“You want some coffee? I mean, I don’t recommend it. Tastes like shit, but it’s better than nothing.”
Symmetra barely looked up to regard the man sitting across from her, hands tightening into fists under the table. Every time he opened his mouth to speak to her, she had to resist the urge to grind her teeth. Couldn't he tell that she had no intention of speaking to him? She wanted to be left alone for the time being, maybe even for the rest of her life, and yet here he was, pouring her a cup of coffee regardless if she wanted it or not. If it tasted as bad as it smelled, she could only imagine why he even chose this place to take her. The decor was beyond tacky and severely outdated. An American Western movie made into a reality, complete with dust and tumbleweed blowing outside. She was certain she saw a roach darted towards the bathroom.
“Eggs are getting cold. Should eat em up quick unless you like that sorta thing.”
She glanced down at the loaded plate before her. He had taken the liberty of ordering her a meal that she didn’t even ask for. Americans are so obnoxious, she decided. Sniffing, Symmetra pushed the plate away from her and turned her head away. The more time she spent with him, the more she wanted to just go back to Vishkar despite everything that had happened. At least there, she wouldn’t feel as out of placed and empty. After the company had been exposed for their scandals, it had quickly been shut down with several members getting arrested for their involvement. She still had a hard time believing it all to be true. She had been raised as a child to be their shining prodigy, how could they been so awful when they promised a utopia.
The man sighed and leaned back into the booth, folding his arms behind his head. Symmetra took note that they both had a metal left arm, but that’s where the similarities ended. It looked like his had seen better days. Some of the parts were either dented and/or didn’t match in material or color as if they had been replaced along the way. Possibly an older model available to the general public, it just could not compare to her beautifully crafted, pristine prosthetic. Not a speck of dirt anywhere could be found on hers.
He flicked his hat up with his other hand and gestured towards her. “Look... I get it, I do. I gotta be honest when I say that I was in your boots some time ago back when I was a brat, and… you're walking away… Great.” He grumbled and shook his head. “Unbelievable.”
Completely fed up, she had slammed her hands onto the table as she rose to her feet and stormed out of the diner. She ignored every single baffled look that the other customers threw her way and pushed the diner doors open. A wave of hot air pressed up against her skin, not unlike the heat of other countries she had visited in the past. The sun was blinding, and she held her hand to her forehead until her visor accommodated by tinting just enough to see more efficiently, not that there was much to see in this dump of a town. Route 66, what a joke. This was a desert wasteland, nothing but rocks, dirt, and men playing dress up. Well, at least one of them was.
Speaking of the devil, there he was in all his cowboy glory hounding after her. It was impossible to miss him when he had the most obnoxiously bright red serape and a stupid BAMF belt, whatever that actually even meant. She wanted no part of it. Him or Overwatch. How dare those dreadful criminals try and manipulate her situation in their favor… How were they any better than Vishkar when they were clearly just trying to exploit her abilities and knowledge?
“Hey now, I know I said I wouldn't put the cuffs on ya, but I can’t have you high tailing it outta here. I promised the fellas back home I’d return your pretty lil head no problem.”
She paused, partly because there really wasn’t anywhere else to go for miles, but also because his words struck a chord with her. Home. They referred to that ape’s laboratory in Watchpoint Gibraltar as a “home.” From her understanding, the previous Overwatch headquarters had been utterly obliterated several years ago in an unexplained explosion, and the group been disbanded ever since. Or at least until they came back together like the cockroaches they were. Was it not it illegal for them to even do such a thing? She was certain that there had been a law made specifically to forbid them from any activity. What made them think she would willingly thrust herself into their roguish lifestyle? Home indeed.
She turned her heel and jabbing a perfectly manicured finger at him. “Let me make myself clear, Mr. McCree-”
He smiled, hands raised as if she had pointed a gun at him. “Call me Jesse.”
She needed to take a deep breath and let it out. She hated when people interrupted her. “… Mr. McCree, I have no intention of ever joining you and your ragtag team of misfits. No amount of your blatant blackmail will make me reconsider,” she sneered, irritated beyond belief. That carefree smile of his faded into a mixed emotion that she just couldn’t decipher, not that she was ever any good at reading people. Pity? Anger? Sadness? It was hard to determine, but it didn’t matter. She was not here to cater to his feelings; she was here to get Overwatch off her back and out of her life for good. The sooner she could try to pick up the pieces of her life, the better.
“All right, all right… I get where you’re coming from, but we’re not trying to blackmail you into doing nothing you don’t wanna do.”
“Jail or join Overwatch sounds plenty like blackmail, Mr. McCree.”
“Hm, y’got me there. So it’s kinda like blackmail… but we mean well, really. We’re thinkin’ bout your best interest. B’sides, before your lil dramatic exit in the diner, I was tryin’ to tell you that I went through the same dirt path you’re on now. I know how just you feel bout this whole ordeal.”
