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Christmas Past & Present

Chapter Text

Unbeknownst to most, Hanzo was actually fairly good at giving gifts, although he rarely did so.

Genji had been very young the first time he witnessed this, shortly after their mother had been executed for trying to spirit the two of them away from the rest of the family to spare them from their fate. Their father had ordered all of her belongings to be burnt, despite Genji's wretched sobs. In seeing his brother’s reaction, Hanzo had rushed towards the bonfire before the flames fully caught hold. Before anyone could stop him, he had leapt into the fire, snatching the dark grey scarf that had been their mother's favourite, and smothering the flames on his own body, before darting out again. He managed to thrust it at his little brother before his father's men were able to wrangle him and bring him to a medic. Their father had said nothing of the event, despite witnessing it in silence, nor did he try to tear the cloth away from the young boy. Genji continued to wear this scarf to this day as a part of his armor.

It was with great curiosity then, and some trepidation on his brother’s behalf, that Genji awaited Hanzo's second Christmas with Overwatch, and his first year together with Jesse McCree. While his own relationship with his brother was still one of stilted cordiality, and he expected no gift himself, Genji could still read some of his brother's old patterns: enough so to recognize that Hanzo completely adored the cowboy. Their own relationship being what it was, Genji was surprised when Hanzo was the one who approached him with the topic.

"Will you walk with me?"

Genji tilted his head inquisitively at the question, taken off guard. His brother had not asked for his company once since his arrival to Gibraltar: it had always been Genji who extended the invitation. Hanzo's impatient glare spurred him to answer.

"Of course, aniki."

They walked in an uncomfortable silence. When they were clear from the main buildings, Hanzo spoke, in Japanese.

"Jesse is excited for Christmas."

Genji smiled to himself behind his visor. His brother had always been blunt and slightly awkward when it came to issues close to his heart.

"It is one of his favourite holidays," Genji agreed. Christmas always made McCree extra sentimental. His enthusiasm was contagious: he would prod at the other agents until they too gave into the cheer of the season. "Will you be exchanging presents?"

"Yes."

The answer was quick, too abrupt. Genji remembered the signs well enough to know that something was troubling his brother.

"...would you like help?" He asked carefully. They had never talked about his brother's relationship with Jesse, and Genji was not certain whether the topic was taboo between them.

"...in a manner of speaking, yes," Hanzo answered, looking to the distance, avoiding Genji’s gaze. "I already know what the present will be," he added, before the younger Shimada could ask.

"Oh?" Something about Hanzo's body language was making Genji uneasy.

"Yes."

His brother was stalling. Genji waited patiently.

"...I am going to bring Gabriel Reyes home."

At first, Genji was certain he must have misheard, or that it must have been a joke. One look into Hanzo's eyes cured him of these misconceptions.

"...you're serious." His mask did nothing to hide the incredulity in his voice.

"Yes."

"Who authorized the mission?"

Hanzo furrowed his brow, confused. "Mission?"

"...you've not told anyone," The horror of the situation was slowly beginning to dawn on the ninja. "...you're going to do this *alone*?"

"Hopefully not," Hanzo answered wryly.

"Then who...wait why are you telling me this--holy shit aniki you cannot be seriously asking—"

Hanzo's laughter sliced through his sputtering. Genji could not remember the last time he felt this flustered, nor the last time he had made his brother laugh.

"He will kill you," Genji managed finally.

"He will not," his brother answered, finally turning to face him with some amusement in his eyes. "Reyes is just a man, after all."

"Not just him. Jesse. And Morrison. There will be a fucking line up of people waiting to kill you." Genji was tempted to join this line up himself.

Hanzo snorted. "I have no intention of dying. Your aid might help to ensure this."

"You are insane," Genji realized. "Years of stress has finally driven you insane."

Hanzo laughed again. "On the contrary, I've not been as certain that I am not for a very long time," The smile in his eyes faded a bit. "You cannot deny that this is what he would want the most."

It was true. Part of McCree's love of the season was caused by memories of the first few holidays they had spent together as a team—a family—after his recruitment by Reyes. The celebrations had never quite been the same after Recall.

"How do you even know that Reaper will want to come back? He does not appear to be brainwashed."

“Has anyone ever asked him?”

“…what?”

“Has anyone ever asked Reyes if he wanted to return?”

“He is Reaper. He is part of a terrorist organization that stands against everything that we stand for. Every time he sees us, he aims to kill, so no, no one has asked him if he’s wanted to return to Overwatch,” Genji’s voice grew louder with every phrase.

”Ah, I understand now. So the invitation that you extended to me was a one-time offer to crime lords who have tried to murder members of Overwatch.”

”That’s. Different. You…you are…” Genji lost his resolve to finish his sentence part way through. He felt as though perhaps his vents may have been overheating.

"Further, Dr. Ziegler is convinced that his mental state is related to the condition currently afflicting his body. She believes that his mind will be clearer once she fixes the error she began, which she believes she can do."

"You told Angela about this plan?"

"No."

"Then how did you--"

"Dr. Ziegler does not hold her alcohol well."

Genji raised a hand to his forehead. "Aniki..."

"I did not even need to drug her."

Genji looked up sharply. His brother's smirk told him that he had been joking, to the ninja's relief. Still...

"Aniki, I cannot do this."

"Then don't. It was simply a request. I did not expect you to say yes."

Something about his brother’s flippant response infuriated Genji even more. However, their banter and his frustration were almost playful. It was reminiscent of earlier days.

"But you wouldn't tell on me, would you?" Hanzo was looking downward at his nails, arrogant smirk on his lips.

"What."

"You wouldn't tattle, to Jesse, or Winston, or Soldier. That would be very unlike you."

"I am not going to let you—"

"Because I never told on you, did I?" Hanzo looked up smugly.

This was ridiculous. A ridiculous situation.

If Hanzo could see his brother's face, he would understand how completely absurd he thought this entire conversation actually was, but also how entirely, somehow—familiar. A part of Genji's heart lifted, and felt lighter than it had in years.

He had no answer to Hanzo's question, however, so he did the next best thing: he escaped.

"We are not done here!" he warned in English, leaping up to scale a wall.

"No, we are not," Hanzo called after him.

---

"He has completely lost it!"

Zenyatta sat patiently as Genji paced in front of him, making exclamations about his brother's mental health. He hummed. Genji stopped and turned.

"Master? You agree, don't you?"

"It is hard for me to say, my pupil. You have not told me any details regarding the gift he intends to give."

Genji shifted, metallic joints squeaking.

"...and that itself, speaks, does it not?" Zenyatta pressed further.

It was true that Genji had refused to tell even his master about Hanzo's plan.

"Your brother has reached out to you for help. While I do not understand the circumstances, I believe that this act in itself, that he found the courage to do so, also speaks volumes. All that is left is to decide what you will do with his request."

Genji sighed, lowering himself to the floor so that his legs were under him.

"You do not know what he asks, master."

"You are correct, I do not. But you do, as you know him, and yourself. You have all that you need."

"Knowing all the ingredients to a cake does not mean one can bake successfully, master."

