As he leaves the pub, the door courteously held open by McCree, Hanzo realizes he's unsteady on his feet. He supposes the alcohol, lack of sleep and sheer intensity of the past few hours must have taken a toll on him, but not being able to fully rely on his own body is as novel as it is unnerving.
When a large, gloved palm closes around his, for the first time in his life he feels grateful for someone holding his hand.
"This alright?" asks McCree, squeezing his fingers once, ready to withdraw.
"It is fine," he answers, squeezes back and finds himself being pulled closer to the cowboy. "That was not a permission to manhandle me," he complains half-heartedly when their shoulders bump.
McCree's grin is as wide as it's unrepentant. "Just wanted to be closer to you, darlin'."
A voice in the back of his head tells him he should spurn the crude advances, maintain the stoic demeanor and preserve his dignity. He's learned to recognize that voice and spent the last half a year fighting it; it sounds remarkably like his father, so he deliberately ignores it, relaxes tensed muscles, allows McCree to embrace him and rub their noses together. The soft, fur-lined leather jacket they bought earlier is still pleasantly warm to the touch. He slips his fingers under the serape, links them behind the cowboy's broad back. He doesn't remember the last time he was close to someone this way.
"Are you gonna stab me with one of your knives if I kiss you in the middle of the street?" inquires McCree against his forehead.
He pretends to consider the question. "Hm. Can't reach either of them in this position, so I believe you're safe for now."
That gets him a chuckle and the promised kiss, scratchy, warm and spicy from mulled wine. He blames the intoxication for letting himself get lost in the softness of it for a minute.
The bite of cold air, an unpleasant contrast to the warmth of the pub, brings him back to the present. "We are going to freeze if you keep this up," he says, pulling away. McCree takes a breath as if to reply, pauses, blinks, exhales. Curious, Hanzo searches his face. "Yes?"
"You're probably right about the freezin', what with all the snow." McCree lets go of him, taking a step back and patting his pockets. He produces a cigarillo and a silvery, old-fashioned lighter, lights up in a practiced motion. "Don't think they get snow often 'round these parts. Lena was downright ecstatic about white Christmas this year."
Instinct tells him that's not what McCree was going to say, but he decides to ignore it. Inebriated and content, he doesn't have to be vigilant right now.
"How 'bout we take a walk?" McCree takes a long drag on the cigar, picks up his hand again, then links their fingers together. It's a strangely pleasant gesture. "Sober up, clear our heads. It's real pretty outside and someone" — another shoulder bump — "made sure I won't get too cold."
The view is pretty, it is true. The snow is fresh and clean, with a sparkling layer of frost; the night is bright with reflected light. Christmas lights blink from various windows and occasionally hang across the narrow street. Further away, where their alley opens to a wider avenue, elaborate, festive holograms hover between buildings.
"Do you have a destination in mind?"
"Not really. Just thought we could wander 'round a bit before we get back to the hotel, get some fresh air, enjoy the sights."
And so they wander. Hanzo is happy to let McCree pick the direction and follows in unhurried silence. He doesn't know London very well; he had only ever been here on official Overwatch business, and even then hadn't seen much of the city's center, having had neither time nor the inclination for sightseeing. He has to admit there is something enchanting in the strange mix of old and new: holograms above cobblestones, ancient architecture seamlessly transitioning into towers of glass and metal, and in the distance, Big Ben's iconic display overlaying the old, traditional face. As they turn into the avenue, beautiful hard-light decorations, weaving above their heads like threads of spun glass to form intricate chains of snowflakes, remind him vaguely of agent Symmetra's work; he wonders if she could have been involved in their design.
There's a strange sort of tranquility in roaming the emptying streets, with the sounds of the city's night life remote and muffled, listening to the rhythmical crunching of snow under their feet, puffing out clouds of breath. Hanzo feels… joyful. 'Happiness' is still a strange enough concept that he's hesitant to use the word, even only in the depths of his sluggish mind. He thinks about the events of the last day, about the numerous updates he's made to his list, about what transpired in the pub. The fresh memory of McCree's darkened eyes and barely restrained desire momentarily quickens his pulse, elicits a shiver.
He had not expected this outcome, but he would be lying if he said he had not hoped for something. Some sign of returned interest, perhaps, or just getting closer to McCree, establishing a bond, maybe even a friendship. He certainly did not expect to blithely expose himself in his attraction, and even less to have it enthusiastically returned.
He definitely never expected to find himself walking arm in arm with the first person he's been interested in since… forever, cheerfully tipsy, warm with affection and desire, entirely unworried. Happy.
The word reverberates ominously in his mind, but he truly can find no other to appropriately describe what he's feeling. Whatever happens after this day comes to an end, at the very least he can now truthfully say he has been happy once, deservedly or not.
Grateful, he tightens the grip around the other man's palm. McCree glances at him, smiles, raises their joined hands, brushes warm lips against Hanzo's cold fingers. His heart swells with emotion; he forces himself to remain calm, lest he ruins his image entirely by doing something ridiculous, like bursting into drunken tears in the middle of the street.
As McCree stops to stub out his cigarillo on the lid of a trash bin, Hanzo's communicator makes a strange sound: not the one associated with new mail, not a direct message either. A message pops up just as he opens the display to investigate.
23:02 [UNKNOWN] dropped the pictures into your photo gallery
23:02 [UNKNOWN] you now owe me double for the mental scarring
Wordlessly, he angles the display and flips through the photos. There are three of them, the first one blurry, all rather grainy from compensating for bad lighting, but there is no doubt at all that they do, indeed, depict him and McCree in the middle of a kiss. Whoever the photographer was, they must have been seated at the tables in the corner of the room, at a sharp angle from the bar, behind McCree's back.
"Knew they were up to something, dammit," mutters McCree, tipping back the hat and resting his chin on Hanzo's shoulder. "I think it's the ladies I asked to switch for us. Guess they must've recognized one of us."
"You, most likely. I've been told women love the handsome scoundrel type."
McCree huffs warmth into his ear. "I wouldn't be so sure of that. I heard a certain brooding archer with a sexy undercut got himself quite a few fans after Ilios and Numbani."
Outside of a mirror, Hanzo had only ever seen himself in official photographs before: always stern, proud, composed, leveling a cold gaze at the camera. There have also been cases where a quick-thinking passerby snapped a recording of Overwatch agents during an intervention, but in these, due to his positioning, Hanzo has rarely featured as more than a blur. It's disconcerting to see himself depicted like this, up close, caught unawares, engrossed in a heated kiss. Even though their faces aren't visible — the angle is too sharp and the quality too lacking — it's obvious it's them, wrapped up in each other, oblivious to the world. The scene, together with fresh memories, reignites the heat in his stomach and floods his face with warmth.
At least they were courteous enough not to photograph what happened after.
He turns off the display, ignoring McCree's disappointed 'aww'. "I'll share the photos later, if you insist. For now, let's get moving, before we get too cold."
"I'm always up for warmin' you up," purrs a seductive baritone, right into his ear. Hanzo, chin high, repressing a smile, leaves it behind in a few decisive steps; McCree laughs, catches up easily with his long stride, takes him by the hand again.
They make a wide loop around a small, well-lit park. Hanzo doesn't recall its name, but between the snow, the warm yellow lighting, and the decorations, the view is absurdly romantic. Perhaps that's why encounter mostly other pairs along the way: holding hands, embracing, talking in hushed voices that suit the tranquility of the place. He and McCree don't speak any more; the cowboy walks quietly at his side, seemingly deep in thought, not letting go of his hand.
Hanzo supposes he should start calling him by his first name, now. Jesse. He mouths the syllables silently, shivers again; he's only ever used that name in solitude, in very specific, very private circumstances.
"Cold?" asks McCree concernedly, disentangles their fingers, throws a serape-wrapped arm around his shoulders instead. The warm weight of it is surprisingly pleasant; this is truly a day of firsts. Six months ago, Hanzo would have lashed out at anyone who dared to touch him with such familiarity.
Hanzo sighs, allows himself to lean into the warm body at his side, wraps an arm around McCree's waist in return. "Not particularly. I'm just… glad."
He doesn't have to look at McCree — no, Jesse — to know he's smiling, but glances briefly to the side just to enjoy the view.
"That makes two of us." The arm around his shoulders tightens. "Best evening I've had in a very long time."
A beat of silence. Hanzo feels more than hears Jesse take a deep breath. "It's alright if it's just this evening," Jesse says, voice calm and quiet. "Still going to make an amazing memory."
Hanzo stops mid-step, gracefully ducks out from under Jesse's arm, faces him, stabs him in the chest with a stern finger. "No."
Jesse's face goes through several expressions, settling on confused with a dose of hopeful. "No…?"
"No, it is not just this evening. Unless you wish it so. I certainly don't see a reason to end something we both obviously enjoy."
To accentuate the seriousness of his declaration, he grabs the cowboy by the fur-lined lapels and pulls him into a forceful kiss. Jesse's mouth, momentarily slack with surprise, widens into a huge smile. Hanzo, wanting to get the point across as firmly as possible, wraps one hand around Jesse's neck and breaks right through that smile, insistently chasing the flavour of smoke and wine, triumphantly swallowing a muffled, eager sound that escapes Jesse's lips.
It's not long before the smile disappears and large hands sneak under his jacket, wrapping tightly around his waist, pulling him closer. Jesse's bionic hand is icy cold through his t-shirt, but he doesn't care: he pushes their hips together, bites Jesse's lip ungently, draws out an inadvertent groan.
"I think I got the point," Jesse rasps out when they break apart, "but you may wanna repeat that. Just to make sure it sinks in."
By the time he's done with the re-emphasizing, they're plastered together head to toe, his lips are stinging, and Jesse's eyes are wide and near-black in the dim light of the street lamps.
"I hope I made myself clear," says Hanzo and forces himself to take a step back.
"Crystal clear," mutters Jesse, reluctantly allows his hands to slip away from Hanzo's hips, takes an awkward half-step, makes a face, reaches into his jeans' pocket. "Also, you're a cruel man."
Hanzo smirks; he counts himself fortunate that cargo pants make it much easier to deal with this kind of predicament. "My wardrobe choices are simply both stylish and practical. You tend to sacrifice one for another."
Jesse flashes his signature roguish grin, cocks his hip, tips his hat, spins on his heel in an evidently practiced movement. "Yeah, but my ass looks amazing in these jeans."
Hanzo cannot deny that, but still mildly incensed by Jesse's unnecessary declaration, he refuses to give him the satisfaction of a comment; instead, he picks up the man's arm and drapes it around his shoulders again.
"Now who's manhandling," chuckles Jesse fondly.
Hanzo elbows him sharply in the side before sneaking a hand under the serape and hooking a thumb through his belt loop.
In an unspoken agreement, they turn towards their hotel — which is fortunate, because after yet another in a series of rushes he's experienced today, Hanzo's body decides it's time to give up on him entirely. He yawns so suddenly he barely covers it in time; second and third yawns follow soon after.
"Did you sleep at all last night?" asks McCree, stomping the snow off his boots under the hotel's awning.
"Technically, this is my night." He nearly yawns mid-sentence. "Or was. I think it must be morning already in Hanamura."
McCree pauses. "You didn't sleep a wink since we talked?"
"No. I woke up late, then we talked, then I was busy, then I traveled." He neglects to mention that excitement prevented him from taking a much needed nap he'd planned to have before the meeting.
