Chapter 1: Down
He paused outside the doors, his fingers wrapped too tightly around the handle, knuckles white. He pressed his forehead into the glass, bangs falling loose from the messy bun atop his head as they always did. Purple lights flickered, the sign glowing above, pulsing to the beat of music he could hear from inside the building. It was early yet, no casual groups of smokers lingering nearby as there would be later on, but he’d arranged to come before the weekend crowd grew thick and stifling for a reason. Considering where he was, and why, Hanzo wasn’t sure he would have been able to push past onlookers and go inside the club during its peak hours.
Nausea threatened to overwhelm him, and he swallowed it down, taking deep breaths and counting in between them. Inhale, hold.
One. Two. Three.
It wasn’t that bad.
It couldn’t be any worse than the numerous conversations with Genji, Amélie, and Lena that had led him there, at any rate.
You need to loosen up, brother.
And then Amélie, who was his only real friend, whose words held more weight than Genji’s impulsive, unceasing enthusiasm.
Who had answers to questions Hanzo had been afraid to ask, until recently.
There is no reason to deny yourself the things you want. You aren’t in Hanamura anymore, there is no one to judge you but yourself.
There’s no harm in trying.
Hanzo didn’t do first impressions well. His defense mechanisms made him come off like an asshole, too honest and solitary and introverted to make easy friends. It had taken months of working alongside Amélie before Hanzo was comfortable enough to open up to her.
Longer for them to become friends, to hang out together, to socialize outside of work.
Over a year before he gathered up the nerve to ask about the collars she wore daily at the shop. It could have been a fashion statement for all he knew. They worked at a tattoo parlor after all. It was no more unusual than Hanzo’s own appearance. He’d brought most of his ink from Japan, the dragons and storm clouds stretching from his pectorals down into a sleeve on his left arm, the ouroboros on his right shoulder. The undercut, the bridge piercing in his nose, the gauges in his ears, the snakebites in his bottom lip, they’d all come later.
Just because he could. Because having control over the way he looked and dressed was novel, and new, and enticing.
Because he had been the perfect Shimada heir for so long. A living, breathing testament to his father’s will, even long after Sojiro was gone, and tearing it apart was satisfying in ways he’d never dreamed of.
Like taking fingerpaints to a work of fine art, and finding he liked the mess left behind even better.
So the collars wrapped around Amélie’s throat could have been an aesthetic choice, something to go with her dark clothes and intricate boots and dramatic makeup. They were different colors, different styles, different sizes. Purple or black or red or blue. Made of leather or chain or ribbons. Some with little O rings in front, while others had metal hearts, or locks, or stylized spider webs.
But they were all unmistakably collars, and sometimes when Amélie’s girlfriend Lena was around she would stick her finger in the rings, and tug. Hanzo would watch Amélie’s cheeks flush hot, her usually stoic expression going flustered and overwhelmed, and suddenly it was like he was seeing something he shouldn’t, intruding on some private moment they’d accidentally put on display.
A few glasses of wine on Amélie’s couch, coupled with his incredibly low tolerance for alcohol since he’d sworn off sake, and he’d finally asked. In retrospect he should have just kept his mouth shut. Should have ignored the thoughts creeping around in his head, the fantasies lurking in all his best dreams.
Dreams where Hanzo was on his knees. Collared, with some faceless man’s finger through the ring at his throat, tugging at it just like Lena did at Amélie’s.
Once Amélie and Lena started talking about it, though, there was no stopping them, not when they realized how much Hanzo was fighting to hide his interest in the subject. Weeks, then months, all spent trying to convince Hanzo to go for it, relentless and dogged.
It would have been infuriating if Hanzo hadn’t wanted it so badly. If he hadn’t needed someone shoving him every inch of the way in order to keep him from backing out.
Go up to the club, we know just the guy, he’ll be perfect for you, Hanzo!
Hanzo had spent most of his teenage years viciously repressing himself in order to escape Sojiro’s wrath. Awkwardly feigning interest in girls, trying not to cringe when people in the clan spoke of marriage.
Coming back to himself after drifting away for a while, unsure how long he'd been gone.
He’d come to accept himself eventually, without the weight of the Shimada clan bearing down on him, Genji’s constant encouragement in his ears.
It took thousands of miles between him and home for Hanzo to realize what a comfort his brother could really be.
You’re fine, Hanzo. You’re fine.
Still, Hanzo hadn’t even been on date since he came to America and started his life over, despite how long he’d called it home. Years upon years, finding his place there with Genji, slotting himself seamlessly into the city as though he’d lived in it all along. Pretending to be a person as best he could.
Hanzo worried that underneath the weapons and the dragon tattoos, without the trappings of his family name, out of the shadow of Hanamura, there was nothing left of him. That he was a Shimada, and nothing else.
That he’d left all his worth behind. A bow, and some blades, and his birthright.
Figuring out himself had been hard enough on its own.
Now he was supposed to go to a bondage club, have a drink with a man he’d never met, and ask him to do things Hanzo still had a hard time talking about with his best friend?
Tell me what to do, tie me up, put me on my knees, when Hanzo had never really kissed a man.
Or he had, but it hardly counted. One of his kouhai from the dojo when he was too young to know better, fast and chaste and embarrassing, even decades later. A stranger outside a bar he’d gone to with Genji when he first came to America, after which he’d promptly panicked and ran.
Back in Hanamura outside the arcade, Hanzo's back pressed against the stone, it's okay Hanzo, no one's watching.
No one had put their hands on Hanzo in years and years and years, yet there he was; standing in front of Overwatch, a card in hand with a numbered code that corresponded to the application he’d filled out granting him access to the VIP section.
The part where ‘all the good stuff’ happens, according to Lena, but that wasn’t where he was supposed to meet his date.
Was it a date? It didn’t have to be, apparently, if all the things he’d read were to be believed. The application for entry into VIP had been thorough. No one could observe or participate in any of the more risque activities without an introductory education about etiquette and aftercare and basic BDSM practices. Club rules. Safe, sane, and consensual kink. Risk awareness. Dom/sub relationships, hygiene, community support.
According to the literature, according to Amélie, he was technically meeting a Dom, and not going on a date. But it could turn into a date, Lena supplied cryptically, waggling her eyebrows. Or a relationship, Amélie added, muttering something about sentimental fools and refusing to elaborate.
So not a date, but possibly a date.
It was confusing, and Hanzo wasn’t sure what he wanted other than to give up control. Be ordered around. Let someone else take over, if just for a while, because he was a fucking mess.
To give that control to someone willingly, instead of having them take it on their own.
Lena had arranged everything for him, and now all Hanzo had to do was meet his prospective Dom at the bar. He didn’t even have to go into the more private areas of the club if he didn’t want, formal introductions between potential scene partners tended to be mostly talk, his friends promised, don’t worry Hanzo!
Nothing will happen if you don’t want it to!
Except he still couldn’t move, his palm sweaty on the door handle, his nerves rattled.
“You doin’ alright there, partner?”
Hanzo reeled back, startled to find a man standing next to him; brown hair just long enough to curl under his chin, a beard that was thick but not unkempt. Tall, easily over six feet, towering above Hanzo. Broad chested with big hands and strong arms, and something warm and unfamiliar curled in Hanzo’s belly.
The idea that he could find a man attractive and that he was allowed to act on that attraction was something he was still getting used to, and this one was rugged, and tan, and appealing in ways Hanzo hadn't realized he wanted.
Then Hanzo realized he was staring.
The man looked at him from underneath the brim of a cowboy hat, reaching out towards Hanzo but not touching him. A literal, actual cowboy hat.
His brows were furrowed with worry. Hanzo let out a breathy laugh, face flush with embarrassment as he shook his head.
“Sorry, no I’m… I’m fine.” Hanzo stepped back from the door, giving the man room in case he wanted to go inside. He made no move to enter, watching Hanzo with concern etched into his features.
“You don’t seem fine. Everything okay?” His eyes lingered on the card in Hanzo’s hand, and then he smiled, soft and understanding. “First time you’re headed for the back, or…?” Hanzo scratched at the shaved part of his undercut, shrugging.
“I’ve never been here at all, but I filled out the application. I’m… I’m supposed to be meeting someone. I’ve never… done anything like this, before. I guess I’m nervous.”
Leading a vicious clan of yakuza? Easy. Burying an arrow in a would-be assassin’s throat? No problem.
Yet meeting a stranger at a kink club was apparently Hanzo’s downfall. The man grinned, giving him a pat on the shoulder and opening the door for him.
“Awww, I’m sure it’ll be fine, no better place to do your first meet up. Better than going to a stranger’s house, that’s for sure.”
Hanzo walked inside, the man following after him into the entryway. There was a little foyer, another set of doors standing between them and the club interior, the space dominated by an employee standing at a bar. A woman, tall and dark and lithe in a slinky blue dress, who asked for Hanzo’s ID but simply nodded at the man with him. He tipped his hat in greeting with an exaggerated smile.
She smirked at him, giving Hanzo’s ID a brief glance before returning it. He tried to hand her the business card with his VIP number on it, and she waved it away.
“They’ll take that at the entrance to VIP, after checking that your application is still cleared. Next time all you’ll need to go back is your ID.” Satya looked between the two of them curiously, before turning to the man behind Hanzo with a wry smile. “I think this one is too pretty for you, cowboy. Too clean as well.”
The man spoke up before Hanzo could respond, grinning back at her.
“Satya, you wound me! But I reckon you’re right, since he’s here to meet up with someone else. We just happened to bump into each other on the way in, is all.”
He opened the inner door, holding it for Hanzo, pulling his hat off to place it over his heart. It was only then that Hanzo noticed his left hand was a prosthetic, gleaming metal sticking out of the rolled up sleeves of his black button up, something sleek and cybernetic.
“After you, sugar.”
The outermost section of the club could have passed for any normal establishment if Hanzo hadn’t known better. Vaguely industrial sounding dance music thrummed over the speakers. A bar stretched across the back wall with tables and couches scattered intermittently, blue and purple lights giving everything an ethereal quality. There was a dance floor in the center, all but deserted at such an early hour. In the corner a doorway loomed, lit up with bright blue neon around the frame and sectioned off with a velvet rope, another employee on duty next to a half dozen signs on the wall. Lists of rules and protocols for entry into the VIP section, if Hanzo was to hazard a guess.
Hanzo was getting nervous again, but before he could consider bolting a heavy hand fell on his shoulder.
“I know most of the regulars here. Who you s’posed to be meeting? Maybe I can help you find ‘em.” Hanzo hesitated, and fought the urge to gnaw at his thumbnail, a nervous habit beaten out of him long ago but resurfacing since he’d left Japan behind.
“I’m a little early, he might not be here just yet. His name is Jesse.”
The man’s eyes were bright, suddenly, and he looked Hanzo up and down with a grin, taking his hat off again and holding out his hand.
“Jesse McCree, at your service, darlin’. I was beginning to get a little envious of that date of yours, you are the prettiest damn thing I’ve seen in ages.” Hanzo blinked, shaking his hand on autopilot, more out of ingrained politeness than actual intent as the man’s words registered.
Hanzo was past thirty. He was a master archer, skilled with a sword, proficient in a half dozen different styles of martial arts. He’d killed people with his bare hands.
Left them in pieces at the end of his blades.
He wasn’t blushing just because some strange man called him pretty. He wasn’t.
“You… You’re Jesse? Amélie’s friend?” Jesse’s smile went impossibly wider. Smug, almost. Pleased with himself, walking towards a nearby table as Hanzo followed like a lost dog.
“I am indeed. Which would make you Hanzo. I almost told Amélie no when she started talkin’ about you. I don’t really do scenes casually anymore, not outside of a relationship, other than the occasional demonstration with ropes for the club. I get too attached, too fast. Not everyone wants a boyfriend to go along with their sir, if you know what I mean. But boy I’m glad she convinced me, just look at you. She should’ve led with a picture, woulda cut down on all that talkin’ she seems to hate so much.”
They sat down, Hanzo shifting uncomfortably. His date, or Dom, or… whatever he was… He was attractive, and full of confidence, and had caught Hanzo on the edge of a panic attack in front of the club. It wasn’t exactly how he’d imagined their meeting starting out. Jesse seemed to pick up on Hanzo’s nerves, smoothing over the silence without issue in a way that spoke of either experience or social grace that Hanzo himself could only dream of having.
“Amélie talked to me about you a bit, told me a few things. Said you didn’t have any experience at all. You never done nothin’ with a partner, casual like? Tie you up, blindfolds or whatnot, handcuffs maybe?” Hanzo shook his head, and Jesse hummed thoughtfully. “Got anything in particular you wanna try out? Anything you definitely don’t wanna try out? You got that little VIP card, means you know about safe words and hard limits and all that.”
He’d tried to prepare himself for this exact conversation, had known it was coming, but found he still couldn’t look at Jesse when he answered.
“I don’t really know what I’d like, specifically, other than… being controlled. Told what to do. I know for some people it’s not a sexual thing, but I am… definitely interested in that aspect of it. I don’t know if I’d enjoy pain or not, it’s something I’d have to find out. I know I don’t want to do anything with…” Hanzo grimaced, nose wrinkling. “-bodily fluids. Other than, you know. The obvious. I’d like to try the basic things before doing anything serious. The suggested lists of kinks for negotiations on the websites were… alarmingly thorough.”
Canes, and fire, and electricity, among other things that were more troubling than frightening. Hanzo tried not to make a face at the memory, but if Jesse’s huff of a laugh was any indication, he’d failed.
“Yeah, I gotcha, it can be a bit overwhelming. It’s good to talk things out before jumping in, though. Dom needs to know if you’ve got things that might trigger you, or make you uncomfortable. Anything in particular that you know of gonna send you running, make you panic, make you uncomfortable?” Hanzo shrugged, shaking his head.
“No, I mean… I wouldn’t want to do anything with knives, I don't think, but other than that nothing I can think of.” Jesse nodded, gesturing vaguely with one hand.
“In my experience it’s best to go over the basics and then address the rest on a scene by scene basis as you get to know one another. Personally, I’m not the toughest of Doms. I don’t do humiliation, and I can’t put on the cold, unaffected top act. You want someone to toss you around and hurt you, all detached like, I ain’t your guy. I’m affectionate, I can’t help it, and it’s put off more than one sub who just wanted some pain dished out to them without any feelings gettin’ involved. S’why I don’t do it as much, anymore, unless I’m dating someone interested in the scene, or working with ropes for a demo.
“Practically speaking, it means I’m gonna use terms of endearment, touch your face, kiss you on the mouth. I gotta do aftercare hands on, I can’t just toss you some water, shake hands, and be done with it. I put someone through the ringer, I want to hold ‘em, take care of ‘em. Any of those a hard no, it’s prolly best we step back, and see about finding you someone a little less… tactile. Much as I’d hate to do that.”
He’d given this speech before, that much was obvious. Hanzo shook his head, maybe a little too hard, too much enthusiasm. He wasn’t sure when he’d looked up, but something about Jesse’s voice was soothing, and he found himself staring into serious, expectant brown eyes.
“No, no that’s fine, that… sounds nice. I’d like that, I think.” Jesse let out a breath, like he was relieved.
“Before there’s any fluid exchange, we’ll both hafta get some testing done. And usually I’d wanna get somethin’ on paper before we do any kinda scene together, go through a checklist with ya, just in case. Go out to eat or grab some coffee, get to know each other a little better. But considering how skittish you were outside, if you leave here tonight without knowing what you’re missing out on? I think you’ll talk yourself out of calling me back, no matter how interested you are in pursuing this.
“Now you ain’t gonna hurt my feelings if you say no, so don’t worry ‘bout that, but personally? I would love to take you in back, into one of those private rooms. I wouldn’t touch you anywhere… intimate, wouldn’t put any ropes on you, or anything like that, but I’d sure like to get you on your knees for a bit, see how you feel about it. What do you think?”
Hanzo thought a lot of things, and it took an eternity to get into the private room.
Chapter 2: Solo
It was less than three minutes before they got into a room, actually.
Hanzo gave his card and license to the girl at the VIP entrance, who checked his ID against the application in their systems before giving them a brief, concise speech about the club rules, and then the go ahead to enter. Once inside Jesse made a beeline across the room to speak to another employee, this one behind a bar, but with no alcohol to be seen. There were sports drinks on the shelves instead, chilled containers of different types of juice, icy water with condensation dripping down the bottles.
Hanzo moved to follow but was soon distracted, much more interested in the rest of the room than a juice bar. The furniture was all black leather, more couches and chairs than in the outer section of the club, but there were also various play areas dotting the floor.
None of them occupied right then, but the night was young.
A small stage took up most of the back wall, empty at the moment, the lights dimmed. Another couple of areas had padded black benches, straps hanging from them, loose and forlorn. There was a long, padded leather strip running down one side of the room, with little metal rings inset in the wall. A big wooden ‘X’ in one corner. An oversized black cage in another. It was a lot, more than Hanzo could really process all at once, eyes darting around as he tried to take everything in.
It was far from crowded, but there were more people there than Hanzo expected considering how relatively empty the outer bar had been. They gathered in pairs or small groups on the couches, a couple of them eying Hanzo inquisitively.
Then a hand settled at the small of his back, and Jesse was there with a keycard and a couple of bottles in hand. He led Hanzo down a hallway and into a small room, the door clicking shut with a finality that him thrumming with nerves and excitement. There were more signs on the wall beside the light switch, identical to those he’d seen in the other parts of the club. Safe words, rules, protection, aftercare.
There was a bed, but instead of a mattress the surface was black leather, probably for ease of cleaning. A chair in one corner with a kneeler in front of it, a simple square cushion set on the ceramic tile floor. Jesse set the water and juice he was carrying down on the table beside the bed, along with his hat and the room key. A door led to a small bathroom, complete with a tiny shower, and Jesse went inside to wash his hands. Hanzo stood awkwardly in the center of the room, unsure of himself.
Unsure what exactly Jesse had planned, considering the things he’d said. What could they really do together without Jesse touching him, without testing, without ropes or toys or gear? His mind ran wild, but came up empty.
After a moment the water shut off and Jesse exited the bathroom, smiling as he sat in the chair, knees thrown wide as he leaned forward to position the kneeler where he wanted it. He motioned to Hanzo, who stepped forward in front of it, waiting.
“Alright, sweetheart. Anything happens you don’t like, tonight, or in any scene you do, you use your safe words. Green means go, that you’re good. Yellow is a pause, a check in, too much or too fast or stop doing this particular thing because I don’t like it or it makes me uncomfortable or it hurts too much or whatever. Red is full stop, and usually the end of a scene, depending on why you called it. Ideally you call yellow before you get to red, but things happen, and a scene can get away from you before you realize sometimes. Do not hesitate to use your safewords, no matter what, you understand?”
Hanzo nodded in agreement, but Jesse continued anyway. He sounded serious, words heavy, and Hanzo stood up straighter to listen. Hands behind his back, chin up.
He sort of wanted to fall into a seiza, his childhood rearing up out of nowhere to try and put him into a position of deference.
Except this time on his own terms, for someone who wouldn’t hurt him unless he asked them to. There was power in it, the act of choosing it for himself.
“I’d normally get right to it, but you’re new to this, so I wanna throw something else out there, in case you decide I ain’t the Dom for you. Bein’ a sub ain’t a competition. Lotta well meaning subs, and shitty ignorant Doms, seem to think the more you’re willing to do, the more kinks you’re comfortable with or the more pain you can take, the better submissive you are. That… is horseshit. It ain’t true. You’re having a good time, your Dom is having a good time, you’re communicating and building trust and getting comfortable with each other, that’s what’s important.
“You should never, ever push yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable just to please someone else. It’s supposed to be fun, exciting, not stressful. You’re stressed out, anxious beyond normal scene jitters, legitimately scared? Your Dom’s doing somethin’ wrong, or you’re not communicating enough with them, or you’re pushing yourself too hard for whatever reason. Don’t let some garbage Dominant try and run you over, make you think being a submissive is all about telling them yes. A Dom is supposed to make you feel safe, first and foremost. Okay?”
Hanzo had read a lot of web pages, a handful pamphlets Amélie had brought in from Overwatch, forum posts and blogs, and they all said similar things.
None of them sounded quite as right as the way Jesse said it, though. Maybe because it was coming from another person directly, instead of a screen or a piece of paper or an online video.
Maybe it was just his voice, that low drawl that had Hanzo unwinding and eager to please even before he asked anything of Hanzo.
Jesse licked his lips, nodding once.
“Okay, then, let’s get going.”
It was like a switch flipped, and suddenly Jesse seemed different. Larger in the chair, somehow, taking up more space even though he hadn’t moved. Commanding, in charge. Eyes roving over Hanzo, predatory and keen.
The kind of easy dominance that would have been an asset to Hanzo once, for entirely different reasons. Something he would have tried to leash, and wield like a weapon for his father.
Something he wanted Jesse to wield on him instead.
“Anytime we’re in scene, you’ll call me sir. Not Jesse, just sir. I ask a question, I want a verbal answer. Nodding is not good enough. It’s yes, sir. No, sir. I don’t know, sir. Unless I ask specifically for more, I don’t want a rambling answer, I don’t want excuses, I don’t want explanations. You have a question, you begin that question with sir. You need to stop, you use a safe word, but bein’ your first time, if you say ‘stop’, I will stop and check your color.
“Don’t be embarrassed to ask for clarification about something. I don’t expect you to read my mind here. I’m gonna list off a few things, and you answer yes or no, depending on what you’re comfortable with. You okay kneeling for me?”
Heat shot through him, not just in his face but all over, and Hanzo let out a ragged breath.
He opened his mouth to answer, and almost said please.
Jesse cocked up an eyebrow, his head tilted to the side, canine and inquisitive.
“Yes?” The word lilted up at the end, an obvious question, and oh.
It fell like a blow, the weight of the words, and arousal shot through Hanzo like one of his arrows.
For much of Hanzo’s life, respect wasn’t something someone earned from him. It was a hierarchy. His father, the clan elders, they expected it even when they’d done nothing to deserve it. They tore Hanzo down, tried to mold him into what they needed him to be by any means necessary. Their fists were heavy, and their will was iron, and their word was law.
Jesse had done more to earn his respect in a half hour than any of them had in twenty-odd years, just by asking his permission. For something, for anything. By implying his wants and needs mattered.
And now he looked pleased, the tiniest smirk playing over his lips, like Hanzo had given him some kind of gift.
“Good boy.” Hanzo bit back a whimpering noise, closing his eyes for the barest of moments, taking a deep, steadying breath. “What about getting undressed for me?”
An image of himself naked at Jesse’s feet flashed through Hanzo’s mind, and his toes curled in his boots.
“Masturbating in front of me? Coming for me?” Jesse rattled it off like he was talking about the weather, and Hanzo shuddered, his fists clenched tight in anticipation.
How could he just say this shit?
God, Hanzo was fucked.
“Yes, sir.” Jesse seemed thoughtful, a heavy pause between Hanzo’s answer and his next question.
“Can I put my fingers in that sexy mouth o’ yours?”
Hanzo’s fantasies were no longer anonymous, no longer full of faceless, nameless men standing over him. He had a feeling when he went to sleep that night, Jesse would be there in his dreams, eyes alight.
With his rough hands and his dark voice, twisting Hanzo up into knots, even from miles away.
“Yes, sir,” was what he said out loud, but all Hanzo could think was anything.
You can do anything you want to me.
“Mmmmm. Alright. On your knees then, precious.”
Hanzo dropped to the ground in front of Jesse’s chair, too fast, landing so heavily the tile stung his knees through the thin cushion. He sat seiza automatically, resting on the heels of his boots with his toes pointing backwards, knees slightly apart, back straight. Palms flat on his thighs, fingertips facing inwards, shoulders squared. Jesse made a soft noise of appreciation, reaching out with his right hand to lift Hanzo’s chin with the first knuckle of his index finger.
“Oh, don’t you just sit so pretty, now? Just how I like, good posture and everything. Bein’ so good for me already.”
No one, no one, had ever looked at Hanzo the way Jesse did. Like he was ready to eat him alive.
Complimenting him for nothing at all, and Hanzo shivered hard.
Jesse dropped his hand, leaning back in his chair again, a man on a throne surveying his spoils.
“Take off your shirt, fold it up nice and neat, and set it down behind you.”
Hanzo had never taken his clothes off in front of anyone outside of a dojo, save his brother, and occasionally Lena and Amélie if he was drunk enough to be overheated and careless at their apartment. He wore a simple t-shirt, one he’d gotten from work with the parlor’s logo emblazoned across it. Plain black besides the red letters dripping over the front, Respawn Ink. Hanzo was grateful he hadn’t put on anything fancier.
There’s no way his fingers would have been able to work buttons right then.
He tugged it off over his head, focusing on folding it up as he’d been instructed and attempting to ignore Jesse’s blatant staring, but it was impossible. Hanzo could feel his eyes on him, trailing up and down, taking him in. A lifetime of living with yakuza hadn’t given him much to be proud of, but right then he was grateful for the martial arts training, if nothing else. He was embarrassed enough by the situation without being self conscious about his body.
Hanzo tried not to think about his nipple rings, and what it felt like when he tugged on them, all alone in the shower.
Tried not to think about Jesse tugging on them with his teeth instead.
Jesse wolf whistled, loud and shameless.
“Damn, sugar. You look good enough to eat. That ink is mighty fine, an’ all your metal looks nice, but I am definitely partial to that gear you’re sporting under your shirt. S’it okay to touch ‘em?”
Please, I want you to.
Hanzo braced himself, waiting, but Jesse didn’t move.
“Unbuckle your pants, unbutton them, unzip them. Open ‘em up, give yourself some room but don’t push ‘em down.”
His belt opened easily, but Hanzo had to fight the button on his jeans for a moment before it came free, nerves making his fingers clumsy. It was only as he pulled his fly apart that he realized just how hard he was already, arousal tenting up the front of his dark boxers unmistakably. There was no hiding it now that his jeans were undone, and he covered himself instinctively, hands folding together in his lap.
“Now, I can’t have that. Put your hands back on your thighs, darlin’, let me see you.”
Hanzo obeyed, slowly, eyes on the floor as he moved his hands away. Movement caught his attention, though, and he looked forward to find Jesse reaching out for him. He cupped Hanzo’s jaw, fingers scratching through his beard, thumb rubbing soft over his cheekbone before easing down his neck. Hanzo leaned into the contact, eyes going half lidded, breath coming a little faster.
To say he was touch starved was an understatement.
Hanzo was something desiccated, lost in the desert, coming back to life at the first drops of rain.
Jesse’s fingers danced over the intricate lines of his dragon tattoo, mapping out the sleeve lazily. Hanzo felt his nipples peaking, a combination of the cool air in the room and Jesse’s hands on him, and bit his bottom lip as his cock jerked in his clothes.
“You’re so responsive. Precious little thing. There’s so much I’d like to do to you, darlin’, you got no idea.”
Years ago, on the other side of the world, no one would have dared to call Hanzo Shimada ‘little’. No one but Sojiro, anyway. He would have put them in their place out of necessity, because to allow someone to look down on him for any reason was dangerous. Any sign of weakness would be seized upon viciously, by his enemies to take him down, or by his allies to bring him to heel. Hanzo was not allowed to be soft, to be silent, to be small.
On his knees half naked in front of Jesse, just the two of them in the shadows of a locked room, Hanzo found he liked it.
Jesse’s palm was flat over Hanzo’s collarbones, sliding across his chest, up the opposite side of his throat. Never touching his nipples, but teasing around them, until Hanzo was arching his back without meaning to, muscles twitching as he put himself on display.
“You’d be so damn beautiful wrapped in my ropes, tied up so you couldn’t do anything but lie there and take whatever I gave you.” Hanzo shuddered, panting, hips twisting as he writhed in place. Jesse’s thumb slid over his bottom lip, and Hanzo opened his mouth, eyes flitting up to Jesse’s own. “You’d like that wouldn’t you? Being splayed out on my bed, helpless?”
Hanzo nodded, quick and overeager, but then realized his error.
“Yes, sir.” He didn’t sound like himself, voice breathy and fucked out and Jesse had barely touched him.
“Mmmmm, I bet you would. You’re already fit to burst, ain’t ya, sweetheart? Go ahead and touch yourself for me, but don’t come without permission. Nice and slow, just like you do at home. You can take yourself out, or stick your hand in your clothes, either way is fine.”
Jesse kept touching him, petting over his throat, up his jaw, down his chest, until Hanzo was on fire with it. He reached into the slit of his boxers and found his cock slick with precome, heavy and aching. It throbbed in his grip, and Hanzo thought about keeping himself hidden. He would feel less vulnerable, less exposed with a layer of fabric giving him the illusion of privacy.
But then he realized he wanted Jesse to see. Hanzo wanted to please him, and be praised.
To be a good boy.
Hanzo slipped his arousal out, closing his palm around it, giving it a long, slow stroke.
“Mmmm, would ya look at that. Nice heat you're packin’ there. Think it'd be real pretty tied off and teased. You gonna let me one day? Work you up till you're begging to come, keep you on edge all night, dripping wet for me?”
Jesse’s fingers found one of Hanzo's nipple rings then, toying with it gently, twisting and tugging. Metal on metal, his left hand, and Hanzo let out a whimpering noise, palm moving faster over his cock. He couldn’t find his way through the fog in his head, everything warm and tight and perfect.
“Asked you a question, sugar.” Jesse pulled harder on Hanzo’s piercing, not enough to hurt, but the threat of pain was there. Hanzo rutted forward mindlessly into his own hand, a groan breaking out of his throat unbidden. “You gonna let me make a mess outta you? Beg for me in that sweet voice?”
Jesse flattened his palm out over Hanzo’s pectoral, taking a rough handful of his chest, thumb flitting back and forth over his nipple ring and sending sparks of pleasure through him with every movement. It took a moment to find his voice, and he stuttered out an answer, liquid under Jesse’s eyes and hands and words.
Heat swelled in his belly, rolled down his spine, building up higher and higher. It was much too soon, and not just because he’d be finishing so fast it was vaguely embarrassing, but because Hanzo didn’t want it to be over yet.
Jesse’s right thumb slipped over his lips, and then pressed inside, rubbing at his tongue. Hanzo licked at him instinctively, an automatic reaction, moisture dripping out of his mouth and down Jesse’s knuckle. Jesse tugged his bottom lip down and to the side before letting it go, using his newly slick thumb to tease at Hanzo’s other piercing, working both of them at once as he jerked himself viciously hard.
His back arched, his chest heaving with desperate breaths, mouth still open as he made helpless little noises.
Then Jesse nuzzled into Hanzo’s throat, lips pressing a soft kiss under his ear, voice quiet, just for him.
“You need to come, baby?” Another kiss over his pulse point, then at the juncture of his neck and shoulder, Jesse’s fingers tormenting his nipples all the while. Hanzo nodded frantically, but when he tried to answer, a moan came out instead. He tried again, stuttering out the words, fucking up into his palm.
“Yes… Yes s-sir.” His orgasm threatened to overtake him, and Hanzo trembled with the effort to hold it back.
“Mmmm…. You been so good for me. Ask real nice, and I’ll let you.”
Hanzo made a broken noise, something raw and needful and incoherent. Then he was babbling, unable to stop himself.
“Please. Please, p-please, let me. I need to, I… fuck, please sir, I…” Jesse hushed him, nosing against him, a heady presence that surrounded Hanzo until there was nothing else in the world.
“Shhh, it’s okay, come for me darlin’, let me see.”
Sugar, sweetheart, darling.
Precious little thing.
Hanzo’s climax hit him, and he came over his fingers in shuddering jolts, quaking with the force of it as Jesse murmured softly against his skin.
“There you go, beautiful, that’s perfect. You did so good, baby, just like that, don’t stop yet.”
Hanzo keened, shaking out the last of his orgasm, leaning into Jesse as he went still and tried to catch his breath. After a few infinite moments of perfect, satisfied calm, Jesse pulled back, untangling Hanzo’s hand from himself. He cleaned him up with a wet wipe he’d produced seemingly out of nowhere, and Hanzo let him do it, boneless and unhelpful. Jesse tossed the messy wipes away, and then effortlessly, as though Hanzo was a child instead of a grown ass man, he scooped him up into his arms and sat down in the chair with him.
Big hands soothed up and down Hanzo’s back, and Jesse kissed his cheek once, twice, three times as he melted into his embrace.
“Perfect. You were perfect for me, sweetheart.”
Jesse turned Hanzo’s face towards him, tentative and careful, giving him room to pull away. Hanzo didn’t, and Jesse brought their mouths together, and kissed him breathless.
Hanzo couldn’t sleep. He stared at his ceiling, replaying the evening over and over in his head, unable to turn his thoughts off and settle.
Jesse had held him for what felt like forever, kissing him until his lips were swollen and red, lavishing praises on him. When Hanzo mentioned reciprocation, eager to return the favor he’d been given, Jesse waved him off in a way that managed not to feel like a rejection.
This ain’t about me, baby, not tonight. I’m sure we can work something out later on.
He’d made promises, and received some in kind. Jesse only dealt with one sub at a time, and wouldn’t take another, not while they were testing the waters between them. Hanzo hadn’t realized just how important it was to him until then, how unreasonably jealous he would have been in such a situation, despite having no real right to feel that way. Jesse was essentially a stranger.
Hanzo had texted Jesse as soon as he got home (in the cab Jesse had insisted on calling him, and paying for), and planned to do so again in the morning, to make sure he was feeling okay after the scene. They’d scheduled another meet up at Overwatch for Sunday, to go over Jesse’s preferred negotiation list, since no one there would bat an eye if they were overheard.
Jesse had kissed him goodbye, chaste compared to everything else that had conspired between them. Then he leaned down to whisper in Hanzo’s ear.
‘If you touch yourself I want you to text me. When, and how, and what you thought about. Can you do that for me, sugar?’
He ended up sending another text to Jesse that night.
Now, just like before.
Thinking of you.
Chapter 3: Space
In case you are a visual person, there are a couple of simple bondage ties mentioned in here, a basic box tie and a frog tie, respectively. Both links are sfw, technically speaking, but at the same time not. There's no nudity but I mean.. people tied up are probably gonna raise some eyebrows either way.
Many thanks to the person who made this possible.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hanzo had assumed the club would be fairly deserted on a Sunday evening, as most nightlife peaked on Saturdays and then tapered off, leaving the last day of the weekend for alcoholics and a few less than dutiful college students.
He’d been wrong.
The bar was moderately vacant, but once he headed into VIP to find Jesse, there were people everywhere. Not utilizing the play areas, as they had been on Friday when he and Jesse eventually emerged after their scene. Instead there were submissives sprawled lazily in the laps of their Doms, others reclining on couches, a few kneeling with hands petting soft through their hair.
Sunday was ‘Aftercare Night’ at Overwatch, according to Satya, who was on duty at the VIP entrance this time. After a weekend of rough play Doms often came with their subs to spoil them, or let them off easy at the very least, sometimes indulging in their favorite types of play. Public scenes weren’t forbidden, she said, but definitely took on a lighter tone, and most of the submissives Hanzo saw appeared to be content basking in the attention of their partners.
Jesse had laid claim to a table in one corner, dressed much as he had been for their previous meeting, albeit a little more casual. His button up was flannel, shades of gray instead of solid black, his jeans lighter, his boots worn. The same tattered hat sat on his head, a beacon in the dim lighting. The surface of his table was messy with his scattered belongings, Jesse taking over his environment bit by bit. His phone, a folder open in front of him with a few sheets of paper, a bottle of water he was sipping at, along with one for Hanzo.
A little origami dragon, small enough to fit in Hanzo’s palm with slightly rumpled wings sticking up over its back, the same blue gray as his tattoos.
Jesse had noticed his arrival, tipping his hat in greeting, a smile spreading unchecked across his face. Unguarded. Happy to see him, and not caring that it was obvious. The part of Hanzo’s mind that was still purely a Shimada checked it off as a weakness. He couldn’t turn off the half of his brain that checked corners and assessed threats and looked for exits. Maybe it wasn’t a physical danger, but letting someone he barely knew be aware of his feelings was dangerous, because they could be used against him.
Then Amélie’s voice lilted through his head, something she’d said when Hanzo was quietly panicking about meeting Jesse again, worried about jumping in too deep, too fast. Afraid he was too eager. Nervous about feeling too much for someone he’d only just met, someone who might think of him in strictly sexual terms, when Hanzo could already sense himself nursing a vicious crush.
Amélie coaxed his concerns out during a lull at work, not with words but with long looks and raised brows, loaded silence that pulled at Hanzo like gravity. So he talked, vaguely, leaving things unsaid between the lines for Amelie to read on her own. His uncertainties, his hesitation, or unsettling lack thereof. Then she shrugged, her back turned, absorbed in the piece she was sketching for a customer.
Emotions make you vulnerable.
When he’d looked up at her, frowning, he found her toying with the ring at her throat and almost, not quite, smiling.
Vulnerability is not always a bad thing. Not for the right person, ouais?
The thought was both appealing and terrifying, and Hanzo hadn’t entirely quelled the anxiety swirling in his gut when he showed up to Overwatch. It was as good as it was going to get. Good enough. He didn’t need to count, to measure his breathing, to close his eyes and force himself to calm.
The sight of Jesse waiting on him had something settling within him, and Hanzo couldn’t stop himself from smiling back as he approached the table, poking carefully at the paper dragon’s tail. It slid a few inches across the table, and Jesse eyed Hanzo expectantly.
“You do origami?” Jesse shrugged, thumbs shoved in his belt buckle, grinning wider.
“I can do a dragon, an’ a flower of questionable quality that didn’t make the cut, unfortunately. Practice makes perfect, though, and I’m real good with my hands.” He winked, and Hanzo snorted before sitting down, steadfastly refusing to think of Jesse’s hands, and how good they really were.
Thankfully Jesse saved him the trouble by getting straight to business, tugging out his paperwork and digging in. There was a negotiation sheet Jesse had already completed for himself, and one waiting for Hanzo to fill out, a daunting list of kinks and activities with boxes out next to them, yes, no, maybe. Hanzo looked over Jesse’s list first, paying special attention to the hard limits, at his request.
‘Best to check those out before we get too far ahead of ourselves. In case you got your heart set on somethin’ I ain’t gonna be able to give you,’ and Jesse said it casually, but looked apprehensive.
Luckily it wasn’t an issue, as most of the things Jesse refused to do sounded either vaguely terrifying or entirely unsanitary, but Hanzo didn’t mention it. He ran down the list one line at a time, asking for clarification on a few things he wasn’t familiar with, not bothering with any of Jesse’s hard limits. Jesse’s soft limits were things he didn’t necessarily enjoy, but wasn’t opposed to, and would try with Hanzo if he wanted.
‘Gettin’ you off hard and dirty is my favorite kink, sweetheart,’ and Hanzo choked on air, and pretended he hadn’t.
Hanzo assumed it was experience that made it possible for Jesse to go through the list in an almost clinical manner without any apparent awkwardness. He waggled his eyebrows a few times, threw Hanzo a few more suggestive winks, but other than that he seemed unaffected. They discussed blindfolds and sex toys and orgasm delay. Dirty talk, intricate rope bondage, and everything in between. Could he pull Hanzo’s hair, clamp his nipples, suspend him? What about hickeys?
Can I come on your face, sweetness, and Hanzo flushed hot at the question, and shivered through a nod.
By the time they were done Hanzo was close to writhing, his mind was alive with possibilities, his body alive with heat. There was so much he was eager to try, and he considered asking Jesse to take him into a room right then, but it felt rushed and desperate. Impatient, a child who didn’t want to wait to go outside and play, and he held his tongue instead.
They both arranged to get testing done early in the week, and meet back at Overwatch on Saturday after Hanzo finished up his last appointment at work. It would be late, but doable.
‘I’d wait all night for you, darlin’,’ and Hanzo scoffed, and looked away.
When they parted ways Jesse held his hat over his heart, and kissed Hanzo’s knuckles twice, ‘See you soon, beautiful.’