"True, but the advantage is still there. And one will never know, if one never tries."

As always, his master was right. Genji did wish secretly though that he could one day win in their exchange of aphorisms.

---

"Athena, locate Agent Hanzo Shimada."

"Agent Hanzo Shimada is currently in Agent McCree's quarters."

"Athena, alert me when Agent Shimada returns to his quarters."

"Acknowledged."

---

"Athena, locate Agent Shimada."

"Do you mean Agent Hanzo Shimada, or Agent Genji Shimada?"

"For fucks sake, don't you have voice recogn—wait, are you just messing with me?"

"Yes."

---

"Athena--"

"Agent Hanzo is currently in Agent McCree's quarters."

"..."

---

"AGENT HANZO SHIMADA HAS RETURNED TO HIS QUARTERS."

"Kuso--Athena!"

"I adjusted the volume settings accordingly, anticipating that you would be asleep, as the time is currently 3:00am. It would have been simpler had you just trusted me to call you the first time you asked."

"...I'm going to have a talk with Winston about your new humour programming."

---

At 3:15am, Genji finally made it to Hanzo's room. His brother opened the door, hair down and slightly disheveled. Genji did not have to ask. Instead, he got straight to the point.

"Alright. I'll help."

Hanzo nodded, but was otherwise unreadable. "Good. We only have a little more than a month, and there is much to do. Meet me in the training room in three hours."

"What?!"

Hanzo grimaced. "We must practice."

---

Four hours later, Genji arrived at the training facility to find an impatient Hanzo shooting at training robots. Had his brother's voice not sounded so tense last night, he would not have been here at all.

Hanzo turned his head to scowl at his lateness. He let another arrow go, and landed a head shot without even looking.

"I'm here, aren't I?" Genji grumbled in Japanese. "Despite the fact that you clearly do not need to practice."

Hanzo frowned, setting down his bow. "Even the most skilled warrior benefits from practice. But it is not the bow that I am worried about."

Genji tilted his head in question.

"While I have no qualms about fighting Reyes from a distance, his skill set allows for him to close that advantage too easily."

"Like in Dorado that time he nearly blew your arm clean off?" Genji asked helpfully.

"You exaggerate," Hanzo sniffed, switching back to English. "But I will need to be prepared nonetheless."

"That does not explain why I am her--"

Oh.

"Aniki..."

"Athena. Replicate standard issue katana."

The sword appeared at Hanzo's feet. He looked at it with grim determination, and Genji's heart ached.

"Brother..."

"If I am unable to wield a sword against you, I will be unable to wield a sword at all."

"Perhaps we could try another weapon," Genji suggested desperately.

"There is no time. It will be easier to overcome my fear than to learn a new skill completely."

Hanzo picked up the sword. He tested its weight in his hand, giving a flourish. Genji could see that his breath had quickened, but could tell by his expression that he would not yield.

"Alright," the younger ninja conceded. "But we stop if it becomes too much."

Hanzo nodded, swallowing visibly. He lifted the sword in a defensive stance. Genji sighed, and drew his own weapon, watching for his brother's reaction, ready to stand down at any sign of his discomfort.

"Begin."

The first round lasted all of five minutes. Hanzo fended off the first few attacks before dropping the katana and cursing in Japanese. He picked it up again and changed stances. Genji could see his hands shaking slightly.

"...Aniki."

"Again," Hanzo barked in Japanese.

Genji huffed.

Hanzo did better in the second round. Genji could see his brother's muscle memory returning, as his strokes became more fluid, reflecting years of practiced precision.

"You are holding back."

"We just started," Genji protested.

Hanzo frowned. "Do not hold back."

His older brother gained even more momentum in the next round, wielding the sword with such grace, that Genji had to pull back for a moment in wonder. It ignited memories of their younger days, when they had sparred and Genji had observed his brother's movements with admiration. Hanzo smirked at the familiar reaction, and went on the offensive. The minute he landed the first blow, however, a look of panic spread across his features, and the sword dropped again. Hanzo fell to his knees with a gasp.

"Aniki!" Genji dropped his own sword and knelt at his brother's side.

"It is nothing." Hanzo spoke through clenched teeth.

"Have you not considered that perhaps I am concerned about you? About causing you pain?" His voice was gentle, but stern.

"I deserve whatever pain comes from this. It is nothing next to the pain that I have caused you."

The sudden, blunt confession of his feelings surprised Genji. Hanzo's initial apology had been sincere, but brief. They had both avoided the topic afterwards.

"I have forgiven you, aniki," Genji tried again.

"I know," Hanzo looked up and forced a smile. "And I will endeavor to deserve it."

This was not the answer Genji had expected. He had thought his brother would once again lash out in anger, berate himself for not seeing sooner what the clan elders had plotted. Genji was glad that his mask allowed him to observe Hanzo with less fear of reprimanding. His brother was still taking long, heavy breaths, but was looking at him with an open expression, even if it was forced. He was trying, which was a lot farther than they had been ever before. Touched, Genji placed his hand on top of his brother's. Hanzo's hands were still shaking.

"I am hungry. Let's continue later."

Hanzo nodded right away, only confirming Genji's suspicions that it had been too overwhelming.

"Perhaps it was foolish to train on an empty stomach," Hanzo acknowledged. "Come. I will cook."

Hanzo accepted Genji's hand to steady himself as he stood, and placed his own hand on his brother's shoulder for a moment, without speaking, before turning to leave for the kitchens. Genji could not remember the last time his heart felt lighter.

---

"Again," Hanzo spat, teeth clenched.

"Aniki, we should take a break. It has been two hours."

"There is no time," Hanzo sliced at thin air angrily, trying to will his hands to stop shaking. "It has been a week, and still no progress. To think I would be so weak as to—"

"Don't," Genji interrupted, switching to English. Hanzo scowled. "Don't. This does not reflect on your skill or your dedication. You are still a better swordsman than I, aniki, I can feel it. You are pushing yourself too hard."

"There is no *time*!" His older brother launched into an offensive attack with the last word, nearly catching Genji off guard. The younger man blocked just in time. Not strong enough to push his brother's blade away, Genji folded under the weight instead, slipping deftly below the strike, and attempting to swipe Hanzo's feet from under him. Hanzo flipped upward in the air and turned, rounding his blade again with the momentum. The steel clashed again, and they were nearly face to face. A wave of adrenaline, fueled by nostalgia and competitiveness, swept through Genji. He grinned despite himself beneath the mask, and was pleased to see that Hanzo's previous snarl had softened as well.

Genji slashed upward, but was parried. He flipped in the air to dive at his brother, blade first, but was knocked away again. His blade began to glow neon green. His dragon purred within it, pleased to be facing its brothers in a friendly match. Genji realized Hanzo's replicated blade was glowing as well, the faint blue light drawing from the tattoo on his arm.

*This* is more like it.

