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The Creases Beneath Your Eyes

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Jesse felt every inch of his old body protest each movement he made.

Casting a glance to where Reinhardt shuffled along beside him, hammer raised to rest atop his shoulder, Jesse rethought his use of the word “old”, but God after the years in Deadlock, Blackwatch, on the run, and now back with Overwatch, it felt like he’d lived twenty lifetimes in his under-forty years.

It certainly didn’t help that the rolling hills of the northern United States made it feel like their walking had gotten them nowhere, the only sign they were covering ground was the line of trees ahead of them growing bigger as they staggered onward.

A heavy sigh to Jesse’s right nearly had his heart in his throat. He hadn’t heard Genji stumble up beside him.

“When we get back to base, I am going to take a long, hot bath,” Genji grumbled, scratching at some dried blood on his forearm.

Jesse laughed. “I never pictured you as a bath guy, Gen.”

“What, imagine I’d short-circuit?” Genji shot back playfully. Jesse shoved him lightly in return.

“I don’t care if I never got to bathe again if I was able to have a bowl of proper maeuntag right now,” Hana groaned from behind them.

Genji made a pleased noise in the back of his throat, clearly agreeable to the idea.

“How much further until pickup?” Lúcio asked, walking beside Hana as he fiddled with his sonic amplifier, which shot out a displeased spark as Lúcio tweaked a wire. He winced and gave up working on it, clipping the weapon to the side of his waist.

Ana pulled out a small black device. “Should be getting closer to the rendezvous site, but the transmitter was damaged in the fight; I’m not sure how accurate it is.”

“Genji? You able to get any signals?” Jesse asked, but Genji shook his head.

“Unfortunately, my visor’s connection abilities were disabled by the enemy. I believe Winston will have to take a look at it when we get back.”

“If we get back,” Hana grumbled.

“Don’ worry, we got plenty of credit to set us up for a night or two at the town the rendezvous site is near if that’s what it comes to,” Jesse said, trying to ease everyone’s frustrations, not feeling much more optimistic about the situation himself, but he was the leader on this mission, so regardless of his own feelings, he had morale to maintain.

Jesse wondered how many Overwatch missions he’d have to command before it didn’t feel strange to bark orders to Ana and Reinhardt. Sure, Jesse was the right guy to lead in this situation. He knew the area and he’d led missions back during Blackwatch, but he hadn’t run with anyone else in nearly eight years, and he never imagined himself on par with Ana and Reinhardt, actual heroes.

And what was Jesse but a scrawny gang member turned scruffy vigilante?

Regardless, the op had gone well enough; they’d gotten in, taken out the Talon cell set up in an abandoned factory, and rounded up any information from the leftover tech. Jesse had worried about the close quarters and if that would hinder Hana’s effectiveness, but she had done just fine.

Jesse snuck a look at her over his shoulder.

She had a limp she was trying to hide, but no visible bleeding. Hana had likely been injured when she’d ejected from her MEKA. The fight had been hectic, and Jesse had lost track of her when she’d still been in her MEKA, grinning wildly and taunting her opponents. When he’d caught sight of her again, the battle was over and she was MEKA-less, shaking with the aftereffects of adrenaline, pistol in hand.

Hana was a soldier, no doubt, but God it killed Jesse to see her fighting alongside him. Reminded him too much of his own self back then, but he’d been able to pass as early-twenties when he was 17, she still had the fat in her face and the gangly limbs of a child.

She deserved better than Jesse thinking of her like that, so he tossed his ruminations aside to do an inventory on the rest of the team’s injuries.

Reinhardt looked uninjured, tired like the rest of them, but his gait was strong despite the dark color beneath his eyes. Ana appeared likewise, her coat scuffed but her hijab and braid perfectly intact. Lúcio seemed fine except for his tech acting up and some dents in his leg armor. He’d unattached his skates so he could walk in the dense grass, and Jesse wondered vaguely how heavy his armor was.

Genji was the only one that looked questionable. Blood spattered across his helmet and the front of his body, hands and feet covered in a strange black substance that had coated the factory they’d fought in. Numerous scratches and dents marred his armor, but Genji seemed to be walking with no problem.

“Hey, Gen, how ‘bout you clean up before we meet any civies?” Jesse asked, tossing Genji a handkerchief he had kept on his person.

Genji caught it, looking the handkerchief over before saying, “I never pictured you as a floral guy, Jesse.”

