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Bombed Out

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            Lena was not sure how she ended up dragging a half dead Talon Agent, Widowmaker to be precise, through the rubble of a bombed out building. Well sure, she knew the logistics of it. She tracked Widowmaker to the top of said building after one too many bullets whizzed past her just a hair’s breath away from splitting her skull open where they then fought up until the bomb collided with the building’s already crumbling structure and dissolved it beneath their feet. Lena managed to avoid the worst of the fall by recalling at the last second before impact then blinking her way down.

             As she stared down at Widowmaker’s shallowly breathing, twisted, purple tinged body she had a choice to make. Leave her to die or…most likely Talon would come looking for her. After all she was a huge asset, investment perhaps, Lena wasn’t sure on the specifics, but both equally made her blood boil. Or she could take Widowmaker somewhere safe so she that she could heal.

             After countless battles against the sniper and the Mondatta incident Lena thought she could harden her heart to the woman, but it was in that moment as she lay there still as the dead that Lena could really see exactly how human she still was. She could see… Amėlie shine through. And if she squinted just enough with the way the light streamed through the busted rafters and spilled onto Widowmaker…Lena could almost pretend it was Amėlie dying and not her mortal enemy.

             She tugged the taller woman onto her back and began her slow crawl out from between the destroyed building. As she ducked beneath beams careful not to hit either of their heads Lena couldn’t help to wonder exactly how she ended up in such an unprecedented situation.

             She had been on what was supposed to be a routine escort mission. Keep the cargo safe from point A to point B with her team that consisted of her, Hana, Lucio, Genji, and one of their newest members, Brigitte. It was an easy mission and gave the seasoned members of Overwatch a chance to show Brigitte the ropes so to speak.

             The mission was dull, but as Genji kept reminding the team, dull meant safe. Lena understood the younger members’ eagerness for action. She had been just like that when she first entered Overwatch and for many of the years that followed.

             Hana’s restlessness was the easiest to relate to. Angela benched her for ten weeks in order to heal from an injury sustained on her last mission. In the past Lena dealt with her fair share of injuries and always hated the recovery period when she was about as useful as a rubber chicken.

             She remembered that itchy call to action well and also knew any placating words she would give them would go in one ear and out the other, so she didn’t bother and instead stuck to the plan of her and Genji alternating positions of scouting ahead and checking their perimeter or staying with the cargo.

             About three quarters of the way through the mission was when Lena began to suspect something was up. Hana and Lucio were discussing music, arguing more like, while Brigitte watched on in playful amusement. Lena was the only one not following their conversation as she clocked Genji’s time. His perimeter check was taking far too long. She tuned into his frequency and began.

            “Genji. You there?” she asked into her comm. “Can you hear me? If so, return to the cargo immediately.”

            There was silence on the other end. Lena tried again to call him back and waited. She turned around in a circle scanning every building surrounding them paying special attention to the dark spaces between and the rooftops. She was a moment away from telling Hana and Lucio to shut it while she did a quick perimeter check herself when her comm blasted to life in a burst of static.

            “Tracer!” Genji’s voice was alert and loud. “Talon is here! Watch out!”

            She pulled her pulse pistols from their place on the small of her back and spun them to make sure their clips were full.

            “Look alive, loves. We have company.”

            Hana did not hide her eager determination at all as she gripped tight to her mech’s handles and swung around to face the front of the cargo. Lucio and Brigitte flanked her standing just off to either side of her with hardened expressions of their own. Lena faced the opposite direction and kept her eyes open as she continued to scan the empty streets.

            That was when she heard the distinct crack of a rifle she knew all too well and blinked just in time to miss a bullet to the chest. The bullet landed with a loud ding in the metal of the payload container.

            “We won’t get very far with her shooting at us. I’ll take her out. You three keep the payload safe and rendezvous with Genji.”

            “Are you sure that’s a good idea? You’ll be out of range for Lucio and me,” Brigitte said.

            “Absolutely. Take care, loves!” Lena saluted the team with a flashy grin then blinked off in the direction she believed Widowmaker to be hiding.