Hanzo swept forward with a slash, and Genji was thrown back by the sheer strength of it. He staggered, blade behind him, and Hanzo was rushing towards him again, too fast. Right before the blade would have connected its blow, Genji saw it, watched it like it was a train rushing straight for a broken track off a cliff. His brother's eyes widened, and he scrambled to stop his own momentum, tripping over himself to do so. His features twisted in horror, and Genji knew too well the scene that his brother was reliving. The sword fell to the ground, and Hanzo collapsed next to it, shoulders trembling. Genji dropped his sword and rushed forward in alarm.

"Hanzo!"

The voice that called his brother's name was not his own. He looked up to find McCree bolting towards Hanzo's shaking form. Jesse wrapped himself around his brother, stroking his hair, and murmuring softly into his ear. Genji stepped back to give them space.

While he was already warm and friendly by nature, Jesse McCree became a different person with his brother. That which had begun as gentle teasing and flirting had evolved into pure adoration. The tone he used with Hanzo, he used with no one else. The gunslinger pushed him, teased him, but utterly spoiled him, understanding exactly what it was that Hanzo needed, and providing it instantly. It never failed to fill Genji with a sense of relief and joy on his brother's behalf. Today was no different.

After a few more moments, McCree turned up to meet Genji's gaze, frowning. He did not lessen his hold on Hanzo.

"What the fuck were you two thinking?"

"It is my fault," Genji heard himself say. "I challenged my brother to a duel with swords to try to help him get over his fear."

The lie seemed so easy, he didn't even think about doing it.

McCree held Hanzo tighter. His frown deepened.

"I appreciate that you are trying to take the blame for this, Genji, but we both know that the fault is mine."

His brother's voice was muffled in Jesse's chest. Taking a deep breath, Hanzo looked up.

"I should have stopped it earlier."

"Looked like you were doin' fine earlier, darlin'," Jesse rested his chin on Hanzo's head. "Damn impressive."

Hanzo tilted his head upwards to try to look at the gunslinger. "You were watching?"

Genji grinned at the tone of voice. His brother sounded pleasantly surprised, hopeful.

"Sure was. Didn't want to interrupt. You were lookin' so good there, sweetheart," Jesse kissed the top of his Hanzo’s head. His brother blushed, but lifted his chin a bit higher, preening. This gave Genji an idea.

"If you are ready, we could try again."

He was faced with two glares: one protective, one embarrassed.

"Perhaps Jesse could continue to spot us. To stop us if anything went wrong. And to remind you of why you are doing this, aniki. "

Genji added this last part in Japanese, voice gentle. Hanzo sat up straighter. He nodded, and moved to stand up, despite McCree's protests.

"I will be fine. You will be beside me," Hanzo gave his lover a soft smile. Jesse melted, defenseless against it.

"Alright, but if that happens again, you're done for the day," he warned. The older dragon nodded, standing and picking up his sword. Genji did likewise.

They stood several feet apart. Hanzo's eyes were narrowed, steeled with a new determination. He looked over at Jesse, who nodded, face conveying that which was unspoken: I've got you.

Hanzo nodded back, and turned to Genji. The younger ninja sliced at the air.

"Begin."

---

Half an hour later, Hanzo was finally able to best his brother, his onslaught of slashes pressing the younger ninja until he fell backwards. Hanzo pointed the tip of the sword at Genji's neck, face lit up in triumph. Genji laughed.

"Well done, aniki!"

Jesse gave a shout from the sidelines, rushing forward to wrap both arms around Hanzo's waist, kissing him on the cheek. The archer's face was already flushed with effort, but his eyes fluttered at the touch. He shot his younger brother a full smile, reaching down to help him up.

"Thank you, Genji."

The words were simple, but somehow hit hard. Genji could feel his vision blur behind his visor. He accepted Hanzo's hand.

"Come. Drinks to celebrate."

---

A week passed, and with Jesse's encouragement, Hanzo continued to improve. He decided it was time to move on to the next phase of his plan. However, he neglected to tell Genji.

The younger dragon found out from Jesse instead one day in the mess hall.

"So I hear you and Hanzo are going to on a trip Hanamura," Jesse slapped Genji on the back in greeting. Genji choked on his tea.

"Oh?" The ninja tried to keep his voice impassive.

McCree nodded. "I'm glad things are finally warmin' up between you two."

"Yes. I as well." Genji's teeth were clenched. The gunslinger looked at him for a moment.

"Everythin' alright, partner?"

"Peachy."

---

"This. This is why I hate you, aniki."

Hanzo turned to face Genji with alarm, face paling. Genji realized how his words sounded and tried again with a sigh.

"I am not actually angry, but you did not tell me we were going to Hanamura. I dislike it when you make decisions for me without my knowledge."

The panic faded a bit from the archer's expression. "I apologize. I decided this late last night, and was going to tell you later today."

Genji did not have to ask why Jesse had found out first. He nodded in resignation.

"Why are we going to Hanamura?"

"Because I cannot fight with a replicated sword."

Growing up together meant that Genji could make the two short jumps in logic to arrive at Hanzo's meaning almost instantly.

"We are going to break into a yakuza stronghold to steal their most symbolic weapon?" He asked, becoming accustomed to the idea as the words took form.

"Security is more lax than you might think," Hanzo smirked. "Think of it as our final..." he paused to find the right word.

"Fuck you?" Genji offered helpfully with a grin.

His older brother smirked in response.

"Precisely."

---

A few days later, they boarded a private jet to start their "vacation". Hanzo was wearing a long, wool coat and sunglasses to block out the winter sun. He presented Genji with matching sunglasses on the plane, and Genji had to remind him gently that he would not be able to wear them with his visor on. Seeing his brother's disappointment, he accepted the gift warmly nonetheless, and promised to take them out in the summer when they were on the base.

"Your appearance...still upsets you?" Hanzo asked, voice halting.

"No," Genji answered immediately so that his brother would know he was sincere. "I just worry that it might upset you."

Hanzo frowned. "You are my brother. Seeing your face does not upset me."

They sat in silence for a moment, as Hanzo’s words sunk in.

"...you always were the ugly one, after all. I had already grown accustomed to it."

Genji laughed and punched Hanzo on the shoulder. This descended into play fighting, until the pilot announced that they were landing. Genji took his visor off, and Hanzo didn't even flinch.

An hour later, both Shimada brothers disembarked at Hanamura in matching sunglasses, sauntering through the airport like the bad asses they were.

---

A few hours after settling into their (fairly fine) hotel, the brothers found themselves in familiar territory, on the roof of Shimada Castle.

"I don't like what they've done with the place," Genji whispered in fake disapproval. "Those wall scrolls are tacky."
"To be fair, they did run short of funding," Hanzo answered, lips twitching.

Genji thought back to their hotel room and the private jet ride. "How much *did* you take?"

"Enough," Hanzo answered airily.

"They will not miss a few more items then," Genji rationalized.

"It is the least of their problems," Hanzo agreed.

The brothers exchanged another grin.

"You take the lead. I will cover you from the second floor," Hanzo fired a sonic arrow into the roof. He narrowed his eyes, counting the enemies. Genji did the same. "Stay unseen for as long as possible."

