Hanzo doesn't say it.
McCree tries not to, either, but it's fucking difficult: after years of learning how to hold this shit inside, all it took was one dramatic confession and now it's trying to burst out of him at every opportunity again. It takes several moments of gut-wrenching silence for him to learn that it's going to be much better for both of them if he keeps his mouth shut.
He told Hanzo it was enough. It is. It should be enough.
They sleep together now, Hanzo invited him immediately and without hesitation, and the first evening after the memorable events in the range McCree packed up his stuff and carried it all to Hanzo's room, where there was already an empty drawer waiting for him and a free coat hook for his hat. When he woke up, it was to Hanzo's sleepy and satisfied smile and he didn't think about it, he just said it, mindlessly happy, and had to watch the smile fade and Hanzo's eyes turn away.
So he tries not to say it anymore, even though it's difficult, because beyond any fucking doubt he loves this man.
And it's not like the three magic words would change anything, because Hanzo's actions speak as loud as any words. He's gloriously demanding in bed and he learns how to push all of McCree's buttons with frightening speed. He doesn't flaunt their relationship, but doesn't try to hide it either; McCree jumps in surprise the first time Hanzo walks past him in the kitchen and pauses briefly to run fingers through his hair, and it's only the first of many casual touches that follow. They train together, fight together, and exchange friendly jabs as usual, but Hanzo is more inclined to give him little compliments now, and has surprisingly many nice things to say when he puts his mind to it. Hanzo makes it clear that he cares and enjoys their relationship, they grow more attached to each other every day, McCree is genuinely happy and every sign indicates that Hanzo is happy too, and yet his dumb brain constantly attempts to invalidate everything over terminology.
"You are so full of shit, McCree," he tells his reflection in the mirror, and the reflection glares balefully back. There is a dark bruise above his left collarbone — fortunately, the shirt just barely covers it — and he knows that if he shifts his shoulder blades, he'll feel the angry red scratches Hanzo left there last night. It's good. It's beyond good, this thing they have now, it's goddamn amazing, so why is he so hung up on three words?
The last videoconference before the trial leaves him unable to shake off the feeling of dread, despite the lawyers' confidence and relentless optimism about his chances. No matter how good the DCH are at their job, even if they do manage to invalidate all the wrongful charges as they promise, there's no way the judges are just going to let him walk free. He should tell Hanzo while he still has the time to do it, because it could be the last evening they spend together for years. Or ever.
He knows he's being dramatic, really. Hanzo would probably try to get him out of jail. The mental image of a furious ninja rampaging through max security with giant spirit dragons on each side is as hilarious as it is comforting, and McCree is nearly sure Hanzo would do it. Almost. Seventy-five percent at least. Although not telling him about the trial before he leaves might reduce that to fifty.
Or maybe once they lock him up in max sec and Hanzo stops being permanently doped up on endorphins, he'll realize McCree just isn't worth the risk.
"Fucking stop it," he hisses under his breath. He needs something to distract himself with. Drinking is not an option today, Hanzo is out of the base until the evening, and he's had way too much time to prepare not to have everything sorted out and waiting. His fancy new suit is already aboard the Orca along with the minimal luggage containing everything he hopes he'll need, and the feature is finished, edited, proofread and ready to be sent at a press of a button. He supposes he can always work on the next one; their last intervention in the Balkans left him with more material than he knows what to do with.
The weather is good enough that he can hide in the reserve again, and take the opportunity to say goodbye to the monkeys, just in case. Maybe their eternally judgmental stares will shake him out of the self-pity.
He's used to walking past Genji on his way to the monkey place, but he's not used to Genji following him. The cyborg enters the clearing maybe ten minutes later, waves hello, looks around with interest, sits in a comfortable distance and falls quiet. He's either meditating or psyching himself up to something, and his presence isn't disruptive, so McCree decides to leave him alone and concentrate on the writing.
Eventually, Genji sighs, removes his mask and turns fully towards him. "I'm sorry," he says. "I had a very… informative talk with my brother the other day, and I'm sorry for being less than supportive about Reyes back in the day. I did not realize how much of an impact it had on you."
McCree dismisses the keyboard and groans theatrically. "Aw, hell. Don't apologize about that."
"Why not? You deserve the—"
"If you apologize, I can't in good conscience sabotage you when you finally grow a pair and make a move on Angela."
Genji laughs, but it's brief and somewhat forced. "I'm serious, McCree. I know I was a mess back then, and I also know it isn't an excuse. I should have exhibited more empathy."
"Empathy? In a special unit full of badly reformed criminals?"
