Chapter 1: Hanzo
It’s been months, and they only know Jesse’s still alive because of the bodies he leaves.
Jesse’s handiwork is distinctive, and a bullet they recovered matched the wear from Peacekeeper’s rifling. Someone else might have taken the gun, but no one else is so consistently clean in their kills. It could only be him.
It’s been months, and Hanzo remembers waking up alone in that alley every day.
He had nothing but the memory of the panic that had turned his blood to ice when they realized they’d walked into a trap and a couple of foggy impressions of the inside of a cell. The first thing he’d noticed was that Jesse wasn’t with him anymore, and that had paralyzed him until the sun came up. Overwatch came for him, eventually, but part of him is still in that alley, choking on the reality that Jesse was gone.
It’s been months, and Hanzo knows that every day that passes means it will be that much harder to bring Jesse back. Talon is using him, that they know. They must have hollowed him out and turned him into a weapon. They’ve done it before, after all.
The question of why Hanzo was spared the same fate haunts him almost as doggedly as the misery of Jesse’s absence. If Talon wanted another living weapon, why stop at one? If Jesse was the target and Hanzo was simply incidental, then why let him live? Why couldn’t it have been him instead, and Jesse the one to have woken up alone but free?
(There’s an alternative Hanzo refuses to consider—that Jesse willingly joined Talon. That Jesse was never the man Hanzo thought he was. That Jesse and his iron clad sense of justice was a fabrication.)
(There’s a last thought that Hanzo does consider until it drives him to drown it in cheap sake—that Jesse agreed to be whatever Talon wanted in exchange for Hanzo’s life.)
Hanzo runs through the ruin of an old munitions factory, and he lets the all his fear, his anxiety, his misery fuel the pumping of his legs. They have been a step behind every other time, but this time there are stragglers and Hanzo will run until his heart explodes before he lets this opportunity pass. If they can bring one back alive, then that’s a chance to find something out about Jesse, and that’s one step closer to bringing him home.
Hanzo leaps over a long table and keeps going. He saw someone, and they were wearing Talon colors. They ducked behind a long row of rotting crates, but there’s no exit on that side of the building. Hanzo can corner them if he’s fast enough.
He comes to a skidding halt, weapon already drawn, and peers down the row. Not fifteen meters away is the person he’d been chasing.
Suddenly, Hanzo can’t breathe.
Jesse’s face is blank, eerily blank, and he doesn’t react to his name. He stalks silently toward Hanzo, and Hanzo’s heart starts hammering in his chest. Hanzo knows what Talon can turn a person into. Hanzo knows what Jesse is capable of, and while he’s never been afraid of him, now he sees why someone would be. If Jesse doesn’t know him, or worse, doesn’t care, then Hanzo has made his last mistake.
Hanzo puts his arrow away, hooks his bow across his shoulders. He will not, cannot, hurt Jesse. He has been a lot of things, but he will not be the man that kills Jesse McCree. He knows he couldn’t come back from that.
Jesse stops just in arm’s reach. Hanzo opens his mouth again, but Jesse clamps one hand over Hanzo’s mouth and fists the other in his shirt, and then he walks him backwards fast. Hanzo has to grab him by the arm to keep himself upright. Jesse pushes him into the shadows, pushes him until he just bumps into something solid, and then he lowers his hands.
Even in the dimness, Hanzo can see an expression bubble up through the blankness, though he’s not sure how to name it. Jesse leans into him, pressing their foreheads together and brushing noses. Hanzo’s heart finds the strength to pound even faster—surely Jesse can hear, surely the whole world can hear—and his escalating confusion and fear and relief have him frozen in place.
The only clear thought he has for the next few seconds is that Jesse smells different. There’s not a whiff of his cologne on his skin, and the faint hint of soap is all wrong. Hanzo could almost laugh. This is what he notices? Jesse has been missing for months, is wearing Talon colors, and Hanzo notices he’s using different soap.
Jesse lifts his arms again, placing his mismatched hands on Hanzo’s jaw. He tilts his head down, letting his lips hover a hair’s breadth away from Hanzo’s own, and stands there motionless, waiting for Hanzo to close the gap. They’re pressed close, but Jesse hasn’t made any attempt to pin him. If he wanted, Hanzo could push him away.
As if Hanzo would do such a thing.
Hanzo presses his lips to Jesse’s. They’re exactly like Hanzo remembers, achingly perfect. Jesse inhales sharply, but he doesn’t open his mouth. Hanzo wraps his arms around Jesse, his hands skipping over unfamiliar body armor, and pulls him against his own body. Pulls like he could hide Jesse away behind his ribs, like he could secret Jesse away, away from Talon, away from the world. Away from whatever’s been done to him. Away to somewhere they’d never have to be apart again.
