Chapter 1: Boo
Hanzo stepped from his rental car, adjusting his sunglasses as he took in the ranch that was now officially his. Illuminated by the glow of the sun setting behind him, the wooden exterior boasted an old-fashioned, unpainted style. The ranch had two floors, the first of which was made of lovingly and painstakingly notched wooden logs. On the second floor the pattern changed to vertically lined planks, supported by numerous pillars of solid wood, interspersed with large windows. There were so many more rooms than he'd ever need, but he'd fallen in love with this place on a parcel of fifty acres of land in the rural southwest of the United States, and how peaceful it looked with the colours the sun made as it set against the wooden exterior. So much so, in fact, that he'd moved all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico, from Japan.
It was the perfect escape from his clan.
Hanzo's shoes kicked up dust as he crossed the hard-packed dirt driveway and took the few steps up the front porch, keys in hand. He turned the key slowly in the lock and let the door swing open. The main entrance opened to a large living room on the right and the kitchen and dining areas to the left. Hardwood floors in walnut ran perpendicular to the doorway, bathed in warm, orange spots of light and long shadows. White sheets draped over pieces of furniture, leftover from the estate’s sale. Moving as far as he had, he didn’t mind much. Most anything was better than the nothing he had on arrival.
He searched the wall to the right and found a switch, flicking it. When nothing happened, he frowned and flipped the second switch. Still, nothing.
Hanzo let out a sigh of exasperation. He'd been trying to have the electricity company turn it on before his arrival, but they'd seemed hesitant to do so until he'd finally argued them into submission. Yet here he stood, without the electricity he'd been promised. Someone would be getting hell for it in the morning. As it was, it was too late to be calling them up, and he didn't want to drive all the way back to town to find a hotel. It was late spring and fairly warm; he could stay in the house for the night.
Hopping back down the front porch, Hanzo retrieved his duffel and computer bag from the car before heading back into the house. He closed the door behind himself and dropped the duffel next to it, carrying the computer bag further into the living room. He tugged the dusty curtains open to let in more of the retreating sunlight before finding a sheet-covered mound that was most certainly couch-shaped and pulling the cloth off. Beneath it he found a soft, navy blue sectional still in very good condition. Another sheet uncovered a coffee table, and two more revealed overstuffed chairs.
Hanzo balled up the sheets and tossed them to a corner of the room before retrieving his bag. Settling in on the couch, he pulled out his tablet computer and booted it up. He checked the connection and was pleased to see it was quite strong. Satellite was a more expensive connection, but if it remained strong out around his new home he didn't mind.
Hanzo flicked through his emails, ignoring the ones from clan members and deleting them immediately. He knew what he would find within-- condemnation, begging, threats. He was done with that. There was only one family member he cared to communicate with, and Genji had been in and out of communication the last two years while he traveled the world. Hanzo had last heard from him about six months ago, when he was planning to go to Nepal. Genji had no idea Hanzo had finally up and left Hanamura. He'd sent his brother an email three weeks prior to get in touch with him, but had yet to hear back.
Scrolling through his inbox, a chill made its way up his spine. He shivered, wondering at the chill that seemed to settle on his skin in a room that hadn't been cold five minutes prior. He glanced out the window where the sun was still setting across the horizon and set his tablet aside. He found his way back to his duffel where he retrieved a sweater before reclining again on the couch, this time to watch a movie.
Hanzo jerked awake surrounded by darkness. He stared blearily about at the unfamiliar space until his brain caught up and he remembered he was in America, in his new home.
What had woken him?
His tablet had slid from his chest to the space between himself and the couch, long ago having gone into power saver mode. He set it on the coffee table as he sat up to look around. Something had woken him, but he wasn't sure what. The front door, easily within view, was closed. Light from the moon poured through the front windows, illuminating things surprisingly well now that he'd adjusted to it. Judging by it's position, it was very early in the morning. Everything was silent.
He ran a hand over his hair, tugging it from the half-undone tie that had held it up. Now loose, it tumbled to his shoulders in kinked waves. The release of pressure on his scalp was a relief as he followed the motion by combing his fingers through it. It was his first night in a new place, he'd traveled long by both plane and vehicle to get here, it wouldn't be surprising if the excitement of the last--
The sharp bang had Hanzo on his feet in seconds, searching for the cause of the noise. In the wake of the startling sound the house had fallen utterly, completely still again.
A chill rushed up his spine as he decided the noise had originated upstairs. He glanced at the front door once more, unable to shake the regret that he'd left his bow case in the car even as he knew it likely wouldn't do him any good in the house, and made his way towards the stairs.
Suspicion coloured his thoughts. He'd been exceedingly careful in his dealings when buying the ranch and leaving Hanamura for good, taking every precaution to prevent his father from discovering his intentions. Still, he would not dismiss the idea that somehow the clan had discovered his plan and followed him to America. He should have prepared for the possibility, really; a lapse in judgement he was certainly regretting now.
He paused at the bottom of the staircase, its open end wide and pointing toward the front of the house before twisting to climb parallel to the back wall. Gripping one of the dark wooden banisters, Hanzo scaled the first step, then the second, testing his weight with each one on the unfamiliar steps. If someone was in the house with him, he did not want to alert them to his presence. No other noises emanated from the second floor, but strangely everything grew colder as he climbed. He paid the temperature little mind, however, dismissing the chill as unimportant as the second floor slowly came into view.
The hallway on this side of the house was darker now that the moon had begun to set. The doors along his right were all closed, except for one rectangle of light that spilled across the floor at the far end of the hall behind him.
Seeing no threat, he continued his climb of the last few stairs with the same caution as the rest. At the top, he paused to consider his next move. Hanzo crept cautiously to the nearest closed door. He paused again just outside it, listening as his hand came to rest on the doorknob. He shifted his balance, lowering his stance, and when everything remained quiet he turned the knob, his whole body tense and ready to spring. Even the hinges on the door were silent as it swung open, revealing a sparsely furnished office and nothing out of place.
Hanzo left the door open and turned sharp eyes back down the hall. He stalked silently to the next door, moving fluidly in the dark and repeating the same pattern at every door. He discovered a bedroom, a bathroom, and a second bedroom, all of which were just as quiet, clean, and untouched as the first one.
The only remaining door in the hallway was the open one, through which a pale rectangle of light stretched, beckoning. He pressed to the wall, sliding along it quietly until he was barely a foot away. Slowing to a crawl, he edged toward the door frame and prepared to swing into the room when, as fast as lightning, the door slammed shut.
Adrenaline rushed up Hanzo's spine and his training took over as he lunged at the door. He jerked the handle, throwing the door open again with a sharp crack as it hit the wall. The sight that greeted him was both surprising and relieving-- a mostly empty room, just like the others. Along the left wall stood a long, low dresser covered in another dust protector, and to the right, raised on a platform, stood a large, four-poster bed framed by covered bedside tables. The master bedroom. The entire room glowed softly in the light of the moon, but Hanzo did not yet drop his guard.
There was a door to his far right, which opened to reveal an empty walk-through closet with an open door at the end. With no threat in sight, he edged carefully through the closet until he could see the room at the far end fully. It was the master bath, also empty. Hanzo relaxed marginally, backing out into the bedroom again.
He stood quietly, studying the room as he considered what could be causing the doors to slam. When an obvious answer didn't come to him, he decided it was time to move back downstairs. He'd have someone come in and look at the doors if the issue persisted.
Hanzo was back in the hallway when the door slammed shut behind him again .
He spun around, eyeing it in trepidation. His brow pressed low, creasing the space between them as his lips pressed in a thin line. His hand closed on the doorknob once more only to be met with resistance. He tried again, and when the door refused to budge a second time, he stepped back to examine it. Light leaked around the edges of the frame, and as he stood there in the quiet of the house, his left arm began to tingle underneath his sweater. He jolted in surprise as he felt the dragons shift beneath his skin and he narrowed his eyes back on the door, a different kind of suspicion altogether settling within him.
He reached out for the door a third time, but before his hand met the knob again another resounding slam had him spinning to face the rest of the empty hallway. By the time he registered that the next door down had slammed shut on its own as well, the bathroom door beyond that crashed closed with a bang. The third bedroom followed suit, and finally the office door thundered closed. The tingle in his arm had escalated to a burn, but Hanzo was frozen in place, staring down the dark hallway in unease and confusion.
Something was definitely wrong, but he had absolutely no idea what.
A soft click to his right drew his attention back to the master bedroom. The door was partially open now, a gap barely an inch wide taunting him where he stood. The dragons were roiling beneath his skin now, churning and pressing against their bindings, and Hanzo suddenly knew he'd find the explanation to this bizarre ordeal behind that door.
When he gripped the doorknob this time he immediately jerked it back. The metal of the knob was cold enough that it practically burned. He pressed the palm of his hand flat to the wood and pushed that way, letting the door swing open. Inside, the room remained as he’d left it-- covered dresser, moonlight through the windows, raised bed, and--
Hanzo stopped in the doorway, staring across the room. In the far corner, a figure stood with its back to him, perfectly still. He didn't dare move for a quiet moment, assessing if the other had heard him enter.
He no longer believed his family had found him-- no, this was something else completely.
He squinted, trying to make out the details of the figure. It was tall, broad, definitely masculine despite the slump of his posture, but he couldn't make out the colour of his skin or hair. Was that a hat? The figure was all shades of grey, with a strange crease running up the middle of him. He realized the reason he couldn't make out the colours of the other's form properly was because the figure was mostly transparent.
Hanzo's eyes widened in alarm when it finally dawned on him-- what he was looking at was a *spirit*. He was no stranger to spirits. He'd had the dragons for most of his life, but he'd never heard more than myths of human spirits-- literal ghost stories. He fumbled for something to say or do, some way to confront the situation before him, but had no idea of the etiquette-- if there was any-- to meeting a ghost. It was a decision he was saved from making as the spirit in question took the opportunity to speak first.
The voice that bounced off the walls was barely more than a low, raspy whisper and Hanzo was unsure if he'd heard right.
"I apologize, spirit, but I--"
The scream rattled the walls and Hanzo took a step back as the shape in the corner flickered where it stood. He took another step back as it moved, turning to face him. The hat obscured most of the ghost's face, but Hanzo could just barely see the outline of its mouth. Its lips were twisted and its sharp teeth bared in a snarl before the whole thing blinked out of existence. It reappeared nearly on top of him and Hanzo stumbled backwards to get away. It did no good as the ghost followed him through the door and into the hallway, until Hanzo felt the cold wall at his back.
The flickering image appeared inches from him, radiating chill in waves that sunk right through his sweater and straight into his bones. This close, the figure loomed over him, much taller than himself, and Hanzo could make out more details of the ghost's face. The snarling mouth was surrounded by a messy beard and under the brim of the hat he found a wide, crooked nose and eyes that sent a spike of fear down Hanzo's back.
Red eyes, glowing in the darkness of the house, glared down venomously at the smaller man. They bubbled with animosity and unbridled hatred as they stared down at him. Hanzo's mouth opened, closing again when his words escaped his grasp. The ghost snarled, gnashing his teeth as he pressed closer until their noses practically touched. When he spoke again, it was no longer a scream, but the growl he did produce thundered through the silence hanging around them as if he was.
"Get out of my home, trespasser, before I remove you."
Hanzo was unarmed and had no knowledge on human spirits; saying he was at a disadvantage would have been an understatement, but despite that he felt some obligation to attempt a peaceful solution.
"I do not mean any harm--"
Red eyes flashed and semi-transparent hands shot out to snatch fistfuls of Hanzo's sweater.
"You goddamn stupid or som--" The spirit froze, red gaze flickering and fading to the same semi-transparent grey as the rest of him, glancing down at where his hands fisted in the thick material. "Dios mio, I can touch you?"
Frozen where he stood, Hanzo looked down at the hands gripping his shirt, and back up to the ghost looming over him. Words escaped him as he grasped at the reality that the spirit could touch him. It was obvious from his words that this wasn't the norm, and Hanzo had no idea what that meant for him, but his gut told him it was not good.
The pressure in his arm chose that moment to come to a head, blue energy crackling along his skin and glowing beneath the material of his sweater. It raced from his hand up his arm, arcing down his chest and across the gap to course along the ghostly figure in front of him. It snapped and sizzled as it rushed through the ghost, and suddenly the red eyes were back and he was screeching in fury.
Hanzo clapped his hands over his ears to protect them from the shrill noise, but couldn't escape the sound of agony as the ghost twisted and contorted, blinking but seeming unable to escape. The tight grasp on his shirt yanked him forward and up, and Hanzo let go of his ears to instead grab at the hands of the ghostly man as he was lifted off his feet.
It was the wrong thing to do as the spirit let out a fresh howl of agony and jerked, throwing Hanzo with an inhuman amount of force. Hanzo flailed as he tumbled through the air, struggling to cover his head to protect it from the inevitable impact. He hit the ground at the top of the stairs, his shoulder taking the staggering impact first. Hanzo had no time to react to the pain as his momentum took him over the edge of the stairs. His body bounced violently until he hit the split landing, where the back of his head hit the floor with a deafening crack. He finally slumped to a stop against the far set of balusters.
His vision swam, shadows stretching from all edges of his vision as his head throbbed. A form materialized at the top of the stairs and Hanzo struggled against the darkness threatening to take him under. He blinked, and when he next opened his eyes the outline of boots stood a short distance from his face.
"Shit. Didn't mean t'hurt ya."
The figure crouched in front of him, and Hanzo knew it was the spirit. He struggled to move, but the motion sent pain and dizziness radiating through every inch of him and he moaned instead.
"Musta hit your head good there, sugar." Cold hands pressed against Hanzo's head gently, and the shudder that passed through him made his vision slip again.
"Please..." Hanzo gasped. "Hurts."
The hands on his head stilled at Hanzo's words and he thought he heard a curse.
"Alright, darlin', don't you worry. I'll take care of ya."
Hanzo didn't have time to refuse as the darkness won out and he slipped into unconsciousness.
Chapter 2: A Man Possessed
Jesse is not a very good ghost.
Thank-you again @MalevolentMango & @Streusal <3
You will note I did not throw Hanzo down stairs this time.
The pain coursing through his head woke Hanzo in stages. At first he tried to ignore it, to burrow back into the black oblivion teasing him behind his eyelids, but the throbbing in the back of his skull continued to drum a staccato beat. He made the mistake of squeezing his eyes closed further, and was instantly met with a streak of pain across his scalp that had him gasping and cradling his head.
"Oi, hold up there, move slowly. I don't think I gave ya a concussion, but you passed out on me there for a spell and better safe than sorry." Cold hands against his shoulders pressed him back against a soft surface. Hanzo shivered against the chill and the hands disappeared as quickly as they'd appeared, followed by a murmured apology.
"A'right, sugar, try openin' your eyes for me-- slowly. And if ya get dizzy go ahead and close ‘em again."
Taking a deep breath, Hanzo cracked his eyes open. The dim light he was greeted with made his eyes ache, but no dizziness clouded his vision. He turned his head slowly, realizing he was on the bed in the master bedroom, until his gaze landed on the man sitting on the edge of the bed.
Or rather, the spirit.
He was more opaque now, no longer shades of grey. Hanzo could tell the man's skin was a warm shade of brown, his hair darker, and his eyes-- when they weren't glowing red-- were an ethereal, glowing amber. The hat, now that he could see it clearly, was a stetson, and he sported a plaid shirt and blue jeans. He wouldn't be surprised to find the spirit wore cowboy boots. Hanzo's eyes slowly moved back up to meet his gaze, and the spirit gave him a sheepish smile.
"I'm thinkin' I owe ya an apology, sugar."
Hanzo could still feel the dragons beneath his skin, but they were calmer now. He took that as a sign that he was no longer in danger and pushed himself up with a grunt, ignoring the pain still skittering across his skull. The spirit reached out as if to press him back down but Hanzo waved him off. He lifted tentative hands to probe the back of his head where it hurt most. He found a tender spot, but no noticeable swelling. He took stock of the rest of his body next; nothing was broken, but his shoulder ached from where he'd landed on it. He rotated it slowly, testing his range of motion, and found it wasn't bad.
"I certainly would have appreciated not being thrown," he agreed.
"Well, I didn't mean to toss ya like that. Didn't mean to hurt ya at all, really-- I just want ya to leave my home alone is all."
Hanzo lifted his gaze back to the cowboy, done with his inspection of injuries. "I tried to communicate peacefully with you," he retorted.
"I know, I know, but they all tried that! All them damn people that realtor brought in would try to-- to--" He threw up his hands in exasperation before continuing, "They all TRIED talkin', but none of 'em would listen! 'Ooo, a ghost! How spooky!' All of a sudden, I got all sorts of god awful people traipsing through my home, creatin' ruckus and draggin' mud and dirt all over my floors, just to see the cowboy ghost. The only way to get rid of 'em is to get mean. Y'all want a haunting? Is that what you're here for too!?" They didn't flicker red, but the ghost's eyes narrowed angrily at Hanzo.
He blinked in alarm at the animosity turned toward him once again. This spirit was changing moods faster than Hanzo could keep up with. His already sore head throbbed, a reminder not to think too hard.
"I have no idea-- I was never informed of any such haunting."
The spirit studied him through narrowed eyes, suspicion evident. "Well, I ain't seen you around here with that realtor woman, so why else would ya be here if not to see a real, live hauntin'?"
Hanzo hesitated to answer. The spirit had already tossed him down a flight of stairs-- he didn't want to take a trip out the window next. "We haven't been introduced," he hedged instead. "My name is Hanzo Shimada." His real name, instead of the pseudonym he'd purchased the ranch under, slipped from his tongue before he could stop himself.
"McCree. Jesse McCree." The spirit, McCree, answered slowly.
"It is a--"
"Ya ain't gettin' off the hook that easy, Hanzo. What're ya doing in my home?"
Hanzo silently cursed. It seemed being a ghost did not diminish your mental faculties. McCree wasn't going to like his answer.
"I..." he began, struggling with how to tell Jesse as gently as possible.
"Spit it out." Jesse finally snapped, eyes flashing red from under the brim of his hat.
Hanzo held up his hands placatingly and let out a sigh.
"I bought the ranch." The words came in a rush and for a long moment they sat and stared at each other, Hanzo tense and ready to jump out of range, and Jesse's mouth hanging partly open, eyes wide and gold again as he stared at Hanzo, aghast.
"You what?" Jesse's words came out hoarse, disbelieving. Hanzo wasn't sure, but he thought he even noticed some of the colour drain from Jesse's ghostly form.
"I bought this ranch. The property. It's mine," Hanzo repeated.
"But I didn't ever see you come and view the property! Hell, I ain't even seen that damn realtor in I-don't-know how long!" Jesse replied incredulously.
"I bought it online."
"Yes, I found the sale online. I got in contact with Jane Eldridge-- the 'damn realtor', as you called her-- and we arranged the sale via electronic means. I moved here from Japan, and I was unable to fly out to view the property ahead of time."
"What kinda man buys a house without even seeing it in person first!?" McCree asked incredulously. His expression had morphed into one of disbelief, eyebrows raised so high they all but disappeared.
"Someone with a very good realtor."
Jesse's jaw worked silently for a moment before he finally managed to speak again. "Well... ya just go get yourself a refund!"
Hanzo really should not have found that funny, but he had to cover his mouth behind a hand to hide a smile at McCree's exclamation.
"I'm serious! This is my home. She had no right to go selling it! Ya best go get your money back, because ya ain't staying here--"
"Do not be ridiculous, McCree," Hanzo interrupted. "I cannot simply go ask her for a refund. I went through a lot of trouble of finding and purchasing this property. You're just going to have to get used to me."
Jesse snarled, the sound a rusty nail against Hanzo's eardrums, before shooting angrily to his feet. The motion made his form ripple like waves on a rocky beach, and Hanzo was certain McCree was losing colour now. Following the ripple, a wave of cold air rushed over Hanzo where he sat. Jesse's ghostly form was almost completely grey now, and he flickered menacingly.
"You're going to get out of my home or so help me God--"
"Or you will what? Throw me down a flight of stairs? Oh, wait," Hanzo replied dryly. He hoped he hadn't miscalculated his reply, but he suspected that Jesse wasn't out to truly harm him or anyone else. Why else would he have been so remorseful?
The rest of the colour drained from McCree and he faded to near nothingness for a moment before solidifying again, eyes flaring a bright and angry red. "I'm your Huckleberry." Jesse stabbed an accusing finger at Hanzo. "Mark my words, Shimada, I'll have ya outta my home by the end of the week."
Hanzo watched Jesse's form blink out. This time he didn't return, and Hanzo shivered in the chill McCree left behind, wondering what the hell a huckleberry was.
Later that day, Hanzo pulled one of the boxes from the trunk of his rental. He'd spent his morning taking stock of what he was going to need before making a trip into town, where he dealt with the power situation, and returned with a myriad of supplies to make the ranch fully habitable. Balancing the box in one hand, he carefully unlocked the front door. He fully expected to be locked out the way he had the previous night, but to his surprise the door admitted him without incident. Hanzo stepped inside cautiously, looking for signs of his ghostly roommate, but found the house quiet.
Still on alert, Hanzo crossed to the kitchen and set the box down on one of the granite counter tops. He let his hands rest lightly on the cardboard as he strained to hear any unusual noises. Hanzo wondered where Jesse had sulked off to. He hadn't seen the spirit since McCree had disappeared in a tantrum that would rival most two-year-olds.
When it remained quiet, Hanzo went back to his car to retrieve another box. Back in the house, he was halfway to the kitchen when he froze on the spot. He eyed the empty counter where he'd left the first box warily. His gaze flicked from one end of the house to the other, but the box was nowhere in sight.
"Jesse?" Hanzo's voice echoed tentatively across the first floor. When he received no response, he called out again. When he still received no reply, he crossed the rest of the way to the kitchen carefully and set down the second box. Hands now free, he propped them on his hips and let out a long suffering sigh. "Jesse McCree, I don't know what you think you're doing, but--"
A shuffling slam drew his attention to the ceiling. That wasn't the same sound as the doors closing last night. Hanzo wondered what on--
He paused mid-thought as movement from the front windows caught his eye. He snapped his attention in their direction just to see the last half of the boxes contents, and the box itself, scatter onto the front lawn.
Jesse McCree was throwing his newly acquired supplies from the second story window.
Hanzo felt his eye twitch.
"You ready to get back to where ya came from, sug?" Jesse's voice sounded from close behind him, but when Hanzo spun around he found no ghostly cowboy in sight.
"I am not leaving, McCree. Throwing around inanimate objects is not going to change my mind." Hanzo crossed back to the second box, still on the counter where he'd left it. "In fact, I did a little research while you were sulking. I had a feeling you would be the... unforgiving type." Hanzo pulled open the flaps of the box to peer inside. Luckily it was the right one, and he reached inside to pull out his prize.
