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Learning To Love Again

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‘I fought for them.’

Flashes of battles across many different scenes, two figures-one blue, one green-present in every one.

‘I killed for them.’

Flashes of different species, slaughtered at the hands of the two warriors combined might.

‘I shattered him for them.’

A fight. The green gem, broken, abandoned, thought dead. The blue gem, dull, made into a weapon, and-eventually-cracked.

‘All of it, for the Diamonds, for my Diamond.’

The weapon, abandoned, the gem, cracked.

‘How foolish of me…to believe their lies for so long…’

A battlefield, long abandoned, long forgotten.

‘Heh…but I guess it does not matter anymore…’

Weapons lie strewn across it, abandoned. A bow lies in the dirt, a cracked, tear-drop shaped gem attached to it, with cracks marring its once bright, shiny surface.

‘I am trapped…I cannot manifest my physical form…’

The gem glows briefly, before going dark, the gem’s surface growing cloudier.

‘It is dark…so dark…am I…am I dying…?’

A shuttle lands near the outskirts of the battlefield. A few figures of varying shapes and sizes emerge, after a brief discussion they split up and start to wander the field of weapons. One figure slowly nears the bow, and, unbeknownst to them, the dying gem.

“Now what do we have here?” a masculine voice with a distinctly southern accent cuts through the gems thoughts.

‘…what…who…?’

The owner of the voice stoops down to pick up the bow, gently brushing off the dirt and dust. “Let’s see here…hold on…a gem?”

‘No…nononono…a Gemwatch soldier…he will recognize me…but…maybe, he will detach me from this weapon so I can take my physical form…but, what then? I am damaged…I will revert…but, I shall go down fighting.’

“Yer pretty battered up too aintcha? I reckon you’ve been through quite the ringer…Les’ see if I can’t get ya’ll off of this thing, eh pardner?” With a grin the man, now identified as a Gemwatch soldier, starts to try and pry the tear-drop shaped gem off of the weapon. With a grunt and a hard pull, the gem pops off, only to fly out of the ‘soldier’s’ hand. The gem glows brightly as it takes its humanoid form, solidifying to reveal…

Chapter Text

The gem glows brightly to reveal a pretty battered looking male gem, whose eyes held no pupil and whose skin was a few shades darker than it should be. The cracked gem immediately took a fighting stance, even as his form flickered and threatened to dissipate.

The Gemwatch soldier, a Sandstone, stared, mouth open slightly, and, before he could stop himself, he blurted, “Boy howdy, you’re cute.”

The blue gem blushed, confused, his stance faltering slightly.

“Wh-what…? Is this some sort of attempt to stall for time so that your Gemwatch allies can get here and shatter me!?”

“N-no, darlin’! That ain’t-”

“Silence! I refuse to be a weapon any longer!”

The cracked gem snatched the bow from the other’s hands and took off running, his form occasionally stuttering before stabilizing.

“Shit--guys, we got a rogue gem, he’s cracked and ah’ can’t tell if he’s corrupted or not, but he’s in pretty bad shape,” The orange gem barked into his communicator.

“McCree, what the hell did you start this time!?” came the harsh response of said gem’s ‘mentor’, Gabriel Reyes, an Onyx, from over the communicator.

“The poor guy was fused to a BOW! Homeworld made ‘im into a weapon without his consent!”

There was silence on the line in response.

“I see him,” came Ana’s voice after a brief silence.

“He is...not in good shape. Fareeha, Angela, he is heading in your direction, get ready.”

“Roger that.”

“Understood.”

~~~~

The blue gem’s every breath was a struggle, but he couldn’t stop. If he did, his freedom would be taken away as quickly as it was granted.

“Stop!” A voice yelled from above him, he jerked his head up and swore at the sight of two more gemwatch soldiers, a Moonstone and a Hawk’s Eye.

“Please sir, ve only want to help you!”

“I want no help from you, traitors!” The archer snarled, his voice warping as he spoke, more cracks appearing on his gem.

“You are killing yourself!” The Hawk’s Eye barked back.

“Good! It it what I deserve for all that I have done!”

“Wait...zat gem...you are-!”

The cracked gem’s pupiless eyes widened in alarm and he quickly shot a lightning arrow at the two, barely missing and causing enough of a distraction so that the archer could escape.

The Moonstone, known as Angela Ziegler, shakily spoke into her comm as she watched the blue gem’s retreating form.

“Genji...the gem...it’s a Blue Lightning Opal...it’s...it’s your brother…”

