In the first month after his arrival, Hanzo throws himself headfirst into work. There's plenty to do and few people to do it, so he takes any task he's even remotely qualified for, from recon missions to manual labor around the Watchpoint. Anything to avoid non-work-related encounters with Genji. To his relief, Genji seems perfectly content with that arrangement.
It takes nearly two months before they manage to hold something resembling a casual conversation; it's stilted and awkward, but nobody kills anyone, and the second time is significantly easier. The third time they argue, but there are still no casualties, and eventually Hanzo gets used to seeing the results of his botched murder, and Genji gets used to seeing his would-be killer. And when Hanzo hears Genji genuinely laugh for the first time in many years, and the laughter doesn't die the moment he enters the room, the tension eases enough for him to start noticing other people.
Jesse McCree arrives at the Watchpoint sometime around the second month mark, handsome, unnecessarily loud, borderline obnoxious and very American. Hanzo isn't fooled by his cheerful act and cordial attitude: he realizes immediately that McCree is watching his every move. He never manages to catch McCree staring outright, of course, but he knows, feels it with the sixth sense inherited from generations of crime lords. A few weeks pass before McCree's gaze stops burning holes in the back of Hanzo's head, and now that he doesn't have to count him as a potential enemy, Hanzo is ready to dismiss him entirely — but then he notices something. A pattern.
McCree keeps sitting next to him in meetings.
Hanzo is reasonably sure it's nothing personal, not anymore, but it takes him two whole weeks to realize what's happening. It's not that McCree sits next to Hanzo by choice; it's that neither of them ever sits with his back to a door or a window if he can help it, and the layout of the small meeting room leaves only two chairs that fulfill the criteria.
Hanzo discreetly asks Genji to sit with him in the next meeting. McCree doesn't bat an eyelid, but chooses to stand through the whole thing instead, leaning against the wall next to the window, hands in his pockets.
At Genji's suggestion, Hanzo takes the time to research McCree's past and finally starts paying attention.
McCree turns out to be a fascinating man. Outwardly warm, but coolly calculating when the circumstances require it. Calm and relaxed, but terrifyingly effective in combat. He's quick to laugh and generous with smiles, but despite that happy-go-lucky demeanor he's just as capable of cold-blooded murder as either of the Shimadas. He has more alternate identities than Hanzo, all of them seemingly as solid as they are illegal, and a network of underground contacts nearly rivaling Hanzo's own. The reward on his head is only slightly lower than Hanzo's three bounties combined. Hanzo can't help but be impressed.
Slowly, shared experiences bring them together. McCree is the only one Hanzo can talk to about his mercenary past and receive more than a polite nod and a slightly terrified look, and in return, McCree can share some of his outrageous exploits without fear of judgement. Through these conversations and missions and training together, through exchanging morbid jokes and black humor that straight arrows on the roster definitely wouldn't appreciate, something develops that Hanzo thinks classifies as friendship.
He doesn't realize he hasn't quite managed to stop at friendship until it's too late.
In hindsight, he should have recognized the warm flood of unreasonable fondness at McCree's sight for what it was — but it's been so long since he last cared for another person, he's forgotten how it feels. Still, he doesn't fight it. On the contrary, he indulges, perhaps undeservedly, in the pleasure of McCree's company, a fantasy or two, even an occasional dream. McCree doesn't know, of course. Hanzo is fully capable of hiding his emotions.
There are pitfalls. Sometimes the dreams are not enough. The longer he knows McCree, the more he feels that if he was ever to find someone who fit against his jagged edges, this was it — but McCree doesn't show any signs of interest; if anything, he's less casually flirty with Hanzo than everyone else. Hanzo comes to terms with it pretty quickly. He's had half a lifetime of training in accepting his fate, and this is already more than he deserves.
The first time Hanzo sees McCree lose his cool is when two ghosts of the past knock on the Watchpoint's door.
The shouting carries along the corridor leading to the meeting room. Hanzo has never heard McCree yell at anyone before. He doesn't even recognize the voice at first, sharp, angry, so far removed from the usual relaxed, heavily accented drawl that he doesn't quite believe it's really McCree until he enters the room and witnesses the scene with his own eyes.