McCree's silent for a minute. "Guess I better let you sleep, then."
Now it's Hanzo's turn to pause and look, eyebrows raised. "Did you have other plans?"
McCree attempts his usual shameless grin, but there's just a bit of awkwardness underneath. "Well. I mighta entertained the thought of maybe politely inviting you to my room. Guess I'm not too eager to end the evening yet," he raises both palms as if staving off protests, "even if it don't mean the end of anythin' else."
There is a spark of heat low in Hanzo's stomach that could burst into a flame, were he not so bone-tired; even despite the exhaustion, he briefly hesitates. For a moment, they just stand there, right in front of the hotel's entrance. McCree is looking at him with a crooked smile, hands in his pockets, gaze openly, unabashedly soft. He's never been looked at like that before. Another first.
The thought of firsts makes him swallow and break eye contact. McCree misinterprets it, lets out a quiet, self-deprecating laugh, moves to open the door. "Nevermind me. Never knew how to quit while I'm ahead. After you, darlin'."
"We could sleep together," Hanzo blurts out and immediately realizes what he just said. "I mean—"
"Yeah, I gotcha," interrupts McCree, ushering him through the door, "but you need sleep and if I get anywhere near you without all these layers on, I guarantee I won't be able to keep my hands to myself. Better you get a decent night's rest, and I'll just have to" — eyebrow waggle, suggestive grin — "keep myself occupied."
The mental image brought on by that sentence almost makes Hanzo change his mind, but at that very moment, he manages to actually trip over the threshold. It's just a tiny stumble, and he rebalances himself even before McCree grabs his elbow protectively, but Hanzo does not stumble. He has not stumbled in years. It feels like the universe itself is telling him to rest, or there will be consequences.
Gently, he frees his arm from McCree's grip and walks towards the elevators.
McCree lingers in the door as they reach his floor. "Guess I'll see you in the morning," he says, hesitates, then pulls off the glove, runs warm fingers along the stubble on Hanzo's temple and around his ear, thumbs the earring, cups his jaw. "Sleep well, darlin'."
The last kiss of the night is the most tender they've shared yet: just a lingering, soft drag of lips. Hanzo's heart somersaults in his chest. He nearly changes his mind and reaches out, exhaustion be damned, but it's too late — McCree backs away and steps out; unsurprisingly, as the elevator door closes, the last Hanzo sees of him is a hat tip and a wink.
He gets to his room in the sort of daze that would undoubtedly get him killed, were there any semi-competent assassin waiting for him. It would be the easiest job in the world, he reflects, to simply slit his throat as he stumbles into his room, head spinning, the slowest and most careless he's been in years. It seems he's lucky, though, and nobody is after his life tonight: the room is empty, with no signs of intrusion, his belongings as he left them, the Storm Bow untouched in its case.
Washing before bed, he looks into the mirror. After everything that happened, he feels strangely alien in his own skin, and almost expects to see some kind of physical change to accompany the sensation. There's nothing out of the ordinary, though; his cheeks are perhaps a shade darker than usual, either from the cold or the alcohol still coursing through his bloodstream, and his lips are somewhat reddened. He touches them with a finger: definitely slightly swollen. Understandable, with the unusual amount of abuse they had to withstand today.
Now, that stupid smile in the mirror is definitely new and strange. Hanzo wrinkles his nose at his ridiculous reflection, attempts to restore his usual grave countenance and fails miserably. His body is just not listening to him anymore, it seems. He turns away from the undignified image with a huff.
Just as he finally undresses and falls into a blissfully soft bed, the comm pings.
00:17 [McCree] you have no idea how many cheesy messages you've been spared from so far, just because of my excellent self-control
00:17 [McCree] you can thank me tomorrow ;)
Hanzo chews on his lip, considering revenge for all the times McCree had him perplexed and uncomfortable with the shameless flirting. True to the theme of the evening, temptation wins over embarrassment.
00:19 > what kind of thanks are you expecting? is it the one usually delivered on one's knees?
For quite a while, there's nothing but the ellipsis indicator. Even though his eyelids are drooping, he can't hold back a smug smile. Are you enjoying the taste of your own medicine, cowboy?
00:21 [McCree] welp, I didn't need any more material to jerk off tonight, but thanks all the same
He groans and tosses the comm onto the nightstand, refusing to think about that response: he doesn't think he can stand any more excitement tonight. He turns off the lights, firmly stamps out any undue flashes of imagination, relaxes his muscles, breathes deeply to calm his thoughts and empty his mind. Sleep is what he needs now.
He dreams he's trying to sneak out the castle at night to meet someone, but the floorboards creak ominously with his every step, and his brother, green-haired and giggling, keeps following him and giving him lewd advice in a stage whisper.
Posting the first chapter so that I have to finish this, even if I run out of courage before the end. (I'm still pretty insecure about my writing, what with English not being my primary language, the lack of betareaders, and so on.) Unfinished stories are the absolute worst and I'll sooner die of shame than leave this without conclusion!
The idea of McCree's jacket belongs to Jamie Kinosian.
Chapter 2: A Day of Firsts
Neither of them knows the steps of this dance, but they figure it out in the end.
I decided to bump this up to Explicit, just to stay on the safe side.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hanzo wakes with a realization that he forgot to set up an alarm the night before. It takes him a few seconds of motionless disorientation to establish the facts: he's in London, on his free time, not on a mission. He relaxes against the pillows and considers his state: well rested, traces of a hangover, uncharacteristically insistent morning wood.
The clock displays well past ten in the morning. He's surprised he's managed to sleep that long, but considering how exhausted he'd been, perhaps it is not so strange after all. More surprising is the fact that cleaning staff has not knocked on his door yet; he doesn't remember putting up the 'do not disturb' sign last night.
Hanzo stretches, briefly presses the heel of his palm against his stubborn erection and decides he needs a hot shower. Sleepily, he gets up, pads across the soft carpet to the bathroom, relieves himself, remembers in time about the sign; he doesn't like the idea being interrupted while in the shower, especially if indulging in some private time.
The sign is just as old-fashioned as the rest of the place, spelling out "Do Not Disturb" in elaborate cursive. He cracks the door open a little and hangs it on the doorknob. As he turns back towards the dark room, the blinking indicator of his comm draws his attention.
Could it be a message from McCree? Memories from the night before suddenly come flooding in, hot and vivid: the drinking, the banter, the laughter. The way McCree looked, roguishly handsome, bright-eyed, relaxed, flashing his teeth in easy smiles. The moment when he gave in to the temptation and leaned in for a kiss, and McCree — no, Jesse — responded without hesitation and pushed into it with fiery intensity.
He drops back on the bed, reaches toward the nightstand, picks the comm up a little too eagerly.
02:12 [McCree] that tongue piercing of yours was a fantastic idea
02:12 [McCree] just thought you should know
He squints at the non sequitur for a while, half confused, half amused, before scrolling up and re-reading the last exchange of the previous night.
He imagines Jesse sprawled on a bed, touching himself while thinking of Hanzo and his mouth, and his hand sneaks into his boxers pretty much of its own volition. He can't resist giving himself a lazy stroke, then another, tenses all over from the unexpected intensity of sensation. Reflexively, he tightens his grip, hisses, hesitates, finally pushes the underwear out of the way, kicks it off to the side. He's not making it to the shower today, not under the double assault of yesterday's memories and hyperactive imagination.
It's not the first time he comes with Jesse's name on his lips, but as he attempts to catch his breath, shivering, eyes squeezed shut behind the crook of his elbow, he wonders if it the next time he might get to do so in company.
The shower washes off both the lingering sleepiness and post-orgasmic haze, clears his mind and brings him back to an unfortunate reality of mild hangover. Hanzo walks out of the bathroom in a dramatic cloud of steam, wrapped in a towel and combing his hair, opens the curtains and is welcomed by a rather gloomy weather: thick, dark clouds, heavy with the threat of more snow. There is no trace of last night's magic; today everything, even the snow, looks drab and grey.
Nothing new from McCree. He taps the name, replaces it with 'Jesse' — he really needs to get used to it — and finds himself staring at their conversation. Should he reply? Jesse would probably appreciate it if he hinted at how much he enjoyed himself because of the suggestive message. Or would he?
He stamps out the doubt: Jesse has always enjoyed innuendos, even before they nearly ended up in bed together last night. Of course he would like a response.
10:47 > it's pleasurable for both sides|
It occurs to him that there is a non-zero chance that he misinterpreted the message entirely, and the reason for the non sequitur was just Jesse being unable to sleep. The input indicator blinks at him mockingly. Annoyed with himself, he deletes the entire line and closes the display, only to groan miserably and reopen it. It would be rude not to reply at all.
10:50 > the pleasure's all mine. ;)
This is better. Appropriately vague, open to interpretation, just the right amount of suggestive. He hesitates over the emoticon: without it, the message seems dry, otherwise, it feels overly frivolous. Finally he just deletes it and hits 'send', if only to preserve the last shreds of his dignity.
Speaking of which: he digs the holopad out of the bag and drops cross-legged on the bed. His list of small victories needs some catching up.
- kissed someone I've wanted to kiss for a very long time
- kissed a man!
- entered a relationship (?)
He stares at the last entry for a moment, thoughtfully tapping the barbell against his teeth, adds two more question marks. Are they in a relationship now? Neither of them has attempted to give any definition to what transpired between them last night. They got drunk, kissed a lot, exchanged a few touches and declared the intent to continue. Does that signify a relationship?
In the past, indulging in the guilty pleasure of imagining Jesse's reciprocation, he's never really gone past the initial steps. He has no idea what such a relationship would entail, or whether Jesse is even interested in one.
In the end, he deletes the line. He can always add it later.
The comm goes off. Hanzo nearly drops the holopad in a rush to grab it, immediately feels like a teenager, scolds himself for it, then scolds himself again for giving in to old habits.
10:55 [Jesse] welcome to the land of the living!
10:55 [Jesse] I'm afraid you missed breakfast :(
10:56 [Jesse] grabbing coffee atm, I can get you something to eat if you want?
No acknowledgement of his earlier response. Hanzo frowns at the cheerful neutrality of the messages: it's exactly the same tone he would expect from McCree if the last night never happened at all.
10:57 > no need to bother yourself, I'll find something|
Now that just sounds like he's being dismissive. Hanzo taps 'delete' and rubs his face in frustration. Must everything that felt simple and natural last night feel uncertain and complicated in the cold light of day?
10:57 > a coffee and some sort of sandwich or salad would be very appreciated.
10:57 [Jesse] any requests about the coffee?
10:58 > a simple latte will suffice, just make it the biggest they have, please.
Jesse responds with a single thumbs-up icon.
He realizes he should probably wear something more than a towel, if Jesse is bringing him food. Unfolding from the bed, he glances at the mirror, gives in to the temptation, considers his reflection: muscular, sinewy, a few scars scattered around chest and abdomen as mementos of old fights and bad times. The dragon, gracefully looped around his arm in a quiet promise of fury. Greying hair buzzed off at the temples, silvery glint of piercings, stern face, well-trimmed beard, dark eyes under heavy eyebrows.
He likes his new look: created with the help of Hana and Lúcio in a fit of rebellious self-indulgence, it suits him well and, last but not least, likely makes his father turn in his grave.