"I have never run into a human spirit before. I genuinely thought they were a myth, until you." He held up the round, white cylinder and studied it. "But all myths have some basis in truth, and this is one thing that I found repeated over and over again in my studies." Hanzo lifted the box and dragged what remained to a clear spot on the floor.
"Do you know what this is?" Hanzo held the cylinder up in his hand, shaking it slightly.
A chill ran up his right and Hanzo knew Jesse was there, staring at him, although he didn't dare look his way lest he scare the ghost off.
"Looks like salt, darlin'." Jesse's reply definitely came from his right and Hanzo suppressed a triumphant smile.
"You would be correct." Hanzo pulled at the lid to release the spout and immediately started pouring the salt on the floor around the box. "Now, some resources said it must be specific kinds of salt, such as rock salt, but most stories just said salt. I'm taking the chance that it can be any kind of salt." He finished drawing salt around the box and checked all sides to be sure the circle was closed.
"I am going to go retrieve the items you so unkindly threw out the window. Do try not to throw this box, too." Hanzo confidently strode back outside, salt in hand, leaving McCree with the box and hoping he wasn't completely wrong.
He breathed a sigh of relief when, ten minutes later, he returned with a repacked box to find his circle of salt unbroken and no McCree in sight. And if his lips were to hitch in the barest hint of victory, who could blame him?
Jesse fumed. How dare Shimada bar him from areas in his own home? He paced within one of the guest bedrooms, glaring at the walls. He couldn't even pace in the peace of his own bedroom anymore! Hanzo had moved into it. He'd pulled Jesse's beautiful bed away from the wall, dressed it in fresh blue sheets and a grey duvet, and drawn a goddamn salt circle around it to keep Jesse out.
He was so meticulous about it, too! Not one item out of place or left unprotected in the last two days. Jesse couldn't keep him awake at night. When he'd threatened Hanzo that he'd make such a ruckus he'd never find a peaceful night's rest again, he'd received a patient smile in return as Hanzo had pulled out a pair of earplugs. He then fitted them into his ears, flicked off the table lamp, and rolled over to sleep.
Jesse threw his hat across the room in frustration. A moment later it reappeared back in place on his head.
"He's more stubborn than a damn mule in a heat wave!"
Jesse had been called out on his bluff and he knew it. He didn't make a habit of harming people who didn't deserve it, and trespassing aside, Hanzo Shimada didn't seem like a bad man. That was probably what drove Jesse the most insane about the whole situation. Hanzo was quiet and thoughtful; he spent much of his time quietly reading or working on his tablet, or out for walks on the property-- somewhere Jesse couldn't follow.
Hell, Hanzo had even fixed the loose floorboard in the kitchen. His kitchen. Jesse should have been the one to fix that, but he could just never seem to remember where he'd put his tools...
The sound of running water caught Jesse's attention. He paused in his pacing to drift toward the hallway. He didn't bother opening the door and instead just floated straight through it. The sound was coming from the direction of the master bath and Jesse felt himself begin to smile.
"Can't put a salt circle around the shower, sug." Jesse grinned ferally and his physical form faded from view as he stalked toward the sounds emanating from down the hall. He stopped at the wall separating the hallway from the bathroom, considering his options. Hanzo knew he could go invisible, and that he could levitate inanimate objects.
But maybe he wouldn't expect Jesse to come at him through the wall.
He stepped forward, passing through drywall and support beams, pipes and wires, and all the little bits in-between. The sound of water grew to a muffled roar before shifting into the sharp, clear notes of spray on porcelain and skin. Hanzo stood under the spray with his back to Jesse, rinsing his hair.
Jesse's breath-- or what amounted to breath in his ghostly form-- hitched as he took in the muscled back and firm ass of the other man as he flexed and moved under the water. Jesse's brows scooted up into his hairline as his gaze caught on the ink carved gracefully into skin from the swell of Hanzo's left shoulder to his wrist. His gaze roamed down over the swell of Hanzo's ass to where the ink from a second tattoo started before crawling its way lazily down Hanzo's right leg.
Distracted by the unanticipated urge to reach out and grab handfuls of the beautifully chiseled skin before him, Jesse didn't catch the low whistle of appreciation until it was already leaving his mouth.
Jesse watched as every muscle in that back tensed a split second before Hanzo was spinning around, blue energy already arcing over the designs on his skin. Hanzo slipped on the wet surface and lost his balance in the next moment, however, squeaking noises ricocheting off the walls in scrambled succession as he tumbled into Jesse. Sparks jumped between them, racing along Jesse's skin as he lunged to catch Hanzo, and he gasped as they twisted around him.
Hanzo's arms jerked up to grab at Jesse and catch himself, but instead of gripping solid mass they sank slowly into his arms as if being absorbed.
Hanzo wasn't sinking into Jesse, Jesse was being pulled into Hanzo. The blue arcing light scrabbled painfully at him as he took Hanzo's full weight, and Jesse shuddered bodily as he was enveloped. The world shifted and bent around him like a funhouse mirror before the pressure released with a pop, and then Jesse was falling forward, his arms slamming painfully against the tile wall.
"Goddamn, sug, what the hell--" Jesse stopped abruptly at the sound of his own voice. Or at least what should have been his voice. Jesse pushed away from the wall, staring dumbly at the hands in front of him. Long, graceful fingers, paler than his own, flexed at his mental command, and his eyes trailed down the left arm to the art he'd been studying from behind only moments before. Tiny flickers of electricity, no longer painful, jittered across the inked skin.
"Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit," Jesse exclaimed. He winced. It was disorienting to speak only to have hear his words escape in Hanzo's voice.
Had he just... possessed someone? Possessed Hanzo? How on earth had he managed that?
Sensations rushed through every millimeter of the skin he now inhabited and it was like a punch in his gut. Jesse could feel in his ghostly form, but sensation was muted, far away. It was familiar and alien all at the same time. Jesse could feel tiny droplets of hot water running down his skin, and the pulse of blood racing through his veins. He could feel long strands of hair sticking wetly to his neck and shoulders, and the stinging of where his arms had hit the wall.
It was overwhelming, and Jesse's-- Hanzo's?-- stomach lurched. He pressed a hand to his chest as he felt his lungs squeeze as if pressed in a vice. The energy that had nearly fizzled out across the tattoo flickered back to life, dancing as it clawed its way closer and closer to his chest. The world tilted and he stumbled forward, grabbing at the shower curtain to steady himself. It wasn't strong enough to hold his weight and the material tore, sending Jesse and Hanzo's body sprawling out of the tub and onto the chilly bathroom tile.
Sharp pain jolted him as Jesse hit the ground, but he kept falling, tumbling through the floor until he found himself sprawled on the floor of the kitchen. Jesse lifted his hands, staring at the muted and semi-transparent colours of his actual body in bewilderment before he dropped them back to the floor.
Heavy footsteps quaked above him and Jesse tracked their path from his spot on the floor. He wasn't surprised when Hanzo's bare legs, followed by a towel-covered waist, and eventually the dripping rest of him, appeared on the stairs. Jesse let himself fade, appreciating his ability to turn invisible more than ever when he saw the flushed and angry face of one Hanzo Shimada.
"McCree." Hanzo's voice was soft from where he stood on the split landing.
A chill, one that had nothing to do with being a ghost, seeped through Jesse at that tone and he remained quiet where he lay.
Hanzo's gaze traveled the length of the house until he settled narrowed eyes on the kitchen. Jesse pressed himself closer to the floor, reminding himself he was invisible and there was no way--
"Jesse. McCree. If you ever do that again I promise you I will find a priest and have you exorcised, are we clear?"
A long silence followed, in which Jesse resisted the urge to nod his agreement, before Hanzo turned and disappeared back upstairs, leaving a trail of water in his wake.
Jesse slumped against the ground in relief, running a hand over his face.
Hanzo had a really nice ass.
Chapter 3: The Friendly Ghost
What is this 'civil conversation' you speak of?
I have stuff going on this week, meaning I don't know if I'll be able to write like I normally would, so the next chapter might be delayed until next Sunday or later?
Hanzo rummaged through the work shed behind the house, sorting through the mess of odds and ends left behind. Unlike the house, it was filled with leftover items. The seller had mentioned during negotiations that the next owner might find use for the things in the shed, but if not a stipulation had been left that would pay for their removal. Some of it was, indeed, useful: tools and a large toolbox, a pair of saw horses, a work bench and storage racks, paint cans full of corresponding colours to the inside of the house, and more. Whoever had lived there before him had been an an active handyman.
Jesse had been an active handyman.
Hanzo felt his face flush in anger and once again found himself pushing thoughts of his ghostly housemate from his mind. He knew Jesse hadn't meant to do what he'd done; Hanzo had felt his surprise in that moment as if it were his own. He'd forgiven Jesse, but the feeling of helplessness, of being controlled, settled below his skin. It reminded him of his clan, his past, too much. Hanzo had left so he'd never have to be used like a tool ever again.
Hanzo was angry with himself, and how deeply he was allowing this to affect him.
He was left with a feeling of restlessness, a need to do something useful and work out everything roiling inside him, so he'd headed out to the work shed behind the house. So far he hadn't been disturbed, and for that he was grateful. Hanzo had only been out here briefly once, looking for something to fix a loose board in the kitchen, but he figured it would need a cleaning out sooner or later either way.
It also kept him away from Jesse while he worked things out.
Tossing another unneeded item into a box, Hanzo crossed back to the work bench and knelt down to pull out the boxes beneath it. He had set the first of the two on the ground and turned back to grab the second when he noticed the bit of rope hanging down from behind the back edge of the table. There hadn't been spools of anything on the table. He leaned in to get a better look-- it looked like a bit of loose nylon rope had gotten stuck. Wrapping a hand around it, Hanzo gave it a tug. When it didn't budge, he tugged harder. It shifted downward with a hard catch and Hanzo jumped, nearly hitting his head, as a soft click came from somewhere to his right.
Anger forgotten, Hanzo crawled swiftly out from under the bench and leaned back on his knees as he studied the wall to his right. Boxes, the saw horses, and other junk stood packed against the wall. Hanzo got to his feet and started clearing it away. He didn't bother to sort the items, too distracted by what could have caused the sound.
Pulling away two pieces of wooden lattice, Hanzo discovered that a panel of wall had opened to reveal a compartment. Hanzo glanced out the window toward the house, then crouched down to study the gap. What would Jesse want to hide so badly he'd put it in a secret compartment in the shed?
Long fingers wrapped around the edge of the panel, pulling it the rest of the way open. It moved smoothly, silently, revealing nothing in its dark depths.
Hanzo scrambled to his feet, crossing back to one of the boxes he'd started using as a keep pile for items he didn't have a place for yet. He dug through it until he found the flashlight he'd tossed there earlier and tested it. It flickered and the beam was weak, but it worked. Kneeling back down by the opening, he let the dim beam light the darkness as best it could. At first he saw nothing, even leaning as far forward as he could. It looked like the hole went deeper, however, so Hanzo shoved the flashlight further in until a slight reflection caught his gaze. He aimed the beam back in that direction-- something was definitely down there. Hanzo pulled the flashlight out and dropped it beside him before he carefully reached in.
At first Hanzo's fingers met nothing but empty air, so he shifted, pressing his whole arm and shoulder into the wall in the general direction of where he'd seen the reflection. He felt the brush of metal against his fingers and he strained until he found the outline of a box. His fingers slipped on the cool metal, dragging it barely by inches. He felt along it until he gripped a handle. Hanzo pulled it up, angling and maneuvering the case until he could pull it free.
Hanzo stared down at the long, shallow, black case he now held. The mystery of what was inside had him running fingers along the seams of it. Eventually his fingers met at the front where a small, glossy piece of plastic was inlaid. Hanzo pressed a finger to it and it flashed red once. It was a biometric lock, he realized, tied to the fingerprint of a specific individual.
What would Jesse McCree want to hide so badly that he'd create a hidden compartment and lock it in a box sealed by a fingerprint scanner?
Guilt washed over him and he frowned as the feeling doused any excitement he’d felt over the mystery. Hanzo had discovered something he was definitely not meant to. This box, and its contents, were certainly private. After this morning, the idea of privacy and control sat heavily on his conscious. Hanzo knew he needed to take the case to Jesse-- without opening it. If Jesse wanted to show him what was in it then... well, that was his choice.
"Jesse?" Hanzo called out tentatively as he came back inside. It was the first time he'd attempted a conversation with McCree since their bedroom introduction, and Hanzo wasn't surprised when Jesse didn't answer his first call.
"Jesse!" Hanzo raised his voice more this time as he moved into the kitchen and set the case down. "I found something I think might belong to you!"
The chill creeping along his skin alerted him to McCree's presence.
"You mean you found somethin' of mine in my own house? Can't say I'm surprised, darlin'."
Jesse's voice came from behind him, and Hanzo spun to level a look at him, but otherwise ignored the impertinence. "I found it in a hidden compartment in the wall of the work shed," he explained. "I found the compartment by accident, and when I discovered the case inside... well, I realized if you had locked it away so thoroughly it is likely something fairly private. I did not wish to... intrude on that."
Jesse crossed his arms, snorting. "Honey, ya just up and invaded my home. I don't have privacy anymore."
Annoyance flashed through Hanzo again and he threw his hands up. "You are going to have to get used to it, McCree! I live here now as well."
"Well it was my damn home first! I don't know why ya just can't go back to where ya came from!" McCree spat.
Hanzo felt himself snap. McCree didn't know him, hadn't even taken the time to try. Hanzo had tried to make peace. He'd received nothing but vitriol for it in return.
"I will not go back to a place that spent the better part of of my life treating me as a tool to be used!" The dragons churned under his skin, agitated by the anger bubbling through Hanzo, and he clenched his fists in an effort to control it.
Jesse looked taken aback at Hanzo's reaction, mouth slightly agape as the colour saturating him fluctuated until he was dull and grey. Hanzo watched Jesse as he very obviously struggled for something to say. The silence continued to stretch, broken only by Hanzo's heavy breathing, until Jesse swept the hat off his head, pressing it to his chest.
"Damn, darlin', I didn't mean..." Jesse looked suddenly contrite, the hair usually kept under his hat mussed. It made him look younger. "I've gone and made a good mess of this whole thing somehow. Listen, this is-- was-- still is my home. I was plannin'-- hopin', really-- to get married, have a few kids here. It's hard on a man to wake up one day and realize that dream ain't goin' to come true. Then I became some kinda spectacle-- a walkin' freak show-- and I've got no idea why I'm still even here. I guess it's made me ornery."
Hanzo couldn't hold onto his anger or agitation and he felt it slip away slowly. He'd moved to America to find peace and, maybe, happiness. "I... understand what it is like to have no control of your life."
Jesse chuckled. "I s'pose it's not much of a life considering..." He motioned to himself as his form rippled transparently.
Hanzo snorted back a laugh but couldn't suppress the smile from creeping onto his face and Jesse's face broke into a grin as he fit his hat back into place. Something unspoken settled between them, and Hanzo felt the dragons calm and hum beneath his skin. Jesse's colour flushed back until he looked almost fully opaque.
"Now, I think ya said ya wanted to show me somethin' ya found?"
"Ah, yes." Jesse drew closer as Hanzo turned to reveal the forgotten box on the counter.
"Well, I'll be damned..." he breathed, reaching out to run hands over the metal reverently.
"So, it is yours?"
"Sure is, sug. Don't rightly remember the last time I saw her, though. I was startin' to think I never would again." Hanzo watched as Jesse pressed his thumb to the glossy black square on the front. Nothing happened and Jesse cursed softly. "Just another thing I don't have anymore, I guess."
Hanzo considered the case, wondering how Jesse could have forgotten putting it in such a carefully crafted location. "I could take it to a locksmith for you?" he offered.
Jesse shook his head, "Nah, ya don't wanna take this to anyone. Why else ya think ya found it hidden and locked up?"
Hanzo watched as Jesse's forehead creased, eyebrows falling low over his eyes as he concentrated. Jesse reached out and pressed his hand over the lock and this time Jesse's hand slipped through the case, disappearing inside. Hanzo knew he could do this now, but he hadn't had the chance to watch it in action. Jesse's arm flexed and the sound of metal being twisted and crunched echoed from within. A moment later, the case popped open with a soft click and Jesse was pulling his hand free.
"Oh, baby, come to Papi..."
Hanzo glanced at Jesse, perplexed. Jesse's gaze was intent on the case in front of them, and Hanzo was certain he was unaware of just how eager his smile was. McCree's eyes lit up golden and crinkled at the corners when he smiled, and Hanzo had to tear his gaze away by force to stop himself from staring.
Hanzo was distracted from the flush he felt rising to his face as Jesse finally opened the case. The inside was lined, perfect cut-outs cradling its contents lovingly. Hanzo's gaze followed the grip up to the spur decorating the hammer, down to the cylinder, and along the barrel to the muzzle of the gun. Tucked along side it, in their own perfectly-sized spaces, were what Hanzo guessed to be boxes of ammunition.
"This here is Peacekeeper." Jesse caressed the revolver as he lifted it from its bed.
"You..." Hanzo really wasn't sure what to make of it. A gun had not been something he'd been expecting. "... stored a gun in a hidden compartment in your shed?"
He studied Jesse more closely and it occurred to him that he knew next to nothing about him. He took in the crooked slope of Jesse's nose and realized it had been broken before. With the flush of colour so strong, he could also make out the faint discolouration of a scar peeking out from his beard.
Jesse noticed him staring and winked. "Surprised, sweet pea? I'm not just a pretty face, y'know."
"You are quite the enigma, Jesse McCree," Hanzo conceded.
"Aw, I'll take that as a compliment coming from ya." Jesse turned his attention back to the gun in his hands.
Hanzo watched in impressed silence as Jesse released the gun and it simply remained where he left it, hovering in mid-air. The cylinder spun suddenly, something out of sight made a sharp noise, and then the gun was sliding apart into a number of pieces. Jesse studied it where it hung, taking it in with a familiar, practised eye. When Jesse finally seemed satisfied, the pieces slid back together in a smooth motion accented by the sounds of metal on metal and the fully assembled gun eased back into his hands.
"Ya wanna hold her?" Jesse nimbly flipped the firearm around and held it out to Hanzo.
Hanzo looked between Peacekeeper and Jesse, uncertain. "Are you... sure?"
Jesse barked out a laugh, sharp and serrated, and grinned down at him toothily. "What're ya gonna do, darlin', shoot me?"
Hanzo huffed, rolling his eyes, and held out his hands. Jesse passed Peacekeeper to Hanzo gently, and their hands touched. A jolt passed through where they touched as a small spark of blue light hopped from Hanzo's skin to McCree, whose colour flushed more vibrantly. Hanzo stared as the deep gold of Jesse's eyes flashed, his smile growing more pronounced as his skin darkened to a rich colour.
"Ya gonna let go of my hands, sug?" McCree glanced down to where Hanzo had taken the gun, mistakenly taking hold of Jesse's fingers in the process.
"Ah, sorry--" Hanzo released Jesse's cool fingers and he pulled them back, leaving Hanzo with Peacekeeper. He lifted it to inspect it more closely, finding it a beautifully crafted weapon. Hanzo recognized it as being no standard firearm, concluding it must be custom. His gaze flicked up to McCree, intrigued by the growing mystery before him.
"Could I ask you a personal question, McCree?" Hanzo asked slowly as he returned the gun.
"Shoot, darlin'." Peacekeeper returned to him, Jesse flipped it in his hand with motions that spoke of having done it hundreds of times before. The gun spun in his grip, dancing around weathered fingers gracefully, and Hanzo simply watched for a moment, unwilling to interrupt right away.
After a moment, Hanzo tore his attention away. "I was wondering... how you died?"
The gun slowed to a stop in McCree's grip and he looked thoughtful. "To be honest, I can't rightly remember. Memories are... blurry the further back I go. I don't even remember much 'a the time after I woke up here at home. I mean, a lot of my things are gone now, yea? Clothes, photos," Jesse gestured around at the house, mostly bare other than minimal furniture, "I must have had 'em. I know I had 'em. But I don't remember any of it bein' removed."
Hanzo frowned. "Is that... normal?"
Jesse shrugged, settling Peacekeeper back in her case. "Dunno. Maybe? It's not like I've been a ghost before."
Hanzo crossed his arms as he leaned against the counter; this was the longest that McCree had spent being civil to him. He considered his next question, hoping he wasn't hurting the tentative peace they'd found. "What about your family?"
Jesse's smile returned full force. "Real good people. Wish I still had some pictures of 'em around here to show you. My parents, they're..." He paused, frowning. "They're..."
Hanzo watched as Jesse's hands settled on the counter and a look of deep concentration crossed his face. After a long, tense silence, his expression began to morph. Jesse's lips parted, his eyes widened, and his pupils contracted to pinpoints. Colour drained from McCree at an alarming rate, a sign Hanzo was now learning to associate with negative emotions. When Jesse finally turned to fully look at him, he was completely monotone once more.
"I can't remember 'em."
Hanzo wasn't sure he'd heard correctly. Jesse's voice had been so soft, tentative, as if he couldn't believe what he was admitting. Hanzo dropped his arms, stepping closer hesitantly. As if reading his mind, Jesse spoke again.
"I can't remember my family." Jesse's voice cracked and he rocked back on his feet. A blast of cold rolled off him, chilling Hanzo straight through. Hanzo shivered, taking in the bleak expression and struggling to find something comforting to say even as warning bells began to go off in the back of his head.
What did you tell a man who'd effectively just lost all memories of his family?
"Why can't I remember 'em?" Jesse's pitch rose as the temperature around him dropped further. "I had a family. I had one. Can't remember 'em-- why can't I remember? Names, faces, holidays, birthdays, vacations, all gone. Just gone."
"Jesse--" Hanzo tried again, but froze as Jesse winced suddenly and jerked. The movement caught the case on the counter, and Hanzo watched as it clattered to the ground. Peacekeeper bounced from her cradle and slid along the floor. He glanced back as Jesse clutched at his left arm.
"What is wrong?"
Jesse gasped, fingers digging brutally into the muscle of his arm as the appendage spasmed beneath his grip. "I--" The sound that came out of McCree next scratched like broken glass on Hanzo's ears. "Hurts. Can't-- Have to--" He didn't get the rest out as his image flickered and fizzled into nothingness.
Hanzo wasn't sure how long he stood there staring at the space Jesse had once occupied, but it was long after the cold had dissipated that he finally moved. He retrieved Peacekeeper and her case from where they lay on the floor, quietly settling her back in her home. Clutching the case tightly, Hanzo glanced once more at where Jesse had last stood and wondered where the ghost went whenever he disappeared.
Chapter 4: Ghostly Hauntings I Turn Loose
Hanzo's in trouble~
I'm so sorry this took me so long to get out! This story keeps growing without my permission...
