Gabe was going to murder Jack. Straight up kill the fucker. When that ass had sat him down and told him that 'Overwatch was gaining too much press’ and that he 'strongly expected someone keeping tabs on them’ and that 'it would be much safer and smoother if Blackwatch agents didn't use the Overwatch jets with everyone else when flying back from a conference in New York to the Swiss base’- when he'd explained that so curtly and professionally - Gabriel had wholeheartedly agreed. When Jack had clarified that this would require a false identity for Jesse, again, he'd agreed. When Jack explained that Gabe would have to work with their medical team to create a strong case proof that Genji's 'enhancements’ were just advanced prosthetics (which had worked startlingly well), he'd agreed. Damn, he even agreed to acting as the boys’ adoptive parent, to strengthen Jesse's fake ID. He was more than accommodating here!
But one thing he did not agree to was a fourteen hour flight (plus, a two hour change in the middle), on what must have been the cheapest airline Jack could find. He'd expected a little luxury and comfort - direct flight, preferably first class. But no. They'd arrived at the airport to find themselves heading to the check-in desk of an airline that didn't even have in-flight meals or entertainment.
Still, every cloud...
“Okay, now this just ain't fair!” Jesse remarked passionately, eyes raking over the queue splayed out between himself and the check in desk. “So, none of y’all gotta go through this?”
Gabriel shrugged, a smug smirk tugged at the corner of his lip, “Veteran priority line, sorry kid. And Genji gets to use the special assistance check-in.”
“Can't I just come with you, dad?” Jesse growled the name pointedly, only widening Gabe's grin.
“Nope. You're over 18 and on an individual booking. Sorry, buddy.” Gabe shrugged not-so-apologetically, walking backwards from the messy crowd towards priority check-in. “We'll meet you to go through security together, yeah? We'll be in the bar!”
Thirty minutes later, Jesse wearily stumbled up to the bar, already complaining before he was even within earshot of the other two.
“I just don't understand why you gotta bring a full size suitcase for each and every kid you got when they're all under ten? How much shit are you takin’ on vacation?”
“Jaime Reyes! Don't you use such bad language in public!” Gabe gasped dramatically, spinning around on his bar stool and raising an eyebrow at Jesse in pure, unadulterated joy and amusement.
“This ain't funny, Reyes.” Jesse scowled childishly, dropping onto the bar stool beside him.
“Except it really is.” Gabe teased, ruffling Jesse's hair just to remind him that he'd been forced to leave his hat at home for the sake of his secret identity.
Jesse just pouted immaturely and looked to Genji for back up. The cyborg shrugged.
“I can see there is a sense of amusement to this situation.” He stated, though said amusement apparently didn't reach his expression.
“Gonna kill you both one day. Just you wait.” He grumbled, before turning to the bar to order a drink.
“Sorry, kid,” Gabriel immediately cut in (taking far too much satisfaction in it). “Gotta get to security. Wouldn't wanna be late for our flight!”
“One drink!” Jesse’s tone was caught between anger and a beg.
“Nope!” Gabe grabbed Jesse's collar and dragged him from the bar, Genji following obediently. “Now, I shouldn't have to say this, but neither of you are carrying weapons in your hand luggage or on your person, right?”
“How stupid do you think I am, boss?!” Jesse retorted, a mild tone of frustration still set in his voice.
“Well…” Gabe trailed off with a shrug.
“He may have some decision making flaws,” Genji cut in quietly, “but I don't think McCree is foolish enough to try to sneak contraband past American airport security…”
Except, apparently he was. Because half an hour later, Gabriel was being escorted into an interrogation room where Jesse had already been locked up for the past ten minutes. Apparently, he'd 'forgotten’ about the mini revolver tucked down the back of his boot. Understandably, the TSA officers were not amused by a scruffy, twenty-something kid trying to sneak a gun onto a plane.
“Phone,” a blunt officer forced a fancy looking cell phone into Gabe’s face as he entered the room.
Taking the phone, he scowled at Jesse who shrugged and smiled apologetically, lifting cuffed hands. Rolling his eyes, Gabe spoke into the phone, “hello?”
“What the hell, Reyes?!” Jack’s voice came from the gadget, making Gabe cringe and pull it back from his ear. “You let the kid walk a loaded weapon into an international airport?!”
“How nice it is to hear from you, darling!” Gabriel cut into Jack’s little rant. “How did you find out about our little mishap?”
“He got security to call me. Quite rightly so, because if he didn't have our legal team, you guys would not be leaving that airport for a long time, let alone the bloody country!” Jack was in what Gabe liked to call 'scary, boss mode’ which meant he probably wouldn't stop ranting for half hour or more. “What happened to laying low?”
“He's a grown adult! What was I supposed to do? Give him a pat down?!” Across the room, Jesse laughed at this but was quickly shut up by a stern glare from one of the officers.
