I fell in love at first sight with Amélie Lacroix. People always debate about love at first sight, don’t they? They either say it’s totally impossible, or that it’s something that you feel so deep in your heart that you just…know. I was definitely the latter half, with her. Cupid’s bow really made a beeline for me.
I knew she was the one from the moment we first met. The feeling of loving bubbled away in my heart, carrying my head into the clouds, and as time went on, all of my thoughts away. It was as though she had wrapped them in a precious, gossamer blanket of her perfume, of all her wordless gazes between our kisses, and every touch between the sheets. My life was in multicolour whenever I thought of her.
It wasn’t like me to be distracted by anything other than the mission. I’ve always been energetic and up for a joke, but everyone knew I had changed when I saw Amélie. I knew she was the love of my life, I knew instantly, and when I was first indicted into Overwatch, I also knew that she was married to some bloke who was upstanding in the organization. That was a little scary.
I pretended to myself back then little things, like that I didn’t know his name, but when your brainwashed lover’s husband dies at their hands, you tend to let go of the petty things in life.
When Gérard was alive, I wasn’t fond of him. I’d seen them together in the past, with her slightly unimpressed, glazed over look as he spoke to her or someone else, and I loved catching her eye in those moments. The moments both of us subconsciously knew we shouldn’t be involved in, but we still were. Her boredom in a loveless marriage, my desire, and the mutual excitement of seeing someone new and prolific. Every time I saw her, I felt a rush of confidence surge through me.
I could make her mine, I could be hers, I could do it. Blimey, I could kiss her!
Well, I was never likely going to just let that slip past me. The only bird who ever made me fall so madly in love with not even a reciprocated glance? Damn right I loved a challenge.
I made sure to flash a grin with a wink, and I’d always see her grin back at me, probably for the first time that day. I always felt so alive in those moments, so scandalised, so...amused. Flirting with a married woman? I never thought myself to be such a girl. But I was, and I was young, excited, and head over heels in love. God, Amélie was damn beautiful. Beautiful beyond description. She was so handsome, and had the most poignant air of confidence about her that I’ve ever seen.
So reserved, mysterious. I wanted to get to know a girl like her.
The papers covered Overwatch from the moment it was formed, and the stories were always the next day’s fish and chip paper. Walking to work from my dorm every day was always sullied by the knowledge something new and rude would be printed. Walking along the green grasses of the courtyard, listening to the soothing, blue sounds of the fountains splashing, feeling the golden rays of the sun down on my face…it was always all a little muted when the media went for us.
Now, with my natural happy disposition, even I felt down about it. And I sure as hell knew that Gérard and Winston were consistently annoyed with how Overwatch was painted to the public.
We were so-called “troublemakers”, terrible beings for taking in Omnics like Zenyatta, no good, not necessary. I knew in turn that this got to Amélie, not just because she was a key member, but also because she was the one who had to listen to Gérard talking incessantly about the portrayals that she already understood everything about. It annoyed me every time I walked by the meeting room, hearing them in there almost each day, between my errands of delivering mission reports and statistic papers.
I walked by that bloody meeting room every day, my boots clicking behind me quickly as I scurried past plastic green plants put into corners and quick blasts of air from ceiling fans against me.
And one day, it happened.
It was like time stopped. I stopped in my tracks, and it was as though my shoes’ scuffle against the white marble floor echoed, reverberated off of the walls with clear, thick vibrations of sound right back into my ear sharply. She was sat outside the meeting room on a soft, navy blue bench, looking morose - irritated almost, in a mauve suit, hair tied back, and a sullen expression on her face. One of her legs was crossed over the other, and I watched her sigh.
Voices travelled from the lobby just in front of the hall back to the walls of this place. The glint off of the statue of our emblem, the Overwatch’s “O” carved along the inside, shone into my eyes from the sunlight gleaming outside. The voices were still travelling in, but I could barely make out a murmur.
My eyes were fixated on her, and eventually, she noticed me standing there, jaw slightly open, and she blinked twice, before leaning back against her chair in that manner that you do when you meet someone you’re familiar with.