Thank be to the Mango and Streusel <3
It had been eight days since Hanzo watched Jesse disappear in the kitchen. Since then he hadn't seen, heard, or felt a trace of his ghostly housemate. The dragons, who had been constantly active since the first night they'd met, had been utterly silent ever since. Hanzo had grown used to their activity, and the lack of it left a yawning pit within him.
Hanzo cleaned, cooked, sorted out the last of the junk in the shed, and researched every scrap of mythos and history he could find on human spirits and ghosts. He'd even gone and cleaned up the meticulous salt circles he'd left everywhere, unsure if the salt could be doubling as a repellent as well as the barrier. Still, Jesse did not return. Eventually, he'd taken to escaping the house during the day as much as possible. Hanzo would go into town (no one had any helpful information about Jesse), go for walks, anything he could think up so long as he didn't have to stay in the house that now radiated loneliness without its previous owner occupying it.
It did not help.
It was surprising how affected he was by Jesse's absence. It hadn't occurred to Hanzo that Jesse's presence permeated the entire home. Of course, Jesse had disappeared at times before, but Hanzo now understood he'd never truly been gone.
Curled up on his bed with tea and his tablet, Hanzo stared at the email he'd received that evening from his brother. How had Genji found internet in Nepal? He stared at the attached picture; Genji's green hair was practically fluorescent in the sunshine, his grin split his face ear to ear, and he hand one arm looped around another man sporting a shaved head, serene smile, and robes.
When Hanzo typed out a reply to his brother he found himself writing out everything. He started with the flight, the ranch, meeting McCree and being thrown down the stairs, and ended with his disappearance. If anyone would understand, or even believe him, it would be his brother. Who knew, maybe his brother had even encountered human spirits in his travels.
Hanzo hesitated for a split second before pressing send. Who knew when he'd get the chance again to tell his brother about everything that had happened. He might not even get Hanzo's reply for weeks either way.
Slumping against the headboard, Hanzo curled his toes in the blankets as he watched the sunset outside his window. Reaching out, he picked up his empty mug and stared at the bits of tea leaves clinging to the bottom of the porcelain. He sighed and shifted to climb out of bed and go make himself another cup. His bare feet made no noise on the wooden floor as he shuffled down the hall and descended to the first floor.
Hanzo was halfway to the kitchen when energy crackled excitedly up his arm, followed by a rush of presence expanding out from the living room. He froze as his hair rose in a wave up his arm and neck, turning slowly until his eyes locked on a form sprawled on the couch. Evening sunshine bathed the room and the lounging body, which reflected and refracted every tiny bit of glowing warmth back ten-fold. The light caught and bounced off tiny particles of dust floating nearby and made Jesse practically sparkle where he lay.
Hanzo raked wide eyes over Jesse and took a step closer, then another, and another, until he stood at the end of the couch. One of Jesse's legs dangled over the arm of the couch-- and yes, Hanzo noted, he did wear cowboy boots-- while the other leg was bent up and propped against the back of the couch. One arm was tucked behind his head, his face obscured by his hat, while the other rested on his broad chest, his fingers tucked into the space between two buttons on his flannel shirt.
"Jesse?" Hanzo's voice was tentative, unsure of what he was seeing, but it rang out in the quiet house like a cannon. Still, Jesse didn't move a muscle-- not even his chest rising and falling (did ghosts breathe?)-- and Hanzo moved closer, setting his mug down and kneeling by Jesse's side.
"Jesse?" he tried again, this time reaching out to touch the hand resting on Jesse's chest. Energy tingled along Hanzo's hand, jumping to Jesse's cool skin in excited little bursts.
Jesse shifted, a soft snort echoing from beneath the brim of his stetson. The hand cradling his head shifted, pulling itself free to push the hat back from his face. The eyes he revealed were sleep-filled and heavy-lidded, glowing softly in the setting sun. Full, dark lips curled lazily into a half-smile as his gaze landed on Hanzo.
"Howdy." Jesse's voice was hoarse from sleep as he greeted Hanzo.
"You're here." More words stuck in Hanzo's throat as it finally sunk in that yes, Jesse was really back.
"'course 'm here, sug, I can't leave this house. Nowhere fer me to go." Jesse's accent was thicker after just having woken up and it rolled over Hanzo like the heat before a storm, thick and heavy and warm.
"Jesse," Hanzo began slowly, "you've been gone for over a week."
Jesse chuckled, his colour flushing to almost full opacity. "Dunno what yer talkin' 'bout, darlin', I've been here the whole time."
Hanzo frowned at that, fingers twitching over where they still rested on Jesse's hand. "No, Jesse, you have not been."
"Well, 'm here now." Jesse shifted to sit up and Hanzo dropped his hand, the little strings of blue energy stretching until they snapped.
"Did you..." Hanzo hesitated, unsure if bringing up Jesse's family would trigger another disappearance. He settled with making his question vague. "Do you remember what you told me you had forgotten?"
Jesse tilted his head, face screwing up in confusion, "Forgotten?" he echoed.
"Yes, I found Peacekeeper, and afterward we got into a discussion about your... family." Hanzo watched McCree's face closely, but Jesse's expression remained the same.
"I remember you findin' Peacekeeper for me. Mighty grateful for that, I might add. Missed her somethin' fierce, and 'm glad to have her back."
Hanzo frowned, unsure if Jesse was avoiding the subject, or if he truly didn't remember. If he was avoiding it, he had an excellent poker face, but Hanzo was nothing if not determined. His ghost had been gone for over a week, had disappeared in a flurry of pain. Hanzo needed to know if it was a regular occurrence.
"You do not... remember our conversation about your family?"
Jesse's expression grew uncomfortable. "Yer like a dog with a bone on this, darlin'." He fidgeted where he sat, and the way he rubbed at his left arm didn't escape Hanzo's attention. "Nah, sug, I don't remember, an' to be honest with ya, I'm thinkin' I don't much want to talk about 'em. I ain't ever gonna see 'em again, now am I?"
If Jesse couldn't remember the conversation they'd had about forgetting his family, Hanzo wasn't going to ask him to try. He wondered why the realtor had never told Jesse's family that Jesse's spirit remained behind. Hanzo filed that question away for later when he called them. He was sure the answer wasn't going to be something he liked, but Jesse deserved a chance to see his family again and the next best source of information was likely to be the realtor.
"You must have been lonely." Hanzo replied softly. Jesse snorted but averted his gaze, telling Hanzo he'd guessed correctly. "I was not advised of your presence when I bought the property." Yet another question for the realtor, seeing as Jesse described them lauding over the 'haunted' status of the ranch to other prospective buyers. "And I cannot deny a ghost is an intriguing mystery, but more than that I do appreciate your company. Even invisible, your presence lends a certain... fullness to this house. I did not realize how empty it would be otherwise."
Jesse scratched at his beard and cast a sidelong look at Hanzo. "I really was gone for a week?"
"Eight days, to be precise." Jesse's lips split into a crooked grin and Hanzo's heart exploded into a flurry of fluttering activity.
"And yer sayin' ya missed me, sweet pea?" Jesse's eyes pulsed warm and golden, crinkling at the corners. It was Hanzo's turn to look away, unable to handle the intensity of Jesse's gaze. He fought the flush he felt climbing his neck.
"It is... more companionable," Hanzo agreed, proud of how steady and level his voice stayed.
"Well, I s'pose I can let ya stay. Company might be nice for a change."
Hanzo jumped as hands gripped his arms unexpectedly, dragging him forward and up into a strong embrace. Blue energy skipped and danced between where they pressed together, and Hanzo remained rigid in his surprise.
"Damn, Hanzo, yer stiffer 'n a board. It's like ya ain't ever heard of a hug before." Jesse's tone was teasing, but when Hanzo didn't relax or reply he pulled back. "Oh, c'mon now, don't tell me ya ain't even know what a hug is?" His playful smile remained, although not as sure as before.
Hanzo looked up at him, the flush steadily climbing into his cheeks. "Of course I know what a hug is, do not be ridiculous..."
Jesse squinted at him from arm's length, "... But?" he prompted.
"... but my clan... my family... was very traditional. Hugging is not a... not an accepted means of showing affection." Hanzo felt surprisingly uncomfortable admitting that truth, and when Jesse's face fell he tried to pull free of his grip. Hanzo absolutely did not want to see the pity he knew would come next.
What Hanzo didn't expect was for the grip on his arms to tighten and jerk him forward. Those same arms banded around him and squeezed tightly, inescapable.
"'m gonna apologize in advance, then, darlin'." Jesse's voice sounded suspiciously gravelly, but Hanzo could not see his face to confirm his suspicions. "'m a bit of a hugger. Seein' as yer the only person I found that I been able to touch since I became... living-impaired, so to speak, 'm afraid 'm gonna have to ask you to put up with a fair few of 'em... if ya don't might indulging this old ghost."
Hanzo bit his lip, but raised his hands slowly to return the embrace. When Jesse's arms squeezed further, Hanzo sagged into him and buried his face in Jesse's shoulder.
"I think it is a hardship I can bear." Hanzo's voice was muffled in his plaid shirt, but the laugh that escaped Jesse was enough to tell Hanzo he'd been heard.
The flannel under his hands was soft, worn, and Jesse was cool to the touch beneath it. Hanzo inhaled and was surprised when the scent of leather, smoke, and something unique filled his nose, strange and new and unexpected. Was that what Jesse smelled like?
Energy curled between them once more, growing steadily as their embrace continued. Neither man noticed until a particularly large bolt rose above them and snapped with a thunderous pop. They split apart with a gasp at the pulse of sensation that followed, Hanzo staring into Jesse's wide-eyed, bewildered gaze with an equally surprised expression.
"Now that 'm reminded, darlin', I been meaning to ask ya about that fireworks trick of yours. Hurt the first time, but I'd say this time was a little more... pleasurable." Jesse's colour was flushed to full saturation, and he looked almost solid. The slow smile under heavy-lidded eyes that Jesse turned on him sent a rush of heat up Hanzo's spine.
Hanzo lifted his left arm to indicate the intricately inked dragon climbing over his skin. "The dragons are spirits, like you, although they do not usually react so..."
"Excitedly?" Jesse supplied, leaning over Hanzo and grinning.
"Over-zealously," Hanzo corrected, lips curling before he could stop them. "The tattoos are part of a ceremony that binds our lives together."
"Ya got two tattoos." Jesse's tone was casual as he reached out to trace fingers along Hanzo's forearms. Sparks jumped between his fingertips and Hanzo's skin, sending tiny shockwaves through the both of them.
Hanzo swallowed his embarrassment as he watched and recalled exactly how Jesse had found out that particular tidbit of information.
"Two tattoos for two dragons," Hanzo confirmed.
"Yer sayin'... you have TWO dragons? Like real, fairy tale dragons?"
Hanzo preened at how impressed Jesse looked. "Eastern mythology instead of western, but yes. My family has bonded with this particular line for centuries. Now, spirits are not uncommon by any means, but--" he pointed at McCree, "until I met you I was under the impression that human spirits, or ghosts, were a true myth."
Recovering himself, Jesse spread his arms. "Well, as you can see, 'm flesh and blood, sweetheart... or whatever 'm made of."
Hanzo nodded. "Exactly. However, I suspect the dragons, like myself, have never met a genuine human spirit and are reacting... over-eagerly."
Jesse's grin widened at that, if possible. "Aw, are ya sayin' yer little critters like me?"
Hanzo rolled his eyes. "They are neither 'critters' nor 'little', Jesse, but yes. Excepting our initial introduction, it's felt as if they have been intent on meeting you."
Jesse perked up. "Ya mean there's more to 'em than yer tattoos and that blue lightning magic?" Hanzo couldn't suppress his smirk at Jesse's expression.
"Of course. They are spirits, just as you are, and while we are... bound, three parts to a whole, they still have individual physical forms, just as you do." Hanzo turned a considering look on the first floor. "I think there is room enough here. Would you like to meet them?"
"Sweet pea, I thought you'd never ask." Jesse bounced to his feet, dragging Hanzo with him.
Hanzo gripped at Jesse's shirt in surprise as he was lifted to his feet. This close, Jesse seemed to tower over him and Hanzo stepped back, hurriedly putting distance between them. Jesse followed him as he shuffled over to where there was more space. The energy crackling up his arm jumped and grew in excitement that raced along Hanzo's skin, infectious.
"It might be a tight fit," he warned. "Their spirit forms are quite large."
"Just tell 'em not to break anything." Jesse winked.
Hanzo looked away to hide the effect that particular gesture inspired in him, instead focusing on manifesting the dragons' physical forms. The crackling escalated to pops and a constant buzz, twisting in a funnel around his arm. The energy grew, stretching and glowing brighter as it elongated and filled the space around them. Soon, massive coils in the same shade of electric blue surrounded both men, shifting and sliding around them. The two bodies took up every inch of the available floor, coiling around counter tops and over the couch, the tail of one climbing the stairs.
One head rose from the mass and loomed over them, dark eyes wide and teeth bared in an eager, draconic smile. Jesse stepped backwards, knocking into Hanzo, and he had to hide a smile as he caught sight of the surprise etched into Jesse's face. A second head soon joined the first, and this one leaned in close to where they stood. Hanzo steadied Jesse with one hand, the other reaching out to caress the second head. The dragon's eyes fluttered closed and it rumbled in response.
"Is... is it purrin'?"
Hanzo frowned. "They are not cats, Jesse."
The noise grew in volume and Jesse shrugged. "If it looks like a duck..."
Hanzo huffed, and the dragon at his hand turned its dark eyes on Jesse. It slid from underneath his fingers to drift nearer to Jesse. Hanzo watched, lips pressed tightly together to suppress his smile, as they considered each other before Jesse lifted tentative hands.
"Ah... May I?"
The dragon gave a slight bob of its head and Jesse pressed careful hands to its snout. Blue energy sparked between them as he ran his hands along the muzzle and the dragon rumbled in approval. Jesse broke into wide grin, and his face lit up in excitement. Hanzo bit his lip as he noticed Jesse's eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled.
The moment was interrupted when a second head ducked down, nudging into Jesse's side with enough force to stagger him. He tumbled into Hanzo and sent them both stumbling into the wall of spirit-dragon that surrounded them. Their limbs tangled and Hanzo barely saved them from toppling to a heap on the floor when he caught himself against Jesse, wrapping one arm around him to save him from falling as well.
Balance restored, they both straightened, and Jesse reached up to tip his hat. "Appreciated."
Jesse didn't pull away and Hanzo let his arm linger. His hand pressed into the small of Jesse's back as he stared up into eyes that smiled down at him, crinkling at the corners again. In that moment, Hanzo could hardly tell Jesse was a spirit, except that Jesse was cool against him where they pressed together.
"You... gonna let me go, darlin'?" Golden eyes blinked lazily down at Hanzo, amusement sparkling in their depths. Hanzo jerked his hand back, freeing McCree from his grip. Jesse pulled away more slowly, one hand brushing along Hanzo's hip and sending electricity up his side that had nothing to do with the dragons surrounding them.
Chuckling, Jesse rounded back on the dragons. "Now, y'all there, what was that for? There's no need to be so pushy, now... ah..." He paused, turning to look at Hanzo. "Do they, uh... do they got names?"
"Tsuki," Hanzo pointed to the first dragon, "and Hoshi," he finished, pointing to the dragon that had nearly toppled them.
Jesse returned his focus to Tsuki and Hoshi. "There's no need for any of that, Hoshi. All y'had to do was be patient. I ain't goin' anywhere."
Watching Jesse admonish a spirit whose head was half the size of his body had Hanzo covering his mouth with his hand. He knew he should be horrified by the fact that Jesse was scolding a spirit who was countless millennia old, but instead he found himself overcome by amusement as Hoshi dipped their head in contrition.
Jesse must have taken it as an apology, because his posture relaxed and he reached out to give Hoshi the same treatment he'd given Tsuki. Both dragons' eyes flashed as Jesse let down his guard, and Hanzo was glad for the hand covering his mouth as they pounced. Jesse yelped as this time he went down, both dragons on him in an instant, pinning him and snuffling at his clothes, his face, his hair. Tsuki nosed at his hat, only to have it tumble away and disappear. The hat reappeared a moment later on Jesse's head.
"Now-- what in tarnation-- y'all--" Jesse shoved at the two dragons, but it had no effect. His form flickered, but Tsuki huffed and Jesse's image fizzled back into place. "Hanzo, please call 'em off, darlin'!"
The sight of Jesse buried, squirming, underneath the two spirits struck Hanzo as utterly ridiculous and, unable to contain it, he chuckled. The dragons stilled at the noise and Jesse tilted his head to watch as the sound grew from a soft, hesitant thing into bright peals of laughter, interrupted only by an occasional hiccuping snort. By the time Hanzo was finally able to calm himself, his sides ached and he could feel moisture threatening to spill from the corners of his eyes. Tsuki and Hoshi's gazes were focused sharply on him, and Hanzo realized suddenly that Jesse was staring as well.
A wave of embarrassment rolled over Hanzo. He quickly broke eye contact, clearing his throat, and completely missed the heat that flashed through Jesse's eyes.
"Leave him be, both of you." Hanzo stepped forward, shoving each dragon away bodily. Both spirits huffed and crackled their disappointment before bursting into scattered particles and reabsorbing into Hanzo's skin.
Jesse grinned up at him from his place on the floor. "I'll admit, they're a little more impressive than fireworks."
Hanzo huffed, chancing a glance down at Jesse. "I have a theory that my bond with them ties myself to the spirit world, and that is why your are able to... touch me... but no one else." Hanzo offered his hand to Jesse, who took it and pulled himself up. Standing once more, Jesse beamed down at him.
"Well, I sure as hell ain't complainin'."
Hanzo felt a pang of sympathy at Jesse's words, reminded once again of how lonely he must have been for years before Hanzo had moved in. "I am... gratified that I can bring you at least some solace."
Jesse blinked, face blank as if he had no idea what Hanzo meant. Understanding blossomed in his eyes first, before a slow smirk spread across his features. He squeezed Hanzo's hand where he still clutched it, stepping closer.
"Well, aren't you just precious, darlin', Jesse purred. "Concerned with my... solace."
Close. Jesse was very close. Hanzo stared up at his ghost, unable to tear his gaze away from the warm, molten gold of Jesse's gaze as it came closer and closer. When Jesse finally stopped he was so close that Hanzo could feel the vibrations of Jesse's words against his own lips.
"What I mean," Jesse continued softly, "is that if I can only touch one other person," Hanzo swallowed as Jesse enunciated each word with slow, measured care, "that at least it's someone as drop dead gorgeous as yourself."
Hanzo's heart raced so loud he was sure Jesse could hear it pounding away in his chest. He couldn't seem to get enough oxygen, unable to inhale more than the shallowest of breaths, as he devoured every minute detail of the man before him. Eyes Hanzo had thought were gold turned out to be closer to honeyed brown at this distance, and he could make out the telltale end of a scar peeking out from Jesse's beard. Most surprisingly, Hanzo noticed his skin was dusted in freckles.
Hanzo had never realized freckles could be devastating.
A soft chuckle broke Hanzo's focus, and his gaze darted back up as Jesse pulled back. His hand was released, and suddenly he realized his lungs were screaming. Hanzo sucked in a deep breath as Jesse's image faded and flickered.
"Well, it sure has been... enlightenin'." Jesse's smirk was smug at his own pun and Hanzo was still too frozen to manage to roll his eyes. "G'night, Hanzo." His name rolled off Jesse's lips, slow and smooth. "Dream your sweetest dreams."
He vanished completely in the next moment, leaving Hanzo standing alone between the kitchen and living room, chest rising and falling rapidly.
Once again, Hanzo was left staring at the empty space Jesse McCree had occupied only moments before.
Chapter 5: Scary Movie
Breakfast and a scary movie?
(Thank-you Mango, thank-you Streusal, always my lovely betas~)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hanzo drifted slowly into consciousness, basking in the warmth that surrounded him. Feeling slowly flooded his limbs as he woke, and he shifted, rolling into a full-body stretch languidly. A succession of pops travelled up his spine and he slumped back into the bed, boneless. Early morning sun peeked through the curtains and Hanzo ran his hands through tangled hair and then scrubbed at his eyes. The sensation of fullness rested over the house like a comforting blanket. It had been that way since last evening, reassuring Hanzo that Jesse hadn't really left.
Hanzo allowed himself to be lazy, lounging in bed while he checked his emails. There was nothing from his brother, and he thumbed through the rest with little interest. Hanzo flicked through a few more things before giving a defeated sigh. The lethargy was nice, but he was not used to being so idle.
Sitting up, he considered what he had to do for the day. There was a list a mile long of things he wanted to do around the house, and things he needed. The second bathroom was without a shower curtain, he hadn't been able to find a satisfactory rice cooker yet, and a television would be nice. Something so Hanzo didn't have to watch everything on his tiny tablet. Jesse would probably like that, too. It would leave him with something he could do when Hanzo wasn't around.
Sympathy flooded through Hanzo as he was reminded of how lonely Jesse must have been, trapped in the house, unable to leave. There'd been no television, no radios or other music players, or even any books when he'd arrived. The ranch had stood empty for years, other than the realtor and a parade of would-be ghost enthusiasts. Bad company and nothing to do-- no wonder he'd been so cantankerous at first.
Hanzo finally climbed out of bed, padding over to the dresser to dig out a pair of recently-acquired sweatpants and a t-shirt. He ran his fingers roughly through his hair and pulled it into a messy bun. As if on cue, his stomach growled, sharp and yawning with hunger. Time for breakfast.
Hanzo made it to the top of the stairs before the smell reached him, spicy and mouth-watering. He ventured downstairs slowly, quietly avoiding the creaky parts of the stairs he'd been memorizing the last few weeks. He stopped on the split landing, staring into the kitchen. Jesse stood at the stove with a frying pan in one hand, a spatula in the other.
He's cooking, Hanzo realized. Jesse hadn't heard him yet, so he continued to watch quietly from his spot on the stairs. The cowboy was humming to himself, bouncing on the balls of his feet and swaying his hips back and forth. Mesmerized, Hanzo leaned forward unconsciously, and his weight on the banister had it creaking beneath him.
Jesse's eyes snapped up and he smiled. "Mornin' darlin'."
"What... what are you doing?" Hanzo asked slowly.
Jesse glanced down at the pan, and back to Hanzo. "Uh... makin' breakfast?"
Hanzo huffed, rolling his eyes. "I see that. What I mean is you do not eat, why are you cooking?"
Jesse's eyebrows pressed together and climbed his forehead in a quizzical expression. "Ain't for me," he replied. "Makin' breakfast for you." Jesse looked down at the pan. "But, ah... didn't mean to assume nothin'. If ya don't eat breakfast, or yer picky or somethin'..."
Of course the food was for him. Hanzo blushed, embarrassed. "No-- it's--" Jesse's gaze flew back to Hanzo, who stared at him, wide-eyed. "I was just not expecting it," he confessed.
Jesse's smile returned full-force, dazzling, and Hanzo returned it with a small one of his own as he descended the last few steps to join Jesse in the kitchen.
