“You want me to do what now?” McCree asked, giving Winston an incredulous look from where he sat with his feet propped up on the desk in the simian’s makeshift office.
“I would like for you to convince this woman to join us. Her particular set of skills and knowledge would be a great asset to our opposition of Talon.” He replied, staring pointedly at the offending pair of dusty boots on his desk in an attempt to get McCree to move them without having to tell him to for the third time today.
McCree shifted in his seat, crossing one leg over the other, but kept his heels firmly planted on the edge of the desk. “I don’t know about this, Winston, I’ve heard more than a few things about her over the years. An’ since when did I get on recruiter duty, anyway? I’m not exactly the ray of sunshine inspirational type, y’know.”
“You’re right, normally you’d be the last person I would ask to go talk to potential recruits,” he started
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
Winston paused, giving McCree a look “However, I believe you might be more equipped for this one given your… background and uh… disposition.” he finished, shifting awkwardly and scratching his head.
There were about five seconds of dead silence before a grin slowly spread across McCree's face and he suddenly erupted into a fit of laughter, putting his feet on the floor and leaning forwards in the same movement, “You want me to-” he snickered, trying to suppress his laughter, “You want me to use my wily wily ways to charm the woman they call the Lioness of the Southern Seas into joining our side. You want Sarina Rocha, the smuggler and mercenary assassin, to come play for Overwatch. And you’re-” the cowboy was nearly convulsing as he tried to contain his laughter “counting on my southern charm and dashing good looks to get the job done.” he busted out laughing again.
“Yes.” Winston raised his voice enough to be heard over the other man’s howling, “I don’t see why that’s so funny.”
“W-Winston, buddy,” he gasped, trying to reign himself in, “pal, that’d work about as well as me tryin’ to seduce Hanzo into my bed while wearing nothing but a pair of chaps an’ a halter top.”
“...You haven't actually…” the ape started with a look of mortified curiosity.
“Ha! God no he’d kill me.”
“So… it’s because he’d try to kill you, not because…”
“Shit- Winston,” McCree shook his head in exasperation, “What I’m tryin’ to say here is that it just isn’t going to work. Rocha won’t be convinced that easily; she’s a hard egg to crack from what I've heard. Hell, she hasn’t even been seen sniffing in a man’s general direction in over 10 years what makes me any different? That woman’s been surrounded by men for the majority of her life; she ain’t gonna be impressed by lil old me.”
“Are you saying she prefers women? Should I send Lena instead?”
“Shit I dunno, Winston, I don’t think she’s interested in anyone . I heard she’d been engaged at one point, but that’s all rumor. I doubt if anyone outside her closest crew knows for sure, and unless this report’s changed drastically since it was first wrote, they ain’t talkin’.”
“This is important, McCree. I need you to try.”
“Yeah, sure I’ll look into it.” he replied, standing up slowly and pulling a cigar out of the tin in his back pocket. “No promises though.”
‘No promises’ had been made four hours ago, it was now 8:00pm, and McCree was just settling down at the kitchen table with a mug of black coffee to go over the file in front of him. The weathered manila folder looked like it had been hastily shoved in someone's backpack a few too many times, and parts of the blackwatch symbol that covered its center had been worn away. McCree carefully opened the file to the first page and glanced at the single name written at the top of the page: Sarina Rocha. This was not the first time he had seen her file- she was on their radar before Overwatch was disbanded as a potential candidate but she had been decidedly unobtainable. If Winston was asking for her now, he figured their leader had heard about her old man’s death too.
He took a sip of his coffee and set the mug back down as his eyes focused on a recent photo that had been pinned to the top corner. It was a surveillance photo of a woman with long deep brown hair standing alert on the docks of a nameless port. Behind her, the ship’s crew was hauling unmarked crates down the plank and off to be delivered. She was beautiful- her long wavy hair framed her face and covered one eye, her skin was tan from the countless days spent working under the sun, and even in the security camera photo, McCree could see the experience written in her jade green eye. An old blaster was peeking out from the side of her jacket, and a sword was strapped firmly to her opposite hip; she looked almost regal standing there proudly in her well fitted jacket and thigh high boots. This was a woman who had built herself from nothing and refused to be swayed by anyone. She was completely out of his league.
As if in agreement, McCree was taken by surprise by someone wolf whistling behind him. “Woah! She’s beautiful!” Lena exclaimed, leaning over his shoulder to get a better look.
“Damn, how long have you been standing there, Lena?”
“Oh just a few seconds, love. Who’s she?”
McCree sighed and slid the file over so she could see it better, “Sarina Rocha… Winston wants me to see if I can’t recruit her.”
“So she’s available then? I thought for a moment you’d pulled up a background check on the hair for your new beard.” she giggled.
“Hm. I’ll have you know I grow my own beard hair fresh right here.” he smirked, pulling at the hair on his chin for emphasis.
Lena laughed at that and flashed to the chair next to him. “So when do I get to meet her?” she asked eagerly.
“I don’t know that you will, darlin’, this one’s a bit like a half starved, three legged coyote.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Means she’s dangerous.”
“Well you don’t have to compare her to a coyote. She’s a lot prettier than one of those.” she leaned forward on the table to touch the picture gently, “She’s like a mermaid.”
“You’re only sayin’ that cause she’s a sailor.” he scoffed.
“That’s not true! Mermaids are downright dangerous and pretty unlike your bloody one legged coyote.”
