me over your friends.”

“We are as well, aren’t we? I just come to enjoy your company, my friend!”

“Oh.”

He hadn't considered that. It didn’t seem very plausible someone would have wanted to actually become his friend. Hanzo hadn’t had any in quite some time, and he didn’t see himself as someone with whom one would want to become friends with. It made sense, at least, why Reinhardt had insisted on continuing to accompany him.

-

As time continued to pass, Reinhardt became a doorway, it seemed, to a livelier, more sociable existence on Gibraltar for Hanzo. He dragged him along to hang out with the rest of the crew who had come so far, his comfort with Hanzo dispersing the tension that laid with the the others. He began to slowly feel more and more like he belonged, replacing his deep sorrow with a lighter, more pleasant feeling, bit by bit. And he could never shake the feeling of this all being thanks to Reinhardt, the lively German who had become a close friend in the past few months.

While Hanzo was now friendly with many of the rest of the team, he found he liked Reinhardt best; he was large and loud and complimentary to Hanzo, who spoke less and was more serious. His life was brighter with the German around, who made him feel like there may really be something in him worth saving.

-

Hanzo, of course, still had bad days, where he locked himself in his room because he couldn’t face the rest of them, couldn’t look at his brother. Meditating proved futile as he decided instead to perch himself in the corner to wait out the thoughts of all he had done, and all that he had become, how he would ruin anything he touched and was sure to once again, blood still on his hands that he could never wash off.

It was like this that Reinhardt found him, curled up on the floor with tears in his eyes when he came to check where he was after a day of not seeing him anywhere. And it was like this that Hanzo found himself wrapped in a pair of large arms, pressed against a warm chest, and moved to sit on his bed. It seemed the man understood what Hanzo needed, as it was perhaps the quietest he had ever been, stroking Hanzo’s hair while he cried into the larger man’s shirt. Time passed and it grew dark outside, the two sitting together in comfortable silence. Having calmed down and gotten his bearings back together, Hanzo spoke, voice rough from tears,

“Reinhardt...thank you.”

“You will be ok, mein Liebling. I am here for you, now.”