The tall, elderly woman McCree has apparently been shouting at stands in front of him, arms folded, mouth pressed into a thin line, chin high. Defensive, but unyielding. McCree notices Hanzo and breaks off; the room fills with tense, uncomfortable silence. Nobody moves. Behind the woman and McCree, other agents exchange wide-eyed looks and frantic whispers.
McCree abruptly turns on his heel and stalks towards the door. Hanzo steps out of his way, but not before committing his expression to memory. He's never seen McCree even close to agitated; now his face is twisted in something that might be rage or grief, or a mixture of the two. Hanzo has seen a very similar expression in a mirror. It doesn't fit McCree's face at all.
The outburst doesn't last long. A few hours later, after introductions and explanations have been made and the tension and shock have given way to collective joy, McCree comes back, calm and collected, and apologizes to everyone present. He's a good actor, but it's not hard to notice that he doesn't look at either Amari or Morrison unless directly addressed.
In the evening, Winston improvises a pub trip to celebrate the unexpected double resurrection. McCree excuses himself out of it with the least genuine smile Hanzo has ever seen him produce.
The second time Hanzo sees McCree lose his cool is about eighteen hours later, when Amari and Morrison break the news about Reaper.
This time McCree doesn't come back. He doesn't show up to the impromptu war room Winston organizes to discuss the newest revelation. He doesn't eat dinner; Hanzo hangs around the mess area under increasingly thin pretenses, but McCree is nowhere to be seen.
The man is an agent. A vigilante. A self-proclaimed badass. There's no real reason to worry about him, and yet Hanzo can't help feeling uneasy. This time McCree left the room quietly, with his face downturned and hidden under the brim of the hat, and Hanzo didn't get a chance to see his expression. One of McCree's old mentors coming back from the dead unsettled him enough; what will happen now, after the revelation that the other one is not only alive, but on the enemy side?
Rationally, Hanzo has no doubt that McCree will return once he gets the shock out of his system. Unfortunately, the downside of caring for another person is that rationality matters very little in the grand scheme of things. Three hours after dinner, after the third unanswered knock on McCree's door, the restlessness becomes too much. McCree could be holed up in his room and simply refusing to answer the door, but Hanzo's instinct tells him otherwise, and he sighs, gives in and starts a search.
It takes him forty minutes to finally locate McCree, huddled in the most remote corner of the Watchpoint, right at the edge of the shuttle pad, slumped against the outer wall of the blast shield like a puppet with its strings cut.
Hanzo doesn't like the combination of the mostly empty bottle in the grass and the sharp edge of a cliff a couple meters away.
"McCree? Are you drunk?"
"As a skunk," McCree mutters without looking up.
Hanzo sits down between him and the cliff, uninvited, and discovers he has no idea what to do next.
He's not good at comforting people. Never has been. Maybe when he was a child, when Genji was very little — but his go-to method back then had usually been a hug, and his relationship with McCree is far from one where such intimate gestures would be warranted or appreciated. No matter how much he might wish otherwise.
McCree saves them both from the awkward silence. "I get why Morrison did it," he says without raising his head. He's slurring slightly, but still less than Hanzo expected after seeing the state of the bottle. "I even get Ana a bit, I guess. Lost an eye, lost her memory for a while… I get that she mighta wanted out after that. Even if she abandoned her own goddamn daughter and left her to grieve over an empty grave."
Hanzo stays quiet. As someone who abandoned his family figuratively and literally, he's really not in the position to criticize.
"But I don't get Reyes. I just don't. He was a mean ol' bastard and sometimes a straight up asshole, but he was never evil. He cared. About Overwatch, about his people. Hell, about people in general. And now he's some sorta undead fuckin' psychopath. What the fuck."
McCree's voice breaks on the last syllable and he draws up his knees, resting his forehead on folded arms, almost knocking the hat off in the process.
Hanzo feels compelled to say something. "He was important to you," he tries, immediately wincing at the uselessness of the statement.
McCree lets out something halfway between a sob and a laugh. "'Course he was. Bailed me out of jail, gave me a job. We worked together for years." A long pause. "Even spent Christmas with his goddamn family a few times."
The sun is about to set. Without its warmth, the sea breeze becomes unpleasantly cold, and they're sitting in already damp grass. McCree shivers. Despite the dropping temperature, Hanzo isn't convinced it's because of the cold. The need to comfort McCree grows, as powerful as it is futile, and he still doesn't have anything helpful to say. McCree shivers again, harder, and the complete uselessness of Hanzo's presence finally becomes too much to bear; he reaches out and carefully places an open palm on McCree's shoulder, ready to dodge if McCree lashes out.