He managed to resist the urge to touch himself for three whole days, mostly because he couldn’t work up the courage to text Jesse about it. Not that he really had to do so. Jesse had made it clear they weren’t in any sort of twenty-four seven Dom/sub relationship, and that Hanzo could do what he pleased, when he pleased, outside of a scene.
It wasn’t as though Jesse would know what Hanzo did alone in his bedroom. Jesse’s origami dragon stared at Hanzo from his bedside table, though, and the idea of not doing as he asked made Hanzo feel strangely guilty.
Disobedient. And Hanzo…
He wanted to be good for Jesse. Not because of any consequences, as there so often were in the past when Hanzo disobeyed.
Because Hanzo could picture Jesse’s face, looking exactly as it had the other night when he fell to his knees. Smiling but unsurprised. A little bit reverent.
As though Hanzo’s submission was as inevitable as the sunset, and twice as beautiful.
Just the thought had him twisting under his sheets. Hard, his crown slick against his palm, and Hanzo groped blindly for his phone. He tapped on his messages, left handed, distracted. Jesse’s name was at the top, the screen lit up with idle chatter and daily pleasantries, questions about their upcoming scene.
Hanzo typed out a text, quick and concise, and sent it before he could change his mind.
Then he closed his eyes, and came onto his stomach shamefully quickly, the ghost of Jesse’s voice whispering in his ear. Only after he’d cleaned up did he notice his phone flashing, and Hanzo unlocked the screen in the dark of his room. Read Jesse’s text, and tried not to whine.
Oh sugar, just you wait.
Hanzo’s neck twinged with soreness, as it always did after a long tattooing session with a client. He’d dealt with a few particularly frustrating customers that day as well, complaining about the shop’s pricing or expecting him to work magic with a cover-up, plus a couple of drunks that weren’t happy to be turned away without fresh ink. Normally Hanzo would have stood in the hot spray of his shower until it ran cold and then climbed into bed without hesitation, asleep before his head hit the pillow. Instead he was in and out of his apartment in fifteen minutes, hair still damp as he made his way downtown.
When he saw Jesse waiting at the bar in VIP all that lingering weariness was gone, blown away like smoke to leave anticipation in its wake. They’d emailed one another their clean testing results earlier in the week, with the physical papers sitting at home in Hanzo’s drawer, should Jesse ever want to see them; Hanzo had brought almost nothing along. His wallet, his phone, his keys.
Jesse had a black backpack with him, relatively small. Nondescript. In any other context it would look innocuous, but Hanzo could guess what was inside. It was after eleven on a Saturday night, and things were in full swing at the club, a crowd of people clustered around the stage watching some kind of wax play demonstration. A pair of male subs were on their hands and knees between their Dom, different colors of wax already spilling over their backs while the woman droned about melting temperatures, and fire safety. Hanzo wasn’t paying attention, really.
Not with Jesse there, kissing the corner of his mouth in greeting, giving Hanzo the best kind of tunnel vision. There was no one else in the room. Just Jesse’s hand on his shoulder, the faint scent of his cologne in Hanzo’s nose. His dark eyes and his stupid hat, his hair deceptively soft beneath it. Deep voice rolling slow over his vowels, dropping the end of every other word, making Hanzo listen closer even if he understood perfectly. Making him lean in, and watch, and wait.
There was simply too much of Jesse for Hanzo to look away.
He led Hanzo to the back, heading into a different room this time, one with different furnishings. There wasn’t a bed anywhere, a wide leather couch dominating the space instead. A small nightstand with a lamp stood next to it, with a much larger, lower wooden table in front. It was nearly as long as the couch, and easily as wide, lightly padded on top with thick, sturdy legs holding it upright.
Jesse had gone over what he wanted to do for their scene earlier in the week, asking pertinent questions and hashing out a basic plan, but only in the broadest of strokes. Hanzo wasn’t sure how they would begin, or where Jesse wanted him, so he stood near the center of the room and waited, fidgeting. Tucking the loose hair of his bangs behind his ear, plucking at the ribbon he’d used to tie it, rubbing at the shaved part of his undercut.
Jesse laid his hat on the arm of the couch and sat down, tossing his keys and phone on the nightstand, along with a bottle of water and some apple juice he’d gotten from the bar. Then he unzipped his bag where it rested between his feet and pulled out several bundles of black rope and an oddly shaped pair of scissors. The scissors went on the table, while the rope stayed in his lap, four separate lengths of it, all carefully coiled.
Another compartment of Jesse’s bag produced a bottle of lotion, and lubricant, both sealed. Hanzo watched as he opened them, adding them to the pile of items on the desk. Once everything was situated he relaxed into the couch, one arm stretched out over the back of it, the other laid over the rope in his lap. His eyes fell on Hanzo, and he shifted in place, and refused to look away.
“Color?” It took Hanzo a moment to realize what he was asking. If Hanzo was ready, if he still wanted to do this, if he needed anything else.
Green means go.
And Hanzo really, really wanted to go.
“Green, sir.” Jesse smiled, gripping the ropes in his lap a little tighter, lifting one foot to cross his legs, an ankle resting over his knee.
“Alright, sunshine. Get those clothes off, fold ‘em up nice, and then kneel up on the table for me.”
Hanzo took a deep breath and let it out slow before he turned, crouching to unlace his boots. The knots came free after a few tugs, and he loosened the laces and stood to toe each boot off, lining them both up neatly against the wall. He tucked his socks into them, the tile floor cool on his bare feet, making goosebumps break out briefly over his arms. Next came his shirt, which he folded and laid beside his shoes, Jesse’s stare like an open flame on his back all the while.
It was an evasion, undressing without having to meet Jesse’s eyes, but Hanzo couldn’t make himself turn around. Being naked in front of someone besides the occasional person showering at the dojo was new enough on its own, but the act of taking off his clothes was more intimate than he’d expected. Laying himself bare, literally, and something in Hanzo riled at it.
His instincts, still years behind and surrounded by threats, desperate to protect him. From harm, from scrutiny.
From the soft adoration he caught in Jesse’s gaze, and in his voice, and on his lips.
Jesse probably knew it was deliberate, Hanzo hiding from him, if only in a small, temporary way. Jesse didn’t correct him, though, so Hanzo continued, unbuckling his belt and stepping out of his pants. He left the belt in the loops and folded them as well, stacking them on top of his shirt. It was easier than he expected to slip out of his boxer briefs, and pile them with the rest of his discarded clothes.
The hard part was turning around, but Hanzo wanted this, was thrumming with eager anticipation despite his inexperience. His knee-jerk urge to conceal and protect and evade was powerful but ultimately useless. Vestigial. He forced his feet to obey him, padding over to the table without looking up. Hanzo moved to kneel on the surface, but then realized he wasn’t sure if he was quite undressed enough. His eyes flitted up to Jesse’s, and he shivered at the expression on his face, something hungry and sharp there, waiting for Hanzo.
Hanzo gestured at his hair, uncertain.
“Sir, do you want me to take my hair down?” Jesse hummed and shook his head.
“Nah, not sure how long it is outta that bun? Might get in the way of the ropes. Maybe I’ll take it down later, once I got ya where I want ya. Go ahead and kneel up for me, sunshine.”
Hanzo’s mind was an echo.
Once he has me where he wants me.
He took a shaky breath and climbed onto the soft padding of the table, moving forward to the edge before shifting into seiza. The leather surface underneath him was cool on his shins, and Hanzo had to grip his thighs hard to keep from covering himself as he had last time. His cock twitched, half hard already, betraying the calm expression he fought to keep on his face.
His position put him directly in front of Jesse, who smiled wide and leaned forward, running a lazy hand over Hanzo’s dragon tattoos.
“Fuck’s sake, you are a sight for sore eyes. Got a nice ass on ya, in case nobody ever told ya.” Jesse winked, pausing to dig his fingers into the meat of Hanzo’s biceps, massaging deep into the muscle. “These are nice too. You look scrappy, bet it’d be fun to try and toss you around on some mats. Wouldn’t wanna throw any punches at that pretty face, but we’d work somethin’ out.”
The words were out of Hanzo’s mouth before they passed through his brain, a cocky smile on his lips.
“Get me in a dojo and I’ll destroy you, cowboy.” He caught himself, his smile going wry, before he tacked on, “Sir,” an obvious afterthought.
Jesse bit his bottom lip, hand moving to Hanzo’s throat, forcing Hanzo’s chin up with his thumb. Up, and up, until Hanzo had to tilt his head to the side, neck exposed, eyes still shining with amusement even as Jesse leaned in close. He pressed a kiss into Hanzo’s jaw, just over his beard, murmuring low.
“I’d like that a lot, but how ‘bout I destroy you first, darlin’?” Jesse tugged hard on one of his nipple rings, and Hanzo jerked, hissing through his teeth at the sparks of pleasure. “Lay down on your back, feet flat on the table, heels up against your ass.”
Hanzo laid down parallel to the couch as Jesse indicated, craning his neck to watch while he uncoiled a length of rope. He folded it in half, making sure the ends were even before adjusting one of Hanzo’s legs a bit and looping the rope around it, pulling his calf almost flush against his thigh. Jesse worked methodically, manipulating the rope without hesitation, hands steady and sure.
Soon the rope circled around his leg twice, and Jesse slipped it between his thigh and ankle. Once, twice, and then it was knotted tight on the outside, securing Hanzo’s leg snugly in place. He flexed against the ropes, testing their hold and finding no give in the coils. Jesse remained quiet, reaching for a second length of rope and binding Hanzo’s other leg in the same manner.
He was unhurried, like he could spend all day wrapping Hanzo up in ropes and be perfectly content.
Considering the sheer quantity of rope Hanzo had seen lurking in Jesse’s bag, and the discussions they’d had about suspension, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
When he was done he ran his hands over the smooth lines of rope, slipping a finger in behind the knot and tugging briefly. Apparently satisfied, he helped Hanzo sit up, adjusting him until his knees were at the edge of the table again. Jesse took another length of rope, longer than the first two, and knelt behind Hanzo. Out of sight, and without Jesse to distract him, Hanzo’s focus shifted abruptly to his bonds.
The fiber of the rope rubbed his skin in a foreign way. Hemp, Jesse had said, not uncomfortable enough to be painful, but between the pressure and the slight scrape, he wouldn’t be forgetting they were there. Hanzo tensed his thighs against the ropes again, rolling his ankles, twisting a little.
Subconsciously trying to figure out how quickly he could escape should he need to, a voice buried inside his head telling him he was being foolish, allowing someone to incapacitate him in such a way. That it was stupid to let Jesse put him in a position where he couldn’t fight, couldn’t run, couldn’t defend himself.
Except he wouldn’t need to. Jesse wasn’t there to hurt him. His mouth was warm on Hanzo’s shoulder, pressing briefly into his ouroboros tattoo before pulling away.
“Mmmmm. Look at ya, fighting it already, an’ I barely got you roped. Impatient. These ties I’m doing ain’t really intricate enough for my tastes, but we gotta start somewhere, make sure you’re alright with it. It’ll be nice to do you up in something complicated one day. Let you fight it for a good long while, watch you get all rope drunk and spacey. Close your eyes for now, sweetheart, and put your hands behind your back.”
Hanzo did, letting Jesse manipulate his arms until he was holding the inside of each forearm, one arm laid atop the other, back arched slightly. It was easier with his eyes closed.
Easier to be still, and let the ropes hold him. Easier to forget that quiet but persistent part of him that still wanted to escape. There were a few tugs at his wrist, the gentle scratch of rope, Jesse’s fingers trailing heat over Hanzo’s skin everywhere he touched.
Jesse settled in closer behind him, wrapping the rope around Hanzo’s chest a couple of times, laying the lines flat an inch or two over his nipples. More tugging at his back, lines going taut, rope rubbing in between his shoulder blades. More rope around his chest, below his nipples this time. Hanzo’s breathing had evened out as Jesse worked, some of the tension in his muscles easing.
It was soothing, the feeling of Jesse binding him. Hanzo didn’t have to worry about the ropes, didn’t have to think, didn’t have to move. All he had to do was feel. Just… exist, and Hanzo was weightless with it. Tied up, and helpless, and Hanzo felt free like he never had before.
Felt safe. Felt right.
Then Jesse’s hands were tracing the lines of rope, his bulk pressed into Hanzo’s back, all of him warm and strong and inviting. He mouthed at Hanzo’s shoulder, one palm soothing back and forth over the ropes on his chest, the other laid flat, low on Hanzo’s abdomen. Scratching through the dark curls there, the backs of his knuckles bumping into Hanzo’s arousal where it bobbed between his thighs, flushed and hard and ignored.
Hanzo leaned into him, arms straining against the rope, wrists turning in their binds so he could clutch clumsily at Jesse’s shirt. His head lolled back on Jesse’s shoulder, knees shifting wider with the need to get close.
“Being so good. Relaxin’ already, and hard as a rock. You are gonna be a dream to put in a harness. Made of liquid when I’m done, all docile and ready to beg. Can I get your color, doll face?”
Hanzo felt the ropes on his arms, on his wrists, on his chest. Tight around his thighs and ankles, pulling with his every movement, shifting as he breathed. Jesse was a wall of muscle behind Hanzo, supporting his weight as he leaned back, petting affectionately at his stomach. He smelled good, and tasted better, and looked at Hanzo like he was something precious.
Not because he was a Shimada, but because he was Hanzo.
Safe, and wanted. Caught up in ropes and strong hands, with Jesse pushed in tight against him, Hanzo was going nowhere.
Nowhere except wherever Jesse planned on taking him, and he nodded fast, turning his head to nuzzle into Jesse’s throat. Kissed him there once, his hands fisted in Jesse’s shirt, hips rutting forward of their own volition.
The metal of Jesse’s prosthetic was cool as it moved up Hanzo’s throat, fingers spreading over his jaw. He turned Hanzo’s face towards him, and kissed him hard, tongues spilling messy between them. Hanzo groaned into the kiss, back arching, pressing into the contact as much as he could. Jesse’s teeth were sharp on his lips as he bit at them, mindful of his jewelry, tugging Hanzo’s bottom lip out before pulling back.
His mouth trailed down the column of Hanzo’s throat, licking wetly at it before settling on his shoulder, just beneath where the collar of his shirt would rest. Jesse started sucking in earnest there, kissing up a bruise, Hanzo’s chest heaving with the sensation.
Then Jesse’s right hand closed over Hanzo’s cock, thumb circling the wet slit of his crown, his grip like a vise. Hanzo shuddered, fucking up into it, reeling inside.
He’d never been touched like that. A few girls back in Japan had tried, hungry for the power that came with the Shimada name, pawing at him after an awkward date or uneasy drink together. He’d been unresponsive at best, and downright hostile at the uninvited advances on a couple of occasions.
Hanzo breathed through unwelcome memories.
Jesse’s hands were calloused, a little rough, the one stroking Hanzo’s cock slick with lube Hanzo hadn’t noticed him using. His free hand was well occupied too, toying with Hanzo’s nipple rings, palming his chest, Jesse’s fingertips sinking into the muscle. Rubbing down his abdomen and back up again, tracing over the ropes appreciatively, tugging on them now and then. There was no space between them, his knees bracketing Hanzo tight from behind until he felt surrounded.
The kisses on Hanzo’s throat and shoulder and jaw never stopped, Jesse’s lips as busy as his hands, mouthing up another bruise where no one else would see. Hanzo would feel them though, hidden away under his shirt, the barest hint of soreness.
Would think of Jesse every morning when he put on his clothes, and every evening when he took them off. When he showered, or at the dojo, where someone would undoubtedly see them. A casual show of possession, Jesse’s mark on him, sunk in deeper than any tattoo.
Down in Hanzo’s chest where his heart stuttered wild. In his guts where heat and want swelled, already building up to an inescapable peak. Jesse murmured to him in between kisses, low and sweet.
So pretty, so sensitive, so good for me.
Just like that darlin’.
Hanzo could feel the flush on his cheeks, the thin sheen of sweat on his skin. His mouth was wet and swollen from their kissing, the ribbon in his hair loose from where he’d been shoving his head into Jesse. It hadn’t been all that long since Jesse had put his hands on Hanzo, but he was already there, teetering on the edge of ecstasy. It wasn’t his fault, no had ever touched him, no one had ever kissed him, not like Jesse did.
Hanzo couldn’t come, though, he couldn’t, not without asking. He had to be good, had to... But Hanzo’s mouth wouldn’t form words, and his spine curved almost painfully, his chest out, head thrown back into Jesse as his orgasm coiled hot in his belly. Too much, too close, profanities pouring unnoticed off his tongue, hot and bright-
And then Jesse’s hand stopped moving, circling the base of his cock and gripping mercilessly tight, holding Hanzo’s climax at bay. He whimpered, his whole body shaking, and Hanzo twisted to throw a pleading, confused look at Jesse over his shoulder. A little bit petulant, and Jesse smiled, and kissed at Hanzo’s cheek, wholly unrepentant.
“Oh, honey, not yet. You know you gotta ask nice.”
The noise Hanzo made was mewling and pathetic, and Jesse shushed him through it as the need to come ebbed slowly back.
“Shhhh, it’s okay sweetheart. I’m gonna take care of you, promise. Breathe for me.”
Hanzo obeyed, sucking air in through desperate lungs. He hadn’t realized he’d been holding his breath, and he gasped for a few moments, Jesse’s left hand rubbing affectionately over his chest as his head started to unfog.
Just when the haze of impending orgasm had faded away Jesse started stroking again, palm dragging up the length of cock, then down. Hanzo thrust into it, willing Jesse to go faster, but wanting it to last forever at the same time.
His thumb circled Hanzo’s crown where it jutted out of his foreskin, teasing around the slit, his precome mixing with the slick of the lubricant. Hanzo’s fists were still clenched in Jesse’s clothes, clinging desperately, arms straining against the ropes. He wanted to grab onto Jesse, hold him there, keep him close. The coils chafed his thighs as he writhed in their hold, testing, pulling.
Jesse was pouring praise in his ear, telling him how good he was, how beautiful he looked, how amazing he sounded, whining for Jesse’s touch. There would be marks littering one side of his shoulder from Jesse’s mouth. Red lines on his skin where the rope bit into him, at least for a little while. His nipples were peaked and puffy from Jesse’s attentions. Moisture leaked from one corner of his mouth, his hair starting to fall, the flush seeping from his cheeks down his throat in its ferocity.
Hanzo was a mess. Felt like he was breaking in Jesse’s hands, shattering to pieces. Held together with only ropes, and Jesse’s words, and his heat. His eyes roved around the room aimlessly until he caught sight of Jesse’s hat sitting on the couch, worn out from overuse. Something he could have replaced, but did not, and Hanzo abruptly wanted that for himself.
To be ragged, and well used, but still adored.
To be Jesse’s, even fraying at the seams and ready to fall apart.
His whole body trembled as he rocketed up to edge, so fast it almost hurt, biting into his lip to keep from finishing then and there.
“Please, let me, I need to, I-I- fuck, please…” Jesse’s voice was in his ear then, his right hand stroking Hanzo faster, his left holding him tight.
“Okay, baby. Okay. Come for me, come on, sweetness, you can do it, let go for me…”
Like he was coaxing an orgasm out of Hanzo instead of allowing it. Like it was some amazing thing Hanzo was doing. Something worthy of praise, and Hanzo erupted over his fingers, hips stuttering frantically, mouth hanging open as he moaned through it.
“There you go. Oh, you’re perfect for me, Hanzo, you did so good, sweetheart.”
Jesse milked the last of his climax out of him, only stopping when he was shivering with overstimulation, twitching with every stroke. He let Jesse take his weight, collapsing back into him, Jesse’s arm wrapped around his biceps to hold him upright.
Hanzo floated for a while, blissful and hazy in the afterglow, blinking slow and breathing heavy. Jesse peppered kisses over his shoulders, his cheek, his temple, pausing only to clean him up. Time felt sluggish and unimportant, and Hanzo wasn’t sure how much of it had passed when Jesse shifted behind him, tapping soft on his chest to get his attention.
“Let’s get these ropes off you, honey. Let me rub some lotion in, kiss you real nice, maybe give you a massage.”
Hanzo shook his head, turning his face to bury it in Jesse’s throat, closing his eyes.
“Nnnn. Not yet. Just a little longer.”
The ropes were tight, and Jesse was warm, and Hanzo was weightless. He wanted to keep drifting there. Safe, and cared for, and owned.
Just a little longer.
Gimmie comments, or come yell at me on tumblr.
Someone asked about art, and then vanished, but I'll throw it out there. I do not care if you draw a thing based on this. In fact I'll love you forever if you draw a thing. That's it that's all.
Chapter 4: Kneel
“You seem like you’re doing well this past week. More relaxed.”
He didn’t need to look up to sense that Genji was baiting him. Hanzo knew better than to react, instead focusing on his tablet and the sketch he was working on for one of his regular clients. He shrugged, dismissive, hand moving carefully to flesh out the lines on his screen. His brother wasn’t so easy to dissuade, though, moving closer to Hanzo and peering over his shoulder, possibly more to annoy him than out of genuine curiosity about what he was drawing.
He’d invited himself to dinner at Hanzo’s apartment as he often did, bringing ramen from their favorite noodle shop in offering, enough to share between them. Then he planted himself on Hanzo’s couch to play video games while his brother worked, chatting about unimportant things, swearing at the enemies on his screen. Not that he didn’t have the same exact game at his own apartment, and dozens of others, on multiple platforms.
His boyfriends tended to spoil him, both emotionally and materially, and Genji took advantage without an ounce of shame. They paid for his apartment, covered all his bills, bought him clothes and electronics and anything else he looked at longingly. They also lavished attention on him when he sought it out, and gave him space when he didn’t. Genji was like a temperamental cat, loved it in spite of its personality. It was absurd how totally he owned them all, but Hanzo had long ago stopped being puzzled by his brother’s… unusual relationships.
Genji pressed on, unbothered by the lack of response, poking at Hanzo’s tablet to zoom in on a particular part of his drawing. Not oblivious to Hanzo’s glaring, but immune after a lifetime of being on the receiving end.
“Anyone in particular I should thank for your recent reduction in grouchiness?”
Hanzo batted Genji’s hand away from his screen, making an annoyed sound through his teeth. Genji just leaned in closer, inserting himself into Hanzo’s line of sight, raising his eyebrows.
“A certain cowboy perhaps?”
Genji knew Jesse through Lena, though not very well. Hanzo supposed he should be glad. Jesse was attractive, and Genji had always liked pretty things.
He laid his palm over Genji’s face and shoved him out of the way of his tablet’s screen, still hoping Genji would leave him alone. Genji threw himself backwards theatrically, collapsing down the length of the couch, arms thrown over the side behind him.
“I’m happy for you, anija. You deserve to have someone. I was worried you’d never allow yourself to try. That you’d keep sequestering yourself in here until you got old and ugly.”
It came across genuine despite the words, Genji’s voice fond, all of the teasing lilt gone out of it. Hanzo still remained silent, pretending to work on his sketch, unsure of how to respond.
I thought father had broken you, was what Genji was really saying, and Hanzo couldn’t seem to form a coherent reply.
Me, too, was the answer that came to mind.
Maybe he has.
It sounded pathetic, and he swallowed it down.
Then Genji’s socked foot prodded at his knee, and Hanzo looked up to meet his brother’s earnest stare.
“Come to the temple with me tomorrow. The inner courtyard will be closed, no one will be around besides Zen and me. It’ll be good for you.”
Fear rolled over Hanzo in a wave, mixed with revulsion, so powerful he ran a hand over his mouth to try and physically brush away the sudden nausea. He tossed his tablet down on the kotatsu in front of him and headed towards the kitchen.
Only through sheer force of will did he keep his hands steady as he pulled out his tea leaves and kettle. Genji hadn’t followed him, calling to Hanzo from the living room instead, exasperated but pleading.
“You can’t keep pretending like they don’t exist.”
He knew Hanzo well, knew he’d have better luck pushing for something he wanted if he gave him space.
And Genji desperately wanted this. Relentlessly. Each time Hanzo thought he’d finally decided to drop the subject, there Genji was, unwilling to let it rest.
“You can’t lay them down and forget about them like your katana, Hanzo. They aren’t weapons, not like the clan led us to believe they were. They’re a part of who you are.”
He gripped the edge of the counter, leaning forward, sighing.
“They’re a part of who I was, but I won’t be that anymore. I can’t trust myself, which means I can’t trust them.”
White noise hummed in the back of Hanzo’s mind, like static. Persistent but not aggressive. A radio station he’d deliberately tuned out, desperate to communicate with him but unable to pierce through.
An alarm he’d been ignoring for years, still sounding out stubbornly in spite of Hanzo’s obvious abandonment.
“Genji. Please. It’s hard enough to-”
Hanzo bit off his words, teeth clenched at nothing, lips curling up from them. He wasn’t angry with Genji, but with himself. The way the past still clung to him, coloring everything he did, subtly controlling his every interaction. The way it stole parts of him, and didn't give them back.
The way it made him feel selfish, just being with Jesse. An indulgence he hadn’t earned.
A gift he didn’t deserve, but was keeping nonetheless.
It’s hard enough to let myself have this one thing.
One of the best things that had ever happened to him.
Everything Hanzo did had always been for the good of the clan. After he left, it shifted over to Genji, and how to make sure he was safe, was stable, was happy. What did Hanzo need to do to keep Genji from worrying about him? To stop him from feeling like he’d dragged Hanzo away from their ancestral home against his will? Hanzo’s life now was mostly boxes on a checklist, ticked off so Genji wouldn’t feel guilty.
Get a job, make some friends, acclimate.
Jesse was the only purely self serving thing in his life. Not for his clan, not for his brother.
Jesse was just for Hanzo.
He’d invited Hanzo out after their recent scene together, asking what nights he had off, and if Hanzo wanted to spend an evening with him.
‘...here? At the club?’
It came across earnest and overenthusiastic, and Jesse had laughed, and kissed Hanzo’s cheek through a smile.
‘No, darlin’. A date, not a scene. Dinner and whatnot. Let me treat you right.’
Hanzo wasn’t sure what that even meant, but he’d agreed without hesitation.
Eager to let Jesse McCree treat him however the fuck he wanted, and that was new, and frightening, and Hanzo could only cope with so much drastic change in his life at once. He swallowed heavily, pressing his forehead into the cabinets in front of him, muscles alive with tension.
“One thing at a time, Genji. Please.”
He heard Genji come into the kitchen, and then his hand was on Hanzo’s shoulder, gripping tight. Sliding around his chest, forehead between his shoulder blades.
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. I only want to help you, the way my master has helped me. You’re doing great, Hanzo. Breathe.”
Hanzo did, measuring his breaths for a bit. Inhale, hold.
One two three.
Until the static in his head receded, until his heart slowed down, until his fists unclenched.
Until he was strung a little less tight.
He worked on his drawing until Genji fell asleep on the couch. He snored loudly, his mouth hanging open, limbs splayed out awkwardly in every direction. It was incredibly unattractive, and Hanzo took a picture before throwing a blanket over him and heading to bed.
The little paper dragon on his bedside stared, innocent but accusing, and Hanzo closed his eyes, and dreamed of Jesse.
Burning in a haze of blue, an arrow in his heart.
Then he woke up screaming, Genji's hands on his face, and didn’t sleep again.
Saturday after his scene with Jesse, Hanzo hadn’t been fit to do anything but collapse into bed, a mental exhaustion rather than a physical one. Blissful instead of weary, and he’d fallen asleep smiling into his pillow, sated and euphoric. Work had been busy the next day, as it often was on Sundays, enough activity to keep his anxieties at bay.
Not enough to stop Amélie from commenting on how he was staring off into space and smiling at nothing during his downtime between customers, but he’d take what he could get.
The shop was closed on Mondays, and Hanzo went to the dojo to train, catching a few sidelong glances in the locker room as he changed into his workout gear.
He’d been going there for years, showing up a few times a week to put himself through more vigorous paces than he could alone in his apartment. Sparring with the instructors and students, politely declining offers to teach, sometimes giving quiet correction on someone’s form or technique. A constant but unobtrusive presence, Hanzo did his best not to draw attention to himself.
At first it was mostly paranoia. Had he waited long enough before frequenting somewhere as predictable as a dojo? Were the straggling members of the Shimada clan still searching for their heirs, or had they moved on already? Hanzo was careful to keep his head down when he trained, trying to be forgettable.
Or as forgettable as a heavily tattooed, pierced Japanese man who wrecked all his opponents could possibly be.
Later he discovered it wasn’t just paranoia making him introverted and antisocial, but also his personality. Hanzo kept to himself, uncomfortable with crowds of people or situations that might require him to talk about his past, or his personal life.
He’d certainly never shown up with a half dozen hickeys scattered over his shoulder in varying shades of purple and blue. Hanzo got a few grinning pats on the back, those regulars who knew him well enough quick to throw some good natured teasing his way.
Good for you, senpai! We didn’t think you had it in you!
Neither had Hanzo, and he turned away to hide his smile. If he put them all on their asses a little faster than usual that day, it was nothing they hadn’t earned.
Genji kept him distracted that evening, which meant Hanzo didn’t really have a chance to fixate on his date with Jesse in earnest until a few hours beforehand. He slept well into the afternoon, which wasn’t unusual for him considering how late at night he tended to work, but once Hanzo woke up anxiety settled heavy in his guts.
He showered and dressed, fussing over his appearance more than was necessary with no other outlet for his restless energy. It was a comfort to know that Jesse would probably show up in some tattered jeans and a plaid shirt no matter where they were going, but Hanzo still meticulously tucked his pants into his boots, making sure the folds laid right. Retied his hair twice, changed out the jewelry in his ears, applied his eyeliner with the utmost care.
It was his first date with Jesse, technically speaking, but he wasn’t sure what that entailed, or where the boundaries were. They had already moved far beyond what Hanzo thought of as first date territory the first night they met. Would Jesse kiss him? Touch him casually, as he did at the club? Or was that strictly for scenes? Not being able to get close to Jesse felt like the worst kind of backpedaling. Losing ground, when Hanzo wanted to move forward, but he didn’t really know how to ask about it without starting an awkward conversation.
When Hanzo answered the knock at his door to find Jesse there, holding a bouquet of blue paper kusudama flowers in an origami vase, it was impossible not to grin, even if he was rolling his eyes. Dressed in jeans, a blue plaid shirt, and his ever present cowboy hat, of course.
Then Jesse leaned down to kiss him, and all Hanzo’s stressing about boundaries seemed stupid. Jesse’s lips were soft on his, warm and insistent as they coaxed Hanzo’s mouth open, meeting no resistance whatsoever. They both stood in the doorway, their kiss far too long and messy for a simple hello, and only when he had to swallow down a breathy noise did Hanzo pull away. Jesse’s eyes shone with mischief, and he reached up with his free hand to thumb away some of the wetness he’d left behind on Hanzo’s bottom lip.
“Missed you, sunshine.” Hanzo scoffed, depositing his paper vase of flowers on the kotatsu for safekeeping before heading back to the door.
“It’s been three days, and you text incessantly.” Jesse waited on him to lock up the apartment, and then looped their arms together with a shrug, leading him down the hallway towards the elevator.
“Missed seeing that pretty face o’ yours.” Hanzo looked him up and down, searching, brows coming together as he narrowed his eyes.
“You know you don’t actually need to seduce me, correct? We are already well past that point, your flattery is wasted.” They stepped into the empty elevator, and Jesse grinned, taking Hanzo’s hand so he could press a kiss to the knuckles.
“Aww darlin’, it ain’t flattery if it’s true. Just statin’ facts, is all.”
Jesse seemed to deem it necessary to state quite a lot of facts as he drove them to a nearby restaurant. In between questions about Hanzo’s work, his routine, his life in general, Jesse dropped compliments like it was nothing. Like it didn’t make Hanzo’s heart stutter wild in his chest.
Hanzo could handle praise when it came in a form he was used to, as a reward for completing a task, or exceeding someone’s expectations. He’d heard it his entire life in the dojo. Nice footwork, excellent striking, impeccable defense.
It was wholly different than hearing Jesse tell him how beautiful he was, or that he had a nice smile.
Pretty as a picture, look at those eyes, that color suits you, sugar.
When they got to the restaurant, Hanzo started asking Jesse questions just to shift the conversation away from himself, uncomfortable being the center of attention. Jesse was retired from the military, given the option to discharge after losing his arm and jumping on the opportunity without hesitation. The Omnic Crisis had been winding down, and he got out and never looked back.
Lost too many friends to want to linger in the service, their memories haunting all the places they’d been. Ghosts in the barracks, phantoms in the halls.
Hanzo wasn’t surprised to hear that Jesse was ex-military, or even that he’d been part of a special operations squad. It was easy to see in the way he handled himself, confidence in every movement that could only come from experience. Hanzo recognized the same deadly precision in Jesse that he himself possessed, the same excessive awareness of his surroundings.
He cased rooms just like Hanzo did, brief but unmistakable, eyes checking corners before situating them in a defendable position without thought. Habits like that were hard to shake when they were all that kept someone for alive for so long, and Hanzo wondered if maybe he wasn’t the only one with nightmares that lingered, even if the danger they’d been born of was gone.
It was harder to answer questions about the past than it was to ask them. Hanzo finally settled on honesty paired with careful omission. His relatives in Japan weren’t the most savory of characters, and he and Genji had fled for their own safety. It was truth, even if it felt like a lie, and Jesse didn’t press. Hanzo’s gratitude was mixed in with a vague sense of guilt.
He didn’t have a chance to dwell on it. Didn’t have a chance to dwell on much of anything, because Jesse never seemed to stop touching him, and it was incredibly distracting. Even sitting across the table from one another he managed to keep his hands on Hanzo most of the time, toying his his fingers or reaching out to brush stray hair back from his face. Tangling their feet together under the table, the toe of one of his boots rubbing idly back and forth against Hanzo’s calf.
It was driving Hanzo insane, because despite all they’d done together, he still hadn’t really touched Jesse. He’d always been clothed, put together, maddeningly composed as he broke Hanzo into pieces.
Hanzo needed to remedy that, and it was with such things in mind that he invited Jesse into his apartment for a drink after their meal. Jesse smiled and shook his head, looking a bit regretful.
“Gotta drive home. Can’t be drinking anything with ya tonight, unfortunately.” Hanzo smirked at him, desire swimming through his blood and making him brave.
“You know we don’t really have to drink? I’m just trying to get you into my apartment.”
Only when Jesse didn’t immediately respond did it occur to Hanzo that maybe he was overstepping. Touching himself in front of Jesse, getting a handjob from him, frantically making out, maybe all that was fine for a scene but too far for a date. He’d kissed Hanzo, yes, but people often kissed on first dates. It didn’t always go any further.
Social cues weren’t Hanzo’s strong suit, and he started to think he’d badly misread the situation after a few long moments of silence. He opened his mouth, could feel the rambling jumble of apologies on his tongue already, when Jesse grinned wickedly and tipped his hat.
“Well, when you put it like that. Lead on, sweetheart.”
They made their way into the building and up to Hanzo’s floor, Jesse seeking out his hand along the way to play with his fingers, thumb sliding back and forth over Hanzo’s knuckles. In spite of his words, Hanzo had intended on offering Jesse a drink out of politeness if nothing else. Some tea perhaps, or a cup of coffee. The vaguest sort of pretext, so he could at least pretend his desperation wasn’t out of hand.
Once they got inside his apartment, though, it felt like pointless self deception. He didn’t want to drink tea with Jesse, sip slowly at his favorite brew, watch him carefully over the rim of a cup.
Hanzo wanted to feel Jesse, to taste him. To hear him hum contentedly, the way he did when Hanzo pleased him somehow.
Jesse’s little rumpled dragon watched over Hanzo while he slept each night. Now there were paper flowers on the kotatsu, too, all folded carefully by Jesse’s calloused hands. His kisses were painted in Hanzo’s throat, his heat seeping into Hanzo’s skin. Taking Hanzo over, owning him quietly, with gentle fingers and sharp teeth and a soft voice that set him alight.
So when the door closed behind them Hanzo grabbed Jesse by the collar of his shirt, walking him backwards and shoving him down on the couch. Jesse went willingly, smiling when Hanzo straddled him, hands sliding up his thighs to knead at them.
Hanzo never wanted to be anywhere else but sprawled out on top of Jesse. His cologne smelled divine, mixing with his own scent, masculine without being overpowering. He’d lost his hat somewhere behind the couch, and his hair was messy. Hanzo wanted to comb through it with his fingers, soothe them through the strands.
Jesse’s fingertips sank into the meat of Hanzo’s thigh, creeping up towards his ass, slow but shameless. Like he was savoring every inch along the way, and Hanzo rutted his hips forward without meaning to, groaning at the feeling of Jesse’s burgeoning arousal straining against his jeans. Jesse hissed at the contact, rocking up into Hanzo a bit, biting his lip and raising his eyebrows.
“Well hello there, precious. Fancy meetin’ you here.”
Hanzo shushed him, leaning in close and pausing just before their mouths touched. Just as Jesse had done the first time they kissed, giving him a chance to pull away. Jesse didn’t, but Hanzo still waited, needing to be sure before he went any further.
“Is this okay? Not… in a scene but just… like this? Can we?” Jesse closed the distance to brush his lips against Hanzo’s, chaste and brief, barely a kiss at all. A hint of warmth, and then it was just Jesse looking at him reverently.
“Course we can. Long as it’s alright with you, darlin’.”
It was more than alright with him.
Hanzo shoved their mouths together, one hand sinking into Jesse’s hair, the other slipping into the collar of his shirt. He groped at Jesse’s chest, wanting to see it but too occupied with their kiss to undress him properly. Hanzo had been waiting to really get his hands on Jesse since the first night they met, and now he didn’t know what to do with himself.
He wanted to touch him everywhere. Take off Jesse’s clothes and lay him out on his bed, spend hours learning his body.
Any time he’d seen a man he found attractive, Hanzo had done his best to look away. Knee-jerk. Instinctive. Protect himself from the clan’s scrutiny. Protect anyone who caught his eye from being dragged into his family’s mess.
But the Shimadas were on the other side of the world, and they didn’t have power over Hanzo anymore. Not if he didn’t let them.
Now he had Jesse underneath him, and Hanzo wanted to memorize him. Trail his fingers over every swell of muscle. Trace the lines of him, the curves. Wanted to draw him, to agonize over every shadow and proportion until he was just as perfect on Hanzo’s page as he was in Hanzo’s eyes.
But Hanzo didn’t have the patience for it right then. Jesse’s hands were greedily palming his ass, guiding Hanzo’s mindless rocking into something more deliberate. Jesse’s tongue twisted against his, and he moved his hips in time with Hanzo’s, until they were fucking up against each other in a scorching rhythm.
Jesse held him in place, forcing Hanzo tighter against him, the layers of cloth in between them torturous. He could still feel Jesse, though, hard in his clothes, cock grinding up into Hanzo’s with every thrust. One of his hands had slid up underneath Hanzo’s shirt to splay possessively over the small of his back, the other clutching at his hip, holding Hanzo in an almost bruising grip. It wouldn’t be long, and Hanzo would come in his clothes, too blissed out to care.
Jesse had a way of making Hanzo forget that he should be ashamed. Forget everything but Jesse, and the way his hands moved, the way his mouth tasted.
Except Hanzo didn’t want that, to finish without getting at any more of Jesse than he had so far. His dreams had been full of one thing in particular the past week, and Hanzo could have it.
Was allowed to want it, and to act on his desires.
Before he could hesitate Hanzo pulled back, words coming out against Jesse’s lips as he chased their kiss, not letting Hanzo put more than an inch or so between them.
“Wait, wait, stop. Is it- can I-”
Hanzo trailed off, mouth not cooperating, unable to make it form the words he needed. Jesse waited, hands moving back to safer territory, easing away to give Hanzo space.
“What do you need, sweetheart?”