"What are you making?" he asked hesitantly.
"Well, to be honest with ya, darlin', you didn't have much in the way of what I'm used to havin' for breakfast." He glanced at Hanzo when he stepped next to Jesse to peer into the pan. "But ya had eggs, cheese, and some vegetables, so I hope you don't mind omelettes?"
Jesse's voice was hopeful and Hanzo met his eyes again. He could still see a slight hesitance in Jesse's gaze, and he was overcome with determination to stomp it out.
"That sounds good," Hanzo replied softly, giving Jesse another small smile.
It looked delicious, too. Cheese dribbled the tiniest bit from the edges of the omelette, and the egg was fluffy and golden, wrapped around whatever else Jesse had put in it.
A small bump against his hip caught Hanzo's attention again and he looked up at Jesse.
"Go get yourself a drink and somethin' to eat with. This is just about ready, sweet pea." The spatula scraped across the pan as Jesse carefully flipped the omelette to check its underside.
Hanzo shuffled around the kitchen, pulling down a plate from the cupboard. A second later it jerked itself from his hands and darted over his head. Hanzo turned, watching with amazement as it floated over to Jesse and hung, suspended in the air, as he cooked. He winked at Hanzo's stunned expression and went back to cooking without a word. Hanzo spun back around hastily, retrieving utensils and a glass that he filled with water.
He followed Jesse to the table, where the chair slide out for him of its own accord. Hanzo took the seat tentatively, glancing up at Jesse, only to be startled again as the chair tucked itself in. Hanzo gripped at the edge of the table as Jesse chuckled, setting the plate down in front of him before dropping into another chair himself.
Hanzo looked between the food and Jesse, who was watching him intently, expectantly.
"Ah... thank you again. For breakfast." Nervous energy clawed its way up his spine as Jesse smiled at him and Hanzo turned his focus back to the food, bowing his head. "Itadakimasu."
The first bite was fluffy, savoury on his tongue. The cheese was hot, so Hanzo was careful. Aside from cheese the inside was filled with spinach, mushrooms, and onion. He'd never had an omelette like this, but the flavours complimented each other and Hanzo closed his eyes as he enjoyed it. When he opened them again, Jesse was still watching him. His chin was propped up in his hand, an indulgent smile curled across his face under heavy-lidded eyes.
"It's delicious." Hanzo was impressed. He wouldn't have pinned the rough cowboy as being a good cook, but he was certainly not complaining.
"If ya pick me up a few more ingredients I can cook other things as well," Jesse offered. "Ya didn't seem to have much more in the cupboards than what I used for breakfast-- just rice, noodles, and tea."
A vision of Jesse dancing in the kitchen, just like earlier, filled Hanzo's head. His ever-helpful brain wondered if he'd ever cooked naked before. Or maybe just in an apron.
His cock twitched in interest.
Hanzo suddenly found the omelette very interesting as he avoided Jesse's intent gaze. "I can pick up whatever you need... I am, unfortunately, not much of a cook myself." It was something that had always been done for him.
"Aw, I wouldn't mind cookin' for ya. Ain't no trouble, darlin'. I like cookin', been told I'm not half bad at it, either."
"You certainly have a talent for it, if this is anything to judge by," Hanzo agreed. "But I could not ask you to cook for me."
"It'd give me something to do 'round here." Jesse leaned back in his chair, but despite his casual posture Hanzo saw something in his eyes that told him Jesse was not relaxed. This was important to him, something to do, a way to feel useful.
"As long as you feel I am not taking advantage of you." Hanzo willed himself to sound reluctant, loathe to let Jesse think he was capitulating out of pity. "But perhaps you should teach me, as well. It is a useful skill to have, and one I lack in." Jesse's eyes lost their tension and Hanzo was relieved that he'd guessed correctly.
"I think I can manage that, sug."
Hanzo nodded around another bite of omelette, swallowing. "You can make a list of what you would like on my tablet. I was thinking I may also purchase a larger television."
Jesse lit up. "That'd be mighty kind of ya. Haven't watched a movie or anything in... damn, don't know how long."
Hanzo set his fork down. "If you do not mind my asking, how long have you been here?"
Jesse shrugged. "Don't rightly know, to be honest with ya. Hasn't exactly been a calendar around here to keep track."
"What is the first thing you do remember about... waking here?" Hanzo ventured.
Jesse leaned further back, balancing the chair on its two back legs and thinking. "Mmmmmm, can't say." Jesse's eyes focused somewhere on the ceiling. "I remember long days and nights, that arsehat of a realtor and the awful folks she brought around, but I don't particularly have any memories of wakin' up here-- or dyin', for that matter." His eyes narrowed and Hanzo watched as he seemed to wrestle with his memories.
A moment later Jesse winced, the image of him flickering out briefly. The chair he'd been leaning on slipped through his semi-transparent form and clattered to the ground. Hanzo shot to his feet, his own chair scraping loudly behind him as Jesse rubbed at his left arm. He remained floating above where the chair had once stood, looking washed out and incorporeal.
"Are... are you okay?" Hanzo asked softly, warily.
"'m fine, darlin', just a bit of pain, that's all." Jesse gave him a faint smile, but it didn't reach his eyes.
"That is what happened last time." Hanzo felt as if he was walking on thin ice. He had a suspicion that the pain Jesse had experienced wasn't just a random occurrence. Both times they'd been talking about the past, about memories Jesse was having trouble recalling. He wouldn't be surprised if Jesse disappeared if they tried to push it again.
"'m fine, sweet pea, promise." Jesse was still massaging his arm, still pale, but he didn't disappear further.
A long moment followed as Hanzo watched Jesse carefully. His colour filtered back slowly, but nowhere near as strong as before, and Hanzo only took his seat again when the chair Jesse had knocked over flipped back up on its own. He retrieved his fork, appetite diminished but unwilling to let Jesse's work go to waste. They lapsed into silence as Hanzo ate. Jesse looked fatigued, but otherwise remained steadily corporeal again.
When Hanzo finished, his plate whisked itself away to the sink. He barely noticed, however, still reluctant to take his eyes off Jesse in case he disappeared again.
"So, s'it good?"
Hanzo took much longer than he should have to work out what Jesse had asked him-- had he enjoyed breakfast?
"Yes. I was not lying when I said you're talented. Your cooking is very good."
Jesse smiled at him and pushed his chair back to stand. Hanzo watched as Jesse stretched briefly and struggled for something more to say to him. Jesse really did seem mostly back to normal, but Hanzo's unease remained.
Jesse had turned and was heading back into the kitchen when Hanzo moved again. He shot up, grabbing Jesse's wrist. Jesse's skin was cool underneath his fingers, and for a brief moment he wondered if he'd slip right through the ghost, but his palm pressed flush against Jesse's arm and went no further.
Jesse looked back at him, a silent question written across his face, and Hanzo wracked his brain for something more to say.
"You said you had not seen a movie in quite some time," he began. "If I were to find an acceptable television today, would you like to watch one with me tonight? I only have a few films on my tablet, but I could download anything else you may want to see."
The smile that broke over Jesse's face was worth the momentary anxiousness that had enveloped him.
"I'd like nothin' better, darlin'." Electricity jumped between them and Jesse's colour flushed back by a few more degrees.
"Perfect. Do not forget to add anything else you'd like to my tablet before I go shopping today."
Jesse nodded. "Gotcha, darlin'."
Hanzo let Jesse go and he turned, whistling as he headed back into the kitchen where the dishes had already started washing themselves.
It turned out that Hanzo was able to find an 'acceptable' television while in town that day. He packed it, and the rest of the groceries, in the back of the rental car-- he'd really need to go buy his own vehicle sometime soon-- and drove it all home, arriving back in the late evening. Jesse met him at the door, not crossing the threshold, but taking the supplies and then the awkwardly large box from Hanzo as soon as it crossed the entrance.
Jesse's abilities made the mundane task of putting the smaller supplies away ridiculously easy, though Jesse confessed he wasn't too confident lifting more heavy items. Soon Hanzo found himself in the living room with Jesse lifting the large screen from the box. They hung it from the wall mount they'd set up and Hanzo gave Jesse his tablet.
"Anythin' ya don't like, darlin'?" Jesse asked as he thumbed through the movies Hanzo already had.
"I'm not much for dramas, so I do not have any on there, but as I said if there's anything particular you want to see, please do not hesitate to download it."
Hanzo watched as Jesse stopped, looking surprised. "You're inta horror movies?"
Hanzo edged around to look at what Jesse had found, and smiled. It was an old horror movie, and one of Hanzo's favourites. He glanced back up, a hesitant smile on his lips.
"Poltergeist-- the first one, at least-- is very good. Have you seen it?"
Jesse flashed a big smile, all teeth. "Have I? I love this movie! Didn't peg ya for a horror buff, though, darlin'."
"I greatly enjoy the genre, actually," he admitted. "Would you like to watch this one?"
"Looks good t'me, but... sweet pea, are ya sure?"
Hanzo gave Jesse a perplexed look. "I do not mind? It is a good movie."
Jesse turned and Hanzo realized suddenly that they were very close. Jesse leered down at him expectantly and while he felt himself flush, Hanzo didn't back down.
"A scary movie... about a haunted house..." Jesse stepped closer, leaning down until the cool rasp of his breath brushed Hanzo's cheek, "and ghosts that do... whatever... they... like... to its inhabitants?"
Hanzo huffed, holding back a smile. "So you are saying you are going to... possess a tree, attack me with a possessed toy clown, attempt to drown me in a pool, and drag me to the spirit world?"
Jesse stilled, his wide, golden-brown gaze meeting Hanzo's darker one. There was a moment of silence before Jesse pulled away, laughing.
"C'mon, darlin', let's go watch this. I haven't seen a movie in ages." Jesse waved the tablet as he collapsed onto the couch and propped his feet up on the coffee table.
Hanzo followed, turning most of the lights off as he went. He took up a spot on the other end of the couch, legs curling beside him, as Jesse fiddled with the tablet. He connected it to the television, brought the movie up, cranked the volume, and soon they settled in to watch the film.
They were far enough into the movie that Hanzo was engrossed when Jesse shifted closer. Hanzo didn't notice him moving until a cool hand ghosted over his leg. He jumped, twisting to face Jesse as he crawled closer. Hanzo was glad he'd turned most of the lights off, because heat was immediately rushing to his face as Jesse drew closer.
Stunned as he was, Hanzo did not resist as Jesse manhandled his legs, adjusting them until he was cradled comfortably between them. Blue arcs of light jumped between them where they pressed together and white teeth flashed in the low light as Jesse smiled at him from beneath his hat.
"What... what are you doing?" Hanzo finally managed.
"Mmmm... gettin' comfortable, darlin'." Jesse replied lightly. Seemingly satisfied, Jesse draped himself across Hanzo, head falling to rest on his chest.
"Mmmmhm. Ya don't mind, do ya, sug? S'nice to hold someone." Jesse's words were emphasized by the hand he ran up Hanzo's side. Beneath his shirt, cool tremors and tiny sparks of light rippled across Hanzo's skin in the wake of Jesse's touch.
Hanzo's heart started racing, and he knew there was no way Jesse could be missing it. Not with the way his face was pressed against Hanzo, pillowed on his chest. The ample weight of the other man, while not warm, was comfortably heavy. The press of Jesse's body was hard between his thighs and his stomach rubbed over Hanzo's cock as he shifted, not crushing but very much there and teasing. Hanzo tried very hard not to imagine Jesse in a similar position, only sans clothes.
Maybe he'd keep the hat on.
Hanzo felt blood rush, unbidden, to his groin at the mental image and he had to fight the urge to roll his hips up into into Jesse, seeking more contact and pressure. This was not the way he wanted his thoughts to go. It didn't matter if his ghost was charming and flirtatious, he was still a ghost.
A ghost with warm eyes, cool skin, broad shoulders, freckles, and hair seemingly on every available inch of skin the man possessed. At least every inch Hanzo had seen. His eyes trailed along the collar of Jesse's plaid shirt to where he could see more hair poking out. Hanzo considered how far down it might possibly go...
"No, it is okay." Somehow, Hanzo found a way to pull himself away from that train of thought and keep his voice steady as he replied.
Jesse shifted against him again, the friction more than a passing glance this time. Add to that a particularly daring bolt of electricity and Hanzo found himself clenching his jaw tightly shut. Jesse's hand slid around from its path up his side to under the curve of his back and trailed back down until his fingers found the hem of Hanzo's shirt. Slipping underneath, calloused fingers traced slow patterns across his skin, trailing sparks, and Hanzo let out a slow breath.
Hanzo tilted his head back, no longer paying attention to the movie. Why was Jesse doing this? What was his goal? Under normal circumstances Hanzo would have taken the flirting at face value, but a tiny part of his brain nagged at him. He was the first person Jesse had been able to touch in how long?
He was the only person Jesse could touch.
Hanzo's doubts didn't seem to deter his steadily-growing erection, however. It continued to grow, taking on a life of its own and teased into further hardness by the energy crackling between them. Jesse's leg rubbing against the inside of his thigh was only making matters worse.
His tenseness didn't go unnoticed, and a moment later Jesse was lifting himself above Hanzo again.
"Ya alright, darlin'?" There was no concern in Jesse's words, just a slow, smoky rumble that belied his amusement as he watched Hanzo from under the brim of his hat.
Hanzo stared back, his lips parted and eyes dark. He watched as Jesse's tongue ran across his lips in a long, slow swipe, and he shuddered in response.
"I think I know what you're needin'." The whiskeyed lilt of his voice dropped even lower as he leaned forward. His honey coloured eyes were intent, full of promise, and had taken on a soft glow. Hanzo's cock throbbed in response and found himself unable to breath at the sight. Jesse was going to kiss him.
I am the only person he can touch.
Hanzo twisted and threw Jesse off in a fluid, practised motion. He'd caught Jesse off-guard, and the ghost landed with a surprisingly solid thud on the floor. Hanzo was on his feet before Jesse had time to recover, crossing the living room and bounding up the stairs. He heard Jesse call out behind him but ignored him as he took the steps two at a time.
Inside the safety of his bedroom he closed and locked the door, leaning against it and glaring at the tent in his pants. Confusion swarmed his thoughts, bracketed on either side by the hot press of arousal that Jesse had evoked. He was fully hard, uncomfortably squeezed in his pants. Hanzo huffed, storming across the room.
He was frustrated, angry. Hanzo didn't know if Jesse was only touching him because he could… or because he wanted to. He wished he could just believe it was the latter.
He jerked fingers through his hair, tugging the hair tie roughly until it came undone and his hair fell loose around his shoulders. Hanzo crawled into bed, rolling onto his back and staring at the ceiling. What was he going to do?
Hanzo groaned, eyes slipping closed as he gave into the pressing need and palmed himself through his pants. Release, perhaps, would allow him to think with a clear head. He tugged open the button and slid the zipper down, sighing as it released the pressure on his straining erection. He shoved his pants down, underwear sliding along with it, and dragged his hand back up to wrap around his dick.
"Darlin', I think we need ta talk--" Jesse walked right through the locked door and froze. Hanzo's gaze whipped back open, wide and full of surprise as he stared back.
Jesse's eyes flashed dangerously and his posture shifted subtly as he prowled closer. His movements were fluid, graceful, predatory, and he made no sound as he moved closer. Hanzo swallowed heavily even as his cock jumped in delight.
"Oh honey, I think we're about ta be doin' a lot more than talkin'."
I'm not sorry.
Chapter 6: Bangshee
Ghost sex is kinda like a McGangBang, but with only one Jesse.
Thank-you to my lovely betas Streusel and Mango. <3 And to Lem, who convinced me to keep the thing ;)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hanzo involuntarily fisted his dick tighter, biting back a shameful noise as Jesse stalked toward him. His heart kicked into overdrive, fluttering in a rapid succession of beats that rivalled a professional drumline. It took him an embarrassingly long time to gather his wits enough to scramble and drag his pants back up his thighs.
Jesse's knees hit the mattress and he dropped heavily onto the bed to crawl forward. His eyes were luminous, intent, even against the light of the moon. Hanzo nearly lost himself to the roll of those shoulders, fluid and graceful, admiring the broad lines they formed. Jesse's smile flashed dangerously, razor sharp, and he practically purred his next words.
"Aw, darlin', you don't have ta put that away-- 'm just gonna be takin' it out again."
Jesse was close enough that his hand was reaching for Hanzo's ankle when Hanzo regained his senses again. He dug his heels into the bed, scrambling backwards until his back hit the headboard with a loud thump.
Jesse did stop, freezing in place with one arm still outstretched. They studied each other for a quiet moment, Jesse's image flickering in a way that Hanzo was learning meant something was wrong.
Something was wrong.
Hanzo's thoughts caught in his throat before they could become words as he worried at them. He couldn't deny he was desperately attracted to Jesse. The temptation to give in and let Jesse take what he wanted, to give Jesse what he wanted, clawed at him from the inside out. Jesse was flirtatious, confident, kind, passionate, talented, stubborn, impulsive, and the urge to learn more about him was rapidly becoming an itch he could not deny. Hanzo was selfish and greedy, and he'd never been a man to do things by halves.
Fear splintered through his chest as realization settled in, pricking threateningly at the edges of the tentative feelings he now recognized. What he wanted was more than just physical; Hanzo wanted everything.
How long had Jesse been alone before Hanzo? Years, for certain. And Jesse had scared off all prospective company, so Hanzo was certainly the first person he'd spent more than a few minutes with in a very long time. And of course, Jesse could touch him.
Hanzo shook himself before his train of thought could spiral further. It was fear that had kept him tied to the Shimada clan for far more years than he was proud to admit. He wasn't about to let it rule his life again.
Hanzo needed to know if all Jesse wanted was something physical, or if he wanted more, too.
"Jesse, I..." Hanzo's tongue felt thick in his mouth and he cleared his throat to try again. "Jesse, what are your intentions?"
Hanzo winced. That hadn't sounded awkward at all.
He dragged his gaze back up to look at Jesse, whose face was creased in confusion, mouth working silently, and Hanzo couldn't stop himself from blundering on. "What I mean is that I like you. Yes, I am... attracted to you. I would like there to be more. Between us. But I am the first, possibly only, person you can touch and if this is just physical for you I do not know if I can... can..." he trailed off, unable to finish but hoping he'd gotten his point across.
Emotions slowly morphed across Jesse's face, evolving into realization, and finally surprise, and Hanzo jumped as Jesse's image blinked out without warning. When Jesse reappeared, he was practically on top of Hanzo, a wave of cold washing over him from Jesse's proximity. Jesse gripped at the headboard on either side of Hanzo's head, using his thighs to pin Hanzo's hips to the bed. His head dipped low and Jesse pressed his nose into the dark hair at Hanzo's temple.
"Sweet pea. Buttercup. Sunshine. Honey. Pumpkin. Oh, darlin', no." The litany of endearments that spilled from Jesse's lips combined with his close proximity left Hanzo flushed and slightly breathless. "Hanzo, it ain't... it ain't nothin' like that."
"What..." The rough texture of his own voice startled Hanzo, but he continued, "What is it like?"
Jesse pulled back to study Hanzo, golden eyes glowing brightly against the muted blues that made up the rest of him. His hands slid down from the headboard, trailing down over Hanzo's neck and back up to his jaw. The rough pad of Jesse's thumb trailed further, tracing over Hanzo's bottom lip affectionately as surges of energy crackled between them.
"Darlin', I thought I was makin' myself obvious, but I s'pose not. I like the smartass who drew salt circles around everything and stubbornly refused to leave even after I-- accidentally, mind ya-- threw him down a flight of stairs. I like the man who literally lights up whenever I get close, who stood drippin' on the stairs in nothin' but a towel and yet still managed to look serious when he threatened me with exorcism, and who, after all my fuckin' up, still went outta his way to befriend my sorry ass. I want to know and touch that man. I have no idea what I ever did in my life to deserve the opportunity to do that after death but I ain't about to waste such a gift."
If the next breath Hanzo drew shuddered unsteadily, Jesse was kind enough to not draw attention to it. Instead, Jesse tilted Hanzo's chin up and leaned so close that Hanzo could feel his next words more than hear them.
"I want ta watch more movies with ya. I want ta meet those critters of yours again. I want to know where ya been and where you're goin'. I want ta make ya breakfast again..." Jesse's voice dropped even lower, a rumble, "after a long night of lovin' on ya."
Hanzo licked his dry lips. "I want that."
"Let me give it to ya, then."
"Give me--" Hanzo was cut off as Jesse's mouth crashed into his.
The kiss was affectionate and hungry, nothing held back from Hanzo. Jesse's hands manoeuvred Hanzo's head until he could deepen the kiss, aggressively plundering his mouth as soon as Hanzo's lips parted. Hanzo's hands slid to Jesse's hips, fingers digging into his flesh to tug him closer.
Both of Jesse's hands slid along Hanzo's jaw to tangle in his hair, caressing the dark locks and tugging Hanzo's head back even further as they kissed. Hanzo moaned quietly at the sharp sensation and Jesse tightened his hold.
Fingers tugged at the edges of Hanzo's shirt and he arched obligingly to allow Jesse to tug it up. The shirt stopped climbing halfway up his stomach as Jesse got distracted by the muscles the fabric had revealed. Eager hands explored his stomach and ribs, little sparks of energy fizzling in their wake. Hanzo's kiss-fogged brain wondered lazily at the fact that both of Jesse's hands were still on his face even as they simultaneously moved to tug his shirt further up.
Hanzo gasped at another sharp tug of his hair partnered with hands sliding over his hardened nipples and he jerked back, wide-eyed, as the reality of it settled in.
Jesse smiled lazily at him as Hanzo's gaze flickered to the arms he could see, anchored to hands wrapped tightly in his hair, then down to his chest. Hanzo could feel hands pressing against the muscle of his chest but could see nothing. When he looked up at Jesse again, the lazy smile had changed to one of sinful smugness. A sharp tug at his left nipple had Hanzo gasping and looking down for a second time. His flesh stretched between invisible fingers and Hanzo's lips parted on a surprised breath and he arched into it.
"What are you..."
Jesse chuckled. "Like that, kitten?"
Hanzo didn't hesitate with his reply and it came out on a hiss. "Yes."
Hanzo was rewarded as invisible fingers pinched tighter and Jesse yanked his head back sharply again. Jesse took control of their second kiss, nipping and teasing at his lips and giving Hanzo no quarter to chase Jesse when he retreated. Hanzo felt a needy noise bubble up in his throat as he licked his swollen lips. The next time Jesse swooped in, Hanzo released his grip on his thighs to trap Jesse's face against his instead.
Hanzo knew he was in trouble when his hands didn't make it halfway, jerked back down and pinned firmly to the mattress by a third set of hands.
Jesse's legs still trapped his thighs, and his visible hands still gripped Hanzo's hair. He was trapped, and they both knew it. Jesse leaned down, his lips ghosting over Hanzo's cheek, up to his temple and then to his ear.