~~~~~~~~~

Chapter Text

~~~~~~

There was another long stretch of silence over the comms.

"Genji...?" Angela asked worriedly.

"I heard...I will...take care of him."

"I don't think that's the best idea, kid." Came the gruff reply of Jack Morrison, a Pietersite and one of the founders of Gemwatch.

"He is my brother-"

"He thinks he killed ya, pardner." The sandstone, Jesse McCree, interrupted with a sigh.

"He is hurt and in pain and alone!"

"He is approaching my location." Zenyatta's soothing voice came over the comms.

"Master be careful! He could hurt you! I am coming to your lo-"

"There is no need, my pupil; stay where you are please. I shall do my best to help the poor gem."

The line closed with a soft click.

Genji sighed and whispered to himself.

“Be safe master…”

~~~~

The blue gem, now identified as a Blue Lightning Opal, let out a pained grunt as he stumbled and fell forward onto his chest, losing his grip on the weapon he was once stuck to, sending it clattering a few feet away from him. A soft hiss of irritation was heard from the archer as he struggled into a kneeling position, panting loudly, each breath a struggle.

"You are in no shape to be fighting, or even moving," a soft, soothing voice spoke, cutting through the haze of the archer’s thoughts.

The cracked, tired gem looked up quickly, a scowl and a glare on face. He was surprised to see a Jadeite, though, upon further inspection, he noted the Gemwatch insignia upon the other gem’s clothes.

The opal snorted softly, before releasing a pained wheeze as his form wavered, once more threatening to dissipate.

"Are you truly the one sent to kill me?"

The cracked gem laughed softly, his form flickering more often as time passed.

"Kill you? I have no desire to do such a thing. I only wish to help you."

"I do not need your help!" the injured gem snarled, blue lightning crackling faintly over his skin.

"So you are truly going to just let yourself die?" came the calm response, the yellow gem undeterred by the lightning.

"It is what I deserve for what I have done."

"That may be, but is it truly the best way to repent for those crimes?"

The archer closed his pupiless eyes, taking a shaky, laboured breath.

"You know nothing."

"I know more than you realize."

The battered gem laughed, a broken laugh for a broken gem, "The only other gem that 'knows' me is dead...and I'm the one who killed him."

The blue opal laughed again, sounding crazed.

"I murdered the one I called brother, just because I was told to! I didn't ask why, I just followed orders! Like I have my entire life! I betrayed him!" The archer's voice raised in volume as he spoke, yelling by the end of it with tears in his eyes.

As the other was talking, Zenyatta picked up the dropped bow, slowly approaching the other.

"Do you truly think Serpentine would desire your death?" The Gemwatch monk asked softly as he knelt in front of the other.

The blue gem's head snapped in surprise.

"You...know his name...?" He asked in a confused tone.

The Jadeite seemed to smile.

"I know him as Genji Shimada, a trusted member of Gemwatch."

The opal jerked back, his form flickering violently.

"No...no! My brother is dead!"

"He still lives, and he has forgiven you...Hanzo."

The archer froze at the sound of the human name his brother had jokingly given him long ago. Only his brother knew that name...

"You...my brother is..." The gems form wavered and wobbled, trying valiantly to keep together.

"You need to rest, please? I promise no harm will befall you." The Jadeite spoke in a gentle tone, placing a comforting hand on the others shoulder.

The opal, Hanzo, took a shaky breath before his form fizzled out. Zenyatta quickly caught the other’s gem and bubbled it for protection.

"I have retrieved the rogue gem and I am returning to the ship." The yellow gem spoke into his communicator in a relaxed tone.

“Affirmative, everyone, get back to the ship, we’re done here,” replied Jack over the radio.

“Master, are you hurt at all?”

“I am quite fine, my student, your brother is safely within my care.”

“How...how is he?”

“It is better if I show you.”

~~~~~

Chapter Text

The Gemwatch ship was quiet for once as the group headed back to base, Hanzo's gem safely within Mercy's care. The medic was healing the smaller cracks on the poor gem, leaving the main crack for last. Genji was watching her work from afar, worried for his brother.

"He will be fine, my pupil," came Zenyatta's soothing voice.

The green gem looked over at his master, who was sitting beside him. The Serpentine sighed and nodded, his eyes roaming around the ship as his hands fiddled with his brother’s bow.

Jesse was fast asleep in the chairs across from them with his hat covering his face; the cyborg smiled softly at that.

Jack and Gabriel were in the cockpit; faint arguing could be heard through the door. Genji sighed and rolled his eyes behind his faceplate.

Pharah and Ana were quietly talking in the back near Mercy, which brought his attention back to the teardrop-shaped gem floating in front of the healer.

'Oh Brother...please be okay...' The green gem thought with a sigh.