“Shut it,” Jesse replied, attempting to hide his reddening face with a tilt of his hat.

The team kept quiet for the rest of the walk. Roughly half an hour later, they emerged from the tree line into the homely town their rendezvous site was adjacent to. Jesse had done the homework on it: one main street with various shops, pubs, and restaurants lining the sides, roads branching off into the town’s suburb, factory, and business districts.

A typical Midwestern municipality.

Thankfully, the streets were quiet as they walked towards their plan B.

It was Lúcio who spotted the motel, it’s “VACANCY” sign flickering where it hung below a depiction of a mermaid, her hands grasping her breasts. The “Mermaid Motel” was settled between a pharmacy and an antique shop, a handful of cars littering its front parking lot.

“Is… this the only option we have?” Hana asked, gazing disapprovingly at the mermaid.

“Yeah, sorry, sweetheart, we’re lucky a town this small even has one,” Jesse said, pulling out a credit chit that Overwatch members were given for emergency expenses. “Ana, you heard anything from Lena, yet?” Ana shook her head, tossing Jesse her mangled transmitter.

He gave it a once-over, but came to the same conclusion as Ana, the output-input signals were corrupted, the device displaying his current location back at where they’d had their initial battle, and no messages were able to be sent or received.

“Alright,” Jesse said, tossing Ana back the transmitter. “We got ‘bout 24 hours before Lena brings a second team to come get us. ‘Til then, we’ll tuck in here and do our best to keep a low profile. We need some supplies and… uh, less conspicuous clothes.” Ana mumbled something under breath that sounded suspiciously like a comment on Jesse’s outfit, but he chose to ignore it. “I’ll get us checked in here, see how many rooms they got, but just warnin’ ya, we may have to double up.”

“Reinhardt, why don’t you come with me; we’ll see if we can’t find anything that’ll fit you,” Ana said, motioning for Reinhardt to follow her.

Jesse turned to where Hana and Lúcio were reattaching Lúcio’s skates. “Y’all wanna get us some bags, toiletries, and uh… probably some pain relievers too.”

Hana nodded, giving a two-fingered salute as Lúcio finished clicking his skates into place.

“I will stay with you, if you don’t mind,” Genji said as Jesse turned to face him.

“I never do, darlin’,” Jesse replied, grinning easily.

Genji voiced his concern as he followed Jesse into the motel’s lobby, “You know, if there are any Talon operatives living here, they’ve already sent messages on our whereabouts, and thus keeping a low profile would be useless.”

Jesse pulled the edge of his serape over his hip, tucking Peacekeeper away from sight. “Yeah, but most towns like these, everyone knows everyone. Hard to infiltrate communities like these. A Talon operative would likely stick out like a sore thumb. Small-town locals keep their space from unknowns,” Jesse reasoned, flashing a smile at the receptionist, a greying man with circular frames perched on the end of his nose.

“So, we’re simply crossing our fingers and hoping Talon hasn’t gotten here first?” Genji whispered behind him.

“Essentially,” Jesse said, still smiling at the man behind the counter.

The receptionist eyed them with suspicion, clearly uncomfortable with their ensemble, before saying, “Well, a cowboy and a ninja, that isn’t something you see everyday.”

… Perhaps, “amused” was a better term than “uncomfortable”.

“Heh, yeah, my friends and I are in town for the night; we’re looking for three two-bedrooms,” Jesse said, leaning an elbow on the high counter of the reception desk.

The man nodded at Jesse as he opened a binder. “I know we have one recently vacated two-bed room, we can get it ready for you in about an hour — think my wife is nearly done with the laundry. And,” the receptionist flipped through the binder, making marks here and there, then said, “we have one queen, and two doubles.”

“Three two-bed rooms, that’s perfect,” Genji said, peering over Jesse’s shoulder.

“Ah, not quite. ‘Two doubles’ is two rooms with double beds,” Jesse explained, turning to look at Genji. Despite the visor, he could feel the vacant look Genji was giving him. “A double bed is like a smaller queen, I guess?”

“So, a full?”

“Eh… Depends, how big is a full?”

“Around 130 centimeters by 190.”

Jesse paused, thinking, before he asked, “Uh, you wouldn’t happen to know what that would be in inches, would ya?”

Genji tilted his head back in a way that conveyed a rolling of eyes, muttering something in Japanese, mentioning “Americans” and a number of other words Jesse had heard before but couldn’t remember. Jesse tuned Genji out as he kept up his little rant under his breath.