There is a limit to the amount of vanity he can get away with before bad memories come crowding in, though. He turns away from the mirror, ties his hair up, pulls on a favourite pair of sweatpants and hesitates about the top, until it reminds him again of Genji, preening before one of his night club escapades.
No more foolishness. He settles on a simple, black sleeveless shirt.
(If it nicely accentuates his deltoids, it's just a fortuitous coincidence.)
Jesse messages just as he sits down on the edge of the bed to catch up on neglected comms.
11:12 [Jesse] which room number are you?
He replies, gets up to open the door, then goes back to skimming through the mail. Not for the first time, he's surprised at how quietly Jesse can walk, when he feels so inclined; he just appears in the doorway with his customary 'howdy', a red flannel shirt peeking out from under the unzipped jacket, coffee holder in one hand, absurdly big bag of what is presumably food in the other. Hanzo gets actual butterflies at the sight of his smile.
Jesse hovers in the door; Hanzo gives him the driest, haughtiest look he can muster. "Your offerings are acceptable. You may enter the den of the dragon."
Jesse bursts into surprised laughter. "Didn't wanna get water all over your carpet."
"This is not my carpet. Just get in and close the door."
Obediently, Jesse marches in, surrounded by the aroma of coffee, and kicks the door shut. "Uh. Mind grabbing these?"
Hanzo realizes just how stupidly nervous he is, when, forced to abandon his strategic position and actually get close to Jesse, he feels his stomach constrict. Gingerly, he plucks both cups out of the cardboard holder, while Jesse unceremoniously tosses the food onto the bed, hangs the hat and starts pulling his boots off.
Hanzo sniffs at the coffees: they're flavored with something sweet. "It's a British chain, they don't do chai lattes," Jesse explains, dumping his boots into the wardrobe with a loud thud and hanging the jacket next to the hat. He hesitates for a moment, eyes the bed, grabs the chair instead, straddles it in a smooth movement, folds his arms the backrest. "I was told this is some sort of a chocolatey-biscuity thing. Sounded nice, thought you might like it instead."
Hanzo hands him one of the cups and sits back on the edge of the bed. "Thank you," he mutters. The coffee is delicious, strong and sweet; the taste reminds him of chocolate biscuits that Lena keeps stocked in the Gibraltar pantry.
Jesse rambles on. "Wasn't sure what you'd prefer for food, so grabbed a coupla sandwiches. You might wanna check the toasted ones first, 'fore they get cold. I'll take anything you don't want."
"I thought you had breakfast?" Hanzo pulls the bag closer, inspects the contents, sniffs at the warm bundles wrapped in waxed paper. His stomach emits a faint gurgle of approval.
Jesse takes a long swig of his coffee. "Yeah, but it was a while ago, and then I hit the gym, burned some of it off. Plus it's almost lunchtime now, Mr. Sleeping Beauty."
Right: the Mayfair has a decently equipped gym. He should probably visit it later, in an apology to his body for all the unhealthy things it had to deal with yesterday.
Hanzo picks one of the toasted sandwiches at random, unwraps it, eyes it critically — looks edible, smells heavenly — and takes a bite. He extends the other towards Jesse. Their fingers brush; even that tiny point of contact sends sparks down his spine.
Hanzo would be content to eat in silence, but Jesse has other ideas. "Dunno if you read your mail yet," he says, mouth full, "but Lena picked a pub and it ain't the one we've been to yesterday."
Hanzo hums noncommittally through his mouthful of sandwich. His mind is torn between bringing up flashes of dark eyes and eager mouths of last night, and appreciating the way Jesse looks in dark jeans and a red shirt, straddling that chair.
"So I've been thinkin', we should at least take a look at the place."
"Isn't it a bit early for that?" murmurs Hanzo, pretending he's not thrilled with the suggestion of repeating the experience.
Jesse chuckles. "I don't mean that." He finishes the sandwich and licks his fingers; as he speaks, the smile gradually disappears. "I was thinkin' more along the lines of makin' sure the place's got basic security. I mean, the thought of the majority of Overwatch gathered in one place already makes me kinda jumpy, and if that place is unsecured... y'know."
With some difficulty, he tears his eyes away from Jesse's borderline-obscene finger licking and switches to the professional mindset. "Are you worried about Talon?"
"Talon's most likely to cause problems, but it's not like we got a shortage of enemies. One of them catches wind of the meet-up, it's trivial to rig the place and blow us all to kingdom come." Jesse drums out a quick rhythm on the coffee cup. "And we already know there's at least one party who's got no problems interceptin' our comms."
Hanzo nods, unwrapping another sandwich. "Sombra."
Jesse's expression darkens. "Yup. That girl has little in the way of morals, and works for the highest bidder. I wouldn't be surprised if she had dealings with Talon."
Hanzo raises his eyebrows in disbelief. "You think she would want you dead?"
"Dead, maybe not. But she might sell the information without carin' much about what it's used for." Jesse balls up the sandwich wrapper and tosses it in a neat arc towards the paper basket. "Anyway, Sombra or no, I thought I'd ask Winston about cooperatin' with the local police, maybe getting a patrol or two stationed nearby, and havin' a look around the area myself, identifyin' routes in and out, that sorta thing."
It's easy to forget that Jesse used to be a covert ops agent, and then there are moments like this.
Jesse's serious expression wavers. "What?"
Realizing he's staring, Hanzo looks away quickly. "Nothing." He fishes out the last sandwich, throws it directly at Jesse's head. "It's probably a good idea. How much time do we have? Did you contact Winston yet?"
"Thanks." Jesse catches the projectile easily, unpacks it, takes a huge bite, immediately gets a smear of mayonnaise in his beard; Hanzo itches to reach out and wipe it off. He stays where he is. "The thing starts at seven, so plenty of time, and no, I didn't talk to Winston, I didn't want to rope you into anythin' without talkin' to you first. So: you up for a little recon?"
"I don't have any other plans for the day," says Hanzo stiffly. It comes out gloomier than intended; Jesse is being all business, behaving as if events of the night before never happened, and it makes something unpleasantly similar to cold fear spread throughout his chest. He grits his teeth, schools his features, busies himself with stuffing the empty wrappers back into the bag.
They're silent for a while: Hanzo sipping coffee, Jesse destroying the sandwich with a single-minded focus. Eventually, Jesse swallows the last of the food, finishes his drink in a long gulp, fidgets with the cup for a moment, finally plants it in the basket with another precise toss. "Alright then. I'm gonna comm Winston and let you know."
Hanzo watches him get up; his stomach turns to ice. "You have mayo on your face," he blurts out nonsensically, half-panicked; anything to stop him from leaving. Jesse peeks into the mirror, wipes his beard with the back of his hand, mutters 'thanks', and reaches for his boots.
Suddenly, in a hot rush he's all too familiar with, the fear and frustration merge into fury. Disgusting coward, growls the voice of his father; a brief surge of electricity rushes through his left arm. He pretty much jumps off the bed. "Jesse!"
The man freezes mid-motion; having achieved the desired effect, Hanzo hesitates for a second.
"Don't think I ever heard you say my first name before," Jesse says mildly, straightening up. He doesn't turn to face Hanzo.
Propelled by anger, he takes a few steps. "There are many things I should have said, but I have not." One more step would bring him right into the man's personal space.
Jesse takes a visibly deep breath, finally turns around. His mouth is quirked in a half-smile. "Like what?"
"Like 'where the hell do you think you're going'."
Jesse stares for a moment, surprised; his smile slowly widens, his gaze softens. "Wherever it is that fuckin' idiots go, I s'pose." He makes a step forward, closing the last of the distance, pauses, searches Hanzo's face. "Anythin' else?"
Hanzo decides to go for broke. "Or 'I would like to kiss you again'."
Jesse's smile wavers. "Thank fuck," he whispers fervently, lurches forward, frames Hanzo's face with both hands, and kisses him like he's been starving for it.
Hanzo's knees nearly buckle from relief. He makes a desperate sound he would be deeply ashamed of in any other situation, but he's too elated to care now: Jesse wants him still, his stupid fear was unfounded, last night was real. He grabs Jesse's shoulders, slides hands up to his neck, pours everything he has into the kiss.
To his chagrin, after mere seconds, Jesse opts for talking instead of kissing. "I'm sorry," he murmurs.
"Be quiet," Hanzo growls, tightens the grip and pulls him back in.
"I'm an idiot."
"I know. Shut up."
Finally, Jesse grabs him by the biceps and bodily restrains him to make his stupid point. "Hanzo. I mean it. I'm sorry."
Hanzo rolls his eyes in frustration. "We are both idiots. I am well aware of the fact."
"I had too much time to think last night, and I started overthinkin' it, and then I was just sorta waiting for the other shoe to drop—"
Exasperated, Hanzo balls his fists in Jesse's shirt and shakes him a little. "I know. I understand. I was unsure how to act, too, and afraid you had changed your mind. Can you please stop talking now?"
Jesse's palms slide slowly down and up his arms, leaving sparks of electricity in their wake. "I just— I need you to know I wasn't tryin' to mess with your head."
Hanzo sighs, deflates all at once, lets go of Jesse's shirt, envelops him in a hug instead. "I messed with it on my own, no involvement from your side required," he confesses into Jesse's shoulder. "I am sorry, too. And I have no idea what I'm doing."
Jesse's arms close around him. He's hot like a furnace and smells of spicy smoke, coffee and, vaguely, mustard. He chuckles softly, rubbing Hanzo's back. "Long or short term?"
Hanzo huffs. "Both."
"Short term, just wing it. Long term, don't ask me. I don't have a good track record with these things," Jesse mutters wryly into the crown of his head. "Last time I was this in— interested in someone, I was twenty-two and even more of an idiot, if you can believe it."
Hanzo inhales his scent, tightens the grip. "I assure you, my record is far worse."
He gets a soft snort in return. "You sure about that?"
Hanzo takes a deep breath. If they are having a moment of honesty, he might as well get this out of the way. "Yes. For a start, I am afraid you will find me very... inexperienced."
Jesse freezes for a moment, then pulls away a few inches to look at him, with an expression incredulous enough for Hanzo to hastily add, "...with men. That is to say, I have never" — he searches for a proper phrase, comes up blank — "been with a man before. And," feeling the telltale warmth of a blush on his cheeks, he hides his face in Jesse's shoulder again, just to give himself an illusion of dignity, "my previous experience in these matters has not been very… satisfactory."
Jesse, apparently shocked into stillness, stays quiet for long enough that Hanzo feels unwelcome doubt creep up on him again. He squashes it firmly. "Is that a problem?"
That gets Jesse out of his stupor. "A— what? Are you kiddin' me? It's" — he sputters for a moment — "it's the exact opposite of a problem! It's like Christmas came early! Or, uh, late, in this case." He laughs at his own joke, attempts to squeeze the breath out of Hanzo, pulls back again to meet his gaze, suddenly serious again. "I mean, if you're interested. Because if not—"
Hanzo, caught in the strangest mix of aroused, endeared and exasperated, immediately interrupts that train of thought. "If I'm interested? What do you think?"
"I mean," Jesse breaks the eye contact, but soldiers on, "you said you didn't like it much before—"
Hanzo narrows his eyes. "Yes. There were reasons, and I would rather not revisit these memories right now. All it should mean to you is that my knowledge about some matters is mostly theoretical. In particular, it does not mean that I am any less interested than I seem. And I would have thought I had made my interest plain, by now."