I remember that I rubbed the back of my neck with a smile, and I heard her laugh for the first time. Her eyes were like a cat’s; they were so sharp and fixated on you instantly. I felt as though I truly had been caught in her web, even more than I already bloody was. But who was complaining?
“So,” she began, with a grin so bright it was as though her morose expression had never been present in the first place. “We finally meet face to face, stranger. I have heard a lot about you.”
I quickly fought off the blush that rose to my cheeks, and placed the papers I was carrying that day with me underneath my arm. There was a spare seat next to her, as the voices inside the meeting room got a little louder. She winced with a feeling of “I’m too familiar with this”, and I felt the anger bubble inside me. I sat down, swinging my jacket over my shoulders and putting the papers at my feet. Winston wouldn’t mind waiting a little while.
“Alright, love?” was the first thing I ever said to her in person. It had taken me weeks to muster the courage to say a word to someone so domineering, so intense in presence, and yet, it came out so casually. “I’m happy to finally be talkin’ to ya after all these glimpses down corridors.”
“The pleasure is shared, I’m sure.” she replied with a smirk, and I felt like I was going to fall off my chair. “Doing more errands for Winston?”
I smiled, and I felt that bubble of cheeky confidence again rise in my stomach.
“I am. But maybe I was just trying to bump into you?”
She wasn’t unprepared for my flirting, if not a little surprised. She smirked right back at me, and fluttered her eyelashes a little.
“I wouldn’t complain if you were.” she remarked, and I felt my head spin a little.
And the rest, after that, was history.
We saw each other every day, after that. Dates at coffee shops and pubs and clubs. After a few drinks one night and wrapping her up in my jacket on a cold walk home, it didn’t take long before we were sleeping together. Feeling her lips against mine after so much desire was the greatest rush.
I loved feeling her pressed up against me, so passionate, so…intense. She had the most gorgeous hair to tangle my hands up in, so dark and beautiful. Raven black down to her shoulders. Her lips were always so soft, so kissable, so apple red against my own. Her eyes were so ocean deep, so all-encompassing that when she looked at me, I couldn’t just zip my way on out of her gaze. And god, I never wanted to. Amélie Lacroix had completely consumed me by just existing.
I don’t know how many times we were together. Who was counting, when we fast became the worst kept secret in Overwatch? Nobody wanted to tell Gerard, and everybody knew. Everybody could recognize me in a flash - my brown jacket, my hair sticking up as usual, and now, a familiar woman on my arm in the shadows, or better yet, wrapped up in my arms in a bed.
I couldn’t get enough of her. I felt as though she was utterly intoxicating, every kiss on my neck, every moan against my ear was even more electric than the last. I loved touching her, hearing her breath get heavy against me, and I loved knowing the kind of impact we shared on each other. I just adored her. God, I love her still. I always will.
Before she was taken from me, we had one of my favourite memories in the world. The memory that shapes my life, my motivation, everything that makes me who I am now.
I remember everything so clearly. So…vividly.
I remember that some of her hair draped over my arm whilst she lay against my chest, bare skin pressed against skin; her legs and mine tangled up with one another. She was playing with my necklace, the dogtags with my name stamped into the steel clinking against the chain, and we lay together, in perfect stillness. I’ve never felt so contented. I never knew you could.
“Lena,” she spoke softly into the moment, and I kissed her head in acknowledgement. “Can I talk to you about something personal, cherie?”
“Of course, love. What is it?”
Her hand tightened around my waist, and her face nuzzled into my neck. I felt her grinning with her cheek pushing against my jawline, and her lips brushed my neck. I could feel her acting…coy, almost. I was a little taken aback, but I felt a buzzing excitement rushing through my veins.
“I want...to leave Gérard, to be with you, properly. I am so tired of all this sneaking around, amour. I want to be with you.”
I felt tears rush to me in a happy disbelief, but I held it together. I felt my insides begging her to continue, every second seeming like an hour between her pauses. I could still feel her smiling.
I pulled her closer to me.
“Go on,” I mumbled softly, and I felt her exhale with relief on my neck.