Jesse twists his head, improving the angle, and lets Hanzo in. Hanzo takes immediate advantage. He feels like a man dying of thirst abruptly dumped into a river, and he would happily drown. All the desperation, all the uncertainty, all the misery of the last few months bubbles up, makes him shake as it crashes against the disorienting relief of having Jesse in his arms again. It doesn’t feel real, but his imagination would never be up to the task of fabricating this.
Jesse holds him like he might shatter, is almost hesitant as he kisses Hanzo back. It breaks Hanzo’s heart all over again. He wants to stop, to demand an explanation. He wants to kiss Jesse until he’s stupid and Hanzo can just bodily drag him back.
Jesse leans back a little, parting their lips. He stares down at Hanzo with wounded eyes, brushing his thumbs over Hanzo’s cheeks. Hanzo has always hated Jesse’s pain, and now is no different. But if the separation has hurt him, then he’s still Jesse. He’s still the man Hanzo loves.
Jesse presses one more soft kiss to Hanzo’s bottom lip, and Hanzo dips his head down to rest his head on Jesse’s shoulder, nosing under his jaw and reminding himself of the smell of Jesse’s skin
“Stop this, whatever this is,” Hanzo murmurs. “Come home.”
Jesse sighs and drapes his arms over Hanzo’s shoulders.
“Jesse, please,” Hanzo whispers, barely audible.
“Do you trust me?” Jesse whispers back. Hanzo tries to swallow around a lump that forms in his throat. He trusts Jesse, he does, but Jesse wouldn’t ask if he could be persuaded to come back with him.
Jesse begins to pull away, and panic seizes Hanzo. He grabs Jesse and pulls him back—one hand on Jesse’s belt, the other fisted into his hair—and tugs his head down. One of Hanzo’s lips gets briefly caught between their teeth and it hurts but it’s nothing compared to the thought of watching Jesse leave. He tries to make Jesse feel it, feel how much he loves him, how much his absence hurts.
Just for a moment, Jesse meets his intensity. Just for a moment, Hanzo’s world is righted.
But Jesse pulls away again, and this time Hanzo lets him. Hanzo can see the confliction, the misery in his face before Jesse schools himself back to blankness. He reaches out and presses something tiny into Hanzo’s hand.
“Give me five minutes to get clear,” Jesse says, businesslike. All Hanzo can do is nod. He thinks he should do something, do anything but let Jesse go. But Jesse had asked him to trust him, so Hanzo slumps back and counts the seconds before he can go meet the others.
What Jesse gave him was a data drive, and it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s fuel for a scandal that will make the revelation of Blackwatch look like child’s play. Judicious application of the information within would grind Talon and its ambitions to a screeching halt.
It is cold comfort.
Hanzo ducks out as the others discuss how to proceed. The state he's in, he wouldn't be much help anyway. He wants to be angry at Jesse for deciding to do this alone. He wants to be proud that he’s succeeding. But all he feels is a creeping dread, because now it feels like Jesse had just told him goodbye. Because Hanzo knows that while Jesse is good, he can’t expect to live through betraying Talon this way. No one could.
Hanzo punches in the code to his bunk and walks inside. He drops heavily onto the edge of his bed and rests his head in his hands. He just tries to breathe for a long few moments, tries not to focus on anything else.
His phone buzzes in his pocket, and he starts. He almost ignores whoever it is, but the desire for a distraction overwhelms his first impulse. It's a message from Athena.
This was encrypted separately from the rest of the data. I believe it is meant for you specifically, Agent Shimada.
There’s a simple text file attached, and Hanzo opens it without thinking.
I’m sure you’ve seen the rest by now, and you know what I’m doing. I’m not going it alone, but the less said about anyone else, the better. I wouldn’t have agreed to go if I didn’t think this had to be done. I don’t expect that to make it easier, but it’s true. This is big, and it’s personal, if I’m being honest. The only condition I had was that you got to go, that you got the opportunity to stay clear. This ain’t your fight.
A smart man would move on with his life, and I wouldn’t hold it against you if you did. I love you too much to have you wasting time waiting on a man who’s courting death as closely as we are. All I ask is that you pour one out for me when it’s over. With everything I gave you, it’s guaranteed to be over eventually, but there’s more we can do to make sure it’ll stay over when the dust clears.
I wish I could have given you better than this, but I love you, baby. Never doubt that.
It takes three years.