“That’s all ya have available?” Jesse asked, turning back to the receptionist.

“You’re fortunate we have anything available,” the receptionist replied, looking at Jesse from over the top of his glasses.

“Alright, alright, y’all accept credit chits here?” Jesse asked, holding the chit up between two fingers.

“We may be a small town, but we aren’t in the Stone Age,” the receptionist scoffed, taking the chit and running the transaction through as he gave his spiel on check out.

 

 

The team had gotten together in the queen room Jesse had reserved, taking turns in the tiny connected bathroom to change into civilian clothes Reinhardt and Ana had purchased at a nearby secondhand store.

Reinhardt stood at the end of the queen-sized bed wearing a pair of pink shorts and a white t-shirt that simply read “MILK” across the chest in red lettering. Ana had had a much easier going of finding clothes that would fit her, the ends of her blue hijab tucked into a simple brown cardigan she wore over a tank top.

Hana had been the last to duck into the bathroom to change, while Jesse worked at helping getting the damaged pieces of Lúcio’s leg armor off. As Jesse wrestled with a particularly stubborn plate, he gave them the rundown of what rooms he had managed to reserve for them.

“Wait, ‘one two-bed room and two doubles’? What is a ‘double’? Is that not a room with two beds?” Reinhardt asked as he crossed his arms, his shirt looking near its stretch limit.

“Nah, a double bed is like… I forget, what size was a ‘full’, Genji?” Jesse asked, grunting as he finally yanked the plate he’d been warring with off from where it had been dented into place.

Genji had his faceplate off and was rubbing at his temples as he said, “This entire ‘double bed’ thing is ridiculous.”

“I cannot fit onto a full,” Reinhardt said sheepishly.

“Well, if Genji would answer how big a ‘full’ is, maybe I’d be able to—”

Genji sighed, “I gave you the dimensions, but I cannot help if you have no concept of the metric system.”

“Ok, children, enough bickering,” Ana said, holding a hand up as Jesse opened his mouth to retort. Jesse huffed but went back to helping Lúcio with his armor. “Reinhardt likely needs the queen. Two people can take the two-bed room, and no matter how I look at it, two people are going to have to share a double bed. Unless someone has a different idea?”

“I do not need to have the queen — would it not be better for two people to share it, rather than be confined to a double?” Reinhardt said, fidgeting with the sleeves that looked ready to burst over his biceps.

“Nonsense, Reinhardt,” Ana said, waving him off. “Now, either Hana and I can take the two-bed room or we can share the double bed—”

“No, you and Song should have the two-bed room.” Genji interrupted, shaking his head. “Jesse and I have shared close quarters many times in the past, I have no problem sharing a bed with him.” Genji turned his head towards where Jesse had set himself at the motel room’s desk to clean Peacekeeper with his hat set on the table next to him.

Jesse shrugged as he inspected the barrel of his gun. “Fine with me.”

Ana sighed but relented, “I suppose that settles everything, then? Lúcio, Hana, are you alright with the arrangements?”

“No complaints here,” Lúcio replied, adjusting the prosthetics attached below his knees.

Hana agreed as she exited the bathroom, carrying her MEKA suit under her arm and dressed in a pair of jeans and a yellow t-shirt with a cartoon duck wearing a raincoat on the shirt’s breast pocket. “Next person can change,” she said, stuffing her suit into one of the backpacks they had purchased.

“Alright, I’ll go.” Lucio said, standing up stiffly, with his own bundle of newly purchased clothes.

“After Lúcio, Genji and I will change, and we can go grab some food,” Jesse said as he finished putting Peacekeeper back together.

Lúcio changed quickly, only having to slip on sweatpants that could fit over his portable prosthetics and a plain t-shirt, and while Jesse was given an armful of clothing before being stuffed into bathroom (“I’m honestly gonna die of hunger if you don’t hurry,” Hana had said, closing the door behind him.), Genji began pulling on clothing over his armor.

It wasn’t until Jesse went to holster Peacekeeper from where he had left it on the desk did he realize what was going on.

“Really?” Jesse asked, as he and Genji stood in front of each other, both dressed in identical red flannel shirts and faded blue jeans. Genji held the cowboy hat he had been given in both hands, inspecting it with a tilt of his head.

Ana and Lúcio were both trying to suppress their smiles while Reinhardt chuckled in the background.