McCree doesn't. Just takes a shuddering inhale and continues shaking in small, suppressed bursts. "He was a good man," he says finally, so quiet Hanzo has to lean closer to make out the words. "I swear he was."
Hanzo was told the story of Amélie Lacroix not long after his arrival to Gibraltar. The parallel is not difficult to notice. "I heard about Widowmaker," he suggests after a moment of hesitation. "Perhaps she wasn't the only victim…?"
McCree snorts wetly. "No way. No way they'd get him like that. He'd kill them with his bare hands."
"No amount of physical prowess would protect him from brainwashing."
McCree shakes his head stubbornly and falls quiet again.
The cold breeze picks up enough for Hanzo to break out in goosebumps. McCree's flannel-covered shoulder is still warm to the touch, but the shivers running through his body become harsher and more frequent. With the additional loss of heat caused by alcohol, he must be freezing.
Hanzo rubs a comforting circle over his shoulder blade. "Do you need help getting to your room?" he asks, heavy with suggestion.
McCree startles, as if he has forgotten about Hanzo's presence despite the touch. "I'm fine," he mumbles.
Hanzo chooses not to point out the obvious lie and stands up instead, extending a hand, fully prepared to wait for as long as it takes. Surprisingly, McCree takes the offered hand after only a moment of hesitation. Hanzo still doesn't get to see his expression: after he's pulled upright, McCree immediately angles his face away, hiding under the brim of the hat. Hanzo picks up the abandoned bottle of whiskey with a silent sigh. The lack of trust stings, but on the other hand, McCree did accept his presence, useless as it has been, and talked openly about what was troubling him, and if it helped him in any way, then Hanzo has at least achieved something.
McCree doesn't protest when Hanzo silently accompanies him to his room. "Thanks," he says hoarsely, leaning heavily against the door and reaching for the keypad. He must be really drunk: he doesn't even try to cover the digits. Hanzo politely looks away, and as a result barely manages to catch McCree in time when the door slides open, inevitably causing him to lose balance.
It's objectively comical, but Hanzo doesn't laugh. His breath catches in his chest because he gets to hold McCree this way, if only for one startled, awkward moment before he straightens up, mutters another thanks and staggers into the dark room, still without a glance in Hanzo's direction.
Hanzo looks at the closed door, then at the bottle still in his hand. Sighs. Unscrews the cap, takes a large gulp, winces.
Back in his room, the memory of McCree's voice breaking and his own uselessness haunts him until he finally picks up the tablet and runs a search. There's little information about Gabriel Reyes publicly available: a short biography, a long list of decorations, a section about controversies surrounding his role in Blackwatch and the mystery of his disappearance. Technically, Reyes is still missing, presumed dead. The body was never recovered from the ruins of Overwatch HQ.
The darknet reveals nothing useful about the mercenary called Reaper, other than his affiliation with Talon. Hanzo takes another swig of whiskey, shudders with disgust and makes notes. Even these meager scraps of information don't really add up. Why would Reyes join the very organization he sought to destroy for years? A few different search queries result in a few conspiracy sites: some claim that Reyes had been a sleeper agent, other, that he was framed. Hanzo dismisses the more outrageous theories, but considering the fate of Lacroix, some aren't entirely outside the realm of possibility.
There has to be more data available in whatever remains of Overwatch archives. He writes down a few more notes, a few more names: Athena, Winston, Jack Morrison, Ana Amari, Tracer. The notes quickly start overfilling the screen of his tablet; he projects them onto a holographic board instead, arranges them in a loose graph, assigns color-coded categories, draws lines between possible connections.
He goes to sleep at two in the morning, buzzed on bad alcohol and tired, but with a plan and, more importantly, a sense memory of McCree's warm bulk in his arms.
Overwatch has no recordings from the raid on the museum, other than a short clip from the surveillance system that made it into the news. There's even less footage from Reaper's intrusion into the Watchpoint; Athena had redirected all of her processing power to preventing the hack, which left the cameras with barely enough juice to capture a few frames. Fortunately, Winston and Athena are more than willing to compensate for the lack of footage with a detailed recollection of events. Winston gets so enthusiastic about Hanzo's sudden interest in Reaper that he pulls Tracer, currently back in London, into a videocall. Their three accounts combined produce decently detailed stories of what happened in the museum and at the Watchpoint.
