The dust was only just beginning to settle on the balcony of Shimada Castle as Hanzo sat slumped to his knees overlooking the body of his brother.
Footsteps came closer and closer before a gun struck him upside the head sending him down to the floor.
The elder Shimada’s broken voice began.
“You have to take him.”
“And why is that?”
Gabriel trained his gun dead centre in the kid’s face.
“He needs help.”
“We don’t meddle in crap like this.”
“Yes you do.” Hanzo answered, lowering his head further to the ground. “Which is why I offer myself; for Genji. Kill me; take me as your prisoner, whatever will see my brother receive your care.”
“Overwatch doesn’t take prisoners.”
Gabriel’s eyes widened.
“How do you-“
“Blackwatch have been on the Shimada’s radar for years, I was there when my father and the elders first gained intel surrounding your activities. I know what operations you undertake, and I know of your methods.”
The older man cursed quietly under his breath.
“Fine; we’re taking you both. Ana!” He called before another agent walked over.
“Thank you.” Hanzo bowed, wincing in pain as he did so.
Gabriel turned to Ana.
“We keep this between us, okay, just until we know what we’re dealing with. As far as anyone’s concerned, we just found Hanzo there too. Capiche?”
Ana furrowed an eyebrow.
“He has information that we need.”
“So we keep him locked up in the cell block. We want specifics on the Shimada Clan, once we have them we dispose of Hanzo over here without anyone batting an eyelid.”
“And the other brother, what are your plans for him?”
“He could be useful as well, only time will tell. Now do what you can with the other one.”
Gabriel harshly grabbed the elder Shimada and marched him through the Castle out to the Orca.
Morrison and Reyes stood outside the interrogation room which currently held Hanzo Shimada.
“What’s the plan?”
“We need information on the Shimada Clan and their activities; he can give it to us.”
“You sure about that, he just tried to kill his own brother, I think he has loyalty.”
“Not when I’m finished with him he won’t.”
Morrison put his hand on Reyes’ shoulder.
“Gabe, just… don’t go crazy in there.”
Reyes rolled his eyes before entering the room.
Hanzo was sat straight in the seat, hands cuffed to the table in front of him, his eyes tracked the Commander as he made his way to the chair opposite and sat down.
“So… you had quite the night, didn’t you?”
“I fail to see the amusement.”
“Well I brought your brother here for medical aid and upheld my end of the bargain.”
“I have done the same.” He rattled the cuffs. “I am your prisoner.”
“Just like that?”
“So if I called the feds and handed you over for being a Yakuza scumbag, you would go willingly?”
“If Genji was safe; then yes.”
Reyes crossed his arms.
“It would be a waste though; a strong kid like you with your level of fighting ability would do well for us.”
“I want nothing to do with Overwatch if that is what you are hinting towards; I know what you do and how manipulative your agents can be.”
“Do you now?”
“My brother, although he had his vices, was still loyal. The clan didn’t care about the girls or the gambling, not enough to warrant his death; what tipped their opinion was Overwatch. Your organisation sold my brother with your lies and false promises and in turn he sold out his own family. I discovered what he was doing weeks before the clan became aware of his activities; I saw him contacting a Commander with details about us; names, locations, weapons… And when the clan found out they couldn’t let it stand, so it became my duty to kill him.”
“That’s on you, buddy.”
“It was by my hand that Genji fell, but understand this, I would never have needed to take such an action against him if not for Overwatch. Your organisation placed my brother at great risk for your own gain.”
“He made his decision.”
“You turned my brother against me! He and I were close but the second he began talking with the Commander, who I can only assume was you, his opinion changed, suddenly I was a threat. Genji never came to me about it; not once. I knew for two weeks prior and not a word… but that’s what you do, isn’t it. You get underneath people’s skin and make them believe that you can’t trust anyone in this world, not even your own sibling, someone who raised you. It’s sick!”
“And could he trust you?”
“Genji – you stabbed him in the back both literally and metaphorically so maybe he was right to make that call and spill the beans about that Clan of yours.”
“You can try and tell me how perfect Overwatch is, but I do not care, I will not listen, and I won’t join you.”
Reyes scowled, unappreciative of the elder Shimada’s tone.
“Overwatch wouldn’t want someone like you anyway. No. Blackwatch however is in need of a new member and magically the terms of our deal now requires you to serve in it.”
“Does it now?”
“Yeah, it does.” Reyes’ tone was menacing as he stared down the elder Shimada.
“Fine, do as you wish.”
Hanzo was transferred to the Blackwatch facility within the hour where an unnamed recruit directed him down the long bleak corridors to his room.
Small with a single bed and very little storage it couldn't be more different to what he had once had back at Shimada Castle but he knew those days were long behind him.
At least it wasn’t a jail cell.
A Blackwatch uniform had been placed upon the bed and from just gazing at it Hanzo knew it was going to be baggy and he was right.
The long sleeves of the shirt hung further than his wrists while the hem was far too wide against his skinny frame. He looked ridiculous but he was sure that was the intention.
He knew he couldn’t let it faze him, he was here for Genji; he could survive an ill-fitting t-shirt.
His first assignment came the next morning.
He had no time to learn the names of the agents alongside him before they were boarding the ship.
Taking a seat he studied those around him. The first was Reyes who he unfortunately did have the displeasure of meeting before, the next was a tall ginger-haired woman who didn’t look particularly friendly but who would inside a covert ops division of Overwatch, and the third was… a cowboy? The man was actually wearing a cowboy hat, spurs and a blanket and it was then that Hanzo realised he’d seen everything in this world.
Hanzo turned to Reyes.
“Get over there and find something to shoot them with, unless you’re going in unarmed.”
Resisting the urge to answer back, the elder Shimada made his way over to the weapons cache and browsed the small selection.
“Guns, guns, handguns, larger guns; how unimaginative…” He muttered to himself before stumbling across a bow shoved towards the back, clearly having been unused for a long time.
“You really are medieval, aren’t you?” Reyes scoffed as he walked passed.
Hanzo rolled his eyes before rummaging through the ammo section to find a quiver with a broken strap and a large cluster of arrows. Carrying them all over to the seat he had previously vacated, he set them out before turning his attention to the broken strap.
“You need a needle and thread?” Came a voice which Hanzo could only imagine belonged to one of the cowboys from Genji’s Western films.
He looked up.
“Umm, yes, if possible.”
The cowboy opened a couple of drawers before successfully locating a sewing kit. He threw it to Hanzo.
“Here, keep it, we’ll have another one somewhere. It looks like you could use it for your clothes too.”
“Thank you.” Hanzo nodded.
The cowboy held out his hand.
He took the hand to shake.
One Week Later
A soft, sweet voice broke through the fuzz as he found himself floating back towards consciousness. He groaned, flickering his eyes open a little and wincing against the strength of the lights.
“Genji… Mr. Shimada was my father…” He answered before he caught wind of his own voice… or even, a voice that sounded unlike his own. “What?”
“Genji. My name is Dr. Angela Ziegler; I have been taking care of you since you were brought to us a week ago. I want you to take some deep breaths and not force yourself upright, everything will come with time.”
“What’s wrong with me? Where are…” Genji’s eyes widened as he looked down at his arms and legs, retching as he saw them replaced with cybernetics, his chest also a mess of tubes, metal, burnt skin and exposed muscle. “Hanzo?”
“He’s not far, we can bring him here-”
“NO!” Genji bellowed, heart racing as his breathing sped in panic.
“Genji, what’s wrong?”
It was a warm day on the Blackwatch base, they had returned late from a mission out in Fiji and so there were only a few souls out and about. The musty air inside was sticky and sweat-inducing as Hanzo made his way towards the small kitchen to find refreshment.
Hearing the sound of footsteps approaching, he barely had time to glance behind before a gun pressed firm to the back of his head.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t just empty this magazine into your skull right now?”
Hanzo turned to the cowboy, uncaring of the high calibre weapon trained upon on.
“Waste of bullets.”
“The boss said you did that to Genji.”
Hanzo took a breath.
The time he knew was coming had arrived.
“I did. It was both my duty and my burden.”
McCree cocked the gun with a loud click, repositioning it to fall inches from the elder Shimada’s forehead.
Hanzo did not flinch.
“If you want me dead; do it then.”
“Do you even care? He was your own brother, how could you-” McCree paused, shaking his head.
“Is he dead?”
McCree remembered what Gabe had told him to say.
“Angie did all she could but…”
Hanzo’s expression stayed the same.
“How- Did he-” He struggled to find the words.
“Angie checked on him this morning and he had passed in his sleep.”
“That’s it?” He asked incredulously. “You mother fucker!” Raising the gun once again he point blanked the elder Shimada’s forehead and pulled the trigger.