Hanzo is sitting in a bar, reading the scroll across the bottom of the television—Korpal arraignment set for July—Gabriel Reyes to be posthumously pardoned by UN—Investigation into Volskaya Industries still ongoing. The ceremony is wrapping up on screen. Overwatch is getting its second shot, a chance to be better. Many of Talon’s power players are in custody. There are plenty of others who either assisted or looked the other way, and only time will tell if they see justice too. At least for the masterminds, Overwatch’s initial directive is to assist in arresting those still on the run.
Hanzo parted ways with Overwatch when legitimacy came knocking. They had enough trouble justifying themselves without the likes of him muddying the waters.
In three years, he never heard from Jesse again. Occasionally, he found some rumor, something circumstantial, but nothing definitive. The waiting has worn his hope down to a point, and now with every story of more Talon arrests, the edge seems to skip off the inside of Hanzo’s ribs. He’s sure he’d never see Jesse on a screen in handcuffs, but maybe this will be the one. The last person Jesse had to chase.
He knows it’s ridiculous, that hope. In all likelihood, Jesse has died, ended up a John Doe in some morgue. Cremated when no one came to claim him and forgotten by everyone involved. Hanzo has told himself that over and over, trying to turn it into closure. Maybe he will, eventually.
He smiles, just a little, when Winston shows up again on screen. He must be ecstatic. Lena is standing beside him, and she keeps letting her serious façade slip. Dr. Zhou was in attendance, as was Reinhardt, as was Lucio. Surely others too, but he must have missed them. He’ll have to get Genji to pass along his congratulations.
He drains the dregs of his drink and mulls ordering another. It’s the hottest part of the day, and he only has a motorcycle. He’d have to spend a few more hours riding in the heat to get to Santa Fe, and he could easily wait.
He has a bottle of Jesse’s favorite whiskey in his backpack. Hanzo thought it appropriate to pour one out in the desert he’d missed so much. Besides, Hanzo has nothing better to do than roam the land that shaped him. Hanzo finds a strange kinship with the desert. Something about all the empty space, all the quiet, soothes the emptiness inside that Jesse left.
The bartender sets a glass in front of Hanzo. He shoots her a look, he certainly hadn’t asked for another, but the woman shrugs.
“Some fella ordered it for you.”
She jerks her head to the far side of the bar, to a booth in the corner. There’s a man walking away, a giant dressed in all black with sunglasses and a bandana over his face, but there’s someone else still sitting in the booth. Hanzo lifts the glass to his lips. He tastes sweetness, smooth bourbon, and just a dash of something bitter—an Old Fashioned.
He stares at the glass. If someone had ordered him one more of what he’d been having, that would have been simple flirting. Ordering a cocktail is a little bold, but Old Fashioneds aren't exotic as cocktails go. It’s just something Hanzo would never order or make himself, though he likes the sweetness. Jesse would make them for the two of them as a treat, sometimes.
But no one else would know that.
Hanzo pushes himself away from the bar and walks over to the booth. Trepidation twists his guts, even as he tells himself that this is nothing. Just strange happenstance.
He stops at the edge of the table. The man sitting there tilts his head up at him and smiles. His brown hair is short, mostly contained in a baseball cap, and he’s clean shaven. There’s a pale scar under one eye, curling down his cheek, and his nose is a little crooked. He’s leaning back in the booth, both hands resting easily on the table. He’s wearing gloves and a jacket, but there’s a metallic glint instead of skin on the left side where his wrists aren't covered.
“Hey, baby. How’d it taste?” he says.
His voice punches all the air out of Hanzo’s lungs. His heart must stop. Hanzo stares at his eyes, and they’re right. The scar on his lip is right too. The way he smiles, Hanzo would know that anywhere.
Hanzo drops into the seat next to him, reaches out to touch. Jesse is solid under his fingers. Hanzo still can’t find his voice. He doesn’t know what he would say if he did.
Jesse places one hand over his and squeezes softly. The glove is soft leather, but it’s not Jesse, and Hanzo doesn’t think he’s hated an article of clothing more in his life. Hanzo reaches out and places his hand on the back of Jesse’s head—his hair is too short, there’s nothing to hold on to—and pulls him into his chest. Jesse bumps the table and it squeals across the floor as he goes, and his hat gets pushes off. Hanzo loops his other arm around Jesse’s back to pin him close.
He finds the air again, but it burns in his throat and his lungs stutter. Jesse’s shorter hair tickles, feels unfamiliar against his cheek. He’s thinner than he used to be as well. The way he sets his hands on Hanzo’s waist is exactly right, though.
“You wanna stay here, or go somewhere we can talk?” Jesse murmurs into his chest.
