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Oh Simple Thing

Chapter Text

Cover art created by Jacks-Mom on Tumblr.


The air smelled like burnt grease and sour milk. Just rubbing his fingertips together almost made McCree feel like his skin was getting oily. He brushed them off on his serape, his head shaking just once, not even really all that disgusted. Sidestepping a cart, the older man placed both hands in the pockets of his leather jeans, now giving himself a more casual appearance, but it was clear that he didn't belong here. His worn cowboy hat stuck out like a sore thumb on the streets of Hanamura, not to mention his faded, weathered clothing. After all these years, his serape was worn out through and through, and despite the numerous sewing and patching jobs he had performed, there was very little left to doctor at this point. Still, it was precious to him, and he kept it as close as the loose threads would allow. Subconsciously, he glanced down at it as he walked, as if he were reassuring himself that it was still there on his shoulders.

He hitched up his pants a few moments later, thumbs brushing over his signature belt buckle. He'd kept that, too. The corners of Jesse's lips twitched under his mustache as he thought about everything that he was still holding onto from his days in Overwatch and even from before. The hat, the serape, the belt buckle.. his fingers delivered a reassuring touch to his Peacekeeper, secure in its holster at his belt. Maybe there were just things that he couldn't let go of. The cigar that he put into his mouth and lit only confirmed his thoughts; he'd probably die due to smoking, but that wasn't high on his list of priorities.

So what exactly IS on his list of priorities?

At the moment, nothing. Hanamura wasn't exactly a prime vacation spot, but then again, McCree wasn't exactly looking for a vacation. The city had changed since he'd last been here with Overwatch. Most of the old, imperial buildings still stood high and proud, overlooking the city, but as for the heart of the city itself, it seemed to have been overhauled into something more modern, something that wouldn't have suited Jesse's tactical purposes years ago. He took a drag on the cigar, jerking his chin upwards as the smoke filled his lungs, his eyes still not missing any details that went on nearby. Even in his sixties, there wasn't much that escaped his notice. His eyesight wasn't bad yet. Perhaps his hearing was; having explosions ringing in ones ears for years repeating usually doesn't do them any favours. He never paid it any mind. He wouldn't be out visiting his old Overwatch stomping grounds if he felt like he wasn't fit for it, anyway. Just making his way through China had been bad enough; so, so much had changed there, and it was almost damn terrifying. At least Hanamura preserved the fragile imperial appearance of the city as best it could while renovating the rest. McCree could count on one hand the number of the cherry blossom trees he'd seen since being here, and that was a downright shame. Every place has to keep up with the times, he figured.

Modern times also meant modern places to go, and the bar down the street seemed as good of a place as any to go to. It was a decent bar, and was favoured by the slinger since no one told him to put out the cigar when he sat down. The bartender eventually noticed his new patron sitting at the counter and walked over to McCree, placing one arm on the counter and leaning over. "What'll you have there, cowboy?"

"Hadn't really thought that far into it yet," Jesse replied, scratching his bearded chin, "You got whiskey in this joint?"

Standing back up, the bartender looked at McCree with a curious eye, and then shrugged. "You'd be the first to open the one bottle we got." Turning around, he reached up on the shelf, pulling out a rather dusty-looking, rectangular bottle, crafted from a dark green glass. He unwound the cord from around the top, popping the metal-capped cork and reaching for a glass.

"Now hold up there, partner," Jesse interjected, raising a hand in protest, "That there's tequila. Corzo. Shit's ancient."

Pausing, the bartender stared at the bottle, as if confused. "My boss told me to serve it to anyone who wanted whiskey, so I thought-"

"That's because they aged it in barrels," McCree sighed, exasperated. "I don't really care, anyhow. I'll take it. Just keep in mind for next time that it ain't whiskey."

