For Hanzo, it began when his arm twitched.
Later, much later, he would liken the sensation to a hypnagogic jerk. In that future time he will have to explain to the person next to him that a hypnagogic jerk was when your body twitches right as you’re falling asleep and wakes you back up. Oh, the other person will say, that is the worst. They always get this weird falling-feeling in the pit of their stomach when that happens. Is that normal? But before Hanzo could reply a third party will shoot at them.
But that was later. A much more exciting later.
Hanzo’s beginning was more of a quiet moment, one spent reading in the common room with a cup of tea. He normally avoided the area, but since all of the louder members of Overwatch were off on a mission together Hanzo decided it was a good time to work on that book Mei had lent him. He had settled in to the often-fought over loveseat and was just about to get to what Mei had sworn was ‘the good part’ when his arm twitched hard enough to smack right into the armrest.
“Hanzo? You okay, love?” Said Lena, who was kneeling next to the coffee table.
“Your arm alright, mate?” Said Junkrat, who was sitting across from Lena.
(It had been a shock to Hanzo to discover that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Junkrat and Lena both fell into the ‘quiet’ category of Overwatch’. At least they both knew when one should stop talking, unlike someone else Hanzo could name.)
“It’s nothing.” Hanzo said as he rubbed his left arm. The odd sensation had already faded, and something far more pressing took his attention. He finally noticed the tower of still-wrapped candy bars between Junkrat and Tracer on the coffee table. They must have emptied out the much-abused candy machine, or had risked life and limb by delving into Winston’s hidden candy stash that everyone knew about. Hanzo asked the obvious question by taking off his reading glasses and using them to silently point at the tower.
“We’re playing Candy Bar Jenga!” Lena said, as if that explained everything.
“You keep whatever you can pull out.” Junkrat gave Hanzo a jagged smile. “You want in?”
Hanzo was able to pull out two candy bars before Lena toppled the tower. Which was fine, he only required two. By then the muscle spasm had been forgotten, tucked away in an odd corner of his mind until it would be dragged out during the far more exciting future. Before the tower of candy could be rebuilt a melodious tone went off above them.
“Agent Hanzo Shimada, your presence is required in the meeting room.”
“Ooo, someone’s in trouble.” Junkrat sang as he quickly pocketed his winnings, and a few extra bars to go along with it. “Finally snap and string up that cowboy of yours?”
“Jamie!” Lena said, and punctuated it with a jab under the coffee table.
“Perhaps they wish for my help in uncovering your treasure, Junkrat.” Hanzo replied. It was worth it for the look of pure panic that spread across Junkrat’s face.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about!” Junkrat said, “Also how the hell do you know about-”
“Agent Hanzo Shimada, your presence is required in the meeting room, immediately.”
“Immediately? That can’t be good.” Lena muttered.
“Athena, inform them I’ll be there at once.” Hanzo stood to leave, only to pause at the door. “Also Lena, Junkrat pocketed three Lion Bars.”
“You cheeky bastard! Those are my fav! Give them back!” Lena’s cry echoed into the hallway as Hanzo slipped out of the room. Underhanded, but Junkrat had struck first.
Something was wrong. Hanzo felt it as soon as he walked into the meeting room. No one was talking. No one was really looking at each other, either. He took the scene all in at once: Lucio, headphones off, frowning. Hana, spinning her cell in her hands, not playing on it. Genji, leaning against the back wall, mask still on. Morrison, standing at the head of the table, mask off. Finally Mei, her coat still on and looking like if she was going to cry at any second. Everyone from the mission that morning, minus one.
“Where is Jesse?” Hanzo snapped. That got a look from Hana, but he ignored it.
“McCree is with Angela.” Jack started. “He’s being observed-”
“Observed? What happened? Is he injured? What-”
“Calm down, Hanzo!” Said Lucio as he lifted a hand up. “Jesse’s okay!”
Hanzo hadn’t realized there was a knot in his stomach until Lucio’s words made it untwist. “If that’s so then why is he with Angela?”