The younger ninja nodded. He was about to leap away, when he felt a hand on his own. He looked up to find Hanzo regarding him.

"It is good to work beside you again, brother."

The vents on his armor shifted and clicked, as his face felt warm.

"Likewise," He nodded. In another second, he was gone without a sound.

Genji scaled the sides of the building, hiding deftly behind the beams. He knew the room like the back of his hand, having spent countless hours in it during his youth.

He dropped to the first floor, in front of the side door that opened to the large balcony. He heard a sudden soft gurgling sound behind him, and turned quick to find a yakuza agent right behind him, clutching at his throat, which had been pierced by an arrow. Genji looked upwards to see Hanzo's bow raised, head shaking in disapproval. The younger dragon shot him a salute, and dragged the body out of sight.

There were two guards patrolling behind the central room. Genji caught his brother's gaze, and motioned that he would take down one. Hanzo nodded, loading another arrow. At the younger ninja's signal, he let it fly, once again catching the throat of the closest guard. Genji slipped quickly behind the other, slicing his throat before he could react.

The pair of family swords was now in reach, just on the other side of the wall. Genji turned to face the wooden panel, knowing that his brother would fire another sonic arrow to help. He did not have to wait long.

There were three men, patrolling at different distances on the other side. All he had to do was wait until all three were facing away, and there might not even need to be a major confrontation. Genji counted their steps with his breath to stay calm. Judging by their pacing, he would only have a window of a few seconds. Genji counted down.

3-2-1...

He pounced into action, leaping forward and grabbing the two blades.

"Halt!"

Genji froze, worrying he had mistimed it. It was Hanzo, however, who had been caught.

Swearing under his breath, Genji took down the nearest yakuza with a single slash. Hanzo shot a scatter arrow to distract and wound the others, as he retreated through a high window. Genji pounced for the open door to the left, turning to deflect the first round of bullets fired towards him.

He scaled the walls with grace, pausing only to smirk at the frustrated shouts behind him.

Hanzo was already waiting for him at their rendezvous point, out of breath, but otherwise unhurt. They dashed from the castle together, laughing like children who had gotten away with something good. The symbolism of the moment was not lost on Genji: the Shimada brothers had escaped the castle for the last time, intact and together.

---

They returned to the hotel, still exhilarated.

"I can't believe I let one sneak up on me," Genji moaned. He took his visor off, and lowered his head into his hands in exaggerated embarrassment. He did feel better with his mask off, and felt more comfortable with it off in Hanzo's presence after their conversation on the plane.

"It came to nothing," Hanzo said reassuringly. "I took care of it. I cannot believe I let them find me."

Genji shrugged. "You always were the louder one."

The archer glared at him, feigning a look of betrayal. "I stood up for your mistake."

"And I helped *you* get away with robbery." Genji countered.

Hanzo shrugged, taking hold of the katana. He unsheathed it. "We just reclaimed that which belonged to us." He looked at it for a moment, considering himself in its reflection, before putting it back in its sheath.

"It has been some time since we have been in Hanamura together," Hanzo continued. "And we are ahead of schedule."

Genji caught his meaning right away. "Rikimaru's?"

"Rikimaru's."

---

Genji awoke the morning after to find Hanzo already awake, rifling through a stack of papers, brow furrowed.

"Aniki?"

"Hn?" Hanzo didn't look up.

"The next step?"

"Finding Reyes. This will not be as difficult as I had initially imagined."

"Oh?"

Hanzo threw a few of the papers across the bed. Genji picked it up and skimmed. The report tracked Reaper's movements monthly, stretching back three full years. All entries appeared to have been logged by Soldier 76.

"Look at December," Hanzo urged.

While the report lacked exact locations, it indicated that the man was always in the same city between late December to early January.

"Gibraltar," Genji murmured.

"Do you still think me insane, trying to bring him back?" Hanzo asked wryly.

"No brother. I am beginning to suspect that I am going insane, however, as this is beginning to make too much sense."

---

When Genji was 19, he was sure that he was in love. Unfortunately, Kensuke was as inconsistent as he was good-looking. The young dragon realized on Christmas Eve that his boyfriend had been sleeping with at least one, maybe two other partners. He had locked himself in his room, sobbing into a pillow, cursing Kensuke's brilliant smile.

He did not know his brother had been listening from the other side of the door.

The morning after, Hanzo had handed him a small box. In it, was the bloody tooth that fell out when his older brother had full on punched Kensuke in the face. Genji realized at that moment the extent to which his brother would go for those he cared about. It was both comforting and terrifying.

---

Genji pondered this memory while leaning against a wall, running a shuriken between his fingers while his brother circled the man tied to the chair like a wolf sizing up its prey.

The man gulped.

"You have one opportunity to tell me the location of your bases in Gibraltar before you begin losing limbs," Hanzo drawled.

"Fuck you," the Talon operative spat. The look on his face betrayed his fear, however.

Hanzo's lip curled to form a snarl. He pressed one hand to the chair, and sliced at the air with the sword in his other hand.

Genji sighed. "Can we just treat the arms and legs as one single limb this time, aniki? It took too long with the last one when you cut at the elbow and the shoulder."

The Talon agent swallowed hard again.

"We want to give our guest as many opportunities to succeed as possible, brother."

"But the previous one blacked out from the pain before we got anything out of him. Then he died from blood loss," Genji complained.

"It's alright. We have two more," Hanzo's voice was calm. "Let me do this one my way, and you can have the next."

The lights on Genji's face plate flickered, then lit up brighter than before.

The man in the chair had become progressively more pale.

"So," Hanzo leaned in, cruel smile playing on his lips. "Shall we begin?"

"Alright! Alright I’ll tell you!!!"

---

Half an hour later, the brothers gathered their gear and prepared to fly back to Gibraltar.

"That went better than expected," Genji mused, after they had boarded the jet.

"I did not expect that we would get the information first try," Hanzo agreed. "Talon clearly needs to reevaluate their membership criteria."

The older dragon laid out a map of Gibraltar, and used pins to indicate the Talon base locations.

Genji hummed.

"This one," he pointed to one in a far corner of the city.

"Why?"

"It used to be an old Blackwatch base. I doubt that Talon would want to use it if Reyes weren’t there, if at all. They might set off one of the old alarms."

Hanzo looked triumphant. "Excellent."

"Aniki..." Genji hesitated. "Perhaps we should alert the others, now that we are certain? We could use their help."

Hanzo turned sharply. "No. I will not bring harm to others."

His voice did not leave room for argument. It was his words, however, that should have been Genji's first red flag.

---

The last gift Genji could remember his brother giving him, he had not taken.

"Leave. Now. I've made arrangements."

"No," Genji crossed his arms, planting his feet firmly on the ground. "I am not leaving you here."

"Genji," Hanzo tried again, more gently. "There is nothing here for you. You yourself know this, have known this for years. The elders will only try to hurt you if you stay, and I cannot allow that."

"And what will you do?"

"Stay. Run the empire."

"Become their puppet?" Genji sneered. His anger had been less under his control then.