He was always better at actions than words, so Hanzo sank to his knees between Jesse’s feet. His palms lay flat on Jesse’s thighs, pushing them further apart, one sliding up until his fingertips rested on the brassy shine of Jesse’s belt buckle. Tracing the letters there, B-A-M-F.
Hanzo slipped his fingers under the edge, careful not to grope at him, the thumb of his other hand rubbing circles an inch below the bulge of Jesse’s arousal. The white noise in his mind was back, power swelling in Hanzo, the sensation swinging somewhere between nostalgia and familiarity. Eagerness. Approval trickling down from something deep inside him, Hanzo and yet not, preening and pleased and difficult to filter out in the haze of lust he was feeling.
It was hard to meet Jesse’s gaze, his inexperience masquerading as shyness, but Hanzo pushed through it. Jesse was staring down at him, his cheeks a little flushed, eyes wide and surprised.
“You ain’t gotta do that. Not if you don’t wanna. It ain’t gonna bother me none to take care of you for awhile without you stressing ‘bout reciprocation.”
Hanzo let his thumb edge a little closer to Jesse’s cock, still not making contact, but it was a close thing. Jesse shifted under his hands, arching up into Hanzo’s touch, body subconsciously betraying his desires.
“I want to take care of you, too. If it’s okay with you.” Jesse let out a ragged breath, reaching up to cup Hanzo’s cheek, fingers scratching affectionately through his beard.
“You sure baby? I’m not gonna lie, I’ve spent some quality time alone picturing you on your knees for me, but I’m a patient man.”
Hanzo leaned into Jesse’s hand, insinuating himself deeper between his thighs, until there was no more room to move forward without crawling into his lap again.
“I am…” Hanzo laid his hand over Jesse’s arousal, pressing down, eliciting a beautiful noise Hanzo was sure he’d never forget, “Less patient. May I?” Jesse grinned, knees falling impossibly wide, hand still petting at Hanzo’s jaw.
“I ain’t gonna look a gift horse in the mouth.”
Hanzo wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but Jesse worked his belt open, so he took it as permission. He popped the button on his jeans and unzipped them before leaning back a little and giving Hanzo room. Hanzo raised up on his knees, reaching to pull Jesse’s fly wider, only to have Jesse stop him with a hand around one wrist.
“You can quit anytime you like. Don’t feel like you gotta see it through, don’t force yourself. Alright?”
Hanzo nodded, not looking at his face, but at Jesse’s cock, jutting through the fabric of his boxers. He ran his hand over the cloth, tentative despite the want that lived in his chest, threatening to take him over. It was viciously hard, with a patch of dampness soaking into the cotton near Jesse’s crown. Hanzo flexed his fingers against Jesse, getting a feel for the size of him.
Bigger than Hanzo, but then Jesse was big all over, broad chested and tall with wide shoulders and thick thighs. It was the opposite of a problem, finding out that he couldn’t quite get his fingers around Jesse’s cock.
His own arousal jerked in his pants as he worked Jesse out of his boxers, and Hanzo palmed at himself just to relieve some of the ache there.
Jesse’s cock was heavy in his hand, curving up proudly towards his belly. It looked more obscene than it should have, cut where Hanzo’s was uncut, no foreskin concealing the flushed tip. There was precome welling up, dripping down the slit, shining and wet and making Hanzo’s mouth water. The trail of hair that led from Jesse’s abdomen ended in a dark thatch at the base of his shaft, thick but groomed. Hanzo supported Jesse’s cock with his thumb and index finger, letting his other fingers scratch through the curls underneath.
Hanzo licked his lips, unsure of when exactly he’d reached into his clothes to absently jerk himself off, but abruptly aware of how awkward it was left-handed. Jesse’s cock twitched in his hold, and he made a throaty sound, hips rolling up into Hanzo’s loose grip. Only then did he realize he’d been staring for a while without actually doing anything. Teasing, even if hadn’t been on purpose, but Jesse wasn’t complaining.
Hanzo knelt up again, bringing his mouth in close, licking a stripe up the side of Jesse’s shaft before swirling his tongue around the crown. The taste of his precome was a surprise. Bitter, a little salty, but he managed to not make a face, swallowing Jesse down as far as he could instead. Jesse’s scent was stronger there, not his cologne, but his natural smell. Not sweat, not soap, just… Jesse, and Hanzo breathed him in, letting his eyes fall closed, stroking himself faster. Rough, no finesse, just a desire too strong to ignore tugging all Hanzo’s strings at once.
Giving a blowjob was... mostly a new concept, but not a difficult one. Maybe porn wasn’t the best sex education, but he’d watched enough men getting their dicks sucked on video to have a general idea, even if his own history was less than helpful.
Even if his own history made it harder instead of easier.
Still, having Jesse in his mouth was a heady, dizzying thing. Thick on his tongue, too much of him to take very far, Hanzo’s fist clenched around the base of his shaft to stroke what didn’t fit. He looked up from beneath his eyelashes at Jesse, who was staring down at him, enraptured. Teeth sunk into his bottom lip, pupils blown wide, chest rising and falling rapidly. His hands were clenching and unclenching, nothing to hold onto, fingers seeking.
Hanzo reached up and pulled the ribbon out of his hair, letting it fall loose over one side of his head before guiding Jesse’s hand to it. It was just long enough for some of the strands to touch his shoulders, and incredibly thick, even with his undercut. They’d talked about it before, if he was okay having his hair pulled, and right then Hanzo needed it. Needed something to ground him.
Needed Jesse to hold onto him, and not let go.
Jesse sank his fingers into Hanzo’s hair, sifting through the strands, petting more than pulling. It was gentle, and sweet, and Hanzo moaned around his cock at the gesture. He pulled back from his rhythmic bobbing to mouth down Jesse’s shaft, licking his way back to the head, reveling in every reaction he got.
The little noises Jesse made, the way his hips hitched up involuntarily as Hanzo sucked. His hand was working frantically in his clothes, his elbow bumping into Jesse’s calf as he jerked himself, and Jesse made a guttural sound in his throat.
“You gettin’ off on suckin’ my cock, darlin’?” Hanzo managed to nod without releasing Jesse from his mouth, eyes watering from the strain of trying to take too much of him in at once. “Jesus Christ.” Jesse’s fingers clutched tighter in Hanzo’s hair, guiding his mouth up and down a little faster, his other hand cupping Hanzo’s jaw. “Just like that, baby, you’re doin’ so good. ‘M gettin’ real close.”
Hanzo hollowed his cheeks, palm slipping wet over his own cock, working himself and Jesse in tandem. He could feel his own climax looming, muscles in his belly going tight, little shivers running through him. One of Jesse’s knees was creeping up off the floor, the other sliding forward across it, back arching away from the couch. Muttering out profanities mixed with endearments, fuck baby, please, shit, almost there sweetheart, so good, Jesse’s breathing ragged, voice rough and fucked out.
Hanzo had done that, had rendered Jesse mindless and incoherent. Broken him down, as he’d been broken down during their scenes together. Made a mess of him.
Not that he was in better shape, drool leaking from his mouth, cheeks flushed bright, moisture gathering in his eyes as he came close to gagging on Jesse’s length. He wanted to take him to the hilt, wanted to be able to bury his nose in the coarse hair at the base of Jesse’s cock as his throat worked around him. Couldn’t, not without hurting himself, not right then. He could learn, though, could practice.
The idea of Jesse tying him up and fucking his face again and again, teaching Hanzo to take him deeper each time, was something vivid he couldn’t ignore. Hanzo groaned and looked up, meeting Jesse’s eyes again, lips stretched taut around his cock. His grip on his own arousal faltered, hips stuttering forward, and Jesse gasped loud and tugged gently at Hanzo’s hair.
“Gonna come, baby, where… where do you want it?”
Heat rolled through him, and Hanzo’s first instinct was to keep sucking until Jesse shot into his mouth. To make it better for Jesse, to work him through his orgasm.
To be good.
But then he remembered Jesse’s voice, his sly wink, his heated expression.
Can I come on your face, sweetness?
Hanzo pulled off until the slick tip of Jesse’s cock was barely nudging at his lips, his left hand moving so fast between his own thighs that his wrist hurt. He stroked Jesse just as quickly with his right, listing helplessly to one side, leaning heavily into Jesse’s thigh. His lips parted as he panted into the damp fabric of Jesse’s jeans, stray hair falling down out of Jesse’s grip and into his face. Tangled, sticking to his shining cheeks, the definition of disheveled.
Then Jesse hissed out his name, and came in stuttering bursts over Hanzo’s face. Pearlescent ropes of seed hit his cheek, his mouth, his chin, searingly hot, the drops of it he licked from his lips bitter on his tongue. Hanzo kept stroking him through the shuddering aftershocks, until Jesse reached down and laced their fingers together, easing his hand away.
“Let me- here baby, come here, let me, let me-”
Jesse trailed off, manhandling Hanzo into his lap in lieu of finishing his sentence. He tugged Hanzo’s hand out of his clothes and reached into them himself, burrowing into the fabric, seeking. Hanzo was already close, and he let out a whine at the first brush of Jesse’s fingers on the sensitive skin of his crown. His face was filthy, but he buried in Jesse’s throat anyway, hands fisting in the fabric of his shirt as he rutted shamelessly into Jesse’s palm.
He opened his mouth to warn Jesse, but all that came out was his name, whimpered out around a high pitched sound that Hanzo couldn’t swallow.
Hanzo came over Jesse’s fingers, shaking through his climax, Jesse murmuring to him the whole time.
“Shh, yeah darlin’, that’s good, you’re so good, c’mon…”
Hanzo quaked in his arms, eyes wrenched shut and mouth fallen open, muscles trembling.
Jesse milked the last bursts of seed out of him, stroking his softening cock until Hanzo was shivering and overstimulated. Jesse settled Hanzo gently into the couch before heading into the kitchen. The water ran for a little bit, and he returned with damp hands and a warm, wet dish towel for Hanzo’s face. When Hanzo tried to take it Jesse refused, wiping at the mess on his cheeks and mouth until it was mostly clean.
Then he pulled Hanzo into his arms and kissed him hard, stroking his hair back out of his face, untangling the strands with his fingers. Hanzo’s mouth was sore with Jesse’s kiss when he finally pulled away, red and inflamed from affection, and that was fine with Hanzo.
He’d take all the ache, and then some, if it meant he got to hold onto Jesse’s touch a little longer.
A vague sense of guilt settled in Hanzo as Jesse nosed through his hair and traced shapes into his skin. He would probably have liked to know beforehand that Hanzo had never given a blowjob before, considering how much he seemed to value communication. Would have wanted to be careful, to make sure Hanzo was okay. But Hanzo hadn’t really thought about it at the time, and even if he had, he wasn’t sure he would’ve said anything. Still anxiety gnawed at him, and he shoved his face into Jesse’s chest, folding himself into it until, hiding.
“I’ve never, ah… Never really done that, before. Sorry if I should have told you before.” The fingers drawing mindlessly on his arm stopped moving, Jesse going utterly still for a moment before pressing a kiss to his hair.
“No need to be sorry, doll face. With the way you stared at it before you started, I had my suspicions, but you did so good I wasn’t sure. S’it okay for you?”
“Mmm. I rather enjoyed myself, but I think that was obvious.” Jesse laughed, nuzzling at Hanzo’s face for a bit, one palm stroking up and down his spine. Finally he spoke up again, curiosity in his voice, a smile in the tone.
“So it you’ve never gone down on someone, does that mean nobody’s ever gone down on you, either? If you don’t mind me asking.”
Hanzo was glad to have his face tucked away where Jesse couldn’t see him flush. Something darker than embarrassment swelled, and peaked, and faded.
Hanzo closed his eyes, and breathed. Shrugged one shoulder. Tried to sound nonchalant.
Jesse groaned, wounded and low, before hugging Hanzo tight against him and mouthing gently at his throat.
“Oh honey, I can’t wait to get you tied up again. I’m gonna be so good to you.”
Chapter 5: Unawares
“Hey there, cowboy.”
Jesse finished off his whiskey, letting his eyes drift from the demonstration taking place on stage and over to Amélie, who’d taken the seat next to his without asking.
“Hey there, Miss Amélie.”
Jesse nodded at her, smiling. He wasn’t missing much on stage, an introduction to impact play, one of many short demos geared towards the beginners gathered in the audience for newbie night. He’d already done his piece, fifteen or so minutes of education about rope bondage. Nothing that required a partner, just basic safety, types of rope, a few simple ties.
“I have someone you need to meet,” Amélie continued, her carefully bored expression betrayed by the glint in her eyes.
He sucked at his teeth before answering, leaning back in his chair, warmth seeping into his belly from his third drink of the evening.
It wasn’t the first time someone had tried to set him up since he’d been single the past year. Or the second time, or the third, or the fourth. Everyone seemed to think he was lonely, or maybe pathetic. Jesse wasn’t sure.
It wasn’t the first time he’d been prodded by his friends to start seeing some particular person or other, but it was the first time it had come from Amélie. It wasn’t like her to meddle in someone else’s personal affairs, and his first reaction was mild curiosity, instead of the usual moderate annoyance such a thing would bring out in him.
“You know my hours at the range. Send ‘em down, they’ll be a better shot than you ‘fore you know it.”
Amélie rolled her eyes, scoffing loudly and fixing him with a glare.
“Don’t play dumb with me, Jesse McCree. And let me rephrase, I don’t have someone you need to meet. I have someone who needs to meet you.”
Jesse spun his glass, eying Amélie warily.
“Do ya now,” he said, waiting for her to elaborate.
Some elaboration. Jesse sighed.
“This a Dom thing or a date thing?” He wasn’t sure why he asked, when the answer would be the same either way. Amélie shrugged one shoulder, making a vague gesture with her hand.
“Dom thing, mostly. Maybe.”
Jesse slid his glass halfway across the table, shaking his head and looking back up toward the stage, more to disengage from Amélie than any interest in what was happening there.
“Ain’t looking for a scene partner. Or a date, for that matter. And if I was, I could damn well find one myself. Don’t see why everybody thinks it’s their business to go shovin’ folks at me all the time. It ain’t a crime to be single.”
“It is for you. Single doesn’t suit you. You’re broody and depressing to be around.” Jesse looked at her, glaring and indignant.
“I am not broo-”
“You are, love, it’s true.” Lena was on the other side of him out of nowhere, reaching over to knock Jesse’s hat askew on his head. He batted her hand away, and she continued, unbothered. “Just talk to him once. He’s never subbed for anyone before, and he’s been tying himself up in knots wanting to. He’s ah…” Lena frowned and trailed off, brows furrowed, glancing toward Amélie for help.
“He’s anxious. Not just about subbing, but anxious in general. It’s subtle, he hides it well. An inexperienced Dom might not pick up on it, push him too far without either of them realizing it. He needs someone to ease him into things the right way. Someone soft, like you.”
Jesse could feel his expression shifting into something soft right then, looking at Amélie with a smile.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear you liked this guy. Talking ‘bout him all fond. You switchin’ teams, Amélie?” His voice was teasing, and she scoffed again, crossing her arms.
“I work with him at the shop, I’ve known him a while now, he’s… He’s my friend. I don’t want him getting hurt by some asshole on a power trip.”
Amélie… didn’t really have friends. She had Lena, and Lena had friends, and everyone got along well enough with her, certainly. She was polite, if quiet and a little intimidating sometimes, but she worshipped the ground Lena walked on.
He’s my friend.
Jesse stared for a moment, then grinned wider, voice saccharine and lilting.
“Awww, Lena, Amélie made a friend! That’s the cutest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. Has he come over for a playdate? Did y’all have a tea party?”
Amélie flushed, ignoring him, suddenly very absorbed with the stage despite how far beyond beginner’s impact play he knew the two of them to be in their scenes together. Lena punched Jesse in the shoulder, hard, and he winced and rubbed at it carefully.
“Does this count as impact play, darlin’?”
“Be nice, Jesse.”
“I’m sorry! I was just teasin’. Bout time you started bringing questionable people around to annoy Lena, heaven knows she’s got enough of us to drive you up the wall.”
There was a long pause, and then Lena snickered into her fist, eyes lit up with glee.
“They do have playdates, though. Drink wine and bitch about clients and watch just the shittiest horror films. It’s awfully goddamn cute.”
It was Lena’s turn to get punched in the shoulder then, Amélie reaching over the table to slug her, though not nearly as hard as the one that had been thrown at Jesse.
He bought them both a drink, and then another, and another. Lena wore his hat for the rest of the evening.
Jesse agreed to meet Amélie’s friend, and tried not to cringe when she gave him a drunken, mildly graphic version of the ‘shotgun and a shovel’ talk right after.
‘Amélie, you were a sniper, you don’t own a shotgun. Or a shovel. You live in an apartment.’
The look she gave him assured Jesse that she’d manage just fine without either.
Jesse wasn’t a religious man, for the most part, but he figured there had to be some kind of higher power keeping an eye on him, nudging him in the right direction from time to time when it really mattered. Out of the way of a stray bullet, underneath a vicious punch.
Into the path of Hanzo Shimada, who was too gorgeous, too precious, too perfect to be on his knees for Jesse McCree.
He hadn’t seemed to figure that out, yet, so.
Higher power, and all. Had to be.
All through their first scene, he kept waiting for Hanzo to safeword, blink his eyes like a fog was clearing, to really look at Jesse.
Hanzo did really look at Jesse, later on. After he orgasmed, red faced and fucked out. Come on his fingers, breathing hard.
Smiling like Jesse had given him something, instead of taken it.
And oh, Hanzo was fucking dangerous. That smile was a weapon. A bullet he’d stood to take willingly, a punch he’d turned into with a soft sigh. It was so much worse than some well trained sub giving him a lazy grin after he’d shown them a good time.
That smile was bladed, cutting through all his defenses to flay Jesse wide open, and he didn’t have any choice but to tug Hanzo up into his arms and kiss him.
Jesse knew he’d do damn near anything Hanzo asked, if it meant he could see it again.
Then Hanzo kissed him back, breathless. Loose limbed and sated, would you let me touch you, too, sir?
Maybe there was a higher power with their eye on Jesse, but surely there were limits to just how greedy he could be without bringing down some sort of wrath on his head. Letting himself indulge in Hanzo’s touch felt like the depths of selfishness, when he’d already given Jesse so much more than he deserved.
With more willpower than Jesse would have thought he possessed, he eased Hanzo’s hands off his belt. Tangled their fingers together instead, this ain’t about me.
It was, but it wasn’t, and he had no regrets as he kissed Hanzo goodnight, cock aching in his jeans, heart wild in his chest.
As soon as he got home he climbed into the shower, steam from the spray fogging up the room. Jesse came hard and fast into his fist, gritting his teeth to keep from calling Hanzo’s name.
They didn’t have the bodies.
Instead there were empty seats that had been occupied on the way in, the buckles of the seat belts clanking together when they hit turbulence, quiet and metallic. It seemed like everyone who wasn’t sleeping or in medical was trying not to stare at them, gazes resolutely glued on the ceiling, or the floor, or their laps. Jesse couldn’t tear his stare away. His eyes stung, and he wasn’t sure why. Maybe he had something stuck in them, gunpowder residue, debris from the explosion, grit or sand or metal fragments.
They didn’t have the bodies because there weren’t any bodies left. Nothing but a red mist on the rubble where the bomb had gone off, flecks of it still lingering on Jesse’s face, on his clothes. It wasn’t that Jesse hadn’t lost anyone on a mission before, but he’d never watched it happen that way. Never been so close. Never held someone in his arms while they choked on their own blood.
Never felt like it was his fault, until then, even if it wasn’t.
Gabe’s palm was on his shoulder, on his back, tucking Jesse into his chest. One of Gabriel’s hands reached up to wipe roughly at Jesse’s cheek, and he realized, in an oddly detached sort of way, that his eyes were stinging because he was crying.
‘There was nothing you could have done, Jesse. Wasn’t your fault.’
But that was worse.
He’d done everything right, and it still wasn’t enough. At least if he’d fucked up somehow, Jesse could try harder. Be more careful, more vigilant. Smarter, faster, stronger. Better.
Jesse could do his best, give his all, and there was still blood on his hands at the end of the day.
Blood in his eyes.
Everything out of his control, part of a larger pattern. Something subtle but insidious. His daddy left, his mama died, Deadlock got broken apart by the Feds.
It’s nothing you did, honey.
You took good care of her, son.
His friends got blown up, vaporized into gore and ash, until Jesse was breathing them into his lungs, coughing them out of his mouth.
Wasn’t your fault.
Now he shook all over, and Gabe was still talking to him, but Jesse couldn’t make out what he was saying. Like he was deep underwater, everything muffled and slow moving. Jesse’s left arm throbbed painfully, and he looked down at it, only to find it wasn’t all there. Just bones up to his elbow, scraps of flesh clinging to it, joints grinding as he made a fist. Nausea hit him hard, and he lifted his skeletal hand to show Gabe, but when he saw his face, Jesse froze.
A skull stared down at him instead of his commander, hollow eyed and empty, jaw yawning wide. Jesse threw himself backwards, reaching for his nearest squad mate’s arm, only to find it loose in the socket. Two long white bones twisting around each other, coming free in Jesse’s palm. Radius, ulna, his brain supplied from a thousand miles away, and Jesse threw them to the ground, horror swimming up in his throat. When he turned to look his whole team was nothing but piles of ribs and beating hearts, skulls shifting loose atop their spines, blood puddling scarlet under their boots. He tried to scream and nothing came out but static, until his throat was on fire with it, and-
Jesse woke up shouting. The place where his left arm used to be was aching and sore, bile creeping into his mouth. He sat up in bed, trying to steady his breathing, unsure what time it was, or how long he’d been asleep. There was a water bottle on his nightstand, and he stuck it between his knees to hold it in place as he twisted off the cap and took a messy drink, water dripping down his chin. It washed the bitter taste from his mouth, but didn’t soothe the queasy feeling in his gut. Jesse set the water back down, laying his right palm over the end of his left arm, the rough uneven skin where it ended just below his elbow. He felt the cold metal of the connection port in the center, breaking up the expanse of flesh, the edges sinking down into him.
Even looking at the empty space where his arm wasn’t didn’t alleviate the sting. Pins and needles, tingling up and down a limb that wasn’t there. He made a fist with a hand he didn’t have, tightened it, let it go.
Years later, an ocean away from the battlefield where he lost it, and Jesse still felt it move sometimes.
At least it only hurt when he’d been dreaming.
It had been a while since he’d had any nightmares, but he should have seen it coming. They started up again every time something important shifted in his life, the change making him feel uneasy and out of control. When he moved, when he changed jobs, when he replaced his prosthetic.
When he got a new sub.
Or a new boyfriend.
Jesse wasn’t sure which applied here, though he desperately wanted it to be both. They’d only met up twice, only done one scene together, and Jesse could already feel it. That inescapable tug of gravity, his feet gone from underneath him, no way to right himself.
The feeling of falling, helpless to stop it, wondering how much it was going to hurt when he eventually hit the ground.
He wasn’t sure why he always did this to himself. It felt involuntary. Like his heartbeat. Like breathing. Something his body did all on its own, without his input, to keep him alive. To keep him safe.
Except it didn’t keep him alive. It hurt him. Worse every time, an old wound torn open again and again, until Jesse didn’t know if it would ever really heal. There was a good reason he didn’t date anymore, didn’t Dom anymore, didn’t put himself out there.
Just like with his family, just like with Deadlock, just like with the military.
Jesse always did his best, and it was never enough.
The last sub he’d been with, and the one before that, and the one before that. So polite, smiling sympathetically, hands laid on Jesse’s forearm, or restless in their laps.
It’s nothing you did, Jesse.
You took good care of me.
Things like this happen.
I just need something more.
Something more that Jesse couldn’t give them, evidently, and he wasn’t going to beg for the opportunity. It was bad enough being dumped without being pitiful about it. He had some dignity left, after all.
Now there was Hanzo, and it hurt already. That those soft, flushed looks would shift into something bored. His smile would start to dim, forced instead of bright, sitting uncomfortable on his face. His voice when they were in a scene, so rough and full of want, turning mechanical and flat.
Maybe Jesse didn’t deserve someone like Hanzo, but he wasn’t about to waste the time they had together worrying over that fact. He was going to throw himself into it, drink in every moment, every touch, every taste.
Jesse wasn’t enough, but he was greedy enough to pretend he could be for a while.
Until whatever higher power looking out for Jesse turned a blind eye.
It was the middle of the night, but Jesse wasn’t going back to sleep any time soon, so he kicked off his covers in defeat and headed into the bathroom to start the shower. He turned the water temperature up just high enough to keep from freezing himself out, the cool spray rinsing away the sheen of sweat on his skin, until he no longer felt sticky with it. Jesse washed up quickly, not bothering to shampoo his hair before he stepped out and toweled off.
The bed felt better now that he wasn’t grimy with sweat, and his eyes were heavy, but sleep still seemed out of reach. Too awake to really rest, but too tired to get up, Jesse lay in the dark and stared at the ceiling. Measured his breaths, counted backwards from ten thousand, unwilling to give up the lingering somnolence in him. Then his phone caught his eye, sitting innocuously on his nightstand, the notification light blinking red.
He reached for it, frowning as he tapped the screen to life. No one had called him, he would have heard the prolonged vibration rattling on his table, and the only person who would text him so late at night was-
Touching myself. Thinking of kneeling for you.
Want to be good for you, Jesse.
Jesse pressed the phone into his forehead with a groan, rolling onto his side and curling into a ball as the words twisted through his head in Hanzo’s voice. The first time Hanzo had texted him this way had been right after their scene together, and Jesse had blamed it on endorphins. The post scene buzz still running high in him, leaving Hanzo relaxed and eager and euphoric. But it had been days since then, and here Hanzo was, initiating something between them again. If only in a small way.
Being good for Jesse, even miles away.
The clinging shadows of his nightmare were gone, blown away like smoke as though they’d never been there at all. Thoughts of Hanzo left room for little else.
Thinking of kneeling for you.
Jesse was thinking of it, too, remembering Hanzo on his knees, looking up at Jesse with those beautiful dark eyes. Mouth open just slightly, cheeks flushed and breathing ragged, sitting so pretty without any instruction. Sitting seiza, and Jesse should have expected it from someone like Hanzo, not only from Japan but very obviously trained in martial arts of some sort. He was in amazing physical condition, his movements precise, his body muscled and defined.
All that power, all that strength, and he went down on his knees for Jesse without a moment's hesitation. Yes, sir. No, sir. Please, sir. Waiting for instruction, even though he could probably break Jesse in half if he was so inclined.
It wasn’t that Jesse didn’t like lean, lithe little subs who couldn’t wrestle their way out of a blanket.
He just liked Hanzo better. And Hanzo was across town, in bed, stroking himself off. Thinking about Jesse. Calling his name through gritted teeth, maybe. Thighs spread, arching up off of his mattress, please, Jesse, please.
Jesse dropped his phone in favor of palming himself, trying to remember why it was a bad idea to furiously jerk off right then. He tended to wear his heart on his sleeve, often to his own detriment, but he’d never been quite so gone over someone this quickly before. It usually took a few weeks, maybe a month, and then Jesse was in over his head, caring too much about someone who was mostly ambivalent about him in return. It was frightening, how fast he’d given Hanzo the power to hurt him.
It was already done, though, and Jesse was in too deep to get out unscathed.
And Hanzo was fucking beautiful, sharp in all the right places. A predator making himself meek just for Jesse.
A wolf at his feet, and Jesse called Hanzo’s name when he came over his belly, breathless and keening.
Just you wait.
Chapter 6: Relent
Hanzo watched Genji walk out of Hanamura all those years ago, for the second time, and didn’t follow. It wouldn’t have been possible, not without dozens of hostile Shimadas close on their heels, making their lives miserable.
Putting Genji at risk, when he’d already escaped the tangled web of their family’s influence once. No one said as much, but Hanzo knew the clan elders hadn’t simply turned a blind eye and let him disappear quietly into the world without trying to bring him back.
In pieces, if necessary.
Genji had left. He’d dealt with whatever nameless assassins the clan managed to send after him without Hanzo’s knowledge, and come home anyway, in spite of the danger. Waltzed through the gates of Hanamura as though the elders hadn’t tried to kill him already, smiling and cocky, daring anyone to question him.
He’d come back for Hanzo. Risked his life for Hanzo.
So Hanzo let Genji go again, and nodded solemnly in agreement when the clan elders told him his brother had to die.
To preserve the integrity of the Shimada name. To keep their family honorable. To prevent insurrection in the ranks. They’d feigned reluctance alarmingly well, pretending that it was some great burden to pass down a death sentence for one of their favorite sons, and once upon a time, Hanzo might have believed them.
Once, but not anymore, now that Genji had opened his eyes.
Fallen to his knees, hands fisted in Hanzo’s clothes, please anija, don’t do this to yourself.
I do what I must, and Hanzo had waited until the next evening, crept past the gates, and vanished into the night.
It would have been easy to catch up to Genji, to follow the trail he’d left.
To lead the clan members following Hanzo straight to his brother. Keeping an eye on their chosen heir, in case Hanzo lost his nerve.
Hanzo wasn’t going to kill Genji, but he hadn’t lost his nerve.
Sojiro and the elders had worked hard to make Hanzo into the ugliest version of himself, and he spent the better part of a year leading stray assassins in wild circles all over the Japan. Hanzo slit Shimada throats in alleyways, and strangled yakuza goons in bathrooms. Broke underling necks in abandoned houses, put arrows in archer chests on rooftops.
When there was no one left to chase him, no one left to chase Genji, Hanzo went back to Hanamura and cleaned house.
Not entirely, of course. None of the lower level clan members were to blame for the actions of their superiors, and he saw no reason to kill them for someone else’s mistakes.
Hanzo buried arrows in the hearts of every elder who’d called for Genji’s death. Slipped through the hallways, sinking blades into the flesh of those who ran from him, steel dripping gore, hands dyed crimson. He did it without blinking, without flinching, without hesitating.
Then Hanzo laid Stormbow in its stand in his room, his katana underneath it. Wakizashi, tanto, shurikens, all set out like offerings. They didn’t feel like his, anymore.
They belonged to a stranger. One he was leaving behind, to keep watch over an empty castle.
To bear the legacy of a meaningless name.
Hanzo had expected his dragons to protest the abandonment of his bow and his blades, the trappings of his identity, but they’d been eerily quiet since he finished slaying his family. Part of him wished he could leave them behind, too. Cut them out of his skin, rend them free from his soul. For most of his life, they’d only ever been another weapon to Hanzo. It was all the Shimadas ever allowed them to be, anymore.
Hanzo had hazy memories of things being different when they first came to him. Of them being a comfort, instead of a burden. Of them taking form in his room when he was tired from training, aching and bruised and miserable, and crawling into his bed. Nuzzling in close, growling when any of the elders came to his door to summon him.
It should have been a warning, the way they were always ready to lash out against his kin, how quick they were to bare their teeth at them, hissing with the need to strike.
Between the elders fists, and his father’s fury, that didn’t last very long.
You cannot treat them like pets, Hanzo.
Blood in his mouth, one eye swelling shut, looking up at Sojiro from the floor of the temple and trying not to shake, Hanzo had agreed. In spite of the roar in his thoughts, and the agony of keeping them leashed in his skin, Hanzo agreed. The dragons mourned as though Hanzo had died, devastated at being relegated to something cold and impersonal.
Not a source of strength, but a way for his family to use him. A weight he was forced to carry around even now, to remind him of just how close he’d come to losing everything that mattered.
To losing Genji. To losing himself.
Leaving Hanamura for the last time, he’d made his way to America, serpentine and evasive. He didn’t think there was anyone brave enough to go after him, not right then, but Hanzo wasn’t taking any chances with Genji’s life. His nights were spent in abandoned houses. Empty apartments, vacant office buildings. Churches and bus stops and train stations, Hanzo migrating from place to place like a vagrant. His dragons were mostly quiet, only rearing up when he needed their guidance to make his way through a particularly hazardous place. Crossing a border without being detected. Evading the police when necessary, or avoiding trouble in big cities, full of dangerous men who didn’t know just how low on the food chain they really were.
Even without his spirits, without his bow and his blades and his name, Hanzo would always, always be a predator.
Would always be a dragon.
And they were still there, rumbling wordless under the surface. As dormant as they could be, all things considered.
Then he got to America, and found Genji. Apprenticed under Amelie, and rented an apartment, settled into life there. The more stable he got, the more insistent his dragons became, unwilling to be forgotten about indefinitely. He’d spent so long ignoring them it was second nature, until Hanzo wasn’t even sure what they were trying to communicate to him anymore. Static. Like the ocean, or the rain.
Incoherent, but louder and louder as time went on. Noisy, but never fighting him, or demanding to be set loose.
Never threatening to crawl out of his skin on their own if he didn’t do as they bade him.
Hanzo hadn’t seen Jesse since their date on Tuesday, and found himself restless, impatient for the weekend to arrive in spite of all the messages they sent back and forth, the random phone calls, Jesse’s endless, idle chatter. Found his dragons just as restless, just as impatient. He hadn’t known what was riling them at first, before he realized how they settled at the sound of Jesse’s voice, or the sight of the selfies he sent. How they calmed when Hanzo read Jesse’s messages, and preened when he paid Hanzo compliments, smug and content.
Found himself stroking his palms soothingly over his tattoos, talking to them as he hadn’t in years, trying to quell their unease.
‘We’ll see him soon,’ and they begrudgingly went quiet. Obedient but sullen, easily as keen for the weekend to come as Hanzo himself, if not moreso.
He could barely remember the last time he’d looked forward to something so intently, not before he’d met Jesse, anyway.
The only thing that surfaced was a day from his childhood, Hanzo counting off the hours until his father left on business and took the worst of the clan elders with him. He’d bid him farewell just after sunrise, and crawled in bed with Genji, desperate for the only comfort he knew.
Breathless with relief at the prospect of a few days of peace.
A few days of being allowed to simply exist, instead of having to perform, and excel, and obey.
The memory made his stomach clench unpleasantly, static humming louder in his mind, dragons starting to churn again. He thought about Jesse, and they eased back. Hanzo didn’t want to think about it, how they’d latched onto him, over-eager and unguarded.
He’d worked to silence them for years, and now they were breaking free of his careful control effortlessly, like it was nothing.
Hanzo didn’t want to think about it, so he didn’t, petting the ink on his skin when it shivered in place and ignoring how pleased they were at the attention.
He walked through the VIP entrance at Overwatch late that Saturday and caught sight of his friends, sitting at a table in the center of the room. Lena was cackling loud enough to be heard over the music, and Amelie hid a smirk behind her hand, Jesse grinning wide at whatever was playing out between them. Hanzo’s chest went tight, bag heavy around his shoulder, and suddenly he felt out of place. Not unwelcome, but unnecessary. They looked so comfortable with one another, all easy smiles and raucous voices and familiar company.
Hanzo’s first instinct was to turn around and leave, anxiety rearing up uninvited, telling him in no uncertain terms to cut his losses and quit while he was ahead.
Before he gave Jesse the power to hurt him even more, deeper than blades could sink, in between his bones where arrows couldn’t reach. Before Jesse had all the weapons he needed to cut Hanzo down with just his words, and his eyes, and his touch.
Then Jesse saw him standing there, and his face lit up, smile going from bright to blinding. Hanzo smiled back and headed over to the trio on autopilot, nerves fading away as the white noise he’d grown so used to ignoring thrummed euphoric under his skin before quieting. Jesse stood when Hanzo got close, pulling out an empty chair at their table and leaning over to kiss him.
Hanzo kissed him back, lifting up on his toes to press into it, unable to help himself. He opened to Jesse instinctively, deepening the kiss, breath coming a little faster. It drug on longer than it probably should have, considering their location, and after a few moments Lena cooed at them.
“Awwww, that’s precious, look at you two!”
Hanzo was already pulling away when a wolf whistle sliced through the air, drawing their eyes towards a woman emerging from a door behind the bar. Older, a few streaks of gray in her hair, an intricate tattoo underneath her left eye. He sat down as she approached, but Jesse didn’t, tugging the woman into a one armed hug and patting her back, obviously well acquainted with her. She laid her cheek against his, kissing the air next to it before releasing him. Her eyes flitted to Hanzo as Jesse took his seat, smirk on her face, fond but teasing.
“Hanzo, I presume?” The woman asked. Hanzo nodded, and she stuck her hand out across the table for him to shake. “Ana Amari. Nice to meet you.”
“You as well,” he replied as he withdrew his hand, glancing at Jesse in question, who gestured at Ana.
“This is Ana’s place. Overwatch, that is. Well, her and Rein’s. Where is he, anyway?” Jesse asked, looking around but clearly not finding who he was seeking.
“Oh, he’s in the back resting,” she said, and Jesse grinned, huffing out a laugh.
“You put him to sleep already? You gotta go easier on that boy.” It was her turn to laugh, throwing her head back as she did so, arms crossed over her chest.
“If you can’t wear them out, you’re doing it wrong. Right, Hanzo?” Ana asked, smiling conspiratorially at him, like they shared a secret he hadn’t been let in on yet. Hanzo didn’t know what to say, but Ana saved him from fumbling over a reply, turning her attention back to Jesse.
“You never returned my call. You still pulling out of your demo? I wanted to check with you again before I tried to find someone else. I thought you might have changed your mind, especially now that…” she trailed off, glancing at Hanzo again, hesitating. Jesse cocked his head, reaching under the table to take Hanzo’s hand and lace their fingers together.
“Especially now that what?” Jesse asked, and Ana made a noise through her teeth. She waved a hand towards Hanzo, voice soft and questioning.
“Now that you have a sub…?”
Jesse lifted his chin, smug and pleased, squeezing Hanzo’s hand tighter. Jesse’s eyes slid sideways to linger on him.
“Now that I have Hanzo.”
I have Hanzo, as though it was the easiest thing in the world.
Hanzo squeezed his hand in return, breathing through the wild beating of his heart, counting through the euphoric tide of noise from within.
Something ancient in him was viciously thrilled about being claimed, about being wanted, not for his heritage but for himself. Hanzo had to blink past the glow that wanted to pulse from his eyes, and make a fist against the light that tried to shimmer off his tattoos. Had to physically will his dragons to stay in his skin, his teeth gritted, his lungs too full of air.
“You two talk about it, and get back with me.” Ana said with finality, and promptly changed the subject.
There was more conversation between them, but Hanzo didn’t track any of it, too caught up in voices he’d rather not hear in the back of his mind, saying things he’d rather not listen to, so loud that he couldn’t ignore them.
We have Jesse, and Hanzo wanted to argue, tell them they didn’t have anything. Tell them that the world wasn’t as simple as dragons might like it to be, that Jesse wasn’t something they could own, or hoard, or possess.
Except Hanzo was a dragon too, in all the ways that mattered, so he ran his palm over his tattoos, and stayed silent.
“You don’t gotta do nothin’ you’re not comfortable with. I know we ain’t exactly been... together, all that long, and I don’t want you feelin’ obligated.”
He hesitated over the word, together, like he’d been trying to find the right one and wasn’t altogether happy with his choice. They were at Jesse’s house, later that same evening. It was the first time Hanzo had ever been there, and he hadn’t known what he’d been expecting as they drifted through the living room, but it was all very Jesse. Clean but cluttered, the furniture mismatched and worn yet comfortable looking. There was an overcrowded bookshelf in the corner, and a couple of pairs of boots sitting askew next to the door. The rugs covering the dark wood floor, all of them in varying shades of red and brown, had a southwestern feel, geometric patterns faded with age. There were a handful of stray books on the coffee table, along with an outdated tablet and an honest-to-god newspaper.
Hanzo hadn’t thought they printed them like that anymore, but there it was, anachronistic and undeniable. Next to an empty mug, even, and the image of Jesse sitting on his couch drinking coffee and reading the newspaper was so domestic and strange and wonderful that Hanzo had to consciously, deliberately, let it go.