~~~~~~~~

Upon returning to the Gemwatch base and informing the other gems of their 'guest', a small group of gems gathered in a secure room in the med bay.

The Moonstone, Angela 'Mercy' Ziegler, was finishing up with Hanzo's gem, sighing as the gem glowed every so often before settling.

"Please be patient, Hanzo; I am almost done and your attempts to reform are only making this take longer," The medic pleaded softly to the blue gem, which glowed one last time before stopping. The medic smiled softly and whispered a quiet 'thank you' before returning to her work, mostly just healing any remaining cracks.

The rest of those present watched the doctor work in near silence. A moment later said doctor sat back to admire her work, sighing softly.

"I am done; you may reform now, Hanzo."

The blue gem glowed brightly, the archer slowly reforming and sitting atop the examination table. His eyes once more had pupils, his skin had took on a healthier tone and his gem shone clear, surface no longer marred.

The opal's gaze darted around the room, taking in the Gemwatch agents. A Steel soldier, Reinhardt, guarded the door, a Turquoise gem, Ana Amari, standing next to him. An Onyx and a Pietersite stood a few feet away from him, both looking quite menacing. The gem who had healed him had backed away towards...towards...

"Brother..." The archer whispered in a shocked voice as he stared at the Serpentine who stood next to the Jadeite and Sandstone from before.

Genji tilted his head slightly, giving a small smile. He had taken off his faceplate so his brother would recognize him more easily.

"Hello, Brother."

The archer's eyes widened a little bit in surprise before his gaze darted around the room, searching for an exit.

The green gem clicked his mask back into place before quickly darting forward to grasp his brother’s arm.

"Wait, please, let me explain!"

"Release me!" The opal hissed.

"Brother, Hanzo, please, calm yourself!" Genji pleaded softly.

"Why? Why should I? The Jadeite told me you forgave me!? How could you forgive me for what I did!? For what I've done!?!" The blue gem snarled back.

"Because you are my Brother and I still care for you! We may never get what we had before back, but that does not mean we cannot have something ," Genji replied in Japanese, a language both brothers had learned together before the incident.

Hanzo stilled, replying in the same language, his voice soft. "I...do not deserve your forgiveness."

"I believe that is my choice to make, brother."

Hanzo sighed, looking around at the gems in the room. "So...what do you want from me?"

Jack Morrison, the Pietersite, stepped forward.

"We want you to join us,to  help us protect the people of Earth, help us protect the Gems and Humans living in harmony here, and help us make Homeworld pay for what they've done."

The multicolored gem held out his hand.

"Are you with us?"

Hanzo paused for a second before his eyes hardened and he took the offered hand.

"I am with you."

Chapter Text

The weeks following Hanzo Shimada's--this was the full legal name he was given--joining of Gemwatch were rather uneventful. Talon, an anti-gem, anti-Gemwatch organization, had been mostly quiet. The archer had been introduced to the other members of Gemwatch and had been met with open arms from some and skeptic or distrustful looks from others. Though one gem in particular seemed to have taken special interest in him.

~~~~

Hanzo stared at the ridiculously dressed gem in front of him; it was the Sandstone from before, the one who had called him cute.

“Do you need something?”

The archer had been heading to the room he was assigned, the meeting finally over. The orange gem grinned broadly in response. “Ah just wanted to say ‘welcome to the family’ an’ properly introduce m’self; the name’s Jesse, Jesse McCree.” He gave a dazzling grin, offering a hand to the archer, who blinked in surprise before slowly taking the offered limb.

“Hanzo, Hanzo Shimada.”

“Well, it’s nice to officially make yer acquaintance, darlin’.” The cowboy flashed another bright smile as he shook the other's hand.

Hanzo paused at the petname. “Cowman, whatever it is you desire, I suggest you speak it now before I decide you are not worth my time.”

“Aww, ah was just bein’ friendly! Yer brothers one of ma closest friends.”

Hanzo stiffened at the mention of his brother. “I do not know what you want, but I am not interested, I suggest you leave me be and only talk to me when necessary, like, per se, on missions. Goodbye, McCree-san,” he spat out, stalking off towards his room.

Jesse blinked and stood there, watching the other leave. Had he done something wrong?

~~~~

Hanzo held back a sigh as he heard the Sandstone, Jesse McCree, enter the training room. The gem had been flirting with him since their initial encounter in the hallway, and while it wasn’t entirely unwanted, he was still unsure about the genuity of it. The spurs on the orange gem’s boots had notified the archer of his approach long before he entered the room. The opal let another arrow fly, hitting the bullseye dead center.