Hanzo closed his eyes before the click. His eyebrow rose slightly in confusion when nothing followed, gaze rising to meet that of the cowboy’s.
“Your magazine was empty.”
“No.” He replied. “There’s one bullet in there somewhere. Guess it was your lucky day after all, you get to live and the brother you thought you’d failed to finish off died painfully after a week of suffering in horrific agony.”
McCree’s words caused the biggest reaction he’d managed to get out of the elder Shimada their entire conversation, his head lowering as he silently struggled to catch a breath.
“You don’t belong here. I can barely stand the sight of you, fuckin’ kin slayer. We do bad shit for a livin’ but at least we ain’t goin’ ‘round killing our own family you cowardly sack of shit.”
McCree’s anger grew and grew, his head filled with images of seeing the youngest Shimada brother lying in pieces on Angie’s op table.
“Hey! Don’t you fucking ignore me!”
He grabbed the elder Shimada’s arm and only just managed to dodge the swipe of a fist which nearly connected with his chin.
Hanzo’s eyes were blown wide as McCree’s own punch followed, knocking him down to the floor of the corridor. The next followed. And the next. And the next. And then there was nothingness.
A familiar voice screamed as he was torn away from the unconscious and heavily bleeding Hanzo who sagged bonelessly without his own hand to keep him upright.
Gabriel pushed him against the wall, hand gripping him by the collar.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Fucking Athena…” McCree cursed under his breath, knowing the base AI would definitely have alerted Gabe of the fight.
“We are in enough shit as it is without you causing more problems!” He growled. “What are you playing at, you could have killed him?”
“Who the fuck cares; he certainly didn’t when he tried his damndest to kill Genji.”
Releasing his hold on McCree, Gabe snatched Peacekeeper away from him and clicked out the cylinder. He exhaled, clearly unimpressed by the bullet, temper growing.
“You should be suspended for this but considering the circumstances I’ll say this; I don’t care if you are friendly with the Shimada kid, and I really don’t give a fuck about how much you hate this asshole, this…” He motions to the body on the ground. “…this does not look good in any capacity. I also now have to fucking report this to Jack and file forty-five pages of paperwork detailing how Hanzo came about his injuries, which wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to invent the entire fucking thing to cover your ass! So congratulations, Jesse, you’re now his minder.”
“You have got to be fucking kidding me? Gabe, you can’t do that.”
“Actually, I can, and I just did.”
Gabriel removes the bullet and dumps it into his pocket before shoving Peacekeeper into Jesse’s chest and turning to look down at Hanzo.
“Cells; get him cleaned up and keep him under surveillance which means not just designating Athena to do it and fucking off to do something else, no tech, just you, a chair, and a fuckload of time spent sitting in it. If he so much as fucking murmurs something in his sleep I expect you to have transcripted that shit, understand?”
“Clean up your fucking mess; now!”
Gabriel stormed off.
Hanzo lay unconscious on the hard wooden bench attached to the back wall of the cell, a small pool of blood gathering beneath him due to the continuous trickles from his mouth and nose as Jesse could be seen half-heartedly treating his wounds on the cells CCTV feed.
Jack turned to his fellow Commander.
"You can't leave him in there."
"Why not?" Gabriel shrugged.
"He needs medical attention! Who the hell did this?"
"McCree might've gotten a little protective." He replied. "And Angela can't treat him."
"Can't or won't."
"Won't. She refused point blank after what he did to Genji. I suppose she's the one who's seen first-hand exactly how much damage the guy inflicted, I can't say I'm surprised she is isn't eager to help."
"The kid's probably got a damn concussion, Gabe, what if he dies?"
"Then that's one less problem we have."
"You can't be serious..."
"Picture what Genji looked like when we brought him back to Gibraltar. That guy in there, he did all of that, to his own brother I might add."
"We don't have the whole story."
"We don't need one, Hanzo Shimada is dangerous and without morals."
"Sounds like the perfect agent for Blackwatch, no wonder you poached him immediately." Jack stated.
"I don't know what you're trying to infer... but I do not appreciate it. We ain't good people but we've never killed our own family." He answered warningly.
"Either has Hanzo; in case you've forgotten, Genji isn't dead."
Jack catches something briefly in his fellow Commander's expression.
"He does know that Genji is alive, right?"
"I may have changed the story a little."
"You have got to be kidding?!"
"That fucker doesn't deserve anything from us, and he certainly doesn't deserve to know anything more about the brother he so brutally disfigured."
"He thinks his brother is dead, Gabe!"
"He knows he's dead, Jesse told him my lie."
"Gabriel!" Jack scorned.
"He's not a kid, Jack."
"Jesse's twenty-two as well, right?"
Gabe's expression reflects the displeasure of McCree's name being drawn into this.
"You still consider him a kid and look after him for it. I seem to remember that Jesse murdered seven of our agents before you offered him the chance to join us too, so maybe we're not as cut and dry and you like to imagine us being."
Gabriel remains quiet.
"All I'm saying is, the kid is barely legal in this country and he already looks dead behind the eyes. He ghosts around the base trying to avoid everyone and drinks himself stupid when he's alone. The kid is already going grey and I've read far too many mission reports where he's consistently put himself in the firing line to save civilians. He has no wish to live, but drawing out his own existence seems to be his way of atonement. He also believes he still owes us a debt for taking Genji in, regardless of our success or failure with his care."
Jack pauses scrubbing a hand down his face and turning to look at the pained Shimada before continuing.
"You say we don't need the whole story, but we already have it. We worked that operation together. Kotomi Shimada died horribly in that storage container after going missing, and Sojiro Shimada was murdered for his continued influence of Genji to rebel. Hanzo was conditioned from his early youth to understand that the clan must survive no matter the consequences. Combine that with the pressure of leadership from the Elders after his father's death and I doubt Hanzo had much choice when the time came."
"Get to your point."
"When you had Jesse in your interrogation room all those years ago you said to me that he was a child of circumstance. He killed for his own welfare rather than enjoyment. Hanzo is broken. If he wished to kill his brother than he wouldn't be remorseful, and Genji would be dead. Neither of those things are the case. Hanzo couldn't argue with the Elders, and he had to fulfil his duty."
"He could have rebelled."
"Then we'd have two dead kids on our hands."
Jesse had forgotten how bloody a hit to the nose could be but he did his best to roughly clean up the elder Shimada before deciding ‘meh, he’ll survive’ and retreating from the cell to the chair he’d dragged in from the crash room, because like fuck was he going to spend god knows how long sat in one of those crappy back breakers.
The glass meant that Hanzo would see nothing but an unoccupied room if he looked out, and would only be able to see anyone if Jesse required him to, something which would prove useful for gaining the intel Gabe expected him to collect. Blackwatch wanted details about the Shimada clan and Hanzo was the perfect way to get it… hopefully.
From the missions he had been on with the elder Shimada, Hanzo seemed… reserved, and that was going to be a problem. He wouldn’t be surprised if during his time growing up his father or the clan elders had taught him how to prevent spilling any vital information, even under duress. Of course Gabe was the only one permitted to provide such duress, as Jesse seemed to have just been demoted to babysitter in the case of the kin slaying Shimada, but he hoped he would still be able to force something out somewhere along the line.
Jesse’s ears perked up at the quiet signs of life from the elder Shimada, making sure to click on the inbuilt translator in his comms device and placing the earpiece in.
“Genji, Father is angry, promise me you will hide.”
He watched as Hanzo wrapped an arm around his chest, wincing in pain a little as he opened his eyes and looked around. His gaze dashed wildly around the cell for a few seconds, clearly struggling to brush away whatever was happening in his dream, before coming back to himself, taking a deep breath and scrubbing a shaking hand down his face.
Hanzo gingerly swung his legs off the side of the bench to sit upright, leaning back against the wall as he took yet another deep breath, hissing a little as the action caused his ribs to ache.
Jesse stood from his seat and walked through the door, making sure he was out of view before turning off the mirage effect on the glass and walking inside as if he’d never been there in the first place.
The elder Shimada’s eyes immediately tracked to him, the arm around his chest moving away to not show weakness before, after a short pause, moved his arm straight back as if he simply didn’t care.
“What- what will you do with Genji?”
Jesse walked close to the glass.
“Nothing big; just a memorial with the other agents and then, you know.”
Hanzo’s gaze fell to the ground below his feet, his expression saying a thousand words before he managed to get a handle on it.
“Can’t do that.”
The elder Shimada scowled, eyes filled with fury as he glared at Jesse.
“My brother is dead.”
“And you’re the reason he is, pal, so spare me the ‘I need time to grieve’ bullshit because we both know you don’t care, you’re just trying to save your own hide for a little while longer.”