Earlier in the week Jesse had asked if Hanzo minded doing their next scene at his place, instead of the club. He’d been shy about it, as though uncertain of whether or not Hanzo would be comfortable with the idea, but being tied up in Jesse’s home sounded a lot more appealing than doing so in a back room at Overwatch, no matter clean and well maintained Satya kept them with her hard light.
Asked if Hanzo wanted to spend the night, instead of going back to his apartment.
‘Just sleepin’, I promise. Be real nice to hold you.’ As though Hanzo would have objected to something more than their scene together. As though he wasn’t aching for Jesse to take from him until there was nothing left to give.
It was embarrassing, how fast he’d stuttered out his agreement.
Now he sat on Jesse’s bed, still fully dressed other than his own boots, which he’d left by the front door out of habit. Jesse’s dark blue sheets were carefully folded down, black ropes already hanging from the headboard, with others sticking out from underneath the mattress. Jesse stood nearby, scratching at the back of his head, obviously anxious about the conversation they were having.
Trying to have, if he’d stop telling Hanzo the same things over and over, and actually give him information.
You ain’t gotta, there’s no pressure, it’s no big deal.
“You still haven’t told me what would be expected of me, were I to do it with you. It’s a demonstration at the club. On stage, I presume? With ropes? I wouldn’t have to be naked, would I?” Hanzo asked, and Jesse’s face twisted into something vaguely horrified as he waved his hands in the air.
“No, no, nothin’ like that! I mean, usually whoever did ‘em with me before was shirtless, and in briefs, but you could wear whatever you like. Long as it’s a different color than the ropes I use, so everyone can see the knotwork. This is- would be- an intermediate ropes demo. Chest harness, is what I tend to do, just go over everything with the crowd, nothing too fancy.”
Hanzo hummed, thoughtful. The easiest thing to do would be to say no. As Jesse had said, there was no pressure, Hanzo wasn’t obligated, and Jesse didn’t seem to mind pulling out of the demonstration. Ana had implied she had someone else in mind to take his place, if necessary, though it was obvious she preferred Jesse for the task. Not that any of that mattered to Hanzo.
There was something appealing, in a primal way, about presenting himself on stage with Jesse. Being his, for everyone to see. It struck Hanzo deep, an unfamiliar place within him, somewhere he’d only recently discovered existed at all.
Now that I have Hanzo.
“So you’d just tie me in a harness, and explain it to the audience?”
“Ah, yeah, that’s… that it. Last week I told Ana I probably wouldn’t be able do it, ‘cause I didn’t know how you’d feel about it. Didn’t want to make you uncomfortable asking, and I sure didn’t want to be ropin’ some other sub.”
Hanzo thought about Jesse, and the way he touched him. How his hands lingered on Hanzo’s jaw, on his throat, on his chest. How possessive it was, even absent words, absent intent.
How Jesse put his hands on Hanzo’s skin, and Hanzo felt adored.
How everyone else would see it, too, in those unguarded eyes of his, those greedy fingers.
Then he thought of everyone staring, many of whom knew Jesse well, all of them watching carefully. Wondering who he was, what they were to one another exactly, where Hanzo had come from.
“Could I wear a blindfold?” He asked, and Jesse blinked, cheeks flushing under Hanzo’s earnest stare.
“Uhh… yeah. Sure, that’d be fine.”
“If you’ll blindfold me before we go up, I’ll do it.”
“R… Really? I mean-”
“If you tell me ‘I ain’t gotta’ one more time I’m going to put you in a choke hold.” Hanzo said, reaching out to take Jesse’s hand, looking him steadily in the eyes. “I want to do this with you, Jesse.”
A flurry of different emotions played out over Jesse’s face, settling on something like gleeful disbelief as he leaned in to kiss Hanzo, soft and chaste. When he pulled back he was grinning wide, all that vulnerable joy tucked out of sight for the moment.
“I got some plans for you tonight, but I’d like ta get a rain check on that choke hold.” Hanzo rolled his eyes, but Jesse went on, undeterred. “Don’t wanna miss out altogether. You can hold me any way you like, darlin’, any time you like.”
“You’ll regret saying that. What’s that phrase, eat your words?” Hanzo said, and Jesse waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
“I’ll eat something, for sure.”
Hanzo opened his mouth to speak, playful derision already gathered on his tongue, but then Jesse’s expression shifted, and he didn’t remember what he’d been planning to say. “You ready to go, sugar? What’s your color?”
Anticipation swirled in Hanzo, and it was just as well that all he had to force out was-
“Yes, sir. Green, sir.”
Jesse kissed his jaw once, and stepped back, reaching down to pick up the loose end of rope off the floor by his feet. The length of it ran under the bed, the other end laying on rug on the opposite side of the mattress. Jesse tossed it on top of the sheets and sat down on the bed, waiting.
“Get those clothes off for me and sit up against the headboard.”
Hanzo undressed for Jesse, like he’d done it countless times, instead of only twice. He pulled off his socks, folding his jeans meticulously, hands careful as they laid his shirt on top of the pile and set it all neatly on the chest at the foot of the bed. When he situated himself at the headboard he found it was padded, soft leather over foam, cushioning his spine.
“Take your hair down, too, sweetheart. Get comfortable for me.”
Hanzo did as he was asked, untying the ribbon in his hair and letting it fall down over one side of his head, just long enough to curl beneath his jaw, to brush his neck. Jesse took the strip of yellow cloth from him before he could put it on the bedside table, running it between his fingers, bringing it up to his face. He pressed it to his nose and breathed in, and Hanzo flushed, watching Jesse stick it into his pocket like some sort of prize.
“You cozy? Gonna be able to sit there for a while?”
Jesse seemed to want an honest assessment of this, so Hanzo shifted in place, rearranging on the pillow underneath him until we was more comfortable before answering.
“Alright. Hands over your head, then.”
Jesse crawled up next to him, putting his hands under Hanzo’s biceps and guiding them into place. His palms skimmed up to Hanzo’s elbow, over his forearms, until his arms were stretched high, Hanzo’s back arching at the strain. Now that Hanzo looked he realized the rope wasn’t hanging down over the headboard, but looped through a metal ring that was secured in the wall above it.
Jesse tied his wrists individually, rope twisting and knotted, before binding them to one another, palms together. Nothing intricate, simple ties, something to keep Hanzo in place. Once they were secure Jesse ran his fingers over the lines of rope on Hanzo’s wrists reverently, as he always did when he finished a knot.
Appreciating the sight of Hanzo in his ropes, he’d said before, not an ounce of shame anywhere in him.
Jesse leaned over the bed to retrieve the other end of rope from the floor, and situated himself between Hanzo’s legs. Hanzo flexed his wrists in their bonds, hands fisting, cock twitching with interest.
He was in Jesse’s bed, and Jesse was between his thighs like he belonged there, ropes in hand, watching Hanzo with blatant hunger. He coaxed Hanzo’s legs where he wanted them, knees bent, feet flat against the mattress. Then laid his palms over Hanzo’s knees, and eased them down the inside of Hanzo’s thighs, splaying them wide. Hanzo let them fall open, and tried not to be self conscious about it, being bared so fully for Jesse again.
He was beginning to think he’d never get used to it, that raw sensation of Jesse’s eyes swallowing him whole, picking him apart. Looking into him, yet never finding Hanzo wanting.
Jesse ran his hands up to the juncture of Hanzo’s hip and scratched through the short, dark curls on his abdomen, knuckles bumping into his arousal. Retraced his path, back down the insides of Hanzo’s thighs, easing his knees further apart.
His hands were moving then, and Hanzo watched Jesse pick up the one end of the rope that remained and wrap it around his left leg. Above his knee, and then below, rope coiled and secured. Loose, still, until he repeated the task with the other leg. Only then, when he pulled out the slack and finished the tie, did Hanzo realize how little maneuverability he had. There was no give to the rope, no slide, the weight of the mattress combined with the two of them holding him firm. The scant couple of inches he could move only served to highlight how trapped he was there, how caught. Short of summoning his dragons, or getting close enough to bite, there was nowhere he could go, no way he could fight back.
Nothing he could do but yield, and even those knee jerk instincts of self preservation were silent now, where they’d been unsettled last time.
His dragons hummed lazy under his skin, closer to the surface with every day that passed, yet utterly unbothered right then. They did not feel poised to respond to his call, even if he’d tried to pull them up, their energy languid and untroubled. It was disconcerting, on some level, and for the first time in years, twisting in Hanzo’s mind, were words instead of noise.
You do not need us right now. Jesse has you.
It would have been disarming, if Hanzo wasn’t already so disarmed, letting himself sink into the heady fog of submission.
Jesse knelt between Hanzo’s knees and grinned up at him, fingertips lingering over the knots on Hanzo’s thighs. He leaned forward as though to bring their mouths together, and Hanzo moved to meet him as best he could, body forced the arch strangely within the confines of the rope. It seemed deliberate, Jesse waiting just out reach, making Hanzo work to kiss him. Making him chase it, and in other circumstances, Hanzo might have been hesitant to let his eagerness show.
But he was safe, in the ropes, under Jesse’s hands. Helpless.
Nothing was his fault like this, not even the want living in his blood or the desire already thick in his mouth. So Hanzo strained until Jesse’s lips were on his, and Jesse obviously intended the kiss to be gentle, to be chaste.
Hanzo licked into his mouth with a breathy noise instead, messy and demanding, hands clenching into fists with the need to touch. A quiet huff of laughter, and Jesse pulled away, one hand petting over Hanzo’s jaw.
“Easy. Now, you ain’t gotta do nothin’ special for me here. Just can’t have you going nowhere. Gotta keep you still so I can make you feel real nice. We green?”
He swallowed down the indignant whine that wanted to surface at being denied, and nodded along with his answer.
Jesse hummed in acknowledgment, wasting no time. He mouthed his way over Hanzo’s jaw to his throat, licking at it noisy and unabashed, before easing further down. There were still bruises on Hanzo’s shoulder and chest from the last time they’d been together, faded but present, and Jesse lingered over each one. Sucking, nipping, until they were as fresh as the day they’d been put there. Renewed them, and Hanzo did whine, then, pressing into Jesse’s mouth. He didn’t consciously pull at the ropes holding him, but they bit into his wrists, keeping him firmly in place as he fought their grip.
Bit harder when Jesse tongued over his nipples one at a time, making an appreciative noise in his throat, hands groping rough at Hanzo’s chest. They were swollen and red by the time Jesse released them, throbbing from the attention, sensitive enough that Hanzo could feel Jesse’s every breath. Then he was nosing down Hanzo’s abdomen, murmuring into Hanzo’s skin, drawl gone heavy and low.
“Can’t believe no one’s ever gotten to love on you like this, Hanzo. Makes a man feel mighty privileged.”
Hanzo’s eyes cut down at him violently fast at the words, but Jesse was already looking away from his face, pink cheeked, biting his lip. He turned his attention to Hanzo’s cock, instead, hard and curving up towards his belly, the tip shining and pearlescent.
“You come whenever you like, darlin’, you ain’t gotta ask me for permission tonight.” Jesse said, hands spread out over the soft skin of Hanzo’s thighs, thumbs circling slow.
Hanzo was going to thank him. It seemed appropriate, in context, expressing his gratitude to his Dom; ‘Thank you, sir’ .
Except then Jesse’s mouth was on him, and all Hanzo could do was moan.
Hanzo’s hips jerked forward absent his control, fucking up into the slick heat of Jesse’s mouth. Jesse didn’t flinch, didn’t retreat, didn’t seem phased. He took Hanzo deeper before pulling back, tongue swirling hungry over Hanzo’s crown. Sank back down on him, setting a maddening rhythm that had Hanzo’s thighs shaking already, his eyes falling shut in bliss.
Jesse’s hands on Hanzo had been overwhelming. His kiss, his touch. Even just his presence was dizzying, sometimes.
The feel of Jesse’s mouth was blinding, and he had a moment of belated embarrassment when he thought of how he’d gone to his knees for Jesse, because there was no way his awkward fumbling could compare to this.
Then Jesse swallowed around him, a hand coming up to palm at his sac, and Hanzo couldn’t think at all anymore.
He rutted into Jesse’s mouth, arms flexed and tensing as he fought the ropes, stomach muscles twitching. There was none of the teasing he’d expected, Jesse bringing him to edge and stopping, or building him up agonizingly slow. He was close already, Jesse making pleased noises as he sucked and bobbed. Groaning, moving faster, like he was starved for every inch of Hanzo.
Worshipful and adoring as always, and Hanzo jerked, hair in his eyes, jaw shivering.
“Jesse. Jesse, I-” Hanzo couldn’t finish, couldn’t make the words, and Jesse simply took Hanzo all the way down until his nose was buried in the hair at the base of his cock, the metal of his prosthetic fingers stroking over Hanzo’s hip in encouragement.
His orgasm shot down his spine, making him arch, toes curling and fists clenched painfully tight as he shuddered all over and came into Jesse’s mouth. Jesse took everything he had to give and kept sucking, laving at Hanzo even as he went soft, until he was oversensitive and trying to twist away.
Finally Jesse had mercy on him, kissing his way back up Hanzo’s body, hands running over every bit of skin that he could reach. Over his trembling thighs, his quaking stomach, palms clutching at his chest. Thumbing at his nipples, fingertips digging into the meat of his pectorals. When he got to Hanzo’s mouth he was all teeth, tugging Hanzo’s bottom lip out before kissing him hard. Hanzo tasted himself on Jesse’s tongue as it slipped against his own, messy and unhurried.
Hanzo unwound, and unwound, and unwound, until it felt like he’d never be strung tight again.
Jesse kissed him until his mouth was bright red and tender. Until moisture dripped down his chin. Until his jaw ached. Pulled back, smiling, and Hanzo tugged on the ropes at his wrist once and smiled in turn.
“Are you going to untie me now, sir?”
Jesse’s eyes lit up, grin going feral, brows coming together in a put upon expression of surprise.
“Oh sweetness. Did you think I was done with you? Bless your heart.”
Then he dropped back down between Hanzo’s thighs, and took him into his mouth again, and Hanzo forgot how to breathe.
Chapter 7: Excess
It didn’t sound like his voice. Breathy, laced with a whine. Pleading.
Hanzo could only remember begging earnestly a few times in his life before Jesse, all of them unpleasant.
On his knees at Sojiro’s feet with blood in his mouth, Genji’s breathing going shallow where he lay on the floor between them, please don’t, chichi-ue, please.
He wouldn’t have thought it could be something like this, something that came easy. Poured out of his mouth all on its own, no dark twisting discomfort or edges of self-loathing.
Just please, Jesse, please, and the knowledge that Jesse would take care of him, would give him everything he wanted.
Things he didn’t know he needed, that he craved like air without realizing.
Jesse teaching him slowly, thoroughly, that ignorance was not always bliss.
The tortuous slick of Jesse’s mouth relented for a moment, and Hanzo was torn between relief and agony. Jesse kissed over bruises he’d left along the inside of Hanzo’s thighs, making him quake with the touch, every inch of skin raw and exposed.
“Sure you can, beautiful,” Jesse said, confident, like he was stating a fact.
Like Hanzo couldn’t help but obey him.
Hanzo whimpered, a shiver wracking his entire body, fingers grasping uselessly at empty air.
“I can’t,” he said, hips rocking rhythmically, fucking up into nothing in spite of his words. His dragons buzzed softly in the back of his mind, preening, content.
He had finished twice already, but Jesse seemed determined to get him off once more, apparently unsatisfied with the mess he’d made of Hanzo so far. Jesse soothed his hands up Hanzo’s chest, fingers teasing over his swollen nipples before slipping back down. He nuzzled into Hanzo’s abdomen, looking up at him from beneath his lashes, lips red and wet and puffy. His eyes were glassy, pupils wide, lids blinking slow.
Like he was drugged, high on Hanzo’s want, an addict taking a hit directly from the source. Mainlined into his blood, inhaled deep into his lungs.
That Hanzo could affect Jesse like this was dizzying, and he took a deep breath to steady himself.
“You wanna gimmie your color? ‘f it’s too much you tell me, I’ll get you outta these ropes and into the bath.”
Hanzo huffed, indignant, twitching as Jesse rubbed his cheek against his cock. It was flushed dark at the tip, hard enough that it almost hurt, but there was no pooling heat of orgasm looming on the horizon. Just the dull achy warmth that had settled low in his belly, a muted flame of arousal that refused to be stoked higher. The rough scratch of Jesse’s beard felt good, grounding, and Hanzo tried to push into the sensation and got only the unyielding tug of rope around his knees in return.
“It isn’t too much, I’m not-” Hanzo sighed at the look Jesse gave him, eyebrows raised expectantly, waiting on an answer. “ Green, we’re green.”
It came out tinged with frustration. Hanzo felt like he was failing somehow, his body not doing as it was supposed to, but Jesse just smiled, undaunted.
“Alright then. Jus’ relax, let me take care of you.” Jesse caught his eyes, holding Hanzo’s gaze as he slid his right hand down the inside of Hanzo’s thigh, over the swell of his ass. He stopped with two of his fingers pressed between Hanzo’s cheeks, rubbing gentle circles there. Slippery already, like he’d gotten them wet with lube at some point, but Hanzo hadn’t noticed him doing it.
Which wasn’t surprising, considering he could barely string words together right then.
“You tell me if I need to stop, yeah?” Jesse asked. His fingertips never stilled, coaxing at Hanzo without pushing further, stealing the air from his lungs.
Hanzo swallowed heavily and nodded, trying not to squirm into the touch and failing. Fresh arousal swirled in him, back arching, precome dripping weakly from his cock. It felt good. Better than he expected. There was no anxiety, no urge to pull away.
Now the pressure made his muscles tense, made his stomach flip, his mouth falling open on a harsh exhale. Jesse winked, easing down further between Hanzo’s knees and withdrawing his fingers.
He didn’t have a chance to be disappointed at the loss of contact, because Jesse’s mouth was hot against him, tongue licking hungrily at Hanzo. The noise he made was animal, a desperate whine, his head slamming into the headboard as he unthinkingly fought the ropes binding him.
Not to get away but to tangle his fingers in Jesse’s hair, to hold him in place as Hanzo shoved into his mouth. Jesse stroked his palms soothingly over Hanzo’s thighs, pulling his cheeks further apart to bury his face more snugly between them. He laved over Hanzo’s rim again and again, circling it with the tip of his tongue, eating Hanzo out like he was starved for him. Hanzo whimpered, writhing as best he could in the confines of Jesse’s ropes, under the press of his hands, beneath the heat of his mouth.
Shaking, shaking, shaking, and the coils weren’t confining him, anymore, but keeping him from falling apart.
Keeping him safe. Holding him together, so he could let go.
Jesse was far from silent, making pleased little noises in the back of his throat, pulling away briefly to whisper praise into Hanzo’s skin before diving in to devour him again.
‘You taste amazin’, being so good for me, Hanzo, fuck, been thinking ‘bout this all day...’
Metal fingers closed around his cock, and Hanzo jerked like he’d been electrified as Jesse began to work him. He stroked slowly, as though he wanted to drag it out, but Hanzo was already alive with need. Keyed up and shameless, every wet lick of Jesse’s tongue and twist of his wrist driving him closer to the edge. When Hanzo looked down at Jesse he could see him moving erratically, hips twitching, thighs spreading slightly. It took a few moments of lust-addled confusion for Hanzo to realize Jesse was subtly grinding himself against the mattress, rutting into it as he mouthed at Hanzo’s skin.
There was something quietly frantic about it, the way he was ruthlessly licking Hanzo open, the merciless slide of his palm on Hanzo’s cock. How he couldn’t stop himself from fucking into sheets.
How he was getting off on this, on Hanzo’s pleasure, even absent his own.
Then Jesse’s tongue pressed into him, the tip snaking past Hanzo’s rim to slide impossibly deep. His thumb circled over the crown of Hanzo’s cock, Jesse’s other hand palming his sac, and Hanzo was gone.
“Jesse,” Hanzo moaned, and his climax hit hard, jaw open wide and eyes wrenched shut. A few pitiful drops of come dripped over Jesse’s fingers and down Hanzo’s shaft, all that was left in him in the wake of Jesse’s attentions.
Jesse stroked him through it, ate him through it, continuing long after the haze of his orgasm faded. On and on, until Hanzo was quaking and trying to arch away from Jesse, trying to pull out of his grip.
“Please, it’s- it’s enough, I’m-”
He didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence before Jesse withdrew, surging up to take Hanzo’s mouth. It was rough, all sharp teeth and vicious want and exactly what Hanzo needed right then. Jesse’s hand sank into Hanzo’s hair, tugging his head back, forcing him to take everything Jesse gave him. The aggressive press of his tongue, the demanding sting of his bites, the low groan that Hanzo swallowed down eagerly. There was a metallic clank in the background; Jesse’s belt buckle being unfastened. The rustle of fabric, the sound of a zipper, and then Jesse pulled back from their kiss.
Hanzo tried to chase after him, but Jesse’s fingers in his hair were unforgiving, and he was left pulling forward and whining— fucked out and open mouthed and still desperate for Jesse’s lips on his.
“Shhh, I gotcha, sweetheart, I gotcha...”
His soothing reassurances trailed off in favor of tugging his cock out of his jeans and crawling up to lean over Hanzo. Jesse kept his fist firmly in Hanzo’s hair, forcing his eyes down, making him watch. Like it was some sort of trial to keep his eyes on Jesse, something he needed to be coerced into doing.
As if Hanzo would ever willingly look away.
“God, you’re so perfect, baby,” Jesse hissed, jerking himself off furiously, the wet crown of his cock sliding messy over Hanzo’s stomach. “Look what you do to me, Hanzo.”
It didn’t take long. A handful of frenzied strokes, and Jesse let go of Hanzo’s hair to grab his flannel and tug it free of his jeans.
“Keep watchin’, precious,” Jesse commanded before lifting the hem of his shirt and shoving the fabric between his teeth, keeping it up and out of the way as he worked himself faster.
He rocked forward, palm landing heavy on the headboard next to Hanzo’s face to support his weight, fingers splayed apart. Jesse’s spine curved in on itself, his breathing gone ragged and uneven around the cloth in his mouth. He tensed from head to toe, all of him strung tight, and god, Jesse was fucking beautiful this way. Hair falling in his eyes, muscles flexing, rocketing irrevocably toward his peak.
One of Hanzo’s bow strings, pulled taut in his hands and ready to be set loose.
Mine, Hanzo thought. His dragons hummed loud beneath his skin, and his eyes pulsed faintly blue, and then Jesse was coming.
Ropes of white landed heavy on Hanzo’s belly, on his chest, Jesse’s come dripping onto Hanzo’s spent cock. Hot like a brand, and Jesse shivered out the last of his climax with a few long, stuttering strokes, milking out every last drop. He eased back down between Hanzo’s thighs, letting his shirt fall from between his teeth, eyes flitting over Hanzo like he was drinking in every detail.
“Gorgeous,” Jesse said, chest heaving as he caught his breath.
Then he reached up and ran his fingers through the mess on Hanzo’s stomach, rubbing it into Hanzo’s abdomen, dragging his palm up over his chest.
Marking Hanzo as his own, the dragons in him insisted, and Hanzo couldn’t help the rumbling hum of contentment that poured out of his throat. Jesse grinned, glancing up to meet his eyes, palm sliding wet across his collarbones.
“Like that, do ya?”
Hanzo nodded, utterly relaxed in Jesse’s ropes, blissed out and dazed and unable to filter himself.
“Feels like I’m yours,” he said, because it was true, and he needed to say it out loud.
There was a beat of total silence, and then Jesse’s eyes went soft and fond, and he lifted Hanzo’s chin with his fingertips. Kissed him gently, lingering there, whispering against Hanzo’s lips.
“I want you to be,” he said, and his voice was full of too many things for Hanzo to answer. Jesse searched his face, and Hanzo wasn’t sure what he was looking for, but it seemed like he found it there, and Hanzo was glad.
If he was looking for something, Hanzo wanted Jesse to find it in him, always.
Jesse untied the ropes binding Hanzo, and ran him a bath, carrying him effortlessly into the bathroom. Like Hanzo was some small, lithe thing to be tossed around, and not the hulking mass of muscle he knew himself to be.
It was more enticing that he expected, being manhandled so easily into Jesse’s arms.
Being washed with calloused hands, fingers careful in his hair, Jesse mouthing up fresh bruises on Hanzo’s shoulder all the while.
Hanzo hadn’t taken a bath with anyone since well before he’d left Japan, and even then it was the impersonal waters of an onsen with a half dozen yakuza lurking nearby. Nothing intimate. Not like this, with Hanzo settled in between Jesse’s knees, lounging against his chest, skin on skin. Jesse kept touching him long after he was clean, palms sliding greedily over his chest and arms, face nuzzling into Hanzo’s neck.
Jesse worked the knots out of Hanzo’s shoulders and thighs, mumbling quietly in his ear as he did so. Praise, adoring and worshipful and Hanzo would have blushed at the words if he wasn’t already boneless.
Drowning in Jesse’s affection and incapable of summoning anything resembling embarrassment right then.
Eventually the water ran cold, and he was dried off and carried back to Jesse’s room. Tucked into unfamiliar sheets, covered up with Jesse’s too-soft blankets, fussed over. Drowsiness was looming, rolling in slow and threatening to overwhelm him, the warmth of Jesse’s bed too comfortable to resist.
When it came time for Jesse to get in bed he hesitated, hovering nearby, suddenly unsure of himself. Hanzo eyed him curiously, folding the blankets back in invitation, eyebrows raised.
“I don’t bite. Not at the moment, anyway.”
Jesse smiled, but it was thin, not reaching his eyes. There was something vulnerable there, just under the surface. He lifted his left hand, wiggling his fingers, closing his right hand around the base of his prosthesis with a questioning look on his face.
“You mind if I, uh…”
Hanzo frowned when he left the sentence unfinished, not understanding.
“If you what?” Hanzo asked, and Jesse hedged again, biting his lip.
“I can sleep with it on, if it makes you… I don’t know, uncomfortable. Wouldn’t be the first time.” Jesse said, and Hanzo blinked at him, his face twisting into something vaguely horrified.
“Doesn’t that hurt? To sleep without taking it off?”
There had been more than one clan member with prosthetic arms or legs, and even with the advanced technology afforded to them by Shimada doctors, Hanzo hadn’t known any of them to sleep wearing their artificial limbs. When circumstances forced them to do so, creeping through enemy territory on a job and catching a few hours of rest on a rooftop or in an alley, they complained. Soreness, discomfort, swelling. Unpleasant at best, debilitating at worst, and Hanzo couldn’t imaging someone willingly suffering through it when it wasn’t necessary.
“Some people get weirded out about it.” Jesse said, and shrugged, obviously hesitant to take off his prosthesis in front of him. Worried about how he would react, and Hanzo felt his dragons churning unhappily in his skin.
It was one thing for Jesse to have hang-ups about it himself, it was his body. His history, his trauma. It was quite another for someone else to do the same, for someone sharing Jesse’s bed to voice such a thing to him. To act as though his physical discomfort was less important than their own ignorance.
Hanzo closed his eyes, breathing through the sudden rage that flared in him, through the overwhelming desire to find and gut whoever had made Jesse feel this way. That he was somehow lacking. Hanzo ran his right palm over his tattoos, urging them into quiescence, forcing them to recede when they wanted to burst free.
He only opened his eyes when he was sure they weren’t glowing bright, vivid with his anger like they hadn’t been in years.
“Some people are idiots,” Hanzo said, lying down on Jesse’s pillow and breathing in his scent. “Take it off, and come to bed.”
Jesse obeyed, pressing a button on the base of his arm and twisting until it came free with a click. The fingers went loose and lifeless, something within the prosthesis whirring then falling silent. Jesse set it gingerly on the bedside table before climbing in next to Hanzo. He turned off the light, and tucked Hanzo into his chest, pressing a kiss into his hair.
Feels like I’m yours, Hanzo had said, and it still felt that way. Like he was wanted.
Like he was Jesse’s.
“I want to be, too,” Hanzo whispered into the dark, half asleep and drifting.
“Want to be what, darlin’?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo nuzzled deeper into his chest, warm and safe and owned.
“Yours,” he answered, and Jesse’s arms went tighter around him.
He mumbled something back, but Hanzo didn’t hear it, already fading into sleep.
Sleep fell away from him in stages.
Slow, like the tide going back out to sea, leaving Hanzo drowsy and warm and drifting. Everything felt muddled, and Hanzo was confused by the warmth surrounding him, by the hot breath on the back of his neck.
Still half-asleep, body achy like he was nursing a hangover he had no recollection of earning, Hanzo’s first thought was that Genji had shown up at his apartment drunk the night before and crawled into bed with him. Something he did only rarely now that he’d settled into his relationship with Jackson and Gabriel, but still more often than Hanzo would like considering Genji never called beforehand or had the decency to take the couch. Vague annoyance surfaced in Hanzo, something unpleasant twisting in his stomach, and he made a half-hearted attempt to roll away, kicking backwards at Genji’s shins.
“Fuck off, Genji,” he mumbled, and was rewarded with a laugh, deep and rumbling and amused.
Definitely not Genji.
“Morning to you too, sweetheart, but the name’s Jesse,” he said, and Hanzo blinked his eyes open, turning on autopilot. He found himself tucked snugly in Jesse’s arms, Jesse grinning at him fondly, his hand rubbing gently up and down Hanzo’s spine. Hanzo flushed with embarrassment, burying his face in Jesse’s chest and making a displeased noise in his throat. He was glad Jesse knew who Genji was, at least, that he was spared an awkward conversation where he explained why he was calling Jesse by someone else’s name.
“Sorry, I was… disoriented. I’m not used to this,” Hanzo replied, rubbing his cheek against Jesse’s collar bones, pressing closer to him.
Not used to it was an understatement.
Now that he was awake, and aware, Hanzo felt bliss coiling lazily in his veins. Jesse nosed into his hair, breathing in deep, and Hanzo had to keep his eyes closed, lest Jesse catch a glimpse of them.
Vivid bright, glowing with the power of his dragons, their happiness loud in Hanzo’s ears. At least his tattoos were against the mattress, mostly hidden in the sheets, safely out of sight. Hanzo could tell it was going to be a problem, the way all his defenses went down when Jesse was close, how everything felt easy.
How everything felt safe, Jesse’s hand on his skin, both of them languid and dozy.
“S’okay. Gotta say it’s real nice, wakin’ up like this. Might hafta keep you,” Jesse said, and Hanzo smiled in spite of himself, but didn’t reply.
I might have to let you was all he could think. The words stuck in his throat, but it didn’t seem to matter.
He threw a leg over Hanzo in the quiet that followed, urging him closer, pressing his lips to Hanzo’s temple. Chaste, and affectionate, and Hanzo mouthed at Jesse’s chest, kissing over his pectorals, up towards his throat. It felt natural, like he’d woken up this way for years, like it was all he knew.
Like he belonged there, and Hanzo rocked absently against Jesse, both of them hard in the half-light creeping past the blinds.
Jesse’s hand slid from Hanzo’s shoulder blades to his hip, squeezing for a moment, before easing down in between them. Long fingers sifted through the dark curls on Hanzo’s belly, then closed around his cock, slotting into place as though they were made for it.
Made to hold Hanzo, and he fucked into Jesse’s touch with a rough exhale, forehead shoved into Jesse’s neck.
“Okay?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo nodded, grinding his hips impatiently.
“Yes,” Hanzo said, lingering over the end of the word, fumbling for Jesse’s cock and taking it in hand. He stroked it once from root to tip, nose dragging through Jesse’s beard. “And this?” Hanzo asked in turn, and Jesse groaned, his left arm nudging into Hanzo’s back as he tried to pull him closer.
“God, yeah, baby, s’okay,” Jesse answered, rolling toward Hanzo, like he wanted to hold him down with his weight.
It was awkward, Jesse’s right arm bumping into Hanzo’s left, no space between them. Too hot, and Hanzo’s leg was falling asleep where it was pinned beneath Jesse’s, crawling with pins and needles. His hair was in his eyes, strands sticking in his mouth, and Hanzo only kept his dragons silent through sheer force of will.
Their approval was a litany in the back of his head, yes, this, ours, and he wanted to sink his teeth in Jesse, bite into his throat.
Mark him, so everyone could see.
Jesse came first, sobbing out Hanzo’s name, and Hanzo knew he had made a grave mistake.
He wanted to wake up like this forever, Jesse holding him close, shaking through his climax.
Warm, and whole, and Hanzo followed after him, shuddering out his own orgasm with Jesse’s come still warm on his fingers.
Jesse’s voice low in his ears, dark and adoring, yeah, darlin’, just like that.
Breakfast was quiet.
Jesse was wearing a pair of sweats and nothing more, prosthetic back in place on his arm, twisted on right after they’d cleaned themselves up. Hanzo pilfered a flannel shirt from Jesse’s closet, mostly to see the look on his face when he noticed Hanzo in it. It was long, and red, hitting him high on his thighs. The sleeves swallowed up his hands with only his fingertips sticking out the ends, and when Jesse caught sight of Hanzo he almost walked into a wall.
Then he’d backed Hanzo into the same wall. Picked him up, and pressed him against it, fingers sliding up his thighs and under the flannel. It took longer than it should have for them to finally make it to the kitchen, but Hanzo wasn’t complaining.
Jesse wasn’t getting his shirt back, either, but didn’t appear to mind.
He insisted on cooking for them, humming songs Hanzo didn’t recognize as he flipped eggs and fried bacon. Hanzo sat on a stool at the high bar that separated the kitchen from the dining room, and Jesse touched him every time he walked past, like he couldn’t manage to keep his hands off. Ruffled his hair, and scratched at his beard, grinning all the while.
He presented Hanzo with a tall glass of orange juice, and when asked about coffee, Jesse shrugged and squinted one eye thoughtfully.
“I can make some for ya, if ya like, but it’s better if you take it easy on the caffeine for a few days. Alcohol, too. What we did last night was a little more intense than what you’re used to, which means there’s more of a danger of you dropping. You need to make sure you stay hydrated. Don’t skip any meals, get enough sleep. Take care of yourself. Well...”
Jesse set down the glasses, and took Hanzo’s face in his hands, giving him a chaste kiss.
“You should always take care of yourself, but even more so right now,” Jesse finished, wandering back to get their plates and putting one down in front of Hanzo. “You start feeling off, you tell me. Even if it seems like it’s over nothing, or you don’t quite know what’s wrong. Don’t have to be serious to be important. Ain’t no such thing as overreacting if you’re flirting with a drop.”
It was nothing he hadn’t told Hanzo before, but he seemed more worried this time, so Hanzo nodded out his agreements, and tucked into his food. He wasn’t sure if it was especially delicious, or if he was just especially hungry, but Hanzo found himself eating ravenously. Only when he was plowing through his second serving did he realize his dragons were humming under his skin, smug and satisfied. Hanzo was putting down food like he was starved for it, and it wasn’t that he was hungry, or a reflection of Jesse’s cooking skills.
Jesse was providing for him, and the beasts in Hanzo preened, glowing with the simple joy of being fed and looked after. Hanzo could feel Jesse’s eyes on him, suddenly, watching him eat, that same simple, instinctive sort of pleasure written all over his face.
Jesse liked taking care of him. It shouldn’t have been any kind of revelation, Jesse had told him as much before, but this was different than being dommed. More intimate, somehow, eating Jesse’s food, dressed in his clothes, the sounds of the city filtering through the windows of his kitchen.
Hanzo was grateful for the long sleeves of Jesse’s flannel, because he could feel the power coming off his tattoos— the incandescent, primal glee of his dragons. Hanzo didn’t have to look to know they were glowing softly, reveling in Jesse’s presence, desperate to burst free. To take form as they hadn’t in years, and crawl into Jesse’s lap. Rub their faces against his skin, mark him with their scent, growl out pleased little purrs.
Hanzo couldn’t really blame them; it would be like getting angry at a mirror for what it reflected back at him.
They wanted the same things as Hanzo, after all.
It was early afternoon before Hanzo left Jesse, promising to meet him at the club later that night to hang out with Lena. Jesse wanted to show him the stage, let Hanzo see the prep rooms, make sure he was comfortable with all of it. They’d do a test run sometime that week at Jesse’s place, put Hanzo in the harness Jesse intended to demonstrate onstage, just so there weren’t any surprises later.
The promise of being wrapped up in elaborate coils at Jesse’s feet was distracting enough to have Hanzo walking past his street in a daze, forcing him to loop back around. It wasn’t as bad as walking into a wall, but the feeling was the same, and Hanzo grinned to himself, hands shoved deep in his pockets.
It was cold outside, Hanzo’s jacket hiding the oversized swath of Jesse’s flannel underneath. He traversed the familiar streets between Respawn Ink and his apartment building after stopping by the shop to pick up a sketchbook, music playing low in his ears.
Hanzo was lost in thoughts of Jesse tying him up in intricate knots, of dark rope and calloused hands, when his phone went off in his pocket. He pulled it out to find a text from Genji flashing on the screen, a dozen emojis next to his name at the top, all of them added by Genji himself.
where r u? r u busy?
Hanzo hesitated, wanting nothing more than to go home, sink into the soft cushions of his couch, and work on some of his upcoming clients’ tattoo designs.
Then again unless he was with Jesse, that was all he ever wanted to do, so he sighed, and tapped out a response.
Nearly home. What do you need?
The reply was instantaneous, dots appearing as Genji typed, then vanishing when the message came through.
come to the temple, to the inner sanctuary
need to show u something
Anxiety curled in Hanzo, a fire simmering on low but ready to flare higher if only Hanzo fed it. He gripped his phone too hard, closing his eyes for a moment, measuring his breathing. Genji was at the temple a lot, but usually in the courtyards lounging with Zenyatta, or in the gardens meditating. Sometimes going through his kata, weaponless but graceful, muscle memory carrying him without thought.
There was only one reason Hanzo could think of for Genji to be in the inner sanctuary at this time of day, inviting Hanzo to visit.
His dragons were troublingly silent, like they were waiting to see what he would do, thrumming with anticipation. Hanzo gritted his teeth, eyes catching on the red of Jesse’s flannel where the sleeve peeked out from beneath his coat, vivid and out of place. His phone buzzed again, another text popping up on the screen before he could answer.
Soundless, but Hanzo could hear it in Genji’s voice, the quiet intonation he used when he really, truly wanted something. Could see it in his mind, the tilt of Genji’s head, eyes bright and hopeful, and Hanzo hated it a little. He wanted to go home, to the solitude of his apartment, and secret himself away until it was time to go meet Jesse again. Wanted to hide; from his dragons, from himself, from Genji.
But Hanzo owed Genji more than he could ever repay him, so he shoved his phone in his pocket, and let his feet carry him towards the temple.
Everything was eerily hushed so far inside the temple walls.
The occasional omnic hummed as they floated past, wooden wind chimes clattering somewhere faraway, soft voices trickling in from the gardens. Monks milled around, going quietly about their business, but none of them acknowledged Hanzo beyond a friendly nod or brief hello. They knew who he was, for the most part, knew he was doubtlessly there to see Genji. One had pointed the way to the inner sanctuary, the Shambali polite as always, but Hanzo didn’t need anyone’s help to find his brother.
He could feel Genji down in his blood, power rushing through his veins and drawing him nearer. Hanzo let out a harsh breath, pausing outside the sanctuary doors and trying to collect himself.
The last time he’d felt the call had been in Hanamura, cherry blossoms falling like rain, something furious and savage boiling in his chest. Genji had been in the courtyard, gore smeared across his face, dripping crimson off his sword and onto the petals at his feet.
Midori by his side, feral and snarling, an assassin torn to pieces under her teeth.
Even years later it wasn’t something Hanzo could forget, that tugging in his bones, the urge to come close. The wordless, unerring promise of blood.
Of kinship, and family, and home.
The call of one dragon to another, and Hanzo wanted to turn, and run.
Kinship and family and home had been a curse more often than a blessing.
A wound that never healed, and always hurt.