“Did you purchase this?” Genji asked while Hana, giggling as she did, swiped the hat from him and sat it on top of his helmet. “I cannot say that Winston will agree with your use of funds.”

“Worth it,” Lúcio said, his lips twitching, still attempting to resist laughing.

“Oh my god, you guys look great,” Hana said gleefully, standing back as Genji and Jesse turned to face their audience.

Genji rolled the sleeves of his flannel up his forearms as Jesse glared tiredly at Ana, who had resorted to covering her mouth with her hand.

“I think we look very domestic,” Genji said, holding the hem of his flannel shirt out, “Do I tuck this in?”

While Hana fussed over Genji’s shirt, Jesse said, “We look like an old married couple.”

“You two act like an old married couple. It suits you,” Ana said, coming over to the pair, tucking in a piece of Genji’s flannel Hana had missed.

Jesse sighed. “I’m gonna change.”

“Leave it, tifl,” Ana said, clicking her tongue as she swatted at Jesse’s hands, which had began unbuttoning his shirt. “We will eat and then you can come back and change.”

 

 

By the time they had finished eating, having caught dinner at a small family-owned restaurant, the sun was setting. Genji had gotten his order to go, still wary about eating in public, though Jesse didn’t blame him, and had his to-go box tucked under one arm as they all stumbled back to the hotel.

Once they reached the parking lot, the self-groping mermaid hanging above them, they split up, Hana, Ana, and Lúcio’s rooms down at one end, Reinhardt’s room next to the lobby, and Genji and Jesse’s down at the opposite end. They called goodnight to each other across the cracked pavement as they made their ways to their designated rooms.

Genji watched Reinhardt awkwardly maneuver himself through the doorway of his room as Jesse fumbled with the lock to theirs.

“Here,” Genji said quietly, hands coming over top of Jesse’s to guide the key into the lock and turn it properly.

Jesse smiled tiredly at him in thanks as they entered the room, shucking off their shoes.

He flopped onto the tiny bed, sitting up minutely as he realized he would need to take his prosthetic before he truly fell asleep, but too exhausted to start on the task.

At the foot of the bed, Genji took off his jeans and flannel then began to work on his armor after he set his box of food on the desk near the room’s holo-vid projector.

Despite how long they had known each other, Jesse had only seen Genji fully remove his armor a handful of times, and none of those times had been during Jesse’s time in Blackwatch, no matter how many missions Jesse had been sent on with Genji.

It was strange to watch Genji remove plates that Jesse had always believed were a permanent fixture of his cybernetic body. First, the white shoulder pieces, vents hissing as Genji detached them with swift fingers. The plates on his arms came off in several pieces, Genji stopping to inspect the shurikens hidden on the underside of his forearm panel. Genji dropped to sit on the chair next to the desk, unhinging something at his ankle then another under his knee, sliding the white plating down his leg.

As Genji divested himself of his armor, he’d stop and carefully examine each piece, appearing to take notice of even the tiniest scuffs and scratches.

Jesse was always surprised to see how much of Genji was covered in synthetic skin. He knew Genji’s arms and legs from the knee down were entirely robotic, but it was still strange to see how thin this calves and arms were without the added bulk of his armor. The vents at Genji’s hips popped and hissed as he removed his thigh plating, revealing skin crisscrossed with still angry-looking scars and what appeared to be a large bruise forming on the top of his right thigh.

“If I’m giving you a free show, you might as well assist me,” Genji said as he unlatched something on his shoulder.

Shit. Jesse hadn’t realized he’d been staring for so long.

“S-sorry,” Jesse stuttered as he jolted upright. “Guess I just spaced out. I’ll— uh, give you some privacy,” Jesse managed to croak out, getting up from the bed and making his way to the bathroom. Genji’s hand darted out, catching Jesse’s wrist in a gentle grip as he passed.

Genji spoke as if he was afraid of spooking Jesse, slow and quiet enough that Jesse had to strain to hear him. “I was not lying about the assistance. If you do not mind, that is.”

“What do ya, um… need from me?” Jesse swallowed, watching as Genji removed his visor and helmet, setting them both on the desk. Genji’s eyes met his for a split-second before flicking away.

Genji turned so his back was to Jesse. “There is a button near the base of my spine, I will need you to press and hold it so I can detach my stomach plating.”

This was something Jesse had not seen from Genji before, both the asking of assistance and the removal of the armor on his stomach.

