The mission went as most missions did these days: quick, almost painless. Certainly easier work than his bounty hunting days. Jesse was almost bored by the predictability of it, but one thing made the trip worth it.
He’d spotted a scarf in the window of a little boutique. It was a rich, brilliant red, shone like a ruby in the daylight. He wondered if it was selfish to get a gift for someone else in his favorite color, but he figured that’s what normal people did when they bought lingerie. Let other folks get their sweethearts lacy underthings; Hanzo would get Jesse’s pennant to wear into battle. He swung by the shop when the mission was over, paid too much for the scrap of fabric, then made a couple more fast stops before he left.
The trip from Paris to Gibraltar was quick, the debriefing even quicker. In and out, just like the mission. What seemed to take the longest was finding Hanzo. Jesse searched both their rooms, the practice range, the rec room. He wandered the base, but Hanzo was nowhere to be found.
He clutched at the brown paper packages he’d brought along. Hanzo’s absence made him second guess the whole thing. Whatever this thing was between them remained unnamed, new and a little fragile. Maybe Hanzo wasn’t interested in gifts or anything showy. Might not like Valentine’s Day at all, or think their relationship was worth celebrating. The longer he searched, the more convinced he became that he should go shove the scarf in a corner in his room and forget about it.
Instead, he took a shower, let a good scrub undo a lot of his doubts, and he trimmed his beard, put on his nicest pair of jeans and Hanzo’s favorite of his shirts, just in case. He picked up the packages again and double-checked himself in the mirror. He looked good, he figured, or good enough. Better than most days, and Hanzo was keen enough to sleep with him all those others, too.
On his way out the door, he heard someone call his name. “Where are you going?” Genji called as he jogged to Jesse’s side.
“Lookin’ for your brother,” he said, and Genji paused, tilted his head. Jesse would’ve given a few credits to know what he was thinking just then. “Maybe I shoulda asked this before, but how do y’all do Valentine’s Day in Japan?”
Genji laughed and dragged him down the hall. “We don’t have holidays there.” Jesse snorted, but he accepted that he was not going to get a useful answer. “Come with me.”
Jesse half thought Genji might actually take him to Hanzo, but he just pulled him along to the rec room, where Hana teased him about looking nice “for once” and Mei softened the blow by cooing over the gifts in his hands.
“Did you want somethin’?”
“Oh, yes, Hana has a new game,” Genji said, and Jesse glared.
“A new game. You know I got somethin’ I’m tryin’ to do here.” Genji fidgeted, and Jesse asked, “What are you up to?”
“I don’t believe that for a second.”
“Fine,” Genji said, drawing out a long sigh. “I’m just trying to save you from ruining everything.”
Jesse paused at that, swallowed hard. “What’s that mean?” Genji shied away, flopped down onto the couch. “If this is one of your jokes—” Jesse swallowed, then breathed in to steady himself. “You don’t get to drop somethin’ like that on a man and then go quiet.”
“It’s not for me to say.”
Jesse wondered if he could get away with hitting Genji without pissing off Hanzo too. “You said plenty now. Might as well get on with it.”
Genji made a big show of thinking about it. Jesse could feel the seconds ticking by. “He’s not here,” Genji said, and he grunted in return. “Or in his room. You should just go back to yours, Jesse. Call it a night.”
He thought about arguing, or pressing Genji for more, but he’d been pretty clearly dismissed, and Genji sidled up to Hana to talk his way into joining one of her games. So he went back, footsteps heavy in the hall, and he wondered again what the hell Genji had been up to. He swung open the door, ready to make a beeline for a bottle of whiskey, but he stopped short. The overhead light was off, but the whole room was lit up with candles and little lanterns. “Genji is such an asshole,” he said.
Hanzo laughed, open and easy. “I do all this, and you greet me by insulting my brother?”
He flushed, then tipped his head down to kiss Hanzo. “You’re right,” Jesse said as Hanzo pulled away. “Got much better things to talk about.”
Hanzo laughed again, then pulled him into the room, guided him to a cushion on the floor. Hanzo had turned his little coffee table into a dining area, cushions from the loveseat as their chairs. “I didn’t realize until this afternoon that you would be back today,” Hanzo said. “It isn’t much.”
“It’s perfect.” He felt like an idiot, couldn’t stop smiling, could barely look away to survey the table, a steak for each of them, potatoes and some kind of greens on the side. It wasn’t Hanzo’s usual taste at all, and it made him grin wider. “You cooked?”
“I paid Lúcio to pick it up in town,” Hanzo said, and that seemed more like it.
“I got you somethin’ that might go nice with this meal.” He handed over one of the packages, the biggest of them.
Hanzo opened it. “You don’t drink wine,” he said.