But Genji was waiting, and this wasn’t Hanamura, but the family he’d chosen. The home he’d chosen, so Hanzo opened the door to the sanctuary, and stepped inside. He’d known what to expect, even without Genji spelling it out, but seeing it himself was another matter entirely.
The inner sanctuary was small, and mostly empty; a stone altar sat near the wall, candles and incense burning there alongside a large bell, the ceiling open to the sky above it. The floors were dark, smooth hardwood, broken up only by a few scattered prayer mats, and a handful of pillows. It was a place for private meditation, somewhere to get away from the bustle of the temple gardens.
Or somewhere to hide a dragon from prying eyes.
Genji sat cross-legged in the center of the room, Midori sprawled out in his lap, just as unearthly as always. Brilliant green scales, shimmering like peridot, darker frills curling off her head and twisting down her spine. About as big as a moderately sized dog, at the moment; not her smallest form, but not her largest, either. Something in between, and she blinked owlishly at Hanzo and stayed where she was, as if Hanzo’s arrival was only mildly interesting.
Her body language told a different story, ears pricked forward, tail flicking quickly back and forth at the tip, claws extending and retracting has she worked his oversized feet restlessly. She was excited to see Hanzo, but keeping it contained, likely at Genji’s command. Even calm, and mostly still, the sight of Midori had Hanzo’s heart racing wildly. He shouldered his bag higher and clutched the strap, eyes closed tight as he fought for air.
Hanzo wasn’t afraid of Midori; Shimada dragons were an extension of their bearer’s will, and Midori would no sooner harm Hanzo than Genji would. The ground rolled under Hanzo’s feet, as though he was dizzy, and he shifted his stance a little wider and tried to balance himself.
Seeing a dragon outside of battle had Hanzo falling viscerally backwards into his childhood, and suddenly he was eight years old, bruised and aching at Sojiro’s feet, squinting through a black eye.
Ten years old and spitting blood, bones sitting wrong in his skin, lips broken open on his teeth.
Twelve, and Hanzo couldn’t breathe through the ribs puncturing his lungs, through the fingers curled around his throat.
Sojiro had taught Hanzo that dragons were weapons, and only weapons. Taught him lessons in blood, and agony, and Hanzo had bled, and hurt, and learned.
Learned, and couldn’t unlearn, not even with Sojiro buried in the ground across the world, his clan in shambles, the elders turned to ash.
Hanzo took a shivery breath and opened his eyes, counting silently as he inhaled, one, two, three, hold.
“Hanzo, it’s okay,” Genji said, and he was right, it was okay. There was no one left who could hurt him for calling his dragons. No one to tell Hanzo to take the gift he’d been given and turn it on his brother.
No one whispering in his ear, it’s the only way, it’s your duty, you must, Hanzo.
No one but Hanzo, and Genji, and that made it worse, because Hanzo was still shaking, still breathless and frozen just inside the door. Genji stroked over Midori’s scales, muttering something softly to her before looking at Hanzo with a beseeching expression.
“Anija, please. You can’t keep doing this to yourself,” Genji said, and Hanzo shook his head, unsure if he was agreeing or disagreeing. Genji continued, an edge of desperation in his voice. “Sooner or later they’re going to be too much for you to hold back. It happened to me with Gabriel and Jack, I waited too long to tell them, and Midori took matters into her own hands. Just, popped out, scared the shit out of them and me both. It was hard enough, having to explain everything like that, and I’m not...” Genji trailed off, reaching for the right words, but Hanzo knew what he meant.
I’m not fucked up like you.
Not twisted into something weak, like steel that hadn’t been forged quite right. Sharp enough to cut, but brittle enough to shatter.
Hit his edges wrong, and Hanzo would fucking break.
“It’s not your fault, you didn’t do anything wrong, but the elders are all dead. Father is dead. Don’t let them fuck up what you have now. If you aren’t ready to tell Jesse yet, I… I get it, okay? I do. But at least summon them. Let them breathe. It’s got to be killing you, keeping them in like this. They’re going to break free sooner or later, don’t you think you should at least get to decide when?”
Hanzo hadn’t meant to close his eyes, but when he opened them again Midori was sitting in front of him. Regal, and she leaned forward and nudged her head into Hanzo’s hand, tentative, careful. The whole world was white noise in Hanzo’s ears, dragons roaring in his skin, pushing and stretching and shifting.
The last time Hanzo had let them free, he’d killed six people, and destroyed a building. The time before that he’d killed four, and burned down a temple. There was a pattern of death and destruction, every time they coiled to life from his flesh. But there were no enemies near; no elders, no yakuza.
There’s no other choice, Hanzo.
Hanzo’s heart was beating so fast it felt like it might stop, lungs empty and on fire, palms sweating. He pulled his hand back as if he’d been burned, and fled. Instinct had him evading like he was back in Japan again escaping clan assassins, their ghosts on his heels.
Haunting him just like everything else, and Hanzo ducked into alleys, and climbed fire escapes, body falling into the motions on its own. Scale, dodge, roll. Break line of sight, change direction, keep moving.
He’d gone miles and miles before he managed to slow down. To come back to himself, phone buzzing in his pocket, backpack abandoned somewhere in his frenzy. He felt empty, the adrenaline of his panic attack fading away, leaving him hollow and trembling. A headache pulsed behind his eyes, and he was unsteady on his feet, weaving in place.
Hanzo leaned against the brick of an unfamiliar alley, hair falling down from his ribbon in tangles, fingers bloody from climbing rough stone without gloves. He looked at the mess he’d made of his hands, red oozing over his knuckles, soaking into the fabric of Jesse’s flannel. He’d have to wash it, now. It wouldn’t smell like Jesse anymore, and Hanzo swallowed a mournful sound, and buried his face in his hands, red fabric soft against his cheeks. Breathed in, one, two, three.
Breathed out, shoved his hands in his pockets, and headed home.
If you are reading all the stories in this verse, Impulse Control is ideally read after this chapter.
Chapter 9: Tidal
By the time Hanzo got to his apartment it felt like he was walking through water. Everything dragged, limbs slow and heavy, hands throbbing from the cuts and scrapes on them. Work was going to be miserable when he went back, and he had a long session scheduled with a client on Tuesday that he’d probably have to cancel. There was no way he could tattoo for hours on end with any kind of skill until the fingers on his right hand healed up some. The client was one of his regulars, and they probably wouldn’t be upset, but that didn’t stop Hanzo from feeling like an idiot.
He’d also abandoned his bag in his panic, leaving a false trail for a nonexistent pursuer, a habit ingrained too deeply to shake. Two of his sketchbooks had been inside, with most of his recent drawings. A rough concept for a client’s piece, another he was working out for himself.
Pages and pages where he’d been sketching Jesse, the empty spaces full of detail studies; his eyes, his hands, his mouth. All someone needed to do was look at them and Hanzo’s feelings would be obvious, drawn out in black and white with unchecked affection.
Just for Hanzo, and now they were gone, out in the world where anyone could see.
His lungs were too big for his chest, suddenly, and he pressed the heels of his palms to his eyes until he saw stars. Stood next to his door, breathing in and out through his nose, trying to calm himself.
He’d managed to fuck up very hard, very fast. It was frightening how insubstantial his hold on himself was, how easy it was to upset the fragile balance of his life. Jeopardize his work and push Genji away, not to mention his relationship with Jesse.
Take care of yourself he’d said, and Hanzo had done the opposite in every possible way.
He staggered into his room and collapsed into bed on top of the blankets, swallowing around the tightness in his throat. He didn’t turn on the lights, or take off his shoes; just lay there fully dressed with his bloody hands tucked flat between his thighs. Hanzo blinked slow in the dimness of his room, staring out at nothing, his dragons unnaturally silent. Worryingly so, not a trace of the low hum he was used to hearing in the back of his head, that constant, restless pushing.
As though they weren’t even there, and the silence was deafeningly familiar. It was the same forced distance they’d put between Hanzo and themselves all those years ago, when his control of them was tenuous and Sojiro’s fists were made of iron.
Except it wasn’t Sojiro driving them away now. It was Hanzo, and he pressed his hands further between his thighs to try and stop their trembling. His phone buzzed periodically, and Hanzo knew without looking at it who the messages were from.
Genji, apologizing even though he hadn’t done anything wrong, worrying about Hanzo. Giving him space, because he knew what Hanzo was like, how he reacted to pressure now.
That he panicked and ran rather than deal with it, and Hanzo wasn’t sure how he’d become such a fucking coward.
Raised with a bow in his hand and a foot on his throat, and he’d somehow turned into this— a shaking, terrified thing, unable to face himself without falling apart.
Jesse was undoubtedly texting him too. Checking in to make sure Hanzo was okay, reminding him to stay hydrated, to rest if he was tired.
Trying to take care of him, and it made Hanzo feel even worse.
The phone vibrated again where it was pinned in his pocket between his leg and the mattress, and Hanzo closed his eyes; he couldn’t bring himself to pull it out, couldn’t find the energy to read through the messages right then. He was exhausted, drained from his panic attack, body still sore from their scene the previous night. There was no point in responding, anyway, nothing he could say.
No words that would fix how ruined he was inside, and apologizing felt meaningless. Hanzo didn’t deserve to be sorry.
Wasn’t worthy of being forgiven, even for something like this.
He hadn’t meant to fall asleep, didn’t notice it was happening, but Hanzo woke up hours later absolutely miserable. His headache was more severe than before he’d passed out, and he squinted through one eye, trying to see something in the pitch black of his room. There was no light shining in through his windows now, and he had a moment of disorientation, the shift from day to night disarming as it always was when someone slept through it.
His skin was gritty, and the blood on his hands had dried into something itchy and uncomfortable. The wounds were scabbed over, but he hadn’t cleaned any of them, and they hurt when he flexed his hands into fists. Hanzo was sweating under the weight of his jacket, and he writhed out of it and tossed it on the floor, kicking his shoes and socks off as well. The pain in his head flared with every movement, and Hanzo hissed, reaching for his phone to check the time. It had fallen out of his pockets in his sleep, and he pawed blindly at the blankets until he located it, prodding at the screen.
It flashed to life, 6:45 PM glowing far too brightly, and Hanzo unlocked it without thinking only to freeze when he saw all his notifications. A dozen texts split evenly between Jesse and Genji, along with half a dozen phone calls from the pair. His gut sank, and he clicked on his brother’s name in his messages first, and cringed.
i’m sorry anija
got ur bag, made sure u got home ok, i’ll bring it to you tomorrow
let me know ur okay
please call me
i’m worried about you
And then finally love you hanzo, and nothing else.
Hanzo let the screen go black and pressed his phone to his forehead with a sigh, fresh self-loathing curling through him.
Then the time sank in, and Hanzo realized he was supposed to be meeting Jesse at Overwatch in fifteen minutes. Nausea swirled in his stomach, and he swallowed, the sour taste of bile threatening in the back of his throat. Even if he’d been ready it would take at least twenty minutes to get there, and Hanzo was filthy, and half-asleep. Sore, a migraine pounding in his skull alongside his heartbeat, dressed in dirty clothes.
Raw both inside and out, like the slightest touch would hurt. There was no way he could go anywhere, especially not to meet Jesse.
As soon as Hanzo saw Jesse he’d lose it. He could feel his emotions simmering high just under his skin, ready to boil over, and Hanzo pushed them down and took a deep breath. Jesse’s messages were less frantic than Genji’s, but no less concerned, and Hanzo heard them in his low drawl without trying.
let me know when you get home
you doing okay baby?
don’t forget to eat something, drink lots of fluids
I’m hoping you’re taking a nap, text me when you get up
getting worried, sweetheart, gimmie a call
headed to the club, see you there?
The calls from Jesse were peppered in between his last three texts, one having come in only a few minutes before Hanzo had woken. He couldn’t stand Jesse up, just the thought had his anxiety roaring, but calling was out of the question right then.
If Hanzo tried to talk his voice would break over the words, so he tapped out a text, and pressed send.
Can’t make it tonight, I’m sorry.
It was woefully inadequate, especially in light of Jesse’s previous messages, but Hanzo didn’t know what to say to keep Jesse from worrying.
All his life he’d been pretending he was okay when he wasn’t, but there had never been anything but honesty between Jesse and Hanzo. Not the whole truth, Hanzo’s secrets were still threatening to eat him alive, but he’d never lied to Jesse about anything of consequence and he didn’t want to start now.
His phone started ringing almost immediately, Jesse’s face appearing on the screen, and Hanzo breathed out a shaky exhale and let it go to voicemail. Guilt was a living thing in him, sharp and poisonous, filling up his lungs. There were a few moments of silence before it started again, the buzzing continuous and unrelenting, and Hanzo shoved it under a pillow. Covered his ears, and curled up into a ball, breathing too fast and eyes too wide as he fought back the tide of despair trying to overtake him.
Inhale, hold, one two three. Exhale, one two three, repeat.
Over and over, until he could think again. Until his hands stopped shaking.
Until he felt more like a person, and less like glass.
He didn’t know how much time had passed, but his phone was still vibrating with the occasional text message, and Hanzo couldn’t bear to look at it.
He needed to get up. Needed to shower, and change his clothes, and eat something, but the effort required to do all of those things felt overwhelming, so he didn’t do any of them. Just curled tighter into himself, face shoved into the dirty fabric of Jesse’s flannel, and let his eyes fall shut. Given enough time he probably would have fallen asleep again, lulled into unconsciousness by the promise of ignoring his problems a while longer.
Then Hanzo was on his feet in a crouch, reacting before he even truly registered the knock at his door. His dragons were silent but his instincts were on a hair trigger, keyed up and ready to respond at the first sign of danger. And the person at his door was undoubtedly dangerous, but not for Hanzo. Not now, not ever.
“Hanzo? You home?” Jesse called, and Hanzo was over halfway through the living room before he stopped himself, standing forlorn in the dark a few feet away from the door. “You’re not answering your phone, and that ain’t like you, you got me worried,” he continued, knocking again, softer this time.
Hanzo walked the last few steps to the door and leaned against it, forehead pressed into the wood. He laid his palm flat against the surface, closed his eyes, and sighed.
“You don’t gotta let me inside if you don’t wanna, but I’d like to see you, make sure you’re doing okay. I brought you some stuff. I can leave it out here, but it’d be real nice to lay eyes on you. Think you might be droppin’, sugar, ‘n it’s my job to take care of you, yeah? Not that you can’t do that yourself, but we’re in this together, right?”
Hanzo put his hand on the knob, and hesitated. He was wretched right then, scabbed and filthy and ripe, hair a ridiculous mess. He looked like shit, and felt even worse, and letting Jesse see him that way felt like crossing a line. When he went out he was always so meticulous about his appearance, eyeliner drawn on with steady hands, clothes artfully rumpled, every detail carefully attended.
If Jesse saw him now there would be no denying the pitiful state he was in, but Hanzo couldn’t fully explain what had happened, either. Couldn’t tell Jesse about his dragons, not without summoning them to back up his words, because he’d come off sounding like a lunatic. As it was it seemed like Hanzo had simply been unable to handle the rigors of a fairly basic scene, dropped hard afterwards, then stubbornly refused to tell Jesse about it despite their prior discussions on the subject.
What if Jesse didn’t want to scene with him anymore? Didn’t want to take the risk because Hanzo was too much of a risk, too much trouble, too obstinate?
...we’re in this together, right?
God, Hanzo wanted them to be.
“Please baby, lemme see you,” and there was a desperation in his voice that made Hanzo hurt all the way down to his bones.
He opened the door, the light from the hall spilling into his apartment, and Hanzo blinked up at Jesse through the brightness. There were several bags dangling from one of his hands, some from a nearby grocery store, others that were full of boxes of takeout. The smell of food drifted past Hanzo, making his stomach growl, but he barely noticed.
Jesse was there, and all at once everything was a little less impossible.
Hanzo ran a hand through his hair, trying to smooth some of the strands and failing. Jesse looked him up and down, the surprise on his face shifting into worry almost instantly.
“Oh Hanzo, sweetheart,” he said, and stepped forward to tug Hanzo against him.
Gently, and Hanzo went without resisting, letting Jesse take his weight. There was a rustle as Jesse dropped his bags on the floor, fingers closing around Hanzo’s wrist and lifting his hand up to examine it. It stung as Jesse traced over one of the cuts with his thumb, and Hanzo cringed, but didn’t pull away. Just shoved his face against Jesse’s throat, his other arm tucked into his chest, and bit his lip.
Being surrounded by Jesse was the first thing that had felt right since he’d left the temple earlier that day, and Hanzo felt foolish for avoiding him, for thinking that seeing Jesse would make things worse instead of better.
“What happened, baby? How’d you hurt yourself?” Hanzo shook his head fiercely, and Jesse let go of his wrist, and wrapped Hanzo up tighter in his arms. “Can I come in? I brought you something to eat, ‘n a few other things. Let’s get these cuts disinfected and bandaged, yeah? Maybe get you cleaned up?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo nodded, hands fisted in Jesse’s shirt, but made no move to go inside.
“I’m sorry,” he said, so quiet he wasn’t sure Jesse would hear him but afraid to raise his voice above a whisper.
“Oh sunshine it’s okay, I ain’t mad. Just let me look after you, okay?” Jesse said, and Hanzo nodded again, and stepped back into his apartment.
He flicked the light on, wincing as his headache throbbed in response, eyes adjusting slowly to the brightness. Jesse followed him inside and shut the door after himself, piling his bags on the coffee table. When he looked up he caught Hanzo rubbing his temples, and started rifling through a sack.
“Headache?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo shrugged.
“It’s nothing serious,” he said, voice rough, hand dropping guiltily from his face. Jesse hummed at that, and it wasn’t an accusation, but he didn’t sound pleased, either.
That part of Hanzo that wanted to be good for Jesse twisted unhappily, and he cringed, and looked at his feet.
“See, we’re gonna need to talk about that, but I wanna get you all squared away first.”
Jesse pulled out a bottle of pills and a sports drink, the liquid opaque white and cold enough that condensation was beading on the outside. He doled out two tablets, and cracked open the bottle, handing them both to Hanzo.
“Take these, ‘n drink as much of that as you can stomach, but don’t make yourself sick. ‘M gonna go start the water. Get it warm, shower us off. If that’s okay with you?”
Jesse waited for him to nod his agreement. Hanzo did, and Jesse cupped the back of Hanzo’s neck and leaned in to press a kiss to his forehead before vanishing into Hanzo’s room, the sounds of the shower filtering through the apartment shortly after.
Hanzo swallowed the pills quickly, eager to obey, something in him relaxing at the order. It was mundane, utterly nonsexual, but the appeal was there nonetheless.
If Jesse was telling him what to do he couldn’t fuck anything up— couldn’t make a mistake so long as did as he was asked. There was safety in submission, even in something as simple as taking some medicine or climbing into the shower. The sports drink was overly sweet, some vague fruity flavor he couldn’t entirely place, but it was cold, and refreshing, and Hanzo only noticed how unbearably thirsty he was after he’d drunk half the bottle.
When he set what was left of it down on the coffee table Jesse was standing in the doorway of Hanzo’s bedroom dressed in nothing but boxers, watching him.
“You ain’t had a thing to eat or drink since you left my place, have you?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo shook his head, avoiding eye contact. “Okay. Let’s get you washed up so we can eat, then,” Jesse said, inclining his head towards Hanzo’s bathroom in invitation and waiting.
Hanzo pulled the ribbon loose from his hair and dropped it on the coffee table, shaking out the strands as he headed into his room. Once he was in the bathroom he went still at the sight of himself in the mirror, all ragged and sleep worn and haggard. It was like looking at someone else.
Like looking at himself, except from so long ago that he didn’t recognize the person there, someone young and weak and foolish in his mirror.
Then Jesse stepped up behind him, chest flush against Hanzo’s shoulders, hands slipping easily around his waist. Hanzo leaned back into him, not even trying to undress himself, letting Jesse do all the work. His fingers were nimble as he unfastened the buttons of the flannel, fabric falling open to lay Hanzo bare.
Jesse was always good at that, it seemed. Pulling back Hanzo’s layers and leaving him exposed. Hanzo wasn’t sure he should like it, but it felt better than anything else had in a long, long time.
Felt safe, and Hanzo hoped it was always like that with Jesse.
Like he’d finally come home.
Jesse tossed the shirt to the floor, unbuttoning Hanzo’s jeans next, sliding the zipper down and easing them off Hanzo’s hips. His boxers followed, Jesse taking a moment to kick off his own before wrapping his arms around Hanzo again. He splayed his palms over Hanzo’s chest and stomach, metal of his prosthesis cool as he moved both hands in slow, meandering paths over Hanzo’s skin. Jesse shoved his nose into Hanzo’s shoulder, tracing the column of his throat with his mouth, nuzzling just beneath his ear.
His lips were warm on Hanzo’s pulse point, and he kissed him there, mumbling his words into Hanzo’s heartbeat.
“C’mon, beautiful,” he said, taking off his prosthesis with a click and a whirr and setting it down on the counter.
Jesse stepped over the rim of Hanzo’s bathtub, holding out his hand to Hanzo and beckoning him closer. When Hanzo reached to take it Jesse grabbed his wrist instead, steadying Hanzo as he climbed in next to Jesse and tugged the shower curtain closed.
He lifted Hanzo’s hand into the warm spray, gingerly rinsing away the dried blood caked on Hanzo’s cuts. It stung a bit, but Jesse was careful, and when he was finished he pressed a kiss to Hanzo’s knuckles and repeated the process on Hanzo’s other hand. Slowly, laying it flat against his chest when he needed more pressure, the scarred end of Jesse’s forearm curling absently around Hanzo’s side.
Hanzo had a dark, merciless moment of clarity as he watched Jesse work the grit and gore loose from his fingers. A flash of red, the sound of screaming. A glimmer of remembered sensation— how it felt to pull a blade free when it had gotten stuck in bone.
Jesse could wash the blood off, but Hanzo’s hands would never really be clean.
His face crumpled, and Hanzo couldn’t hold back the sob that came out of him, torn from his throat against his will. Tears streamed hot down his cheeks, and he covered his face with hands, hair plastered against his skin as he tilted his head down. Once he started he couldn’t stop, breath hitching as he struggled to get air, and Jesse’s arms slid around Hanzo to pull him close.
“It’s okay, baby, it’s okay. I got you, Hanzo, you’re just fine.”
Jesse didn’t shush him, wasn’t trying to quiet Hanzo, so he leaned into Jesse’s chest and let himself go. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d cried like this, without fighting the tears, without resisting. Back in Japan, certainly. Well before Sojiro’s passing. It was always a weakness, and Hanzo never permitted himself, not without railing against it.
He couldn’t afford to make himself vulnerable. He was a Shimada, the head of the clan, and he needed to be strong.
It was different with Jesse. He wasn’t a Shimada, not in any way that mattered.
He was just Hanzo, and he let Jesse maneuver him out of the heaviest part of the spray, and press him into the shower wall. Jesse ran his fingers over Hanzo’s brow, across his jaw, down the line of his throat, whispering low all the while, you’re okay, sweetheart, it’s fine.
He wasn’t fine but it felt like he could be one day, if only he’d allow it.
Hanzo still didn’t trust himself with his dragons, wasn’t ready to tell Jesse about them yet, but he could do this much. Let Jesse hold him while he shook. Kiss him soft, water streaming down around them, both their secrets tucked away for a while.
When Hanzo finally calmed down Jesse washed him with aching thoroughness. One handed but still so gentle, using his left forearm to nudge Hanzo where he wanted him, shampooing and conditioning his hair like it was some kind of privilege. Toweled them both off, and combed Hanzo’s hair with careful reverence, tips falling down to brush his shoulders. Then he put his prosthesis back on, combing his own hair with his fingers like an afterthought, as though it hardly mattered.
Jesse’s clothes were folded on the bathroom counter, and he picked up the blue flannel he’d been wearing before they showered and shook it out. Held it up behind Hanzo, meeting his gaze in the mirror with a cautious smile.
“Other one needs a wash, ‘n you seemed ta like wearing it. I got a t-shirt, anyway. You keep this one for now. Next time we scene, I’ll make sure you got something of mine to wear after, if it makes you feel better. I certainly like seeing you in ‘em, so,” Jesse said, and Hanzo slipped his arms in the sleeves, and turned in Jesse’s embrace.
Jesse lifted him, sitting him down on the counter, eyes lingering on Hanzo’s face.
“Hey there, gorgeous,” Jesse said, reaching up to run a thumb under Hanzo’s eye, and Hanzo let his gaze fall away.
“I look awful,” he said, and Jesse shook his head. Cupped Hanzo’s cheeks, and tilted his face up until Hanzo was forced to meet his eyes.
“You look like you, baby. Ain’t nothing wrong with needin’ a little help sometimes,” Jesse said, thumb sliding across Hanzo’s bottom lip now as he grinned. “Too pretty to be with the likes of me, anyway. I keep hopin’ you won’t notice,” he finished, leaning in to kiss Hanzo on the mouth.
As though Hanzo wasn’t messy from crying, eyes puffy with bags under them, cheeks red.
As though Jesse would take Hanzo however he came.
Even in pieces, sharp enough to cut.
Hanzo spread his thighs, and Jesse stepped forward between them, fingers sinking into the wet strands of Hanzo’s hair to tilt his head and deepen their kiss. It didn’t feel like foreplay, wasn’t leading to anything else.
It was Jesse kissing him just for the sake of it, and Hanzo held on tighter, and let him.
Now that he was clean, and fed, and calm, Hanzo felt foolish all over again.
The pain in his head had faded back into a dull ache but whether it was the medicine taking effect or the food he’d eaten, he couldn’t say. His hands were partially wrapped in gauze, smaller bandaids curling around his fingers in places after Jesse had disinfected and dressed them with care. With meticulous efficiency, as though he’d treated a lot of injuries before and didn’t need to put much thought into the motions.
Considering his background he must have, but he didn’t bring it up much, and Hanzo of all people wasn’t going to push.
Hanzo leaned back against Jesse on the couch, empty take-out boxes strewn over the coffee table— ramen from the same place Genji always went, and Hanzo only recalled mentioning it once, but Jesse must have remembered. Once they finished eating Jesse had tugged Hanzo into him, and the quiet between them was heavy but not uncomfortable. There was a lot Hanzo needed to say, but the words were thick in his mouth, and he wasn’t sure how to force them out.
Not without sounding pathetic, at any rate.
Jesse broke the silence eventually, one palm sliding up and down Hanzo’s arm, the fingers of his other hand tracing gingerly over the bandages on Hanzo’s knuckles.
“You wanna go first, or should I?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo shook his head fervently.
He didn’t want either of them to go, really, but he definitely preferred listening to what Jesse had to say over hearing himself babble.
“Alright. When I asked you if your head hurt you said it was nothin’ serious. Whether that’s true or not isn’t really important, because it ain’t gotta be serious. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting, and I wanna take care of it. Want you to take care of it if I’m not around, or if I can’t get to you right away. Ain’t no point in suffering through something if you don’t have to, and that doesn’t just go for physical stuff. We do a scene together and you start feeling down, I wanna know. I need to be able to trust you to tell me this kinda shit. I know what it’s like, I been there. I mean, I dom, now— dom you, that is— but when I first got into the scene, I was a sub.”
Hanzo tried not to let the surprise show on his face, despite the fact that Jesse wasn’t looking at him. The image of Jesse subbing for someone was strange, even without the vague, knee-jerk sense of hurt that accompanied the thought of Jesse with someone else. Hanzo wasn’t naive, he knew Jesse had dommed other people before, as well as subbed for them, apparently. That didn’t mean he wanted to think about it, not with things so fresh between them.
Not when he felt raw and inadequate, like he was one fuck-up away from losing Jesse, all because he couldn’t be honest.
Because he couldn’t trust himself.
If Hanzo couldn’t, why should Jesse?
Jesse sighed, and the patterns his fingers moved in shifted into something slower, something more cautious. Hanzo shifted on the couch, toes curling against the soft throw blanket underneath his feet, fan whirring quietly above them as Jesse continued.
“Wasn’t even the ‘scene’, really, back when I was still in the service. But I did sub for my partner a lot. I ain’t trying to bring up awkward exes or nothing, but I know how it is. Doing a scene, feeling like shit afterwards, but then you tell yourself you’re overreacting. It’s not that serious, the scene wasn’t intense, you don’t have anything to be upset about. Don’t wanna bother nobody about it, you just need to get your shit together, right? Don’t wanna be an annoyance, what if you’re too much trouble and they lose interest?”
Hanzo didn’t nod, didn’t shrug, didn’t speak. Hearing Jesse say so many of the things he was feeling was eerie, like he was pulling them straight from Hanzo’s thoughts. Jesse didn’t have the whole story, or know the real reason Hanzo had been upset in the first place; didn’t know about Hanzo’s family, or his history, or his dragons, but he wasn’t wrong, either.
Hanzo was terrified of ruining things with Jesse.
Just like he ruined everything in his life, sooner or later; his brother, his clan, himself.
Hanzo could break anything, given enough time.
“Well, that’s all horseshit,” Jesse said, cutting off Hanzo’s spiraling. “Just your endorphins runnin’ on empty, letting every shitty thought in your head have free reign. You can’t exactly help it, sometimes, but in my experience being aware goes a long way to keeping it in check. Talking about it helps, too, and if you feel like you can’t come to me with this then I fucked up somewhere, because-”
“No,” Hanzo interrupted, grabbing one of Jesse’s hands and squeezing, “no, it’s not that, I just- something happened, after I left your place. I’m not saying I wasn’t… dropping, necessarily, but I think what happened with Genji made it worse than it would have been. It’s not your fault, Jesse.”
Jesse hummed, bringing Hanzo’s hand up to his mouth and kissing the gauze on his knuckles before letting it go again. Hanzo turned, curling further into Jesse’s embrace, cheek rubbing against the worn cotton of his shirt. There were holes in a couple of places, and Hanzo ran his fingers over them, soothed by the thin fabric. Jesse’s shirts were threadbare, his favorite boots scuffed, his hat frayed. Jesse didn’t throw things away just because they were tattered, or imperfect.
He kept them close, and loved them more.
Jesse nosed into Hanzo’s hair, words muffled in the strands.
“Yeah, when I couldn’t get ahold of you I was a little worried. Got Genji’s number from Angela, gave him a call.”
Hanzo stiffened, his dragons’ silence loud in his head, heartbeat stuttering. Not quite panic.
The familiar knife’s edge of anxiety pressed against Hanzo— sharp, and threatening, but not cutting into him just yet.
“And what did he say?” Hanzo asked, forcing the words to sound casual, trying not to freak out. Genji wouldn’t tell Jesse about their dragons, but he might have told him something.
Trying to help, and making things worse; Hanzo couldn’t be mad.
Everything Genji did was out of love, even if it hurt them both in the end.
“Not much, really. I uhh… called to ask if he knew where you were, if you might be with him.” Jesse paused, like he was searching for the right words. “He… Genji said you were home, he thought, ‘n that y’all sorta had a fight. I didn’t press for details, and he was pretty adamant about not giving me any, anyway. You don’t gotta tell me anything you don’t wanna, but I need you to know I’m here for you. You can talk to me. I ain’t just in this to tie you up and boss you around, Hanzo. I care about you. If you told me you never wanted to do another scene together, I’d still want to keep you.”
Hanzo couldn’t help the shaky breath he took, or how he had to close his eyes, and hold still for a moment. To let Jesse’s words wash over him, let them soothe down some of his rough edges into something less dangerous.
Hanzo couldn’t do anything but just exist there— warm, and safe, and sated.
A place where Jesse wanted him, whether or not he was kneeling.
The slide of Jesse’s hands over his arms was steady, mouth pressing a couple of gentle kisses against Hanzo’s temple, and it was easier to speak.
“I don’t want to lie to you,” Hanzo started, and Jesse kept his lips pressed to Hanzo’s skin, waiting. “I don’t want to lie to you, but I can’t… I’m not ready to tell you everything, either. I told you that my family, other than Genji, aren’t the best of people.”
Jesse hummed, and Hanzo steeled himself.
One step at a time. One secret at a time.
Hanzo didn’t think knowing about his past would put Jesse in danger, not with the clan in shambles. Another Shimada had taken on the mantle of clan head , and Hanzo thought it was unlikely that they’d come after him, or Genji, or anyone they cared about, but he could be wrong.
If life had taught him anything it was that he could always be wrong. That he was never quite as safe as he believed himself to be.
That the more he let his guard down, the more likely he was to suffer for it.
If he was wrong and his family still posed any kind of threat then the information would only make Jesse more equipped to deal with them. Telling Jesse about the clan was easy.
It was the rest that would be harder.
“The Shimada clan is yakuza,” Hanzo said with a sigh.
Thousands of miles away, years in his past, and they were still exhausting.
“Genji and I, we were yakuza before we left Japan. I was set to lead my clan. I did lead them, for a while, after my father’s death. There’s a lot more baggage that I can’t get into right now. Things regarding my family that aren’t so easily put aside. I left your place earlier, and I met Genji at the temple. He ahh… disagrees with me about how to handle that baggage. I’m not in the same place he is mentally, in regards to our family’s… legacy, I guess you could say.”
Jesse was deathly silent, and Hanzo didn’t give himself a chance to dwell on that— how he’d gone still, breathing deliberately even, hands no longer roving Hanzo’s body.
“It’s an argument we’ve had before, but I reacted badly today. I panicked, and took off. It felt like I was back in Japan all over again. Like someone was after me, and I had to get away. I ran. Climbed some buildings, some fences.” Hanzo held up his hands, wrapped fingers splayed wide to show the gauze and band-aids, the tiny cuts they hadn’t bothered covering. “When I finally got home I wasn’t myself. I’m sorry I didn’t answer your texts, or your calls. I felt… weak. Like no matter what I said to you, it would be wrong.”
Like I’d be letting you down, Hanzo thought, resisting the urge to burrow further into Jesse’s arms.
To hide there, where he didn’t have to do or say or be anything.
Where Jesse had him, and that was all that mattered.
Jesse took a few moments to digest what Hanzo had said, and then he reached down and slid his fingers under Hanzo’s chin, and coaxed his face up. Hanzo let him even though he felt exposed, because he craved the safety in it— doing what Jesse asked.
Being good for him.
His brows were furrowed, and his eyes were serious, and Jesse’s expression was clouded with an intensity Hanzo had never seen there before.
“Are you safe, baby? ‘Cause if you ain’t, we need to see to that. I know the right kinda people, we can-”
Hanzo shook his head, careful not to dislodge Jesse’s hand under his jaw, to keep himself where Jesse had put him.
“The clan isn’t a threat to me, or not enough of one that I am worried. I…,” Hanzo trailed off, eyes flitting away from Jesse’s, throat tight as he swallowed heavily. When he looked back dread swelled in his chest, the fear of rejection a palpable, vicious thing. “I cleaned house before I left. Did things that I’m not proud of, but I don’t regret them. It’s what had to be done to keep Genji safe. To keep myself safe. They never would have let us go, and I couldn’t stay there anymore.”
Not if he wanted to stay sane. The clan had been turning him into something monstrous, and given a choice between them, and Genji, he’d chosen his brother.
There was a lot of blood on his hands, but Hanzo would spill it all again if he had to in order to protect Genji. It was worth the price he’d paid. Genji, alive and breathing, living his life to the fullest.
Hanzo would pay it a thousand times and never be sorry.
Jesse’s hand shifted until he was cupping Hanzo’s jaw, the metal of his prosthesis warm and solid.
“Oh, sweetheart, you ain’t never gotta try and justify yourself to me for that. Before I joined the military I was in a gang. Did some god-awful shit, and it wasn’t because my family expected it of me, or to keep anyone safe. I was just young and ignorant, thinking I was ten feet tall and bulletproof, headed straight to an early grave ‘fore Gabriel got to me. I ain’t in any place to judge, and even if I was, I wouldn’t. Whatever you had to do? I’m glad you did it, ‘cause that means your here, now. All I care about is that you’re safe. ‘S all that matters to me, all right?”
Hanzo nodded again, warmth spreading through every inch of him, dragons preening gently. Not like they had been when Jesse was around before, not as loudly. Muted and soft, now, but undeniably there.
Jesse just wanted him safe, and Hanzo leaned into his hand, eyes lidded, body relaxing.
That same hazy feeling he got after a scene, like there was nothing on earth that could touch him.
Nothing but Jesse, and Jesse smiled, hugging him close with his other arm.
“I’m not about to try and force you to tell me everythin’ there is to tell about your past, lord knows I’ve got some stories I ain’t ready to hash out for you just yet, but you don’t have to give me all the gritty details to tell me something’s got you upset, yeah? You can be vague, I’m not gonna mind, so long as you let me be there for you. For your sake, but for mine too. I really need to be able to take care of you, Hanzo. It means a lot to me.”
It meant a lot to Hanzo, too.
He leaned forward, stopping just before their mouths came together, looking up at Jesse through his lashes. An invitation, and a promise, and Jesse kissed Hanzo with so much affection that it was hard for him to breathe.
When he pulled back Hanzo climbed up into his lap and straddled him, laying down against his chest with a sigh.
“Stay the night with me?” Hanzo asked, and Jesse wrapped his arms around Hanzo’s waist, and squeezed.
“Thought you’d never ask,” he said, and it was a lie, because Jesse knew better.
Knew Hanzo was his, and whatever else came with it, that was enough.
If you are reading all the stories in this verse, Ardent is ideally read here, after chapter ten of Legacy. <3 Enjoy!
Chapter 11: Claim
Shoutout to gnome for the proofread, the mvp as always. Also to corvid for their amazing art, as well as contributing some solid inspiration and ideas for the next couple of chapters, it's much appreciated my friend.
There's a harness mentioned in here, so if you're a visual kind of learner, here's a link to a tutorial.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It was good to be back at Jesse’s after being away most of the week.
Jesse had stayed with Hanzo Sunday night, and most of Monday, feeding him then lazing around on the couch. Hanzo laid curled up under Jesse’s arm sketching on his tablet while Jesse flipped through movies on Netflix, never watching more than half of anything before he got bored and switched. It should have been annoying, but Genji always did the same thing, and Hanzo was well used to it.
Not to mention that Jesse could probably get away with an awful lot where Hanzo was concerned.
Sometimes Hanzo got distracted from his work, the idle kisses Jesse gave him turning heated and heavy. More than once Jesse ended up with his hands in Hanzo’s pajamas, jerking him off messily until Hanzo came over his fingers in bursts; or with Hanzo straddling him, grinding against Jesse, both of them finishing in their clothes. They took a nap in the afternoon without meaning to, Hanzo dozing with his head in Jesse’s lap, Jesse nodding off shortly after.
Hanzo’s woke to fingers tangled in his hair, covered in the throw that had been laid over the back of the couch; warm, drowsy and content.
After making Hanzo dinner and watching half of another ridiculous western it was obvious Jesse was reluctant to leave. Hanzo was tempted to invite him to stay again, but he also didn’t want to seem clingy, so he didn’t bring it up. They’d already spent the last two nights together, and Hanzo would have to sleep alone sooner or later. When Jesse finally headed home it was with a half dozen lingering kisses in Hanzo’s doorway, and promises to see him soon.
Basking in Jesse’s affections hadn’t magically solved all of Hanzo’s problems, but it certainly helped them fade into the background. Made them feel less overwhelming, less imposing.
Manageable instead of insurmountable, and Hanzo didn’t want to over-analyze it, just how quickly he’d come to rely on Jesse.
How much easier things were when he was close.
He also didn’t want to over-analyze the vague sense of accomplishment he got from taking the vitamins Jesse had left him— fish oil and B12, both of which were supposed to help prevent sub-drop, and shorten its duration. Something about mineral replacement, Hanzo didn’t remember, precisely.
Doing as Jesse asked was inordinately satisfying, even without Jesse there to praise him, because Hanzo knew what it would sound like. The intonation of the words, Jesse’s hand petting through his hair, that’s it, precious.
Hanzo was so fucked.