Hanzo bristled. "I am no puppet."

"No? Then why are we having this conversation? Certainly not because they want you to."

"Certainly not,” Hanzo growled, slamming his fit against the wall. ”They would have you—“

”What? Killed?"

"Genji. I am offering you your freedom. Take it."

"No."

"Brother, I cannot protect you if you stay!” Hanzo's voice had sounded broken, desperate. Genji had ignored the signs, too wrapped up in his own fury.

”Then what kind of brother are you?” Genji had shot back before slamming the door behind him. Hanzo was forced to show him the very next morning.

---

After Hanzo had joined Overwatch, he had expressed regret for that day, if not through his words, then through his actions and his demeanor. He had made it clear that he would never cause his brother injury ever again. Luckily, Genji caught the significance of this memory in time.

---

"Athena. I need to know if my brother does anything strange."

"Please specify."

"Like if he prepares to leave the base in a way that might suggest he does not want anyone to know."

"Unable to comply."

"What? Why not?"

"Because Agent Hanzo Shimada is a trained ninja, and if he wishes to avoid detection, he will do so."

"...right."

"Have you considered talking to him?"

"...what."

"Winston is trying a new empathetic program."

"...goddamn scientists."

---

A few moments later, Genji found himself knocking at Hanzo's door once again just after 3:00am. After a few moments, Hanzo opened it, fully dressed and fully armed. The lights on Genji's face plate flickered red.

"Oh," is all Hanzo can manage.

"You were going to leave without me," Genji observed, bluntly.

Hanzo pulled his brother into his room and shut the door behind him.

"I cannot endanger you. Not again," Hanzo hissed.

"And I cannot lose you. Not again," Genji countered. "Not when I have finally got you back."

Hanzo looked confused. "I have been with Overwatch for more than a year."

”And you have finally returned as my brother for just over several weeks.” Genji switched to Japanese.

Hanzo looked at a loss for words.

”You have already pulled me in this far. We do the rest of this together," Genji voice did not invite debate.

His older brother sighed, and nodded. "Very well. We will need a different plan then."

Genji sat down. "Then let's come up with one."

Hanzo looked thoughtful. “I have an idea, but you will not like it.”

Genji groaned. “When have I ever liked any of your ideas, brother?”

Chapter Text

A few months after their mother's death, Hanzo disappointed his father for the very first time. It wasn’t fair: it had been such an insignificant thing that neither Hanzo nor Genji could recall what it was. They only remembered their father’s punishment: swift, brutal, absolute.

Genji remembered making a decision in that moment, watching his older brother with his head down, trying to retain composure despite the tears streaming down his face. He would never let this happen again. If there were to be wayward son, it would be him. If there were blame and punishment, he would take it, or they would face it together. He would do anything he could to make sure that his brother never stood alone like he did that day facing down his father and the entire clan.

---

This memory was, of course, why they were standing where they were.

It was ridiculous. A ridiculous situation. Unfortunately, this time, both Hanzo and Genji knew how absurd the plan actually was, but they were going to go through with it anyway.

The Shimada brothers, masters of stealth, were walking straight up to the main entrance of Reaper’s hideout. Hanzo had insisted that they wear the sunglasses again, but decided against the wool coat, given the warmer temperature. Not for the first time this month, Genji began to question his own sanity.

They reached the door to the old Blackwatch base, which was tucked away in an inconspicuous back alley, and found it was unlocked. The brothers looked at each other warily.

”It would appear that we are expected,” Hanzo’s voice was impassive, but Genji could tell by his crossed arms and the slight tilt of his head that the older dragon was uncertain about entering.

“I will likely regret this in about five minutes, but I agree that your plan is the best course of action.” Genji was not certain whether he was trying to reassure his brother or himself.

Hanzo paused to appraise his brother’s words, and nodded. He pushed the door open.

They entered the small apartment cautiously. While the lights and heat were off, Genji observed that there were other signs of life: the coffee table was littered with papers that sat on top of the thin layer of dust, not under it. There was also a long blue coat on the couch that looked like it had just recently been tossed there. Genji recognized it as an old Strike Commander coat. The patch on the shoulder read “Morrison”. He frowned at this detail, not sure what to make of it.

A light was on in the kitchen. The brothers shared a look, moving their hands for their swords while advancing slowly. Genji took off his sunglasses and lowered his visor. Hanzo reluctantly took off his sunglasses as well.

“You came.”

The voice was emotionless, robotic. Reaper was sitting at the kitchen table, arms crossed, chair positioned so that he could stare them down as they entered. His shotguns were on the table in front of him.

“It is rude not to, when one is expected,” Hanzo answered smoothly, hand still on his sword.

Reaper gave a short, mechanical laugh. “You have guts, I’ll give you that. Didn’t I nearly blow your arm off once?”

Hanzo huffed. “You exaggerate.”

“Dorado,” Genji confirmed. He tried to stop himself from laughing, and barely failed. His older brother shot him a glare.

Reaper snorted. “You are still alive right now because I am interested in why you have been looking for me.”

“We are here to bring you home,” Hanzo lifted his chin, trying to regain lost dignity.

The laugh was longer this time, but equally as hollow.

“Home? I have no home.”

“Reaper does not. But there are people waiting for Gabriel Reyes,” Hanzo’s voice was calm.

“Reyes is dead.”

“Is he?”

The man in black growled, but did not respond.

“Because it is ‘Reaper’ who returns to this abandoned base every year, at Christmas? ‘Reaper’ who stole and kept Jack Morrison’s coat? ‘Reaper’ who, for the past three years, has been openly allowing Soldier76 to track his location?”

Genji silently commended his brother’s sharp sniper’s perception.

“You have a vivid imagination,” The man at the table tilted his head to both sides, cracking his neck.

His shadow seemed to grow. Genji realized it was the black mist that was emanating from his coat. He took this to mean that Reaper was aggravated. Hanzo was not intimidated. He continued.

“I believe that you want to return. Perhaps not to rejoin Overwatch, but to rejoin the people in it.”

“What is it to you, whether I do or not?”

“I believe you know,” Hanzo’s voice became softer, likely as he began to think of his gunslinger.

The man huffed. “They will not have me back.”

Genji silently counted this reply as a success. Reyes would not be making this argument if he did not want to be proven wrong.

“They will,” Hanzo said simply.

“Have you forgotten who I am? What I’ve done?” Reaper’s voice was even, but taut like a wire, ready to snap without notice.

“No,” Hanzo took his hand off his sword. Genji could see his brother preparing for their play. Their *only* play. He kept his weapon at the ready, not confident in this move. “Nor have I forgotten who I am.”

Reaper leaned further back in his chair, waiting for Hanzo to continue.

“I led a criminal empire, thought I killed my brother in its name, yet he is here beside me still. I do not deserve his forgiveness, yet he has given it to me. For the longest time I could not accept it, out of guilt,” Hanzo turned his head to look at Genji, rueful smile pulling at his lips, before turning his attention back to Reaper. “I should thank you. In recruiting Genji to return you to Overwatch, I have realized that forgiveness is not always something you deserve. It is something you strive to be worthy of, even after it is given.”