The Sandstone, now standing a few feet away from the blue gem, let out a low whistle in appreciation.

"Yer pretty handy with that bow."

Hanzo flushed slightly; that...was a new one. The archer managed to steel himself and send McCree an unimpressed look, though the orange gem just grinned in response, knowing he was getting somewhere.

"Is there something you need, McCree-san?"

"Nope, jus' thought I'd pop in an' watch you shoot, if ya don't mind."

"Hmm...You will only prove a distraction, cowman."

Jesse held back a grin at the pet name before replying.

"Aww come on darlin'! I'll be quieter 'en a field mouse hidin from a snake!"

Hanzo gave the cowboy a look before snorting and taking aim at the target once more.

"So long as you-" 'thunk', another bullseye, "-are quiet-" 'thunk', another, "-I guess you can stay."

A beaming grin was all he got in response.

~~~~

Hanzo had not taken the Sandstone’s advances seriously until he asked if he would fuse with him when the two were practicing together. The question had shocked the opal so much he had missed his shot, sending an arrow straight into the wall. The archer cursed and turned to glare at the gunslinger.

“Is this some sort of joke to you!? Is messing with my emotions something you enjoy doing!?”

Jesse took a few steps away from the archer, his gun glowing and disappearing. “Darlin’, I ain’t foolin with ya! I really like ya and I know ya got a bad experience with fusin’ but if ya’d just give it a try-”

“Fusion is just a tactic used to make gems stronger than they are alone! My brother and I fused because we were powerful together! Because we were stronger together than apart!”

“It ain’t gotta be like that! Fusion...fusion doesn’t have to be like what you n’ Genji had, it’s...it can be much more than that, an’ if ya ever wanna learn, I’d be happy to teach ya, Hanzo.”

With that, the orange gem left, spurs jingling as he left behind the stunned opal.

~~~~

Hanzo stared at the object in his hands--a new ribbon for tying up his hair. It was golden-yellow and seemed to be made of a strong yet soft material. The...cowman, Jesse McCree had thrust a small gift box into his hands before running off; the box had contained the ribbon and a small card saying that the offer of fusion still stood.

The archer pursed his lips as he thought; McCree had been nothing but kind, as well as flirtatious, to him since he was found…. Even after Hanzo had snapped at him, he was still warm smiles and kind eyes. With a sigh, the opal undid his hair and redid it with the new ribbon, a small smile appearing on his face. He could at least try...he owed the other gem that much.

~~~~

“Ya doin alright there, darlin’?” Jesse inquired, looking down at the shorter gem with a cheeky grin on his face.

Said gem huffed, a small blush on his cheeks as he snapped back, “Hush! Let me concentrate you fool!”

The cowboy gave a warm chuckle as he spun the other gem, whose blush deepened.

The two had been attempting to fuse for about 2 hours now in a small clearing of a forest not to far from a warp pad, making little progress. They had managed to get a slight rhythm but it had ended in frustration from the blue gem and one more failed try added to the list.

“This is hopeless!” the archer snapped a few minutes later after another failure, pushing Jesse away and stalking to the other end of the clearing.

“Nah, darlin’, don't give up yet! We almost had it that time,” the gunslinger spoke with a smile, trying to reassure the other.

“No we didn't, you foolish cowman! I told you this wasn't going to work!” Hanzo snarled back, turning to glare harshly at his companion.

“I am far too unstable to even fuse for a moment!” he continued, yelling now.

“Hanzo!” Jesse yelled, grabbing the other’s shoulders. “It's okay if ya aint fully healed yet, the Doc can only do so much. It was wrong a me to ask you so soon, I shoulda waited, ‘m sorry…” the cowboy spoke, his head lowering in shame.

The blue gem froze, blinking slowly before sighing. “I appreciate your...concern, but do not apologize; this is not your fault.”

Jesse smiled brightly, “So...wanna give it one last go before we call it a day?”

Hanzo snorted, “You are determined to show me the positives of fusing, aren't you?”

The Sandstone beamed, grinning. “Yep!”

The archer held back a smile. “Very well… one more try.”

The cowboy grinned and pulled the other close once more, singing loudly and obnoxiously as he swung the other around. Hanzo couldn't help it and started laughing, not noticing their gems start to glow as they twirled.

There forms glowed and started to meld together, memories and feelings being shared before-

“NO!”

“Urk-”

Both gems were pushed apart, their fusion stopping as they were thrown away from each other.

Hanzo was trembling, the onslaught of feelings and the familiar feeling of fusing having brought back terrible memories.

Jesse was quickly at the other’s side. “Han? Hanzo? You okay. darlin’!? Talk to me, Hanzo!”

The archer jerked back to reality, his gaze snapping up to meet the gunslinger’s worried face. “I am...I am fine!” he snapped, pushing the other away. “I told you it would not work! I am too unstable! You should find someone else to fuse with!” With that the archer stomped off towards the warp pad, leaving a worried Jesse McCree behind.

“Well, shoot.”