"Mmmmm, ya like that." Jesse ground his hips down with just enough pressure to draw attention to the erection pressing against Hanzo's half-done up pants. Hanzo whined, chasing the friction with his hips as Jesse eased up instead of continuing to grind against him.
"Fuck, kitten, yer gorgeous. Anyone ever tell you that? So goddamn beautiful I don't rightly believe it." Jesse trailed kisses down Hanzo's jaw, nosing affectionately at his neatly trimmed beard. Hanzo's face flushed at the praise and he tried to tilt his head and find Jesse's lips, only to have Jesse give him another firm tug to keep him in place.
"Nah-uhn, kitten. You wanted a long night of lovin' and that's what yer gettin'. I'm goin' ta show you exactly how I been feelin' about you."
"Jesse!" Hanzo's voice was not nearly as firm as he'd intended. "I want to touch you, too."
Another chuckle and Jesse kissed the corner of Hanzo's mouth. "You will. Eventually. Jus' gotta be patient."
Hanzo's argument was silenced as the hand tugging at his nipple transformed into a tongue. The moan it dragged out of him was long and ragged and a thick bolt of energy raced up his shoulder and over Jesse's visible arm.
"Ooooh," Jesse cooed, "Kitten definitely liked that."
The tongue teased at his nipple again, more aggressively. Soon, the press of lips followed the tongue, sucking the flesh into a hard, little point as Hanzo squirmed against the sensation. Jesse watched him intently with his glowing gaze as Hanzo panted. He returned Jesse's stare with what he hoped was an irritated glare.
His glare was ruined as teeth worried the sensitive peak. Fingers rolled his other nipple and Hanzo bucked up into the sensation. Jesse hummed a delighted purr at Hanzo's reaction and leaned in to kiss him again. The slide of Jesse's lips against Hanzo's was rough and demanding, coaxing more and more wanton noises from him. The coarse hair of Jesse's beard scraped along his own, adding to the sharp sensations quickly overwhelming him.
Jesse's hands finally released Hanzo's hair and immediately Hanzo took advantage of the newly afforded freedom to press even more eagerly into the kiss. Jesse's hands wandered down, thumbs stroking along the column of Hanzo's neck. Another tongue traced its way up the shell of Hanzo's ear and he groaned.
Hanzo was drowning in sensory overload. There was too much going on for him to focus on any one thing. It was almost like being with multiple partners at the same time. That particular thought sent Hanzo's head spinning as more blood rushed to his erection.
"More," he demanded against the press of Jesse's lips.
An inhuman, eager growl vibrated up from Jesse's chest and Hanzo found himself jerked down the bed. The hands manacling Hanzo's wrists jerked his arms up to drag his shirt the rest of the way off. It disappeared into some corner of the room and then Hanzo was being shoved back. He bounced against the mattress as his pinned hands were pressed above his head. Jesse followed him down and immediately attacked his neck, sinking his teeth into the fleshy muscle where shoulder and neck met.
Hanzo gasped, arching up to press into Jesse's body. There would be marks tomorrow where Jesse's teeth worried his skin and the thought of them blooming in dark colours across his neck sent a fresh wave of pleasure through Hanzo.
The mouth at his ear had disappeared, and the one at his nipple trailed across his chest to ravish the same attention on the right one, scraping out sparks in their wake. The hand that had been teasing his right nipple trailed lower to palm Hanzo's erection and Hanzo thrust up into the contact, gasping Jesse's name amid crackling electric pops.
"That's it, kitten, jus' like that. Gonna make you feel so good."
Even the rasp of Jesse's voice was like a caress tingling across his skin, setting him on fire.
Jesse sat up, shifting, and his visible hands trailed down Hanzo's sides to tug at the waistband of his pants. Arching, Hanzo let Jesse slide them, along with his underwear, from his hips and then kicked them the rest of the way off. His hands wedged themselves under Hanzo's knees and lifted, taking in the sight greedily. The invisible hand immediately returned to his erection, wrapping tightly around him and pumping the length in one slow, languid stroke. Hanzo watched the invisible manipulation with wide, dark eyes.
"Damn, kitten, look at ya. So fuckin' perfect under me. So sensitive, needy. I'll give ya everythin' you're needin'." Jesse leaned down, bending Hanzo's knees almost to his shoulders and biting a new mark into one pectoral, "I want ta spread you open nice 'n slow, see how much of me ya can take. Tell me, kitten, you got any lube to help me out with that?" He sucked at the mark he'd made, colour already darkening under his attention.
Hanzo groaned, jerking into the tight grip of Jesse's invisible hand. "Bedside dr... drawer on my right."
The drawer in question slid open and a bottle levitated casually out of its depths. Jesse grinned down at him in the darkness as Hanzo watched the bottle's path through the air. The cap popped once it hovered between them and the bottle tipped enough to pour a portion of its contents straight over the puckered entrance to Hanzo's ass before trailing a strip up and over his aching erection as well, to be immediately smeared by the invisible hand stroking him. Hanzo sucked in a hissing breath at the chill of the liquid, unable to squirm away with one set of hands binding his wrists and the other pinning him under his knees.
Invisible fingers dragged through the slippery mess now coating his ass and Hanzo bucked, frowning. "Jesse McCree, you better start removing clothes before you fuck me."
Jesse made a valiant attempt at not laughing, but he couldn't seem to hold back the amused, cocksure smile as a single, invisible finger sunk into Hanzo's ass up to the knuckle.
"Jesse!" The name leapt from Hanzo's lips on a shout as he bucked. The finger rubbed gently before withdrawing and sliding back in. "Jesse... Jesse, I want--"
"Yes, kitten?" Jesse's finger withdrew almost completely and stilled, wringing a strangled cry from Hanzo.
"Damnit Jesse, I want you naked." Hanzo was proud of how it sounded almost like a demand.
The finger circled his puckered, slick hole, joined by the pressure of a second. "Do ya now, kitten?" When Hanzo managed a half-hearted glare, Jesse pressed two fingers past the ring of muscle up to the first joint and stopped again. "Tell me how much ya want it."
Hanzo thrust his hips downward, trying futilely to chase the spread of Jesse's fingers. With each downward movement Jesse's fingers retreated, denying him.
"Jessssseeeee," Hanzo bit out, putting every bit of authority he could manage into his voice.
Jesse didn't reply, instead the fingers in Hanzo's ass and the hand on his cock retreated completely and Hanzo couldn't stop the whine that escaped as they did.
"C'mon now, kitten, ya can do better than that," Jesse teased. Hanzo's mouth pressed into a firm line, and he didn't reply.
"Kitten has claws after all," he taunted, and hands returned to trail up the curve of Hanzo's ass. Jesse turned, leaning to press a kiss to one of Hanzo's ankles. "'s too bad, kitten, ya got such a lovely voice 'n all. Was hopin' ta hear ya sing."
Invisible hands squeezed Hanzo's pecs together, the tongue that had been torturing his nipples running languidly up the seam created between them. Hanzo arched into the touch, eyes sliding closed.
Teeth flashed sharply as Jesse's smile took on a dangerous edge that Hanzo didn't see. "Guess I'll just have to try harder."
The stinging slap to his left ass cheek had Hanzo's eyes flinging open again in surprise as a hoarse shout exploded from his lips. It was soothed by the swipe of a tongue up the rapidly heating flesh and the dichotomy of sensations stuffed his head to the brim. The next hand landed on the opposite cheek, harder and more demanding.
Hanzo cracked embarrassingly easily.
Jesse moaned above him and Hanzo blinked, focusing bleary, questioning eyes on his face.
"Sound so beautiful, kitten. Want ta hear every noise ya can make," Jesse explained, pressing kisses down Hanzo's calf. As Hanzo watched, his clothes finally dissolved, melting away as if they'd never been there to begin with. "Hottest damn thing I've ever heard. Don't hold back."
Heat bloomed across Hanzo's face, but he nodded and Jesse lit up. Two fingers pressed again suddenly at the slick entrance to his ass, sliding in firmly and without hesitation. Hanzo had no chance to study the body revealed before him as his eyes fluttered closed and he whimpered, hips shifting downward of their own accord to work himself open. This time Jesse allowed it, sinking in rapidly until he was completely seated. He immediately drew back and slammed in again with a brutal force that had Hanzo pressing back into the bed.
Jesse set an unforgiving pace as he fucked Hanzo on his hand, and Hanzo could only manage short, aborted thrusts back against him. A hand returned to his cock and reestablished the slower, leisurely strokes. Hanzo whimpered and moaned, noises falling unhindered now from his lips as Jesse worked his body open. A third finger soon joined the first two, slipping in with a delicious stretch that left Hanzo shuddering. The slick sensation of a tongue appeared from nowhere, tracing Hanzo's rim as it stretched and flexed under Jesse's ministrations. At this rate, Hanzo wasn't going to last.
It was the same surprised phrase that Hanzo had heard Jesse utter the first time they'd met. This time it was laced with reverence and Hanzo jerked his eyes open to look at Jesse.
Jesse's hungry, intent gaze was focused downward, flickering between gold and red. His visible hands flexed against the underside of Hanzo's knees, tightening their grip, and Hanzo followed Jesse's line of sight to the space where he stretched Hanzo open. He couldn't quite see what Jesse was seeing, but he knew Jesse's invisible fingers--
Hanzo was stretched, wide open and glistening with lube, around three invisible fingers and Jesse could see everything as he thrust and spread them. The thought of it had Hanzo whimpering and squeezing around the digits. He should not have been turned on by that thought, but as it was his cock throbbed in Jesse's grip at the idea of what he must look like.
Fingers curled within him searchingly in the next moment and when they found their target Hanzo keened high in his throat.
"Fuck, I can't wait ta be inside ya. Would ya like that, kitten?" Jesse hadn't moved, but his voice whispered coarsely into Hanzo's ear as if he were right there.
"Yessss," he hissed in response, squeezing purposely around Jesse's hand as his fingers brushed teasingly over Hanzo's sweet spot.
Hanzo wanted to scream, but all that came out was a frustrated moan as Jesse pressed firmly against his prostate.
"Mmmmm, yes, kitten?"
"Can't hear ya, kitten, you're gonna have ta speak up."
Irritation overwhelmed Hanzo and his next words escaped somewhere between a growl and a yell. "By the gods, Jesse, fuck me right--"
He let out a gasp as the fingers slipped free, leaving him clenching around nothing. In the next heartbeat, Jesse climbed closer and something else was pressing against Hanzo's ass. Somewhere along the way Jesse had managed to lube his own erection and he teased the slippery length between his cheeks, thrusting far enough up that he even brushed slickly against Hanzo's balls. Energy snapped along the backs of Hanzo's thighs, jumping eagerly to the length of Jesse's dick.
The both moaned loudly and, seemingly done with his teasing, Jesse dragged the head of his cock back to the entrance to Hanzo's ass. Drawing a shuddering breath, Hanzo watched as Jesse pressed in steadily, and he squirmed as he was spread again and slowly impaled. Jesse's dick was a generous length, the stretch more than even three fingers. Hanzo clenched around his length and Jesse let out a hiss but didn't let up on his pace until he was fully seated.
Jesse didn't give Hanzo any time to think as he slowly dragged himself back out, then just as slowly entered again. The pace was torturously slow and Hanzo once again tugged at the hands restraining his wrists, but they offered no mercy and held fast.
On his next thrust, Jesse leaned forward, pressing kisses along Hanzo's collar and chest. His mouth eventually found a nipple again and he tongued at the puffy flesh. Hanzo moaned, a tumble of Japanese profanity spilling unbidden from his lips and catching Jesse's attention.
Jesse grinned up from his position above Hanzo's chest. "No idea what ya jus' said, kitten, but it sure as hell sounded filthy."
"J-Jesse," Hanzo's voice hitched unsteadily, "More, please."
Jesse pressed his face against Hanzo's chest, moaning, "Fuck, kitten, ask nicely like that and I ain't gonna deny ya anything."
Jesse's next thrust was rough, a sharp snap of his hips that had both men groaning. He followed it with another, finally settling into the faster pace they both craved. Soft and loud noises alike poured from Hanzo's lips as he gave himself to the rhythm, trying to meet each thrust with a rock of his hips.
Jesse didn't allow him any time to adjust before he added another sensation to the mix. Hanzo jumped in surprise, as much as he could, as the tongue returned to trace around the stretched rim of his ass. Jesse's name fell from his lips in a broken plea and Hanzo could feel Jesse smile against his chest. Another mouth wrapped itself around the head of Hanzo's cock, sucking eagerly, even as an invisible hand stroked the shaft, matching the faster beat of Jesse's hips.
Pressure built dizzyingly fast and Hanzo knew he was not going to last. He tried desperately to let Jesse know, to say something, but each thrust of Jesse's hips was rubbing his prostate and sending stars dancing across his vision and all he managed was a jumbled gasp of Jesse's name.
Jesse seemed to know exactly where Hanzo was, though, as he murmured words of encouragement and traced his tongue down the valley between his pectoral muscles. Jesse began thrusting even faster, and Hanzo was slammed into the mattress with each thrust.
A surprisingly gentle, invisible pressure made itself known with a press to Hanzo's lips. He opened his mouth instinctively, and something bigger than fingers slid inside, thrusting shallowly. Unable to think too deeply about it, Hanzo ran his tongue along the length, sucking roughly. Jesse groaned against his chest, his thrusts starting to grow erratic.
When the hand on Hanzo's cock disappeared and the invisible mouth swallowed the rest of his length, Hanzo choked. The pressure broke and he came in a rush, shouting around the appendage in his mouth. It quickly disappeared to allow his voice to continue unhindered. He clamped down tightly around Jesse's dick, drawing a long, stuttering moan from the cowboy.
"Hanzo. Fuck. Kitten. So tight, 'm--" His words cut off as he thrust one, two, three more times and came with a growl, grinding his hips against Hanzo's ass to press in as deeply as he could.
Except the rise and fall of Hanzo's chest, and the small tremors wracking both their bodies, everything was still. Neither man moved for a long moment, just enjoying the rush running between them. The electricity that had jumped across their skin the whole time died to a few scattered sparks.
Finally, Jesse moved, releasing Hanzo's wrists and slowly withdrawing. Hanzo groaned softly at the feeling of emptiness he was left with and Jesse pressed a kiss to his shoulder as he carefully lowered himself to his side.
"You still up for a breakfast date tomorrow, darlin'?"
Hanzo let out a huff, which turned into a soft chuckle. He turned his head to look at Jesse, all blue in the moonlight except for the golden glow of his eyes. Jesse returned the smile with an indulgent one of his own. His hair was dishevelled, but otherwise he bore no other regular signs of exertion. Hanzo wondered idly how long it would take for Jesse to be ready for another round, but eventually tucked the question away for another time.
For now he shifted, rolling to his side as well and tucked himself up against the long line of Jesse's body. An arm immediately wrapped itself around Hanzo's waist and tugged him closer.
"I think I am going to find myself very hungry around you, Jesse."
You may notice the chapter count has gone up. Again. So much for 5 chapters. Fair warning, though: the two additions are an epilogue and a bonus scene, so they're not full chapters. ;)
Chapter 7: It's Showtime
Hanzo doesn't take sugar in his coffee.
Thank-you to my lovely betas Mango and Streusel <3
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The next morning found Jesse in the kitchen making breakfast again when Hanzo padded downstairs on bare feet, wearing nothing but a pair of sleep pants. Upon hearing the soft sounds on the stairs Jesse looked up, letting go of the pan and spatula, which continued to nurse their contents without him. Jesse crossed to the stairs and met Hanzo at the bottom. Hanzo's hair fell around his chin in sleep-mussed disarray, and Jesse smoothed it affectionately.
Grumbling, Hanzo slumped forward into Jesse. Jesse chuckled in response, running his hands up and down Hanzo's back and tugging the other man closer. Hanzo felt lips press into his hair and huffed. Jesse rumbled another low chuckle against the dark strands.
"Not much of a morning person, darlin'?" Hanzo gave a single, sharp shake of his head and Jesse's hands snaked further around his waist until he was pressed flush against Hanzo.
Hanzo fisted his hands into the back of Jesse's shirt, inhaling and catching the faintest hint of smoke. He nosed curiously further into Jesse's neck, rubbing his cheek against the soft flannel of his shirt and inhaling deeply to chase it. He certainly wasn't imaging it-- there was definitely the hint of smoke wafting faintly from his ghost. He mulled over that sleepily. The scent suited Jesse, and Hanzo found himself wishing it were stronger.
But why would his dragons not have any kind of scent? They were spirits as well...
"Would some coffee help?" Jesse interrupted his thoughts.
"Mmm, that sounds excellent," Hanzo replied, his voice still roughened from sleep.
"Alrigh', you go sit and I'll get ya a coffee. Breakfast's almost done, too." Jesse pressed a kiss to his cheek and Hanzo felt his face heat at the casual affection even as he leaned into it.
When Hanzo made no move to leave, Jesse indulged him easily by pressing kisses to the shell of his ear as his hands slid lower, palming Hanzo's ass. Hanzo hummed in appreciation, pressing into Jesse's touch. A small thread of energy flickered between them, lazy and slow. Jesse grinned against Hanzo's ear before flicking his tongue out to follow the same path he'd kissed with trailing, languid sweeps-- just to hear the breathy exhalation Hanzo made when he did.
"I thought you wanted coffee, sugar?" Jesse murmured, letting his fingers tease along the skin at the waistband of Hanzo's pants. Hanzo shivered in response, pressing a kiss against Jesse’s neck.
"No sugar, please."
Jesse stilled for a moment before his shoulders began to shake. He pulled away, shaking his head in amusement.
"Go on, darlin', sit." Jesse steered Hanzo gently toward the table. "I'll have coffee for ya in a moment." He couldn't resist patting the sweet curve of Hanzo's ass as he shuffled away. "No sugar, I promise. Would ya like milk or cream?"
The days fell surprisingly quickly into a comfortable ebb and flow, excluding the odd fit of mystery-pain for Jesse. Their nights were filled with long conversations, movies, flirting... and sex. Sex that made Hanzo blush at the simple thought of it.
Jesse fit into his life like a puzzle piece he hadn't realized he'd been missing until its edges were pressed up against his own.
Hanzo continued to wake up to Jesse's breakfasts, despite his protests that Jesse didn't have to cook for him. Then, during the day Hanzo would run errands picking up whatever they needed, doing chores, and fixing up the inside of the ranch with Jesse. Sometimes he'd pick up something to surprise Jesse with, too. A handheld gaming device, books, even a guitar when he'd found out Jesse could play.
Hanzo paused at that particular memory.
It had been an impulse when he saw the guitar hanging on the wall, deep brown edges fading to a red that reminded Hanzo of the flannel Jesse always wore. The delight in Jesse's eyes when he brought it home had been enough to tell Hanzo he'd made the right choice.
Jesse all but carried him off into the living room with the promise that he'd sing him something as soon as he was done 'tuning her up'.
Hanzo watched from his spot at one end of the couch as Jesse curled himself around the guitar, plucking at it and adjusting the knobs on the headstock. Jesse's hands, tawny with long fingers and deliciously rough calluses that Hanzo was now intimately familiar with, spanned most of the body and dwarfed the the neck of the instrument. Jesse worked at the tuning knobs with familiarity and, gradually, the sounds emanating from the strings shifted from flat and sharp twangs to clear notes as he wrestled the guitar into tune.
Hanzo shouldn't have been surprised when, eventually, Jesse strummed the guitar twice and started singing, but he was. The deep, rich baritone rolled over Hanzo like the the heart of a fire, wrapping around him and loosening tight muscles until Hanzo relaxed fluidly back into the sofa. Golden eyes met his own and Hanzo's mouth went dry as Jesse's stare pinned him in place. The husky timbre of Jesse's voice painted a melodious picture of longing for country roads and home.
Neither man broke the stare until Jesse's song was winding down, fingers plucking deftly at the last few notes. He smiled at Hanzo, a hesitant turn of his lips, before he ducked his gaze below the brim of his hat and fidgeted with the tuning knobs again.
"I, uh, ain't played in a while so I may be a mite rusty--"
Hanzo immediately caught onto the nervous waver underscoring Jesse's tone and reached out a foot to gently nudge Jesse's leg.
"Sing me another?"
Jesse looked up, surprised for only a moment before a warm smile broke through.
"S'pose I could," he drawled slowly, rubbing at the back of his neck, "if someone would be so inclined to dance with me?"
Hanzo's heart tripped its way into his throat at the unexpected request. He considered his reply, admitting finally, "I do not know how to dance..."
Jesse's smiled turned soft and he set the guitar aside, leaving it to hover above the cushions. Strings strummed gentle chords on their own as Jesse stood and offered a hand to Hanzo.
"Ain't nothin' so fancy as all that. Let me show ya."
Hanzo couldn't resist sliding his hand into Jesse's. He allowed Jesse to tug him to his feet and guide him to a more open space. The guitar thrummed softly where they left it and Jesse pulled him close. He took both of Hanzo's hands in his own and lifted them, brushing his lips across the knuckles of each hand before gently manoeuvring them to circle behind his neck.
"Jus' like that, darlin'." Jesse encouraged, sliding his hands down and around Hanzo's waist. "Now just follow me slowly..."
Hanzo let his hands clasp behind Jesse's neck as Jesse pressed closer. The broad palms that Hanzo had watched make music now settled against his back, fingertips pressing gently to guide him as Jesse started to move, swaying slowly in a circle. Their eyes met again, Jesse's crinkling at the corners, and he began to sing once more.
Words spilled from his lips, low and sweet, as they rocked in gentle circles. Realizing it wasn't going to get more complicated than their slow loop, Hanzo relaxed and let his forehead rest against Jesse's shoulder. Jesse's lips dipped low to follow, crooning tenderly in Hanzo's ear.
"'m thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways, maybe just the touch of a hand..."
Hanzo chuckled softly, smiling against Jesse's flannel, and arms tightened around his waist. Jesse's lips brushed his temple, hands sliding just slightly lower--
Hanzo pulled himself from his reverie at the light touch on his shoulder and looked up at Jesse leaning over the back of the couch.
"What're ya thinkin' 'bout there, honey?" A lazy grin and honey-gold eyes smiled down at him.
When Hanzo blushed and tried to duck his head, but a cool hand caught his chin and gently urged his gaze back.
"Mmm, that good, huh?" Jesse teased lightly.
"I was thinking about your singing the other night," Hanzo confessed.
The shimmer of colour that flushed through Jesse like a wave was just as telling to Hanzo as his blush was to Jesse, and Hanzo felt a pleased rush of pride at having solicited such a physical response from Jesse. He didn't realize it had translated to a smile until Jesse was grinning back and leaning further over the couch.