Nothing about either of the stories makes sense.
Hanzo doesn't say it out loud, of course; he thanks everyone politely and sets out to find Ana Amari. The old sniper is reluctant to talk, but as it turns out, she can be bribed with good tea and good manners.
"Do me a favor, would you? Don't ask Jack about it," she asks when they eventually run out of tea and questions. "This is difficult for him, more than for others, and there's nothing he could tell you that you don't already know."
Hanzo nods and surreptitiously makes an addition to the graph that by now has started resembling a spiderweb.
It's a long and busy day, but at the end of it, the projected board in his room is covered in notes, pictures and videos. Sleep is not an option, not yet, not with the pattern that's definitely starting to emerge, and he still has to contact a few people on the opposite side of the globe and pull a few strings. Old contacts pay off: after some reminiscing and some negotiations, Hanzo finally goes to bed at three, lighter by a significant sum of money but in possession of a crucial piece of evidence. The implications of that evidence make him giddy enough that despite the exhaustion, he struggles to fall asleep.
When they run into each other the next morning, for the first time since the conversation at the launchpad, McCree does a funny little dance of someone who wants to turn on his heel and realizes mid-movement it's too late.
"Sorry about the other day," he says instead with a small self-deprecating smile. "Made a right fool of myself."
"You absolutely did not. I'm glad I could help." Hanzo takes a breath to tell McCree about the hypothesis he's come up with — and lets it out in a wordless rush when he realizes he can't. Not yet. The evidence is solid and he's almost sure he's on the right track, all the conflicting pieces of information start making sense in the light of his theory, but now that he looks at the shadows under McCree's eyes and deeper than usual frown lines on his face, he's suddenly all too conscious of the potential consequences of being wrong.
McCree looks at him expectantly until the silence crosses the boundary of awkward. "I'll, uh, see you later," he says when Hanzo fails to come up with anything else to say. A flick of fingers against the brim of the hat and he's gone.
Hanzo unfreezes, curses quietly and rubs his face. Temporary loss of mental faculties is one aspect of having a crush he definitely did not miss.
For the next several hours he stares uselessly at the board, double- and triple-checking, looking for clues he might have misinterpreted and making a mess of his hair. He's almost sure, but that almost hangs over his head like the sword of Damocles. He could run his idea by the others first, let them weigh in — but he's clearly the only person around here capable of any level of objectivity when it comes to Gabriel Reyes, and besides, McCree deserves to know first. Hanzo wants him to know first. He just has to hope he hasn't overestimated his own abilities, and that instead of making things better, he won't make them infinitely worse.
Meeting McCree at dinnertime finally solidifies his resolve.
To all appearances, McCree is back to his relaxed, jovial self. Hanzo even witnesses him having a brief conversation with Ana Amari, polite, tense and disturbingly reminiscent of the first days of Hanzo's stay at the Watchpoint. A month ago Hanzo might have been fooled by the act. Even a few days ago he might have believed that McCree really got over his grudges. Now though, with the memory of McCree shivering and broken fresh in his mind, he knows for certain that those smiles aren't real. McCree is in pain, quietly hurting behind his mask, and that knowledge finally gives Hanzo the much needed push.
Inviting McCree to his room is an unplanned exercise in maintaining dignity. Despite his very careful wording, McCree still laughs, waggles his eyebrows and drops an innuendo, but for the first time in days his amusement appears genuine. Hanzo decides it's worth the awkwardness and limits himself to a single eye roll.
Once he's got McCree, now visibly bemused, in the chair in his room, he takes a fortifying breath and turns on the holoboard. McCree's expression shifts from friendly confusion to stony blankness within seconds.
"I have a theory," Hanzo says a lot more calmly than he feels. "I'd like to run it by you, if you're willing."
McCree stares at the board, the pictures, the notes, and doesn't say anything.
It's now or never. Hanzo clears his throat and points at the first cluster of notes on the board. "Overwatch has had three encounters with Reaper so far. The intrusion at the Watchpoint, the episode in Giza, and the raid at the museum. Assuming that Amari and Morrison are not mistaken —"
"They're not," McCree interrupts curtly. "They worked together for decades. If they say it's him, it's him."