Genji nodded once, in encouragement.

“And so, this life lesson in hand, you’ve come to retrieve me for the ingrate?” The younger ninja could hear the sneer in that cold voice, despite its mechanical timbre.

“You must agree that I am best suited for this task, given my own history.”

“That does not mean you will succeed,” The voice was still disdainful. “Very well. If you believe in Gabriel Reyes, if you believe in your love for Jesse McCree, then show me.” The man in the black coat stood slowly, and picked up his guns.

Hanzo stiffened. Genji grasped the handle of his sword more tightly.

“It is why you have come, is it not? Why you retrieved those?” Reaper nodded towards Hanzo’s swords. “Defeat me, and I will go with you.”

“As you wish,” Hanzo radiated determination, bringing his hand to his sword. He did not seem surprised that Reyes knew the history behind the blades.

“No, not here. I hate scrubbing blood off the tiles. Follow me.”

The man stood, and walked towards the exit, not caring that his two armed opponents were behind him.

Genji put his hand on Hanzo’s wrist before he could follow.

”I’ve got your back, brother.

Hanzo smiled in return. ”Of that, I have never had any doubt.

---

They walked up several flights of stairs until they reached the roof. It was here that Reaper finally turned to face them. Hanzo took a few steps forward, finally drawing his blade. It glinted in the winter sun.

“Genji,” Hanzo turned his head slightly to look at his brother. “I must do this alone.”

Genji shook his head, but stood back, watching both men with anticipation.

“This duel might be yours, but you are never alone, brother.”

Reaper gave a frustrated growl. “It’ll be worth killing you just to make the two of you shut up!”

He made the first move, firing a series of shots, almost as a warning. Hanzo was ready for them, dodging the first few lithely, and deflecting the last with his blade. His opponent leaned hard to the left, and the reflected bullet missed.

“I have seen this before,” Reaper sneered, nodding towards Genji.

“Not all of it,” Genji smirked from behind his own mask.

Hanzo rushed forward in a blur of movement. Reaper took wraith form almost immediately, floating effortlessly out of the way as the older ninja moved straight through him. Hanzo turned without looking, slashing horizontally with his blade at the black mist again and again. It eventually hit the hard metal of one shotgun, pushed high so that the parry left Hanzo’s torso open. The second shot gun was already aimed at his midriff.

Genji sucked in a breath and held it.

Hanzo pulled his shorter knife from its sheath with his other hand, slashing at Reaper’s stomach. The man in black fell back to dodge, allowing Hanzo to follow up with a kick to throw his opponent completely off balance. Before Reaper could recover, Hanzo was on him again, leading with the katana. Reaper rolled out of the way, grey mist swirling around him even before he hit the ground. He disappeared completely.

Hanzo put the wakizashi back in its sheath, and reached instead for the pouch on his belt, retrieving a kunai. He threw it with deadly speed at the middle of the roof. The sonic device he had attached immediately began to ping, revealing Reaper’s shape behind an air vent.

Hanzo ran towards the man’s location, feet light and barely making a sound as he climbed deftly over all obstacles. He leaped upwards once reaching the top of the vent, allowing gravity to pull him to his target. Reaper noticed the assassin a second too late, but still managed to dodge the full blow, suffering a slash to his back. Cursing in a mix of English and Spanish, the man rounded on Hanzo, firing in his general direction while diving to the floor. Hanzo deflected some, but not all, of the bullets, grunting as several grazed the side of his arm. He, too, rolled until he was crouched, balanced on the balls of his feet, one hand on the floor, the other holding the katana behind him. Reaper stood, dropping both guns to the floor, and drawing two fresh ones from his coat.

“Wasteful,” Hanzo sniffed in disdain, jumping high as he was fired upon again. He changed direction in midair, turning down to dive at his opponent with his katana. Reyes took his wraith form just before the blow connected, appearing solid immediately behind the ninja.

“Aniki!” Genji gasped.

The shot caught Hanzo in the shoulder. He fell to one knee, clutching at the wound.

“I was hoping for more entertainment,” Reaper sounded genuinely disappointed. He lifted his guns again to fire at the ninja’s head.

Hanzo turned in a single motion, throwing several kunai to intercept, and miraculously dodging the rest of the bullets with a roll. He winced as his injured shoulder came in contact with the floor, but managed to make it to his feet again.

“We are not done yet,” Hanzo said through clenched teeth. He grasped the katana with his left hand instead.

“You have lost your dominant hand, swordsman. We are done.”

“Who said that was my dominant hand?” Hanzo’s lip curled to form an arrogant smirk.

Reyes cackled, and pulled two more guns from his coat.

“Good.”

Hanzo ran at his opponent, deflecting shots on his way in. Reaper didn’t even try to dodge the reflected bullets. One caught hard on his mask, splitting it in half, and it fell to the floor.

Since Recall, no one in Overwatch had seen Reaper’s true face, and Genji could not stop himself from staring. He was still recognizably Gabriel Reyes, but his skin was grey, decaying: peeling and putrid. The dark brown irises were rimmed with bright red instead of white. His hair was more white than black, and was cropped short, flattened by the hood. Some of the black smoke that always surrounded his person bled out from these eyes, and more from his mouth with every breath.

Hanzo was not deterred, still rushing in fast. Reyes parried the slashes with his guns, but quickly realized he was now at a disadvantage against Hanzo in close combat. The strength of each of the assassin’s blows pushed him several steps back. He finally managed to get a shot in, missing, but putting a stop to Hanzo’s onslaught.

“You’re stronger than your brother,” Reyes was out of breath.

“I am many things, but my brother is the stronger man,” Hanzo replied, equally as breathless.

“Don’t fucking give me that. You know what I mean,” the other man snarled.

Hanzo looked smug. “Jesse has mentioned how much you hate having your words turned around on you.”

Reyes’ rolled his eyes and gave a long, frustrated sigh. He took several running steps to the side to put more space between them before firing again. Hanzo dodged the most serious shots, but a few grazed him.

“How much more blood do you think you can lose?” Reyes’ voice was no longer mechanical without his mask, although it still crackled at the edges.

“As much as you can.”

Reyes was suffering several deflected bullet wounds in addition to the large slash to his back now, and a few more near misses with Hanzo’s sword.

“I’ll admit, you’re better than I expected, boy. But this ends now.” The black mist began to swirl at his feet again.

“In that, we agree,” Hanzo’s sword began to glow blue.

“You think you’ve got me, but you forget even your own past: sometimes it’s better to be alone.” The last words echoed, faded into nothingness.

Hanzo turned to Genji, eyes wide in panic. Genji understood immediately.

”I’ve got your back brother, even if it means that I’ve got my own. It won’t happen again.” Genji would not die in front of Hanzo a second time. Neither of them would allow it.

Hanzo blinked hard, and regained his composure. He nodded and closed his eyes, the blue from his tattoo spreading from his arm to his entire body.

Genji closed his eyes as well, breathing evenly.