Jesse swallows visibly. "Alright. But as the less experienced one, you should be settin' the pace."
"Fine, then, I will." He reaches for the buttons of Jesse's shirt and gets two undone, before Jesse, wide-eyed, recovers from surprise and grabs him by the wrists.
"Is my pace unsatisfactory, then?" growls Hanzo, entirely too frustrated now.
Jesse closes his eyes, brings their foreheads together, laughs quietly. "You're amazingly bossy when you want something, you know that?"
Hanzo snorts. "Is that news to you?"
Jesse sighs, eyes still closed, fingers still loosely wrapped around Hanzo's wrists. "Not at all, sweetheart. But if we're going to comm Winston, we need to do it now," his voice drops lower, becomes quieter, "before I give up on bein' all sensible, pin you right against that wall and show you just how much you've been missin' out on."
Something in Hanzo's stomach tightens at that tone; his dick actually twitches. It must somehow show on his face, because Jesse peers at him with a wicked, self-satisfied smile, before letting go of his hands and taking a step back.
"Hope you don't mind me calling Winston from here," he says, dropping into the chair and fiddling with the comm.
Hanzo sighs, perches on the edge of the bed again. It's not nearly the first time he's going to sit through a briefing with a very obvious erection, thanks to his unfortunate infatuation with Agent McCree. "When I joined Overwatch, I never expected a day would come when a man who dresses like a cowboy gives me lessons in professional behavior."
Jesse just grins and tips an invisible hat. "Speakin' of professional, have you swept the room yet?"
"Yesterday, after checking in." Hanzo frowns. "But someone could have snuck in while I was out."
They exchange looks, and in wordless agreement, get up and do a quick check, half the room each; it's small enough that it doesn't take long. No bugs. Satisfied, Jesse straddles his chair again, puts the comm on the desk and brings up the display.
"You forgot to button up your shirt," Hanzo points out quickly, before the call connects.
Jesse's grin becomes positively shark-like. "Naw, I like it like that."
Hanzo doesn't have time to come up with an appropriately scathing comment, before Winston's face, sans glasses and confused, fills up the display.
It turns out they woke Winston up; him, Tracer and Emily are in flight from Gibraltar. After the initial explanations, the gorilla excuses himself for a moment, leaves them with Athena and the sight of his empty chair, while he locates his glasses and scrounges up some food. To Hanzo's relief, he doesn't seem to notice that both Hanzo and McCree are calling him from the same hotel room.
Athena starts by informing them that they should now, hopefully, be free of unsolicited messages from unidentified parties.
"Nice one!" McCree fingerguns at the camera. "So, you fixed it?"
"Yes. I have identified the attack vector." There's just a barest hint of smugness in her cool voice. "There was a previously undiscovered vulnerability in the software. I have patched it across all Overwatch communicators and informed the vendor."
An idea occurs to Hanzo. "When exactly did you do the patching?"
"Upgrades were initiated at 04:13 universal time, and finished globally at 04:17."
He checks his comm. "The message from Tracer came almost three hours after that. Depending on the timeline of her exchange with the pub owner, the final location might not have been compromised."
McCree hums, wrinkles his nose. "Won't help us much if the intel got out in the first place. Talon's got more than enough resources, they can set up around all three. I reckon we still need to do this."
"Agreed." Winston, armed with a jar of peanut butter and a bunch of bananas, ambles back into view and climbs into the chair. "So, I thought about this and considering the recent security breach, we should definitely follow up with McCree's plan. I'll contact the Met and see what can be arranged on such short notice. They have been very cooperative during previous operations, so I don't think they'll have a problem with Overwatch agents doing some recon, but wait for confirmation before you go out, just in case."
"Got it. We'll keep ourselves occupied," says Jesse with an absolutely straight face. Hanzo barely contains a snort; Winston, bless his heart, doesn't notice. "McCree and Hanzo out."
Winston, mouth already full of banana, waves in lieu of answering; the display disappears.
"So," Jesse swivels round to face him with a crooked smile, "it seems we have some more free time."
It's ridiculous, but that one sentence is enough to instantly rekindle the fire in the pit of Hanzo's stomach. He covers it, looking with pretend disinterest at his comm. "Indeed."
Jesse catches on, plays along, studying the calluses on his right hand. "Guess we gotta find some way to entertain ourselves."
"Hmm. I was going to visit the gym today."
"It's pretty good," Jesse agrees, straight-faced. "They even have a sauna. Feels real nice after a workout."
Hanzo schools his features into the most neutral expression possible, stands up, pockets the comm, heads for the wardrobe. "Will you be joining me?"
A creak of a chair, quick footsteps; muscular arms envelop him from behind before he can pretend to search for his workout gear. "I'll be joinin' you, alright," drawls Jesse into his ear. Hanzo fails to contain a shiver at the hot breath fanning across his neck, takes revenge by pressing hard against the body behind him.
"I keep thinkin' I'm going to wake up and it'll all be a dream." Jesse pulls the tie out of his hair, noses through it, inhales, mouths the skin of Hanzo's neck. He rests the bionic hand on Hanzo's chest, slips the other under his shirt and strokes his stomach. Hanzo reaches back and pinches him hard on the thigh; Jesse jumps. "Ow! What's that for?!"
He takes the opportunity to turn around in the loosened embrace. "Proof that you are not dreaming."
"Why do I always fall for the mean ones?" Jesse's huge pupils and dopey smile belie the complaint, but Hanzo apologizes anyway by means of rubbing the sore spot with a smirk. Jesse inhales raggedly through his teeth, leans in and kisses him greedily, open-mouthed, forceful; he lets out an aborted, hungry sound at the first touch of Hanzo's piercing.
Hanzo doesn't even realize he's being walked backwards until his back hits the wall. Jesse crowds in on him, devours his mouth, slides greedy hands up to his neck, down his chest, around his waist. Hanzo, suddenly dizzy from desire and the onslaught of sensation, briefly just clutches at his shirt; he wants so much and knows so little, he can't decide what to do with his hands.
Jesse has no such dilemmas. He sneaks a palm under his shirt again, smoothes it across his lower back, cups the back of his head with the other hand; the tenderness of the gesture is grounding enough for Hanzo to regain some control of his scattered thoughts. He reaches for Jesse's shirt again, undoes one button, fumbles the next, growls in frustration, before Jesse finally pulls the whole thing over his head and immediately goes back in for a kiss. Hanzo spreads both palms on his chest, drags them down, through coarse hair, around Jesse's sides, up his broad back. He's wanted to touch so many times, whenever McCree paraded shamelessly shirtless around the gym or the sparring area; now that he is finally allowed to do it, he can't get enough of it.
When he reaches for Jesse's horrible belt buckle — another action he had imagined more times than he would ever admit — Jesse shudders, breaks the kiss, rests his forehead against the wall over Hanzo's shoulder, inhales raggedly next to his ear. "Holy shit, Hanzo."
Hanzo's attempt at a calm response fails miserably: his voice comes out just as shaky. "You asked for my pace. Should I slow down for your sake?" He manages to undo the buckle, pulls the belt out, tosses it to the side.
"I'll show you a slow down," growls Jesse into his ear. In a devastating combination, he presses into Hanzo with all his weight, grabs his ass with both hands, wedges a muscular thigh between his legs, pushes up, and bites down on the juncture between his shoulder and neck. Hanzo jerks and outright moans, shocked by the surge of pleasure.
Jesse rolls his hips, once, twice; each time it feels just as unbelievably good, and the tension in the pit of his stomach winds tighter and tighter. Through the haze, Hanzo suddenly realizes how close he's getting. Part of him wants to give in and just let Jesse push him over the edge like this, overwhelmed and helpless; another part, the ever contrary one, itches to regain control and, even if just for a moment, show him that one does not easily dominate a dragon.
He drags his nails down Jesse's back, hard. Jesse groans, loses his rhythm, momentarily slackens with a full-body shudder; Hanzo seizes the opportunity, worms both hands in between their bodies, pops the button on his jeans, drags the zipper down, careful not to catch on the obvious bulge. Jesse lets go of him entirely, props himself up against the wall with arms bracketing Hanzo's shoulders, rests his forehead against Hanzo's, looks down, curses under his breath.
The outline of Jesse's cock is right there, clearly visible, straining against the fabric of his boxers, within easy reach of Hanzo's fingers. On the cusp of another first, he hesitates for a second. Jesse notices, brings one hand up to his cheek, attempts a calming and composed tone. "Hey. We can stop anytime you w—"
Oh no you don't, hisses the dragon in the back of Hanzo's head. He frames Jesse with both palms, carefully, traces the outline with his index fingers, smoothes a thumb along the length. Jesse breaks off with a gasp, jolts violently, lets go of his face; his fist lands on the wall with a loud thud.
"My pace," purrs Hanzo, mapping the shape of him with light, exploratory touches of fingertips.
Jesse manages a sort of a gasping laugh. "You're fuckin' killing me," he complains. "Hanzo. Please."
The dragon preens, satisfied. Hanzo, emboldened, grips Jesse through the fabric, gives a gentle pull. He's dimly aware he has never been this aroused in his life; it feels like he's hovering on the edge already, just from the feel of Jesse, shivering, panting, and rock hard under his touch.
Jesse manages to stand still for a few seconds, visibly shaking, then swears, in a sudden rush of movement pushes away from the wall, pulls Hanzo with him, half-drags him across the room, stops at the edge of the bed. "Okay?" he asks, slipping his hands under Hanzo's shirt, dragging them slowly up his back.
Hanzo responds by raising his arms; as soon as the shirt is gone, he drops on the bed, scoots back, stretches shamelessly, legs wide, exposing his ridiculously tented sweatpants. Jesse stands there for a moment, staring, chest heaving, wild-eyed, beaming like a madman, then pretty much falls on top of him, covers him with his entire body, attacks his mouth again.
Hanzo nearly bucks him off when Jesse sneaks a hand into his sweatpants and wraps deft fingers around him in a single, confident motion. After what feels like an eternity of teasing, the touch, strong and sure, is almost too much to handle — he can barely breathe, much less control himself; he thrashes, mindless with pleasure. Jesse immobilizes him with his weight, smothers his moans with a kiss, strokes him smoothly and evenly. The dragon has been defeated; light-headed, fire coiling tight in his stomach, he can only paw desperately at Jesse's jeans, babbling 'off, take them off' into his mouth.
They do get rid of them, somehow, then Jesse yanks Hanzo's clothing halfway down his legs, plasters himself all over him again and gets a hand around them both. Hanzo loses all capability of coherent thought after that: he shakes, clings to Jesse, whimpers helplessly through the mounting tide. Jesse whispers "I gotcha, Hanzo, I gotcha" like a mantra, kisses his mouth, eyelids, cheeks, everywhere he can reach, tightens the grip, speeds up his movements.
Hanzo barely manages to gasp out his name before he comes, seizing, debilitatingly hard; through the rush, he dimly hears Jesse sob out "Jesus, Hanzo— fuck—", feels the series of violent shudders that run through his body.
The ringing in his ears slowly fades; the last echoes of the orgasm pulse through him in little electric shocks. In sudden silence, all he can hear is Jesse's shaky breaths and his own panting. He doesn't think he can move a muscle, now, and he doesn't want to. He would be perfectly happy to stay here forever, safe under Jesse's warm, solid body, arms wrapped tight around his back.