~~~~

Hanzo managed to avoid Jesse for three days before the man cornered him outside his room. His arm was in a firm yet gentle hold by Jesse’s mechanical arm. The blue gem refused to look the other in the eyes, glaring at the floor.“Please release me, McCree-san.”

“No,” came the firm answer. This surprised Hanzo enough that he looked up and finally saw the hurt look on Jesse’s face, confusion and worry mixing in as well.

“I know I did somethin’ wrong, but I ain't sure what. I know I hurt ya, but I ain't sure how. I only wanted to help ya, but I managed to hurt ya. I just wanna know what I did that made ya avoid me.”

Hanzo stared into those warm eyes and sighed. “It is nothing you did, McCree-san; merely my own demons rearing their heads.”

Jesse frowned at that, then his face lit up with an idea. “I know what we can do! Come with me!” the cowboy yelled excitedly as he ran off, dragging Hanzo with him. The aristocratic gem blinked but allowed himself to be dragged to the warp pad, curious as to what was going to happen.

~~~~

"Where are we going, McCree-san?" Hanzo asked as he followed the Sandstone away from the warp pad and into the woods.

"Call me Jesse, darlin’, and it's a surprise! A good one, ah promise!" came the excited answer. The archer sighed at the other’s antics, shaking his head softly.

A few minutes later, the two came to a large clearing. At first Hanzo was confused, then, he looked up and saw the vast expanse of space stretch out above them.

"Oh...oh my...this is..." The blue gem was stunned.

"Is mighty pretty, ain’t it?" Jesse sighed, a soft smile on his face, and his gaze slid from the sky to the other gem. "Hey Han...watcha say we try to fuse again?"

The opal stiffened and his head jerked to face the Sandstone. "What!? Why!? I already told you and showed you that I can't fuse anymore!"

"You can do it, darlin’, ya just don' wanna, yer scared. I get it. But ya can't let what happened with Genji keep you from livin yer life! 'Sides, this ain’t gonna be like that, I promise, ya say the word and I'll drop it and we don't ever gotta try again, but...at least give it one more chance?" The cowboy held out a hand to his companion, a soft, reassuring smile on his face.

Hanzo stared at the offered limb, a worried look on his face. He looked up at Jesse's face, then back to the hand, slowly taking it.

Jesse grinned and pulled the other close, starting to hum softly as he placed his free hand on Hanzo's waist, the other hand holding the blue gems hand firmly yet gently. After a few seconds Hanzo slowly set his own free hand on the taller gem’s shoulder, said gem grinning in response.

“Jus’ focus on me. A’ight?”

The blue gem nodded slowly, focusing on the steady thrum of the sharpshooter’s gem, pushing everything else aside as they started to sway in place.

“Thas’ it, nice and slow. I'm here darlin, ya don’t ever gotta face your demons alone ever again if ya don’t want to; we can do it together.”

The archer chuckled softly at that.

“What about your demons, Jesse? I am here for you, too.”

Jesse laughed loudly at that. “Is that your way of askin’ me out, sweetheart?”

The opal blushed dark blue at that, sputtering and looking anywhere but at Jesse, trying to tug himself away.

“Hey hey hey! It’s all right, don’ go nowhere, darlin, I didn’ mean to make ya uncomfortable.”

Hanzo stilled and allowed himself to be pulled even closer to the other.

“I...am unsure how one goes about asking another to fuse with them…” he murmured quietly, hiding his face in Jesse's chest. “I never exactly needed to ask with my-”

“No, none’a that darlin, this moment here is just about you ‘n me, and I've wanted to get to know ya and maybe fuse with ya eventually pretty much since the moment I laid eyes on ya. I just wanted to wait till you were ready.”

Hanzo blushed a dark blue, murmuring a quiet. “I don't deserve you…”

The cowboy smiled softly, “You deserve the world, darlin’.”

The blue gem’s eyes filled with tears as he held back a soft sob, holding onto the orange gem tighter.

“I'm here, Hanzo, I'm here.”