“He's your responsibility, is what he is!” Jack snapped, provoking yet another eye roll from Gabe. “Can you imagine what could've happened if they couldn't get hold of me? Goddamnit, Gabe, you need to learn to keep track of your fucking-”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Just tell these lovely officers what they need to know so we can be on our way. I left Genji in duty free and I'm not sure I trust his buying habits.”
There was a strong, exasperated sigh from the phone. “The NDA’s have just been sent through, make sure everyone present signs one and make sure they know the severity of the situation.”
Gabe held the phone to his chest to address the officers in the room. “You, you, and you-” he pointed at each officer in turn, “if you breathe a word of this to anyone I'll use that gun to shoot your dicks off. Comprendé?” He lifted the phone back to his ear. “Sorted.”
“Gabriel!” Jack growled. Gabe was barely listening though, instead watching a fourth officer enter the room and unlock Jesse's restraints.
“Alright. Thanks, honey! See you in Switzerland! Love you, bye!” He didn't let Jack respond before tossing the phone to one of the officers. Grabbing the back of Jesse's shirt he lifted him out the chair and shoved him towards the door (having to slap his hand away from the confiscated gun left on the desk). “I'll be taking this,” he stated, gesturing to Jesse (who was once more pouting like a hard done by child), “I'll leave you with the paperwork. And as for the NDA’s - sign them. I mean it about the dick thing, I don't give a shit what Commander Boring says.”
And with that they left the office, the door slamming behind them.
“What the hell, noodle brain?!” Gabe slapped Jesse around the back of the head lightly. “The purpose of this whole situation was 'laying low’, remember?”
“I forgot it was there!” Jesse whined, attempting to pat his hair back into place.
“How do you forget you have a fucking revolver in your shoe, numbnuts?!” Gabe sighed, unable to hide the slight relieved compassion from his tone.
“I-” Jesse cut off his own argument with a sigh, he stopped and turned to his CO. “Listen, I'm sorry, boss. I really am. It was super dumb, and I know this is supposed to be covert 'n’ all that. And I might've blown it, and I'm real sorry, I-”
“Hey,” Gabe clapped a hand on Jesse's shoulder. “It's fine. We fixed it… well, Jack did, but whatever. His job is to fix my messes, don't worry about it.”
“I don't think that's exactly-”
“-But!” Gabe cut through Jesse's protests. “If I'm sleeping on the couch for this, you're going to every official meeting on my behalf for the next month because I am not dealing with him in a work environment as well!”
“Woah there!” Jesse held up his hands in mock surrender as they headed off in the direction of duty free once more. “Don't bring me into your marital issues!”
“I'm sorry. Who caused this mess?” Gabe teased, raising an eyebrow.
“I'm your responsibility, dad!” Jesse laughed gleefully, enjoying using Jack's previous words against Gabe now.
“Yeah, I guess you are,” Gabe rolled his eyes and lazily slung an arm over Jesse's shoulder. “Now let's go find your 'brother'.”
Genji's shopping habits were apparently not the ones Gabriel should've worried about. As - while the kid had spent $20 on a matching red and black eye mask and neck pillow - Jesse had managed to accumulate a collection of eight different bottles of whiskey. Gabe decided to ignore this. It wasn't his problem if Jesse made bad life choices (except, internally, Gabe knew it totally was his problem, damnit). Still, he wasted time by searching for the ugliest airport souvenir to piss Jack off. He settled on an unnecessarily large fridge magnet with “USA” written in huge red, white and blue paint splattered text and covered in stereotypically American imagery.
Soon, the three of them had managed to waste enough time for the plane to actually start boarding.
“This is…” Genji started, as he followed the other two men to their seating row. It was a row of three seats, which was convenient, but the leg room left a lot to be desired. “It is small.” He finished quietly, taking the centre seat, as directed (Gabe took the window seat, and Jesse followed into the aisle seat).
“Yeah.” Is all Gabe could find to reply, as he inspected a suspicious stain on his seatbelt. Looking to Jesse, he noted that his fake-son was currently taking a swig from one of the whiskey bottles. Classy, kiddo.
“I'm sorry, sir.” A smartly dressed air hostess placed a gentle hand on Jesse's shoulder. “The consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited on this flight.”
Jesse paused for a second, looking up at the woman with utter bewilderment. “Y'all better be kidding with this?”
“'Fraid not, sir.” The hostess shrugged, and Gabe watched the last bit on positivity seap out of Jesse as he begrudgingly tucked the bottle into his bag.
“I hope Morrison knows what he's puttin’ us through for this…” he mumbled, crossing his arms over his chest and slumping into the chair.