Slowly, tremors running through Jesse's muscles recede. He lets out a long exhale against Hanzo's temple, stays silent and motionless for a while, finally raises his head enough to make eye contact.
Hanzo's heart skips a beat at the sight: disheveled hair, happy smile, warm eyes. He has never seen Jesse's face look this open before.
"So," starts Jesse, voice still rough. He clears his throat. "On a scale of one to ten, how satisfactory was the experience?"
Hanzo closes his eyes, lets his head fall back on the pillow. "Hmm. I'll give it a solid nine. Minus one point for the duration," he adds, as Jesse sputters with indignation.
"Technically, I lasted longer than you, so that's entirely on you," mumbles Jesse, scoots back a little and rests his head on Hanzo's chest. Hanzo manages to raise one arm — it feels like it's made out of jelly — and strokes his hair fondly.
They lie in silence. Hanzo continues petting Jesse's hair, Jesse's fingers trace the lines of the dragon tattoo. Reality slowly creeps back in on them: it's getting cold in the room, and the mess they've made needs cleaning with increasing urgency.
Hanzo wonders: is it a relationship now?
Warm, comfortable, relaxed, skin still tingling with the memory of pleasure, with Jesse's head pillowed on his chest, he realizes just how much he wants it to be.
"I can hear you thinking," mutters Jesse into his pectoral, wedges the bionic arm more securely underneath his back, gives a squeeze. "What's up?"
"I still don't know what we're doing," Hanzo confesses quietly.
Jesse's silent for a while, but the muscles of his back tense up suspiciously under Hanzo's arm.
"Well. You see, when a gunslinger and an archer like each other very much—" he starts in a grave voice, almost manages it, cracks up at the last word.
Hanzo rolls them over and attempts to smother him with a pillow.
I don't tag much, because I despise the practice of spoiling most of the story through detailed tagging, but I wonder if I should start using them more. Do you like your stories tagged, or do you prefer not knowing what's going to happen?
(Not talking about heavily triggery things that need tagging, of course.)
Chapter 3: Thunderstruck
Hanzo's question gets answered, once and for all.
Might as well properly earn that explicit rating, I guess.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
As Hanzo leaves the bathroom for the second time in the day, he finds Jesse already dressed, stretched out on the bed and seemingly sound asleep.
He pauses in the door. Bionic arm across his stomach, flesh one under his head, legs crossed, Jesse really appears to be sleeping: he's not moving or acknowledging Hanzo's presence, and his chest rises and falls in slow, deep breaths. Hanzo has to wonder how Jesse managed to pull it off in the five, maybe ten minutes he's spent in the bathroom.
He wishes he had that ability, himself. He used to; he lost it irrevocably at about the same time he lost his brother.
He's hesitating, wondering whether it's worth to try and be quiet, when a comm starts ringing, obnoxiously loud in the silence. Jesse's eyes instantly fly open. "That would be Winston," he mutters, digs the device out of his pocket, checks the display and sits up with a sigh. "Yup. You ready?"
Hanzo quickly takes stock: they're both dressed and the bed is made, and as far as he can see, there is no indication of what transpired in this room mere moments ago. "I believe so."
Jesse relocates to the chair, sets the comm up on the desk again and slouches as the display flickers into life.
"Hi there." Winston looks a lot more awake and cheerful than last time. "Sorry to keep you waiting."
"Not a problem," drawls Jesse. There's an undercurrent of humor in his voice that forces Hanzo to put an extra amount of effort into keeping his face straight.
"So, as expected," continues Winston, oblivious, "the Met don't have a problem with our agents scouting the site, and since it's apparently been a slow week, they even offered to reinforce the patrols and drone monitoring in the area for the evening. They want you to check in with them before you start, though. Just meet the current patrol outside the place and ID yourself, so they know whom to expect — especially you, Hanzo, if you're going for the rooftops. Oh, and they wanted you to wear visual identification, but I talked them out of it."
Jesse makes a face. "Much appreciated. Blue ain't really my color."
"Try to be discreet and report immediately if you find anything suspicious. Other than that, I guess I'll leave you two to do your stuff. How's the weather in London? Lena's asking if there's any snow left."
"Still cold, still snowy. Actually, looks like it's started snowin' again." Surprised, Hanzo glances at the window: indeed, snow is falling again in fat, white clumps. "Better dress warm, big guy. Athena's droppin' you off at the airport, I'm guessin'?"
"Yes. Lena promised to organize transportation from the airport. I hope London has big taxis."
Jesse snickers. "Worst case, you can rent one of them tourist buses, the ones with the top off, have yourself a bit of sightseein' on the way."
"Don't you worry!" Tracer, popping beside Winston in a blue-and-yellow blur, wraps an arm around the scientist's neck and rubs her knuckles against the side of his huge head. "I've got it all sorted. Hi guys! Can't wait for the party, it's going to be awesome! Oh, hey, Hanzo, love the hair, you should do that more often! Totally suits you."
Hanzo realizes, mortified, that he forgot to tie his hair back up. Worse, he has no idea where his hair tie even is. He stops himself from glancing at Jesse, does all he can to cover his embarrassment. "I— yes. Experimenting. I'm not sure whether I like it yet."
"You do need to let your hair down more often," she giggles. "Anyways, gotta go pilot the ship, see you soon, bye!"
To his relief, Winston does not seem interested in the slightest in his sudden change of hairstyle. "Well, I guess I'll see you in a few hours. Let me know when you're done with the recon. Winston out."
"McHanzo out." Jesse kills the connection, swivels in the chair, meets Hanzo's incredulous expression with a wink and a grin. "What, don'cha like my new idea of a codename? I think it's great. Much easier on the tongue than 'McCree and Hanzo'.
Hanzo frowns. A well-deserved rebuke sits on the tip of his tongue, but it feels strangely pleasant to hear their — change of status? — acknowledged, even if only in jest. "Hmm. Better tell me what happened to my hair tie," he grumbles instead.
Jesse's face falls a bit, then smoothes into an apologetic smile. "I, uh, actually have no idea. I might've tossed it… somewhere." He bends in the chair, starts scanning the floor. "If you're worried about Winston figurin' it out, you can stop right there, 'cause if there's anythin' you can count on, it's Winston missin' every single social cue. Bless him."
A few minutes later, the hairband is still nowhere to be found. Hanzo sighs, tells him to stop looking and untangles a replacement off the handle of a hairbrush. Jesse glances at him sheepishly. "Sorry 'bout that. You do look gorgeous with your hair down, though. Don't s'pose I could convince you to just leave it like that?"
He realizes he has no idea how to handle Jesse's compliments anymore. Now that they are… involved, the usual dry rebuff no longer seems like a valid option. He settles for the safe option of cool rationality. "It is not very practical, especially if we are going out scouting."
"Right. Operation 'Safe Drinking' is a go." Jesse rubs his eyes. "I think I need another coffee for this."
Speaking of coffee... "Were you really asleep before the call?" asks Hanzo, rooting through his bag for a sweater.
"Just a lil' catnap. Ain't had much rest last night." Jesse stretches, cracks the knuckles of his right hand, grins. "Slept late the day before, and then someone left me all fired up in the evenin'."
Hanzo does his best to suppress the smile. "Hm. I admire your ability to fall asleep so fast."
He puts the sweater on. It's an appealing shade of green, pleasantly warm and loose enough not to restrict his movements: yet another of many purchases from the military surplus store that he has Tracer to thank for. Jesse ambushes him with a hug just as he drags it over his head. "Any chance to catch a few winks is good when you're on the road. And y'know, I could do with seeing you smile more often. Stop hidin' it."
He glares in mock offense, elbows Jesse to get enough space to finish pulling the garment down. "What makes you think I was going to smile?"
Jesse frees one hand, drags a thumb across his lips. "Your mouth does this thing. Kind of goes all tight. Trust me, I've been starin' at you for long enough to learn to recognize it. Come on, smile for me, darlin'."
Defeated by Jesse's ridiculous puppy eyes, Hanzo averts his eyes and huffs out a helpless laugh, his mouth stretching in what is undoubtedly a particularly stupid smile.
"That's it," beams Jesse. "Look at you. I've gone and tamed myself a dragon."
The dragon rears in indignation: this presumptuousness calls for a swift punishment. Hanzo narrows his eyes, steps fluidly to the left and strikes out. A blur of movement later, he's behind Jesse, his neck in a firm chokehold, his right arm in a lock behind his back. "A dragon can never be tamed," he hisses haughtily, careful not to inflict injury.
Jesse tests the hold, slackens a little, lets out a strangled laugh. "You know, I don't think this is havin' the effect you're aimin' for." He wheezes a bit when the lock on his arm tightens in warning. "Alright, I take it back! I need that hand, don't break it."
Hanzo swallows and hesitates, strangely thrilled by having Jesse overpowered like this.
"Sweetheart, I'm gonna punch you in the balls if you don't let go," warns Jesse, muscles tensing.
Hanzo loosens the grip instantly. The threat is futile and they both know it, but he does not want to upset the other man with what was only meant as a joke. "You would not be able to—" he starts and gets silenced mid-word with an insistent kiss.
"I have no idea why gettin' manhandled by you does it for me," murmurs Jesse, breaking away with a crooked smile, "but turns out, it does somethin' fierce. So don't do that or we're not leavin' this room."
The thrill blossoms into an undeniable stab of arousal. Hanzo steps back, abashed by his poor self-control, and busies himself with opening the bow case. To think he had once thought McCree unprofessional. Apparently, the tables have turned.
"Hey." Jesse sidles up to him again, winds arms around his torso, noses the back of his head. "I don't mean don't do it at all. Just maybe not when we're about to go lookin' for baddies. I'm all up for a lil' wrestlin' after," he croons. "We can see who comes out on top in the end."
"And there I was about to commend you for remaining professional," Hanzo mutters drily through a sudden, hot twist in the pit of his stomach.
Jesse snorts indelicately into his temple. "You're talkin' to the guy who wore a cowboy hat throughout his entire black ops career. I ain't never been professional in my life." He brushes a kiss against the back of Hanzo's neck, warm and thrilling, and steps back. "I need to fetch my gear. Meet you downstairs?"
Hanzo takes a deep breath and attempts to restore his composure. It is absurd to be so affected by a simple, playful suggestion. "Yes. I will be there shortly."
Watching Jesse get dressed to leave, Hanzo finds himself strangely unsettled. They are going to see each other in mere minutes, and yet it feels unpleasantly final, as if the little bubble of intimacy they enjoyed here is about to be irrevocably burst.
Jesse hesitates in the door, turns around, theatrically tips his hat, cocks his hip, produces his best obnoxious smile. "Coffee date in five minutes, darlin'. Imma sweep you off your feet."
The uneasiness passes immediately, flushed out by an rush of exasperated fondness. Hanzo chuckles softly, shakes his head at the closing door, and starts assembling the bow for inspection.
The baristas greet McCree with the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for old regulars. Hanzo stands back, arms folded, and watches with some awe the way Jesse effortlessly charms everyone around him, capturing and commanding their attention. Not a single person seems to notice a strange Japanese man with facial piercings and a quiver full of arrows. He wonders if Jesse is doing this on purpose; he's grateful nonetheless.
Several moments of fascinated observation later, he's herded out of the store with a cup of coffee and an obscenely large muffin in his hands.
"We have only just eaten," he protests. "This is unnecessary."