His eyes flew open as he sensed the air move to his right side. He dashed fast towards it, sword out. Reyes hissed as it caught him in the arm just as he was wraithing in.

“Reyes.”

Reaper turned to face Hanzo with a scowl, hearing his name. Hanzo’s sword was facing forward, horizontal. The twin blue dragons were twisting around its length restlessly. The blue light around the ninja grew brighter, and flickered several times until two other identical images of Hanzo took form.

“What.”

Reaper narrowed his eyes, knowing he had to act quickly, even if only in desperation. Genji was closer, so he turned to face the younger Shimada.

“Die.”

“Not today,” Genji chirped, before double jumping out of his range.

Meanwhile, the three Hanzos had split formation, and were running at Reyes from three different directions in three separate bursts of blue light.

Reyes gave another long, irritated sigh. His shoulders fell a little.

“Ryū ga waga teki wo kurau!”

---

When the light faded, Gabriel Reyes was lying on the floor, and there was only one Hanzo, standing over the other man, sword pointed at his throat. Genji swept in quickly to stand at his brother’s side.

Reyes groaned, coughing up some blood. “Ingrate sure knows how to pick ‘em.”

“Do you concede?” Hanzo’s voice was steady.

“Fine, take me back. But if they kill me, my death’s on you.”

“They will not kill you. I will not let them.”

Reyes grumbled something else under his breath that was incomprehensible as he let his head fall down to hit the floor.

The brothers turned to look at each other.

“How will we get him back to base?” Genji asked.

“I’ve already called a driver.”

“…you are going to trust a taxi driver?”

Hanzo bristled. “Of course not. I’ve ordered a programmable car. The route and location that you enter is deleted immediately after the transaction is complete. We used them all the time in the clan.”

Genji continued to tilt his head in confusion. Hanzo gave an exasperated sigh. “How could you possibly have grown up in a yakuza family not knowing this?”

“Dammit kid, pretty sure we used them in Overwatch too,” Reyes growled from the floor.

“I never had to handle that sort of thing!” Genji protested.

“Yes, it was probably for the best that you did not,” Hanzo agreed.

His younger brother punched him in the arm. It descended into play fighting again, until Reyes finally snapped at them, just as their car arrived.

Genji took off his visor. Grinning, he reached for the sunglasses. With a matching smirk, Hanzo did the same.

---

About an hour later, Hanzo and Genji staggered within the bounds of Watchpoint Gibraltar, Gabriel Reyes supported between them. Having radioed ahead, they were met by every single agent on location. Jesse made it to them first, sweeping Hanzo into his arms, searching for injuries and landing affectionate kisses with equal anxious energy.

“What. Not even a ‘howdy’?” Reyes groaned as Genji helped him onto a medical stretcher.

McCree spun to face the man in black, eyes furious. He had found enough gun wounds on Hanzo to make him want to rush at the man fists first, and he would have done so had Mercy and Ana not arrived in time, pushing him back. Mercy turned her attention to Gabriel, while Ana had her bionic rifle already loaded for Hanzo’s injuries. Jesse settled for holding Hanzo’s hand while frowning down at him in confusion.

“Hanzo…darlin’, what the fuck were you two doin’?”

“I wanted to bring Gabriel Reyes home. For you.” Genji could see that Hanzo’s expression was naturally open when speaking to Jesse, and completely earnest. It was something he was certain his brother would not have been able to do even just a year ago. The younger ninja heard several of the agents cooing at the scene from a distance.

Several warring emotions flickered across McCree’s features, ranging from anger and shock to adoration and awe.

“Sweetheart…what…I…” Rarely was Jesse McCree ever at a loss for words.

Hanzo panicked. “You are angry?”

“No—no!” The gunslinger took Hanzo’s hands in both of his in reassurance. Ana grumbled as she had to work around them. “But goddamn Hanzo, that was reckless.”

“I would do anything for you,” Hanzo answered softly, looking up at Jesse through lowered eyelashes. Any anger that was there before melted from the cowboy’s face, replaced with a lopsided, dreamy smile. He looked completely smitten.

Genji was glad his mask was down, so that no one could see him rolling his eyes. His brother did have a knack for getting out of trouble.

Soldier 76 stalked towards the crowd, body language menacing. Sobering immediately, Genji moved slightly to put himself between Morrison and his brother. McCree did the same.

"Don't. Don't you fucking dare go off on them for something you didn’t have the balls to do yourself, Morrison," Reyes growled.

Everyone froze.

"Three years. You tracked me for three fucking years, yet you never had the guts to come for me yourself? Your boys found me in a week. Shimada overcame fucking panic attacks for fucksake just so he could pick up a blade and face me one on one, and you couldn't even face me at all."

Of course Reyes knew about his brother’s phobia, Genji realized. He was the former head of Blackwatch, after all. Genji could see Jesse turn to Hanzo, mouth dropped open in wonderment.

There was a long pause.

"...who's Morrison?" Soldier tried eventually, unconvincing.

Everyone groaned.

"Seriously?" Reyes hissed. "You are *seriously* going to stick with that bullshit when everyone here knows exactly who you are?"

"...I didn't look for you because—"

“I don't want your excuses," Reyes continued, bluntly. "I don't want your apologies either. Fuck, just get me to med bay before I change my mind and tear someone's throat out."

Mercy paled. "Gabriel, I'm so sor-"

"What did I say about apologies?" His voice grew louder to express frustration.

Mercy nodded, and began to push the stretcher towards the med bay. Gabriel grabbed McCree's wrist on his way past.

"That one's a keeper." He craned his head to nod towards the archer.

Jesse looked startled. He turned to look back and forth between Reyes and Hanzo several times, eyes comically large. An idea suddenly struck him so hard that Genji could see his head jolt upward when it hit. Everyone figured out what he was thinking right away.

Ana's eyes widened.

"Jesse McCree, don't you dare. His wounds have just clos--"

Before she could finish the sentence, Hanzo was once again swept up in the gunslinger's arms. Hanzo yelped as he was carried quickly towards the dormitories. Jesse leaned in to whisper tenderly into the archer’s ear to soothe him, and Hanzo’s face flushed bright pink. Genji considered stopping McCree, but knew that Jesse wouldn’t be succeeding in his attempt to carry his older brother away if Hanzo did not want him to.

“Let ‘em go. Jack and I have fucked through worse.” Reyes coughed again from the stretcher.

Soldier said nothing, and stood deathly still. Everyone suddenly looked very uncomfortable.

“You always were a horrible influence, Gabe,” Ana scolded, walking towards him. Her eyes softened when she reached his side. “But it is good to have you back.” She leaned in to kiss him on the forehead.

Reyes grunted, but didn’t move away.

From beside Genji, Winston cleared his throat. “So…um…debrief please?”

Genji shook his head vehemently. “Oh no. *That* is a question for my brother.”

He leapt deftly away from the scientist’s protests, feeling proud to be a Shimada for the first time in a very long time.