“You? As if you could possibly know how I feel!” She barked, stamping her foot on the dirt. “How could a…a criminal of all people know how I feel? None of you are ‘looking out for my best interest,’ as you claim. Do not even try to patronize me. This is all a ploy just to use my abilities for your illegal activity, and I am no fool to fall for this ploy.” He didn’t respond, his gaze slowly turning elsewhere. She took this as some sort of display of shame, failing to take notice of his hand lowering to his gun. “I will not stand for this no longer! Overwatch is nothing more than illegal fugitives! I will have nothing to do with you people!”
“Symmetra. This ain’t really the time nor place,” McCree muttered, putting up a finger to her lips in an attempt to silence her. “Somethin' ain’t right…”
Her blood boiled that he would even try to stop her. She slapped his hand away from her, disregarding the sting from hitting the metal. “Not right? Not right? I will tell you what is 'not right…' Overwatch preying on people in vulnerable positions in order to swindle them and force them into their devious ranks! It’s absolutely no surprise to me that the government tried to put an end to your-”
Silenced by the sudden sound of gunfire, Symmetra scrambled back, nearly tripping over her own heels. Her ears were ringing, putting her in a temporary daze, and coughed as a small cloud of dirt hit her face. She put a hand over her mouth and nose, squinting as she tried to make sense of her situation. She had always been a quick thinker, but most of her assignments were simple, never really involving much violence. The immediate threat of danger was already pushing this beyond anything she really had to endure, and her spine shivered as she spied the reflective piece of metal poking out of the ground. A single bullet had dug it way into the dirt a couple of inches away from McCree’s boot. It was clearly meant for him, a possible warning shot or maybe even a miss, but she racked her brain for ideas why. Prior from leaving, she did see his image on a dartboard, though she had figured it was the standard appearance of most American men in this region. It was only now dawning on her that it was definitely a portrait of the man beside her. She was in the presence of a wanted man.
“What was that!? Why are they- ack!” Symmetra shrieked as McCree interrupted her yet again by scooping her up in his arm, holding her on his hip like she was nothing more than a sack of potatoes. The unwarranted touch threw her into a mild panic, her first instinct being to kick and screech. Her struggles only stopped when she spotted two men kneeling on top of the rocky buttes nearby, aiming their weapons down at them. One of them waved as a signal, and three more popped up, positioned on the diner’s roof. Something told her that these ruffians would have no qualms about her getting caught in the crossfire, simply collateral damage, and it made her blood run cold. She wasn't sure if she would even be able to stand up on her own without Mccree supporting her, let alone run anywhere to get away.
The modern cowboy spat on the ground, his gun, a revolver no less, at the ready. He didn't even look remotely phased by their unfortunate circumstances. “Sorry bout this, Ma’am, but to be honest, I didn’t quite bring you along just to have tea an crumpets to change your mind. I’m out here on some business, just wasn’t expecting them to come so late.”
Late? He knew he was going to get ambushed and with that information, he still brought her with? Was he trying to get her killed or use her as a meat shield? For someone who wanted to sign her soul to the Overwatch devil, he should at least hope to keep her safe and very much alive. The audacity of this man knew no bounds. She reached an epiphany. “You’re insane.”
“Nicest thing you said all day; think I’m growin’ on you.” McCree retaliated to their assailants with a single shot, impressively taking out one of the men on the diner roof. The man gurgled, grabbing at his throat, and coughed up his last breaths. It wasn’t long before he tumbled off the building at an alarming speed and hit the ground with a muffled thud, twisting in an impossible position. The corpse laid still on the desert sand and blood slowly trickled out of the wound. She was nauseous at the sight, nearly hurling as McCree dashed towards the diner again and practically dropped her onto one of the parked hover-cycles. He scooted up behind her, pushing her against the front. The key was luckily still inside, and the engine roared to life as he turned it.
“I-is this even yours?? We came here by jet!” Symmetra yawped, a little disorientated from being jostled into a cowboy movie.
“We’re borrowing it.”
Just as she thought. They’re criminals. She ducked and flinched as more gunshots cut through the air, making the ringing in her eardrums even worse. She hated the commotion, the noise, but she felt as though turning on the soundproof feature on her headset wouldn't be wise. Until they were in the clear, at that moment, it was critical that she could hear McCree and where the shots were coming from, but in the case that she went deaf from this she was definitely suing.
“And we’re off!” Jerking the handles to the side, he hollered and grinned as the hovercycle bolted out of the parking spot. He laughed wildly as if this was a game to him, a source of pure entertainment. She could only hope to keep her head low and cling for dear life.
If she survived from this, she would be sure to beat some sense into this street urchin.