"Nothin' but sugar for my sugar," quips Jesse and immediately starts chortling at his expression of disgust. Hanzo wisely forgoes any commentary, allowing his face to speak for itself, and bites into the treat instead.
They are fortunate: while Jesse was busy bedazzling the entire staff of a coffee shop, the snowfall diminished to barely more than an occasional flake. Hanzo pulls the hood off, enjoys the cool bite of fresh air, the taste of blueberry on his tongue, the warmth of coffee. Simple pleasures. He sneaks a glance at the man at his side and finds himself already looked at; as soon as their eyes meet, Jesse winks and says "howdy", mouth full of cake. At least he can't follow up with a hat tip with both hands occupied.
"You are disgusting," retorts Hanzo mildly.
Jesse swallows, winks. "That's not what you said an hour ago."
Hanzo stops in his tracks, groans. "Is there no level of cheesy you would not stoop to?"
"Nope." Jesse pops the 'p' cheerfully, stuffs the rest of his muffin into his mouth, points emphatically at Hanzo and continues speaking, muffled and spitting out crumbs. He is obviously doing it on purpose, now. "Your reactions make it all worth it. And you're well aware of that, so you're essentially enablin' me, which leads to the conclusion that you just like me being an uncouth barbarian. QED."
There is only one course of action left to Hanzo at that point. He stops, sets the coffee cup on the pavement, carefully balances the remaining cake on top of it and turns toward Jesse, who immediately takes a wary step back. "Whoa there. You wouldn't hit a man holding coffee, now, wouldya?"
He steps closer without a word. Jesse winces theatrically, holding the cup in front of him like a shield. Hanzo pulls it to the side gently, rises on tiptoes and plants a soft kiss on the corner of Jesse's mouth, brushing the stray crumbs out of his beard.
"It would appear I do," he smirks, relishing the stunned look on Jesse's face, "have an unfortunate inclination towards American savages."
He turns away before his fond expression gives away too much, picks up his coffee, takes a bite of the muffin and resumes walking.
"Always with the last word," says Jesse behind his back, voice wavering strangely on the last syllable. He clears his throat. Hanzo glances back at him, alarmed by that tone, but Jesse's looking down, face obscured by the brim of the hat; by the time he raises his head, there's nothing but warm amusement on his face.
The policemen outside the Metal Head pub greet them nearly cordially. The older of the duo, a middle-aged, stern-faced blonde, side eyes Hanzo's piercings and his quiver a little, but with Jesse's Peacekeeper safely hidden in a shoulder holster and the Storm Bow still in its case on Hanzo's back, he supposes they look more weird than dangerous.
They both keep a straight face while presenting their "official" Overwatch IDs, which, as far as Hanzo is aware, mean nothing at all in absolutely any jurisdiction, at least until Winston, Tracer and Dr. Ziegler manage to get somewhere in the talks with the UN. The constables barely give them a glance, presumably having been briefed about whom to expect. The explaining, especially in Hanzo's case, takes a little bit longer. He has to demonstrate the soles of his climbing boots and explain the mechanism before he's believed in his claim that yes, he is planning to scout across the rooftops.
After everything has been agreed upon, the younger policeman, round-faced and with a thick accent, suddenly produces a sheet of paper. "My daughter's obsessed with Overwatch, both the old one and the new," he explains, slightly bashful. The paper is a cheap printout of one of the tacky old recruitment posters, with Commander Morrison's stylized profile in the background, and Tracer, Winston, Reinhardt and Mercy lined up in forefront. None of them look even remotely like themselves. "So if you gents could sign this for me, you'd make a little girl very happy…?"
Jesse, of course, acts like he has dreamed of nothing more: asks for the daughter's name, puts down an extravagant signature, adds a personalized message and tops it all up with a row of 'x' marks. Hanzo's simple 半蔵 looks satisfyingly severe in comparison, at least until Jesse badgers him into adding a Roman transliteration and a smiley face. He firmly draws a line at messages.
"You are ridiculous," mutters Hanzo, after the patrol finally rounds the corner. "Why do you have a compulsion to charm everyone in your path?"
Jesse gives him a sideways look. "We do want folks to like us, y'know. When we're nothin' more than a bunch of shady vigilantes, reputation means everythin'. Remember what happened the last time Overwatch lost the public support? 'Cause I do, and I don't wanna see that happenin' again."
Hanzo hums in response. The past is a touchy subject with McCree, who invariably clams up whenever someone brings up Geneva or his departure from the old Overwatch. "So you are saying that this is all some kind of a… PR effort?"
"That, and my sparklin' personality," nods Jesse.
Hanzo would be more inclined to believe him, had he not witnessed, several times over the months, a diametrically different version of McCree: reclusive, monosyllabic, avoidant, positively acerbic if not left alone, lurking in corners like a chain-smoking, whiskey-smelling ghost. He decides not to bring it up, not now, but resolves to remind Jesse of his bold claims the next time he gets, as Tracer describes it, in a funk.
They split and comb the area pretty thoroughly: Jesse takes the ground, Hanzo — everything above. He immediately dislikes the amount of decent vantage points he finds, makes mental notes and tries out a few routes leading to the most obvious ones. The snow is his ally, at least — there are no tracks apart from his own. It will not matter much if Talon sends the Widowmaker, but at least there seems to be no evidence of any sort of a premeditated ambush.
Twice, a police drone flies close and hovers for a while. He pulls the hood back over his head, just in case the footage it's undoubtedly recording mysteriously finds its way to the Internet, yet again.
According to the running commentary in his ear, Jesse is happier with his own results. He tests several exits, praises the place's decent defensive value, finds no bugs nor signs of unusual activity in the pub's security footage. "It appears your hacker friend does not wish you ill after all," concludes Hanzo, appraising the angle from his final perch. It seems that as long as they stay away from the windows, they should be safe.
At least Jesse appears to have good instincts: even though he has been all over the pub, Hanzo has not spotted him through the windows even once.
"A true Christmas miracle, that," says the voice in his ear drily. "Ten years ago, I swear she'd've sold her own grandmother for a piece of intel."
"Perhaps she likes you more than her grandmother." Hanzo folds the binoculars, slides them back into the pocket and jumps to the balcony below. "You are quite a likeable person, after all."
"Aw, shucks." Jesse's grin is somehow clearly audible. "I think that's the nicest thing you ever said to me."
Waiting for the passersby to walk past, Hanzo allows himself a smirk. "I think I said much nicer things not so long ago."
Unwitnessed, he lands on the ground in a side alley, to the sound of a delighted laugh ringing through the channel. "I'm a terrible influence on you, darlin'. Makes me right proud."
He finds Jesse inside the pub, at the bar, making conversation with the owner, an older model Omnic, who introduces himself as Mark. True to the name of the place, he's dressed mostly in black leather, and his shiny head, covered in small scratches and dozens of assorted decals, has three rows of long black spikes welded on at the back. He appears fairly resistant to Jesse's charms, clipped in his answers, though not impolite; after they size each other up and exchange curt greetings, Hanzo immediately feels like he has found a kindred soul.
Jesse fires off an all-clear to Winston, then insists on ordering mulled wine to warm them up. Hanzo gratefully wraps half-frozen fingers around the glass and promises himself to find a pair of gloves more suitable for this weather. He sips the hot liquid and listens to Jesse, who has finally found a topic of conversation that Mark has more than one word to say about, and is spinning a colorful story about his old CO and his unwavering love for an ancient band called AC/DC. One of the decals on Mark's right temple, Hanzo notices, spells out the band's name in gaudy gothic letters. Mark switches the music to one of AC/DC's old hits; Jesse drums on the bar to the rhythm, attempts to sing the chorus and complains about not having the voice range to do it. Hanzo closes his eyes and relaxes, warm inside and out.
Eventually, after Mark goes back to his job, Hanzo commands a retreat to the hotel. They walk back swiftly; Jesse declares a dire need for a nap, and Hanzo is equally eager to visit the gym, having not had an opportunity for exercise in several days.
As the entrance appears in sight, Jesse slows down. "So, I've been wonderin'," he starts with casualness that sounds just a little bit off, "how long are you plannin' to stay after tonight?"
Hanzo glances at him, but it's already getting dark, and Jesse's features are hidden in the shadow of that damnable hat. "I have booked the room for one more night after this, but I am not in a hurry to leave."
"Alright." A pause.
"And you are welcome to join me in my room, if you wish. The bed is king-sized anyway. Assuming you can refrain from smoking your horrible cigars."
Jesse laughs, embarrassed, rubs his beard. "I'm that transparent, huh?"
"It is understandable." Hanzo's chest swells with warmth; he resists the temptation to turn and embrace him then and there. "Come. Let's get out of the cold and deal with the rooms."
Jesse, on top of his game, sorts out the room change under ten minutes and with a price discount to boot. Another ten minutes later, he dumps his bags in the corner of Hanzo's — their — room and falls face first on the bed, groaning with relief.
Hanzo changes into his workout clothes, grabs a towel, assures Jesse he will wake him after he's done with the gym and leaves, throat suddenly tight from the memory of the last time he voluntarily shared his room with someone.
Invigorated, muscles pleasantly burning with exertion, Hanzo opens the door to find Jesse shirtless and starfished face-down on the bed. His left arm is stretched out, palm hanging limply off the bed, and the right one is curled under the pillow; Hanzo wonders if he put the Peacekeeper there. It would be rather inconvenient to get shot in his own room for making a sudden noise.
He closes the door softly, turns on a single wall light and hangs the towel on an armchair. Jesse does not stir. He toes off his shoes, pads quietly over to the bed and feasts his eyes on the sight of a bare, muscular back, rising and falling in a smooth rhythm. There are more than a few scars marring Jesse's tan skin; an urge to get closer and track them nearly overtakes him. He swallows, flexes his fingers through a sudden flash of want.
"Please refrain from shooting me," he says instead in a low and calm voice, tensed up and ready to dodge.
Jesse's muscles twitch sharply, then relax. "Since you asked so nicely," he mumbles groggily, pulls the Peacekeeper out from under the pillow, gropes blindly for the nightstand, drops the weapon down with a clatter. Hanzo hovers, hesitating: he is filthy after the workout, sweaty and in dire need of a shower, but the sight of Jesse spread out like this, dim light casting shadows across his back, roots him in place and makes his mouth go dry.
"'Time is it?" Jesse stirs and rubs his face on the pillow, flexing his hips against the bed. The near obscenity of that motion shoots fire straight to Hanzo's groin and makes his next breath come up short.
He bites his lip. So what if he's dirty; knowing McCree, he might even appreciate that.
Jesse's whole body tenses as Hanzo kneels on the bed, straddles his waist and spreads both palms on the warm skin. "Howdy," he smiles, turning his head in a futile attempt to look back. Hanzo shushes him, kneading the muscles until they relax again, then slowly, gingerly runs his fingers along the scars, trying to identify the cause of each one.
"Yeah, that one was a close call," says Jesse, head still to the side, voice low, when Hanzo lingers on a large, nasty gunshot wound under his left shoulder blade. Hanzo succumbs to the impulse to lean in and kiss it; Jesse shivers, turns his face back into the pillow and falls silent.
Jesse's skin is a chronicle of fights: bullet scars, old stitches, slashes shallow and deep. He kisses each one, and each time, Jesse tenses up a little more. When he gets to the ragged shrapnel marks radiating from the joint of the prosthetic, Jesse's bionic fingers convulsively dig into the bedspread. The pillow almost muffles his whimper.