There was also a bag of assorted chocolates, which Jesse said were helpful for preventing sub-drop, though it was better to eat them directly after a scene because they didn’t do much good otherwise.
But I won’t tell if you won’t, Jesse had said, and winked.
So Hanzo ate far too many caramel filled chocolate squares, and finished watching the trashy western Jesse had started, still dressed in his blue flannel.
Fell asleep wearing it, Jesse’s scent in his nose, dragons purring happily in his skin.
Hanzo had to work late all week, and he and Jesse’s schedules didn’t sync up very often, but they made do. Jesse came up to the shop twice with dinner, and Hanzo took his breaks in the park nearby, both of them eating greasy take-out on the benches in the glow of the streetlights. Amélie teased them in that dry, sarcastic way of hers, and the other employees went a bit wide eyed when they realized Jesse was there for Hanzo, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Lena wasn’t there to make fun of them, for one.
When Friday evening rolled around Hanzo was more than ready to leave the shop behind and head to Jesse’s, and it was like a weight lifted off his shoulders when he got there.
It wasn’t just good to be back with Jesse.
It was good to be back on his knees.
Jesse had moved his coffee table out of the way, and in its place on the floor was what looked like a firm, oversized black leather couch cushion— a kneeler, Jesse had said. Like those at Overwatch, but larger, thicker.
Just for you, precious, and Hanzo had fallen into place without hesitation. Naked, sitting seiza, waiting— for approval, for praise, for instruction.
For whatever Jesse wanted to give him, and Jesse smiled softly, cupping Hanzo’s cheek and running a thumb over his lips.
“Perfect. That’s perfect, baby,” he said, and Hanzo opened his mouth to suck on Jesse’s thumb.
Jesse let him, eyes laden with approval as Hanzo licked at him, hungry for Jesse.
Not afraid to show it, anymore.
When Jesse pulled his thumb free Hanzo tried to follow, but only as far as he could without breaking his sieza. Jesse pet him briefly, smoothing loose strands of hair back from his face with a smile.
“Gotcha somethin’,” he said, and Hanzo’s eyes flitted over to the packages sitting on the couch next to Jesse.
A wooden box, the dark finish etched with dragons and shining with enamel, along with a more nondescript paper sack beside it. There were lengths of rope there too, and Hanzo didn’t know what he was more eager for— the gifts, or the binding.
A gift of its own, and Hanzo took a deep breath, and let it out slow.
Jesse would give him everything; all he had to do was wait.
“Got you a few things, actually, but we’ll start with this one,” Jesse said, opening the box and reaching in to pull out its contents. Hanzo hadn’t known what to expect, and he stared, surprise and disbelief warring within him.
In Jesse’s hands was a collar, black with a narrow strip of dark blue running horizontally down its length, a brassy ring set just off center. Black fur lined the inside, nothing plush or thick, but it looked soft enough that Hanzo wanted to touch it. Jesse held it carefully, looking down at it instead of up at Hanzo, thumbs moving back and forth over the leather. Hesitant.
“It’s ahh… a little soon, maybe, by some people’s standards, but I figure that don’t matter. I been wanting to collar you since the first time I got you on your knees,” Jesse said, looking up from the collar to meet Hanzo’s eyes with fierce determination. “Want you to be mine. Want you to know how important you are to me, and this is one of the best ways I know how. Something you can keep with you, remind you that I’m there for you. Want you wear my collar, if that’s what you want, too,” Jesse said, and Hanzo let out a shaky breath.
He’d done more than enough reading about the scene and d/s relationships before he met Jesse to know what it meant when a dom collared their sub, or at least what it meant to many of them. A sign of ownership, freely given by the wearer, and Hanzo hadn’t expected to be offered one so quickly.
Hadn’t expected to be claimed by Jesse so explicitly, yes, he’s mine. His dragons preened, just as pleased as Hanzo himself, Jesse’s approval thrumming through Hanzo’s veins like a drug.
One he was already growing addicted to, and Hanzo let it wash over him, sink into all the achy places in his chest.
He lifted his chin and leaned forward, holding Jesse’s gaze, eyes bright.
“Please, sir,” he said, and Jesse exhaled in a rush, relaxing.
Like he’d been worried Hanzo might say no, and god, Jesse really was a fool if he didn’t know better.
Jesse wrapped the collar around Hanzo’s throat with gentle hands, buckling it at the back of his neck, centering it. The fur felt decadent against Hanzo’s skin, and Jesse gave a quick jerk on the ring, just enough to have Hanzo’s stomach flipping with anticipation. Jesse eased his fingers underneath the leather, curling them around the width of the collar and staring down at Hanzo so reverently it stole the air from his lungs.
He pulled, urging Hanzo up on his knees, tugging him higher and higher until their faces were an inch apart. Hanzo strained to hold himself in place, spine arched forward, Jesse’s knuckles forcing his chin up. Jesse brought their mouths together, soft and sweet, before easing back.
“Thank you,” he said, and Hanzo nodded dumbly, unable to form a coherent reply.
He hadn’t done anything to deserve gratitude, but he wasn’t about to argue with Jesse about it.
Not freshly collared and on his knees, Jesse looking at him like he was something precious. Worth claiming.
He eased Hanzo down, and Hanzo arranged himself back into seiza without prompting. Sitting pretty, and Jesse looped his index finger through the ring on Hanzo’s collar and gave another tug. It felt affectionate, like a pat on the head, or a kiss on the cheek. A casual, fond gesture, and Hanzo lifted his chin a bit, unable to stop himself. Preening like his dragons, and he fought down a stupid smile.
“Beautiful,” Jesse said with a grin, and Hanzo went pink, the praise rolling over him in a wave.
Jesse released his collar and dug through the paper sack beside him until he found what he was searching for buried at the bottom.
“Next thing on the list is this,” Jesse said, pulling out a wide length of black silk— oddly shaped, thicker in the center. There were gold designs twisting over the silk, some kind of intricate filigree. “You said you wanted to wear a blindfold at the demo, so I figure we might as well start now. Think it’ll help you relax while I’m getting you roped, either way. We green?”
Hanzo nodded, and Jesse cocked his head, brows raised expectantly; waiting for an answer, especially to that particular question.
Jesse hummed, shaking out the blindfold and holding it up in front of Hanzo.
“Mmmm, alright then. I’m gonna put this on you, and start tying you into a chest harness, and then I got something I wanna show you. You need to stop you let me know, all right? This ain’t some intense scene we’re doin’, you can just say stop and I’ll get you loose.”
He didn’t seem to need a response, so Hanzo didn’t offer one; just sat up straight and stayed still as Jesse wrapped the blindfold around his eyes, careful not to snag his hair, pulling the ties tight. Once it was in place Jesse touched it gently, making sure it was secure before letting his hands fall away.
“Okay, sweetheart, let’s get these ropes on you.”
Hanzo heard Jesse moving around, heard the quiet noises he made as he got off the couch, the soft drag of fabric on leather. Jesse’s footsteps, fading away and then returning. The sound of something heavy thumping onto the floor, like a chair or table being set down, but Hanzo couldn’t figure out what, specifically. Then Jesse knelt behind Hanzo, running his fingers up Hanzo’s spine, pressing a kiss to the column of his throat. Just below his collar, and Hanzo tilted his head to give Jesse room, waiting for the wet slide of Jesse’s mouth. He chuckled and kissed Hanzo again, smiling into his skin.
“Not yet, gorgeous. Lemme get you tied, first.”
Hanzo nodded, and Jesse leaned back, and got to work.
He laid his palms over Hanzo’s shoulders and slid them down his arms, guiding his hands behind his back, arranging them until Hanzo was holding his forearms in a loose grip. Jesse bound his wrists together in a few quick motions, sinking the knot in tight before pulling the rope up over Hanzo’s shoulder, then around his chest to circle the opposite bicep.
Jesse was pressed in behind him, breath warm in Hanzo’s hair as worked the ropes with expert hands. Slowly, but it felt more like Jesse enjoyed taking his time than out of any need to think about where he was putting knots or laying lines. He ran his fingers over the ropes, over Hanzo’s skin, tracing them with unhurried appreciation.
Hanzo tried to pay attention to where everything was being tied, at first, tried to picture what it looked like based on how it felt, but it was difficult to focus with Jesse pressing absent kisses to his shoulders, telling him how good he was doing, how beautiful Hanzo looked in his ropes. His blindfold blocked out the light, and Hanzo eventually stopped opening his eyes, trying in vain to look around as though it would help him somehow. Jesse’s hands worked steadily, reversing the tension in the rope again and again, weaving some kind of intricate pattern over Hanzo’s skin.
Hanzo let his head fall forward, breathing gone deep and even, everything foggy and faraway. Jesse tugged a knot tight from time to time, and Hanzo rocked under the pull, head lolling, muscles loose. His hands hung slack where they were tied, fingers open, no tension anywhere in his body— in the ropes, and nowhere else. They held him firm, and there was no place to go, nothing to do but exist for Jesse, wrapped up in his hold.
Collared, and bound, the world dark all around him, just the sound of Jesse’s voice and the warmth of his touch. Hanzo was so relaxed he didn’t notice when Jesse finished tying off his last knot, palms rubbing over the lines of rope on his chest, face nuzzled into his throat.
“You’re doing so good, look at you. All hazy,” Jesse said, and Hanzo let his head loll back onto Jesse’s shoulder. “Turn around for me, face the other direction.”
Hanzo lifted up on his knees and obeyed, steadied by Jesse’s hands on his arms, Jesse’s fingers in the knots he’d tied. Once he finished turning, Jesse’s arms went around him from behind, palms sliding down to his thighs.
“Gonna lift you up, baby, put you in my lap, okay?”
A drowsy nod of acknowledgment was all he could muster, and then Jesse picked Hanzo up like it was nothing, throwing Hanzo’s legs over his knees and spreading them wide. It should have felt precarious, sitting like that without anything to hold on to, but Jesse’s arms were around his chest again, and Hanzo couldn’t manage anything but drunk bliss as he leaned back into him.
“Gonna take your blindfold off now,” Jesse said, and Hanzo nodded again, eyes still closed as Jesse pulled the silk away.
When he blinked his eyes open the room was darker than it had been, lamps dimmed enough that it wasn’t jarring after the blackness of the blindfold.
There was still enough light for Hanzo to see the standing mirror Jesse had set up in front of them. Tall, and broad, an ancient looking thing with a metal frame sitting on four clawed feet, two smaller panels folding out from the center.
Hanzo’s reflection stared back at him from three different directions, hair falling around his face, eyes glassy and distant. Legs hooked over Jesse’s knees and held open, all of him on display with no way to hide himself, painfully exposed. Jesse’s ropes criss-crossed his chest in a diamond pattern, winding over his shoulders, curling around his biceps. The black weave was stark against Hanzo’s skin; beautiful, delicate almost, but it wasn’t the knots and lines that drew Hanzo’s gaze.
It was the collar on his throat, brassy ring glinting in dim light, the dark blue stripe the same shades as his tattoo. Slate, and gold, and Jesse had to have chosen these colors for Hanzo, had it made just for him. Jesse eased his knees further apart, forcing Hanzo’s legs wider, left hand coming up between his collarbones. He splayed his fingers over Hanzo’s collar, gently lifting his chin, his other hand moving to rest on the inside of Hanzo’s thigh.
“Look at yourself,” Jesse said, but it wasn’t necessary.
Hanzo couldn’t look away. Jesse slid his right hand higher on Hanzo’s thigh, the metal of his prosthesis closing tighter around Hanzo’s throat. It wasn’t suffocating, but the pressure was enough to have Hanzo shifting, cock hardening rapidly as Jesse’s hand edged closer.
“Fuckin’ gorgeous,” Jesse murmured softly, nuzzling into Hanzo’s hair, squeezing over his collar, fingers digging into his thigh. Jesse wasn’t wrong.
Hanzo was gorgeous like this— tied up in Jesse’s knots, wearing his collar, Jesse’s hand at his throat. Tangled hair and pink cheeks, and he could feel the scabs still healing on his hands, the way they stretched when he made a fist. Wounded but willing.
Gorgeous for Jesse, and no one else.
Hanzo grasped at the fabric of Jesse’s shirt with his bound hands, watching Jesse rub circles over the soft skin where his hip met his thigh. Just shy of where he wanted Jesse’s hand, and Hanzo arched in the hold of the ropes, and let out a sound of frustration. He rolled his hips, cock bobbing with the motion, and Jesse scratched through the dark curls at its base and grinned.
“Tell me what you need,” Jesse said as he ground up against Hanzo, hard in his jeans, and Hanzo huffed out a breath.
“Please… please touch me, sir,” Hanzo asked, and Jesse’s palm closed around his cock, stroking slow.
“Like this, doll face?” Jesse lilted, and Hanzo thought he probably meant to tease, to make Hanzo beg.
Except even that languid, lazy stroking was more than enough to have Hanzo writhing, rutting up into Jesse’s fist with whine.
“Yes, like… like that,” Hanzo said, breathy and low. “Thank you, sir,” he added, because it felt good to say it.
Felt right, Jesse hummed out a sound that was almost a purr, pressing his mouth next to the lines of rope on Hanzo’s shoulder and biting down sharply. Jesse sucked, and nipped, working a bruise methodically into the skin. Hanzo tilted his head further, giving Jesse space, and he took it eagerly— licked up another bruise on the other side of the rope, then kissed his way up Hanzo’s throat, pausing to press one into the width of Hanzo’s collar. Open mouthed and wet, tongue dragging over skin and leather, and Hanzo shivered and fucked harder into Jesse’s grip with a whimper.
The scrape of Jesse’s ropes and the heat of his mouth and the tight clench of his fist were overwhelming. Hanzo thrust up into Jesse’s touch as best he could, nails scratching Jesse’s stomach through his shirt as he clutched blindly, toes nudging at the couch but unable to find purchase. Jesse kissed Hanzo’s cheek, nose tracing the shell of his ear.
“You ain’t gotten off since Monday, have you sweetheart?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo’s jaw shook as he tried to answer, orgasm building steadily, words stuttered.
“No, n-no, sir,” Hanzo answered, “would… would’ve told you,” he finished, and Jesse hummed into his temple.
“Mmmm, that’s my good boy, I know you would have. You wanna come now, baby?”
“Yes. Yes, sir, please,” Hanzo begged, and Jesse squeezed around his collar again, forcing his head upright.
“Open your eyes. Don’t look away,” Jesse ordered, and Hanzo blinked his eyes open, unsure of when he’d closed them in the first place. He looked at himself in the mirror, twitching and over sensitive; flushed and drooling and fucked out, an utter mess.
The mess that Jesse had made of him, the crown of his cock slick in Jesse’s fist as he stroked, shoulder dark with the promise of bruises.
“Come for me, Hanzo,” Jesse said, and Hanzo stared, entranced, as he obeyed.
His mouth fell open, and he shuddered in Jesse’s ropes, under his hands. Hanzo’s legs wanted to close, but Jesse held them open, fingers sliding up from Hanzo’s throat and over his chin to sink between his lips. He watched himself come over Jesse’s knuckles in shivery bursts, body jerking through his climax, moisture leaking from his mouth and down Jesse’s fingers. It seemed to drag on and on, sac twitching as Jesse stroked him, milking every last drop of fluid from Hanzo.
Only when he was trembling and arching away from Jesse’s hand did Jesse stop, letting his fingers drop from Hanzo’s mouth and wiping his come off on the inside of his thighs.
“Gonna take what I need from you, yeah?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo whined, nodding fast.
“Please, Jesse, please, want… want to make you feel good,” he answered, trying to grind down against Jesse’s cock, except he was too uncoordinated, body liquid and disobedient. Jesse ran his palm over the ropes on Hanzo’s chest, and pressed a kiss to his shoulder with a smile.
“You always make me feel good, darlin’,” and then he manhandled Hanzo into his arms, and eased them both onto the floor.
Jesse settled him on the kneeler face down, one cheek laid against the leather, hips high in the air. Hanzo didn’t have a chance to feel exposed again before Jesse was patting the outside of one thigh, guiding them inwards.
“Knees together. Keep them tight for me,” he said, unbuckling his belt with a metallic clank, and heat swelled up so suddenly in Hanzo that it was hard to breathe.
His body acted on autopilot, knees sliding together on their own, thighs flexing. Jesse nudged his cock between them, into the slick mess of Hanzo’s come, and god, there was something disarming about it— something achingly, brutally intimate.
It had Hanzo reeling inside, dizzy and unbalanced, stomach twisting and fingers shaking.
Jesse taking what he needed, and Hanzo quaked, and whined, and let him— needed it as much as Jesse did, if not more.
To be ragged and well used, but still adored.
“Oh fuck, yeah, that’s it baby,” Jesse said, and fucked into Hanzo’s thighs with abandon.
Hanzo rocked under the weight of his thrusts, unable to brace himself with his hands tied behind his back. Unable to do anything but take it, Jesse’s hands holding his hips steady, keeping Hanzo from melting into a boneless heap. After a few moments he hooked both arms around Hanzo’s stomach, forehead pressed into his back as he rutted forward in short, rough bursts. Hanzo could feel Jesse’s shaft dragging against his sac, against his soft cock, everything wet with his come. Tight, and hot, and he pressed back into Jesse, tensing his thighs, muscles weak with the effort.
“Yeah, Hanzo, so good for me, perfect, just… like that, fuck,” Jesse hissed, movements going erratic.
Then he tensed, and shuddered, Hanzo’s thighs going wet and warm with Jesse’s come as he twitched through his climax, mumbling soft praises all the while. Voice low and hands gentle, mouth moving against Hanzo’s skin.
When he finally went still and silent Jesse collapsed on the floor in front of the couch, hauling Hanzo with him. Hanzo leaned against his chest, held from all sides— by the ropes, and Jesse’s arms, until he couldn’t move an inch without facing some kind of resistance.
Right where he wanted to be, and Hanzo was glad that Jesse didn’t try to untie him right away, because everything was perfect.
Safe in Jesse’s knots, and in his collar, and under his mouth, and Hanzo wanted to drift there as long as Jesse would let him.
Hanzo didn’t get his last gift until the late into the next afternoon. After being bathed and fed chocolates and coerced into drinking too much ice water, he’d spent the night tucked into Jesse’s embrace; sore from fighting the ropes, bruised in all the best ways. They hadn’t woken up until almost afternoon, and Jesse made him lunch, and then proceeded to drag him back to bed for a nap.
Eventually the alarm on his phone went off. It was Saturday, and he had a client to meet at the shop— nothing demanding, but he’d be heading home afterwards. His collar was tucked into the box Jesse had bought for him, stowed away in his bag. It wasn’t that he couldn’t wear it to work, but it felt a little obvious. A little intimate.
Something private that he wasn’t quite ready to parade around, or at least not outside of a scene, or the club. Jesse wanted Hanzo to come to the club on Sunday, ostensibly to show him the stage and the demo prep rooms like they’d planned on doing the week before, but he wasn’t that subtle, really.
He wanted to show off Hanzo in his collar, and Hanzo was happy to oblige him.
So Hanzo packed the last of his things into his bag, ready to suffer through all of Jesse’s needy, prolonged goodbye kisses and try to get to work on time, when he looked up to see Jesse hovering nearby.
Hovering with a jewelry box in hand, and Hanzo cocked up an eyebrow, and shot a questioning glance at Jesse.
“Now, you ain’t gotta wear this if you don’t want, but I uhhh… thought you might like something more casual. In case you’re… I dunno, feeling anxious, or you just need a reminder you ain’t alone, and don’t feel comfortable wearing your other collar out ‘n about.”
Jesse opened the box and pulled out a long chain, blue-black metal with a small matching padlock hanging open on one end.
“Day collar,” Hanzo interrupted, a smile breaking out over his face. It was attractive in its own right, and something that Hanzo might’ve worn anyway without anyone looking at it twice. It certainly wouldn’t be out of place with his tattoos and piercings and undercut and eyeliner. He reached out to touch the open lock with his fingertips, the metal cool to the touch, and then glanced back up at Jesse.
“You close the lock, click it shut, but all you gotta do to open it is push down on the shackle again. Like I said you don’t gotta wear it all the time, or even at all, but-”
“What if I want to?” Hanzo asked, standing up from where he was sitting on Jesse’s bed and leaning into his space. He lifted his chin, pulling his hair up and out of the way, smiling softly. “Put it on me.”
Jesse looped the chain around Hanzo’s neck, fastening the padlock at the base of his throat with a click, then running his fingers affectionately over the metal.
“Fuckin’ gorgeous,” Jesse said, and kissed him hard.
Hanzo was late to work. Not by much, and his client hadn’t shown up yet, but Amélie was there, keen eyes zeroing in on the chain around his neck almost immediately. She didn’t say anything, but she smirked, patting Hanzo on the shoulder as she slipped past him to answer the phone.
Hanzo looked down and vanished into the back to put his things away, cheeks burning as he fought down a smile.
Chapter 12: Takedown
It was the first time he’d made it to Overwatch before Jesse, and Hanzo was grateful to have Amélie at his side.
They left the shop together after their shifts Sunday evening and stopped by his place. Hanzo changed clothes, and brushed out his hair, retying it with a ribbon as opposed to the elastic band he used for work. He put on eyeliner, and switched out his day collar in favor of the leather one; Jesse hadn’t mentioned anything about it, but Hanzo knew he’d be stupidly pleased to see him wearing it at the club.
Wearing it for him.
Once Amélie saw the colors she insisted on painting his nails to match. There was no point in arguing with her, and she was better at it than him anyway, so Hanzo let her redo them without protest— a deep, shimmering blue-black with tiny gold accents on some of them. Afterwards they headed to the club, Satya waving them both into VIP with a nod, kissing Amélie on the cheek as she passed.
They caught a few glances when they entered, a couple of regulars waving at Amélie, others giving Hanzo curious looks.
It was fairly busy, and he took a moment to let his eyes roam; a sub knelt in one corner, dressed in a pair of jeans and not much else, his collar clipped to a ring on the wall with a short length of chain. One of the couches was occupied by a pair of women, a third sprawled out on their laps as they pet her absently, conversing like she wasn’t even there. Clusters of people sat at tables or around various pieces of dungeon furniture, some of them in use, others not. Hanzo saw a few familiar faces— no one he knew by name, but people he’d caught a glimpse of, or seen talking to Jesse or Amélie.
There were no demonstrations on Sundays, but the holographic display in front of the stage had text scrolling across it, announcing the dates and times of the next demos and who would be presenting them. Amélie led Hanzo past it on their way to find a seat, nodding at the screen with a smirk, and Hanzo scanned quickly over the words.
Friday - 10PM - Intermediate Impact Play, “Tools of the Trade,” presented by Mercy/Olivia
Saturday - 10PM - Intermediate Ropework, “Broad Hishi Box Tie,” presented by Jesse/partner
“I’m guessing they weren’t sure if you wanted your name up there and haven’t gotten around to asking Jesse yet,” Amélie said, and Hanzo glanced at the stage, nerves fluttering low in his stomach.
He’d seen it before; given it a distracted look while he talked with Jesse, or passed it on his way to a private room. Knowing that he’d be up there, blindfolded as Jesse bound him, made Hanzo look at it with new eyes. It was low, only about two feet off the ground, the lights above it dark and pointed down. Wide stairs lead up to it on either side, and a few feet to the left of the stage there was a nondescript door in the wall, opening into the prep rooms no doubt. The thought of being up there with a dozens of people watching him made Hanzo’s anxiety flare, but only for a moment.
The weight of the collar on his throat had his nerves settling faster than any breathing exercises or counting ever had.
He wouldn’t be up there alone— Jesse would be with him, and Hanzo let out the breath he’d been holding, and followed Amélie to an empty table. She rapped on the top with her knuckles as she passed and headed towards the bar with a dismissive wave of her hand, and Hanzo sat down to wait for her.
The music was quieter there than in the outer bar, background noise as opposed to the main focus, pulsing softly from above. Hanzo glanced around at the crowd, at the pseudo-scenes taking place here and there, and wondered if a lot of people came there to hook up— to find a sub, or a dom. Wondered what it would have been like if he’d ever found the courage to drag himself to Overwatch before Amélie set him up with Jesse. How nerve-wracking it would have been, waiting for someone to approach him, trying to find a person he was even remotely interested in without knowing anything about them. What kind of dom they were.
What kind of man they were.
He was abruptly, overwhelmingly grateful for Jesse, and the way they’d stumbled into one another. How they fit together, like Hanzo had been waiting for Jesse all this time.
Like Jesse had been waiting for Hanzo.
He’d only been sitting down for a minute or two when someone hummed from his left, and he turned to find Jesse’s friend Ana there smiling at him.
“Look at that,” she said, gesturing at him with one hand. “Got you collared already! I’m not surprised. The pretty ones always go fast,” she added with a wink, and Hanzo didn’t know what to say to that, how to react.
Was grateful to the dim lighting for hiding his flush, but Ana must have been able to tell anyway, because her smile went wide and knowing.
“Oh, how easy, I bet he has fun with that. I’m glad you two decided to do the demonstration after all. No one is quite as good with the ropes as Jesse,” she said, and Hanzo couldn’t help where his mind went, how it spun back to the day before.
To just how good Jesse was with his ropes. It seemed like Ana could read the thoughts straight out of his head, her eyes lighting up, and Hanzo cringed and wished he could disappear entirely. He’d never been good at talking to people; Jesse was the exception and not the rule, and it had taken months of working in close quarters for him to make friends with Amélie.
Then Jesse spoke up from directly behind him, palm curving around Hanzo’s throat, resting snug over his collar.
“Behave yourself, Amari, he ain’t yours to be pickin’ on. Go find Rein and beat him up awhile, this one’s mine,” Jesse drawled, coaxing Hanzo’s chin up until he was looking at him upside down. Ana laughed and snarked at Jesse before wandering off, but Hanzo wasn’t paying her any attention right then. Jesse stared down at him with a grin, and Hanzo smiled back, unable to help himself.
“Hey there, gorgeous. ‘S a nice collar you got there,” Jesse said, his other hand cupping Hanzo’s cheek, fingers scratching through his beard.
Hanzo turned his face into Jesse’s palm, eyes falling closed for a moment, dragons surging higher in his blood. Noisier, now. Harder to ignore, their dutiful silence beginning to retreat some. Not quite as overwhelming as before he’d met Genji in the temple the week before, but it was only a matter of time. He blinked his eyes open slow, holding Jesse’s gaze and pressing a kiss to his fingers.
“It’s okay, I guess,” he said flatly, and Jesse laughed, loud and vibrant and bright.
Ours, his dragons insisted, and Hanzo ran a hand over his bicep to quiet them, yes, ours.
Instead of calming they hummed louder just beneath his skin, riling with impatience. With hunger, with need.
They wanted Jesse’s attention just as Hanzo did— his warm touch, his gentle adoration.
Ours, they insisted, and Hanzo had to close his eyes again to will the light from them.
Patience, he thought, and his heart thrummed out a few unsteady beats before they retreated, sullen and indignant.
Jesse was still smiling at Hanzo when he finally opened his eyes, fingers petting fondly over his collar. Slipping into Hanzo’s shirt, brushing over the edge of his tattoo, and his dragons eased a bit at the attention. It wasn’t what they wanted, exactly, but it was enough to placate them.
Right then, it would have to be enough.
The shop was closed on Mondays, so Hanzo almost always ended up heading to the dojo to train, and that Monday was no different.
Except now Jesse was standing across the mats from him, barefooted and dressed in a borrowed gi, looking at Hanzo with a grin. He hadn’t even remembered talking to Jesse about sparring together, but Jesse had reminded him. Hanzo couldn’t help the eagerness that ran through him at the thought of facing off against him, showing Jesse what he could do. Dragons were proud.
Hanzo was proud. It was a strange feeling, allowing himself to look at fighting as a talent instead of a necessity.
Something he could be proud of, instead of just a weapon he needed to keep sharp in order to survive.
There weren’t a lot of people in the dojo right then; Hanzo always came in when it was relatively slow to avoid dealing with a crowd or a lot of conversation, but everyone had stopped what they were doing to watch him with undisguised interest. They gathered around the edges of the mats, talking to one another in low voices, silently taking stock of Jesse.
Hanzo never really talked about his personal life with any of them, but he’d recently started showing up covered in hickeys on a regular basis— smirking when he caught them staring, and they were all curious about who he’d brought with him.
About who had followed Hanzo into the dojo clinging like a second skin, making him laugh, when he was always so serious.
Who’d gingerly, reverently, taken off Hanzo’s necklace in the dressing room and pressed a chaste kiss to the skin underneath it before retreating to change clothes.
Now Jesse stretched, movements already losing that careless, lazy quality they usually had, shifting into something sharper. Hanzo approached the mat, taking off his zori at the edge and bowing to Jesse as he stepped up onto the padded surface. Jesse returned the gesture, popping his neck and giving Hanzo a wink.
“You ready, darlin’?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo smiled, dragons alive with energy as they always were before a fight.
They still craved Jesse’s attention. Hungered for his affection, for his acknowledgement, but that didn’t mean they would be content with anything less than victory here. Jesse dominating him in the bedroom was one thing, but on the mats was another story entirely. Hanzo had been trained in many different styles of martial arts growing up, but Sojiro had been consistent in at least one aspect, no matter what particular discipline Hanzo was learning at the time. In his house, under his watch, matches weren’t won with points or submissions.
Hanzo fought, and fought, and fought, until either he or his opponent couldn’t go on anymore.
There was victory, or there was failure, and nothing in between. Hanzo had spent countless hours of his childhood blinking himself back to consciousness in the dojo, face down on bloody tatami, Sojiro’s voice echoing around him like he was deep underwater.
On your feet, Hanzo.
Hanzo had worked these past few years trying to unlearn the things Sojiro ingrained in him, but some lessons couldn’t be shaken.
When it came to a fight, Hanzo was always, always ready.
“I think the better question is, are you ready?” Hanzo replied, and Jesse huffed a laugh.
“Guess we’ll find out,” Jesse said, falling into a crouch and closing the distance between them.
Hanzo would give him one thing— Jesse was fast.
Faster than someone his size should be, darting in to try and get Hanzo on the ground right away. Jesse dropped down to slip into Hanzo’s guard, to grab him, to sweep Hanzo’s feet. Or tried to, anyway— Jesse was fast, but not as fast as Genji, and Hanzo had been evading Genji’s relentless speed all his life. He dodged with ease, hooking a foot under Jesse’s ankle and grabbing for one of his arms. Ready to throw him, but Jesse slipped Hanzo’s hold and stepped deftly out of range.
Jesse was smiling when they faced off again. Cocky and self assured, and he wasted no time diving straight back into the fray. He was not artful, but a fight didn’t have to be pretty, and Jesse seemed to know what worked for him— brute force, endless aggression, and attacking when Hanzo least expected it. He pushed, and kept pushing, forcing Hanzo to react; to duck, and move, and roll. They circled one another, tangling up as Jesse attempted to knock Hanzo off his feet; tangling further when Hanzo tried to get hold of his arms and throw him, or sink in a chokehold, only for Jesse to retreat and regroup.
He could see that someone who had no respect for style or grace had taught Jesse, and taught him well. He fought simply, but there was a beauty in it; a rough innovation in his motions, and watching Jesse fight would never get old.
Not just watching.
Feeling Jesse’s muscles flex under his palms was addictive, a siren’s song. Jesse’s hands seeking purchase on his skin, breathing gone heavy, hair falling around his face— long enough that he probably should have put it up, but he didn’t seem concerned. His strength, checked but only just, eyes bright and keen and on fire as they followed Hanzo’s every step with something like hunger.
Like he wanted to get his hands on Hanzo, and never let go.
Hanzo wasn’t looking to end their fight right away; sparring with Jesse was rewarding, as it hadn’t been in a while. Most of his opponents at the dojo were formally trained, and their strikes were often predictable. Even the instructors were held back by their tendency to fall into what they knew best, on what they taught, muscle memory carrying them through into something familiar. Skilled, and dangerous, but repetitive.
Fighting Jesse was so refreshing that it took Hanzo a while to figure out he was pulling his punches. Giving up ground he didn’t need to, letting Hanzo closer than he should. Not taking his shots when Hanzo was sloppy, and he furrowed his brows, an incredulous smile creeping over his face.
“Are you trying to go easy on me?” Hanzo asked, and Jesse grinned; breathless, a little bit sheepish.
“Ain’t tryin’ to hurt you. Like seeing what you can do, is all,” Jesse said, and Hanzo’s dragons reared up, ancient and merciless and indignant.
Jesse could hurt Hanzo worse than almost anyone else on earth, but not here. Not with his fists.
Not in a fight.
“How unfortunate for you,” Hanzo replied, stepping in and finally getting his hands right where he wanted them.
One closed around Jesse’s wrist, the other around his bicep, and Hanzo turned into Jesse and threw him. Over himself, all that judo and jiu jitsu coming to Hanzo with the ease of a native tongue; effortless, like breathing. Jesse landed on his back with a booming thud, but Hanzo was already there, arm snaking around his throat, fist closed tight on the collar of his gi. One leg thrown over Jesse, and he sank the choke in; tight enough that Jesse could really feel it, but not quite suffocating. He’d already stopped fighting, realizing there was no way out other than unconsciousness, no escaping Hanzo’s grip.
The students and instructors watching cheered Hanzo on absently, but their approval was the least of his concerns.
Hanzo’s dragons roared with the rightness of it— Jesse, powerful and fast and agile, all for them. Someone dangerous.
Someone worthy, helpless under the press of his arms, held tight and going nowhere.
Hanzo paused and leaned down, mouth right next to Jesse’s ear, voice teasing.
“Had enough, cowboy?” Hanzo asked, smug and grinning. Something on the back of Jesse’s neck caught his eye, only partially visible through the curtain of his hair. A birthmark, maybe. A tattoo, or a scar. Small, and dark, and it vanished again behind Jesse’s mussed strands as quickly as it had appeared.
Hanzo didn’t have anymore time to consider if before Jesse tapped obligingly on his arm, yielding. When Hanzo released his hold Jesse turned over onto his back and smiled up at him.
“Ain’t never gonna have enough of you, sweetheart,” he said, hair haloed out on the mats, cheeks flushed with exertion. Grinning in defeat. Beautiful, and strong.
Jesse climbed to his feet and fell into a crouch again, shaking his bangs out of his eyes.
“Once more with feelin’, then, yeah?”
Hanzo nodded, already standing, already moving.
Jesse wasn’t just fast.
Jesse could fight.
Once he stopped playing nice and started playing hard Jesse was breathtaking to move against. Hanzo was euphoric with the rush of it— facing an opponent who presented a challenge. Who forced Hanzo to think instead of just moving on instinct, habit carrying him through as it always did. His heart pounded, and his dragons purred, pleased with every strike Jesse threw, every well placed kick, every grab Hanzo struggled to evade at the last second.
Jesse was better than anyone Hanzo had fought in a long time, save perhaps Genji. Imaginative, precise when he wanted to be. Tireless, and relentless.
Good, but not good enough.
Hanzo tossed him onto the mats without fail— sweeping his feet, throwing him, sinking in chokeholds. Jesse didn’t go down easy, but he did go down, chest heaving as Hanzo pinned him time and time again. The observers cringed and rumbled out sympathies when Hanzo maneuvered Jesse into particularly punishing holds or throws, knowing very well how it felt to be on the receiving end of Hanzo’s attacks. Jesse had more stamina than Hanzo would have expected, but he could only resist the inevitable for so long.
They were both sweat slick and exhausted by the time Jesse went boneless underneath him. Hanzo straddled him, and Jesse let Hanzo press his wrists to the mat above his head, eyes glittering as he smiled.
“You got me, doll face.”
Hanzo slid his palms down Jesse’s forearms, and fisted them into the fabric of his gi.
“I suppose I do, yes,” he replied, and Jesse cocked his head, considering.
“‘m rustier than I thought. Guess I’ll just have to get you back later on.”
Hanzo shrugged with one shoulder, nonplussed.
“You’re certainly welcome to try. We can come here anytime you desire a rematch.”
Jesse just smiled. More predatory than someone lazing underneath him should rightly be, and Hanzo furrowed his brows.
“Oh, honey,” Jesse said, reaching up to grab hold of Hanzo’s gi and tug him down. He laid a palm over Hanzo’s throat, thumb rubbing soft circles right where the ring of his collar sat, biting his bottom lip briefly. “I didn’t mean I’d get you back here.” Hanzo’s heart stuttered, heat swimming up to swallow him whole. “Ready to head out then?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo nodded dumbly.
When it came to Jesse, he was always, always ready.
Back at Jesse’s place, wearing his day collar and on his knees with his arms bound behind him, Hanzo was on fire. Shirtless and barefoot but still in his briefs, Hanzo rolled his hips forward into nothing, cock so hard that it was almost painful.
Jesse had a fist in Hanzo’s hair, metal fingers sunk deep in the strands, holding his head firmly in place. His other hand was wrapped around his cock, stroking it slowly, a little over an inch away from Hanzo’s mouth. Close enough that when he tugged against Jesse’s hold, and stuck out his tongue, he could almost touch.
Almost, but not quite, and he whined in the back of his throat, absently fighting the ropes on his wrists. Forgetting they were there more than really trying to get out of them, and they scraped lightly at his skin; no give in the coils, no slack in the lines.
Just Jesse’s knots, exacting and precise.
He’d been working himself for a while now, letting Hanzo brush his tongue along the very tip of his crown from time to time, but always forcing him back again. Jesse wouldn’t be pulling his hair at all if Hanzo wasn’t fighting so hard to get his mouth on him in earnest. He held his hand still, and Hanzo pulled, willing to take the pain if it meant he could get a taste.
Except he couldn’t, because Jesse was unyielding, keeping him just out of reach.
He’d only ever sucked Jesse off once, and Hanzo had been wanting to try again, but the timing had never been right. Now he panted, open mouthed and desperate, watching as Jesse ran his thumb in lazy circles over the flushed, wet head of his cock.
“Don’t behave quite so nicely when I ain’t giving you jus’ what you want, do ya now?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo exhaled roughly, hands clenching into fists.
“Please,” he said, not for the first time, and Jesse milked a pearly drop of slick from his slit. Wiped the precome up with his fingers, and held them out to Hanzo, who licked at the tips hungrily before sucking them into his mouth.
He bobbed up and down on them, groaning, lids gone heavy and thighs flexing. It wasn’t enough, wasn’t what he wanted, but it tasted of salt and skin and Jesse, and Hanzo would take what he could get. His briefs were filthy against his skin where he’d leaked through them, a damp patch soaked thoroughly into the fabric.
After a few moments Jesse withdrew his fingers, and Hanzo leaned forward to try and follow, only to be jerked back by Jesse’s iron grip. He whimpered, looking balefully at Jesse, knowing what kind of picture he made right then.
Mouth swollen from their kissing, and from Hanzo’s own teeth as he gnawed his bottom lip. Sweaty hair falling loose from Jesse’s fist, eyes black with want. Jesse took himself in hand again, squeezing but not stroking, holding Hanzo’s gaze with a grin.
“Here I thought you was obedient to a fault, now look at you. Fightin’ me and my ropes, glarin’ and everything. You want it that bad, baby? Need ta get that pretty mouth on me?”
Hanzo glared some more, pulling even harder against the clench of Jesse’s prosthesis in his hair, baring his teeth in a frustrated snarl.
“Yes, I… I need to. I’ve been good, sir, just let me. I want you,” Hanzo bit out, and it was less like begging, and more like demanding. Jesse’s eyes glinted, and he cocked his head to the side, considering.
“Bossy thing. Maybe I should put you over my knee, remind you who does the bossin’ around here, yeah?” Jesse asked, and it took Hanzo a moment to process the words.
To figure out that Jesse was offering to spank him, and Hanzo’s cock pulsed even wetter in his boxers, cheeks lighting up with warmth. He’d fantasized about being spanked since well before he met Jesse; watching videos, looking at photo sets, researching crops and whips and paddles.
