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The Chain

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           Jesse flicked the hammer on his lighter restlessly. On, off, yet the cigar in his teeth remained unlit, the stub beginning to fray under the grind of his teeth. Once again, he was questioning himself -- even five years out, his growing doubt still felt unpleasant and new. Never had to doubt when he was just a gun. Overwatch certainly made him a better man, but doubt was reserved for others, the greater and untrustworthy world. He, Jesse, could accept that because when it hit the bottom line, he could always control himself.

            But that sense of self-control was gone, and he had been slow to realize it. Overwatch had given a lot of security he’d taken for granted, and that was increasingly discomforting to acknowledge. Choosing to walk away was possibly the first truly independent choice he’d made in his entire life – a good one, but hell if that wasn’t fucked up. He plucked the shredded cigar from his mouth and tossed it aside. It’d be easy to fuck off, keep up his crusade, pretend it meant anything beyond trying to feel better. And he would – for a while. Those returns were diminishing fast. It was time to give a shit about himself. Watch – that’d be what finally fucking killed him.

            “Serve me right,” he muttered as he tapped open the holo on his arm to reply to his contact.