“It’s three legged. A one legged coyote’d jus fall over.”
“Oh what-ever.” Lena grinned, rolling her eyes and jabbing him in the arm. “I bet you fancy her.”
“I don’t ‘fancy’ her no more than anyone else does, doll.” he grinned, giving her a knowing look, “Though tragically, she’s almost 10 years older than you.”
“Whaaat?!” she pouted, “There’s no way!”
McCree laughed and pointed to the basic information right under her name, “Read ‘em and weep, sweetheart.”
Lena leaned in and stared at the typed report accusingly, “What does it mean about 35 years old?”
“Nobody knows exactly how old she is on account of her bein’ orphaned and sold off to that there Captain Benjamin Every.” he tapped on the name with his finger, “It’s a little hard to carbon date ornery mermaids while they’re alive.”
“So she doesn’t remember when her birthday is? That’s so sad…” She chewed on her lower lip thoughtfully, “When she gets here we should throw her a party. Do you think she’s ever had one before?”
“Darlin’ I really don’t think that’s going to be anyone’s first priority if she joins us.”
“Then I’ll have to make it my first priority.” she nodded determinedly.
“Now hold on, Lena, don’t get any big ideas.”
“Too late, it looks like I’ve got a party to plan!” she laughed, flashing to the doorway of the kitchen,“Sorry love, I’ll have to catch you later, just make sure you keep up your end of it, old man!”
McCree heard her cackle, and with a blue flash, he was alone again. “I’m not that old.” he grumbled, taking another sip of his coffee.
The rest of the top page was mostly comprised of information he already knew: how her master, Captain Benjamin Every, had finally kicked the bucket two years ago, left his ship to Sarina, and how she’d fared surprisingly well in the recent years. McCree skimmed the remainder of the information and flipped to the second page of the report.
A photo was pinned to the top of this page as well. This time, the photo was several years older than the first, it's edges worn and the color beginning to fade. It had been taken at night in a city not unlike Numbai, with its bright lights and mixture of omnic and human culture illuminated in the background. Here, Sarina stood in the shadows of an alleyway wearing a gray woolen jacket and dark leggings with yet another pair of tall boots. McCree smirked at that- this girl really had a thing for boots, it seemed. A familiar blaster was visible on her left side, and there was an evil looking dagger strapped to her opposite thigh that glistened in the dim lighting. This was the garb of an assassin, and under that hood was a cold and determined killer. He wondered who she had been hunting and why, but the report attached was less than helpful; only listing the city and year the sighting took place.
Just as he was about to turn the page, he heard the sound of quiet measured footsteps approaching from the doorway to his right, and looked up quickly to see who it was.
The footsteps halted abruptly at the door and their owner scowled at McCree suspiciously, “why are you staring at me?”
“Well hello to you too, darlin’.” he smiled lazily, leaning back in his chair, “What brings the heavenly Hanzo Shimada to my neck o’ the woods?”
The ‘heavenly Hanzo Shimada’ shot him a look that told him he could go straight to hell and headed for the cupboard where they kept the glasses.
McCree laughed and leaned forwards on the table with a sly grin, “You mind pourin’ me a tall glass of water, darlin’?”
The other man paused and turned around to face him sternly, “I am not your...darling.” he growled, spitting the last word out like it had left a bad taste in his mouth, “And if you want something to drink you can get it yourself; last I checked you still had two legs.”
He groaned inwardly as he watched his beautiful pick up line sail miles above Hanzo’s head, “But sweetheart, I’m workin’ hard over here.” he pouted, giving him his best puppy eyes.
Hanzo scoffed, rolling his eyes and taking a cup over to the sink, “Oh, I’ve heard all about your hard work from Lena.” He switched the water filter on and turned the faucet, “Looking at pretty young women must be a grueling task for you.”
“Hey now, I’m doin’ important research for an assignment Winston gave me, and she’s not that much younger. She’s like your brother’s age.”
“... …..How is comparing some woman you’re lusting after to Genji supposed to make it sound less weird?” The archer was seriously considering pouring alcohol into his glass instead of water if McCree continued the conversation in the direction it was going.
“I’m serious she really is awful pretty. Though not as pretty as you, darlin.” he added, holding back a smile.
Hanzo glared at him with a silent warning.
“Aw just come ‘ere and look at her, Hanzo.”
“If i look at the picture will you shut up?”
“I’ll try my darndest, angel, but I can’t make any promises.”
“...Fine.” he sighed, making his way back over to the table with his glass.
McCree grinned triumphantly and straightened up as Hanzo approached, “Have a seat next to me, darlin’.” he said, patting the chair beside him. This gained him another dirty look from the shorter man, and he chuckled amiably.
Hanzo leaned over carefully to get a good look at the picture before recoiling quickly after a few seconds as if he’d been slapped.
“That is not a woman.” He shook his head, his expression contorted into a wary snarl, “That is a treacherous, venomous snake.”
McCree looked at him for a minute, not sure what to make of his reaction, “Well I guess she does kinda look like it in the picture, what with how she’s standin’ and all.” he said, scratching the back of his head.
“No.” he said sharply, still looking at the photo as if it would strike at any moment.
“What d’ya mean no? I was agreein’ with ya.”
“You do not know this woman.”
“I’m sittin here readin her file aint I? That’s gettin’ to know about her.” the cowboy argued, “...You sayin you recognize ‘er or something?”