            She dodged the bullets that rained down on her and tracked their exact position to a rundown bell tower. She caught the glint of the gun as the light hit it and in she went, blinking up to the roof in no time at all.

            She reached the top of the roof, pistols raised and honed in on the lithe figure of Widowmaker as she unfurled herself from her perch. She untucked her long legs and stood to her full height. Tracer’s pistols rose as Widowmaker did.

            “You’ll need to aim a little higher if you want my head, Chérie.”

            “I’m not like you,” Tracer hissed.

            “That much is obvious,” Widowmaker drawled.

            Widowmaker went silent, eyes narrowed momentarily, and then a sly look crossed her face. “It seems like I don’t have the time to dance with you today.” She raised her left arm, the one with the grappling hook, and Tracer lunged.

            The momentum knocked them both off the edge of the building as Widowmaker’s grappling hook did not fire until after Tracer slammed into her. The hook caught on a spire of the bell tower and Tracer latched onto her leg as it dragged them back up and over the edge.

            Widowmaker kicked towards her face and used her free arm to swing Widow’s Kiss around in its fully automatic mode. Tracer had a split second to blink away before the rain of fire hit her. She caught herself on the crumbling edge just beneath the grappling hook. Widowmaker swung the gun back around ready to fire. Tracer reached up and grabbed the hook then released her other hand and together they both dropped to the rooftop with a loud clatter.

            Neither of them wasted time getting back to their feet. Tracer knew better than to leave Widowmaker with enough distance to fire so she quickly blinked to close the distance between them. She clipped one pistol to her back and wedged the newly freed hand between both of Widowmaker’s that held her gun steady. She pushed hard and Widowmaker’s arms broke apart allowing Tracer enough time to bring her elbow down on Widowmaker’s joint and the gun dropped. Tracer kicked it away and watched it slide away from them.

            In the interim of that moment as her eyes left her opponent, stupid really, Widowmaker grabbed her arm and twisted it behind her back in a bone crushing grip. She pressed close and slapped Tracer’s other hand down knocking her pistol to the opposite end of the roof.

            “You should never take your eyes off me,” Widowmaker said. “Foolish girl.”

            “And you should never underestimate me,” Tracer growled.

            She kicked back hitting Widowmaker’s knee as hard as she could. Widowmaker grunted and lowered just enough for Tracer to smash the back of her head into Widowmaker’s face. The sting of impact was nothing compared to the pain that blossomed around her arm that Widowmaker still held tight to. Tracer used the momentary lapse to swing around pulling the pistol from her back and aimed. She squeezed the trigger and the burst fire caused Widowmaker to release her unless she wanted to get shot in the chest.

            They pulled from each other and stared. Tracer watched transfixed as a nice trail of dark blood slid from Widowmaker’s nostril and over her lip.

            “I’m surprised you still bleed,” Tracer said.

            “You know nothing.”

            Tracer’s comm crackled to life again and she could hear the fighting that ensued somewhere else in the city.

            “Tracer—we’re taking heavy fire down here—could really use your help!” D.va practically growled.

            “Did you find Genji?” Tracer asked while keeping her eyes trained on the assassin in front of her. Her gaze flickered to her pistol then to Widow’s Kiss and back to Widowmaker herself.

            “He’s injured!” There was a loud explosion that hurt Tracer’s ear. “Brigitte and Lucio are doing what they can, but I think we need Mercy for this one.”

            “Sit tight, love!” Tracer said. “I’ll be right there—whoa!”

Widowmaker tossed a venom mine directly at her. It was instinctual to fire at it and when it burst in her face Tracer only had a moment to recall and avoid the spray. As soon as she reappeared the tables were turned and it was Widowmaker who threw herself at her. They scuffled on the ground as they slid down the stone. Finally Widowmaker came out on top in an uncomfortably familiar role reversal.

            “Tracer?” D.va asked. “Tracer! Are you alright?”

            Widowmaker leaned forward careful to keep her thighs caged around Tracer and her lower half pinned. She plucked the comm from Tracer’s ear with delicate fingers and laughed deep in her throat. “She’s indisposed at the moment.”