"Ya liked my singin' then, I take it? Or maybe you liked how I made you sing after?" The brim of Jesse's hat bumped gently against Hanzo's forehead as Jesse leaned close, waggling his brows in a manner Hanzo guessed he meant to be seductive. Instead, Hanzo found himself biting his lip to keep from laughing.
"You look-- ridiculous."
Jesse's face fell, but before he could pull back, Hanzo reached up and tugged him over the back of the couch. They tumbled into a pile of tangled limbs and laughter, lips meeting in short, breathless kisses that gradually grew more lingering, heated.
Jesse eased Hanzo further back against the couch, their lips sliding together until he caught Hanzo's lower one and nipped at it playfully. Hanzo's breath hitched at the stinging sensation and released in a sharp exhalation as he gripped at Jesse's shirt, dragging him closer. Jesse's hands found their way under Hanzo's ass, squeezing and lifting to grind their hips together in a slow, tortuous pass. Hanzo moaned a soft, needy little sound that Jesse greedily swallowed up. He took the opportunity to slide his tongue-
Both men jumped as the door slammed open with a loud bang. Hanzo scrambled beneath Jesse, turning to take in the grinning face of the young man in the doorway. Green hair stood in a gravity-defying coif over dark brows and mischievous eyes. "Brother! I'm-- Brother, are you sucking face with the ghost!?"
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming?" Hanzo bit out in Japanese as he poured hot water into a mug for tea. "You could have at least been courteous enough to give me a warning-- I do not have any of the guest rooms made up yet."
Genji waved off Hanzo's concerns and accepted the mug that was eventually offered to him. "I did, I did! Didn't you get my email?"
Hanzo glanced to where Jesse and Genji's friend, Zenyatta, sat chatting quietly and shook his head. The contrast between the two men was stark: Jesse in his signature plaid, jeans, boots, and hat, and Zenyatta in the red and golden robes of his order.
"I did not get any reply to my email-- I was not even sure you had seen it yet, let alone read it."
Genji shrugged. "I can't say I'm surprised-- the internet service in Nepal isn't exactly gold standard, brother." A slow smirk pulled at his lips when he followed Hanzo's gaze, and he didn't bother to hide the the glee he took in his next words. "So, you and the cowman-ghost?
Hanzo lifted his own mug of tea to sip as umber eyes sliced a sharp glare at Genji, who remained completely unfazed.
"Tell me-- as a spirit he has all sorts of supernatural powers. I imagine they translate very interestingly to the bedro-"
"Genji!" Hanzo sputtered, nearly choking on his tea. He felt the heat in his face, knew he was blushing even without the wide, delighted grin his brother flashed him.
"I am happy for you, brother! He's not what I expected... I mean, who would have thought you were into cowboys of all things?" Genji fluttered his eyelashes at his brother in mock innocence. Hanzo groaned, massaging the bridge of his nose as he already felt a headache coming on and decided a change of subject was in order.
"How long will I get to visit with you?" Hanzo asked, switching back to English in an attempt to keep the conversation to safer topics. Despite arriving unexpectedly, the badgering, and his brother's loud, over-the-top nature, Hanzo had missed Genji. He was glad to have him home, and hoped it wouldn't be only a brief visit.
"We don't have any set plan," Genji shrugged, "so we can stay as long as you'd like to have us."
Hanzo smiled at his brother. "I am glad you came to visit. I would not mind if you stayed a while."
Genji set his tea down and Hanzo barely had enough time to do the same before he was wrapped in a tight embrace.
"I am glad you finally left the clan, Aniki."
At Genji's words, Hanzo returned the crushing embrace and refused to think about how he almost hadn't. He had, and so had Genji.
"I am as well, Genji."
"I appreciate you allowing me to remain as a guest in your home as well." The soft voice of the monk, Zenyatta, had both brothers turning their attention to him. He and Jesse had wandered back from the living room where'd they'd been having their own conversation.
"Not at all, Zenyatta-san. Any friend of my brother's is a friend of mine," Hanzo returned politely, inclining his head. "Thank-you for taking care of him in his travels."
Thin, dark lips split into a smile under warm, friendly eyes. "It was no trouble! Genji has been a delightful guest. And please, if we are friends there is no need for honourifics-- simply Zenyatta will do."
Jesse, who'd come to stand beside him when they're wandered over, slid an arm around Hanzo's waist. Hanzo caught a perplexed look etched into his features and was surprised to note his colour fading. The physical tell had concern curling up Hanzo's spine and he leaned into Jesse's touch reassuringly.
Jesse caught Hanzo's gaze and rolled his shoulders to shrug. "We been talkin' 'bout spirits. Zenyatta here says the monks from his temple have records datin' back thousands o' years on the different types o' spirits that exist and human ghosts just aren't there."
Hanzo turned a puzzled look to Zenyatta, who nodded. "That is correct-- we do not have a single documented case of a human ghost in our records. That is why I was so intrigued when Genji told me your story. I was given special dispensation to come on behalf of the monastery to investigate further- if you are willing, of course-" Zenyatta dipped his head respectfully to Jesse, "and to offer whatever aide and experience we may have to offer."
"He knows about the dragons, as well, brother," Genji offered.
"Ah, yes-- the spirit beasts. We do have records of those. Very few, however, on dragons, so Genji's experience with them has been very enlightening for us." Zenyatta smiled down at Genji and his brother returned it with one of his own. If Hanzo hadn't been so distracted by the new information on Jesse's being he may have pursued the particular look they gave each other, but as it was his mind was racing with confusion.
Hanzo's own hand settled on Jesse's back, rubbing soothing circles. "Have you heard of anything with similar characteristics? Jesse has memories of his human life-"
Hanzo paused. Jesse said he had memories of his human life, but he couldn't seem to recall much of anything. Jesse remembered mostly inconsequential details, with a few more important things to him-- like the ranch, and Peacekeeper. The most important things, however, seemed to trigger the strange episodes of pain. Hanzo described that for Zenyatta, who listened with careful attention.
"I haven't heard anything quite like it before. Of course, the spirits we have records of aren't once-mortal beings. Spirits have always started out as just that." Zenyatta mulled thoughtfully. "What kind of pain do you experience?"
Jesse shifted uncomfortably. Hanzo knew it was a subject he was unhappy talking about, but it was also important. He squeezed Jesse's side encouragingly.
"Ah, well-- it's pretty sharp and jarring all up my left side," Jesse began slowly, "The worst is my arm. It's sharp and fiery, and feels like someone took up a sledgehammer to try 'n make powder outta my bones." He gestured vaguely with his free arm as he described it. " And yea, Hanzo's right. It's been mostly happenin' when we been talkin' 'bout things like... like my family."
Zenyatta seemed to consider this. "Do you feel, perhaps, that the pain is a protective mechanism? Trying to prevent you from remembering... negative events centering around your family?"
"I- What- Are you insinuatin' my family did somethin' bad to me?" Jesse sputtered.
Zenyatta held his hands up in a placating gesture. "I mean no offense. Such a violent and negative side-effect seems to lead toward the idea and--"
"My family were good people!" Jesse growled. Hanzo watched as the edges of his image shuddered. "They wouldn't have hurt me. We loved each other! I loved them! They- they-"
When his colour fluctuated again Hanzo intervened, stepping in front of Jesse and rubbing his arms. "I believe you," he reassured. Behind him, Genji and Zenyatta remained respectfully silent.
When Jesse met his gaze, the pain and frustration roiling in their depths stole the rest of Hanzo's words from his throat. Instead, Hanzo cupped Jesse's face in his hands, fingers scratching soothingly through the coarse hair of his beard. Jesse's hands covered them a moment later as he searched Hanzo's face.
"They were, Han... A man couldn't have asked for a better family. My Pa, he was... he was the greatest. Picked me up off the street and saved my ass from-" Jesse sucked in a ragged, sharp breath, and Hanzo felt him shudder underneath his fingers. The image of him flickered.
"Jesse, don't, you are hurting yourself!"
"No, Han. I've had enough! I'm sick of not remembering my family, my own KIN for cryin' out loud!" Eyes that Hanzo had gotten used to glowing golden flashed red and dread settled in his stomach. Energy tingled up his leg and across his arm.
"My Pa was brave. Smart as a tack. My Dad, he- he- I have a sister. No, two sisters." Jesse's flickering escalated rapidly to fluctuations, his grip on Hanzo's wrists nearing a painful level.
"Please stop, Jesse, we don't know what is happening when you disappear, if you will come back." Hanzo felt fear twist low in his gut as he recalled the last time Jesse had completely vanished. He'd simply been... gone.
"God, Han, I miss them. I... I miss them so bad. This is my house, my home, but... but so are they." Hanzo knew Jesse was looking for an answer by the way his eyes searched Hanzo's. They were answers Hanzo couldn't provide no matter how much he wanted to.
Guilt swept over him as it dawned on him how selfish he'd been. All this time he could have been doing more to find Jesse's family, tracking down that damn realtor again, demanding answers, getting Jesse closure, but he hadn't.
What if Jesse found closure and disappeared permanently?
He barely had time to mentally stagger at that gut punching thought when Jesse faded to near nothing. As if responding to Jesse's change, a massive arc of energy exploded off of Hanzo's shoulder, so large the buzz of its movement was audible. It raced up his arm and jumped faster than Hanzo was able to track.
The reaction was instant; blinding pain raced through him. Hanzo shouted. Or was that Genji? Jesse? He lost touch with the sensation of Jesse as pain set his every nerve on fire. Gravity seemed to disappear around him for the briefest of moments, and the feeling was oddly familiar.
He was being thrown.
Pain sliced along Hanzo's back as he collided with the kitchen counter, tumbling over it and hitting the floor so hard the air was knocked from his lungs. Chest burning and ears ringing, he struggled to his knees and blinked away stars.
Muffled words broke through the ringing and Hanzo recognized Genji's voice. Someone replied to him in urgent tones. Zenyatta?
Hanzo shifted, trying to get his feet under him as his vision slowly corrected itself. His socks slipped on the hardwood floors and his knees slammed back down with shuddering force. His mouth worked, but not in pain.
Arms looped under his own, helping him slowly to stand. Genji's worried face ducked into his line of sight.
"Aniki! Are you okay!? What the hell was that?"
Genji frowned, looking around, "He disappeared."
"No, he's still here," Zenyatta replied, pointing to the far side of the kitchen. The brothers followed his gaze and after a moment Hanzo saw him.
Faint, his outline only just visible, Jesse sprawled across the kitchen floor.
Hanzo broke from Genji's grip to cross the kitchen, legs still unsteady and pain radiating from his hands, his back, and his knees.
He was already too late.
When Jesse disappeared this time, even expecting it, Hanzo felt the stages more acutely. The remainder of Jesse's feeble image vanished, and a negative vacuum seemed to swallow all the air from around Hanzo. The gentle, comforting pressure of Jesse's presence dissipated, and a chill seeped into his skin. Panic welled up in Hanzo's chest as he stepped into the space Jesse had occupied moments ago. The dragons moved agitatedly beneath his skin, jumping against their confinements even as Hanzo restrained them.
His ghost was gone.
I said I wouldn't do it again. I did it again.
Chapter 8: Tell Your Heart to Beat Again
Hanzo isn't giving up the ghost.
Thank-you sweet Mango <3
This chapter nearly killed me. Apologies for the delay-- I hope it does what I wanted it to do.
Hanzo ignored the banging on his door, choosing instead to bury his face further into his pillow. He was glad he'd had the foresight to lock it.
"Aniki, you have to get up!" Genji's muffled voice wafted through the door.
Hanzo snorted. He most certainly did not. If he didn't leave bed he didn't have to face the reality that Jesse still had not returned.
Five weeks and not a trace of his ghost.
His realtor had stopped taking his calls after two.
He wasn't even sure what he'd wanted from her. What good would asking about Jesse's family do him now?
Genji and Zenyatta had been helping him as best they could. Zenyatta had been in and out of communication with his monastery as much as possible, but found no success. They'd found nothing new in their histories relating to experiences similar to Jesse's. Their online searches produced a lot of false ghost stories and popular published fiction on ghosts. Hanzo had exhausted all of his own resources as well, he and Genji even taking the risk of sneaking into the Shimada digital record databases only to find nothing of use there either.
There were just no reliable records on anything close to Jesse's condition.
Pulling the blankets tighter around him, he ignored his brother as Genji continued to talk at him and burrowed more deeply into his heartache.
Hanzo's biggest regret was not calling the realtor earlier, not pursuing that for Jesse like he'd sworn he would. In the few times he'd gotten his ghost to speak about his family Jesse had expressed a deep longing and love for them, despite the pain and his lack of complete memories regarding them. Jesse deserved to find them again. Jesse deserved closure. Now, Hanzo wallowed miserably, he wasn't sure Jesse would ever have another chance at it, and it was-
Hanzo jumped and scrambled to his knees, blankets clutched tightly around his shoulders as the door smashed open with enough force that it was torn forcibly from the frame.
"Rise and shine, sleepyhead!" Genji greeted cheerfully, all but bouncing through the door he'd just kicked down.
"Get. Out." Hanzo bit out, collapsing backwards into a pile and tugging the blankets over his head. When a weight settled on the mattress beside him, Hanzo merely tightened his grip.
"Time to get up!" Hanzo's sourness did not deter his brother in the slightest. "Zenyatta's making breakfast. You need to eat. You barely ate anything yesterday and-"
"What part of 'get out' do you not understand?" Hanzo cut him off, his own voice muffled by his blankets.
"-you have been moping for weeks. You're never going to find Jesse like this!" Genji continued on as if Hanzo hadn't spoken. "What would Jesse think if he saw you in here all miserable? Would he want that for you?"
"He'd tell you to let me be miserable in peace!" Hanzo grumbled, but he knew Genji was right.
Genji sighed dramatically, draping himself over Hanzo's legs. "I guess I could leave if you really want me to... I just thought you'd like to know that Zenyatta's Master called to say he found a man that experienced a similar situation to Jesse's and-"
Hanzo bolted up, whipping the blankets away from his face to stare down at Genji. His hair stuck out at odd angles, there were dark circles under his eyes, and Hanzo knew he needed to shave. He ignored his brother's sly grin and glared.
"What did you say?"
"Zenyatta's Master found someone who says he went through something similar to Jesse," Genji repeated.
Hanzo shoved his brother off his legs and scrambled from the bed. "Why did you not say so sooner?"
Genji rolled his eyes and waited patiently as Hanzo dressed. "I tried. I was yelling it through the door. Why do you think I kicked the door in? Because I enjoyed it?"
Hanzo ran rough fingers through his hair, then tied it back in a low queue. "You did not?"
"Maybe a little," Genji confessed, grinning, before he followed Hanzo downstairs.
Zenyatta had tea and breakfast waiting for them. Too anxious to eat, but unwilling to be impolite, Hanzo passed on the food but accepted the tea graciously and joined Genji and Zenyatta at the table.
"I have spoken with Master Mondatta. He says he believes he has found a man who has experienced the same thing as what Jesse is now going through, and after listening to the tale I would have to agree; the story is too similar to Jesse's." Zenyatta paused across the table, seemingly unaware of how Hanzo's hands were clutched so tightly around his tea his knuckles were white. Steam rose from the cup, and Hanzo lifted it to sip distractedly. It was all he could do to keep himself from lunging across the table and aggressively shaking the story from the monk.
"This man awoke in his home, or what he eventually discovered was his home,” Zenyatta began. “It was nearly unrecognizable, mostly destroyed, but sifting through the debris he discovered items that belonged to his family. His memories of them were unclear, and so he searched more. More personal items, items that triggered memories, caused him great pain, but he continued to search through the rubble anyway, desperate to find anything that would tell him what had happened. He found nothing that gave him the answers he sought. It was only much later, after everything had been resolved, that he said he found out an earthquake had destroyed most of his village. He was lucky in that his family escaped."
Hanzo gave a sharp nod of acknowledgement and Zenyatta continued.
"He concluded he must have died, that he was a ghost, because he also had unusual abilities- levitation, invisibility, great strength and speed... and, just like your Jesse, he found he could not leave the confines of his ruined home. He told Master Mondatta that he spent months there, alone."
"What-" the strained, rough texture to his voice gave Hanzo pause and he cleared his throat before trying again, "What happened to him?"
"His daughter returned to their property nearly a year later. He didn't know who she was at first, but he said when he did finally recognize her, he experienced great pain. It consumed him, and he was swallowed by darkness. His daughter later told him that his form seemed to flicker and go translucent, and eventually he disappeared altogether. When he awoke he was in a hospital he did not recognize, nearly a hundred kilometres away from his home."
Confusion washed over Hanzo. "Why was his spirit able to leave upon remembering his daughter when it could not before? Jesse had no memory of when he disappeared previously. How did this man remember?"
Zenyatta held up a hand. "No, I think you misunderstand. It was not just this man's spirit that awoke in the hospital, Hanzo, it was also his body."
Silence stretched out between them as Zenyatta and Genji both watched Hanzo. His mouth parted in surprise, and Genji plucked the cup of tea from his shaking hands before Hanzo dropped it. His mouth worked slowly around words that couldn't seem to escape as he processed what Zenyatta's story would mean.
"Brother, we're here to help. What do you need?"
The hand on his shoulder made Hanzo jump, and his eyes snapped to where Genji sat next to him. Determined eyes shone out from under the messy mop of his green hair, and he flashed Hanzo a cocky smile.
"We'll find him, Aniki. We'll find your ghost, I promise."
Genji's confidence was infectious, and Hanzo swallowed, nodding. He reached up to squeeze his little brother's hand in his own.
"Thank you..." Hanzo turned to Zenyatta. "Thank you both for your help... it has... it is... you honour me. Thank you."
Zenyatta smiled. "You are most welcome. Truly, it has been my pleasure."
"So, brother, what can we do to help?"
A sense of purpose came rushing in, filling the cold, empty space Jesse had left behind when he'd disappeared, and Hanzo turned a thoughtful gaze on his brother.
What he needed most was information. He needed to find Jesse's family. Find them and he would find Jesse.
Jesse was alive.
The realtor's office was dark as Hanzo walked quietly through the halls. Genji followed close on his heels, as silent as his brother. It had been child's play to break in, the only security being standard locks and an easily hacked security system. He didn't know what else he'd been expecting, but it was laughable.
Hanzo stopped outside the door marked with a plastic nameplate engraved with the name Jane Eldridge.
"This is it." There was hardly any danger of getting caught, but Hanzo kept his voice low anyway. He tested the handle and, finding it locked, crouched to get a better view.
"Oh, let me!" Genji's excited voice had Hanzo turning just in time to duck as Genji's foot came sailing past. He connected with the door to the right of the handle and the sound reverberated loudly off the walls around them. The door groaned and cracked before swinging open.
Hanzo cursed as he got to his feet., "Really?"
Genji grinned, not at all remorseful. "What can I say? I wanted to do it again on a tougher door."
"It's obvious now that someone broke in!"
Genji shrugged. "A door is a small price to pay if what you told me she did to Jesse is true."
Hanzo frowned, then huffed, shaking his head and brushing past his brother to enter the office. The computer on the desk was a relief- it meant Eldridge likely kept at least one back-up of client files in the actual office. He crossed to the desk and booted up the computer as Genji poked around the office.
Hanzo glanced up just in time to see Genji start subtly rearranging frames on one of Eldridge's shelves. He snorted to cover his laugh, but Genji glanced his way and grinned conspiratorially.
"Let her think someone broke in to rearrange her photos."
Hanzo couldn't resist returning Genji's smile before he turned his attention back to the screen. A login screen blinked at him, waiting, and Hanzo pulled a data chip from his pocket and plugged it in to let it run.
Genji wandered over to his side eventually, snickering when he saw the screen. "Wow, what an old system. I mean, I feel like I should be appalled but... that's just sad."
Hanzo shook his head at his brother's comments, and flicked open the file browser as soon as the computer allowed it. He sorted through the horrible system of organization until he tracked down the property files he was looking for. He scanned the text before he copied the files to the data chip.
Gabriel and Jack Reyes-Morrison.
"You got it?" Genji pressed into his side as he watched over Hanzo's shoulder.
"Yes." Hanzo set the computer to shut down, pulling the data chip free and pocketing it.
They left as quietly as they came, not bothering to close the broken door behind them.
"You should let me cut your hair."
Hanzo considered it. "Maybe."
Hanzo watched out the window as the plane touched down on the runway, studying the white and glass structure as it shone brightly under the midday sun. The taxiing to the terminal and the off-loading of the plane that followed took far too long, even despite the fact that Hanzo had only his carry-on. He was thankful the domestic flight had no customs to go through when he finally disembarked from the plane. He paused only to pick up his keys and rental before he was plugging the address into the car's GPS and on his way.
Hanzo had lifted the address and subsequent contact details for Jesse's family from the files he'd pulled from Eldridge's computer. Specifically, Hanzo had the information for Jesse's parents, who had been the ones to sell the house, including phone numbers and emails, but nervousness kept him from calling ahead.
What would he say?
'Hello, Mr. and Mr. Reyes-Morrison, you don't know me but I bought your son's ranch where I met what I thought was his ghost. He disappeared six weeks ago now and I only discovered last week, from a Nepali monk, that he might actually be alive so I broke into my realtor's office, hacked her computer, stole your address, and flew down here so I could come find him because I think I am in-'
Hanzo gripped the steering wheel so hard he wouldn't have been surprised if it snapped in his hands. He refused to finish that thought. Not yet. He was going to find Jesse first.
He drove, following the directions the GPS spat out. Traffic was heavy and slow enough that it wore on Hanzo's patience, even though it never stopped completely. Stopped for the moment at a red light, he tapped his fingers on the steering wheel impatiently and checked the GPS for the hundredth time. It predicted no more than a half hour until he arrived at his destination, even with traffic. He was fairly clo-
The dragons stirred beneath his skin and Hanzo froze.
His gaze slid to his arm, where tiny sparks of electricity skittered across his skin. Lifting his hand, he watched another spark crawl along his skin to pop at the tips of his fingers. The dragons had always responded to Jesse's presence. Hanzo considered that, and on a hunch tilted his arm to the left. When nothing happened, he stretched it across his chest to reach to the right.
Dual sparks sizzled along his skin, jumping and fizzling to nothing when they reached the end of the appendage. Hanzo stared in that direction, then glanced at the GPS. The next spark jolted up his arm, making his muscles spasm and jump. Hanzo hissed, glaring at the tattoo inked into his arm.
A honk sounding behind him jerked Hanzo out of his thoughts. The light had turned green and he had to make a decision.
Not bothering to signal, Hanzo took the right turn and followed his dragons.
Staring up at the hospital, Hanzo found he wasn't surprised at where his dragons had led him. Instead, he hurried inside, stopping in the reception area to consider what to do. He wasn't sure where Jesse would-
A bright flare caught Hanzo's attention, and he looked to his right just in time to see a flash of blue dart down the hall. That was new.
