Jesus Christ, it is so hot.
Jesse’s used to the heat, but sometimes it gets to him. It heats his prosthetic arm and it makes him sweat in his serape, his hair stick to his forehead.
It’s even worse when he’s travelling— constantly moving from place to place, the only respite in trains or busses or planes, or in malls and stores where he’s likely to get noticed and dragged in for his bounty.
Right now, he’s staying in a shitty, country-side hotel with Ana; they still exist, even in 2076. The wallpaper is peeling off, the carpet smells vaguely of vomit and cigarette ash, and the bathroom mirror is cracked to hell and back, but it’s the only place they wouldn’t get questioned with enough money pumped through reception.
Winston’s recall, as it turns out, wasn’t so easy to respond to when you had an odd sixty million on your head.
He’s sitting in the tiny kitchen portion of their room, his prosthetic arm resting on the dining table, hat discarded to the side. His plain red button-up needs a wash, and he’s left the top two buttons undone. To be fair, they hadn’t exactly had the time to hunt down a laundromat.
Earlier he’d fished out his straight razor and his shaving cream. His beard was starting to get itchy beyond his goatee— damnit, but his prosthetic was too uncomfortable to wear in the heat.
Ok, maybe he didn’t think that out too well.
Ana sits not too far away, drinking a cup of tea. He didn’t know how she did it; she looked as gorgeous as ever, a slight sheen to her brow. On her lap was a holopad— she was reading the news, judging by the small scowl on her face. Maybe looking for any sign of Fareeha and Angela? Of Jack and Reinhardt?
She catches sight of him struggling with it all, and she quirks an eyebrow at him as she puts the pad aside. “Need help, Jesse?”
“It’s just a little hard with one arm, is all.” He throws her a glance, and Ana takes a final sip of her tea before she abandons it as well. “And it’s gettin’ itchy.”
“Here. Let me.” She comes over, pulls the second chair at the table close to him. “You are looking a little rough.” She agrees, taking a glance at his tools on the table. She’s oddly quiet— moreso than usual— and he watches her get up to rummage around the kitchen.
“T’be fair, darlin’, it’s not like I’ve had time to sit down and shave.” He points out. When Ana comes back to him, she’s got a heavy bowl of hot water in one hand and towel and a smaller bowl in the other. He trusts her to know what she’s doing, and while he’s certainly never whipped out hot water and a towel, he doesn’t question her.
He watches her soak the towel, gently pushing it in with her fingertips so she doesn’t scald herself with hot water. She’s quiet throughout, even when she forces herself to pull it out and wring it ‘til it’s damp. “Put this on your face.” She says— it’s an order, firm but not unkind.
McCree hesitates. It’s already hot enough, and adding a hot towel to his face seems nightmarish; but she continues to prepare the shaving cream, and so carefully, he folds it in half and rests it on the lower half of his face. Dark eyes follow Ana as she works.
He was right— sweat breaks out on his forehead and it beads at his nose. Ana reassures him that it’s going to help, it’ll open up his pores or some crap like that, and McCree trusts her. It’s a few minutes before she asks him to toss it aside, and he does so gladly. He loves her, really, but he’s not totally sure that wasn’t just to torture him.
She dips her fingers into the small bowl of shaving cream, and soon enough she’s working it into the bristly hair at the corners of his jaw and just below his neck.
Ana’s got hard hands— working hands from carrying around a rifle and doing all sorts of work for Overwatch and the army, when she was younger. They know what they’re doing, and McCree struggles not to drift as she massages his jaw.
He catches the hint of a smile on her lips, and then she’s turning away, washing her hands in the water once his beard is adequately lathered.
“So,” Jesse starts. She hasn’t started shaving— she’s testing the blade against her thumb, and he can’t exactly see the result, but Ana hums in some sort of satisfaction. Her quietness has gotten to him, though, and now he’s curious. “What were you readin’ about?”