"…I'm merely stating my assumptions. Assuming that Reaper is indeed who they say he is, then in all three cases Gabriel Reyes failed to inflict any lasting harm, and in at least two out of three also failed to achieve his objective."
McCree's eyes narrow a little. Hanzo gives him a moment to digest that before continuing.
"First, the attack on the Watchpoint. Both Winston and Athena confirmed that Winston had been briefly incapacitated." The holodisplay zooms in on a grainy photo of a dark, menacing silhouette looming over Winston's prone body. "Reaper was armed with two shotguns. One shot from either of them was all he needed. Instead he chose to wait until Winston regained his bearings and sent him into a fit of rage. Did Reyes know about Winston's anger issues?"
McCree chews on his lip for a moment, then abruptly pulls a cigarillo out of his pocket and sticks it between his teeth. "Must have," he says finally. "Hard to miss a raging monkey tearing up the place."
"And he must have known that Winston was particularly attached to the glasses he destroyed."
McCree grunts and folds his arms, staring at the board.
"So, to recap: first he let Winston deal with the foot soldiers without intervening, then took a few potshots, enough to stun, but not wound or kill, failed to kill an unarmed and incapacitated target, and then picked the single most efficient way to make Winston furious, subsequently losing the fight. By all accounts, Gabriel Reyes was an extremely competent soldier. This is a laughable display of incompetence."
McCree's eyes flick from picture to picture, tracking the connections. Hanzo tamps down a premature thrill of triumph and continues.
"Next, the encounter in Giza. According to Amari's recount of events, he could have easily killed both her and Morrison. He didn't."
"They were two on one, and Jack is hard to kill," mutters McCree.
Hanzo dismisses that with a snort. "He flanked Morrison and barely grazed him with a point blank shot in the back. I would say it takes effort not to kill someone with a shotgun at that range. He then proceeded to disarm Amari, didn't inflict any damage, unnecessarily revealed strategically valuable information about his abilities and left. Did nobody wonder what the point of that was?"
"Maybe he just wanted to shoot Jack. God knows everybody's wanted to at least once."
"And he chose to do so in circumstances that just happened to force Amari to reveal herself?"
McCree suddenly rises from the chair, walks up to the board and stands shoulder to shoulder with Hanzo, radiating warmth and tension.
"And then the raid at the museum." Hanzo restrains himself from leaning into the warmth, but fails to keep the smug note out of his voice. "I happen to have a full recording of that fight."
McCree turns to give him an incredulous look. "How?!"
"Contacts. Clearly mine are better than yours. There's no audio, but video is more than enough to prove my point. Watch."
The file unfurls under his finger. McCree watches, so focused he's barely breathing. Hanzo has seen the recording enough times to memorize it; he watches McCree's face instead, the way his eyebrows rise, the way he exhales a silent laugh, starts slowly shaking his head. When Hanzo reaches to stop the video from looping back to the beginning, McCree captures his hand, gently pulls it back down. "Lemme see that again."
It takes half the duration of the second playback for the goosebumps to recede. Hanzo barely stops himself from rubbing at the phantom touch lingering on his wrist.
"I assume you noticed that not only did Reaper shoot at Tracer from well outside the working range of a shotgun, but he also wildly missed every shot," he says when the recording ends. "Would Gabriel Reyes do that?"
McCree takes a step back, hooks his thumbs behind his belt, looks at the board. "Nope," he replies decisively. "He'd charge the enemy and unload in their face. And that wasn't combat, that was a goddamn clusterfuck."
"I'm glad you agree with my assessment of the situation," Hanzo says drily. "Instead of retrieving the gauntlet they clearly came for, he made a scene and took the first excuse to evacuate. And last but not least, if he's even half the tactician everyone makes him to be, the obvious choice of action would have been to take the children hostage. He didn't even try. Do you really believe Gabriel Reyes could be so incompetent as to utterly fail to kill four people, three of them practically defenseless, and let a child thwart his operation?"
McCree looks at him, at the board, back at him again. There's a glint in his eyes Hanzo hasn't seen since the last open firefight they've been in. "He pushed Winston into issuing the recall, didn't he," he says slowly.
Hanzo nearly jumps in excitement. "Yes! And then forced Amari to reveal herself and incentivized Morrison to start working with her."