Hanzo jogged after it, just barely keeping himself from breaking into an all-out sprint as he followed the flashes. When they disappeared into a stairwell, Hanzo ducked after it. Unlike the hall, the stairs were empty- not many people willing to climb them when elevators provided an easier alternative.
The blue flashed at the landing above him, and Hanzo threw himself at the stairs. He was lucky to be in as good physical condition as he was as he chased the blue flicker upwards. It wasn't until he hit the eighth floor that he heard a door on the next floor up squeak loudly and then slam shut.
Hanzo sprinted up the last flight of stairs, taking them two at a time, before he burst onto the ninth floor. The sensation that greeted him, familiar, warm, and comforting, bowled into him like a brick wall. He sucked in a deep breath, closing his eyes as tension released from his shoulders and neck, and basked in it. Jesse was here, Jesse was definitely here.
He looked down the hallway to his left then to his right. At one end, near the nurse's station, he could see the elevators. Doors, mostly closed, lined the hallway in the other direction. After the doors the hall turned to the left, and another flash darted around the corner. Glancing back at the nurse's station, Hanzo assured himself they weren't paying attention to him before he started off after the light again. He rounded the corner to find more closed doors- and no blue flash.
Hanzo rocked on his heels, eyes darting over the floor and to the bottom of doors in case he'd missed it, but the blue had disappeared. He was about to start checking each individual door for Jesse's name when he saw it.
A cowboy hat, hung innocuously on a door halfway down the hall.
Heart jumping into his throat, Hanzo rushed down the hall only to come to a stop outside the door, hand hovering over the doorknob.
Jesse was on the other side of this door, possibly awake.
Hanzo swallowed a deep breath, focusing on getting his nerves under control. It was only Jesse. Jesse, his ghost. Jesse, who could cook, and sing, and made him laugh. Jesse, who was still alive.
His palm was warm and sticky against the cool metal of the doorknob as he pressed down. The door swung open on quiet hinges to reveal a brightly-lit double room. Windows ran the length of the far wall, and fluorescent lights illuminated the room further. Machines beeped softly against the wall.
The first bed was empty, but Hanzo's eyes slid immediately to the second bed, where a lone figure lay under crisp white blankets.
His own voice startled him, and he glanced nervously behind him before closing the door and crossing quietly to the bed where Jesse lay. Jesse didn't stir and only the soft rise and fall of his chest, paired with the steady beat of the heart monitors, gave any indication that he was alive.
Hanzo inspected Jesse's face more closely and his stomach twisted. Jesse's dark skin, normally a rich shade of brown when he'd been flush to full colour in his ghostly form, was pale, faded. He looked thinner, some of his bulk missing. His dark hair was listless against his pillow, and even his facial hair wasn't quite right, like someone who didn't know Jesse had been cutting it. It was the face of someone Hanzo knew intimately, and it was also the face of a stranger.
Was he... still comatose? Hanzo had no idea what had happened to Jesse previously, no idea what kind of accident Jesse had been in the first place, and no idea what kind of injuries he had sustained. The faint flutter of hope he'd been nursing quietly stuttered in his chest.
At a loss, Hanzo settled his hand over Jesse's, squeezing it gently. His skin was cool to the touch, and an unfamiliar pulse fluttered under his skin, but the calluses were there. Their familiar texture was soothing as Hanzo trailed his eyes further down to take in the rest of him.
Hanzo sucked in a surprised breath as his gaze settled on Jesse's other arm, and suddenly the pain Jesse had been experiencing made complete sense.
Crisscrossed in pale, fine scars, Jesse's left arm ended at the elbow.
"Who the hell are you?"
Hanzo immediately tensed again and spun to take in the man filling the door. One hand on the door, the other clutching a coffee, the man had dark skin, darker eyes, and long, salt and pepper hair. He scowled at Hanzo over over the rim of his glasses, studying him.
"You deaf?" he demanded, not moving from the doorway. His posture was nearly casual, but Hanzo could see the tenseness in his shoulders, the careful shifting of his weight. Ready, it screamed.
Hanzo frowned. "No," he replied cautiously, "I am... I am here to see Jesse."
Dark eyes raked up and down Hanzo as the man sipped his coffee.
Hanzo blinked, taken aback. "I- I do not... I am not sure what you mean?"
The man met his eyes and didn't answer for a long moment. He stepped into the room and quietly closed the door behind him, still keeping himself between Hanzo and the exit.
"No one aside from family's been here to visit my son in years, and you weren't one of them. You might as well tell me why you're really here. Are you with the insurance company? I thought we'd sorted this all out. And you're not supposed to be here without the proper process and notification."
Son. This was one of Jesse's parents, Mr. Reyes-Morrison. Gabriel? Jack?
"I am not with any insurance company. I am just here to visit Jesse. We are... we were..." Hanzo trailed off, wondering at the right words.
The man sighed. "Don't lie to me-"
"I am not lying, I'm here to see-"
"You don't know Jesse. I've never seen you before. Why would you be-"
"He loves scary movies," Hanzo interrupted, immediately barrelling forward before Jesse's father had a chance to stop him again. "He makes amazing breakfast tostadas. He plays guitar, and his voice is beautiful when he sings. His eyes crinkle at the corners when he smiles, and he has the most nonsensical idioms I have ever heard. He wears that ridiculous cowboy hat you have hung on the door and somehow it just makes him seem more charming. He named his gun Peacekeeper and-"
"Hold up," the man stepped forward, eyes narrowed in suspicion, "you know about Peacekeeper?"
"I told you, I know Jesse."
Unease bloomed in Mr. Reyes-Morrison's eyes and he averted his gaze, scratching at his chin. "You wouldn't be Hanzo, would you?"
"How do you know my name?" Stunned uncertainty peppered Hanzo's hesitant words when he finally replied.
Jesse's father let out a heavy breath, looking relieved as he ran a hand over his face. "He mentioned you."
Hanzo's mouth worked for a moment before he finally managed words. "So Jesse has been awake?"
The other man shook his head. "No, but he's been here. His..." he hesitated briefly before continuing, "His ghost. Espíritu. Honestly, I thought I was going crazy. I didn't even mention it to Jackie, but Jesse talked about you and if you're here I suppose what I've been seeing is... real." He walked around to the other side of Jesse's bed, leaning heavily on the rail. The lines in his face were deep, jagged fissures that highlighted the tired circles under his eyes.
"Do... do you know what's happening to my boy?"
Hanzo shook his head slowly. "We think he might-"
He stuttered to a stop when the dragons suddenly came to life beneath his skin, surprising Hanzo as they crashed aggressively against their bonds. Before his thoughts could catch up with what that meant, someone spoke behind him.
"Ya got yer hair cut."
Both men froze at the familiar voice. Mouth dry, Hanzo turned to follow the sound of that voice, and a flicker caught his attention. His gaze slid to the corner of the room and there, in a space that he was certain had been empty minutes ago, flickered a faint, grey form.
"Jesse?" The name escaped Hanzo in a surprised croak. Electricity buzzed to life across his skin at the sight of Jesse, tingling and snapping in quick waves.
Jesse's faint figure smiled weakly where he slumped against the wall. "Hey, baby."
Hanzo took a step towards his ghost and the dragons rumbled beneath his skin, roiling and eager. Their excitement bled into his own, and Hanzo launched himself across the room in impatient strides. Jesse straightened, lifting his arms as Hanzo threw himself into them.
"I found you."
Cool flannel passed under his fingertips as Hanzo wrapped his arms around Jesse's broad torso. Heat and power flared beneath his skin as Jesse's arms enveloped him, returning the crushing embrace. It buzzed audibly in his ears, a high-pitched frequency that made his hair stand on end. Hanzo started to pull back to ask Jesse if he'd heard that when he felt something snap in his chest.
Then the world exploded.
Energy seared across Hanzo's skin, lighting his nerves on fire and buffeting the room, rattling the furniture and equipment around them. Power flooded unbidden through his body, tearing itself from him in strips and layers that screamed as they left him, and pain seized through him, locking his joints even as he felt his muscles spasm uncontrollably. Hanzo tried to tamp it down, only to gasp at the hole he found in his chest.
Bolts of blue jumped between them, hissing and crackling as Jesse jerked in surprise, and a shape materialized from the energy. Hanzo watched as the massive bulk of a dragon formed and coiled around them, the buzzing in his ears escalating to a screeching octave. Then, suddenly, it stopped. No buzzing, no pain. Hanzo became aware of shouting behind him, but couldn't pull his attention from the figure that had appeared.
Tsuki's face hovered over them, intense and solemn, and Hanzo realized with a rush what he'd felt fracturing in his chest. What was missing, causing all the pain and the hole in his heart: the bond with the dragon was crumbling away into nothing.
Tsuki rumbled above them, leaning down to nuzzle Hanzo with a gentle nudge of their snout, before dissolving into waves of energy that poured over Jesse, encompassing him completely. Hanzo's shocked stare met Jesse's, bright gold blazing brilliantly even beneath the blue. Jesse's mouth opened, forming words void of sound, and his image flickered. Hanzo's grip on his shirt tightened. The blue engulfing Jesse pulsed, flickering rapidly, and Jesse tried again to speak. No sound escaped him, but Hanzo knew. He knew.
I love you.
Then Hanzo was left holding empty air.
He spun, flying across the room to where Jesse's body lay. Jesse's father was already there, no longer yelling, but staring in astonishment. Threads of blue raced across Jesse's skin, flowing down his arm, leaving intricate lines and scales in their wake. The threads pooled at the elbow where his flesh ended, and Hanzo watched in amazement as they knitted and weaved together, stretching and moulding until the shimmering profile of an arm, blue-tinged and translucent, rested where nothing had been before.
The squawking of machines exploding into activity made both men jump, and Hanzo's gaze darted up to where golden-brown eyes slowly blinked languidly.
Chapter 9: Can I Keep You
I mean, what else were they going to do?
Thank-you Mango and Fox for betaing this for me!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jesse moved to grab their bags from the trunk, but Hanzo stopped him with a hand on his wrist and a look.
"Whatever ya want, darlin'," Jesse agreed, giving Hanzo an indulgent, lazy smile before sauntering up the front walk.
Hanzo followed with a few quick strides, shoes tapping smartly on the concrete leading to the front door. He sped up to catch Jesse before ducking and scooping Jesse up in a single, smooth move. Jesse's arms flailed in the air and his laugh boomed as Hanzo tucked one arm under his back, the other locking snugly under his knees to cradle the larger man to his chest. Jesse barely managed to catch his hat as it tumbled from his head.
"Han- Hanzo!" Jesse gasped between breathless laughter even as Hanzo carried him resolutely up the front steps, angling to awkwardly unlock the front door. The lock clicked and a moment later the door swung open, and Hanzo carried Jesse over the threshold and back into their home for the first time in nearly three months.
"Of all the ridiculous-" Jesse snorted a laugh, "cheesy-" he cracked, a wide grin splitting his features, "awfully romantic-" Jesse placed an affectionate kiss on Hanzo's chin, "gestures, I didn't peg this as one ya'd have gone for. Not that I'm complainin', mind ya."
Hanzo snorted in amusement, kicking the door shut behind them. Jesse squirmed in his arms in an attempt to free himself, and Hanzo only tightened his grip in response. He revelled in the feeling of the soft flannel and rough jean under his fingers. Jesse's bulk was a heavy weight in his arms, his warmth a reminder that Jesse was solid and substantial, flesh and blood, and very much alive. Hanzo pressed his nose to Jesse's hair, humming softly as he inhaled the smell of smoke and musk.
Jesse's struggles slowed. "Mmm, sure are, darlin'."
It had been barely more than six weeks since Jesse had woken up in the hospital. His awakening and subsequent hyper-speed recovery had baffled doctors. It had taken a lot of careful wording- "Yer threatenin' them, Han," Jesse had pointed out- to get the medical staff at the hospital to finally accept the recovery. His arm had been blessedly easy to hide when they discovered Jesse could will the ethereal limb completely invisible. Only a handful of people, Jesse's family, Genji, and Zenyatta included, knew what had happened, how he'd been stitched back into his body by a supernatural being.
'The power of a dragon is a great gift.'
His thoughts reminded Hanzo of how his chest still ached in the empty space Tsuki had left behind, a cavernous, echoing hollow. He was no longer whole. There were still nights, weeks later, that it would wake him up, heavy in his chest, gasping and unable to breath. The empty space had too much weight for the nothingness it was made of.
The soft sweep of hair beneath his lips and the smoky scent invading his lungs brought Hanzo back to the present. Tsuki had given him something far more precious than he had lost. Maybe in time the emptiness would diminish. Maybe he would live with it for the rest of his life. Either way, he would adjust. He'd do it all over again willingly, if he had to.
He would trade every piece of himself for this.
"Ya got that look. What're ya thinkin' about, sweetpea?" A rough, callused hand slid over his jaw and Hanzo focused on releasing the tension that had bunched, unbidden, in his shoulders. He loosened his grip, allowing Jesse to slip free and find his feet.
"I am thinking of how grateful I am," he replied, slipping his fingers through those of Jesse's dragon hand. The limb, relaxed and translucent, pulsed faintly blue as Jesse squeezed back.
"They're still here." Jesse lifted their entwined hands to his chest, pressing them to the space over his heart. "Tsuki. They're still here, with me. They know."
The air rattled in Hanzo's chest as he exhaled. "I know. I just need time to acclimate." Hanzo leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Jesse's chest just next to their hands.
A pleased rumble rose from Jesse's chest in response. Hands ghosted up Hanzo's hips, fingers trailing lightly against the flesh beneath his clothes. Hanzo shivered, the icy touch of Jesse's ghostly appendages a stark contrast to the heat of his physical body.
"I will admit there are some particular... talents that I am glad you have retained," Hanzo murmured against the plaid of Jesse's shirt. He felt, rather than saw, the wicked grin that split Jesse's face at the confession. In the next moment, Jesse dipped his head until his mouth was level with Hanzo's ear. Hot breath slid across the skin there, his neck breaking into a rush of goosebumps.
"That so? Do tell, kitten." The low purr of Jesse's voice, paired with that particular pet name, sent heat rushing straight to Hanzo's dick. He gripped Jesse by the belt, affectionately thumbing the ridiculous belt buckle Jesse insisted on wearing, and walked him back into the living room.
"I think," Hanzo replied softly, "I would prefer you find out yourself."
An eager shove had Jesse collapsing back on the couch, his hat making a soft noise as it found its way to the floor. His arms sprawled over the back as Hanzo climbed into his lap, kicking his shoes off and straddling Jesse's hips.
"That sounds like a challenge," Jesse purred as fluttering, icy touches climbed Hanzo's hips again.
Hanzo shivered at the chill and leaned down, capturing Jesse's mouth in a kiss. It was slow, a press of lips and a slide of tongues that heated them from the inside out.
When they broke, Jesse was panting beneath him. Hanzo smirked, running his hands over Jesse's chest. "I know it's been tiring, adjusting to being alive again. If you are not up to it-"
Cold fingers dug into the flesh of Hanzo's ass through the fabric of his pants and underwear, dragging Hanzo's hips down to meet his own. "Oh, I'm up for it, kitten." Jesse's erection pressed hot against Hanzo and he ground his hips down against it, chasing the friction. Jesse groaned softly beneath him, pressing eagerly back.
Hanzo's hands made quick work of Jesse's shirt buttons, barely waiting for Jesse to move his arms before he was shoving the cloth out of the way to bare his chest. The ink at the edge of his pectoral caught Hanzo's attention first, and he leaned in to press a lingering kiss to the twin of his own tattoo. The lines hummed beneath his lips, pulsing in recognition as he trailed lips across the hairy plane to Jesse's shoulder. Without going farther he knew the dragon stretched down Jesse's arm where it changed to gossamer lines of blue light, stretching and bending to form a supernatural imitation of his missing limb.
Pulling back, Hanzo greedily took in the vision of the man below him. Jesse's eyes were darker than they had been, a rich brown, but they still held a hint of the soft, golden glow of his ghostly form. His face had more lines than he'd had before, and Hanzo found himself tracing them with the tips of his fingers, memorizing those, too. Jesse kissed the tips of Hanzo's fingers as they passed his mouth and Hanzo's heart jumped in his chest.
It hit him again how much more real Jesse was. Until Jesse had woken up, he'd never noticed the subtle differences. The softness to his facial hair, the texture to his skin, how chapped his lips were. It was real. Solid.
Hanzo was pulled from his thoughts as Jesse's visible hands, one hot and callused and one smooth and cool, cupped Hanzo's jaw to pull him back for another kiss.
"Missed this." Jesse's husky, smoky rumble gripped Hanzo's heart like a vice, squeezing until he could no longer contain everything that had been building during the last weeks of Jesse's recovery. Not that he wanted to. He let the words pour from his mouth.
"I love you."
Everything seemed to stop as Jesse stared up at him, mouth parted in surprise. Hanzo hadn't said it yet, those enormous words. Jesse hadn't said them again yet either, not since he'd been jammed back into his body.
They'd had quiet moments and stolen kisses, soft touches and long looks, but between trying to explain Jesse's miraculous recovery without spilling their secret and Jesse reuniting with his family, Hanzo just hadn't found time to address the subject of... them, yet.
As the silence stretched between them, Hanzo tensed and shifted under the scrutiny, heat rising to his face. He pulled back as uncertainty washed in, but Jesse's grip on his face tightened as a hundred cool touches simultaneously rippled across his skin, making Hanzo gasp. Fingers tugged him close, caressing skin and leaving him breathless, then the world tipped, turned, and Jesse flipped them over until Hanzo was lying back on the couch.
"Sweetpea," Jesse purred over him, "Honeypie. Sugar. Puddin'." Hot, chapped lips pressed eagerly against his own and Hanzo felt the tension melt away. "Darlin'. Han. Hanzo, I love you."
The soft noise that escaped Hanzo would become one Jesse strove to coax from him every chance he got for years to come, but Hanzo didn't let Jesse dwell on it this time. He returned the kiss, tongue sliding to meet Jesse's when he parted his lips. Jesse was hot above him where they pressed together, with the exception of his left hand, and it was yet another reminder that he was truly tangible.
In a move that had Jesse grunting, even through a smile, Hanzo flipped them again. He straddled Jesse's hips, could feel the smug smile pulling at his mouth as Jesse's hands fell to rest on his thighs.
"Does that mean you would be amenable to moving in with me, then?"
Jesse barked out a sharp laugh and Hanzo felt his smirk widen into a full smile at the image beneath him. Tears of amusement quaked at the corners of Jesse's eyes where they rested on his laugh lines. Bright teeth flashed from amidst dark skin and darker hair. Hanzo couldn't resist as he leaned down to press a kiss to Jesse's jaw. The action turned less chaste when Jesse tilted his head back, offering Hanzo his neck as well.
Hanzo pressed kisses to the offered expanse of skin, teeth scraping lightly as Jesse wordlessly voiced his enjoyment.
"I will transfer the deed back to your name," Hanzo continued. Jesse froze beneath him again.
A quick kiss to his lips stopped Jesse's next words, and Hanzo hovered there, basking in the warmth and closeness.
"No arguments. This is your home, it will be returned to you."
Corporeal hands slide around the backs of his thighs until Jesse was tugging Hanzo as close as he could fit him.
"Darlin', you don't know what that means t'me," Jesse responded softly, pressing up to ghost their lips together.
"Mmn, I think I have a very good idea."
"I don't know, sounds t'me like you could use some more convincing." Jesse's lips curled in the way that had Hanzo's blood pumping excitedly, even more than the hands that gripped and kneaded his ass.
The next moment they met in a kiss that had them both groaning and shifting, pressing closer greedily. A second pair of hands slid up under the back of Hanzo's shirt, tracing icy touches along his spine as they dragged the fabric up. They broke briefly as the shirt was tugged up and off, and then he was pressed against Jesse again.
Nails raked down his back and Hanzo arched back into the touch, eyes falling closed. Cool fingers, a third set of hands, dragged along the shorn sides of his head. They tangled in the band that held it all back and pulled it free gently. Dark strands rained down around his face and Jesse made a noise of appreciation as ethereal hands combed through the loose strands.
Hanzo leaned into the touch, pressing a kiss against the flesh he couldn't see. Jesse groaned softly.
"I was wondering if you could still feel these," Hanzo murmured, tongue laving a trail up until he found two invisible fingers to suck into his mouth.
Jesse released a shuddering breath. "Oh yea, darlin', sure can."
The way Hanzo's mouth curled around the invisible digits was wicked. He knew Jesse could see the way his tongue slid slowly between the two. Judging by the way sharp eyes focused on his mouth and the hardness he felt against his stomach, Jesse was enjoying the view.
"God, darlin', you wind me up somein' good," Jesse breathed. The hands on Hanzo's ass trailed around his sides, sliding between them to struggle with the fastening on his pants.
Hanzo pulled away from the fingers he'd been teasing and sat up to give Jesse more space. Hands moved to work his pants even as Jesse chased him, sitting up to press wet, open-mouthed kisses to Hanzo's chest. Cool hands cupped at his pecs, lifting and squeezing as Jesse's mouth trailed to one nipple. Hanzo arched further into his touch, unable to tear his eyes away even as Jesse's golden gaze flicked up to meet his and he smiled wickedly. Then he took Hanzo's nipple into his mouth.
"Jesse, fuck!" Hanzo's hands came up to bury themselves in Jesse's hair to keep him close. The button on his pants came loose in the next moment, and hands were sliding down over his ass, spreading him as much as they could within their confines. Jesse's visible hands tugged at the zipper next, until it, too, came undone. They were shimmied down, hands teasing briefly at the bulge in Hanzo's underwear as the hands on his ass dipped deeper, pressing and teasing gently at his rim.
Hanzo groaned, and the sudden swipe of a tongue up his spine had him shuddering.
"Jesse." The name fell from his lips, demand and plea all wrapped up in the stretched syllables.
Jesse chuckled against his skin, leaning back with a self-satisfied smile. "Yea, kitten? What d'ya need?"
Hanzo chased him, dragging him into another kiss before murmuring into his lips, "You. Just you, Jesse. All of you."
Jesse sucked in a breath, flushing under the sweep of freckles dusting his nose. "Man could get used to words like those."
"I intend to ensure you do." Sincerity dulled the teasing edge of Hanzo's tone, but it had Jesse smiling nonetheless as he pressed Hanzo back again, mouth finding his collarbone to suck and nip, marking Hanzo's skin. They shifted until Jesse could tug at Hanzo's jeans and drag them down his hips. Hanzo kicked them off, letting them fall to the floor.
Jesse's hands tugged at his knees, urging them open as he lavished attention on Hanzo's chest again. Hanzo gripped at the armrest, pressing into the touch as Jesse's tongue traced the valley between his pectorals.
The sensation of a second mouth tonguing his half-hard erection through his briefs had Hanzo gasping, rolling his hips up into the friction even as the invisible mouth ghosted through the layer of fabric to wrap around a testicle. The muscles in Hanzo's stomach tensed, trembling as his head dropped back, panting and digging his heels into the couch. His face was flushed, mouth parted slightly and cheeks already beginning to flush from pleasure.