“I do not care what you do to me.”
Jesse took a seat.
Neither of them spoke; a substantial amount of time passing before Hanzo cleared his throat.
“Just because I was the one to carry out the clan’s plan for Genji does not mean I do not honour him. He is my brother and he is dead. If one could contemplate deception at a time such as this then they hold no honour. My word is true; I mourn for what I have lost regardless of the opinion of your agents. You do not understand what we came from and you never will.”
And with that, Hanzo leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes.
The next day brought with it a cold chill which saw the base become an ice box thanks to the broken heating system.
Hanzo looked out at the empty seat where the agent had been monitoring him from and came to the assumption that they had bigger problems to be dealing with than him.
He shivered, wrapping what little fabric he had spare around himself further in an attempt to cover his half-exposed chest but was mostly unsuccessful. Resorting to using his arms instead, Hanzo paced around the cell in the hope of raising his body temperature.
The door clunked open to reveal a woman with dark skin and a tattoo under her eye. Hanzo spent a few seconds attempting to place her face before faintly remembering her from the night he and Genji were airlifted from Hanamura.
Ana closed the door behind her before tapping in a code and entering the cell.
"Good morning Mr. Shimada."
Hanzo offered the smallest of bows before retreating back to sit on the bench attached the wall.
"Did we reach stage two already?"
Ana furrowed an eyebrow.
"Stage one I imagine was the cowboy; seeing if I would relent after the assault and give you what you wanted from me. Stage two is you and your..."
Hanzo titled his head to take a better look at what she was carrying; he looked confused as he did so.
Ana handed the soft bundle of fabric over to him.
"The Geneva Convention-"
"Is a very old and mainly un-respected document these days." Hanzo added.
Ana was undeterred as she began again.
"The Geneva Convention states that all those held prisoner must be treated humanely at all times and likewise, prisoners must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence, intimidation, and insults."
"Your organisation has broken all of those rules already."
"Your Commander would say that it doesn't apply though and he would be correct."
"The rules of the Geneva Convention apply only in times of armed conflict between two or more nations. Now I may have been out of touch a little in Hanamura but I know for a fact that the world is not currently engaged in any sort of war. Against the Omnics, yes; but not against each other."
"Before I am an agent of Overwatch I'm first and foremost a medic and a soldier; I don't care for the technicalities of conventions and code applications when they concern a person's life, regardless of whether they are a prisoner. You are in our care to the same degree as anyone that steps foot in Dr. Ziegler's med bay; and on that note, how is your pain?"
"Lying to a Captain is an offense you know." Ana quipped with a smile before she produced a syringe. "Now the choice is yours, I won't force you to take this but I would recommend that do so; it will reduce your pain to a more manageable level and promote regeneration to all wounds."
"Very well." Hanzo nodded, holding out his arm to the medic.
Ana cleaned a spot on his arm with an antiseptic wipe before gently injected the serum and safely disposing of the syringe.
"There." She reached across for the other item she had brought with her, or rather, a tray containing a teapot and two cups. "The serum will make you feel a bit chilly, an annoying side effect, I know, so I made us some tea. Don't forget to wrap this around yourself too." Ana fussed with the blanket until she was suitably happy with how it wrapped around the elder Shimada.
"Chamomile?" He spoke up softly.
"Egyptian chamomile; you have a keen nose."
"I never really drank much tea, the Yakuza preferred harder liquids."
"I suppose you took to the same preference too?"
"Sake, yes." Hanzo paused. "The only tea I ever really came to smell was that of which my Mother would brew. Her and Father would have tea ceremonies together on special occasions but Genji and I were expected to make ourselves scarce during them."
"Hanamura seemed like a nice place, very quaint."
The elder Shimada winced at the addressing of the elephant in the room.
"I know you were there that night which is why I do not understand the warmth you offer both literally and metaphorically. You know what I did and therefore what I am capable of and yet you sit before me with little concern or arms."
"You are not the only dangerous young man to enter this base, the first I have come to consider a son to me. He was very much like you."
"I doubt it."
"Groomed from far too young of an age into an organisation who sought to use and control you with little love and care ever being shown to your wellbeing; made to carry out operations that you didn't want to do where lives were involved knowing full well the consequences of failing to do so, or flat out refusing could leave you dead... Mr. Shimada I know what loyalty can do to young children, I have seen it far too many times both at home and out on the field. The people they are supposed to trust turn them into soldiers when they're at their most vulnerable time of life and that's exactly what they exploit regardless of whether it's a gang leader or a parent, it still has the same results."
"I am not a child, I am twenty-two it is not the same."
"You were brainwashed since birth about the ways of your clan and how everyone is a threat. You were trained to kill, just as Genji was, and you were ordered to strike down your own brother because of his insubordination. Could you have said no?"
"That means nothing."
"But could you have said no? What would have happened if you refused that order?"
Hanzo paused, taking a breath.
"I do not know. It was both my duty and my burden. If the Elders were to strike Genji down then I would never have forgiven myself. I knew I had to be the one, my brother's redemption lay in my hands, so I killed him and his spirit was free, something I never managed to achieve myself."
Ana took the finished brew and slowly poured out two cups, handing one of them to the elder Shimada.
"Do you want to be here, Mr. Shimada? And by here I don't mean this cell, or this facility, I mean on this astral plane with us."
Hanzo lowered his head, fiddling with the cup in his fingers.
"No, but I have no reason to die yet; I have not earned it."
"I think you're stronger than you give yourself credit for and that you will do right by your brother by becoming someone better. Put your skills to good use helping people."
"I don't want to fight, not with a sword." Hanzo answered his tone weak.
Ana offered a soft smile.
"Then we'll find something else. Leave it with me."
Ana's visits became routine with the medic arriving every other day with some kind of tea ready to brew in her signature teapot.
"You're a Captain, correct?"
"They don't tell me much though; you'd be surprised how many levels of clearance I don't have compared to Morrison and Reyes."
"Is that why you are able to make regular calls to visit a criminal?"
"You are only a criminal by association, not through any actions of your own. Morrison and Reyes will have you in here purely because they don't know what to do with you."
"Or they want to use me as a bargaining chip for the clan." Hanzo added. "It would never work though, my life means nothing to them now, I betrayed the clan even by being here."
"Do you want to go back?"
He shook his head, gaze down on the floor.
"Genji is dead. If I were to return it would be for the purpose of killing every single member of the clan. I know every strand of that web and I could raze it all to the ground."
"There is nothing to be gained from revenge."
"It's not for me; it would be the end of their centuries old reign over the people. They feared us and we stole so much from them. No more, I will stand for it no longer. They will fall and I must be the one to end it."
When the medic made her typical entrance to the cell Hanzo couldn't help but feel that something about this particular morning felt different.
"Are you okay?" Hanzo asked after Ana had provided him with a teacup.
The medic seemed to avoid the question by looking around at the cell complex.
"You shouldn't still be in here it's not good for your mental health to be alone for such a prolonged length of time."
"That cowboy insists on conversation when he's on duty." Hanzo scoffed.
"He means well."
"Mrs. Amari, even a blind man could see that there is something on your mind."
Ana slowly set her teacup down and sat upright, back straight.
"I have an assignment."
"With a team?"
Hanzo's eyes widened.
"You can't be serious."
"Overwatch may seem black and white, but we have made mistakes. We can act all high and mighty if we want, but we must not forget that people, good people have lost their lives because of us, agents and their families included."
"You'll get yourself killed; surely the Commanders wouldn't send you alone."
"And what they don't know can't hurt them. I created a weapon and so I must be the one to bring her down." She took a breath. "In case I don't get to say it later, I'm sorry."
Hanzo furrowed an eyebrow.
Just as he finished his sentence, a gasp escaped his lips as a sharp prick pierced his neck.
"Just sleep, Hanzo..."
"Ana... No..." His weak tone begged as he tried feebly to reach out an arm to stop her. "Please..."
Hanzo's eyelids became heavier and heavier as he watched her walk away before...
"Shimada! Shimada! Shimada!"
"Mmmmmmm..." Hanzo groaned, struggling to open his eyes to the bright light above him in the cell.
He was lying on the floor next to the blanket Ana had provided and the tea set. It was then that he noticed the gun trained close to his face.
"Where is she?"
Hanzo put his head in his hands as he tried to find wherever the hell his brain had gone to before scrubbing a hand down his face.
Impatience getting the better of his visitor he found himself thrust forward by the material of his kyudo-gi.
"Where is she?!" The tone was desperate and Hanzo was soon to piece together the face.
A few seconds later everything came back.
"She injected me with something."
"I don't care about that, where is Ana?"
Hanzo's eyes widened in panic.
"How long have I been out?"