"…And scared them both into reaching out to Winston," McCree continues, nodding now.
"And spectacularly botched the retrieval of the gauntlet."
"Almost like he wanted to give Winston and Tracer an opportunity to be heroes in public."
"They were all over the news," Hanzo agrees. "I don't know what he's doing, but consciously or not, he's helping you. He brought you all together."
McCree abruptly turns and pulls him into a bear hug, and Hanzo instantly forgets what he was saying.
McCree is a solid, warm wall of muscle. The hug is so tight, Hanzo can feel the way McCree's heart is hammering in his chest. It takes him three precious seconds to remember he should utilize the chance to return the hug.
"Thank you," McCree breathes above his ear, still trying to squeeze the life out of him.
"I might be wrong," Hanzo feels compelled to point out. "Don't get your hopes too high."
"Yeah, but damned if it doesn't add up. Makes more sense than the alternative, at least." Another squeeze. "Thank you. You've got no idea what this means to me." McCree exhales a silent laugh, a warm gust of air against Hanzo's temple. "Don't take this the wrong way, but I could kiss you right now."
It's a joke. It has to be a joke. But even if it is, even if McCree doesn't mean it, it's an opportunity to test the waters without revealing too much. Probably the best opening he's ever going to get.
"Don't let me stop you," he answers lightly, teasingly, hoping he wasn't too incriminatingly slow.
McCree stiffens, then carefully lets go of him, takes half a step back and stares.
Hanzo swallows the disappointment and keeps his expression neutral for two slow breaths before smirking. "Two can play that game, McCree."
McCree chuckles, shakes his head ruefully and turns back to the board. "Noted. Can you send me a copy of this stuff? I gotta talk to Winston, and Ana and Jack, see what they think — you didn't talk to them, did you?"
"No." Hanzo turns the board off, sends the whole package to McCree with a few swipes on the tablet. "I thought you deserved to see it first."
"I know I'm repeatin' myself, but thanks." McCree reaches out to squeeze his shoulder, much like Hanzo did the other night at the launch pad. "I'm not good with big words, but… yeah. Thanks for the hope."
"Anytime," Hanzo says, this time fully honest.
He lasts until the evening before the regret fully sinks in. It's not as if he had any real hopes before, but the final confirmation still stings, made even worse by having nothing to do after two days of intense mental activity. The attempt at coping through alcohol backfires in a spectacular way: not only does he end up even more maudlin, but at some point the idea of finishing the bottle of shōchū in McCree's spot at the edge of the cliff feels too poetic to resist.
That's where McCree finds him an hour later, because of course he does. Hanzo has transcended wallowing at this point: he just starts laughing.
McCree sits down in the same spot Hanzo chose two days before. "Winston and Ana think you might be onto somethin'," he starts without preamble, matter-of-fact like he's not in the presence of a giggling drunk. "Ana's going to pitch the idea to Jack, and Winston's calling an all-hands on Saturday. We got a lot of clever people on board and lots of bait to dangle, we'll catch the ol' bastard and either talk sense into him, or fix him."
Hanzo grunts in acknowledgement. McCree mercifully doesn't press for a more coherent answer. He's sitting close enough that his warmth seeps through the sleeve of Hanzo's jacket; Hanzo expects some remark about his unfortunate method of coping or even less fortunate choice of place to do so, but it doesn't come, so he focuses on that spot of warmth on his arm instead, closes his eyes and loses track of time. Maybe they've been sitting here for a minute. Maybe ten. Long enough for him to startle when McCree finally speaks.
"I owe you big time," he says.
Hanzo doesn't bother acknowledging this time.
McCree gives his shoulder a nudge. "I'm also thinkin' I may have been a li'l dumb."
That makes Hanzo turn his head and look, and startle again because he did not realize just how close McCree was sitting. McCree is smiling ruefully, eyes crinkling in corners, and the charmingly crooked smile pulls on the scar across his lips; this close, the effect has all the force of a punch to the solar plexus, and Hanzo turns away before he does something idiotic, like burst into drunken tears.
McCree nudges him again. "I owe you dinner, for a start."
Hanzo can't help but laugh at that. It comes out sounding miserable enough that he winces at his own pitiful state. "You don't owe me anything. I didn't —"
"Sorry, didn't catch that," McCree interrupts rudely. "As I was sayin', I owe you dinner. A fancy one, in town. And then, uh… well. What I said still stands. The 'I could kiss you' bit." A pause. "I'd like to, is what I'm tryin' to say."