He feared that he might have scared the bartender, judging by how he left the bottle at McCree's elbow and vanished into the back room. Didn't bother him none. The anejo warmed his throat and bloomed pleasantly in his stomach. It wasn't whiskey, but it was mighty fine tequila, and the oaky flavour suited him as well as anything else could have. McCree poured himself another shot, this time choosing to sip at it, to savour it. There wasn't really any hurry, anyway; it's not like he had places to be. Jesse's mechanical fingers clinked against the glass as he picked it up, bringing it to his lips and back down again, now glancing around the bar to survey the other patrons. Off to his right, there was a man in a rather ill-fitting suit, with several shot glasses in front of him, and looking particularly cheery with himself. Even if his suit looked bad, at least he was having a good time. There were two girls not too far away from the terrible-suit man, and both of them seemed to enjoy looking in McCree's direction and giggling between themselves. He paid them no mind; they were darn cute, but hell, he was too old to be chasing girls anymore. Glancing to his left, he noticed a rather.. argumentative couple bickering between themselves; both drinks in front of them remained untouched. Perhaps their relationship was so bad they couldn't even turn to alcohol to mellow their problems.

All around the establishment were the traditional low tables surrounded by neat cushions, and judging by the man off to his right with a bowl of rice and a bottle of rice wine, it was more than safe to assume that this bar also served food as well. Jesse's stomach rumbled lightly, perhaps indignant that he was feeling it liquor instead of food. He didn't particularly care. The third shot was poured, and McCree was feeling pleasantly warm. He wasn't anywhere near being buzzed, but the aged tequila was definitely doing its job. As he tugged at his serape to move it back more over his shoulders, a lone figure in the corner of the room caught his eye, and nearly made him catch his breath. The dragon tattoo gave it away instantly, but combined with the familiar loose clothing, tied-back hair, and the faint glimpse of metallic legs under the table, it only confirmed the man's identity.

Chuckling under his breath, McCree picked up the tequila bottle and his half-filled glass, hopping off the barstool and meandering over to the corner table. Despite his jangling boots and overall heavy footsteps, he was surprised that he wasn't even noticed by the other. "Hanzo Shimada." McCree said pleasantly, sitting hard on a cushion opposite his old partner.

He was surprised by how Hanzo jerked to a sitting position, as if startled. "Who are you? How do you know my.." The warrior's voice trailed off after a moment, and he leaned forward to pour himself another cup of sake. "McCree," he said a moment later, lifting the ceramic cup to his lips, "How did you find me?"

Raising an eyebrow, Jesse shook his head once or twice, tapping the rim of the shot glass in a slightly awkward manner. "I ain't lookin' for anyone, least of all you," he muttered, a bit chuffed that he hadn't been greeted as warmly, "I was just revisiting a few of our old stomping grounds, you know?"

"Hah," the assassin burst out, not sounding at all amused, "There's little left here to remember, as I'm sure you've seen." Hanzo downed the cup and poured himself another. The way he tilted the carafe silently told McCree that Hanzo had probably been here for awhile, since over half the sake seemed to be already gone.

"Perhaps." Jesse replied gently, now rubbing his gloved thumb in a circle across the rim, listening to the faint squeak of the glass under the leather. "I didn't know you stayed here."

It was a bit alarming how quickly Hanzo had downed the sake.. and was now pouring himself yet another cup. "This is my home," Hanzo said after a moment, staring at the carafe, "I should have expected myself to come crawling back here sooner or later."

"Come on, partner," McCree smiled, tapping his fingertips together, "You're making it out to be a bad thing."

"You know nothing of my life."

What had intended to be pleasant conversation was now sour and stagnant, only tattooed with the clinking of ceramic against wood as Hanzo continued to drink. McCree felt as if he were responsible somehow, but the fact that Hanzo had been drinking before he'd arrived on the scene begged to differ. Hanzo wasn't himself, and it was rather concerning. But what did Jesse care? They weren't even friends, and they never had been. If anything, McCree and Hanzo had never really spoken all that much, before now. They were very different people, from different backgrounds and different lifestyles. There was little to no common ground between them, except for the fact that they both seemed to enjoy alcohol. Perhaps Hanzo enjoyed it a bit too much.