Having dreams, and they hadn’t stopped since he got with Jesse; only grown more specific. Jesse’s hands on his skin, Jesse’s voice in his ear, and Hanzo would have asked for one long before now if only he could have figured out how.
He nodded eagerly, lifting up higher on his knees, forgetting that Jesse had a fist in his hair. His head jerked back, and he whimpered, pinning Jesse with a frantic stare.
“Yes, please, I— I want that, please, sir.” It was more vulnerable than he would have liked, and Jesse’s fingers went loose in his hair, scratching gently instead of pulling.
“Mmmm, alright then. Let’s get you up, see if we can learn you some patience,” Jesse said, leaning down to wrap his arms around Hanzo.
He maneuvered him up onto the couch, positioning Hanzo over his lap— it was awkward with his hands bound behind his back, but Jesse managed, settling him where he wanted him without much of a struggle. Jesse eased his left arm underneath Hanzo’s chest, keeping his face up off the cushions, supporting some of his weight. Hanzo arched his hips, knees digging into the cushions as he lifted his ass higher, unable to rein in his enthusiasm. He wasn’t sure he would enjoy being spanked, wasn’t sure he’d even be able to let it happen the way he wanted, but he was determined to try.
It was supposed to be a punishment, technically speaking, and Hanzo’s experience with punishment was bleak and unforgiving. Any mistakes he made under Sojiro’s watchful eyes had been met with brutal consequences. Black eyes, busted lips, broken bones. A terrifying sense of helplessness, knowing that there was nothing he could do but take what Sojiro dished out.
That he could always find fault in Hanzo. Could manufacture rebellion that was not truly there, and correct it with savagery.
That even in obedience, there was still agony.
But Sojiro was dead, and Hanzo was not in Japan, weak and broken under the will of the clan.
He was with Jesse.
One word from Hanzo, and everything would stop.
Jesse was going to punish him, but his transgression was little more than an excuse for Jesse to give Hanzo something he wanted. This time, at least. A reward masquerading as a consequence, but Hanzo could still feel the tension humming in his muscles, the tightness in his lungs. His dragons were quiet, only the constant buzzing of their contentment, something he’d grown used to tuning out when Jesse was around. Occasionally they pressed outward, as though reminding Hanzo they were there.
Reminding Hanzo that they would only wait for so long to meet Jesse; that sooner or later they’d break free of his hold.
Not right then, though.
Right then they were hushed, no trace of the anxiety that was running through Hanzo, the nerves that hovered just out of reach. More than nerves.
Jesse tugged Hanzo’s briefs down over the swell of his ass, the elastic band snapping against his skin. He took a moment to free Hanzo’s cock, working the fabric past his hips. They got caught high on his thighs, and Jesse left them there, palming Hanzo’s cheeks one after the other. Kneaded them, rubbing circles over the skin, warming it up with his hand. Hanzo rocked his hips, grinding himself forward against Jesse’s thigh, then back into his palm.
“You ready, gorgeous?”
“Yes, sir,” Hanzo said, and it wasn’t really a lie, but the truth was he didn’t know.
Hanzo wanted to enjoy it. Wanted to take pleasure in it, the way he had in so many other things Jesse had done to him. Done with him. He was tired of letting his past control him, even in something as trivial as this, but it wasn’t something he could will away. Jesse slapped Hanzo’s ass once— lightly, a warning more than anything else, and Hanzo’s breath caught in his throat.
“We’re gonna go nice and easy this time, give you maybe ten or so. Teach you some manners, but you let me know if I need to stop, okay?”
Hanzo nodded, wrists flexing against the ropes, fists clenching and unclenching.
Let me have this, he thought, begging himself silently and closing his eyes.
Jesse patted gently at Hanzo’s chest in acknowledgement and squeezed his ass once more before raising his palm and letting it fall hard. The sound came before the sensation, a loud smack that resounded through the room. Then came the sting, and oh.
Oh, that was nothing like he’d expected.
Warm, and sharp, but nothing dramatic, and Jesse’s hand landed again, this time on the other cheek. Harder than the first but not by much, and Hanzo raised his ass higher, spine bowing as he tried to arch into the next blow. Needing to feel it, needing it now, Jesse obliged him, the next strike laid over the previous one. The sting intensified, and Hanzo rutted down into Jesse’s thigh, suddenly desperate for friction. Desperate for more.
Desperate for anything.
Jesse’s palm landed again, and he dug his fingertips into the inflamed skin of Hanzo’s ass, humming out his appreciation.
“Pinks up real nice. Looks good on you, sweetheart,” Jesse said, his prosthesis sliding down to toy with one of Hanzo’s nipple rings, metal tugging on metal. Hanzo jolted, tucking his face against Jesse’s bicep with a breathy sound, toes curling against the end of the couch.
“Please,” he said, and Jesse laughed, massaging idly at his ass.
“Please what, darlin’?”
“Please more, sir,” Hanzo whined, and Jesse made a low noise in his throat.
“Since you asked so nice.”
Jesse wasted no time.
Just gave Hanzo what he asked for, spanking him again and again, playing with his nipple rings and palming his chest roughly. The pain was a slow, gradual thing, building up higher with every strike, rising like the tide. Nothing Hanzo had ever experienced before, miles away from the jagged waves of misery he’d been forced to endure back home. This wasn’t something engineered to tear Hanzo down, to destroy him and build something new from the pieces left behind.
It was heat, and need, and blatant want.
It was Jesse, and Hanzo’s hips worked in erratic circles, cock grinding into Jesse’s thigh as he was overwhelmed with sensation. With the sting of Jesse’s palm, and the weight of his blows.
With the gentle, unmistakable adoration that was obvious in Jesse’s touch, and his words. Bleeding through his kisses and into Hanzo’s skin, and Jesse couldn’t put his mouth to Hanzo anymore without leaving something behind.
Something soft, and sweet, and welcome.
Something Hanzo carried with him, as real as any collar, holding him tight.
Keeping him safe.
Jesse went well past ten licks, but Hanzo didn’t mind in the slightest. When he stopped Hanzo’s ass was on fire, raw and oversensitive, radiating heat. Hanzo hadn’t come yet, but he was already floating, lost in that hazy place only Jesse could put him. Everything was far away, the world made up of Jesse’s hands and his steady breaths and the familiar, woodsy scent of him.
There were a couple of jerks on the ropes at his wrists, and then Hanzo was free, hands moving to clutch at Jesse automatically. At his arm, at his thigh. Jesse palmed Hanzo’s ass again, massaging reverently at the skin. With his other hand he cupped Hanzo’s jaw and coaxed his face up, bringing their lips together for a messy kiss. Hanzo whimpered, arching his spine to press further into Jesse’s mouth, but there was no urgency to it, no frantic, overwhelming need for more. All that had disappeared, leaving behind an eerie calm, and Hanzo was happy to stay lost in it.
Jesse pulled away, gathering Hanzo’s hair gently into his fist, his other hand trailing slowly up Hanzo’s spine and back down to ass in a lazy rhythm.
“There we go. You did perfect, baby, so fucking good. All loose and patient for me now, yeah?” Hanzo nodded, eyes half closed, and Jesse smiled. “Look at you, goddamn. How’d I get so lucky? Think you deserve a reward.” Jesse gently eased Hanzo’s head back, sitting himself up a bit, until his cock was right in Hanzo’s face. “Still want a taste, darlin’? S’all yours.”
Hanzo groaned and took Jesse into his mouth, laying on his side and sinking down at far as he could on Jesse’s cock, relishing how full he felt. Lips stretched around Jesse’s girth, tongue swirling, and Hanzo wasn’t in any hurry to get him off. Keeping him there was enough, hard and wet and pulsing over his tongue. Hanzo felt himself drifting further as he sucked, pulling back and then taking Jesse in again, bobbing slowly. He reached down to touch himself, stopping right before he closed a palm around his cock and looking up at Jesse with furrowed brows.
Hanzo wanted to be good, wanted to ask permission, but letting go of Jesse to make the words felt like a lot of effort.
Jesse paused in his languid stroking of Hanzo’s ass and reached to entwine their fingers, wrapping Hanzo’s hand around his cock, his own over the top of it. Urged Hanzo into a slow rhythm, stroking with him, murmuring low.
“Nice and easy, ain’t no rush. We got all the time in the world, doll face, but you can come whenever you like.”
Hanzo let his eyes flutter shut, mouthing almost drunkenly at Jesse’s cock, working his own in distracted bursts. Stopping, and starting, forgetting about himself entirely sometimes as he swallowed Jesse down. Jesse went back to petting over the inflamed skin of his ass, tugging on Hanzo’s thigh to pull him closer. He lay there, curled up half in Jesse’s lap, half on the couch, tracing lovingly over Jesse with his tongue. Pulling off to rub his cheek against the shaft, and then nuzzling into Jesse’s sac, lapping at his balls one after the other before sucking his cock between his lips again.
Jesse praised him, voice rough like it always was when Hanzo was being good for him. Telling him he had a pretty mouth, and it felt so nice, and goddamn, baby, just like that.
Hanzo whined around him, pushing his head into Jesse’s hand— seeking attention, and Jesse gave it to him, petting through his hair, cupping his cheek, tracing his features. Eventually he’d get them both there, frantic and shaking as they came together, Jesse gasping out his name.
Eventually, but not for a while.
They had all the time in the world, and Hanzo slowed his hand, and his mouth, dragons floating with him the haze of bliss.
Sated, for now. Jesse’s hand was warm on his skin, and gentle in his hair, and Hanzo breathed, and relaxed, and took everything Jesse had to give him.
Chapter 13: Roped
The sign over Respawn Ink flickered from violet to red and back again, painting the sidewalk in bright neon as Jesse waited outside. There were chairs in the lobby, but he didn’t want to make Hanzo’s client uncomfortable as he loomed impatiently, so he sat on the steps out front and scrolled through apps on his phone. Jesse listened to music blaring through the walls of a club across the street, the occasional car rolling past, people milling around the entrance of a nearby restaurant.
He wasn’t supposed to meet up with Hanzo until the next day, for the ropes demo, but Jesse had something he needed to take care of first. Hanzo was already moving shifts around to accommodate Jesse— to make room for their dates, and scenes, not to mention the clients he had to reschedule after he hurt his hands when he dropped.
Hanzo swearing it wasn’t Jesse’s fault did nothing to assuage the guilt he felt for not taking better care of him; it was Jesse’s job to look after Hanzo, and he’d fucked up spectacularly. Once upon a time he would have wallowed in that for a while, let himself sulk in the sting, but Jesse was past that now.
All he could do was move forward, and do better. For himself. For Hanzo.
Tonight wasn’t something he was doing for Hanzo’s benefit, though.
It was entirely for Jesse; asking for more of Hanzo’s time felt selfish, but this would only take a moment, and it couldn’t wait.
He was a solid half hour into reading random articles on the ins and outs of modern yakuza culture when Hanzo’s client emerged from the building, wandering off down the street. Hanzo was close behind, telling them to have a good night before descending the steps to stand on the sidewalk in front of Jesse. Hanzo was smirking, wearing his jacket with a hoodie underneath; jeans with holes in the knees, fingerless gloves.
The metal of his day collar glinted in the neon overhead, and Jesse couldn’t keep his eyes from lingering there.
Couldn’t keep his thoughts from going heated and proprietary.
Mine, all mine.
“Comfortable?” Hanzo asked, and Jesse grinned as he stood up, reaching out for Hanzo’s hand.
“I’ve endured worse for less. How much time you got?”
“Fifteen minutes or so until I need to get things ready for my next client. I probably won’t get a break until ten. Is everything all right?”
Jesse tugged on Hanzo’s arm and tilted his head towards the park, where they usually sat when Hanzo took his meal breaks.
“Everything’s fine. Just needed to get my hands on you for a minute before tomorrow night. Take a walk with me?”
Hanzo’s cheeks went pink as he nodded his agreement, and Jesse felt warm all over.
Having that kind of effect on Hanzo was never going to get old.
He led Hanzo down the sidewalk, but instead of continuing towards the park he tugged him around the side of the building into the shadows and shoved him up against the bricks. Hanzo let out a surprised breath that Jesse swallowed as he kissed him— quick but filthy, licking into his mouth with a hum. There was no hesitation, no resistance; just Hanzo relaxing into him, hands fisting in Jesse’s clothes to pull him closer.
Letting him in like always.
Jesse broke away to nuzzle into Hanzo’s throat, pressing a kiss to the chain of his day collar as he tugged Hanzo’s jacket and hoodie and shirt to the side. There was a fading bruise under the edge of the fabric, one of several Jesse had left earlier in the week. Barely there, and Jesse put his mouth on it, murmuring low.
“Wanted to freshen these up for tomorrow, give ‘em time to set. Can I, sweetheart? You gonna let me put some marks on you?” Jesse ran his tongue over the faint traces of blue on the curve of Hanzo’s shoulder. Scraped his teeth across them, teasing, feeling Hanzo’s breathing hitch. “Gonna let everybody see how much I want you. S’it okay?”
Hanzo’s head fell further to the side, fingers tangling in Jesse’s hair. He forced Jesse’s face tight against his skin, one leg coming up off the ground, wrapping part-way around Jesse’s hip. Jesse hooked a hand over his knee, holding it there, fingers digging into Hanzo’s thigh.
“Do it, please. Want… want you to,” Hanzo said, and Jesse grinned, and sank his teeth in deep.
Hanzo let out whine; high and breathy, tapering off as he muffled it with his own gloved hand. If they’d been somewhere private Jesse wouldn’t have allowed it; would have grabbed Hanzo's wrist and pulled it away, let me hear you darlin’.
With Hanzo against the wall of his workplace, cold night air all around them, Jesse wasn’t going to complain. He licked at Hanzo’s skin, sucking and nipping until he was sure it would bruise before sliding his mouth sideways a few inches and biting down again. Hanzo shivered— Jesse could feel him, hard in his clothes, grinding helplessly forward. He couldn’t pull his hair like he wanted, couldn’t hold Hanzo in place, but it didn’t matter.
Hanzo held himself in place beautifully.
“Good fuckin’ boy,” Jesse murmured as he pulled away to watch Hanzo tremble— lashes fluttering, lips red and slick.
He gently tugged Hanzo’s jacket back where it belonged, covering the wet, red expanse of his shoulder. Rubbed his fingers over it through the fabric of Hanzo’s clothes, and leaned down to kiss his mouth again.
“Gonna look so pretty tomorrow, all black and blue. Thank you.”
Hanzo was still breathing heavily, and he hid his face against Jesse’s chest with a sigh.
“You’re… you’re welcome,” he said, sounding bewildered, and Jesse laughed.
“You okay, baby?”
Hanzo huffed, hand coming up underneath Jesse’s to rub at the abused skin under his coat.
“Amélie will know what we were doing. She’s going to give me that look.”
“I’d say I was sorry, but I really ain’t.”
Hanzo pulled his hair, and Jesse grinned, and kissed him again. When he walked Hanzo back around to the front of the shop Amélie was there, standing in the doorway with an amused expression.
“Can’t stay away, cowboy?”
Jesse shrugged, one side of his mouth quirked up as glanced at Hanzo.
“Can you blame me?”
“I can blame Hanzo, if he’s not ready when that awful woman gets here in a few minutes,” Amélie said, and Jesse squeezed Hanzo’s fingers before releasing him.
“Aww, go easy on him, it ain’t his fault.”
Amélie’s grin went vicious.
“I will if you will,” she said, and Jesse shook his head.
“No can do,” Jesse replied, and she laughed, and shoved him away.
“Get out of here, stop monopolizing my employees.”
“See you tomorrow, Hanzo,” Jesse called as Hanzo shouldered past Amelie into the shop, giving him a wave before disappearing behind the counter.
Jesse went home, and readied his ropes, thoughts of his marks on Hanzo’s throat carrying him to sleep.
There was already a fairly sizable crowd in the VIP area, even though it would be almost a half hour before the demonstration began. They mingled in groups at the tables, piled up on the couches, stood together towards the back nursing drinks they’d brought in from the outer bar. Jesse had gotten there early to stow his gear in the prep room, and then spent the last hour at the bar with Lena, politely declining several offers to be his ropes partner for the evening. Explaining no, he did not need a volunteer, he had someone already, thanks but no thanks.
More than one person looked dubious, as though they didn’t entirely believe him, and Jesse couldn’t help but grin. He didn’t just have someone.
He had Hanzo.
His phone buzzed in his pocket, and Jesse pulled it out to see Hanzo’s name scrolling across the screen.
Almost there. Meet you out back?
Jesse tapped out a response, I’ll be waiting, and then excused himself, weaving through the back hallways of the club and out the rear door. It wasn’t long before Hanzo appeared at the end of the alley; walking fast, eager to get in out of the cold.
“Sorry if I’m late.”
Jesse swiped his keycard to let them in the door again, kissing Hanzo’s cheek as it swung shut behind them.
“Nah, you’re fine. Ain’t gonna take us all that long to get ready.”
He ushered Hanzo into the prep room— a little bigger than the rooms available to rent for scenes with a wide leather couch, as well as a large vanity with lights circling the mirror and a black leather barstool in front of it. A small bathroom, a mini-fridge in one corner, a set of shelves with pillows and blankets. Hanzo dropped his bag on the floor and hovered awkwardly in the center of the room like he’d never seen it before, in spite of the fact that Jesse had shown him around a week ago. Jesse’s ropes and Hanzo’s blindfold were laid out on the coffee table, and Hanzo looked at them with a kind of anticipation that was at odds with the rest of his body language.
Eager but also anxious, and Jesse pulled Hanzo into his arms and kissed his temple.
Hanzo hesitated— ready to tell Jesse he wasn’t that nervous, probably, that knee-jerk instinct Hanzo had to pretend he was fine. Then he nodded instead, and pride coiled through Jesse; it meant a lot, Hanzo trusting him enough to be honest.
Being able to rely on him.
“Kinda to be expected, but it’s not too late to back out. You good to go?”
Hanzo tucked his face into Jesse’s throat; breathed in slow, held it, let it out.
Once. Twice. Three times, steadying himself like Jesse had seen him do on more than one occasion. Then he nodded again, pulling back from Jesse to take off his jacket, his hoodie, his shirt. He turned to lay them on the vanity, and Jesse was in his space, arms wrapped around him from behind and mouth under his ear.
“Look at you,” he said, one hand sliding up Hanzo’s chest, fingers splayed.
Hanzo reached up, arms going back around Jesse’s neck to give him room to touch, clutching at his hair. Seeking, needy. Jesse eased his fingers underneath the leather of Hanzo’s collar, forcing him to raise his eyes and look at their reflections in the mirror.
Hanzo was breathtaking; hair damp from the shower, eyeliner thick but pristine, brand new jewelry in his lip and ears and bridge. Blue-black rings to match his collars, lines of gold swirling through his navy gauges. Pink cheeked and shirtless with a smattering of bruises from Jesse’s mouth spread out on his shoulder, a few older hickeys under his collar bones, and on his abdomen. Jesse ran his free hand over them one by one, pressing his fingertips into each faint violet mark.
“Wearin’ my collar. Got my teeth in you. Gonna wrap you up in my ropes where everyone can see. God, darlin’, I don’t think you understand what you do to me.”
Hanzo’s chest heaved as he watched Jesse stare at him in the mirror, drinking Hanzo in like was ravenous for the sight. Jesse ran his hand down Hanzo’s stomach, palming his cock through his pants. Hard already, which wasn’t surprising. He hadn’t come since Monday. Jesse didn’t even need to ask.
Knew Hanzo was his good boy, and Jesse rubbed at him slowly, felt him shiver.
“Gonna get embarrassed if you’re hard for me out there?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo flushed. Nodded haltingly, like he thought it was the wrong answer somehow, eyes dropping away.
“Probably. Yes, sir.”
Jesse nudged his mouth underneath Hanzo’s jaw, pressing a kiss to his collar, rubbing his palm harder against Hanzo’s cock.
“Want me to take care of you first? Get you nice ‘n relaxed?”
Hanzo let out a harsh breath, hips grinding forward into Jesse’s hand, body leaning back into him more heavily.
“Is there… do we have time?”
Jesse grinned, turning him around so he was leaning against the vanity, Hanzo gripping the edge so tightly that his knuckles went white. Jesse kissed his way down Hanzo, dropping to his knees at Hanzo’s feet. He watched with his mouth open, panting as Jesse unfastened his belt and pulled him out of his briefs. Jesse nuzzled into his cock, looking up at Hanzo with smirk, running his thumb in gentle circles over his crown.
“I don’t think it’s gonna take all that long, babydoll. You been good for me, yeah?”
“Yeah, I… yes, sir.”
“Thought so. You’re always so good.”
Then Jesse swallowed him down, and Hanzo whimpered, hands fisting in Jesse’s hair.
Eventually Hanzo would get used to it; the way it felt when Jesse touched him and kissed him. His body would memorize the press of Jesse’s fingers, the drag of his tongue, the wet heat of his lips. It would be wonderful in its own right, Hanzo learning all the ways Jesse could make him moan and arch and sigh.
But it would take time, and until then Jesse would revel in this— how Hanzo trembled every time Jesse’s skin brushed his own. The little sounds he made, fingers quivering and clinging, head lolling forward like he couldn’t hold it up.
How he fell apart so easily under Jesse’s hands, and his mouth.
It wasn’t long before Hanzo was whining his name and coming down his throat. Jesse swallowed, waiting until Hanzo pushed him away before pulling off. He eased Hanzo back into his clothes. Kissed his way back up Hanzo’s stomach and chest. Jesse laid his palm over his heart and left it there, waiting until it slowed into something less frantic.
When Hanzo opened his eyes again they were heavy, limbs moving slow as he held onto Jesse’s waist— even with every hair in place, without kiss swollen lips or smudged eyeliner, Hanzo looked fucked-out. Languid, and satisfied, and Jesse was glad.
He wanted to put that look on his face every day. He hooked his index finger through the ring on Hanzo’s collar, tugging him forward to bring their lips together.
“Mine,” he said, and Hanzo smiled sharp and predatory, eyes glinting almost blue in the dimness; eerily bright, like Jesse had never seen them, flashing and then fading away.
Dangerous, something in the back of his mind whispered, but Jesse’s instincts were utterly calm.
“Yours,” Hanzo agreed, and Jesse let go of his collar with grin, and shook everything else away.
“Alright then. Let’s get you blindfolded, yeah?”
Jesse took Hanzo’s hand and led him out of the prep room; into the club, and onto the stage, black and gold silk wrapped snugly around his eyes. The noise died down quickly as everyone turned their attention towards the two of them. He maneuvered Hanzo center stage, lengths of rope looped around one arm, the other arm tossed over Hanzo’s shoulder. Jesse curled a palm around Hanzo’s collar and nodded at Satya, who sat off to the left with a tablet in hand. She activated the overhead mics for him, and the lights above him thrummed brighter.
It was a bigger crowd than he’d been anticipating, and Jesse was grateful for the blindfold covering Hanzo’s eyes. It was enough to make him vaguely nervous, and he’d been doing this for a long time; he could only imagine how spooked Hanzo would have been if he could see. Jesse glanced out over everyone, gaze catching on a few familiar faces. Several people he’d done scenes with before were there; people he’d dommed, or helped dom.
Someone he’d subbed for, a long time ago.
Something in his chest ached, and Jesse took a breath, and forced his eyes away. He couldn’t get caught up in exactly who all was watching; none of that was important right then.
Not with Hanzo leaning into him, hands already behind his back, waiting patiently for Jesse’s ropes.
Jesse swallowed, and gave a little wave.
“Hey y’all! Some of you know me, but for those that don’t my name’s Jesse. This here,” Jesse said as he wrapped his fingers around Hanzo’s collar, unable to stop himself, “is my boyfriend Hanzo.”
There was polite applause, a couple of enthusiastic wolf whistles, some drawn out cooing. Hanzo turned into Jesse some, tensing up at the noise, and Jesse released his collar to massage at his shoulder.
“A month or so ago I did a beginner’s rope demo, and we talked about types of ropes, basic knots, and rope safety. The information is up on the web page here, in case you missed it, but we won’t be rehashing all that right now. Tonight’s demonstration is a little more involved. Hanzo here is gonna let me put him in a variant of a box-tie harness while I walk you through it step by step. Afterwards if you have any questions I’ll answer them, and you can come get a closer look at the knots if you like. Sound good?”
More cheers, a few scattered claps, someone who sounded suspiciously like Lena shouting from the corner, get it cowboy!
“All right then, let’s get going.”
Jesse stood in front of Hanzo for a moment, shielding him from view— not that Hanzo could tell, but it made Jesse feel better all the same. He leaned down to whisper in his ear, palm on Hanzo’s bicep, voice as gentle as he could make it.
“You ready, love?”
Hanzo breathed out roughly through his nose at the endearment, swallowing heavily and nodding his agreement. Jesse pressed a kiss to his cheek, ignoring the chorus of whistles that earned him.
“Let’s get you all roped up then.”
Jesse went about the business of tying Hanzo into the harness with the same gentle affection as always. He ran his fingers over freshly laid lines of rope, turning Hanzo in half-circles from time to time so their audience could see what he was doing, explaining everything as he went. Jesse gave people tips on keeping their ropework tight, warnings about cutting off circulation, advice about different variations of the same harness that could be substituted. It was for the audience, ostensibly, but Jesse was paying them no mind.
He only had eyes for Hanzo, who was just as pliant on stage as he was in Jesse’s living room. Hanzo followed the sound of Jesse’s voice in the beginning, head turning as Jesse moved around him, but once the harness started really taking shape he relaxed into it. His muscles went loose, head falling forward on his shoulders, breathing gone deep and even. When Jesse pulled his knots tight or reversed the tension in his lines Hanzo’s body rocked with the motion, responding to Jesse’s every nudge and touch with drowsy obedience.
Rope drunk for him, even with the quiet murmurs of their audience in the background and the bright lights overhead, Jesse’s voice droning about burns and blood flow and aftercare.
When he finally tied off his last knot Jesse stood in front of Hanzo and stared for a moment, running his palm greedily over his chest, feeling Hanzo lean into the contact. His bangs had come loose from the ribbon in his hair, falling down over his blindfold, and Jesse brushed them behind his ears with careful fingers. Something fond and adoring rose in him, swelling like a tide and pulling Jesse under.
Hanzo was always beautiful, but this was something else entirely.
This was Hanzo in Jesse’s ropes, wearing Jesse’s collar, boneless under his hands.
Hanzo covered in bruises from Jesse’s mouth, bound and euphoric where everyone could see. Lost in the sway of Jesse’s knots— miles away.
Alone with Jesse, even with dozens of people watching.
Jesse lifted Hanzo’s chin with the tips of his fingers, leaning down to press a quick, chaste kiss to his lips.
“Perfect, sweetheart,” he whispered, quiet enough that only Hanzo could hear. “You okay to let some people get a closer look at you?” Hanzo nodded, a little dazed, and Jesse kissed him once more. “Okay. Gonna be right here. If you feel hands on you that’s me, ain’t nobody else gonna touch you, all right?” Another nod, and Jesse turned back to the audience to address them. “All right! So that about does it! If anyone wants to come look at these knots up close, or ask any questions, the stage is open. We ask, as always, that you keep your hands to yourself and respect everyone’s personal space.”
Most of the crowd dispersed, some heading out to the main area of the club while others gravitated towards various stations in the VIP area, or to the juice bar. Those that remained moved in closer to the stage to inspect Jesse’s knotwork, a few coming up onstage to see the back of the harness. Jesse fielded questions, mostly about things that were more advanced— suspension, the best positions for people with joint issues, tie substitutions for someone with a prosthetic limb. He stayed close to Hanzo, reaching out to touch him now and then— to reassure Hanzo he was still there, but also because it was impossible not to put his hands on him.
A group of four or five clustered around the front of the stage, gesturing at Hanzo and talking about alterations that could be made to accommodate different needs, when someone behind Jesse cleared their throat. He turned to find a pair of men there— Doms Jesse had seen around, but didn’t know personally. A tall lean brunet and a short, muscular blond, both in dressy button-ups. They came as a pair, if Jesse remembered correctly; always sharing the same sub, Domming them together. He gave Hanzo’s shoulder a squeeze before heading over, still watching him carefully.
“Beautiful work,” the brunet said, and Jesse nodded.
“Thank you kindly.”
The blond tapped a finger next to his eye, inclining his head towards Hanzo.
“He’s a shy one?”
It was an effort not to narrow his eyes, and Jesse nodded again, fighting the sudden urge to step between Hanzo and the two of them. Their stares lingered appreciatively, and Jesse couldn’t blame them.
Hanzo in his ropes was a sight to behold.
“Yeah, he’s a little shy. Not used to doing anything like this in front of folks.”
They both hummed noncommittally, sharing a look.
“Nice collar, too. Yours, I’m assuming,” the brunet continued, and Jesse tucked his thumbs into his belt, sucking air through his teeth.
When the other Dom spoke again his voice was lower, until Jesse had to lean in to hear him.
“We haven’t seen him around. We’re here a lot, and fuck knows I wouldn’t forget someone like that. He drifted off so easy, god, it was amazing to watch. Don’t wanna step on your toes, but we’d be stupid not to at least ask if he might be up to doing a scene with someone else. You guys exclusive?”
The blond was looking at Jesse with hopeful anticipation, now, both of them waiting, and Jesse tried to soothe the jealousy that was riling in him. They weren’t doing anything wrong— Hanzo was collared, and etiquette dictated they approach Jesse if they were interested in initiating any sort of play with him. A lot of people in the community shared partners, or allowed other people into scenes with them. It shouldn’t be such a surprise; Jesse should have expected this, really.
That someone would look at Hanzo— collared and marked and floating in Jesse’s ropes, scandalously beautiful— and want him for themselves. It was on the tip of his tongue to say yes, they were exclusive, Hanzo was all for him, but then the words got stuck in his throat as he realized he didn’t know if that was true.
When they were going through their initial negotiation Jesse had said he wouldn’t see anyone else, wouldn’t take any other subs, but Hanzo had made no such promises. It hadn’t seemed necessary. He was new to scene, obviously nervous, trying to feel out what subbing was actually like. Now, though.
Now Hanzo knew very well just how much he enjoyed it. Knew how to kneel, to yield.
To be Jesse’s good boy.
To be anyone’s good boy, if he wanted.
Fuck knows Jesse didn’t deserve him.
As much as he wanted to tell these Doms no, Jesse knew he couldn’t; he had to talk to Hanzo, first. Had to make sure he wasn’t putting words in Hanzo’s mouth, assuming things about their relationship when they hadn’t explicitly spelled them out.
The thought has his jaw tense, teeth grinding against each other.
“I’ll ask if he’s interested,” Jesse said, words bitter on his tongue as he spit them out, hating the way the Doms both lit up at the response.
“We’re usually around, every other Saturday or so. Or, here,” the blond reached into his pocket and pulled out a card, handing it over to Jesse with a smile, “give us a call, if you like. Hopefully we’ll see you around.”
They both gave him a nod before wandering offstage, throwing backwards glances at Hanzo as they headed towards a group of people sitting on one of the couches across the room. The lights overhead dimmed, finally, and Jesse sidled up to Hanzo again, running a hand up his arm to settle on his bicep. Hanzo didn’t tense, didn’t turn; just leaned into the touch, trusting that it was Jesse. That he’d kept his word.
That nobody would touch him but Jesse. Now Jesse wondered how much longer that would be true. Losing Hanzo felt like an inevitability.
One way or another, Jesse was never enough.
“You ready to head back, sweetheart? Get these ropes off?”
Hanzo leaned in further, tucking his face into Jesse’s chest and nodding slow.
“Mmmm,” he hummed, which wasn’t an answer, and Jesse smiled.
“Alright, let’s get you down these stairs.”
Back in the prep room Jesse guided Hanzo onto the barstool facing the vanity, making sure the lights were dimmed before taking his blindfold off. Hanzo squinted, blinking as his eyes adjusted, looking at Jesse in the mirror with furrowed brows. After a few moments of silence he swallowed, voice soft and wary.
“Did it… not go well?” Hanzo asked, and Jesse cocked in head in confusion.
“No, it… it went great? What do you mean?”
Hanzo frowned, arms flexing in the confines of Jesse’s ropes as he shifted.
“You look upset.”
Jesse sighed, running a hand through his hair, wishing he had his hat to hide beneath. He forced himself to meet Hanzo’s gaze in the mirror and tried to force a smile.
“You did amazing. Better’n I could’ve hoped for, all relaxed and loose for me even in front all those people. But uhh… couple guys approached me, afterwards.”
Hanzo’s muscles tensed, eyes gone dark and guarded.
“Bout you, yeah. Should’ve expected it, really. Pretty thing like you, just a matter of time before Doms start sniffing around wanting to scene with you. Asked if you’d be interested in playing with them sometime.”
Hanzo’s face looked dangerous— like it had before the demo, except this time with an edge that felt like it might cut. His eyes were strangely blue again, pulsing in the low light of the room, canines glinting as he spoke.
“What did you tell them?”
Jesse couldn’t look away from Hanzo, forcing air in and out of his lungs.
“Told ‘em I ask you, see what you said.”
Hanzo recoiled from Jesse’s reflection, bumping into Jesse himself instead before turning on the barstool to face him. More gracefully than should have been possible tied up like he was, and Jesse felt small, pinned in place by his stare.
“Is that what you want?” Hanzo asked, incredulous. “To… pass me around?” Something fragile and hurt seeped into his expression; like Jesse had slapped him in the face, all shocked and wounded and oh, no.
Jesse was an idiot.
“NO!” Jesse said; too loud, too honest, and he quieted himself before continuing. “No, I don’t! I didn’t even like them LOOKIN’ at you like that. Don’t want no one thinkin’ about you, let alone putting their hands on you, I just… I said I wouldn’t take no more subs, wouldn’t see anyone else, but you… you didn’t agree to that, for yourself. I didn’t ask you to, didn’t… seem like an issue, at the time, but I can’t be making those decisions for you. I thought now that you had some experience subbing you might… I don’t know, want…” Jesse trailed off, and Hanzo looked bewildered.
Jesse sighed again, gesturing at himself, chest tight and sore.
“Want something else. Someone else, someone… I don’t know. Someone different.”
Someone better, he didn’t say, but they both heard it anyway.
Why would he want Jesse?
Hanzo’s eyes flashed brightly enough that Jesse blinked at him in surprise. Glanced around the room, wondering what could possibly be reflecting in them; if there was a light somewhere shining vivid indigo on Hanzo’s face. On the swirls of his tattoo, making them glow like they’d been tattooed in phosphorescent ink.
When Hanzo spoke again Jesse’s eyes snapped back over to him, and it was gone, faded away. A trick of the light, of his exhaustion, of the anxiety pumping through his veins.
“I don’t want someone different. I want you. I don’t want to scene with some other Dom, and I don’t want to date some other man. Tell them no,” Hanzo said emphatically, something like anger radiating off him in waves, “I am not for them. I am only for you.”
Pieces of Jesse he hadn’t known were broken realigned themselves, shifting roughly into place just under his skin.
He exhaled, slow and shaky, closing the distance between them to throw his arms around Hanzo. Shoved his face into Hanzo’s throat, fingers curling around the lines of rope over his shoulder blades. Stayed there for a while, just breathing, trying to calm the uneven pounding of his heart.
“You still comin’ with me tonight? Can I take you home, baby?”
Hanzo’s tattoo felt warm against Jesse, vital and alive, and Jesse turned his head to press his lips against it where it swelled up over Hanzo’s shoulder.
“Yes,” Hanzo said, clipped and delicate, “I think you’d better.”
Chapter 14: Release
Please, he thought, palm sliding down his bicep, fingertips digging into his tattoo through his jacket. Begging again, as he often was lately. All he needed was a few more minutes.
One way or another, Jesse always had him begging.
Hanzo leaned forward in his seat, eyes wrenched shut, his left fist clenched in his lap. He pressed his forehead against the dashboard, wincing as Jesse called his name, worry thick in his voice. There were more words, drawled out low and wary, but Hanzo missed them the first time around.
It was like having earphones in, the volume turned too high, except instead of music there was only the white noise of his dragons. Hanzo could hear Jesse talking, but it was muffled and distant, and he had to focus to make it out.
“Hanzo, you’re startin’ to scare me, baby. Do I need to pull over? What’s wrong?”
There were a lot of things wrong, but nothing he could articulate right then. Nothing Jesse would believe without seeing it for himself.
Hanzo’s dragons were sharp inside of him— clawed, with teeth, and they scratched at the edges of his control with a viciousness he hadn’t felt in ages.
Jesse thought Hanzo didn’t want him.
Jesse thought Hanzo wanted someone else.
Their snarling was audible in his ears, like they’d already manifested, and were growling in his face. There was no walking things back, no breathing and counting and coaxing them quiet.
The time for that had come, and passed, and Hanzo could only grit his teeth and will them to wait just a little while longer.
Until they had four walls around them, ensconced safely in Jesse’s living room where no one else would see.
“Please keep driving. I am fine, I promise, just... get me to your place.”
“Baby,” Jesse said, laying his palm on Hanzo’s arm.
His skin burned at the contact, blood boiling in his veins, the roaring in his ears so loud they began to ring. His eyes hurt, bright behind his lids; Hanzo winced, and jerked away from Jesse with a hiss.
“Don’t touch me.”
Jesse yanked his hand back like he’d been burned, and Hanzo didn’t need to be looking at him to feel the hurt— the wide eyed uncertainty, raw with confusion.
“I’m sorry, it’s not… you didn’t do anything wrong. Please, just… take me home, Jesse.”
His apartment, Jesse’s house. Hanzo wasn’t particular.
Anywhere was fine, as long as Jesse was there.
“We’re almost there,” Jesse said, desperation edging into his voice. “Wish you’d tell me what’s the matter. I ain’t sure I shouldn’t be takin’ you to the hospital instead of my place, darlin’. You’re worrying me.”
Dragons in his thoughts.
Blood on his hands, and in his mouth, and his eyes. Fire in the temple.
A glimmer of remembered sensation— how it felt to pull a blade free when it had gotten stuck in bone.
Voices in his ears.
You must, Hanzo.
“No!” Hanzo reached out, snatching Jesse’s arm out of the air with his eyes closed, shaking his head fiercely. “No.”
He left his fingers curled around Jesse’s wrist, pressing it down against the seat between them. Dug his fingertips harder into his tattoo, turning his face towards Jesse and blinking his eyes open. The inside of the car was bathed in a vivid blue glow, and Jesse’s lips parted on a ragged inhale, pupils blown wide and black in shock.
“There is something I need to show you, but it isn’t safe here. Please.”
His voice was his own, but layered with something bestial— Hanzo’s dragons just beneath the surface, refusing to be ignored. Someone honked, and Jesse’s eyes snapped forward again as he veered back into his own lane, swearing under his breath. Hanzo half expected Jesse to pull over. Stop the car and leave Hanzo on the side of road, or maybe jump out himself and take off.
Then Jesse shifted his right hand until his palm was pressed against Hanzo’s, entwining their fingers and squeezing. The angle had Hanzo’s tattoo peeking out of his sleeve, ink thrumming phosphorescent and ethereal. It made things harder, Jesse’s skin on his, but it made them easier, too.
“Okay, sweetheart. Just hold tight.”
Jesse hit the gas, and Hanzo closed his eyes.
It wasn’t the car stopping that had Hanzo returning to himself.
It was Jesse letting go of his hand.
Hanzo swam back into reality like someone waking from a dream, his whole body twitching on a gasp.
Jesse’s car door slammed shut. The static in his head went from furious to crippling as Hanzo glanced at the empty driver’s seat, forlorn for the few seconds it took Jesse to circle the vehicle and open his door. Hanzo looked around— they were well away from the bustle of downtown now, deep in the suburbs. The streets were dark and empty, which was a blessing.