“Just so you are aware. I will… I will be naked once I have you release the button.” Genji said, his eyes gazing over his shoulder towards Jesse but not looking at him directly.

“Ok,” Jesse said, surprised at the stability in his own voice. He was close enough that he could see the black roots of Genji’s green hair and a half-inch wide scar that led from the top of Genji’s left ear to the back of his head, marking a barren area of skin where hair no longer grew. “Jus’ tell me when.”

Genji turned his head to face forward again, unclicking something on his front that detached the silver plates on his chest and upper back, efficiently pulling them off and placing them among his pile of armor.

“You can press it now,” Genji said. After a moment of silence, Jesse suddenly realizing he had no clue what button Genji was referring to. As Jesse rested his hands against the synthetic skin of Genji’s lower back, he heard a sharp intake of breath from Genji and muttered a quiet “sorry”, then began gently pressing until he felt an area at the small of Genji’s back give way.

“I think I got it,” Jesse said, barely above a whisper. More clicks commenced from the other side of Genji, and Jesse bit his lip as he felt a growing warmth in the pit of his stomach.

He was just helping a friend. Sure, maybe Genji was one of the only people that Jesse truly trusted, but that wasn’t something he gave too much thought to. Jesse wasn’t interested in being someone’s dead weight, a man with nothing to his name but a gun and a violent past.

Jesse was grateful for Genji’s friendship, certainly, had been elated when he’d seen Genji again for the recall, and while maybe Jesse’s heart beat a little fast and his palms got sweaty around him, nothing was going to happen because of it.

Genji was Jesse’s friend, and Jesse was just happy enough to see Genji at peace with himself. He certainly wasn’t willing to ruin what they had.

“You can let go of it now,” Genji said, startling Jesse out of his thoughts.

As Jesse released the button, he thought vaguely of the parachuting he’d done with Blackwatch, a black strap coming unlatched from below the area Jesse had been holding, the strap falling between Genji’s legs, attached to the stomach plating.

Where the strap had been was now the exposed cleft of Genji’s ass, and as Genji turned, having set the armor on the desk with the rest, the shy curve of his cunt was on display between the synthetic skin of the inside of his thighs. The stomach plating had covered the scarred expanse of Genji’s torso, brown nipples and toned abdomen making all the work Jesse had done of distracting himself completely null and void.

Genji tilted his head, leaning back against the desk. “Like what you see, cowboy?”

Jesse licked his lips, brain short-circuiting, only able to think about how it was undeniable that he was in some sort of fugue state from over-exhaustion but not entirely confident he wanted to ruin it by reaching out.

Genji made up Jesse’s mind for him, grabbing his hand and placing it on the soft skin above his groin. “You look so much, I was certain you would jump at the chance to touch,” he said.

“I— you’re serious? I mean, ya not fuckin’ with me, right?” Jesse stammered, cautiously rubbing his thumb along a number of scars next to Genji’s navel.

Genji laughed, ducking his head as he used two fingers each in the belt loops of Jesse’s jeans to pull Jesse closer. “I am very serious. I would have thought you’d caught on by now, but I guess me being naked in front of you is still not enough of a hint.”

Jesse moved his hand from Genji’s stomach to curl around his hip before furrowing his eyebrows. “Wait, ‘caught on’? You’re tellin’ me — honestly tellin’ me — you’ve been comin’ onto me for some time now?” Jesse asked in disbelief.

Genji snorted, “When I kissed you after we were recalled?”

“I thought that was just something you had picked up in Nepal! And it was on the cheek!”

Genji gave him an incredulous look. “All the times I have sat nearly on top of you during movie nights? The gifts I have given you? The meals I made for us to share?”

Jesse threw his hands up. “I thought you were just being friendly!”

“Is this friendly enough for you?” Genji asked, before yanking Jesse down with a hand on his neck, kissing him with an enthusiasm that made Jesse’s knees go weak. Genji let him go slowly, hand sliding to Jesse’s chest.

“I guess that kind of puts things in perspective,” Jesse said, laughing, hands running along Genji’s sides. “Not t'look a gift horse in the mouth, but… why?”

Genji frowned. “I… ‘why’? What do you mean, ‘why’, Jesse?”

“’Why me?’ I guess.” Jesse said, eyes staring over Genji’s shoulder.

“Why not you?” Genji asked instead.

Jesse’s eyes flicked back to Genji’s as he said, “I may need some clarification. If this is just with the intent for a quick fuck, then I…” Jesse trailed off, eyes drifting back to watch over Genji’s shoulder as he took his hands back, crossing them in front of himself.