            Tracer could hear D.va’s profane shouting just before Widowmaker crushed the little device between her forefinger and thumb. She then leaned back over dropping her upper half until it pressed against Tracer’s chronal accelerator.

            “What would happen if I were to damage this, hmm?” Widowmaker said in a dangerous tone that made Tracer’s eyes widen behind her goggles. “You seemed so concerned to not have it break back with Mondatta.” Widowmaker reached down and pressed her fingers into the glowing blue center.

            “Don’t touch that!” Tracer shouted and tried to buck her off. Widowmaker smashed her legs down with a sickening crunch as armor plated kneecaps met bone. Tracer threw her head back and bit down on her lower lip to keep from wailing.

            “That won’t do,” Widowmaker said with a cluck of her tongue. “I want you to scream for me.”

            Tracer brought her head forward again and glared at Widowmaker. “At least buy me dinner first.”

            “I obviously haven’t done my job right if you can still spout your nonsense.”

            “I think you like hearing me talk, love.” Tracer’s grin was positively biting and vicious and it was reflected in Widowmaker’s scalding expression.

            “Let’s change that then, shall we?”

            Tracer suddenly realized there was an odd stirring in her stomach as Widowmaker drew close enough to have her breath fan over her face and fog the outside of her goggles. This was not good. She had to get back to her team.

            It happened so fast after that. The two barely had time to register the distinct whistle that came with a bomb being dropped from above. Widowmaker pulled back head snapping to look above them as she hissed, “Those idiots!”

            Then the impact came with a rocketing explosion. That’s how Tracer found herself where she was, with a half dead assassin on her back and a bum leg that threatened to give out at any moment. She cursed herself every time her leg wobbled and Widowmaker dipped. The dust was finally clearing enough for her to make out the distinct skeleton of the building and secure an exit route through two fallen beams that were slanted together holding each other up.

            She was a few meters away when something shiny caught her eye. She turned and peered through the gloom. Half hidden beneath cobbled stone and brick was Widow’s Kiss. She glared at the weapon that brought her so much grief. She moved several steps away determined to let the thing rust when she sighed deeply and went back for it.

            “I must be insane,” Tracer grumbled and stuffed the weapon between her arm and side. She wished she had found her second pistol and was going to go back and search for it until the beams around her exit groaned. She hustled forward bogged down by the extra weight and fell through the small gap just in time. The beams collapsed. They kicked up more dirt that coated the two of them in a thin layer of grey.

            Tracer shook herself like a dog to dislodge as much of the dust from her face and hair as possible. It went into her lungs and she ended up coughing and sputtering for a solid minute. With another hearty groan she adjusted Widowmaker and the gun and spit out a mess of blood and saliva.

            “I am sodding insane.”

            The streets around them were silent in only the way that the aftershocks of a bomb could. If anyone had been in the surrounding area before they certainly weren’t now. Tracer had no clue where to go as she looked down the deserted street they were on and without her comm she had no way of contacting her team or Winston back at the base. She wasn’t even entirely sure if there was still an old Overwatch safe house in this city.

            Back in the prime of Overwatch they had dozens of safe houses scattered across countless cities that spanned a massive amount of countries and continents. After the fall of Overwatch many of those safe houses had been raided by each countries respective governments only leaving a few of the better hidden ones intact. Athena had been unable to tell Winston which ones were lost.

            Tracer made her way in the direction of the payload drop off in hopes of encountering anyone from the team. Though she sort of hoped that the extraction team had come to get them out if anything went wrong…and boy did it go wrong. She wouldn’t fault any of them if they did indeed leave.

            She was closing in on the final blocks before the payload dropoff when she heard footsteps coming up fast from behind. She turned, shifting Widowmaker, and peered through the emptiness. Her heart dropped when she saw the telltale Talon uniforms and not her team. Quickly she ducked into an alleyway and dragged them all the way to the back and through a small crevice between two buildings. She propped Widowmaker up against one wall while she pressed against the opposing one.