"It's more likely than you think," grins Genji and the mood immediately lightens. "I really am sorry, though. Thinking back to that period, I was an absolutely terrible person. I don't understand why you decided to befriend me."
McCree side-eyes him with a smirk. "Only because you were hot."
This time, Genji's laughter rings with honest delight. "Oh, I'm ashamed to remember how long it took me to realize that you weren't staring at me because I was a freak, but because you were checking out my ass."
"Course I was. Have you seen your ass? It's amazing and deserves nothin' but appreciation."
"Amazing and indestructible, and yet, you would rather stare at Hanzo's ass these days. This is a betrayal most foul."
"Doesn't mean I think any less of yours," McCree assures him solemnly. "Are you gonna get to the shovel talk anytime soon, or do you need to beat around the bush some more?"
Genji sighs and leans against the stone. "I don't think I have any right to give you one, considering that according to Hanzo, my past actions nearly sabotaged your relationship. Out of the two of you, I think Hanzo is more in need of a shovel talk, anyway."
"I could call Fareeha, get her to take a couple days off and come put the fear of God into him," he says, and oh, this is an absolutely fantastic idea. If he survives tomorrow, he might do it, just to witness this glorious image. "She's just as intimidatin' as Ana used to be, and has the muscle to back it up."
Genji perks up. "Do it, and convince her to finally quit Helix while you're at it. And instead of the shovel talk, I'll give you a piece of unsolicited advice. Hanzo is going to be terrible at this. I'm not suggesting that you give him free passes when he is, but… just assume that whenever he does something hurtful, it's not intentional. Tell him and explain. Loudly, in short sentences and with helpful diagrams, if you need to."
"I think you need to give your brother more credit," he mutters. "So far he's been the straightforward one and I've been the one full of shit."
Genji stands up and puts the mask back on, and only now McCree realizes that his armor's normally green lights are red. "It's up to you what you do with the advice, naturally, but I will find you and beat you into a pulp if you disregard it."
"Awesome shovel talk." He gives Genji two thumbs up. "If it makes you feel better, we've already established that your brother can't get rid of me easily."
Unless you get yourself locked up tomorrow and leave Hanzo alone.
Well, fuck. He did not need that thought on top of everything else.
He watches Genji walk away and attempts to comfort himself with the thought that maybe Genji will come for him, instead, and get him out of prison for the sole purpose of kicking his ass.
By the time Hanzo comes back from the meeting with his supplier, McCree is climbing the walls. Hanzo takes one look at him and orders him to take a shower, drags him from there straight to bed, and coaxes him into bottoming for the first time. Honestly, it doesn't take a lot of convincing because he has thought about it already, even tentatively experimented to psych himself up enough to make the offer, and now more than ever he can use the distraction of pushing the limits of his comfort zone.
It goes better than he could have imagined. Despite all the declarations of being a less than gentle top, Hanzo decides to tease him for half an hour before he even does anything, and it works, because by the end he's too horny and impatient to care about discomfort anymore. Turns out that having something up his ass is a very different experience when it's Hanzo, intense, fierce, beautiful and stubbornly tender until the very end. McCree falls to fucking pieces in his hands, and in the heat of the moment he almost ruins everything by blurting out another unwanted confession.
Floating down to earth in the sweet afterglow, he silently vows to get himself together, starting now. He told Hanzo that what he was prepared to offer was enough and he will keep his goddamn word. He will not fuck everything up because he can't keep his mouth shut. There will be no more one-sided confessions, accidental guilt tripping and heavy silences.
In the morning, he wakes up instantly at the first sound of the alarm and turns it off before it can beep for the second time. He's lucky that the rapid movement didn't wake Hanzo up, or he wouldn't be able to lie his way out of this. He extricates himself from an octopus-like embrace in the slowest and most careful way possible, afraid to even breathe, but Hanzo must have been more tired than usual, because he doesn't even stir, only makes a disgruntled little noise and tightens his grip on the edge of McCree's pillow.
In that moment, there's nothing in the whole world he wants more than to slip back into bed and have Hanzo wrap himself possessively around him again.
He leaves the note on the empty pillow. It doesn't say much: an apology for sneaking out without notice, a promise to get in contact later in the day. No confessions, no hearts, no romantic bullshit whatsoever. He should leave now, while Hanzo is still definitely asleep, but there is a significant chance that he won't see him again soon, there's even a non-zero chance that he won't see him again at all, and he falters halfway to the door. It's unnecessary and dangerous and above everything else hopelessly stupid, but if he's already getting himself trialed, then he can afford a little more stupidity; he tiptoes back to the bed, leans in to brush his lips against tangled black hair spread across the pillow, and whispers the three forbidden words.