“What? Wait, you think— Jesse, look at me,” Genji said, hands coming up to cradle Jesse’s jaw. Jesse kept his gaze where it was, eternally stubborn. “There is no way that I… I wouldn’t—” Genji took a deep breath, before he tried again, “Do you remember back when Blackwatch began working side-by-side with Overwatch?”

Genji waited, watching Jesse’s face for a sign of acknowledgement.

“Yes,” Jesse said, his voice hoarse but polite, the way he always got when he was trying to keep his emotions in check.

“You came in and you were the first person that treated me like I was not… different o-or fragile or just a weapon. You were my friend, and I will never stop being grateful for what you did for me. I cannot say I know where I would be without that — without you.” Jesse’s finally met Genji’s gaze. “Do you remember that night when we stole a bottle of Torbjörn’s liquor? Just to see if I could get drunk?”

The corner of Jesse’s mouth twitched, his stance relaxing. “You were so wasted that after you climbed up the side of the dormitory to the roof, you got scared and begged me to come rescue you.”

Genji rolled his eyes, hands seeking Jesse’s. “I did not beg.”

Jesse uncrossed his arms, taking Genji’s smaller hands in his own. “I’m pretty sure you did, darlin’.”

“I guess we will have to agree to disagree,” Genji laughed, raising Jesse’s hands to his lips, pressing gentle kisses along his knuckles. “I am not interested in just a 'quick fuck'. I’m serious, Jesse. You did more for me then that I could ever hope to express.”

Jesse shrugged, his face a little flushed. “I mostly just made an idiot of myself to get you to laugh.”

“You didn’t have to,” Genji said, looking up at Jesse from beneath his lashes.

“I was just a stupid kid with a crush,” Jesse said, turning his head away from Genji, breaking their eye contact.

Genji straightened from where he had slouched against the desk. “Do you regret it?” he asked.

Jesse’s head whipped back to show Genji the fierceness in his eyes. “Heaven’s no. I’m just…” Jesse heaved a sigh, looking deflated and tired, walking backward to the end of the bed, taking a seat on the edge, elbows resting on his knees, hands twisted between. “’M not the same.”

Genji settled next to him on the foot of the bed, hands coming to curl atop Jesse’s. “Of course you’re not. I am not the same as I was either.”

“I mean,” Jesse swallowed the lump forming in his throat, turning his palms face up to look at the calluses and scars and nicotine stains. “I’m old, sweetheart.”

“Jesse, you are two years older than me.”

Jesse scoffed, “And yet, I look like I’m pushing fifty.” He made a fist of his right hand, wincing at the pull of the cracked skin of his knuckles, the soreness of the tendons in his wrist.

God, he ached like he ought to be rounding seventy.

“Is this about looks?” Genji asked, an incredulous edge to his voice.

No, that wasn’t quite right. It was but it wasn’t.

“I don’t… it ain’t that simple,” Jesse said, sighing as he leant back to rest flat on the bed, Genji coming to lay next to him, propped up on one elbow, watching carefully as he waited for Jesse to explain. “I ain’t a good man, Genji.”

To Jesse’s surprise, Genji barked out a laugh. “And I am? Jesse, we were not given the option to be good men.”

Jesse angled his head to look up at Genji. Even despite the scars and the piece of Genji’s lip that was missing, permanently exposing the white of his canine, he was still beautiful. Jesse felt the ache in his knees from the battle, the throb where his prosthetic met his bicep, and tasted the tobacco that lingered on his dry lips. He knew his hair had to be a mess, couldn’t even imagine what state his beard was in, and yet…

Genji gazed back at him with the most adoring expression Jesse had seen anyone aim his way.

“If you do not want me, that is one thing,” Genji said, his voice soft, “but you make me happy, Jesse McCree, deliriously, and I have spent too long denying myself such things.”

Jesse swallowed, arguing with himself whether Genji was truly invested the way he was, whether he deserved the way Genji was looking at him, whether anything between them would last, whether he'd die the next day or live to regret turning Genji down.

Fuck it.

“If you’re sure… ask me again,” Jesse said, heart racing.

Genji was visibly confused. “What?”

“If you’re certain ya want to put up with my ass, ask me again.”

Jesse felt the seconds crawl past before realization bloomed across Genji’s face. Genji tilted his head in towards Jesse’s as he said in a voice that was near a purr, “Like what you see, cowboy?”