"If it's one of her sleep aids then probably a few hours."
"She went to kill someone; someone she said she created."
It was Jesse's turn to panic.
Jesse sprinted off out the cell.
"Who is that?" Hanzo shouted after him. "Hey!"
It was then that he noticed the cowboy had left the door of the cell open.
Hanzo left the cell block and entered the facility.
Noticing a hooded jacket hung from the back of one of the chairs by the CCTV screens, he was quick to throw it on before joining the hustle and bustle of activity in what seemed to be the main corridor.
Everyone was up in arms about something and he could only guess what.
Their Captain was missing and they needed to find her.
Finding a door which seemed to lead outside, Hanzo took it and before long he found himself overlooking the ocean.
Scaling the cliff side up to the very top of the roof, Hanzo took a seat as he watched the waves gently crash against the rocks, seagulls calling away, and the sun beginning to rise over the horizon. It was a sight he never thought he would see again... it was a sight Genji would never see again.
Hanzo scrubbed a hand down his face before he lay down on his back staring up at the endless sky.
Everything was peaceful for the first time in a long time.
It was a few hours later when footsteps approached.
It was the cowboy and he was very out of breath.
"Do you have any idea how long I've been looking for you?"
"The hell are you doing on the roof?"
"I wanted some air."
"You didn't try and escape, why? You could have been miles away by now."
"I gave myself over as your prisoner, that does not mean however that I don't miss simple pleasures such as being outside." Hanzo motioned to the space beside him where he was leaning against the rocks. "You look like you need a sit down."
"You're probably right."
He took a seat.
"I'm sorry for what I did; I guess I let my emotions get the better of me."
"It was nothing I didn't deserve."
"It was still wrong."
"And against the Geneva Convention according to Ana." Hanzo smiled.
"Yeah she's been telling me about your little tea parties."
"It is not a tea party!"
"Sure it ain't." Jesse laughed.
"Have you found her?"
The cowboy shook his head.
"There's no trail, she had better intel than we have if she knows Widowmaker's location."
"Amélie. She became that person after they got their hands on her. They turned her into... whatever she is now."
"Did Ana really create Widowmaker; was it her fault?"
"Of course it weren't, but Ana's too caring for her own good. If anything were to happen to anyone she's close to than she'd scour the entire globe looking for them, she's just that kind of person."
"So what do you think she's going to do, kill her?"
"I don't know, reason with her? Seems too little too late in my opinion, Amelia's gone, she has been for a long time now."
"You’re close to her?"
"She taught me everything I know. After I rolled up here in handcuffs she kicked my ass into gear and got me on the straight and narrow. I owe a lot to that woman."
"She has a kind soul."
Jesse looked at his comm device.
"I have a meeting I need to get to and I can't just leave you up so you should probably head back inside before they lock the whole place down."
Hanzo nodded, getting to his feet along with the cowboy.
"Lead the way."
As they reached the main corridor of the facility, Jesse groaned.
Hanzo didn't have a chance to even inquire before a hand grabbed him by the collar and shoved him against the wall.
"This has you written all over it."
"Gabe!" Jesse shouted. "He ain't done anything."
"I told you everything I knew."
"He's not lying, Ana used one of her darts on him, he was out when I found him." Jesse explained. "She left of her own accord, Gabe."
Reyes released his grip on the archer's neck, returning his feet to the floor. He turned to the cowboy.
"My office, now!"
"What about him?" Jesse motioned to Hanzo.
"Just make yourself fucking scarce, I don't care what you do."
The Commander stormed off.
Jesse rolled his eyes before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a key card.
He handed it to the archer.
"It'll get you into the training room, maybe you could practice a little."
Hanzo nodded with a smile.
And with that, Jesse rushed off.
Hanzo groaned awake with a stretch, rubbing his eyes as he looked around the crash room of the base.
After training he’d quickly realised there was nowhere for him to sleep and after not being able to find the cowboy, Hanzo had instead wandered around until he came across the couch he had spent the night on.
A TV was scrolling through general announcements and various schedules and a variety of voices could be heard in conversation passing by.
“I was wondering when you’d finally decide to just the land of the living.”
Hanzo jumped, having been unaware of anyone in the room. He turned to find Jesse with a smirk on his face sat with his feet atop a long dining table with a cup of coffee in hand.
“So, guess who didn’t think ahead yesterday.”
The archer shook his head.
“It was fine.”
“I can see that.” The cowboy looked at the clock. “1PM, someone needed the sleep.”
Hanzo’s eyes widened.
“No one cares, don’t worry about it.”
Jesse reached down and picked something up.
The archer furrowed an eyebrow.
“What is it?”
“Ana was busy before she left apparently.”
Hanzo furrowed an eyebrow, getting up from the couch and giving his hair a rough tidy with his hand before walking over to Jesse.
The cowboy placed a box down on the table.
Gently opening it the eldest Shimada’s eyes widened as he took in the sight of the magnificent bow enclosed inside. Dark and light matte metal frame with blue and yellow accents it matched both Hanzo’s kyudo-gi and the ribbon tied in his hair. It was all accompanied by a matching quiver to replace the half-broken one he’d been using on Blackwatch missions.
There was a card tucked beside it all.
‘Had a colleague of mine at Overwatch HQ make this for you, his name’s Torbjörn so if the two of you ever meet someday be sure to thank him. I pity anyone who crosses your path when you’re armed with this thing. Take care of her.
“I’m sure she wanted to give it to you herself.” Jesse spoke up to break the silence.
Hanzo wasn’t so sure.
He took a seat at the table, turning to the cowboy.
“We should go and find her rather than sitting here sulking.”
“What?! She’s going to get herself killed out there.”
“Ana went completely off the grid, more than we ever thought an Overwatch agent could. Do you really think we wouldn’t have been out of this base by now if that weren’t the case?”
Hanzo looked down at the bow.
“I should have stopped her.”
“We reviewed the footage, Shimada, she walked into that cell with her sleep dart; you couldn’t have talked her out of it.”
“I tried, I just- I should’ve done better.”
“You did your best. You’ve known her for a few weeks, some of us here have known Ana for years, if anything we should have noticed something was off with her.”
“So what happens now?”
The months came and went and they were still no closer to finding the Captain. Overwatch and Blackwatch went back to work with Hanzo returning to service armed with his now titled ‘Storm Bow’ from Ana.
Jesse turned to the archer as they sat aboard the ship en-route to a reconnaissance mission in Dorado. Something was off with him causing the cowboy to wince. He'd needed to have a conversation with the archer for a few days now but had chickened out every time he'd came close. He considered just blurting it out but thought better of it given the scenario. After a few further minutes of silence, he spoke up.
“You okay, partner?”
Hanzo seemed to snap out of his own head, gaze falling to Jesse in a daze.
“Away with the fairies?”
The archer smirked.
Hanzo shrugged it off but still looked as if something was bothering him.
Before he could ask any more questions, Reyes walked down from the front to brief them on the mission.
Jesse felt as if it was right to check on Hanzo that night, the guy had been trained from a young age to lie with a straight face and after being around far too many scumbags in his life with the same ability, he had become somewhat of an expert at seeing through that bullshit.
The cowboy couldn't help be think that whatever was getting Hanzo down was the exact same thing he'd been meaning to have a talk with him about.
He made his way down to the old wing of the facility where Reyes had rather cruelly assigned Hanzo the oldest room they had.
Getting inside didn’t prove hard considering the door didn’t even have an ID card scanner installed.
The room was dark, the small window near the ceiling not really allowing much light to enter. The small bed hadn’t been made and Hanzo’s Blackwatch uniform lay discarded on the floor from where he’d clearly dumped it after changing from their mission earlier.
Aside from that, Hanzo didn’t have any other possessions to speak of. But worryingly, Storm Bow and his quiver were not among the pile, and the eldest Shimada was nowhere to be found.
“You got to be kidding me.” He grumbled.
Hanzo pulled another arrow from the quiver on his back as he sat perched atop the gates of Shimada Castle slowly picking off Clan security one-by-one.
It wasn’t long before the numbers thinned and he was able to hop down and make his way quickly into the grand hall.
The eldest Shimada winced at the sight of his and Genji’s daishō sat pride of place at the altar, his own with a notch out of it from that night.
Coming to a kneel, Hanzo gently placed his bow down at his side before producing an incense holder and sticks, a bowl, and a sparrow feather, carefully aligning each on the floor as he took a breath.
Just as he came to light the incense sticks, footsteps could be heard behind him.
He placed the sticks down in the holder.
“I knew that a day would come whey they’d send an assassin to kill me but I am certain you will not be the last.”
Hanzo closed his eyes.
The figure behind him dropped almost silently down.