“Yeah, neither do you. But sake didn’t seem like the thing to get in France.” Hanzo laughed again, but he got up to drain their water glasses into the bathroom sink, returned with them empty. Jesse pulled out his pocket knife, the one with all the gadgets, and he managed to get the cork out. “Pretty sure it’s supposed to be cold, but we can make do.”
He poured, and Hanzo was looking at him, smirking. “You don’t chill reds. I don’t know how you survived almost forty years without knowing that.”
Jesse shrugged. “Didn’t think you were after my refined palate, anyway.”
“Not especially, no,” Hanzo said with a smile.
They ate, then, chatting quietly about the food and the mission and some prank Genji had tried, unsuccessfully, to pull on Reinhardt. Jesse told him what Genji had done, and Hanzo rolled his eyes, admitted he should’ve been more specific when he asked Genji to distract him. Jesse thought the wine wasn’t so bad, but Hanzo only took a few polite sips before he gave up and produced sake from a bag by the naked loveseat. It was alright. Jesse had two more gifts, and Hanzo was bright and smiling and his cheeks were growing flushed from the alcohol, even if it wasn’t the kind Jesse brought.
After dinner, Hanzo pulled out dessert, and Jesse had no idea where he had tracked down apple pie around here. It really wasn’t Hanzo’s kind of thing, but he tried a few bites off Jesse’s fork anyway. He only called it “nice,” but he let Jesse wipe a little speck of filling from the corner of his mouth and kiss him while he still tasted like cinnamon and sugar.
“Here,” Jesse said, pulling out another box. “I brought you a dessert that might be more your style.”
Hanzo grinned and opened the little box, while Jesse prayed the trip and the past few hours hadn’t fucked them up. “Macarons?” Hanzo asked.
Jesse nodded. “Maybe not the most creative gift from Paris, in hindsight,” he said, and Hanzo laughed again and kissed him until the self-consciousness melted away. “Look, though, they’re all different teas.” Hanzo smiled, ran a finger over the green ones. Jesse’d figured he’d like those best, so he’d made sure to get a few. And they were pretty, nestled like little pastel jewels in their box; Jesse’d eat just about anything, but Hanzo was a sucker for aesthetic.
“Thank you,” he said, and sure enough, he picked out a green cookie first, looked pleased as punch at the taste. He made Jesse try a bite, and Jesse teased him, said it was “nice,” then went back to his apple pie. Hanzo only ate two of the macarons, tucked the rest carefully away like it mattered, and Jesse felt lightheaded from it.
He pulled out the last box, finally, and Hanzo loved it, ran his fingers over the silk and declared it beautiful, even laughed when Jesse pointed out it’d hide blood pretty well. He took care to fold it and put it tidily back in its box, set it aside with the macarons. He looked back at Jesse, eyes searching his face. “I didn’t get you anything.”
“Got me dinner,” Jesse shrugged. “And pie!” Hanzo almost looked shy, and it was a funny expression on the face of someone who knew a dozen ways to kill him. “You don’t need to get me anything else, not ever. I’m still gonna shower you with gifts every chance I get though. Hope that’s okay.”
He swallowed a little, wondered if it was too much. Hanzo was looking at him, then, far too serious and moving closer, and Jesse felt exposed, but he couldn’t make himself look away. “How long are you planning to shower me with gifts?”
“Long as you’ll let me,” he said, unable to stop himself. And well, after that, he’d already started. Might as well finish the job. “Every day, if you want. Might have to lower your standards for the daily stuff, though, so I can really go all out for your birthday and big holidays. You’re gonna need to buy some storage, way they’ll add up over the years.”
He swallowed again, felt nervous and giddy and flushed. Hanzo looked a little dazed, probably the alcohol but maybe, if Jesse was lucky, because he’d liked that. “Years?” he asked, and his fingers brushed soft through Jesse’s hair, curled back behind his ear.
“As many as you want, sweetheart,” Jesse promised, and Hanzo kissed him, pressed right up against him until Jesse toppled back, caught himself on his elbows. Hanzo followed him down, mouth hot on his and still tasting like sweets and sake. Jesse fell back a little more, nearly knocked his head against the floor, and he pulled away a little, breathless and laughing anyway. “You like that idea?”
“I love it,” Hanzo said, and Jesse’s breath got stuck in his throat. He felt Hanzo’s hand slide up the inside of his thigh, and he twitched, knee jerking against the table and setting all manner of things to rattling. He should move, probably, get his ass off the floor and Hanzo into bed, but he couldn’t breathe right.
“Yeah?” he managed to choke out.
Hanzo’s fingers traced the seam of his jeans right up his thigh, made Jesse’s breath come out in a stutter, but even that seemed secondary to the way he was looking at Jesse. “And you,” he said quietly, barely audible over Jesse’s thundering pulse, but Jesse was sure he would’ve heard it in the middle of a tornado.
He surged up again, grabbed Hanzo by the back of the neck, and kissed him like his life depended on it.