The bottle slips through Hanzo's suddenly numb fingers. McCree plucks it out of the grass, sets it aside and unexpectedly wraps an arm around Hanzo's shoulders.
"Sorry I spooked you," he continues, still cheerful like he didn't just send Hanzo's addled mind reeling. "Didn't expect you to be interested, is all. And then I forgot I was talkin' to a Shimada. You lot would rather die than speak straight."
"I spoke perfectly straight," Hanzo grumbles. McCree is so warm and close, it takes a lot of effort not to just lean into him. "And I do not get spooked."
"Fine, I was dumb and a chicken. So. Dinner tomorrow? Anything you fancy. I'll dress up and everythin'." McCree pauses for a moment. "I mean, if you don't wanna —"
The arm around Hanzo's back is solid and warm and he's weak; he gives in and rests his heavy head on McCree's shoulder. "I didn't say that," he mumbles. "But if you really want to kiss me, then dinner is unnecessary."
"Nope. Dinner's not optional, I'm afraid. I'm a gentleman —"
Hanzo snorts weakly.
"— And I'm not kissin' you when you're drunk off your ass."
"You really have no leg to stand on here."
"Oh, I absolutely don't." McCree nudges the top of Hanzo's head with his chin. "C'mon. Water and bed."
"I like it here," Hanzo protests with his cheek now unashamedly smushed against McCree's shoulder.
"No dinner if you're hungover tomorrow. And no kissin'."
"You're supposed to owe me, not extort me."
McCree chuckles and nudges him again. "Old habits die hard."
It's an impulse. Later, Hanzo will blame the alcohol, the exhaustion and the emotional whiplash. Now, he raises his head and presses a clumsy kiss to McCree's cheek. Or rather, he aims for the cheek and hits the bearded jaw instead, and it's a little wetter than intended, and McCree probably doesn't even feel it through the hair — but he goes still anyway, and Hanzo lingers for as long as he reasonably can before he starts feeling awkward and pulls away.
McCree remains still for a few seconds before exhaling forcefully. "That doesn't count," he says decisively. "And for the record, I deserve some sorta reward from the universe for resistin' the temptation."
"You will get your reward tomorrow," Hanzo says, lightheaded and lighthearted, and rests his head on McCree's shoulder again.
"That's an even better reason to go to sleep." McCree gently, but decisively pushes him far enough away to stand up. "Come on. The sooner you sleep, the sooner you get over the hangover and the sooner we get to the dinner and the dessert."
"Do you even own any decent clothes?" Hanzo asks, accepting McCree's hand.
"Sure do. Hell, I'll even wear a tie if you wanna. The buckle stays, though."
Hanzo nearly stumbles at that mental image. "If you wear that to a restaurant, I'm not going," he declares to McCree's loud amusement, and spends the slow and not-entirely-steady walk to his room trying to extract a promise that McCree won't wear any of his cowboy paraphernalia. He fails.
Despite all the teasing, McCree shows up at his door the next day in a crisp black dress shirt and a red tie. No hat, no cowboy boots, no atrocious belt buckle, although the replacement is still a bit too ostentatious. Hanzo has definitely seen that black, red and white symbol recently; a few seconds pass before he finally recognizes it.
"Yeah. A birthday present from Reyes."
"Is it wise to wear Blackwatch insignia in public?"
"Well, you nixed the other one, gotta keep things interesting somehow." McCree pauses, runs a thumb across the enameled surface. "Besides, I never got much chance to wear it. Thought I'd dust it off." He looks up at Hanzo, suddenly serious. "Thanks to you."
"You're getting your hopes too high," Hanzo says sternly. "And setting yourself up for a disappointment."
"I know. Still, some hope's better than no hope." A sudden smirk. "Don't you agree?"
Knowing McCree's background, Hanzo shouldn't be surprised he cleans up so well. Truth be told, he looks better than all of Hanzo's fantasies combined, and judging by that question and the glint in his eye, he knows it. That leaves Hanzo with only two immediate options: remind him he's dealing with an assassin, or kiss him.
Hanzo obeyed rules for most of his life. He's never had dessert before dinner before. He can always take McCree down a peg later.