“You are bold to come to Shimada Castle, the den of your enemies.”
“This was once my home, did your masters not tell you who I was!” He roared, grabbing Storm Bow and notching an arrow, firing at the assassin.
The glowing figure dodged it effortlessly.
“I know who you are, Hanzo.”
The archer’s eyes widened as he quickly responded with another arrow.
“You have come here on the anniversary of your brother’s death.”
The assassin’s words only angered the archer more and he fired two consecutive arrows.
“You risk so much to honour someone you murdered.”
The glowing figure responded before three shuriken headed his way, Hanzo only just managing to raise Storm Bow in time to deflect them into the wooden wall of the castle.
“You know nothing of what happened!” He growled, charging forward. The archer fired another arrow, the force sending the assassin flying backwards to the lower level.
The figure rose with ease, scaling up to the balcony and speeding out of view.
Hanzo was quick to follow.
“I know you tell yourself that your brother disobeyed the clan and that you had to kill him to maintain order, that it was your duty.”
“It was my duty, and my burden.”
Knowing exactly where the assassin was positioned Hanzo notched an arrow before turning to fire.
“That does not mean I do not honour him!”
He fired once again.
As it flew through the air, the glowing figure unsheathed a katana from their back and struck the arrow, slicing it straight down the middle.
Hanzo looked stunned before he growled in frustration, rushing forwards to swing Storm Bow over and over in an attempt to strike the assassin down but the efforts were futile as soon he found himself pinned to the fence of the balcony, the wood cracking beneath them, the katana at his throat only held back by his grip of Storm Bow.
“You think you honour your brother Genji with incense and offerings? Honour resides in one’s actions.”
Hanzo noticed the arrow sitting just across the floor.
“You dare to lecture me about honour; you are not worthy to say his name!” He bellowed, freeing himself from the assassin’s pin and diving over to the arrow readying something he knew the glowing figure couldn’t contend with.
“Ryuu ga waga teki wo kurau!”
As the arrow left Storm Bow two twin blue dragons flew across the balcony towards the glowing figure.
“Ryūjin no ken wo kurae!”
The assassin responded, twirling the sword to reveal a green dragon of his own. He continued to wield the beast until Hanzo’s own dragons fell to his path as well.
It didn’t make sense.
The beasts turned in his direction and Hanzo could only brace himself as they flowed through him, their power sucking all energy from his being. As they disappeared, he dropped down to his knees as his legs gave way beneath him.
The assassin sheathed his sword.
“Only a Shimada can control the dragons. Who are you?”
Hanzo’s gaze rose to the glowing figure seconds before he dashed across the balcony a sword once again resting at his throat.
“Do it then, kill me.”
The assassin removed the wakizashi.
“I will not grant you the death you wish for; you still have a purpose in this life, brother.”
Hanzo’s eyes widened, his breath catching in his throat.
“No... How, my brother is dead.” He quickly got to his feet.
The glowing figure reached up to its facemask and removed it revealing…
Hanzo gasped as he saw his brother’s eyes staring back at him, scarred and burnt.
He looked downward.
“What have you… become?”
Genji replaced the mask.
“I have accepted what I am, and I have forgiven you.”
He walked closer and placed a hand on Hanzo’s shoulder.
“Now you must forgive yourself.”
Genji made his way over to the railings of the balcony.
“There is something… evil coming but I don’t know what. It’s time to pick a side.”
Despite finding himself lost for words, Hanzo had one thought burning in his mind.
“Where have you been all this time?”
“For many months I felt nothing but hatred and contempt for you, brother, but since then I have found balance and tranquillity thanks to the teachings of a friend.”
“And you knew I was here how?”
“I have connections.”
“Overwatch, they failed to save you. I was told that you were dead.”
Hanzo heard an audible sigh from his brother as his hand came to rest against the wooden railing.
“I was… unaware until only recently, someone I have come to consider a close friend admitted what the Commander had made him say to you and he felt ashamed for his part.”
“The cowboy…” He growled under his breath.
“My aim was to talk to you at the base but Jesse informed me that you had gone missing a few days prior, when I realised the date, I knew immediately where you were headed.”
“So instead you come here and make a fool of me, show me exactly how easy you could end my life with your blade?!” Hanzo retorted, anger rising.
“That was not my intent, brother.”
“But you did it anyway like a child… have you even grown since we last saw each other?”
“You may have destroyed every part of my body, Hanzo, but you will never take my spirit.”
The archer lowered his head, picking up Storm Bow.
“I will return to Blackwatch, as I have sworn to them my duty, but do not expect me to be civil. They had me believe you were dead and then have the gall to lecture me about integrity.”
“I am not making excuses for their actions and I assure you that I am equally as displeased with them. I will not shy away from making my voice heard about the matter.”
“And what happens now?”
Genji turned to Hanzo.
“We learn to be brothers again and find our place on the right side for once.”
The archer joined his younger brother at the railings, looking out over Hanamura.
“Real life is not like the stories our Father told us; you are a fool for believing it so.”
“Maybe, but I also have hope.”
In the past week Hanzo had been sure to spend as much time away from the public areas of the base as possible. He had no desire to socialise with those who had lied to him for an entire year, especially the cowboy and Commander Reyes.
He should have known that was only going to work for so long.
“Shimada, open the fucking door!”
Hanzo groaned awake as he looked at the clock.
Stumbling out of bed he removed the doorstop he’d been using to keep it ‘locked’ before the door slid open.
A comms device was shoved against his chest.
“Get dressed and get to the hangar, the mission details are loaded on here.”
With that, he walked off.
“Good morning to you too.” Hanzo retorted before returning inside.
The usual suspects were aboard the ship when he arrived leaving him with few options but to sit near the cowboy.
Almost immediately he looked ready to burst into a whole speech about what happened and unfortunately, Hanzo was right.
“I don’t want your apologies.” The archer answered as he placed Storm Bow and his quiver in the weapons rack above before taking a seat across multiple chairs.
“Well you’re gonna’ get it anyway because what I did, it was wrong and I hate myself for going along with it in the first place.”
Hanzo slumped in the seat using the Blackwatch beret he never wore to block out the light from the ship’s interior.
“If I accept your apology will you stop talking?”
Jesse looked a little peeved but gave a nod.
“Great… Apology accepted.”
And with that, he went back to sleep.
The mission itself was cut and dry, his whole job was to stand on a rooftop in case of snipers. As usual there weren’t expected to be any snipers so basically he was just there for decoration.
Hanzo made his way to the edge of the building and looked down, what he saw making him furrow an eyebrow.
He couldn’t see anyone.
No locals, no tourists, and most importantly, none of the agents he’d travelled with.
It had been an hour or so since they’d landed meaning that the cowboy and co should’ve been well on their way to securing the unit they were infiltrating.
Grabbing his comms device he turned it on.
‘Shimada – Get your ass down to this address. We need any data you can find on the head of this company. Don’t get yourself caught.’
Hanzo quickly memorised the address before the device shut off, the screen going blank.
“Janku no mudana hīpu.” He groaned, hitting his hand against the plastic frame a few times.
It was hopeless.
Jesse looked around at the empty city as they made their way through the streets.
“What are we even doing here, Gabe?”
“Well maybe if you read the mission brief you might have the answer to your own question.” The Commander quipped back to the cowboy’s annoyance.
“I mean why isn’t Shimada with us?”
Moira turned to him with a grin.
“I’m sure you can manage being away from your boyfriend for a few hours without taking your anger out on your Commander.”
Jesse held his tongue against a reply.
“If you must know he’s gathering information for us.” Gabe answered.
“Wait; on his own?”
“He’s a big boy, darling.” Moira added.
“You’re going to get him killed!” Jesse emphasised.
The medic placed her hand on the Commander’s shoulder.
The cowboy looked horrified as he sprinted off.
Having made his way down to the building stated by Reyes, Hanzo picked the door with relative ease before quietly entering inside the office. A computer sat upon the desk in the back.
He couldn’t help but feel that this was all a little bit too easy but he wasn’t going to complain.
Accessing the computer using the hacking device in his comm, Hanzo’s eyes widened as he took in the wealth of data stored upon it, knowing that they could put the guy away for years with even just a fraction of what he’d found.
Thankful that the data point component of his comms device still seemed to be operational, Hanzo quickly transferred the files over to the secure link at the Overwatch HQ before making a quick exit.
As he made his way out the door of the office, a punch landed across his face knocking him to the ground, the arrows in his quiver snapping from the force.
Hanzo pulled the quiver from his back before attempting to strike the figure with his bow.
A hand sprang out just in time to stop the collision ripping the bow from the archer's hand and throwing it across the room out of reach, the other snatching the comms device from him.