She pauses at his side. “Talon.” Ana’s voice has gone firm again, and she leans in. The razor falls on his cheek, and her breath tickles his skin— must’ve been mint tea she was drinking. “Akande Ogundimu— he broke out of Helix’s security instalment. They think Reaper was involved.”
The straightrazor slides down his cheek to the corner of his jaw smoothly; he’s forced to stay quiet and digest what she just said. “… Right,” He starts once she wipes the blade on the wet towel he’d discarded. “That… makes me feel real comfy.”
He grimaces, and holds still once more as she shaves another strip, following the curve of his jaw. “I mean, Overwatch was at the top of his shit-list, last I heard. We kinda ruined his plans.” He says.
Ana chuckles, though it’s dry. “Winston, Lena and Genji did put him away for a very, very long time— tilt your head this way, please. Akande was a dedicated man. We should take care with how we travel going forward. Just in case.”
Jesse gives a soft grunt in response. He sits still as she cleans up the left side of his goatee. “You’re doin’ real well. Y’know, I half expected you to cut off an ear or somethin’. Have you done this before?” He teases, a broad grin on his face; Ana has just wiped the blade free of cream and hair again, and when she turns back to him she swats him on the shoulder.
“Do not tempt me, Jesse McCree,” She shoots back. “This old eye of mine might give and then you’d really be in trouble. Can you imagine how uneven this would turn out?” She laughs at the idea; her laugh is a wonderful thing, the corners of her eyes wrinkling, nose scrunching.
McCree still feels something in his chest flutter whenever she truly laughs; he remembers her laughing with — at?— government officials during the Overwatch days. It was rarely genuine.
He pulls a face at her as she pauses at her work. “Oh– is that a threat, ma’am? I’d never! ‘N here I assumed you were a refined, dignified sorta lady!”
“You have not even seen the worst of it!” Ana grins, moving to his neck. “Stay still, please— I am a true terror. Did you ever see me messing with Jack?” She chuckles fondly. “Gabriel never even had a chance, we would always— he— I—“
The razor and the hand pull away. Ana turns completely as she wipes the blade; McCree is silent, too, scowling at the floor in front of him. He knows it’s hard for her, thinking on when things were good. When Overwatch was doing what it was meant to. “D’you think Jack knows?”
“About Reaper? I don’t know,” She admits. Out of the corner of his eye, McCree watches her stand straighter, suck in a sharp breath. She turns again, starts to finish what she’s started and clean up his neck. “But I do know that if he did, he would try anything to get Gabe back. Jack was always stubborn like that.” She scowls slightly as she works, just the hint of a frown on her brow.
He goes quiet. He can’t imagine forgiving Gabe so easily. He wants to— god, he wants to so bad— but he remembers losing his arm, and he remembers how Jack and Gabriel fought; how, despite Ana, Reinhardt and Angela’s effort, people still died because of Talon. Because of Gabe and Moira.
His good arm flexes, and his hand tightens into a ball.
Ana finishes and steps back with a soft hum of approval. “Hopefully he comes to Winston’s recall; I think if he tried to confront him on his own, he’d be killed.” She pauses to grab the towel again, dips it in water once more. Careful as ever, Ana wrings it over the bowl and wipes his jaw and neck clean— droplets trail down his skin, soak up into his shirt. “As much as old soldiers are hard to kill.”
She leans down, presses a kiss to his cheek. “No missing parts, and you are as handsome as ever. And you doubted me!” She scoffs, reaching to fix his hair.
The kiss is enough to wipe Gabe, for the time being, from his mind. McCree gives her a lopsided grin and shrugs, “Can’t blame a man for bein’ a little concerned! You coulda shaved a whole manner of… of… obscene things into my beard?”
“Hah!” Ana shakes her head. “As much as I love you, Jesse, the idea of having to bail you out of anything with an obscene beard of my own making is– a nightmare. Can you imagine? You’d be laughed at by all of our enemies!”