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Malfunction

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When Lena first opened her field, her only thought was ‘I’m going to die.’

 

Everyone, even those without a drop of magic in them, knew that if a witch activated her field without a familiar to pull her out of it, she would die.


She had missed the testing days at school, first by accident and then on purpose, and never knew any witches personally, but she still knew the rush that rushed through her was more than the slipstream project coming to pieces around her. The sky turned to a muted grey everything around her blurring and hazy.


Lena closed her eyes and waited to die, trapped in her field for who knows how long until suddenly… she wasn’t.


Around her wasn’t the hazy, gauze-like world she’d been trapped in for who-knows-how-long, but rather a laboratory. A laboratory with a large observation window, and a gorilla in a lab coat on the other side of the glass.


“Miss Oxton? Miss Oxton, can you hear me?”


A talking gorilla.

 

“Hello, Lena, right?”


And the—Lena’s eyes widened, and she pointed to herself, the gorilla, to Jack Morrison , before nodding.


And that was how she found herself becoming part of Overwatch.


Overwatch was different. While there weren’t really any official rules against witches and sorcerers being part of Overwatch, it was still frowned upon for them to use magic in the organization. As such, witches like Ana Amari and Angela Ziegler found other skills to develop.


And so, Lena found herself without anyone she could ask for help with her…condition.


Luckily, no-one in the organization seemed to recognize an open field, and the technology that Winston--the gorilla and now Lena’s first and best friend in Overwatch--created was enough to keep her grounded and alive, regenerating her power instead of grounding her to reality like they all thought it was for.


It was all Lena needed. It kept her alive while she used her magic, keeping her field contained to just her so she could blink back and forth on the battlefield, and if she let everyone think it was a side effect from the failure of the slipstream project…she wasn’t going to say anything.


Then Overwatch fell. The heroes fled, died, were arrested, and she found herself alone again, in a rented flat that felt both too big for her and too small. Winston was still there, a few hours away, but it wasn’t like he could come to London for a visit at any time, and she needed written permission to visit the officially but not quite decommissioned watchpoint he lived in.


So, Lena cashed her cheques every month, got a library membership, and started going to the gym more often. Tried to act like a regular 20-something, instead of one of the heroes who saved Kings Row.


She even started to date, meeting Emily at one of the free events at the library, and when she asked Emily to move in with her and she agreed, Lena was elated.


 


When Emily inevitably found out, Lena expected the worst.

 

It had been a bad day already; her accelerator wasn’t charging correctly and her request to visit Winston was denied as it was so soon after their Christmas dinner with him. Time was starting to blur around the edges, and she sunk to the ground, back against the couch as she tried to control her breathing-- ‘as if that’d help’ , she thought with a laugh.


What would happen to her if she couldn’t see Winston? Would Emily come home to a corpse?


Then, as if knowing that Lena was thinking of her, Emily walked in.


“Lena! Are you home? I was thinking I could try that stew again—“ she said, toeing off her shoes and walking around the corner, before dropping her books and the bag of groceries on the floor.


Or, at least they should have fallen to the floor. Instead, everything seemed to freeze for a second before the books and bag found themselves back in Emily’s arms. Lena wanted to cry.


“Lena…you’re a witch? But—you never mentioned that before! How long has your field been open? Where’s your familiar?” The books and bag were dropped on the coffee table, on purpose this time, and Emily scrambled to kneel down in front of her. “Lena, who is your familiar ? I’ll call them, get them here right away!”


“I—I don’t have one, just the accelerator. But it’s not working right and they won’t let me visit Winston—“ and that was when the floodgates burst, tears blurring her sight. “What if it doesn’t get fixed? What if it can’t be? Em, I don’t want to die!”


Tears in her eyes, Lena couldn’t see the horrified look on Emily’s face. “L-Lena…how long has it been? How long has your field been open?”

Lena used the collar of her shirt to wipe the tears away, trying to calm down and, largely, failing. “Since the accident, when the slipstream project failed. I-I activated as everything was disintegrating around me. Winston-- he doesn’t know I’m a witch. I don’t think anyone in Overwatch knew...but whatever Winston did, with the accelerator, it’s keeping me--”

 

The words ‘ alive’ were unsaid, but still there.

 

“Lena...you’ve been without a familiar--you’ve been in your field for over 4 years? Oh my god…” Emily sniffed. “I didn’t-- I should have known. I’m a witch too.” She reached out, before stopping when Lena flinched. “I never activated my field so I don’t have a familiar, and I was never anyone else’s familiar-- I had to quit that school when Null Sector attacked, and I never-- I didn’t return.”

 

The room went silent, before Emily reached forwards, with both hands this time. “I don’t want you to die either, Lena. Will you-- can I become your familiar?”

 

“Do you really want to be stuck with me for the rest of your life?” was all Lena managed to say before Emily closed the distance between them, gathering her in a hug and pulling .

 

“Well, I’ve been planning to propose for a few weeks,” Emily joked, holding her tight as Lena began to shake, her field closing for the first time in years and the exhaustion hitting her hard. “I’ll be here when you wake up. I promise.”