Hanzo’s eyes pulsed with light, teeth longer than they should have been, chest heaving as he tried to brace himself to move. Jesse stood in the open door, hands hovering like he wasn’t sure if he should touch Hanzo but wanted to all the same.
“Need me to help you get inside? Tell me what to do.”
Hanzo grabbed onto Jesse’s arm and lurched to his feet, slamming the door behind him. He didn’t answer Jesse, dragging him up the walkway instead, both of them staggering onto the porch. He leaned against him, and it was awkward at best, but it was the only way for Hanzo to stay upright as Jesse fumbled his key into the deadbolt to let them both inside. He flicked the lights on, and Hanzo stumbled deeper into the room.
He peeled off his jacket, writhing out of his hoodie and shirt, hands shaking as he threw them onto the floor one by one. He’d taken a few steps into the living room, halfway to the hall when he turned around and fell to his knees, unable to stand anymore. Heels underneath him, toes pointed, shoulders squared; a perfect seiza.
Tattoo glowing in his skin. Eyes neon bright. Teeth like knives in his mouth.
Sitting pretty for Jesse, even as he fell apart.
When he looked up Jesse was crossing the room to crouch in front of him, cupping Hanzo’s cheek, thumb tracing over his cheekbone. Jesse’s skin was cool against his own— Hanzo burned with fever, sweat dripping down his collar bones, over his back. He leaned into the touch, meeting Jesse’s eyes.
Hanzo let out a rough breath. A whine that ended in a snarl, lips curled back from his teeth as he fought to get words out.
To say something, anything that might help Jesse understand.
Someone else, Jesse had said, fragile and sore.
As though there was anyone else who could make Hanzo feel like this; safe, even with his dragons riling out of his skin.
At home, no matter where they’d gone.
It burned through Hanzo like lightning, territorial and possessive, yearning to break free. The light in his irises flashed so bright that Jesse squinted against it.
On his shoulder, and chest, and arm, Hanzo’s dragons moved.
“Hanzo, what’s happening to you, baby?” Jesse’s eyes roved wild over him, frantic with worry. No one but Genji had ever looked at Hanzo that way; as though his pain were their own.
Like they wanted to take it, and endure it for him, always.
“Talk to me, sweetheart, please. I need you to say something.”
Hanzo swallowed, and forced his mouth to move, jaw protesting anything that wasn’t a growl.
“They won’t hurt you… they just want to meet you. I thought I had more time,” Hanzo said, every word bitten through clenched teeth. “I’m sorry.”
Then Hanzo closed his eyes, and exhaled, his dragons spilling into existence.
Light poured off his tattoo like smoke, coalescing into shapes that would always be familiar. Sleek shimmering scales, frills thick with feathers adorning them in places. Not as big as they used to be when they casually took form— the size of large cats, as opposed to something more intimidating. Their color was washed out, bodies thinner than Hanzo remembered. It was to be expected.
He’d kept them inside for a long, long time.
They shook themselves, claws clicking on the wooden floor, feathers ruffling all the way down their spines.
Then they both launched themselves at Hanzo, muzzles hot as they nosed into his neck. His hands came up automatically, fingers sinking into their frills, scratching gently at their scales. Something in Hanzo went loose, knots within him unraveling to let him breathe again.
To let him feel whole, when he’d been in pieces all this time.
“I missed you, too,” he said, eyes stinging and throat tight.
It was hard to remember why he’d been so afraid right then, Aoi purring in his ears, Ruri hiding her face against his chest and whining low. They were a part of Hanzo as surely as his blood and bones and skin.
They wanted all the same things he did; to keep Genji safe.
To hold Jesse close, and be held close in turn.
That didn’t stop his heart from pounding, anxiety looming in him, ready to erupt.
Aoi nipped fondly at his jaw, and then she was gone, ducking out of Hanzo’s arms with astonishing speed to leap directly at Jesse.
“Aoi!” Hanzo called after her, reaching out to stop her, but it was too late.
Jesse landed on his ass with an armful of eager, affectionate dragon, letting out a surprised oof. Aoi climbed his shirt to sniff at his face, licking a wet stripe up his jaw before skittering around his shoulders and perching there like an overly familiar pet. She took the brim of his hat in her teeth, and yanked it off his head, dropping it in the floor so she could shove her muzzle into his hair. Aoi huffed at the strands for a moment before twisting back around to his lap, standing up to put one clawed foot on each of his cheeks. She cocked her head to the side, still sniffing, her purr so loud Hanzo could almost feel it. The tip of her tail swished back and forth on the floor, glee evident in every inch of her.
“Uhhhh…. Ha… Hanzo? You wanna tell me what to do, here?”
Jesse had his palms flat on the floor behind him, leaned back with his eyes wide. He didn’t look away from Aoi, chest rising and falling evenly— carefully, like he was schooling his breathing.
Like he was trying not to panic, and startle the creature with sharp teeth and long claws that was nudging her muzzle more and more insistently against his cheek, impatient for his affection. Hanzo had scooped Ruri up into his arms without thought, rubbing his face across her. She was purring, too, but not loudly enough for Hanzo to hear. He felt it under his hands, against his skin; the quiet, subdued rumble of her contentment.
“She wants you to pet her,” Hanzo said, strained, pressing a kiss to Ruri’s head. “She’s wanted you to pet her for a while now.”
Jesse glanced over at Hanzo, only to have Aoi shove his face back towards her with her paw, purring shifting into something impossibly guttural. He lifted one hand off the floor— his left hand, Hanzo noticed, the metal of his prosthesis steadier than the rest of Jesse. It still trembled a bit as he hesitated, palm an inch or so away from Aoi, hovering in the air.
Close enough, Aoi decided.
She shoved into his touch with series of chirping noises, triling euphorically as Jesse slowly began moving his fingers to scratch through her frills. After a few moments Jesse sat up straighter, lifting his other hand, running it down her back.
“Hey there, gorgeous,” Jesse said, whisper quiet, like he thought he might startle her. The same voice he used when Hanzo was drifting after a scene, his hands buried in Hanzo’s hair, everything soft and far away. “What’s your name?”
Watching Jesse pet Aoi had some part of Hanzo settling; something he hadn’t known was uneasy, relaxing into stillness after years of tension.
“That is Aoi. This is Ruri. She’s… a little shy.”
It wasn’t something that had ever mattered before— Ruri’s reticence, her distrust of everyone other than Hanzo and Genji.
Considering the things they’d been through, Hanzo couldn’t blame her.
Jesse looked over at Ruri, nestled against Hanzo’s chest, and she hid her face in Hanzo’s bicep and chirped in protest.
“Like her daddy, then, huh?”
“I’m not her…” Hanzo sighed, and shook his head. It wasn’t the time. “Yes, I suppose so.”
Jesse met Hanzo’s eyes, cradling Aoi in his arms like she was an infant— she laid on her back with her legs sprawled, showing him her belly. Jesse scritched it lazily, glancing from Hanzo to Aoi to Ruri and back again.
“So that tattoo of yours ain’t just for looks, I take it.”
Hanzo’s eyes had faded back to normal, tattoo nothing but lines on his skin, teeth receding into his jaw like they hadn’t just been long and curved and savage. The white noise in his head was utterly silent, not even a ghost of it itching at the edges of his awareness.
Aoi rubbed her face on Jesse’s clothes, absently scent-marking him as he’d often seen her mark Ruri.
“It’s… a bit more than that, yes.”
Jesse stood up, keeping Aoi snug against himself, and moved to sit on the couch. Tilted his head to indicate the spot next to him, hands never slowing on Aoi’s scales.
“Come sit with me. You’re lookin’ a little unsteady, there.”
Hanzo felt unsteady.
He wobbled to his feet, grabbing his shirt off the floor and letting Ruri burrow into the fabric to hide as he crossed the room.
He sat on the couch, and tucked his face into Jesse’s chest. Jesse’s arm closed around him, and Aoi twisted in his hold so she could press her muzzle into Hanzo’s cheek.
Jesse kissed the top of his head. Sank his fingers into Hanzo’s hair.
“Breathe, baby. It’s okay.”
Ruri dug her way deeper into Hanzo’s arms. Aoi sneezed, tail wagging languidly, claws kneading rhythmically into Jesse’s shirt. Jesse held him tighter.
Tell me nice things, or come yell at me on twitter
The questions Jesse asked— haltingly, nose buried in Hanzo’s hair— are what he would have expected, had he ever allowed himself to think about it. How long have you had them, how did you get them, what else can they do? What else can you do?
Hanzo answered some of them while skirting others; the tattooing ceremony was still hazy and poisonous in his thoughts, like an old wound that had never healed right.
Something better left alone, quiet and settled under layers forgetfulness, just out of reach. Waiting to hurt him all over again like so many things in Hanzo’s memories, if only he blew the dust off it and held them up to the light.
So he told Jesse about how Aoi and Ruri behaved in a fight. The things they were capable of doing.
The things they made Hanzo capable of doing, instincts keen, senses sharp and inhuman.
Jesse listened intently, not pressing further when Hanzo didn’t respond to everything, rubbing his face into the tangle of Hanzo’s hair. The edge of frantic adrenaline in Hanzo had fallen back, leaving him shaky and exhausted but calm.
He hadn’t realized how close he’d been to a full blown panic attack until Jesse had already coaxed him away from the edge and into drowsiness. His words started slurring, thick like syrup in his mouth.
It didn’t take long before Aoi decided Jesse wasn’t going anywhere, and she could explore his territory without fear of him getting away. She squirmed out of his lap and onto the floor, looking at the bundle of Ruri in Hanzo’s arms and letting out a plaintive trill. Ruri’s head popped up from the safety of Hanzo’s shirt, and she gave Jesse a guarded look, nuzzling her face into Hanzo’s chin once more before slinking down as well. They skittered out of the room, Aoi bounding energetically, Ruri sunk low to the ground as she followed after her.
Straight into Jesse’s bedroom, where Jesse and Hanzo’s scents were the strongest. They’d undoubtedly find their way into his bed before long, as they so often found their way into Hanzo and Genji’s before being cowed into rigid subservience by Sojiro and the clan. Hanzo watched them go, fighting the urge to call them back. It was bizarre— being able to see them, instead of just feel them.
Being able to close his eyes, and be met with nothing but silence.
Jesse was staring at the hallway where they’d disappeared from view with an incomprehensible look on his face.
Something like relief, as though he’d dodged a bullet he was expecting to hit home.
“So that’s what you meant, when you said you had some baggage that had to do with your family?”
It took some effort, but Hanzo didn’t think of blood, or steel, or agony. Didn’t think of choking. Didn’t think of drifting out of himself, miles away from his body as it ached, ached, ached.
Or he did, but only for a moment.
Jesse let out a sigh, and wrapped both arms around Hanzo, pulling him into a hug so tight it hurt. Cut off his air, crushed his ribs, Jesse’s embrace a vise around him.
“God, baby. I thought you were dying. Thought you had some… hereditary disease, or something. Christ.”
Hanzo tried to move back and look at Jesse, brows furrowed in confusion; Jesse didn’t give him an inch, and so Hanzo spoke into his chest, voice muffled in worn cotton.
“You thought what?”
“Things about your family that aren’t so easily put aside? Your family’s ‘legacy’? You said you left all that yakuza shit behind, what was I supposed to think that meant?”
Hanzo still couldn’t breathe, suffocating in tightness of Jesse’s arms. He patted at Jesse’s shoulder like he was yielding in a fight, and Jesse let him go all at once. Laid a palm over his cheek instead, Hanzo leaned into it automatically, frowning at Jesse incredulously.
“That I had a shitty uncle, maybe? An asshole cousin? That I’m.... I don’t know, on an FBI watchlist? Certainly not that I’m dying.”
“Are you on an FBI watchlist?” Jesse asked, utterly serious.
“It’s okay if you are, I have been before. I know how it is.”
“I am not-”
“I can take care of that, if you need me to. Make a few calls, and-”
Jesse grinned down at him, and Hanzo breathed out a heavy sigh, and leaned into him again. Keeping his dragons at bay while they made their way to Jesse’s and then summoning them had taken more out of him than he’d realized. He hadn’t meant to close his eyes, but they startled open again at a clattering noise from the bedroom.
“Shhhh, easy,” Jesse said, urging Hanzo down when he’d started to sit up. “Long as they can’t hurt themselves there ain’t nothin’ in there worth stressing over. Let ‘em do their thing.” Hanzo ended up with his head in Jesse’s lap, lids heavy and breathing gone even. “There you go, just relax.” Jesse worked the tie out of his hair, running his fingers through it, smoothing some of the tangles. “I’m real glad you ain’t dying on me, sugar.”
It wasn’t for lack of trying on Hanzo’s part, once upon a time.
“Hanzo, baby,” Jesse said, voice on the edge of breaking, but Hanzo was already mostly asleep.
He woke for a few transient moments later, when Jesse scooped him up and carried him to bed. Laid him down in the soft, familiar pile of his blankets, and tugged off Hanzo’s boots, and socks, and pants. When he felt Jesse working the buckle of his collar loose he whined and pawed at his hand in protest. Hanzo didn’t want his collar off right then.
Didn’t want it off ever, if he was being honest.
“Hey. Quit that, now. You can’t sleep in it, behave yourself.”
Hanzo huffed indignantly but let him finish unbuckling the leather, rolling over afterwards and shoving his face into Jesse’s pillow. Something nudged at his arms— Ruri, wiggling her way into them, and he cradled her tight against his chest and closed his eyes again.
Jesse crawled into bed behind Hanzo shortly after, his face against the back of Hanzo’s neck, an arm and a leg tossed over him. He trailed kisses across Hanzo’s shoulder. Up his throat, over his jaw, on his cheek and temple.
“Love you, baby,” he said, and Hanzo hummed out his agreement thoughtlessly. Of course Jesse loved him.
He loved Jesse, too.
Jesse’s arm went tight around him, and he made a noise in the back of his throat, but it cut off abruptly. There was rustling, and pressure, and the tickle of feathers on his skin.
“Alright, alright. Make yourself comfortable, by all means.”
Aoi’s tail replaced Jesse’s face on his neck, back legs draped over Hanzo. Ruri swatted the frilled tip of Aoi’s tail away, snuggling deeper under the blankets to escape it.
Hanzo heard the telltale smack of Jesse’s lips, and Aoi’s purr picked up, loud and content.
Then he didn’t hear anything at all, and slept like the dead.
Hanzo woke to the smell of food, and the sound of Jesse whistling in the kitchen. His muscles were sore like he’d overexerted himself in a fight, except the only person Hanzo had been fighting was himself.
Himself, and his dragons, both of them noticeably absent from Jesse’s bed.
He squinted towards the open door, stretching, joints cracking ominously— there was a glass of water on the bedside table, along with a bottle of ibuprofen and both of Hanzo’s collars. He’d left his bag in Jesse’s car the night before, his day collar tucked into an outer pocket, but it sat on the floor next to the bed waiting for him. Jesse must have brought it inside when he got up earlier.
Taking care of him like always.
Hanzo grabbed his day collar off the nightstand and clipped it on, kicking the sheets off his legs and sitting up. The medicine probably wasn’t necessary; he was sore but it was bearable. Nothing a light workout or a solid run wouldn’t fix, even if neither of those things sounded particularly appealing at the moment. It might not do anything for the pounding in his head, but it would be a start.
Then he heard Jesse in the kitchen again, rattling around in his cabinets. Jesse would want him to take care of himself.
Jesse loved him.
Hanzo covered his face with both hands and leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hair falling like a curtain around him until he was hidden in it. His heart was frantic, pounding fast and erratic as he breathed in deep and held it, one, two, three.
Breathed out in a rush, a little shivery.
Jesse loved him.
Hanzo smiled into his palms, forehead pressed to his knees like it would steady him.
He loved Jesse, too. Hadn’t planned on telling him— not for a while, at least.
Not until he was sure about the heat in his lungs and the hunger in his chest and the tangled, messy want in his blood. The way Jesse made him into someone better.
The way he always needed more.
Hanzo was going to wait until he could say the words without feeling like he might shake apart, but they’d slipped out all on their own. His dragons, and his emotions, and everything else he worked so hard to keep inside; Jesse pulled it all out without trying.
Hanzo wouldn’t be able to say it again anytime soon, but he had a feeling Jesse wouldn’t mind. He opened the bottle Jesse had left for him and took a couple of pills out, swallowing them down with half the glass of water.
Then there was a thumping sound from the kitchen, and Jesse’s whistling cut off abruptly.
“Aww, c’mon, cut that out. Yer daddy says you can’t eat nothing you ain’t killed yourselves, leave that alone!”
Hanzo raided Jesse’s closet for one of his shirts, buttoning it as he made his way down the hall. Jesse stood in front of the stove in his boxers with a spatula in hand, bacon sizzling in a pan, pancakes spread out on the griddle nearby. Aoi was perched around his shoulders, watching his every move with rapt attention. There was flour poured out in the floor in the corner, little clawed footprints tracking it all around the room.
Ruri observed from the end of the bar, body flat against the tile. She stuck her head out further, creeping close enough to Jesse to sniff cautiously at his heels. Her whiskers twitched, feathers ruffling, head cocking to the side with interest. Then he shifted his weight, and she darted back around the bar to hide again.
“Ruri, what are you doing?”
She startled at the sound of Hanzo’s voice before scrambling over to him, climbing up his leg and into his arms with a soft chitter.
Seeing them both out that way, manifested in the middle of the day with no enemies to fight, had Hanzo’s nerves flaring up anew. He closed his eyes, and held Ruri close, breathing slow and even. Ran his fingers over the links of his collar, and adjusted his lip rings with his tongue.
The sound of Jesse cooking. The smell of it in the air. The cool tile under his feet. Ruri in his arms.
In the moment, and not a thousand miles away, so many years ago.
Hanzo, it’s okay.
“Baby?” Hanzo opened his eyes and Jesse was there, leaning in close to kiss his cheek, metal fingers sinking into Hanzo’s hair. “You alright?” Hanzo nodded, and it didn’t feel like a lie.
Imperfect, but all right.
Better all the time.
Aoi took the opportunity to crawl over to Hanzo, flour on her muzzle and frills and paws, lounging around his neck like a scarf. She trilled at him, and Jesse sucked air through his teeth, scratching under her chin with a smirk.
“I see how you are. No loyalty.” Aoi nipped at his finger, gnawing gently on Jesse’s knuckles. He looked back at Hanzo, brows raised, inclining his head towards Aoi. “This is what had you dropping so hard last time, yeah? Worrying about these two, arguing with Genji about it?”
Hanzo hummed, but didn’t get an answer out. Ruri popped up at the mention of Genji’s name, whining long and loud, nudging at Hanzo’s chin. She pressed at his thoughts— they didn’t speak in words, exactly. Flashes of images, surges of emotion, but Hanzo could interpret them well enough, even after all this time.
Genji and worry and where and when and please, please, please—
Hanzo tucked her more snugly into his throat.
“Shhh, it’s okay. We’ll go see Genji today. I promise.”
She quieted, and Jesse wandered over to flip the pancakes, reaching for a pair of tongs to pull bacon out of the frying pan.
“I think you might have planned on heading home today, but I’d uhh… really rather you stay here tonight. Maybe longer.” Jesse glanced at Hanzo over his shoulder. “Or let me come with you to your place for a couple nights. I ain’t too pleased with the thought of you staying by yourself right now, after everything. Last night was… intense.” Jesse turned around and leaned against the counter, running a hand through the mess of his hair. “I’d like to keep you close, if it’s all the same to you.”
Hanzo crossed the room to sit on a barstool, Ruri sniffing surreptitiously at the flannel he was wearing, taking in tentative lungfuls of Jesse’s scent.
Jesse’s place was nice enough, and Hanzo usually felt at ease there, but right then he felt skinned raw and exposed. He wanted his sketchbooks, and his tablet. The too-soft blanket on his couch that Ruri could bury herself under. The tea in his cabinet, and the familiar light of the lamp in his corner, easy on his his eyes when he worked. His clothes, and his pillows, and his room.
The comforts of home.
“I… think I’d like to go back to my apartment, but I wouldn’t mind having you there. I need to go to the temple to see Genji today, and it’s… probably best if I go alone, but you can meet me at my apartment later? If that’s all right.”
“Long as I get to spoil you a while. Sleep a lot easier with you next to me, anyway.”
Hanzo looked down, one corner of his mouth quirking up as he dusted flour off Aoi’s feathers and pretended Jesse wasn’t staring.
He slept better with Jesse next to him, too.
It wasn’t as difficult to coerce his dragons back into his skin as Hanzo feared it might be; just we’re going to see Genji, and they melted into Hanzo with a swirl of bright mist and a shudder of energy. There was rumbling in his ears as they settled into place, both of them humming with excitement.
The promise of seeing his brother had them vibrating with anticipation, and Hanzo had to run a palm over the blue and black plaid of Jesse’s stolen shirt, and hush them.
Promise them soon.
Promise them Genji, if only they’d wait.
Jesse drove him to the temple, parking a few blocks away and walking around the car to pull Hanzo into his arms once he emerged. He hugged him tight, pressing a kiss just under his ear and refusing to let go.
“You remember me carryin’ you to bed last night?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo nodded twice, face in Jesse’s throat. “Love you, Hanzo.” Hanzo shut his eyes, and nodded again, fisting Jesse’s shirt in both hands. Then Jesse kissed his cheek, and stepped away. “See you in a few hours then, gorgeous.”
Hanzo traced over the links in his collar, and nodded, and watched Jesse pull away.
Everything was eerily hushed so far inside the temple walls. Hanzo nodded at omnics as he passed, sidestepping monks going about their duties, slipping through the outer courtyards and making his way deeper. The innermost sanctuary was empty, as it tended to be when Genji was not there.
Hanzo sat cross-legged on the floor in the center of the room, shafts of light slanting down from openings in the ceiling, and pulled out his phone.
Come to the temple. Need to show you something.
Then he summoned his dragons, held them close, and waited.
Tell me nice things, or come yell at me on twitter.
Chapter 16: Inhibition
Sorry for this wall of notes, but I have written two side pieces in this verse since posting chapter fifteen, 'Sync' and 'Indelible', both of which come chronologically after the previous chapter but before this one.
I do my best to write the side pieces set in this universe as supplementary instead of required reading, so that a monoshipper wont miss anything if they skip them, because I don't want to force anyone to read anything they're uncomfortable with in order to comprehend the story. This time is a bit trickier. There is no information in the stories that is absolutely necessary to your understanding of the story, but the transition might feel a little strange if you go straight from chapter fifteen to this chapter. Ultimately my desire to be true to the story in my head outweighs the potential that this particular transition might not be as smooth as normal. I'll give you guys a brief summary of them both just in case you're passing on them. If even the discussion of other ships involving Jesse is unpleasant for you, you should probably just skip to the chapter now.
'Sync' is from Genji's point of view, and heavily features genreaper76. There are mentions of mcreyes, but it's only a couple of sentences, very minimal. Of the two pieces, I'd definitely urge you to read this one even if you're only here for the mchanzo, because it feels narratively important to me. It is set immediately after chapter fifteen of Legacy. In it, Genji meets Hanzo at the Shambali temple, and they both let out their dragons, and talk a little. Then Genji goes to Jesse's, and asks him to be careful with Hanzo, because Hanzo is not often careful with himself.
'Indelible' is from Jesse's point of view, and primarily mchanzo, but there are mentions/discussions of past mcreyes. In it, Jesse shows up at Hanzo's apartment and they spend some time cuddling and being lazy, then have a conversation about his past relationship with Gabriel, and how he wants to be friends again. Jesse shows Hanzo the tattoo he has of Gabriel's name, on the back of his neck. This is primarily a mchanzo aftercare piece, with some Jesse introspection. It can be skipped more easily than 'Sync'.
Anyway! Now we proceed.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Amélie was arguing with Lena about vampires, and whether or not it was cheating to take away all the old restrictions; let them walk in the sun, and see their reflections, and enter someone’s home without being invited.
“It’s too easy that way,” Lena insisted, and Amélie shook her head.
“Only if you want the humans to win,” Amélie replied.
Lena was the only person she would argue with, other than Hanzo on rare occasions. Mostly she didn’t care about anyone enough to argue with them.
Hanzo snorted a laugh and tried to take a drink of his wine only to realize his glass was empty. So was the bottle he’d been pouring from, and Hanzo squinted at it accusingly before setting it back down on the table. He didn’t really need any more; the room was already spinning around him, listing a bit to the left.
Ever since he started only drinking socially, instead of as a coping mechanism, Hanzo was a lightweight.
He didn’t drink at home anymore. It would be too easy to fall into the habit again, numbing everything at the edges when the world was too loud and too bright and too close, not to mention Genji always watched him like a hawk when he picked up a bottle. He never tried to stop Hanzo, but he also wouldn’t let him out of his sight for long.
Hanzo couldn’t really complain, not when he’d earned Genji’s caution so thoroughly.
Not when Genji had picked him up and put him back together time and time again, easy, anija, it’s okay.
It’s me, it’s only me.
Still, every couple of weeks he and Amélie sat around with a few bottles of absurdly expensive wine to watch obscure horror movies and talk shit about their worst clients. Sometimes the movies were good, and sometimes they were decidedly bad; Hanzo hadn’t seen enough movies in his life to suggest much, but even when they were terrible Amélie refused to defend her choices.
If someone didn’t like the same things she did they were simply wrong. It was beneath her to argue the point, so he just shot her amused looks during more dubious scenes with an eyebrow quirked up, and she huffed and drank more and ignored him.
Now the movie was over, and Hanzo threw himself sideways onto the couch, stretching as Amélie and Lena bickered back and forth. He’d lost his shirt some time ago after spilling his wine on it, taking it off and tossing it onto the floor. His hair was falling around his face, ribbon loose enough that it was mostly useless. Hanzo blinked drowsily over at Amélie during a lull in their conversation.
“Vampires are more interesting when they aren’t all powerful,” he said, and Lena laughed in Amélie’s face.
“See? I’m right.”
Amélie just sipped her wine, staring blankly at Hanzo as she downed the entire glass and set it down on the coffee table. When he looked away again she threw a pillow at him. He swatted it onto the floor, but then picked it back up and shoved it under his head.
It would have been easy to fall asleep, wine-drunk and loose-limbed and sinking into the plush cushions of Amélie’s couch. Lena and Amélie’s apartment felt like home, or as near to home as it could get. Hanzo was comfortable there; not quite as comfortable as he was at Genji’s, but close enough.
Not as comfortable as he was at Jesse’s, but that wasn’t their fault.
It was hard to compete with somewhere that smelled like Jesse. Somewhere filled with his clothes, and his books, and his bed.
Hard to compete with Jesse himself, pulling Hanzo into it, come here beautiful, let me get my hands on you.
It had been a while since he’d come to spend time with Amélie outside of work, but she didn’t hold it against him. Jesse had swept through Hanzo’s life like a storm.
It was only a week before that Jesse had met Hanzo’s dragons, and a weight had come off his shoulders to leave him floating. It wasn’t everything— there were still dark things in Hanzo’s past, but Jesse could sympathize with… most of them, at least. Of everything Jesse would learn about him, Hanzo had expected his dragons to send him running.
Now Hanzo went to Jesse’s, and Aoi and Ruri surged out of his skin, and skittered around Jesse’s bedroom. Now Jesse came to Hanzo’s, and Aoi climbed Jesse like a tree, and nuzzled at his face. Now Jesse pet through Aoi’s frills, and called her all those names reserved for Hanzo as Ruri peeked out of his arms. Sweetheart, dollface, darling.
Hey there gorgeous, I missed you.
It wasn’t just about Jesse.
Hanzo met Genji at the temple every day, or stopped by his apartment, or called him over. Had to, if only for a few minutes.
If Ruri didn’t see Genji she was inconsolable, and Hanzo couldn’t think through the litany in his head, Genji where, Genji when, Genji please. All the same things Aoi asked about Jesse.
He hadn’t realized just how hard it had been silencing them so completely until he let them loose, and started listening when they spoke to him. All his life he’d pushed them down, down, down, and now they were coiling through him, always just beneath the surface.
Years. Decades. It had never been so easy.
For the first time since he’d been tied down in the temple and bound to his dragons, Hanzo could fucking breathe.
“You sleeping here, love?” Lena asked, interrupting his train of thought. “Let me get you a pillow and a blanket before you pass out.” She was already halfway out of the room when Hanzo reached into his pocket, pawing for his phone.
“Mmmm. No. Time ‘s it?”
“Half past eleven,” Amélie answered, but Hanzo prodded at his phone to read it for himself.
Hanzo had planned on sleeping there— hadn’t wanted to walk home or navigate the trains after he’d had so much to drink, and bothering Jesse for a ride that late at night had seemed like a bad idea at the time.
It didn’t seem like a bad idea anymore, not when Jesse didn’t have work the next day. Hanzo didn’t want to sleep alone on Amélie’s couch and then have black coffee for breakfast while his head pounded with an inevitable hangover before staggering back to his apartment to be miserable.
He wanted to go to sleep in Jesse’s bed. Wanted to hold Aoi and Ruri while Jesse held him, and then wake up to Jesse’s cooking. Wanted to spend the morning with his head in Jesse’s lap, Jesse’s fingers petting through his hair.
Wanted Jesse, plain and simple.
Hanzo had his phone pressed to his ear before he was consciously aware of tapping Jesse’s name on the screen. It rang twice, and then Jesse answered, a grin evident in his voice.
“Hey there stranger. How’s movie night going?”
Jesse had asked Hanzo if he wanted to go on a date that night, but he’d declined, feeling guilty about ignoring Amélie for so long. They made plans for the following weekend instead, but for now Jesse was at home alone with nothing on his plate, and Hanzo knew he wouldn’t mind being disturbed. The anxiety he often felt over being a nuisance was momentarily washed away, drowsiness and too much wine erasing Hanzo’s nerves to leave neediness in their wake.
He could feel guilty about dragging Jesse out at midnight later on, when he was sober again.
“It’s over,” Hanzo said, sitting up in a rush. Everything rocked, and he caught himself on the coffee table with one hand, weaving in place. “Will you come get me? I don’t want to sleep here. I want to sleep with you.”
Lena started making exaggerated cooing noises while Amelie pretended to gag. Hanzo held his phone between his ear and his shoulder and flipped them off without looking up, which only made them louder. Jesse didn’t hesitate, answering without thought.
“Of course, baby. You at Lena’s place still?”
Hanzo nodded, then remembered Jesse couldn’t see him.
“Yes, yes, come… come take me home, Jesse. Jesse, I miss you.”
Jesse laughed softly. They’d seen each other the day before, and he’d been texting him all night. After a moment Hanzo heard keys jingling in the background, and the sound of a door shutting.
“Miss you too, Hanzo. Be there in a few, yeah?”
“Mmmhmmm,” Hanzo mumbled, hanging up the phone and shoving it into his pocket. “Jesse’s coming to get me,” he said, and Lena giggled.
“Yeah, we heard. Congratulations.”
Lena started cleaning up the mess they’d made over the course of the evening while Amélie scrolled through something on her tablet. Part of the sleeve she was designing for herself, he thought, but his vision was blurry and it was hard to be sure.
Then he realized he didn’t actually care, and let his eyes fall closed.
Jesse’s place was only about fifteen minutes from Amélie’s, but Hanzo still managed to doze off in that time, head thrown back against the couch and mouth hanging open. He startled awake at the sound of a knock at the door, Jesse strolling into the room after Lena with a wide smile on his face.
“Hey there, sweetheart,” he said, holding out one of his arms and waiting expectantly. Hanzo took a deep breath, and let it out.
Jesse was the best thing he’d ever seen, big and warm and everything Hanzo wanted right then.
Hanzo staggered to his feet, stumbling over to Jesse and swaying into his chest. He wrapped his arms around him, and rubbed his face back and forth, slurring into the fabric of his jacket.
“Wanna go home ‘n sleep with you. Wanna—” Hanzo cut himself off. Wanna let Aoi and Ruri out, was what he’d been about to say, but he swallowed the words and shook his head. “Wanna sleep in your bed. Can we go?”
Jesse pressed a kiss to his hair, palms sliding up and down his back, skin on skin.
“Sure can. You got a shirt around here? Jacket? Not to complain about this view, but it’s cold as hell out there.”
Hanzo turned around to look for his clothes, only to find his hoodie and jacket shoved into his hands by Amélie.
“I’ll wash your shirt and bring it to work,” she said, making a face. Hanzo nodded dumbly as he pulled on his hoodie and shrugged his jacket on over it, using Jesse to balance himself when he wobbled.
Jesse was wearing a red scarf with a brown pattern along the edges, which he took off and wrapped around Hanzo instead, tucking it into his jacket carefully. It smelled faintly like his cologne, and Hanzo pressed it tighter against his nose.
“Ready?” Jesse asked, and Hanzo nodded again, leaning heavily into his side. He could probably walk on his own without falling down, but there was no reason to test the theory. “See you two later! G’night!” Jesse waved over his shoulder at them, and Lena and Amélie mumbled their goodnights in return as Hanzo and Jesse made their way out the door. Jesse took most of his weight, and they rode the elevator down in relative silence.
“How was the movie?” Jesse asked after a moment, and Hanzo mumbled into his chest.
“It was alright. I don’t really remember all of it. Something about vampires.”
The elevator lurched to a stop on the ground floor, and Jesse steadied Hanzo when he lurched right along with it. The lobby was empty other than the doorman, who gave them a nod as they walked past. They slipped out into the night, the wind biting through Hanzo’s clothes and blowing his hair around his face.
“Too drunk for vampires?” Jesse asked teasingly.
Hanzo buried his nose deeper in Jesse’s scarf, and Jesse tightened his arm around Hanzo as they shambled across the street towards his car.
“Distracted. Thinking about you, mostly.”
“Were you, now.”
Hanzo nodded and let Jesse usher him into the passenger seat of his car, the interior already warm from the ride over. Jesse shut his door and walked around to the driver’s side, climbing in and pulling his own door closed after him. The car hummed to life, and Jesse reached over and took Hanzo’s hand, lifting it up to his mouth to kiss.
“Been thinking about you too. Let’s get you to bed, yeah?”
Jesse car was bathed in soft blue light from his eyes, dragons preening and unafraid to show it. Hanzo’s head lolled to the side, and he blinked over Jesse, shifting their hands until their fingers were interlaced.
“Your bed,” he added before letting his eyes drift close, and Jesse squeezed his hand, thumb running up and down over his knuckles.
“Yes, sir. If you insist.” He was teasing again.
Hanzo didn’t care.
Jesse took his hand back briefly to put the car in gear, and Hanzo turned his head to watch the night flash by outside his windows as they left the outskirts of the city behind and drove into the suburbs. Hanzo’s stomach turned, the world spinning faster every time he closed his eyes but the blur of the buildings and trees vaguely nauseating to watch. It wasn’t enough to make him sick, but he was grateful when Jesse pulled into his driveway and killed the engine.
He’d managed to drag himself out of the car by the time Jesse got there and slid an arm around his waist. Weaving together up Jesse’s walkway gave Hanzo a sense of déjà vu.
A week ago he’d been there, letting Jesse hold him upright, terrified it would be the last time they touched.
Seven days felt like an eternity when he wasn’t holding his breath.
Hanzo waited for Jesse to unlock his door, all but falling through it when it swung open. Jesse’s lights were still on, warmth washing over Hanzo as they both moved inside, door clicking shut behind them. Hanzo shook his jacket off onto the floor, writhing out of his hoodie as well. The scarf Jesse had put on him got caught up around his face, and he yanked it off too, hoping he’d remember to take it with him when he left.
It was his now, whether Jesse knew it or not.
Jesse had hung up his own jacket next to the door and seemed ready to lead Hanzo into the hall, but Hanzo grabbed the collar of his shirt with both hands and jumped instead, legs coming up around Jesse’s waist. Jesse caught him without missing a beat, holding him up effortlessly, palms high on his thighs. He pushed his face into Jesse’s skin and groaned.
“You… you smell so good,” Hanzo said, mouthing at Jesse just because he could, trailing his nose up through his beard and over his jaw. “You always smell so good, and look so good, and I... God, you’re so attractive, it’s not fair.” His words were slurred but earnest, and Jesse nuzzled back, walking towards the bedroom with Hanzo in tow.
“You too, sweetheart. Prettiest thing I ever saw.”
He knew Jesse meant it; warmth curled through his stomach even as he let out a derisive laugh.
“Doubtful.” Hanzo sunk his hands into Jesse’s hair, stroking through it and furrowing his brows. Jesse’s room was lit only by the dim light of his bedside lamp, and he paused by his bed, holding Hanzo up with one arm as he pulled down the covers. “Your hair is so soft, why is your hair so soft, your conditioner is awful.”
Jesse was still smiling, tilting his head to let Hanzo untangle his hair with his fingers, still wrestling with the blankets.
“Must work well enough, if it’s so soft. Ain’t never seen you drunk, baby. You’re awful cute. Not that you ain’t always.”
Hanzo hummed skeptically, sliding his arms around Jesse’s neck and tucking his face back into his throat.
“You feel so good. I missed you.”
Jesse held him tighter for a moment, pressing a kiss to Hanzo’s cheek.
“You might’ve said that already, but it’s still nice to hear.”
Jesse eased him down in the bed and tried to stand, but Hanzo didn’t let go, so he knelt on the mattress instead. Hanzo felt Jesse tugging at the laces of his boots, pulling them off one after the other, followed by his socks. The ribbon in his hair was next, then his day collar— Hanzo slept in it, sometimes, but he didn’t need to right then.
Not with Jesse next to him, undressing him carefully and giving him kisses and putting him to bed. Gently. Reverently.
Hanzo thought of all months he spent at Genji’s apartment when he first left Japan, getting blackout drunk and staring at the walls. Forgetting where he was, forgetting their father was dead. Drifting for hours, then coming back to himself all at once, unsure how much time had passed.
Filthy and broken and useless.
Hanzo didn’t deserve either of them.
“You… you’re so good to me, Jesse. You take such good care of me, and I’m… I’m like this, and I don’t do anything for you, and—”
Jesse shushed him, unbuckling Hanzo’s jeans and working them off his hips, leaving him in nothing but briefs as he pulled the blankets up to his waist. Hanzo fell back onto Jesse’s pillows, and Jesse laid down beside him, a palm on Hanzo’s cheek as he coaxed his face up.
“You do everything for me, Hanzo. Just having you close is more’n enough. I like taking care of you, it makes me happy. I love you, sweetheart.”
Hanzo’s chest twisted hard, and he surged up and brought their lips together, messy and artless. It was almost frantic, Hanzo grasping at his shirt and pulling Jesse down. Jesse cupped his face with both hands and gentled him, slowing their kiss into something languid. They lingered that way, and when Jesse eased back there was blue light playing over his features.
“I don’t understand why,” he said.
Genji loved Hanzo, but they’d been through hell together; through blood, and misery.
The agony of family.
There was no reason for Jesse to feel that way. Nothing Hanzo could give him, or be for him.
Jesse’s eyes went soft, and he ran a thumb over Hanzo’s bottom lip, mindful of his piercings.
“‘Cause you’re you, baby.”
It landed like a blow.
Hanzo curled into Jesse, dragons spilling out of his skin like a cup running over. Ruri snuggled into his arms immediately, snuffling at Hanzo’s face with a low whine. Aoi scurried off; probably to climb Jesse like usual, but Hanzo didn’t look to see.
“Need you,” Hanzo said, and Jesse seemed to know he wasn’t talking to his dragons.
He got up and walked through his house turning out lights and checking locks before returning to the bedroom, prosthesis coming off with a click and whir. Jesse laid down behind him, pulling Hanzo back against him, face buried in his hair.
“‘M right here.”
The room wasn’t spinning anymore when he closed his eyes, and Jesse’s bed was leagues better than Amélie’s couch. Ruri’s clawed feet kneaded at his chest, little purrs rumbling out of her as they settled closer together. Aoi’s tail was draped over his arm.
Hanzo would probably regret a lot of things in the morning, but Jesse wasn’t one of them.
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