Hanzo stops, pulling away. "Too much?"
Jesse shakes his head without a word, so he leans back in, gently brushes Jesse's hair away and drags his tongue up his neck, instead, and then over his ear, letting the barbell catch on the earlobe. Jesse shudders; the movement puts brief pressure on Hanzo's groin and he pushes down on reflex, gasping, realizing just how hard he's become.
Jesse's right hand shoots back, fingers biting into his thigh. Hanzo detaches it gently, pulls it back up, pins the wrist next to his head. "Don't move," he murmurs into his ear, half-drunk on desire and power, and slowly grinds his hips against the swell of Jesse's ass.
"Jesus," whispers Jesse shakily.
All of a sudden, all Hanzo wants is to make him fall apart. He licks a line up his spine, kisses his neck, flicks the barbell against his ear again, delicately bites down on the lobe, sucks it in. The breathless groan he gets from that nearly boils the blood in his veins.
He sits back up. "Turn around," he commands.
For a moment, Jesse does not move, just rises on his forearms and breathes deeply, head bowed. Hanzo gets off him and nudges him gently. With a final, explosive exhale, Jesse turns.
Hanzo's heart seizes at the sight: dark-eyed, wild-haired, barely restrained, he's beautiful. Mine, whispers the dragon.
Jesse remains passive when Hanzo reaches for his belt and zipper, allows him to impatiently pull his socks and pants off, just tracks his movements with dark, glittering eyes. His fingers twitch at his sides. He closes his eyes when Hanzo hooks fingers around the waistband of his boxers; Hanzo hesitates. "Do you want me to stop?"
Jesse's eyes fly back open. "Don't you dare."
He snorts out a quiet laugh at the fierceness of that statement, pulls the underwear off, straddles Jesse's knees and just… stares, for a minute. His laughter seems to have broken the tension somewhat, because Jesse leans back comfortably against the pillows, folds his hands under his head, unabashed in his nudity and obvious arousal, and grins up at him crookedly. "Likin' what you see?"
He does. If he did not want so much, he could look at Jesse for hours. But he does want, he suddenly burns with it, so he wordlessly pulls his shirt off, tosses it to the side, insinuates himself between Jesse's legs and backs down the bed a bit.
He throws one last glance at Jesse's face — slack-jawed and wide-eyed with realization, no trace of the smile left — before carefully closing his mouth over the head of his cock.
Jesse's voice breaks on a curse.
This is the theoretical part of his knowledge. He has no idea how to do this, but he can extrapolate from his own preferences and experience. He learns Jesse's shape (thicker, slightly curved), savors his taste (different, pleasant), checks how far he can take him before his palate starts protesting (not very far). Jesse endures the experimentation quietly, panting, occasionally gasping, stomach muscles jumping, thighs flexing under Hanzo's arms.
Through the daze, it occurs to him that this teasing must be torturous. He pulls off, licking his lips, and looks up: Jesse is staring at him, nostrils flaring, hands gripping the bedspread so tight it looks like it might rip at any moment.
"Do you still want me to set the pace?" Hanzo murmurs, mouth quirking in a wicked smile.
Jesse sits up rapidly and pulls him up for a greedy kiss, fumbling with his hairband. "Anythin'," he breathes into Hanzo's mouth, combing fingers through his hair. "Do anythin' you want, an' don't do anythin' you don't want. If you kill me, 'least I'm gonna die happy."
Hanzo does not want him to die, but he does want to shatter his composure. He pushes Jesse back onto the pillows, takes one last hungry look, wraps his fingers around the base of his cock and sucks.
Jesse chokes on air and spasms so hard he nearly bucks Hanzo off. "Sorry," he gasps, "sorry— shit—"
Hanzo finds a rhythm and keeps it up, hypnotized with the helpless sounds escaping Jesse's throat. A hand winds into his hair, stroking, encouraging without pushing, just a tiniest bit of pressure that sends a shock of lust through him; it makes him break off, dizzied, bite Jesse's thigh and shove a hand into his own pants, seeking some relief. Jesse swears loudly at that, lets go of his hair and thumps a fist against the bed. "Hanzo," he groans.
Hanzo ungracefully kicks off his sweatpants, figures out an angle at which he can rub himself against the bed and goes back in with renewed fervor, grabbing Jesse's hand and pushing it back against his scalp. Jesse inhales raggedly and tightens fingers in his hair, just shy of painful, then relaxes them immediately, tries to apologize again. Hanzo growls, covers his hand with his own and squeezes forcefully, trying to communicate without speaking that yes, he likes it, he fucking loves it, he wants more of it.
Jesse gets it, grits out a string of curses and pushes at his head more insistently. Everything blurs after that; Hanzo, entranced, focuses entirely on the taste and feel of Jesse on his tongue, the breathless, desperate sounds he's making and the way his fingers twist in Hanzo' hair. He barely notices that Jesse is trying to warn him, tensing and gasping out his name, and when he does, he does not hesitate: he has fantasized of this enough. He tightens his grip on Jesse, takes him as deep in his mouth as he can and drags his tongue hard against the underside.
Jesse goes rigid and comes with a muffled shout. Hanzo, breathing hard through his nose, persists until there's nothing left to swallow, crawls up, forces Jesse's bionic hand away from his mouth, kisses his slackened lips, wraps a hand around himself and jerks off without any finesse, desperate for a release. Jesse, dizzy and uncoordinated, tries to return the kiss, pulls him closer with the left hand, curls the right tightly around his fingers. It takes mere seconds before Hanzo cries out too, shaking and squeezing his eyes shut against the blinding outburst of electric blue light. He collapses on top of Jesse, shivering and spent.
They lie quietly, breathing hard. The air smells of sweat, sex and ozone.
Minutes pass. Hanzo expects Jesse to be the one to speak first, but he's proven wrong. "You are unusually quiet," he mutters eventually, giving up.
Jesse hums beside his ear. "I have so many things to say, I can't decide what to start with."
"How many of them are terrible jokes?"
"None, actually." Mildly alarmed, he puts some effort into raising his head to look at Jesse's face. Jesse chuckles. "Alright, maybe one or two."
"Go on, then."
"Was that the 'theoretical knowledge' you mentioned?"
Keeping his head up proves to be an effort; he folds his arms on Jesse's chest and rests his chin on top. "Yes."
"So you ain't done this before."
"Holy shit," breathes Jesse, eyes closing briefly. "I am the luckiest man on the planet."
Hanzo snorts out a surprised laugh. "Stop exaggerating. I know it can be done much better."
"Sweetheart, if you're plannin' to improve from there, then boy, am I in for a wild ride."
He does not have it in him to try and contain the smile; for a moment, they just beam at each other like idiots.
"Second question. Did you just light up all dragon-like, or did I come so hard I hallucinated?"
Hanzo bites the inside of his cheek, mildly embarrassed. "I... might have. The dragons can manifest in moments of particularly strong emotion."
Jesse raises his eyebrows. "So I should be glad you didn't fry me."
He huffs, offended. "Firstly, that was not a full manifestation. A conscious application of will is required to have them form fully. Secondly, the dragons do my bidding. They would not destroy you unless I ordered it."
Jesse smiles, reaching to brush stray hair out of his face. "You're otherworldly, all lit up like that. I kinda want to see it more often."
"Well then." Hanzo gives him the haughtiest look he can muster. "Do your best."
A throaty chuckle. "Oh, I will. Third question: does working out always get you so fired up?"
He narrows his eyes. "I was not 'fired up'."
"I beg to disagree. Here I was, dozin' peacefully—"
Hanzo interrupts him with a palm across his mouth. "I was not fired up when I left the gym. It was all your influence."
"What influence? I was asleep!"
"Stop fishing for compliments. You know you are attractive."
Jesse blinks in surprise before recovering. "Well, I sure as hell ain't ugly, but I ain't no Adonis either—"
"You are very attractive, both your body and your mind," he sighs. "Do not make me regret saying this."
Jesse's face does something complicated; he's either genuinely astonished, or trying to find a way to turn the declaration into a joke. Hanzo decides to make a preemptive strike. "My turn for a question."
Jesse's eyes light up with interest. "Shoot."
"Did you lose my hairband again?"
Jesse makes another unsuccessful attempt to convince Hanzo to shower with him; Hanzo points out, yet again, that the cubicle is barely big enough for one grown man, let alone two, and announces he's taking the first shower by virtue of being on top. Jesse's still laughing by the time he closes the bathroom door.
When he emerges, Jesse still has not found his hair tie; Hanzo has a suspicion he did not even try looking. "I'll buy you a whole bunch," he promises, eyes shining with mirth, and attempts to embrace him. Hanzo dodges, grinning, and instructs him to wash first. He has several spares, but considering Jesse's apparent fixation with his hair and the way things have been going so far, he will need all he can get.
They try out the small, capsule-fed coffee machine available in the room. Jesse lounges on the bed, long legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles, and sips the coffee from a dainty porcelain cup. Hanzo finds the sight as entertaining as it is endearing. He sits cross-legged next to Jesse and opens the holopad.
Jesse leans slightly into him and lets out a satisfied sigh. "Whatcha doin'?"
"Making notes," he responds, reluctant, instinctively angling the display so that Jesse can't read it.
"Come on, now," grumbles Jesse, offended. "I wasn't gonna look, you don't have to hide. Was just curious, is all."
"It is very private," he tries to explain.
Jesse waves him away with the free hand. "'S okay. Forget I asked."
Hanzo frowns and stares at the open document, unseeing. If anyone is worthy of knowing about his little list… "I started seeing a therapist, some months ago," he starts, haltingly. "She gave me a number of tasks to perform. One of them was to keep a list of things that I wanted and allowed myself to have."
Jesse, thankfully, stays quiet.
"I have been updating it for nearly two months now. It helps… I think."
A metal arm sneaks around his shoulders, pulls him close. "Thanks for tellin' me."
Hanzo decides the mood needs lightening up. "You have been instrumental in the latest additions to this list. It is only fair that I tell you."
Predictably, that makes Jesse perk up with a grin. "Do you need help figurin' out a proper way of sayin' 'I gave my sweetheart amazin' head'?"
He covers his face with his palm in mock despair. "I instantly regret this decision."
Jesse chuckles, takes another sip of coffee. "Well, if you need help with phrasin', you only need to ask."
It's only after he's made several edits to the list (struggling with the phrasing a lot), caught up on unread mail and glanced at the news, that he realizes that Jesse has fallen silent. A glance to the side proves that he's not asleep, as Hanzo initially assumed, but staring somewhere into middle distance.
"Is everything all right?" Hanzo asks, concerned.
Jesse blinks, pulled out of his reverie. "Yeah. I was just thinkin'."
He can't resist the opening. "Watch that you don't overexert yourself."
That gets him a half-smile. "You just lost any an' all rights to lecture me about bad jokes, darlin'." Jesse takes a deep breath, as if psyching himself up. "It's past six. We should probably get movin' soon."
Hanzo raises his eyebrows. "And that conclusion required so much thinking?"
"Don't sass me." Jesse punches him in the bicep. "I was goin' to ask you a question."
"Well, then, ask it."
"I can't ask it if you keep interruptin' me," gripes Jesse. Hanzo bites his tongue and says nothing; Jesse eyes him suspiciously for a moment before continuing. "I was gonna ask you 'bout PDAs."