The archer tried to reach out for it but seconds later he cried out as an arrow head was suddenly thrust into his shoulder, burying deep in the skin.
The figure smirked.
"I would have some questions if I was you. Mainly why are you the only one in this district? You don't have any backup."
"I am... expendable." Hanzo breathed heavily.
"No matter what you do to me, I sent all the evidence on you and your disgusting company to the Overwatch HQ, the Commander will be reading it as we speak. You're done." Hanzo weakly smiled.
The figure looked furious.
"Well that was a very silly thing to do because now I'm going have to send you back-"
A blade was stabbed into his stomach.
Hanzo gasped breathlessly, fingers reaching for the wounds, eyelids flickering.
"Give this to your employer for me."
The figure took a folded note from his pocket and shoved it into the open wound causing Hanzo to scream.
He walked off.
Hanzo groaned as he fell flat to the ground; hand over his stomach as he stared up at the ceiling above him, black spots dancing in his vision before...
Jesse clicked his comms live in his ear.
"Shimada, listen to me. You need to get yourself out of there, stat; I don't have visual and I'm too far out to provide backup so you need to run."
Static rang out on the line.
Jesse growled before sprinting off towards the archer's last known location.
"Hanzo?" He shouted, running into the building. "Hanzo?"
Jesse stopped dead in his tracks as he caught sight of the archer, his breath catching in his throat.
"No, no, no..."
He sprinted the last of the distance and knelt beside Hanzo, clicking the comms in his ear with flailing urgency.
"I need the med bay prepared!"
"Are you hurt? What's going on?!"
"Jesse, you know my thoughts on..."
Jesse lifted the comm screen from his belt and clicked to live video, showing off the state of the fallen archer.
"He's dying, Ange."
"You have the Nanites?"
"Yes." Jesse pulled the pack from his belt and snapped the container in two, the gold orbs fluttering down onto Hanzo's wounds and providing a coating.
"They'll stop the bleeding for now but he needs immediate attention, bring him to Gibraltar and ignore what anyone says otherwise."
Angela hung up.
As Jesse slowly began to lift the archer, Hanzo regained pained consciousness.
"Woah; easy now, partner."
"Why are you here?"
"To get you."
Jesse shook his head.
"I was reckless and I have paid for it."
"Hanzo, we can debrief back at HQ but for now you just need to focus on not checking out on us, okay?”
The archer smiled weakly.
"That a girl of yours?"
"Sparrow. It was what my Father and I called Genji. It’s funny, isn’t it? In all these missions since I came to the base, I walked into them knowing that if I died, there were no consequences. Regardless, I would see my brother again, and now-"
Hanzo was cut off as he coughed harshly.
“I don’t want to die.”
Jesse couldn’t hide from the pure desperation in that tone, the fear of someone who life had fucked over royally in the time he’d been alive. A humble servant to those in his family and for what; he’d seen the reports in Reyes’ office, there had been attempts on Hanzo’s life, Blackwatch had just dealt with them quietly. He didn’t fucking deserve any of this.
"You need to hold the fuck on, do you hear me?! Genji will kill me if anything happens to you now, he’s already still pissed that I lied."
"As I failed previously I have failed once again..."
"It wasn't your fault." Jesse clicked his comms. "Lena! I need you!" He called desperationally.
"We’re already on our way, Jesse. Angela’s with me too."
Jesse sighed in relief.
"Three minutes max."
“Thank you.” He closed the comms link before looking down at the fallen archer. Carefully, he wrapped his arm around his shoulders.
“Shimada, hey; can you walk?”
A groan came in response but the eldest Shimada did offer what he could to bring them both to their feet.
“We’re not going far, don’t worry.”
Jesse made sure to grab Hanzo's bow and quiver before escorting the archer's dead wait as he carried them both outside the building to a position he was happy with for evac.
"Three minutes, just hold on for three minutes, okay?"
"Why do you care?” Hanzo's weak tone replied. "You could have just left me here and no one would have batted an eyelid, why didn't you?"
Jesse took a breath.
"Because there’s something… not good going on here. There’s a black pit forming and it’s only growing. Jack and Gabe are fighting over how missions should be carried out more and more, and then..." He paused. "Hanzo, when we get back to the base, after Ange has healed you up, I want you to take Genji and go."
"He would never leave with me."
"Why are you saying this?"
"Right now, you just need to focus on staying awake; I'll tell you when you're back on your feet." Jesse looked down at the stab wounds and winced. "I'm sorry, Hanzo."
"It was my own doing."
"No, it wasn't."
The sound of propellers could be heard before the evac ship pulled up to the edge of the building beside them. As the door opened, Angela rushed out to help Jesse guide the injured Shimada inside, the doors closing behind them.
"Mr. Shimada, I'm going to give you something to help with the pain, it will make you sleep."
A sharp prick later and Hanzo was gently laid down on a white table deep in artificial slumber.
Angela winced at his injuries.
"This was brutal, big knife, ragged edge and very sharp; someone wanted to make a statement."
It was then that she noticed something out of the ordinary.
Slowly reaching a hand to the wound she pulled free a piece of paper.
"Oh my god."
Jesse nearly threw up at the thought of Hanzo being used as a messenger like that.
Angela turned to him.
Arriving back at Gibraltar, Angela rushed Hanzo down to the medical wing.
Pharah watched as Jesse walked off the ship, his fist clenched as if looking for a fight.
"Yeah he's where he usually is."
Jesse stormed off down the corridor.
"What's going on?"
Reaching the Commanders wing he threw open the door and walked inside.
"Agent McCree you can't just barge in like that." Jack lectured, but Jesse wasn't interested.
Bee lining across the room he grabbed Gabe by the collar and slammed him back against the wall of the office.
"What's this about?"
"You know damn well what it's about, Gabe!" Jesse shouted. "You used Hanzo as bait for your own stupid plan and he's got four stab wounds to show for it!"
Jack looked interested now, eyes wide as he walked closer to them.
"You sold him out just to get your fucking message. Well here you go." Jesse threw the piece of paper at his chest. "Sorry it's a little hard to read in places, Hanzo's blood kinda seeped in from where it was shoved into one of his stab wounds!"
The Commander scoffed, walking closer to Jesse.
“Why do you even care; the guy is despicable. He’s a fucking rat and he’s going to bring this whole down on us, just you wait and see.”
Jesse shook his head.
“Since when do we throw people to the dogs like that? For fuck sake Gabe he could die! Angela’s got him on everything just to try and stabilise him. I mean… you never even made him a fucking agent, and you’ve got him sleeping in this shithole of a dorm what feels like eight-miles away from the rest of us in the block over, he’s got no spare clothes, no possessions, nothing, apart from a fucking bow that Ana had to buy for him herself. He is still our prisoner regardless of whether or not he’s in that cell, its sick!”
Gabe closed the gap between the two of them, getting menacingly close causing Jesse to wince a little.
“Don’t talk to me like that, boy…”
Up close, Jesse saw the black in the Commander’s eyes and gasped.
Reyes blinked before retreating back.
“What the hell was that? What happened to your eyes?”
“It’s just the lighting in here.” Gabe waved it off before opening the door. “We can talk more about this later.”
He left the room.
Jesse took a seat, scrubbing a hand down his face.
Jack walked over and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“You should get washed up.”
The cowboy looked down at his hands and clothes.
Jesse felt his composure starting to fracture as he nodded before quickly making his way out of the room and down the corridor to his room, fumbling his key card to the door and slamming his way into the bathroom to wash away the events of the day.
The blood was stubborn though and no matter how hard Jesse tried to scrub he just couldn’t get it all off.
A light sob broke from his lips as his head hung low, hair covering his eyes as he bare-knuckled the rim of the sink.
“HANZO!” He heard his brother’s voice scream.
He gasped, eyes flying open as he felt a shift, seeming to drift, falling away from his body and floating freely in quiet tranquillity.
Hanzo came to rest on a familiar cobbled road, the main path down to Shimada Castle before the scene changed around him to the bustle of Hanamura’s market district.
Rushing ghost figures passed by, each wearing the finest ceremonial wear which, upon further inspection, Hanzo realised was burial wear, specifically that of the Shimada.
His ancestors flowed through the streets walking through him undeterred and without recognition.
It was then that Hanzo noticed her.
She was sat on the corner of the street, fingers lowering a small flower onto the water of a gentle stream stemmed from rainfall.
His hand reached for her, the scene bursting around him as the touch would have made contact.
It was now dark, the doors of Shimada Castle thrown wide.
Hanzo made his way inside to the immediate scene of his Mother at the mercy of a masked figure’s blade. Before he could even step forward a shout had his eyes widening as he turned to see his sixteen-year-old self in the same predicament just along from her, held down harshly by more of the masked figures.