“When I leave him…” she continued, and paused for a moment. I couldn’t take it, but I forced myself to.
Please, I thought to myself, please keep saying what I’ve wanted you to say since the moment I saw you. I was in bloody ecstasy.
“…I want to leave here, forever, with you. I want to start new somewhere, Lena."
My body vibrated waiting for the phrase I wanted to say so badly that I ached.
"I love you.” she finally finished, a tremble in her voice.
It was at that moment that amidst such a small sentence with such heavy words, such beautiful, life changing words, I realized that during the numb excitement, her nails were unintentionally digging into my hip. She was terrified I’d say no. She really was terrified I would seriously say no.
“Amélie…” I began, and I couldn’t stop the tears from overwhelming my eyes. They fell down my cheeks, but the smile on my face made it obvious how I felt. Her eyes went from concern to panic to sheer, pure relief, and her hands cupped my face. I didn’t need to say anything in that moment. I pulled her close and god, I kissed her all day long after that. All that came from my voicebox, until I managed the phrase I'd been so longing to say came from my lips, between our kisses was the word yes, over and over again.
Yes, yes, yes. Be mine, Amélie. We’ll leave this place, start somewhere else. Let’s forget Overwatch and everything. Let’s just leave whilst we still can. Let’s do it, Amélie. Me and you, together.
"I love you too, love. I really love you too."
The night I got the call that they took her was the worst night of my life.
…Which was later seconded, only by the first time I saw her after the transformation.
“Tracer,” I remember Winston saying to me on the other end of the phone, voice cracked, clearly emotional. I braced myself for the worst, feeling the heat of my cheek pressed against the screen with anxiety, waiting to hear news that Amélie had died, been killed in action, anything but what he said. “They’ve got her. They’ve – Talon…have taken Amélie, and we can’t find her. She’s…she’s just…completely vanished. Gone off the radar.”
Heartbreak doesn’t quite begin to express what I felt at that moment.
I remember going silent for a few minutes, prompting Winston to continually ask if I was still there, could I hear him, did I want any comfort. I could hardly process anything. I pressed the end call button, and as soon as I did, I sunk down against a wall in my dorm room, hands tangled in my hair, my hands gripping at my scalp, praying, clinging to the hope that this couldn’t be real, and all I did was stare vacantly at my walls.
Tears came and went all night long. I could barely even bring myself to scream.
I tried so hard to find her. I travelled to so many countries in the space of four days, anywhere, everywhere I could get leads on Talon. I went to the Temple of Anubis and questioned all the shadiest of the market dealers. I went to the Watchpoint, the last sighting of Talon we had seen, and I had to strongarm a few guards for their information. I eventually ended up at the bloody Numbani airport, not a lead to my name.
After a few days passed, Gérard demanded to come with me, for the “sake of his wife”, he said. He told me on the plane all about how he’d gotten no sleep, how he’d not been able to stop thinking about all the things he regretted not saying, not doing.
I rolled my eyes privately every time he spoke about her, and the pettier parts of me wanted to rub it in his face that I had been with Amélie, replying to his statements of “she’d been in such a good mood lately, too” with “that’s because of me, mate”.
He commented on how haggard and exhausted I looked, too, and I remembered I hadn’t really thought to look on my appearance in quite a few days. I’d showered in the rooms I’d booked to stay in, but nothing beyond that. I had barely slept, barely ate. My stomach was too churned up with anxiety to even think about anything but getting her back.
As long as we got her back, safe and sound. Gérard could come along. I didn’t care. I just wanted her back to me.
As it goes, we had no luck individually, but the Overwatch group did.
They found her.
But not as she was.
As soon as I got the news that they’d found Amélie, I sprinted. I ran, and ran, and ran, as fast as I possibly could, as fast as my legs would carry me, all the way to the hospital branch of the building. I ran so fast, so hard my lungs burned and my thighs ached with the pain of sudden exercise, before Mercy and I caught each other’s eyes.
“Mercy…” I mumbled instinctively, and I saw her eyes catch sight of me too. Her face looked so in pain, so upset about what she had just witnessed that I felt as though my stomach was in knots. I didn’t want to know the news, but how could I not? She was back, safe and sound, right?