Lucio lowered his hand. “He’s just, um…”
“There was an incident.” Mei said, quietly. “A strange one.”
“That’s one way of putting it.” Hana said.
Jack said. “And we need your opinion on what happened.”
Hanzo glanced over at Genji, who replied with an unhelpful shrug. “Of course,” Hanzo said, “I will assist anyway I can. What happened?”
Jack nodded towards Hana. “D.Va, play your recording.”
Hana plastered a sickeningly sweet smile on her face. “But No-Longer-Commander-Morrison! I was strictly forbidden to record during battles anymore, and there is no way I would ever, ever-”
“Athena, play today’s MEKA recording starting from five minutes before the incident.”
“Traitor.” Hana muttered as she glared at the screen on the far wall.
Athena’s logo vanished and was replaced by what Hanzo assumed was Hana’s view from her MEKA: The glass shield covered in a head’s up displaying showing more information than he could follow. He could just make out the reflecting of Hana’s face among the maps and numbers going by. She was frowning, but in an odd distant way. Not at the run down cityscape in front of her. Past Hana began to speak.
“I just don’t know what it means!” Hana sighed, “It’s been driving me crazy, you know?”
Hana had sat her MEKA down on the edge of the roof, giving her a good view of the alley below. Not that she was paying attention to it. She totally would be if the stupid gang they were trying to hunt down actually showed up. But no, they were probably off robbing banks or something far more interesting than looking at a pile of soggy cardboard boxes.
“Now what did the message say, exactly?” Came Genji’s voice over the communication line.
With a click of a button said message popped up on the screen. The words were in spanish but Hana translated them effortlessly. “It says ‘gg ez lol. U r going to RetCon in October right?? I will be wearing a purple hoodie with my gamertag icon on it. See you there??? heart emoji heart emoji heart emoji’. Heart emojis! What does that mean?”
“Whoa whoa, gg ez lol?” Lucio’s said over the line. “Is this the person that’s been beating all your high scores? Skull icon lady?”
“First off, she had been beating me, but I’m in the lead again!” Hana frowned. “But yeah, it’s her. Normally she’s not so, so, friendly sounding? Totally never used emojis before.”
“That convention always has a lot of old school arcade games set up.” Said Genji. “Perhaps she’s planning on challenging you?”
“Or she’s trying to ask you out!” Mei’s voice cut in and was followed by a flurry of her giggles.
“Yeah I guess it could-” Hana paused. “Wait, what ?”
“That does sound like nerd flirting to me.” Jesse said as he joined in. “Beating you in a bunch of video games and following it up with hearts? Seems like something a shut-in would do.”
“Have you seen any pictures of her?” Genji asked.
“No! No. All I know is that they identify as female, speak Spanish, and their icon is a skull but it’s like a cute skull? The nose is an upside down heart? Pretty cute for a skull I guess.” Hana paused, only to be greeted with silence. A silence that did not last.
“Hana has a cru-ush.” Mei sang.
“Do not.” Hana muttered, trying to ignore the fact that her face was heating up. “I don’t even know what they look like. Or how old they are. Or anything about them besides the fact they also got that ‘Feed Your Waifu a Slice of Cake’ achievement that only like point-zero-one-percent of all Steam users have!”
“Lord child, you have it bad.” Jesse said.
“If you are all done gossiping about D.Va’s love life,” Jack said, stressing each word. “We need to find this gang before they move again. McCree, check the warehouse near you. D.Va, cover him. Lucio and Mei you’re with me. Genji, keep to the rooftops.”
There was a flurry of ‘Yes sir’ and ‘Yeah Dad’ over the communication line as Hana stood her MEKA back up. She pressed a button and the words ‘Private Communication Line Open’ flashed on her screen.
“Thanks Gramps.” Hana said quietly into her mic, which got a hearty chuckle in return.
“No problem.” Replied Jack, “But if you ever bring anyone home I get to meet them first.”