The archer’s breathing raced as he backed up, looking away.
“No, no, no…” He whispered; screwing his eyes closed.
Before he could reopen them, Hanzo found himself gasping awake with a blonde woman leaning over him.
“Oh Gott sei Dank!”
She seemed to let out the loudest of relieved sighs before removing her hands from his chest.
Hanzo blinked as he turned to the source of the voice to find his brother looking concerned. He wasn’t wearing his faceplate meaning that the archer was able to see the tears trickling down his cheeks.
He groaned, raising a hand to his chest.
“Sorry, your ribs are going to feel a little tender for a while.”
The eldest Shimada nodded.
“Dr. Ziegler.” She answered.
Genji scoffed beside them.
The doctor rolled her eyes.
“Fine. Angela; my name is Angela.”
“Nice to meet you.” Hanzo nodded. “Where’s the cowboy?”
“He’s fine, he went to see the Commander, seemed important.” Genji answered.
Hanzo noticed the doctor fiddling with wires beside his bed as he suddenly felt incredibly tired.
“Just rest, Mr. Shimada, don’t fight sleep, your body needs it to recover. This should help.”
Whatever she had added seemed to have an immediate effect, his eyelids becoming heavier and heavier until…
Darkness had fallen by time Jesse made his way down to the med bay; Angela gave him a tired smile as he passed and it wasn’t hard to spot Genji still sat beside his brother’s bed.
He turned immediately as he entered, getting to his feet with anger heavy in his expression.
“What happened out there?!”
Jesse ignored his as he moved a chair under the security camera and climbed it, producing a can of spray paint he’d found around the base and making quick work of spraying the lens to block the image.
Before Genji could ask what he was doing he placed a finger over his lips as he climbed down, dragging the chair with him to sit down beside his friend.
He took out a notepad and pen and began writing.
‘Gabe used Hanzo as bait in that mission. The pair of you need to get out here, we all do. If we don’t-‘
Jesse hovered the pen over the paper as he took a breath.
‘-I think we’re all gonna’ end up dead.’
Genji’s eyes widened.
‘We need to get everyone as far away from both the bases as possible before it’s too late.’
The youngest Shimada took the notebook and pen.
‘We can’t move Hanzo, not right now, and how are we going to persuade everyone to leave? Would they just go on our word alone?’
“Leave that with me.” Jesse answered, scrubbing a hand down his face. “Fuck!” He growled.
Genji placed a hand on his shoulder as they sat watch over the eldest Shimada.
Hanzo found himself crashing into consciousness a few more times before he was finally able to stay awake and put together any form of thought.
He winced as he pushed himself upright in the medical bay bed, careful of the many wires attached to his hands and wrists.
As he did, something seemed to fall from his lap.
Furrowing an eyebrow, Hanzo reached over to pick it up.
It was a folder.
Flipping open the cover he began to read.
Hanzo’s eyes were wild in pain as he slammed open the door of the Commander’s office, Genji looking both confused and concerned about his brother’s injuries behind him.
“Mr. Shimada!” Morrison walked over to the young man.
“You didn’t help her; why didn’t you help her?!” His tone breaking a little after the question, losing his footing before Genji rushed forward to keep him upright.
“Here.” Genji guided him to sit down on a chair before turning to Jack. “What is he talking about?”
“Kotomi Shimada. Say the name of the woman you allowed to die horribly and alone!”
Genji’s eyes widened.
Hanzo slapped the case file against his brother’s chest, the younger Shimada being quick to open it and flip through the contents. A small gag followed as he reached the pictures in the back.
“I read every word; you knew exactly where they were going to take her because you’d infiltrated their base before, you didn’t go because you didn’t see her as valuable enough to save. You had no use for her. She was our Mother!” He growled.
“Of course she was worth saving!” Morrison argued. “We went to get her out of there but they’d already moved her, by time we found the trail again, it led to a corpse. We failed, I know we did, but I promise you that we tried.”
Hanzo didn’t look satisfied.
“So you found our Mother beaten and in a state of half-undress in a storage container and you did what?”
“It was usual procedure, just like anyone we find.”
“But it wasn’t, was it; because this wasn’t just some average missing person, this was the wife of the Shimada Clan leader.” Hanzo’s hands were shaking. “And why the hell did we not know she was found?”
“They were supposed to tell you.”
“Well they failed to do so!” Hanzo shouted.
“Where is our Mother?” Genji spoke up. “Where is she buried?”
“Our patch in DC.”
“You buried her in an Overwatch cemetery?”
Morrison shook his head.
“There’s a plot for those whose families aren’t around to bury them; people from conflicts, humanitarian crisis, they are laid to rest there regardless of nationality.”
“She should have been buried in Hanamura with Father.”
“No one answered the call.”
“So you try again, and again!”
“We did, but there’s a point when you start to believe it’s intentional and we reached it.”
A sob escaped Genji.
Hanzo sighed, his own inhale shaky as he reached an arm around his younger brother in comfort, offering a light squeeze.
“For years we had hope regarding our Mother’s disappearance, we thought that one day she might find her way home; to discover in such graphic detail what became of her is…”
“It’s okay, Shimada.” Morrison quickly spoke up when the eldest struggled for words.
Hanzo squared his chest, something the Commander knew he’d obviously been taught to do by his Father.
“I hope that you can allow Genji and myself a day or so to visit our Mother.”
“Of course, now please for the love of god go back to the med bay before Angela kills both of us."
“Thank you.” Hanzo shakily got to his feet thanks to Genji’s support before they headed for the door.
“You have nothing to thank me for.”
“No, we don’t.”
The door clicked closed.
TWO WEEKS LATER
Hanzo and Genji were walking onto the Orca when footsteps approached.
"Room for one more?"
It was Jesse.
"Sure." Genji answered before Hanzo had the chance.
Jesse tipped his hat before embarking.
"What is your reason for making the trip?" Hanzo asked a few hours into the journey.
"Well I haven't been back in the States for a while so I've been a little homesick, plus there some folk I wanna' say hello to out there."
"It's funny, isn't it; had I have died like you were told, I would have been buried in the same plot as my Mother, yes?" Genji asked.
"Probably; yeah." Jesse nodded.
Hanzo stood up and walked off down the ship.
"Hanzo?" The youngest Shimada called.
"Leave him be." Jesse advised. "You've hit the nail on the head of a pretty tough situation for your brother."
"Where you there during that time, with Hanzo I mean?"
"Yeah, I was."
"What was he like?"
"Before we found out it was him that did that to you, he just seemed like any other guy with issues, Overwatch is full of them. He was reckless and made stupid calls to save people on assignments, but he did his job and he did it well. Then when we did find out... I lost my cool. They locked him up after that, he spent weeks in that cell but he didn't care, Hanzo felt he deserved it so he never complained about anything, even when he was in there with untreated wounds from the beat down I gave him."
"Do you treat all your agents like that?"
"He wasn't an agent, and he nearly killed you."
"Nearly, I'm tougher than I look."
Jesse smirked getting to his feet.
"I'm gonna go check on that brother of yours."
He found Hanzo sitting at the rear of the ship staring out the window at the skies.
"Mind if I sit?"
The archer shook his head.
"Look, I can't imagine what you're going through after everything you and Genji have learnt over these past few weeks, but don't feel like you have to shoulder this alone. I know we've had some differences and inexcusable confrontations in the past but I hope we can move on from that."
"What I'm saying is, if you ever wanna' talk with someone, I'm all ears."
The eldest Shimada looked troubled as he adjusted his position on the seat.
"She went missing because of me, it was my fault."
"Hanzo I’m sure it wasn’t.”
"The men who took my Mother, they stormed Shimada Castle when Father was away on a trip with Genji. Their numbers were so large that we never stood a chance; they took us by surprise and they used it to their advantage. They found me in my room and dragged me to the grand hall. Mother was next to me and I was so scared, I had never come so close to death before and suddenly it was staring me in the face with a grin. They-"
Hanzo's voice shook.
"They beat me in an attempt to make Mother reveal information they needed about the clan and she begged and pleaded with them about hurting her instead, taking her instead, and they did. I managed to break free of their hold and grab one of my ancestor's blades from the shrine, but they laughed as they struck me down to make sure I couldn't follow. And I never saw her again-"
Hanzo took a breath.
"When Father returned he refused to see me. They told him I was hospitalised and he responded that due to my failings to step up and protect the Clan she was gone and that he couldn't waste any time allowing me to wallow when I should be stepping up to help find the woman I allowed to be taken from us. It wasn't as easy as that though but he didn't care. My recovery took a few months by which time Genji hated me and Father's own health was declining. He was never able to bring her home and my brother always believed that what brought about his death was not age or condition, but a broken heart that never healed."