"Lord, help me, I do," Jesse answered in a whisper before he brought up a hand to thread through Genji’s hair, tugging him down for a leisurely kiss.

Genji replied in kind, curling down to meet him. Hands meandering over Genji’s body, Jesse mapped the differences in texture, syntheticrealsyntheticsyntheticsynthetic. He lost track of time, pulling back from kissing Genji only to take in air and then falling back into the melody of sound Genji made in the back of his throat, sweet and high-pitched. He felt perfect in Jesse’s arms, and Jesse berated himself for not getting Genji there sooner.

One of Genji’s legs had come up to drape across Jesse’s hips, hands cradling Jesse’s jaw again. He sighed into Jesse’s mouth as Jesse dragged his fingertips across the skin of Genji’s thigh, careful of the bruise he had noticed earlier. Jesse vaguely wondered how long they could stay like this, the worries of the world seeming so far away with Genji’s warmth seeping into his body and Genji’s hands delicately holding his jaw.

It had been an accident that spurred things further. With Jesse’s leg on the verge of falling asleep, he had adjusted his hips to shift it and his thigh had brushed between Genji’s legs, inciting a strangled noise from Genji.

“Can I touch you, suga’?” Jesse asked, gazing into Genji’s half-lidded eyes. Genji only seemed able to nod, his lip clenched between his teeth.

Jesse squeezed at Genji’s hip, where his hand had been resting, before he dipped his hand down to where Genji’s legs were spread. He dragged the tips of his fingers against the synthetic skin of the inside of Genji’s thigh, Genji jerking against him at the touch.

Jesse,” Genji groaned as Jesse chuckled against his mouth.

“Sorry,” he said simply, hand moving to cup Genji’s pubic mound gently.

Jesse dragged two fingers up the folds of Genji’s cunt, barely dipping in, brushing near Genji’s clit.

Just that soft motion had such an effect on Genji. His eyes were wrenched shut, teeth digging into his bottom lip, forehead pressed into the scratchy sheets of the motel bed while his hands were fisted in Jesse’s flannel.

Jesse dragged his fingers more insistently, dipping further between Genji’s lips, before coming to circle Genji’s clit. Genji was panting, mouth open as Jesse repeatedly dragged his fingers through Genji's fold and across his opening but ignoring his clit, brushing near it but never touching it directly. He could feel the tremors that shook Genji’s legs and finally gave in, burying two fingers into Genji’s cunt. Genji’s thighs quickly seized around Jesse’s wrist, trapping his hand, fingers buried knuckle deep.

“Sorry,” Genji managed to say, slowly releasing Jesse’s hand, eyes hazy as he smiled at Jesse apologetically. “Here, let me help you,” Genji said, hand dragging down Jesse’s stomach before hitting his belt, fumbling briefly with shaky hands while Jesse went back to stroking along Genji’s cunt, still avoiding his clit.

The belt came off after much trouble, but Genji flicked Jesse’s fly open with ease, hand dipping inside Jesse’s boxers to pull his cock out, already leaking. Genji brushed his thumb against the slit before rubbing the precum he had collected across the head.

“Do you want to fuck me?” Genji asked, mouth less than a half-inch from Jesse’s, eyes nearly closed.

“I don’t have anythin’—“

“Are you clean?”

“Y-yeah,” Jesse whimpered, Genji’s thumb still teasing him, while Jesse’s own fingers had halted in their motions.

“I am as well, and I do not have the… functionality to worry about anything else,” Genji said, pressing his lips against the corner of Jesse’s mouth.

Jesse only needed a moment to think, a decision that any other time might have taken no time at all, but Genji had begun stroking him, thumb still teasing around his head. In a fluid motion, Jesse flipped to hover over Genji. He had to focus momentarily on yanking his boxers and jeans down past his knees before he went back to gripping Genji’s hips.

Genji looked up at him, a crooked grin across his face, hand still stroking.

“I’ll take that as a yes?” he said.

“As if I’d ever say no to ya,” Jesse said, one hand swiftly coming to grab the hand Genji still had around his cock, pinning their joined hands into the sheets next to Genji’s head. The other hand stayed on Genji’s hip, lifting to better angle the slide of Jesse’s cock into Genji’s cunt.

“God, ya feel amazin’,” Jesse groaned between gritted teeth, trying to focus on entering slowly.