Three hours in and Genji was fast asleep (resting? On standby? Gabe wasn't sure entirely how cyborgs worked their chill time), eye mask and neck pillow firmly in place. They went extremely well with the black hoodie and jeans he'd selected for the journey in an attempt to appear inconspicuous (though the face plate didn't help that). And from this, Gabriel (who was already extremely bored and restless) had taken to attempting to find the most hilarious spot on Genji that he could stick the ugly magnet to. His personal favourite was in the centre of Genji's lower face plate. It looked like a large, obnoxious nose, and gave Gabe a small chuckle. And then he was out of things to entertain himself again.
This was gonna be a long flight…
Gabe’s first mistake was taking the window seat. It had been fine initially, being able to see sunlight it of the corner of his vision really helping to push away flight-induced claustrophobia. But as soon as he happened to actually look out of the window, the panic set in. He attempted to force it down, to rationalize the situation to himself, but all he could see when he looked out over the miles of ocean below him was the battles and death that flights like this had previously preceded. His heart was thumping almost painfully in his chest as he attempted to push away the memories. The lump in his throat grew and grew as the images of the worst times flagged through his mind.
“Commander,” Genji's voice was a low whisper, oddly soft. And just the sound grounded Gabriel a little.
He took a breath and nodded, trying to hide the torment picking at his brain. “Mmhmm?”
“I was wondering if I could trade seats with you?” The cyborg blinked up at Gabe, the eye contact another grounding factor that made Gabriel's mind settle a little. “I would like to see Europe when we fly over… and Jesse keeps elbowing me in his sleep.”
Gabe looked past Genji to see McCree slouched in the most ungraceful manner, drooling on himself a little. It brought a tiny smile to his expression, and soothed his mind some more.
“Yeah, sure,” he agreed quietly, raising himself up to shift awkwardly around Genji (accidentally punching each other in various limbs as they did so) and flopping back down into the centre seat.
“Thank you.” Genji murmured simply, slipping the dorky neck pillow back over his head and settling into the seat.
Gabriel watched Genji for a moment. The way he was so calm and silent, but his eyes always so focused and intense. He really was an amazing kid, and Gabe was committed to ensuring he had a family here (after what happened with his last one), even if he wasn't sure Genji even wanted that. Tough shit, lil ninja. Blackwatch means family.
As if illustrating this point, Jesse took this moment to slump his head onto Gabe's shoulder, snoring lightly. Not bothering to shove the kid off, Gabe just rolled his eyes and repressed a fond smile.
To say that his team made him feel safe would be an understatement. Although he'd never let anyone know it, they looked after him as much as he looked after them. He owed his life and his sanity to Jack, his team and some of the other Overwatch agents. He'd definitely never say that out loud though.
Still, as he watched Jesse in total awe of how the kid could sleep in such an awkward position, Gabriel was happy to admit it to himself.
Luckily for Gabe's sanity, the change in Paris went smoothly, and their connecting flight even offered complimentary peanuts. Maybe Jack didn't 100% hate him.
Still, it was a huge relief to see Gerard grinning brightly in Arrivals holding a sign reading 'Reyes Party’ in what was definitely Jack's writing. It was decorated with little colourful flowers that Gabe quickly deducted meant that Torb's kids had got their hands on it.
“Bonjour, mes amis! How did you find my beloved Paris?” Gerard rolled his tongue around the city name with gleeful pride.
“We were there for a grand total of an hour and twenty seven minutes,” Gabe rolled his eyes to mask a compassionate smirk, “but it was lovely.” He took the paper sign from Gerard and folded it neatly, tucking it quietly into his pocket as he walked (and ignoring the fact that Genji very obviously took note of this action). “How's the Strike Commander?”
“Well, he's been storming around base a lot today. I hear that may be Jesse's doing?” Gerard looked back to the cowboy, who was just catching up to them, with an almost proud look in his eye.
Jesse just clicked his tongue and threw up double finger guns and a wink in response.
“Amazing,” Gerard huffed sarcastically, with a wide grin. “C’mon, the van is parked across the lot...”
“How do you do it?” Jack sighed happily, placing a soft kiss to Gabe's temple as they lay in bed late that night.
“Hmm?” Gabe hummed, not even bothering to open his eyes, the jet lag really hitting him hard at this point.
“How do you manage to make my life so full of stress and worry literally every time you do anything?” Jack whispered, a soft fondness to good voice.
“'s not on purpose!” Gabe's mumble came out fast lazier than he intended. “Jesse's just a dumbass.”
“But you love him.” Jack responded, purely because Jesse wasn't there to say it himself.
“Yeah,” there was a pause that made Jack think Gabe might actually have fallen asleep. Then a near silent, “I guess so.”
Jack chuckled softly at this, and dropped another kiss to his partner's head. “You're really special, you know that?”
He felt Gabe's lips twitch into a soft smirk against his shoulder. “Shut up, Morrison.”