Hanzo scrubbed a hand down his face before clearing his throat.
“After that Genji began acting out, drinking, drugs, spending frivolously and sleeping with any woman he pleased; the Elders became infuriated with his actions and you know the rest. I caused all that. I know I blame Overwatch and Reyes, but it was me, I did this to our family, I single-handedly brought about its destruction.”
He dared a look at Jesse.
"If it is pity you are going to offer me then I do not want it."
"It wasn't your fault."
"I wasn't strong enough to protect our Mother.”
“How old were you that night?”
"Hanzo you were a kid..."
“I was trained for moments like that and I did nothing.”
“They would have killed you on the spot.”
“Well maybe they should have!” Hanzo blurted, eyes wild as he ran an anxious hand through his hair. “I mean what good came from me being alive?”
“Don’t say that.” Jesse shook his head.
Hanzo seemed ready to throw back another retort but instead his composure seemed to smash around him, so many recent events seeming to catch up to him as he sobbed, head falling forward as his hands covered his face.
The cowboy winced in sympathy as he gently collected the eldest Shimada in his arms and pulled him closer, Hanzo making no form of protest against the action as the archer’s head came to rest against the serape wrapped over his shoulder.
Jesse just held him.
Jesse couldn’t be more thankful that Lena had volunteered to fly the Orca for the trip meaning that the spacious ship came with its own bed in the med bay. After Hanzo’s breakdown the archer was dead on his feet. The cowboy, along with a very concerned Genji carefully transported him to lie down and get some much needed rest before retreating back to the rear of the ship.
“I knew this was a stupid idea.” Genji spoke up, shaking his head. “He should be back at the base not traipsing round a foreign country.”
“The second he found that file his mind was set, for now we need to just keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t exert himself, get him to that graveyard and then convince him to maybe check back into Ange’s care.”
Jesse took a breath before turning to his friend.
“Anyway, how are you doing in all of this, it can’t have been easy on you either.”
“I feel… tired, concerned for my brother’s injuries and mental state, and scared about seeing our Mother again. After all these years, despite the length of time that has passed since her disappearance I’ve always held out hope but I guess now we have our answer, even if it’s worse than I possibly could ever have imagined, but what else could I expect from the wife of a Yakuza leader?”
“I’m sorry, Genji.”
The youngest Shimada offered a small nod.
“She gave herself over to protect Hanzo; something deep inside me believes that he may have not been with us today if not for her actions that night.”
“All that time… I refused to even talk to him after that and I treated him-“ Genji paused. “I treated him so poorly. I blamed him for what happened that night when I didn’t even know the half of what had taken place.”
“You were only young.”
“I wish I had been there then things might have been different. If Father and I weren’t away then we could have fought back; we could have helped. Instead we flew back home to find the castle ransacked, Mother gone, and Hanzo unconscious.” Genji’s head dropped. “I didn’t even go and see him… not once. He was being treated at the local hospital and we just left him there, I think he ended up being brought back to the castle by a member of the staff who’d always had a soft spot for him. She genuinely could have been the only visitor he had.”
“Genji, there’s only so long you can spend looking back before you’re overwhelmed with grief and guilt. What happened back then, and even just before the two of you joined us, that’s history now, and it needs to stay that way before it eats you both whole. You have a second chance at this and you need to fucking take it while you have the chance because with how everything seems to be going back at the base, I don’t know how much longer we’re gonna’ have.”
“Have you asked around?”
“Angela was the only one who seemed against it but she changed her tune in the end which may have been your brother’s doing but I don’t know, she may have just had enough of Reyes’ crap.”
“What about Morrison?”
“I don’t know. I doubt he even really sees what’s becoming of Gabe; the two of them have been close for a long time, even if he turned full psycho on us I still think Jack would see the good in that man.”
“So where would we hold out?”
“The borders are open for us so far, and the UN ain’t mad, if we’re gonna’ go; it needs to be before Reyes does something stupid. I would love to say that we should all stick together but I don’t think it’s gonna’ work out that way, it might be best if we split and go our own separate ways.”
Genji shook his head.
“No, this can’t be the end of Overwatch, there is far too much good left inside it. We can help, we need to help; the world is changing and they need us more than ever.”
“Yes, of course they do, why would you even say that?”
“Because you ain’t seen what your brother and I have done in Blackwatch. That organisation is like a festering disease and there certainly ain’t no good coming from it. Maybe they do need to shut this all down.”
“And then what, just give up?”
“I don’t know.”
Lying on the bed in the med bay, Hanzo was deep in thought, his mind turning to the conversation with Dr. Ziegler.
His brother and the cowboy had left for the night as the doctor walked into the room with her clipboard, there was clearly something she wanted to say.
“I received the results of the scan and I found traces of swelling and a risk of infection in your, um, legs.”
If she knew he was sure it wouldn’t be long before the rest of the base knew as well.
“I have been busy as of late.” He replied calmly.
“I don’t believe you need me to remind you that periods spent without wearing your prosthetics are necessary to prevent such results.”
“I am aware, yes.”
“Mr. Shimada, have you told anyone of your condition?”
“No, I have not and I wish for it to remain that way.”
“It is something that I have lived with for a few years now and I needn’t burden those around me with such knowledge when I am fully capable out in the field.”
“Your legs, they aren’t a weakness, the other agents would understand.”
“They may understand, but they would think me less capable; they would see and treat me different as well. There’s nothing simple about my condition, not in the situation we are in.”
“I will not be seen as a hindrance.”
Lena dropped them a few streets away from the plot.
Genji had immediately moved to put his arm around Hanzo to support his brother, but the elder shrugged it off, holding himself high despite the obvious masked pain.
A slow walk led them to the gates of the cemetery, the Overwatch symbol barely visible from weathering.
"I'll be here when you get back." Jesse spoke up softly.
Genji responded with a nod.
Hanzo pushed open the gate and wordlessly walked through.
The first lines of graves were from the Omnic crisis, collected in plots of nationality and years; the next aid workers, paramedics, and first responders; followed by those who could not be identified, laid to rest together.
The two brothers couldn't bear to look at the atrociously large plot after, the graves of children killed during the Omnic Crisis, their heads lowering as they continued on to the final plot, the one Morrison had described as the place for those whose families were no longer around to bury them.
There were eight rows.
Hanzo knew the best course of action would be to split up and search independently but he did not want his brother to find their Mother's grave alone, and deep down, he did not want to find it himself either. So they began in row one, slowly walking passed each headstone to try and find her name.
In row three they found her.
'Kotomi Shimada ~ 2008-2054'
"Is that-" Genji began.
"The year they took her, yes."
Hanzo looked at the headstone and grave.
"They didn't even cremate her-" He sighed. "Surely they could have spared a few minutes to browse the internet for our burial tradition."
Genji looked upset by the discovery too.
"Overwatch got her out of there and brought her here to rest, if they hadn't, we would never be able to do this." He looked on the brighter side.
Hanzo couldn't disagree.
Genji knelt before the grave before he began speaking in Japanese.
"Hi Mother, it's Genji. I know it's been a few years, but we're here now. Sorry it took us so long. I know you are looking down over us and probably disappointed in how we have behaved when you were gone. I acted out and abandoned Hanzo when he needed me and for that I am sorry. I wish you could have been here to guide me through the trials I have faced in this life but I know that you will always be to guide me in spirit. Hanzo and I have become brothers once again and we grow with each day that passes. I know now what happened that night back home and the horrors you and Hanzo both faced, I just want to say thank you for protecting him and I want you to rest knowing that I will do the same." He paused. "I love you, Mother."
Genji placed an orchid down on the grave before getting to his feet once more and walking off. Hanzo noticed the tears in his eyes as he headed back towards the gates.
Hanzo took a breath before bringing himself to a kneel as his brother had before him, wincing as the motion pulled at the wounds in his stomach.
"I failed you back at Shimada Castle. I couldn't even protect our home from those who sook to wreak havoc upon it. My age was no excuse, if I had not faltered you may still have been alive. I was too slow and you paid for it with your life. I pray that you stay with Genji, he needs guidance and remains loyal. He is your son whereas I..." Hanzo closed his eyes, head lowering as he fought back his emotions. "-I can't even protect the ones I love. I struck down my own brother, you would be ashamed of me if you were here and it would be a rightful judgement. I don't deserve kind words spoken on my behalf I deserve nothing more than spite and anger." He paused. "I'm sorry that you must look down upon me so, I am lost in this world but I hope that in following the light of Genji I may find honour once again, and one day, even redemption, but the path will be long. If I don't have the chance to come back here then let it be known that I am sorry..." Hanzo laid down his own orchid. "I miss you, Mother."