---

Reyes spent the next week in the med bay. One by one, the older members of Overwatch drifted in to visit him. Ana was first, firm in her footsteps and in her resolve. They were chuckling together within minutes of her arrival. Pharah walked in shortly after. She clocked him hard in the face, swore at him for a few minutes in a mixture of English and Spanish so he “would understand exactly how shitty things had been”, and then threw herself on top of the bed to give him a long hug. Reinhardt and Torbjörn visited next, forming an uneasy but civil truce.

Jesse finally followed, spending the better part of an hour with the man. When he left the room, Hanzo was there to meet him. Jesse walked straight into his arms, burying his head into the archer’s shoulder and sobbing softly until Hanzo gently led him back to his quarters.

Morrison stomped forcefully towards Mercy’s office a few days later. All available agents gradually collected outside the doors in curiosity. Soldier and Reyes shouted at each other for two full hours. Ana and Reinhardt had finally resigned themselves to interrupting, when suddenly, more embarrassing sounds began to waft through the doors. The hallway in front of med bay cleared immediately.

---

By Christmas, Mercy had fixed most of the damage. Gabriel’s skin was no longer decaying, and his body was no longer in a constant state of regeneration.

Jack had insisted that Reyes be put into his care “for everyone’s safety.” Morrison was a horrible liar, but the other agents were happy enough to let him think they believed him.

The Christmas party was already well underway when the two of them arrived, and no one needed to question why they were late. The room fell silent for a moment as they entered, before breaking into a loud cheer. Gabriel muttered something under his breath as Tracer zipped in to put a Santa hat on his head, but made no move to take the hat off. Ana handed the two of them plates, and led them to a table that was bending under the weight of the food piled on top of it.

McCree appeared beside Genji a while later, after greeting Reyes were a loud smack on the back and being chastised for it.

“So…Hanzo says I have you to thank for this…this?” Jesse gestured towards the scene in front of them, but wasn’t sure how to describe it. Gabe was trying to prove to Fareeha that he could still catch her in a choke hold, but had somehow ended up in one himself. Reinhardt was laughing so hard, he was crying.

Genji shook his head. “The plan was my brother’s alone. I simply helped.”

“Well, you brought the both of them back alive. I’m grateful for that.” McCree laughed. He caught Hanzo’s eye from across the room and blew him an air kiss. The older dragon snorted, but smiled fondly back at him nonetheless. “Looks like you and him overcame some old ghosts too.”

“That perhaps is the best gift I could have received this Christmas,” Genji confirmed with a smile. A thought struck him. “What *did* you end up getting my brother?”

“I’ve been renovating one of the larger dorms. For the both of us.” Jesse blushed thinking about it.

“So I will not need to wonder where he is at 3 in the morning anymore?” Genji teased.

“Don’t tell him yet. I’m saving it for this evening.” One look at Jesse and Genji could guess why: the gunslinger did not plan on returning to the party after showing Hanzo his gift. McCree furrowed his brow with concern. “Do…you think he’ll like it? Is it too soon?”

“He will be thrilled,” Genji said reassuringly.

Hanzo must have guessed they were talking about him, as he began to make his way over. He stepped up beside Jesse, and the gunslinger instinctively put his arm around the other man’s waist, kissing him on the head for good measure. On the surface, Hanzo did not seem to respond, but Genji could see that his brother was leaning into Jesse’s touch.

“Shimada.” Reyes barked. He stalked towards them. The room fell silent.

“Reyes,” Hanzo answered calmly.

Jesse said nothing, but pulled the assassin closer towards him and took a step forward.

Gabe observed this with a snort. He stopped when he was one step too close for comfort. Hanzo did not move back.

“Hell of a first impression,” Reyes drawled. Hanzo inclined his head in response.

There was a long silence as Gabe gave the dragon an appraising look from head to toe.

“…maybe you’re just what he needs. The boy’s still a bit rough around the edges.”

Some of the agents began to snicker.

“Hey now…” McCree complained.

“I suppose I don’t have to tell you though…hurt him and you’re a dead man,” Gabe flashed his teeth in a dangerous smile.

The older Shimada’s lips curled to form a smirk. “Yes, and I suppose I do not need to tell you the same.”

The room fell silent again.

“Oh. Snap!” Lucio finally crowed, breaking the tension.

Reyes laughed, slapping Hanzo on the back.

He turned to Jesse. “A keeper,” he reminded.

“Don’t gotta tell me twice,” Jesse murmured close to Hanzo’s ear. The older dragon squirmed half-heartedly, but did not really try to escape his grasp. Instead, he pulled the gunslinger to a more private corner of the room, away from the attention.

Several hours and several drinks later, Genji saw Hanzo at the corner of the room, trying to catch his eye. He knew this meant his brother wished to speak with him alone, and politely left his conversation with Lena and Angela to do so.

Hanzo was holding a long, rectangular box, wrapped in fine Japanese paper. Genji tilted his head in question.

Hanzo presented the gift to the ninja with both hands.

“Merry Christmas, brother.”

“…what...? Brother…I didn’t—“

The archer picked up on Genji’s guilt right away. ”Just as I have finally returned as your brother, as you say, you have returned as mine. That is the only gift I could ever want.”

Having no answer, Genji only nodded. He took off his visor so that he could smile at his brother directly.

He unwrapped the gift carefully, opening the box to find their family swords nestled carefully within. Genji gaped at Hanzo.

"This...father meant for you to have them," Genji protested.

"And I mean for you to have them. They are the better swords, and you are the more dedicated swordsman."

"...you planned this," Genji realized. "You planned this from the beginning."

Hanzo shrugged. "Two birds, one stone."

Genji ran a hand over the katana, mouth still open in awe. He held the blades for a moment, before throwing them onto an adjacent table and jumping towards Hanzo for a fierce hug. Hanzo staggered back, not knowing how to react. He eventually wrapped his arms around his younger brother in response.

"Aniki..." Genji could feel his eyes watering, threatening to overfill.

"Crybaby," Hanzo snorted. Genji noticed with satisfaction that his older brother's voice also cracking.

A thought struck the younger Shimada.

“Wait here.”

Genji ran to his room, and returned with his own favourite swords, presenting them to his brother with both hands. Hanzo looked touched.

“Sparring with replicated swords is not the same. I will need a training partner."

“But Genji,” Hanzo’s voice was soft, reverent. “I could not possibly take these from you.”

He put a hand on the younger man’s shoulder, and continued in the same timbre, but in Japanese. “They are too hideous.”

It took a few seconds for Hanzo’s words to sink in. They both burst into laughter.

“You told the most renowned sword maker in all of Japan that you wanted a neon green blade. I thought he was going to chase us out of his shop.”

“And this was after father’s ‘the sword reflects the soul of a man’ lecture,” Genji was gasping for air.

“His face when you returned home with those things. Priceless.”

When they had both settled down, Hanzo accepted the swords with both hands.

“Thank you, Genji. For everything.”

Sensing that his older brother’s larger meaning, Genji grinned in response. “What are brothers for?”

Hanzo threw his arm around the brother’s shoulder. “Come. Back to the party.”

Genji nodded, thankful to rejoin his new family with his brother finally at his side again.