Jesse bent to kiss Genji once he was buried all the way in, and God, was it perfect — the way they fit together. Genji’s heels on his back, scarred chest rising and falling with his breaths, the beautiful curve of his cunt around Jesse’s cock. Jesse must’ve been dreaming, no way someone so breathtaking was begging for him in a husky voice, asking Jesse to kiss him and to move and to touch him, all in a single gasp.

Genji curled around him, limbs encircling Jesse as Jesse fucked into him, panting into Genji’s neck, biting at the skin there. Genji threw his head back, exposing more of his neck, whimpering with each thrust, thighs tightening around Jesse’s hips.

“I-I’m close, Jesse,” Genji gasped out, tugging on Jesse’s hair until their mouths met, kissing with teeth and tongue, sloppy. Breathing into each other as Jesse did his best to fuck deeper and harder, Genji’s noises swallowed by Jesse’s mouth.

“Good, come for me, baby,” Jesse said when he pulled back for air, before nipping at Genji’s bottom lip as Jesse snaked his hand in between their bodies, finally touching Genji’s clit with a calloused thumb.

Genji was chanting Jesse’s name against his mouth, eyes closed and arms tense around Jesse’s shoulders, before he was coming, head curling into Jesse’s neck. The way Genji’s cunt clenched around his cock was enough for Jesse to come a second later, hips grinding as he spent himself in Genji.

They stayed entangled together for a long moment as they both came down, working to catch their breaths, before Genji moved first, legs falling off of Jesse’s hips, sagging against the bed. Jesse took that as a sign to move, pulling out before standing up to clean himself up in the bathroom and get a washcloth for Genji. As Jesse returned to wipe Genji down, Genji swiped the damp cloth from him, pecking him on the lips before he dipped into the bathroom.

Jesse sat on the end of the bed after he slipped his jeans the rest of the way off and unbuttoned his flannel, throwing both items of clothing into a corner of the room. He began the work of removing his prosthetic, mechanisms clinking as they went limp without the connection to his nerves.

Another day, Jesse would’ve left it on, but he could see the swelling on the stump of his bicep, and sucked in a breath through his teeth as he touched the tender skin where the prosthetic attached. He’d have to hide that from Angela, she’d give him a dressing down for being complacent about removing his prosthetic before he slept, but it wasn’t often that he slept for more than a handful of hours at a time, so it hardly seemed necessary.

Jesse sighed as he placed his prosthetic on the nightstand next to his gun. Thankfully, he didn’t need two hands to shoot Peacekeeper.

Jesse had finally gotten the blankets of the bed un-tucked from the bottom of the mattress when Genji walked back out of the bathroom.

“I don’t remember the last time I saw you without your arm,” Genji said as he grabbed his to-go box from the desk, sitting cross-legged on the bed as he began to eat.

Jesse crawled into his side of the bed, pulling the covers up to his neck as he watched Genji chew a mouthful of fries. “I don’t much like taking ‘er off.”

Genji nodded in understanding, swallowing before he spoke, “I only began sleeping with my armor off not too long ago. I still worry that I will be caught unaware some night without it,” Genji popped another couple of fries into his mouth, “but it is much easier to sleep like this and infinitely more comfortable.”

Genji looked thoughtful for a moment, as if he might have something else to say, before shrugging and devouring the rest of his meal in a timely manner. Jesse tried not to stare, but found that even watching Genji just eat made all the stress in his body still, his mind quiet, his stomach flutter in the most soothing way.

Fuck, he was a goner.

Genji tossed the empty to-go box on his nightstand before settling underneath the covers, wasting no time in curling up to Jesse, head tucking under Jesse’s chin, one arm snaking its way around Jesse’s waist.

It was strange. Mere hours ago Jesse wouldn’t have imagined that happening, and now, he wondered how he could make it happen every night. Would Genji mind if Jesse slept in his room back at base? Would Genji find that invasive? Would that be clingy? How was he supposed to act tomorrow? Was this supposed to be a secr—

“I can hear you thinking, Jesse,” Genji mumbled from where his face was buried in Jesse’s chest.

Jesse hummed in response, deciding his worries could wait as the heaviness of his eyelids became apparent. He used the last of his energy to wrap his arm around Genji’s shoulders and press his nose to the crown of Genji’s head, smiling as Genji made a content noise.

It really came as no surprise to Jesse, when it ended up being the first night in a long time that he slept all the way through, waking up rested after eight hours of sleep, Genji still latched onto him.