            She stayed silent and didn’t dare move until all the footsteps moved on. However two stopped at the mouth of the alleyway. One voice she recognized immediately.

            “Her vitals are still coming up so she’s alive,” Moira stated coldly. “She should have been at the impact site.”

            “My team turned up nothing,” Reaper said. Tracer held her breath. It was always hard hearing that voice…she had looked up to him at one point and to see him as he was now hurt almost as much as Widowmaker did.

            “Your team lacks brain cells,” Moira huffed. “Let my team do a sweep. I guarantee they’ll find her.”

            “Watch yourself,” Reaper growled. “Send them in anyway. We have to find her.”

            “I’m on it.”

            Tracer waited until she heard the telltale signs of the two of them…fading away into that weird cloud of black before she dared peek her head out. She picked up the pace and headed towards the dropoff using as many side streets as she knew. It had been some time since her last tryst through this particular European city. Upon coming up to the point she knew in her heart that it was a long shot for her team to still be there, especially if Genji was as injured as Hana made it seem, but her chest still ached when it came up empty.

            The payload was busted, gutted open and bombed out, and she could only hope that the delivery had been successful. She wasted no time there knowing that Talon was not far behind and traveled through towards the outer ring of the city, as far as her leg would take her anyway.

            She prayed that the safe house she was headed towards was still standing. Her back and shoulders ached and her leg was nearly numb. Her head began to swim and she knew she needed to rest sooner rather than later.

            Her heart nearly sang when she came upon the building that held the safe house still intact if not a little worse for wear. It looked mostly abandoned if Tracer was being honest with herself, and she had no time to be anything except brutally honest. This may be a bust, but she had to try.

            She kicked open the door which was sealed from the inside and took a look around. The lower floor of the three story building looked the same if not dirtier and dustier.  It was a front of course. The building had been paraded as a hostel and they did bring in clientele that was not Overwatch from time to time just to keep up appearances, but mostly the top floor was reserved for them.

            Tracer unceremoniously deposited Widowmaker on a couch that had definitely seen better days and set the gun on a nearby table. She rolled her shoulders and neck until she could feel again then set to work on cataloguing what supplies were left and making sure the place was secure. After about an hour of checking the building top to bottom and boarding up any loose ends Tracer collapsed into an arm chair facing Widowmaker with a large black box that she dumped on the table between them.

            She inputted her old Overwatch pin and the box popped open revealing an assortment of medication, specially selected by Angela, rations, and technology. She doubted any of the old tech would work or match the new Overwatch frequencies, but she figured it never hurt to try.

            She pulled out what now looked like an ancient communicator and powered it on happy to find it still did that much. She fiddled with the dials on it trying to find the right frequency that could possibly reach Overwatch, but after about ten minutes of that she gave it up and dropped it back into the box. The next thing she pulled out was what she really wanted. A bottle of pills, mostly untouched, created by Angela herself to help heal most injuries and keep a solider going until they could find better care. On more than one occasion out in the field Tracer found herself using these until she could fly back to base and get checked out.

            She popped two and swallowed them dry and was about to put them away when her gaze landed on the still unconscious woman across from her. She groaned to herself and left the pills out slamming them down on the table. She pulled herself from the armchair and scooped up Widow’s Kiss where she then fiddled with that for a few minutes trying to figure out how to pop out the ammo. The pills were kicking in. She was going to fall asleep any minute now so she stashed the weapon away where she hoped Widowmaker wouldn’t find it and fell back into the armchair.

            The voice in the back of her head told her to fight the sleep and stay awake because the enemy was directly across from her, but the medicine was potent and worked best after a nap. Sure, she could fight it off and stay awake, but then it wouldn’t work nearly as well. She wanted to be ready for anything that came her way, so for that she needed to sleep.

            Besides...somewhere deep in her gut there was this gentle tug that allowed her to relax in spite of Widowmaker's presence. She couldn't make sense of why she felt this way, but she wasn't going to fight it. She had long since learned to trust her instincts and this felt like one.