It takes a moment of confusion before he remembers the meaning of the acronym. "What about them?"
Jesse does not look at him as he speaks. "We're goin' out to meet the others. Do you want to keep this between us?"
Hanzo's thoughts immediately go to the previous evening and the unexpected happiness found in simple holding hands. Will he not be allowed to do that again? The thought of spending time in Jesse's company and pretending there is nothing between them makes his stomach drop.
He takes a deep breath and steels himself. He already got more than he ever thought he would; if this is the price, he will pay it gladly.
"It is fine," he says, throat tight, schooling his features into the calmest expression he can muster.
"Hey now, hold on." Jesse turns fully towards him, frowning. "I didn't say I wanted to, I asked if you did."
Hanzo processes this and slouches, weak with relief; he did not realize just how much he tensed up. "So you do not want to keep this a secret?"
Jesse sputters. "What— are you kiddin'? I want to climb the Big Ben and holler about it for the whole city to hear! I just— I always thought you were a private person, y'know, all stoic-like. Didn't think you'd like my paws all over you in public."
"You can paw me as much as you like," says Hanzo weakly, then realizes the dangers of what he just said and attempts to compose himself. "Within sensible limits. I do not want to get arrested."
Jesse pulls him into an awkward sideways hug, starts to say something, breaks off with a bitten-off laugh. He shakes his head against Hanzo's. "That was dumb. Sorry."
Unwelcome confessions crowd on Hanzo's tongue. He tamps them down hard — nothing good can come of his mouth when he is feeling this emotional — and pushes his face more firmly into the juncture between Jesse's neck and shoulder.
Predictably, Jesse is incapable of not ruining the mood. "So," he starts, and the tone of his voice is enough to make Hanzo roll his eyes and steel himself for the inevitable," is jumping on a table and yelling 'listen all y'all, I'm sleeping with Hanzo Shimada!' within sensible limits?"
"I changed my mind, and I am not going," mutters Hanzo darkly, just to hear Jesse cackle.
They almost end up late to the party. Jesse McCree in a good mood is a force to be reckoned with, and by the time they get to the pub's door, Hanzo's diaphragm is cramping from laughter and he is covered with snow from a brief, but intense snowball duel on the way. At least he has the satisfaction of having given as good as he got, and Jesse is looking like a snowman in a hat and a red cape.
"No yelling from tables," he tells Jesse sternly as they shake off the worst of the snow in front of the entrance, and ducks inside without giving him a chance to reply.
Winston, Tracer and Emily are already in. "Jesse! Long time no see!" exclaims Tracer, blinks right into him, then shrieks and reappears back where she started. "Bloody hell, why are you all wet?!"
"Fell into a snowdrift," grins Jesse, pulling off the snow-packed serape.
Tracer eyes him suspiciously, arms akimbo. "Right. Repeatedly? And so did Hanzo? What have you guys been doing, fisticuffs in the snow?"
Hanzo hides behind Jesse, content to let him lie his way out of the interrogation.
"Alright," says Jesse, divested of serape, hat and jacket, and opens his arms wide. "C'mere, Lena, gimme that hug."
Tracer complies with a happy squeal. "Missed you! How come you're late? You were already in London!"
"Sunshine, a cowboy is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." Jesse hugs Emily, claps Winston on the shoulder, beckons Hanzo over. "Emily, this is Hanzo, our mysterious ninja archer. Hanzo, this is Lena's sweetheart, Emily."
"Hanzo, at your service," says Hanzo formally, bowing. Emily, a pretty, bright eyed redhead, smiles and bows right back at him.
"He's the bloke with the dragons," adds Tracer in a stage whisper. "How come you've done your hair back up? It looked really cool before."
"See, that's what I told him," says Jesse casually behind his back. Hanzo represses a smile at the suspicious glance Tracer sends his way, an effort that is rendered moot by Jesse's arms wrapping around him a moment later. "But he won't listen to me."
Tracer covers her mouth with both hands, eyes growing huge. "Oh my god, guys."
Hanzo can only imagine the expression on Jesse's face — his own must be spectacular. He puts his palm over Jesse's hands in lieu of speaking.
"Oh my GOD," she repeats. "I can't believe you two. When! How!"
"Yesterday," responds Jesse cheerfully, squeezes Hanzo and plants a kiss on the back of his head. "As for 'how', well, I'd give you a detailed run-down, but—" Hanzo elbows him the stomach "— oof — but Hanzo won't let me, apparently, and I don't think you'd be much into it anyway, what with the batting for the other team..."
"Gross. Hanzo, love, I'm so happy for you! Does Genji know yet?" Hanzo shakes his head. "Oh wow, this is the best news ever. Lúcio's going to be chuffed to bits!"
Before he can inquire further, Hanzo finds himself at the center of a group hug, with Tracer and Emily embracing them from both sides, and Winston's giant arms wrapping around them all.
Reliable as always, Jesse laughs and rambles enough that no one notices Hanzo's heroic attempts to blink away tears.
Jesse, absolutely gleeful, springs the surprise again upon the arrival of Reinhardt and his entourage. With some encouragement in the form of a celebratory gin and tonic produced by Tracer, Hanzo begins to enjoy the reactions almost as much as Jesse does. Torbjörn starts guffawing mid-sentence; Reinhardt roars with delight and attempts to reenact the group hug with everyone present, encouraged by a camera-wielding Brigitte. Mercy, who turns up in the middle of that scene, smiles serenely until she notices the crucial detail of Jesse's arms wrapped tightly around Hanzo, at which she does a classic, comical double-take. After that, she hugs Jesse for so long that he grows visibly embarrassed, a sight so rare that Hanzo takes a surreptitious photo of his own.
The meaning of Tracer's earlier remark is revealed with the appearance of Lúcio.
"Hey Lúcio," singsongs Tracer, sat cross-legged on the bar, "guess whaaat!"
"What's up, fam?" grins Lúcio, follows Tracer's pointing finger to where Hanzo and Jesse, arms around each other, are being subjected to Reinhardt's family pictures, and lets out a whoop of delight. "Noooo way! Hah! CALLED IT!"
That gets Jesse's attention; Hanzo, on his second gin&tonic and grinning, watches him raise from the seat as Lúcio improvises a little celebratory dance.
"What do you mean, 'called it'?" asks Jesse, sounding hilariously accusatory.
Lúcio's unapologetic grin grows even bigger. "Totally called you guys ending up together. I mean, have you seen yourselves? I don't even know which one of you was more obvious with the pining. Is Hana in yet? Oh, this is going to be great."
"I was not—" Jesse protests, to general laughter, "there was no pinin'— stop makin' things up!"
"There really was, man, you were mooning over each other sooo hard, Hana and I had a bet going for months." Lúcio whoops victoriously again. "She's going to be so pissed, you guys made it literally at the last moment!"
Hanzo can't help it, he starts laughing too at the expression of pure indignation on Jesse's features. "A bet?! You had a bet about this and you didn't let me in? You little shit— and what do you mean, last moment?"
Lúcio cackles, slaps Jesse on the back. "You'll see. For real though, grats, man. Feels good to see you two happy. Hanzo, good job, dude."
Hanzo raises his glass in silent toast.
Jesse is still trying to interrogate Lúcio about the details of the bet, when those who took the route through Asia start trickling in. Zarya settles for a "Good for you", slaps each of them on the shoulder and heads for the bar. Mei actually starts crying, causing general consternation before she explains, voice wavering, that she absolutely loves happy endings and she is so happy for them she could burst. That starts another round of hugs; Hanzo is awkwardly patting Mei's shoulders, silently begging a grinning Jesse for help, when Hana stomps in and demands to know what the ruckus is about.
Mei finally lets Hanzo go, wiping her face with her sleeve and beaming. "Jesse and Hanzo are together!"
Hana stares at them incredulously. "Seriously, guys," she exclaims shrilly, "you couldn't have waited TWO DAYS?!"
"Pay up," chants Lúcio from behind, "pay up, pay uuuuup—"
"Two days! I can't believe this. You danced around each other for half a year and NOW you decided to do something about it?!"
Jesse chuckles, shaking his head in disbelief. "So the bet was on us gettin' our shit together this year, eh? You lil' bastards."
"Sure was," pipes up Lúcio, bumps a fist against Jesse's arm and clinks a glass against Hanzo's. "Thought I lost for sure when you didn't get your heads out of your asses before Christmas."
"This totally should count as a win," mutters Hana sullenly.
"Welp," Jesse hooks his thumbs behind his belt, "if you really wanted to win, then you should've just let me in on the bet."
Hanzo turns and gives him a pointed look. "And what exactly would you have done?"
"I dunno," grins Jesse, "we could've negotiated somethin'— hey, don't punch me—"
"I already miss the UST," says Hana sadly.
Genji, sitting at the bar with Zenyatta and Mark, waits until Hana is done complaining and Lúcio is done gloating, then walks up to Hanzo and embraces him without a word. Hanzo stiffens; Jesse gives him a knowing look, plucks the glass out of his hand and walks away, giving them privacy. Hanzo helplessly clutches his brother and chokes up for the second time.
"Congratulations, brother," murmurs Genji. "I thought I could not be any more proud of you."
Hanzo doesn't trust himself to speak; he tightens the embrace instead and tries to even out his breathing. Genji discreetly turns them so that Hanzo isn't facing the rest of the group and waits patiently until he composes himself.
"McCree is a good man and a good match for you," he says eventually, putting Hanzo at arm's length, "and I will come and kick both your asses if you mess it up."
Hanzo glares, too shaken to come up with a retort. Genji nods at him, gives him a last pat on the shoulder, then walks over to Jesse, hovering nearby, punches him in the arm and delivers his most sincere condolences. Hanzo follows, rolling his eyes; Genji being his old self immediately puts him back on a stable ground.
"You have always had a shitty taste in romantic interests, McCree," Genji snickers. "I hope that you don't end up regretting getting involved with my angstbucket of a brother."
Jesse straightens, eyebrows raised, and points at him in a mock warning. "Do not badmouth my boyfriend in front of me, or there'll be consequences."
Boyfriend. Hanzo fixates on that word, reaches to pull on Jesse's arm to get his attention. "Do you mean it?"
"'Course I do." Jesse puffs up. "Imma defend your honor by any means necessary."
"No, I mean," insists Hanzo, equally terrified and thrilled, "that word. Did you mean it? That I am— that we are— that."
Jesse pauses, blinks rapidly, searches his face. "Uh. Well, I kinda assumed—"
Neither of them notice Genji groaning theatrically and walking away.
Hanzo does not want any misunderstandings this time: he grabs Jesse by the front of his shirt, stares into his eyes. "Jesse. Are. We. Boyfriends."
Jesse laughs nervously, covers Hanzo's hands with his own. "I dunno, I thought we're maybe a couple decades too old for that word? Partners, I guess…? If you want."
"So this is a relationship," breathes Hanzo in disbelief.
Jesse smiles, impossibly warm, eyes shining. "Hanzo, darlin'. You might not've noticed, but I've been in love with you for a while, now. I'm all yours if you'll have me."
Hanzo has no words, so he attempts to say everything through a kiss.
In the background, their friends start cooing and laughing, Hana wails about excessive PDA, and Mark shakes his head, long-suffering, and changes the music.
Sound of the drums, beatin' in my heart
The thunder of guns tore me apart
You've been thunderstruck