The silent tension hung heavily in the air as Hanzo finished his sake, and appeared to want more but was hesitant in asking the bartender. Both men stared at each other, eyes unblinking, until Hanzo lowered his gaze to the table, tapping his fingertips on the surface. "So.. just here to visit?"

McCree felt like a sack of stones had been lifted from his shoulders and he let out the breath that he didn't even realise that he'd been holding. "Yeah, more or less. Wasn't really here for any real reason other than nostalgia." Pouring himself another shot, Jesse hesitantly pushed the Corzo to the center of the table, where Hanzo did not hesitate to follow suit. "I was in China just a few days ago to see the tower. Actually ran into Mei-Ling there."

"Did you now?" Hanzo queried. He made a face at the taste of the tequila, but he continued to sip it down regardless. "How is she?"

Shrugging, Jesse scooted over to the next set of cushions so he could lean back against the wall. "She seems well enough. Didn't mention Overwatch much. Maybe she's moving on to better things."

Hanzo didn't reply, more focused on copying McCree's earlier actions by rubbing his thumb over the rim of his cup. Just looking at the man's glazed eyes and listening to his lightly-slurred words only made Jesse feel a bit regretful having given him more alcohol. Probably shouldn't have done that. "What about you?" He asked Hanzo, trying to keep the conversation going, if not just for his own personal relief.

"Nothing," Hanzo replied almost immediately, glancing at the bottle of tequila and then back down at the table. His brown eyes snapped up at Jesse, only to have a bit of trouble focusing on the outlaw's face before he opened his mouth to speak again. "I suppose you're not up to anything either, considering that you're just wandering around like a nomad."

"Guilty as charged," McCree grinned, "It's nice to get out and see all of the old shit while I'm still young enough to do it."

That actually brought a rough laugh from Hanzo, who shook his head a bit playfully. "You don't look as young as you used to."

"Hey now, partner," Jesse chuckled, holding up both hands in mock protest, "The aging process isn't affecting my ears yet. Could be affecting your eyesight. I still look damn good."

He was getting wrinkles, especially in the corners of his eyes and around his lips. Plus, his hair and beard were now boasting grey hair amidst the chocolate brown strands, and he couldn't be assed to hide them with dyes. Jesse McCree was going to become an old geezer one of these days, and he could only hope that he wouldn't turn into a crotchety old man like Morrison was. Glancing over at Hanzo, he marveled at the fact that the other didn't seem to have aged much at all. Really, the only thing he could notice was the increase of grey hair, but Hanzo hardly had any wrinkles at all. There was no way this guy was nearly seventy. Maybe he was immortal.

Unfortunately, he didn't have much time to look at Hanzo's features, since the other was focused on getting out from the corner and unsteadily onto his feet. "You gonna make it there, partner?" McCree asked, standing to his feet as well, "Yer a little wobbly on those metal toes of yours."

Huffing indignantly, Hanzo tossed a few coins on the table next to the empty cup, skirting his way out of the bar with McCree following him. "I'm going home, and you're not to follow me."

"Hey there now, who said I was following you?"

"Because you are."

McCree frowned, tucking the half-empty bottle under his arm. "My hotel's just down the street; I was going to head there."

"See that you do."

Hanzo began walking down the opposite way, dipping in and out of a relatively straight line, but he seemed to have good footing, as far as anything else was concerned. McCree didn't even wave goodbye, only turning away to walk back to his hotel. Perhaps that was the fate that all Overwatch members shared; no one really wanted to be in close proximity to anyone that they'd once nearly died beside a thousand times and over again.

Unlocking the door to his room, Jesse was greeted by the smell of stale cigarettes and air freshener, and it only made him want another cigar but it was too late for that. He set his hat on the faux wood table, and carefully folded his serape and set it right there next to it. The tequila bottle was left on the windowsill, and Jesse didn't even bother taking off his clothes as he flopped backwards onto the bed. Lazily kicking his boots onto the floor, McCree tiredly grabbed one of the pillows and smushed it over his face, groaning aloud into it before letting himself pass out. It had been a long day.