Hana briefly thought about making Jack promise that he wouldn’t bring his plasma rifle to said meeting (later, much later, she would regret not doing so), but shouting in the distance cut the thought off. Shouting with gunfire, which was then topped off by Jesse running through the alley right under Hana, plowing straight through the soggy cardboard boxes and out of her sight. There was a small beat before a fleet of motorcycles followed after him, screaming and guns a blazing.
“Found the gang need backup HANA NEED BACKUP!” Jesse screamed over the communication line.
“ON IT!” Hana let out a war cry as she jumped off the ledge of the building, fell three stories, and-
The images on the screen jumbled, images of the fight obscured by static and screams.
“So.” Hanzo said under his breath. “A cute skull?”
“Don’t you start.” Hana hissed right as the video became clear once again.
“-JESSE! Jesse! Are you there?!” Hana screamed as the remains of a motorcycle crunched under the MEKA’s feet. “Repeat, are you there?! Damn it! LUCIO!”
“Still getting a reading on his biometrics, but he’s not looking so great!” Lucio said over the communicator.
“D.Va! Get him out of there!” Said Jack, which got a growl from Hana.
“What the hell do you think I’m doing?!” Hana shouted over the sound of her boost engines. She kicked off the wall, almost flying around the corner. “I didn’t realize you were going senile YOU FREAKING OLD ASS-”
That was the only way Hana could describe it. She turned the corner, and everything was just blue. Shining blue light that flooded every part of her being. Hana only had a fraction of a second to comprehend the sudden lack of, well, everything before the crash hit her. An explosion of noise that she felt as much as she heard, causing the MEKA to stop in its tracks.
The Blue moved . It lifted off the ground to reveal what was left of the motorcycle gang. Which wasn’t much outside of mangled metal and stains on the asphalt. On the other side of the massacre was Jesse, leaning back against the alley’s dead end. He was staring up at the sky above him, his eyes wide with an emotion Hana couldn’t place. So she looked up, too.
One of Hanzo’s dragons was in the air, lazily doing loops as if it didn’t have a care in the world.
“Um.” Hana cleared her throat. “Is everyone else seeing this? Genji? Is this one of your things or-”
“I did it.” Jesse’s voice weakly came over the communicator. “I, I summoned it. My arm got all crackly like Hanzo’s does and everything. I have no idea how I did that and oh God it’s looking at me. The dragon is looking at me. Genji what the fuck am I supposed to do now? Genji?”
Jesse’s question was answered by the sound of Genji laughing. A gasping, breathy laugh that was punctuated by the same words over and over again.
“I knew it! I knew it I knew it I knew it I knew it-”
“-And Genji wouldn’t tell us what he ‘knew’.” Jack said as the video shut off. “Or how McCree summoned the dragons in the first place.”
“That,” Genji said from his dark corner, “Is for my brother to explain.”
Hanzo shot Genji a look, but all he was greeted with was his brother’s blank mask. He took a deep, calming breath and did his best to ignore the eyes of everyone else on him. “The Shimada Dragons have been protecting our family for generations. McCree is a close friend to Genji and I, thus the Dragons must consider him family and therefore close enough to protect. I'm sure my brother finds it hilarious to be related to a cowboy. That's all.”
That seemed to break the odd tension in the room. Everyone relaxed. Well, Jack didn’t. But Hanzo was almost certain the man couldn’t relax. Hanzo cleared his throat. “If there’s nothing else you need from me-”
“You’re in love with Jesse.” Genji said, in Japanese. A language clearly no one else in the room understood, since all it got was a brief glance from the others and nothing more.
“That will be all, Hanzo.” Jack replied.
“You’re in love with Jesse! Jesse!” Genji’s shoulders were shaking now, obviously from trying to hold a laugh in. “My best friend! I can’t believe it! Does he know? He totally doesn’t know. There’s no way he knows! You love Jesse!”
“I will go check up on McCree. Summoning the Dragons takes a lot of energy, moreso if this is the first time it’s happened.” Hanzo said to the room in general, and not his brother. He gave a short bow to Jack before he left, doing his best to ignore Genji’s words.
“My brother-in-law is going to be a cowboy! This is amazing!”