"I can't imagine how fuckin' ya like this is gonna feel," Jesse murmured as he worked his way across Hanzo's chest to torture his ignored nipple. He dragged his tongue across it before sucking it into his mouth and biting down playfully.
Hanzo moaned, hands abandoning the arm of the couch to tangle in Jesse's hair again, blunt nails combing across his scalp in a way that had Jesse shivering above him.
"Do-does it feel different? Now?" Hanzo managed. The mouth on his balls rolled them gently across its tongue, and a finger traced the length of his cock. Hanzo could feel it jerk at the attention.
Jesse pulled off the nipple with a wet pop that had Hanzo humming in pleasure. The chill of his dragon hand pebbled the flesh even more as it came up and kneaded the muscle.
Jesse grinned up at Hanzo before replying, "A hundred times better. It's like I was feeling through a fog, and now..."
"An-and now?" Hanzo spurred.
"Now I can feel everythin', kitten. It's so sharp and real. And I can smell so much better, now, too..." Jesse leaned forward, pressing his nose to Hanzo's neck and inhaling. He followed with kisses before sinking his teeth into Hanzo's shoulder.
"So if I were to suck your dick...?"
Jesse shuddered above him, soft moan rolling from his lips as he released Hanzo's shoulder.
"Damn, darlin', I might just explode."
Hanzo grinned, even though Jesse's face was still buried in his shoulder and there was no way he could see it.
"That would be the point."
Jesse huffed a laugh at that and Hanzo turned his head to nose at his ear. "I want your cock in my mouth, Jesse."
"Damn, that ain't fair, darlin'. How's a man supposed to say no t'that?" The complaint was half-hearted, though, as Jesse lifted his weight from Hanzo and dropped back to work his own belt free. Somewhere along the way he'd lost his boots, though Hanzo had no idea when.
Hanzo crawled after him, tugging the jeans down Jesse's thighs and smirking as he discovered a distinct lack of underwear. Jesse returned the smirk with a shameless grin of his own, and it only died when Hanzo wrapped one hand around his thick cock.
"Darlin'," Jesse rasped, deep and imploringly.
Invisible hands swept through Hanzo's hair, tugging it back and out of the way as Hanzo ducked his head. Hanzo pumped his fist slowly as he buried his nose at the base of Jesse's cock, nuzzling the space where it met his balls. When he licked a slow, wet stripe up the soft skin of them, he felt a shudder rolling through Jesse beneath his tongue.
He'd barely touched anything, and Jesse was already this sensitive?
He tongued at one heavy testicle before sucking it gently into his mouth. Hanzo watched as Jesse's eyes slid closed and his head dropped back, a strangled noise clawing its way from his throat as his hips rolled into Hanzo's touch. He wrapped his free arm around Jesse's thigh to hold him still as he lavished the same attention on the other one until Jesse was panting and gasping above him.
Cool hands dug into the cushions below him until fingers could pinch and tease Hanzo's nipples and he pulled off the sensitive flesh with a moan. Hanzo buried his face in Jesse's thigh, the hair on his leg tickling against his face, and in retaliation he sunk his teeth into Jesse's leg hard enough to leave a mark. Jesse's leg jumped beneath his mouth and a hand came down to swat at his ass playfully.
Hanzo chuckled huskily against the inside of Jesse's thigh, then kissed his way from the bruising skin up to where his hand was still leisurely stroking Jesse's erection. Foreskin tugged back, the head was red and shiny at the tip where precum leaked. He leaned up, licking along the slit to taste it and revelling in the pleasured noises falling freely now from Jesse's lips. The ghostly appendages in his hair tugged gently, and Hanzo hummed and took Jesse deeper into his mouth until his lips brushed the coarse hair at the base of his erection.
"Darlin', damn, I can't-" The muscles in Jesse's stomach jumped and spasmed as Hanzo's mouth sunk slowly down the length of him, tongue working the underside of his cock with hot, firm presses.
The chill of a ghostly tongue finding his spine had Hanzo pulling back and sucking in a sharp breath through his nose before jerking back down Jesse's cock. The mouth trailed lower and Hanzo moaned when it took the waistband of his briefs and began tugging them down over his hips.
Gathering himself, Hanzo focused on working Jesse in his mouth, drawing out pleased groans and slurred praises that stoked his arousal and ego equally, goading him on. He worked his throat in deep, sucking pulls that hollowed his cheeks and had Jesse whimpering his name and pressing a hot palm to his face to stop him.
"Ya look so good wrapped around my cock like that, kitten. Feel even better. But I'm not going t'last if you keep going like that."
Hanzo released Jesse's dick with an exaggerated, wet noise that had Jesse chasing the last bit of friction with his hips. He made a show of licking his lips and Jesse flashed a hungry smile in return.
Cold, invisible hands pushed him upright and Jesse followed, capturing Hanzo's lips in a kiss that left his mouth bruised and his chest breathless. The mouth at his back nipped playfully at the curve of his ass before the tongue dipped deeper. It stretched, unnaturally long, until it was teasing his rim with long, sweeping licks. Hanzo shuddered, gripping at Jesse's arms and burying his face in his neck.
"Can't wait t'be inside you again." Jesse's hot breath teased at Hanzo's ear as he urged Hanzo to turn. Hanzo allowed himself to be moved until his back was to Jesse and he was being pressed forward to brace against the arm of the couch. The invisible tongue teasing his ass wiggled against the tight ring of muscle, dipping in as two hands spread him.
"Love workin' you open like this, too. All hot 'n tight but openin' slowly and I can see everything," Jesse purred, hands massaging the flesh he kept spread. One thumb dipped further in, teasing and pulling at his rim as the tongue worked itself further in.
New hands cupped his pecs again, groping the muscle and pinching the tightened points of his nipples until Hanzo was arching, working himself between the hands at his chest and the tongue in his ass. Jesse leaned over his back, pressing open-mouthed, wet kisses to every inch of skin he could reach. An incorporeal thumb pressed against Hanzo's lower lip, rubbing tenderly until Hanzo parted his lips and sucked the finger into his mouth. Hanzo's dick twitched, hot and heavy and ignored between his legs as Jesse opened him up, but the stimulation everywhere else was building at such a rapid rate that he barely even noticed.
Instead, Hanzo laved the same determined attention on the digit as he had Jesse's cock and behind him he felt Jesse smile.
"So greedy and good t'me," he murmured, and Hanzo released the ghostly finger to smile smugly at Jesse over his shoulder.
"Are you going to fuck me, Jesse, or just talk about it?"
Jesse huffed, smile sharpening as fingers dug in hard enough that Hanzo knew there would be bruises. He leaned further over Hanzo's back, pressing a light kiss to Hanzo's shoulder.
"Just enjoyin' the view a little first, kitten."
Movement caught Hanzo's attention as Jesse's hands left his ass, and an object zipped into Jesse's hand over the back of the couch. Blue fingers captured the bottle of lube before it could drop and it disappeared from Hanzo's sight in the next moment.
The tongue that had been stretching his ass slid out slowly, and Hanzo gasped at the emptiness it left behind. Two slick fingers replaced it, tracing up his perineum to circle the stretched ring of muscle before pressing in. Two of Jesse's thick fingers were thicker than the ghostly tongue had been and Hanzo pressed back into them, the sensation skipping up his spine in delicious waves as Jesse's fingers withdrew and thrust back in.
Eventually Jesse added a third finger, stretching and curling until they brushed the bundle of nerves that had Hanzo bucking back for more friction. Mouths replaced the hands that had been at his chest earlier, sucking and pulling at his nipples, teasing the hardened peaks until they were swollen and sensitive.
Jesse leaned down, his fingers keeping up the slow, steady pace, until he could murmur against Hanzo's ear, "Darlin'... ah... we ain't needed them before so I never asked, but... y'got any condoms around?"
Hanzo turned his head, kissing at Jesse's jaw where he could reach and nuzzling the scruff there. "The dragons do not allow us to catch illness or disease. It is why you recovered so fast from years of being bed-ridden. I have not had so much as a cold since I was a child."
Jesse whistled softly, nuzzling at Hanzo's ear. "Damn handy things, these dragons of yours."
"Ours," Hanzo corrected.
"Ours," Jesse agreed. "But yer sure? Just because we ain't at risk for disease doesn't mean I wo-"
"You do not need to use a condom."
Jesse released the breath he'd been holding, a hot gust against Hanzo's skin, and shifted behind him, nuzzling Hanzo's shoulder as he pulled his fingers free. "Let you ride bareback. Got it, kitten." Hanzo felt his cock twitch at the thought even as he snorted in amusement.
The heat of Jesse's body left his back and Hanzo could picture Jesse behind him without even looking. His hand would be wrapped around the girth of his cock, pumping slowly to coat the length properly with lube. Hanzo licked his lips as he imagined Jesse's hand working over the head, teasing his foreskin before rubbing back down the length.
A hot palm cupped his ass again, spreading one cheek, and Hanzo peered over his shoulder to see Jesse doing just as he'd imagined: stroking slick lube down his length with his gaze focused intently on Hanzo's ass. When he looked up and caught Hanzo staring, his face tilted into a lopsided grin that sent tingles along Hanzo's skin. Then he was pressing forward, guiding himself to the stretched ring of muscle until he was pushing in.
The stretch had Hanzo humming in appreciation as Jesse sunk into him. Behind him, Jesse's dragon hand gripped his other cheek, spreading him fully as his hips came flush with Hanzo's ass.
"Fuck," Jesse groaned, rocking his hips in slow, tight circles.
Pressure reappeared at his lips again before Hanzo had a chance to react, and he opened his mouth to let the invisible appendage slide in. It was bigger than fingers, and Hanzo worked his tongue against it as it slid to the back of his throat. Jesse groaned behind him, snapping his hips roughly against Hanzo's when he gave a particularly hard suck and Hanzo would have smirked if he could. He scraped his teeth over the invisible length, sucking at the end, and Hanzo's name fell from Jesse's lips in a broken moan as he quickly moved from slow, tortuous thrusts to long, sharp plunges.
Jesse shifted, and the angle had him brushing against Hanzo's prostate again. He groaned around the invisible cock, working it in the back of his throat as Jesse's hips sped up, brushing the same spot repeatedly. His nipples were pinched, tugged ruthlessly, and heat coiled tightly in his stomach, so sharp and fast that it made his head spin.
Jesse's moans behind him spilled freely now with every slide of his hips. Praise tumbled in between, slurred and jumbled words that Hanzo only half-understood as he fucked desperately back against Jesse, chasing the rising pressure building in his own arousal.
"Can't- Hanzo-" Fingers clawed at Hanzo's hips, slamming him back against Jesse relentlessly.
When Hanzo finally moved to work his own erection another set of hands wrapped themselves around his wrists and pinned them in place, Jesse only driving into him even harder. An affronted complaint rose in his throat, interrupted as a wet mouth enveloped his cock in one smooth motion.
The shock had unintelligible noises vibrating through his throat and the next thrust sent Hanzo over the edge. His cock jerked and he came violently down the invisible throat and Jesse drew out his orgasm, sharp thrusts turning frantic as Hanzo clamped down around him until he, too, was coming.
Long, stretched syllables formed an approximation of Hanzo's name from as Jesse panted above him, rocking gently as he rode out his own orgasm. Lips, hot even against his flushed skin, pressed kisses to Hanzo's back and the incorporeal flesh invading his mouth and sucking various parts of his body disappeared, leaving only the corporeal connections behind.
Eventually, Jesse withdrew and helped Hanzo turn over gingerly. A wet cloth appeared in his hand the next moment, and he carefully wiped them both down before tossing it somewhere out of sight.
He watched as Jesse moved, shifting like he was going to move from the couch, and Hanzo let a disgruntled noise escape him as he captured Jesse's wrist, tugging his no-longer-a-ghost down to lay over him. Jesse tumbled with a grunt, but quickly recovered and let himself be used as a personal blanket. He wrapped sweaty, hairy arms around Hanzo's waist and pressed his equally sweaty forehead to Hanzo's neck.
Hanzo ran his hands down Jesse's back, sliding one of his legs between Jesse's, and revelled in the weight pressing him down. Jesse hummed against his neck.
"Ya gone and tuckered me out, darlin'," Jesse teased against his skin.
Hanzo pressed a kiss to Jesse's hair. "Is that so?"
"Mmhm. Feels like I could just about drop dead."
Laughter burst from Hanzo, shaking Jesse where he lay over him. "Don't you dare, Jesse McCree."
Jesse chuckled, pressing a kiss to Hanzo's neck. "Alrigh', alrigh', if you say so, Han."
They lay in silence for a long moment, long enough that Hanzo let his eyes slide closed and started to drift off.
"I love you, darlin'."
Hanzo's heart jumped in his chest and his lips curled of their own volition.
"I love you, too, Jesse."
Well, after nearly doubling the planned chapters, that's all! Thank y'all for reading, your comments and support mean the world to me. I hope ya like how it ended- I did promise a happy one, after all.
Chapter 10: Ghostwrecked
Did I say this was over? Oops. But I mean who doesn't need a little bottom Jesse in their lives?
It's two in the morning I said this was done last chapter I obviously had no idea what I was talking about.
Thank-you Mango and Fox <3<3<3
Jesse's erection wouldn't be ignored any longer. He groaned, rolling until the hard line of his cock pressed uncomfortably into his stomach. The blankets- or rather the sheet that was still left on the bed- tangled around his legs. He kicked it until it released his legs and slung one up and to the side to relieve some of the pressure. He buried his face in Hanzo's pillow and inhaled.
God, he was horny.
Hanzo had left hours earlier to pick up Genji and Zenyatta from the airport, but their flight had been delayed and Hanzo had been stuck waiting there for them ever since.
Which meant Jesse was left alone to deal with his hard-on himself.
His hips pressed themselves into the bed, seeking friction as he clutched Hanzo's pillow to his face. His mind wandered, imagining Hanzo climbing into bed behind him. He'd slide his hands up Jesse's calves and thighs, spreading his ass and running his tongue-
Jesse sucked in a sharp breath, gasping as he registered the sensation of cold hands actually spreading his ass wide and a tongue actually trailing wetly up his balls and over his perineum. He swung to look over his shoulder, smiling widely to welcome Hanzo home, only to be met with empty space.
The hands and tongue had disappeared nearly instantly, and Jesse suddenly realized they'd been cold.
"Huh," he huffed, working through what had just happened.
Jesse had never used his own ghostly appendages on himself before. It had actually never even occurred to him. He always had Hanzo around nowadays.
He wasn't opposed to the thought.
Firm, cool hands reappeared, kneading up the length of his thick thighs until they parted his cheeks again. His cool, ghostly tongue traced teasing circles over his entrance. He shuddered and groaned softly as a second realization hit. He could feel both sensations.
Curiosity and the thrill of forbidden arousal had Jesse's cock pulsing and aching against the bed. The pressure was getting unbearable, but before Jesse could do anything about it, his ghostly hands yanked his hips back. He scrambled to get his knees under him as the tongue pressed slowly into him. He couldn't hold back.
"God, yes, darlin', feels so good, Han."
The image of Hanzo behind him, face buried in his ass and working him open slowly spurred Jesse on. The tongue dipped further, dragging along his walls and pressing unnaturally deep until it curled over the bundle of nerves that had Jesse's hips bucking violently of their own accord.
Jesse imagined Hanzo pressing him down to the bed to still him and a hand settled heavily between his shoulder blades to do just that. Shuddering, Jesse writhed against the weight over him and the squirming, slick appendage thrusting leisurely in and out of his ass.
God, what would Hanzo think if he saw Jesse like this? Fucking himself slowly, ass gaping more and more as the invisible extremity worked itself deeper. His cock bobbed eagerly between his legs as he imagined the predatory look Hanzo would give him. He loved when Hanzo turned the tables on him and took control, cocksure and regal, pushing all of Jesse's buttons like he'd written the damn manual.
Hanzo would take one look at him before calmly collecting the lube from their bedside table and climbing up the bed behind him.
Cold lube dripped from the bottle he'd summoned from the drawer down over his ass and Jesse shivered.
Once he was all slicked up, Hanzo would grasp the invisible appendage and lean over his shoulder. He'd ask Jesse 'can you make it bigger?' and Jesse would comply. Then Hanzo would fuck him with it.
As if on command the tongue shifted, growing and stretching inside Jesse until it was thicker. It thrust in again, this time with more force, and wrung a strangled cry from Jesse's lips as he thrust back against it. His movements were jerky, short and aborted because of the hand pressing him down to the bed.
Jesse clawed at the pillow and a new hand wrapped itself around the length of his cock, hot and insistent, and stroked slowly. It was followed by the hot, slippery slide of a tongue tracing his rim around the ghostly appendage that was slowly fucking him faster and faster.
"This is not what I expected to come home to, but it is certainly not an unwelcome surprise."
Jesse jumped at the voice behind him, and his concentration broke, ghost limbs disappearing and leaving him achingly empty. Jesse keened, scrambling to lift himself up as embarrassment raced across his skin. The hot hand working his cock disappeared in an instant and a rougher, warmer hand replaced the cool one on his back, pressing him back into place.
"No, I think I like you just as you were."
Two fingers slid easily through the mess of lube on his ass before Hanzo fucked them roughly into his ass. Jesse moaned, canting his hips to give Hanzo a better angle as he worked a third finger in, flexing and working Jesse loose.
"Could you not wait for me, Jesse?" Hanzo's tone was so smug above him that Jesse could perfectly picture the self-satisfied curl of his lips as he watched Jesse ride his hand.
"Been waitin' hours, sweetpea," Jesse huffed, twisting to shoot a half-hearted glare over his shoulder.
He was right. Hanzo was smirking.
Hanzo curled his fingers and Jesse felt his thighs tremble when they brushed purposely across his prostate.
"I am sorry to keep you waiting."
Hanzo didn't sound apologetic at all.
Hanzo's hand thrust more aggressively, assaulting his prostate ruthlessly, and leaned over Jesse's back, weight resting more heavily on him.
"Touch yourself again, Jesse."
A shiver raced down Jesse's spine at the authoritative tone colouring Hanzo's voice. It melted over him, hot and heavy and impossible to ignore. Jesse shifted, reaching down to follow Hanzo's command when a rumbling growl had him stopping dead.
"Not like that." Hanzo's hand lifted, sliding up Jesse's back to tangle in his hair and pull his head back. "Like before. Use your other hands. Mouths."
A strangled cry of surprise tore from Jesse's throat in the next moment as an invisible mouth enveloped his throbbing erection in a swift, unexpected slide. Jesse bucked, stomach muscles bunching and tightening as the sudden sensation overwhelmed him. The tension teetered at the peak, ready to tumble over, when Hanzo removed his fingers.
Under normal circumstances Jesse would have been embarrassed by the soft wheeze and plaintive whine that escaped him, but as the delicious tension fizzled to nothing he couldn't find it in him to care. Instead, he scrabbled against the bed, turning to look back at Hanzo and demand he put those fingers right back-
Hanzo jerked his hair to stop him and Jesse keened sharply.
"Sweetheart, sugar, sunshine, baby, Han-"
"Patience, darling," Hanzo's tone was firm, but affection was laced into the pet name, "and let me take care of you. Do not stop touching yourself."
Jesse relaxed back into the bed and Hanzo released his hair, shifting behind him. Hands gripped his hips, adjusting his ass higher, and when something else pressed against his ass he didn't have to look back to know it was the head of Hanzo's cock. Hanzo fed it into him slowly, hands tightening like a vice on his hips when Jesse tried to work himself back on it.
The invisible mouth continued to work its throat around his dick, tongue stretching into unnatural lengths to wrap around his girth. Jesse buried his face in Hanzo's pillow again as he felt the throat swallow around him, milking him in slow, tight pulls at the same time Hanzo's hips nestled flush against his ass.
"Hanzo, please." Jesse's voice was muffled, but the squeeze of Hanzo's hands on his hips told him he'd heard.
"Please what, Jesse?" His hips were released and instead Hanzo soothed hands over his ass, spreading him further and ghosting soft caresses over Jesse's stretched and fluttering rim.
The fullness pressed against Jesse's insides, sending tremors through him with each subtle shift and press of Hanzo's hips. The mouth on his dick was tightening like a vice, and the light press of Hanzo's fingers sent pulses of electricity up his spine. Unable to contain it, a long, low noise tumbled from Jesse's lips, hanging hot and heavy in the air around them.
"Hanzo, please, darlin', I need ya t'move. I need ya t'fuck me good and proper. I need-"
Hanzo was swift, unrelenting, as he dragged his hips back before slamming them home again. He set a merciless pace of withdraw, thrust, and repeat, dragging Jesse's hips back with each lunge forward.
Jesse felt the words pouring from his lips, unintelligible sounds strung together to form muffled, hoarse pleas. When Hanzo's hands slid under his chest to lift him up and back, those pleas bled together into moans that escalated in volume as the new position had Hanzo reaching even deeper with every thrust. His hands scrambled to find something to cling to as he wound closer to orgasm again.
He let his head fall back onto Hanzo's shoulder as the sound of hips slapping against his ass flooded his ears. Hands found his nipples, tweaking and tugging at them until Jesse was arching into the touch, chest presented and begging for more. Hot breath swept across Jesse's ear as Hanzo leaned close.
"You are gorgeous like this, Jesse. Spread open and taking my cock." Lips brushed along the shell of Jesse's ear and he leaned into the touch. "Seeing you on your knees, spread open and pleasuring yourself with your own- with yourself," Hanzo groaned in his ear, hips stuttering briefly, "I wanted to be the one fucking you open like that. To have my cock buried so deeply in your ass you will never forget who you belong to."
The tightness in Jesse's stomach didn't just snap at Hanzo's words, it exploded. The mouth swallowing his erection disappeared as he lost concentration, and thick ropes of come arced up to splatter across his stomach, and even his chest. His lips formed a choked exclamation of Hanzo's name and as Jesse clamped down around him Hanzo bucked up rapidly, his pace staggering until he was coming as well, Jesse's name practically an invocation as it dripped heavily from his lips with a groan.
Jesse dropped back against Hanzo, body trembling as heavy, post-orgasm pulses rolled through him. Hanzo's arms clutched him close, and as his orgasm subsided he shifted them both to lay across the bed, slipping free from Jesse in the process.
Hanzo pressed into Jesse's back, peppering his neck with kisses as Jesse caught his breath. Jesse turned until he could sprawl on his back and tilted his head to meet Hanzo's lips with his own, ignoring the mess clinging to him for the moment.
"Damn, darlin', I think I understand now why you're so fond of my... talents."
Hanzo snorted a laugh, burying his face in Jesse's shoulder. "I am fond of more than that."
Jesse grinned, ghosting his lips over Hanzo's forehead. "So am I, darlin'."