“…You don’t want to see her right now,” were the first words Mercy said to me as she reached me. The twilight of the dusk was shining through gently blowing trees, the rustle of the leaves echoing in my head. “You really, really do not want to see her, Lena. Trust me.”
“But I have to,” I replied after a moment of silence between us, with tears in my eyes. “Is she okay? Is she dead? Alive?”
Mercy’s look of pain turned to great upset at my sorrow, and she pulled me into her arms. She held me tight, like a mother comforting a child, and that’s when my heart realized just how terrible of a condition she must be in. I could hardly breathe from the sobs. My ribcage rattled with them as Mercy held me, and both of us fell to our knees on the paved floor outside the hospital.
“She’s still somewhere in there, Lena,” Mercy continued, and I could hear that my tears had set her emotions off too. “She’s somewhere in there. Get her. Bring her back. You’re the only one who can.”
“She’s somewhere in there?” I replied, confused. I leant back in Mercy’s arms, and wiped away her tears as she held me still. “Mercy, what do you mean? What’s going on?”
“She…” Mercy began, before wiping her own eyes. “They...did something to her. We haven’t been able to work out what. But she won’t be the same when she wakes up.”
I tried to go into the hospital room. I really did. But Winston carried me out over his shoulders, and refused to let me in. Reinhardt said he didn’t know what was going on, but he told me to stay away if everybody else told me to. He knew it would break my heart to see her like that, and I knew it just as much, too.
We didn’t see each other for another week. I kept telling myself to let her recover, go and see her when she’s feeling better, when she’s awake. I asked Gerard every day if she’d woken up yet, how she was doing…he always told me the truth, I felt. I believed him at least with that.
And then I got the news that Gerard had died.
The memories of our softer times came flooding back from the instant I saw her transformed self, the touch of her lips, the embrace of her body…all of it. I could hardly stand to think about it. I wanted so badly to go back in time and rescue her after Winston fixed me up, but I was merely a spectre.
Even if I did, I could do nothing but watch. That would be a fate worse than death, to me.
Why am I recalling all this? That’s a good question.
Today was the first day I thought I might die for real, and at her hands, no less.
Amél - Widowmaker…broke my chronal accelerator today. On top of that, she assassinated an Omnic I truly respected, and one I wished I could have met. But above all else, above our fighting and getting to call her love again and smile at her again, she called me Cherie again, and I felt the weight of that nickname hit me harder than any bullet she could plant in me.
She didn’t kill me, though…which made me wonder if she remembered me.
I was rescued quickly off of that deserted rooftop by my comrades, and my chronal accelerator was a quick fix. My emotions? Not so much.
“She was gentle with you, you know. She didn’t even hurt you enough to leave a physical mark besides this needing repairing.” Winston stated softly, as I lay on his makeshift operating table, surrounded by the dull orange glow of his holograms, the clinking of wrenches and god knows what else making my bloody head ache even more than it already was.
Hearing him say that almost made me tear up again, and I took in a deep breath before speaking.
“Winston,” I began, trembling in my throat. I saw his expression soften. “Do you think that she remembers me?”
He paused, and placed a tool down gently onto the table before he looked at me.
“Well...do you?” he asked gruffly back, and I looked up at the ceiling in contemplation.
“I don’t know. But I think if she didn’t have me somewhere in her mind, she’d of killed me on the spot. She’s got me completely outmatched, love. I could never match up to her now.”
Winston sighed, and he flipped the lens of my accelerator down over the light inside.
“...I do think she remembers you. I've thought that for a while, actually.”
I sat up slowly, clutching my bruised ribs and sliding my legs off of the edge of the desk.
“Because you can’t forget someone you love as much as she loved you.”
With that...that was the moment I got my resolve even stronger than ever. It brought back my dare to hope she's somewhere still in there. She's waiting for me to bring her back. She's there.
I’m going to bring you back, Amélie. Even if it kills me. You’re going to be back to being the beautiful, amazing woman you were before all of this.
I’m going to do whatever it takes for you, love.
I’ll see you very soon.