“Go,” Hanzo says. Even that single syllable sounds shaky. “Let’s go.”
They don’t do much talking, in the end. That’s Hanzo’s fault. He couldn’t stop touching, because it didn’t seem real, it couldn’t be real. Jesse placated him with a kiss, and that was the beginning of the end for anything like rational discussion.
Jesse has a lot of new scars. Hanzo is running his thumb idly over a long one on his flank. Jesse has new scars, has a new prosthesis, has new gray in his hair. Jesse has the same laugh, has the same sensitive spots, has the same mischief in his eyes.
Hanzo lies on Jesse’s chest, thinking all that. He half hopes Jesse falls asleep. Hanzo had certainly done his best to leave him dazed and sated. All he wants is some time to savor the sound of Jesse’s heartbeat in his ear, the warmth of his skin. Some time to pretend that there’s never been anything else but the two of them and this hotel room.
Jesse hums, long and low, and stretches under Hanzo.
“C’mon, let me take care of ya,” he says with an easy smile.
Hanzo pushes himself up on one elbow, looks down at Jesse. They pulled the curtains, but there’s still a strip of sunlight falling across his chest. Hanzo runs his fingers down it, because he can, because Jesse is here to touch.
“How long?” Hanzo asks.
“How long what?”
Hanzo gestures around them. How long will Jesse stay? How long will this last?
“Dunno,” Jesse shrugs. “Boss likes us to keep movin’, and I owe lots of folks an explanation.”
Cold fear curls its way around Hanzo's bones. He can't do this again, he can't let Jesse go. It's supposed to be over.
“I’m coming.” Jesse’s quirks an eyebrow, like he doesn’t understand. “I’m coming with you this time, where ever you go.”
“A’right,” Jesse says, like it’s so simple. "I was hopin' you'd say somethin' like that." Then he chuckles softly. “Boss is gonna love you.”
Hanzo frowns at him, but Jesse just gently tugs him down.
“We don’t have to worry about any of that right now. C’mere.”
The next day, Jesse takes him to a parking lot where the man in black from the bar is waiting, leaning up against a car.
“You’re late,” he growls, but he doesn’t seem surprised. Jesse waves it off.
“Boss, this is Hanzo. Hanzo, Boss.”
The man snorts at Jesse and steps forward. He holds out a hand for Hanzo to shake.
“Reyes will do.”
Hanzo frowns, surely this couldn’t be the Reyes? He glances at Jesse, who shrugs unhelpfully.
“Nice to meet you,” Hanzo says smoothly.
“Likewise,” Reyes huffs. He turns to Jesse. “Load up.”
“Sure thing,” Jesse answers, opening a door for Hanzo. “We’re goin’ to find ‘Reeha while Boss is still feelin’ sociable. Between you an’ me, I want him along so she wears herself out beating him to death.”
“You can walk,” Reyes replies, without any heat. Jesse just laughs and gets into the front seat.
It’s surreal, sitting in a car with Jesse. In some ways, it’s so easy to be near him it’s like he was never gone at all. But in others, the sting is still there. Jesse catches his eyes in the rearview mirror and winks. Hanzo smiles. The sting will fade, he thinks.
The road stretches out ahead of them, and so does the future. For the first time in a long time, Hanzo wants to find out what it holds.
Chapter 2: Jesse
Jesse almost loses his nerve when Hanzo whispers a plea into his neck.
It would have been easier if he’d been angry. It would have been easier if it hadn’t been Hanzo at all, if one of the others had followed him back here. Genji, maybe, would have understood best. Genji was there when the whole damn thing started to go off the rails.
Genji would understand why this was personal.
Talon took his life, his work, and made a mockery of it. Took people from him, with sabotage and betrayal and subterfuge. Reyes knows the names of every sorry son of a bitch that Talon slipped into their ranks. More importantly, he knows the names of everyone who caught a bullet in the back in the fray of a firefight, who got put down somewhere that was a hell of a lot hotter than the intel suggested, who had an equipment failure that was just on the wrong side of likely. The first set of names makes Jesse’s blood boil, but the second is why he’s here. He didn’t see it then either, but he can do something about it now. Get revenge. Put an end to Talon. Give the dead something like justice.
Makes sure nothing like that happens to him again.
“Do you trust me?” Jesse asks.
Hanzo might understand why Jesse has to do this, but Jesse doesn’t think there are enough words to convince him that this is the way he has to do it. He drafted the letter—the drive feels as heavy as a gravestone in his palm—but he knows it’s not a proper explanation. It’s just something Jesse did to soothe his own guilt.
Seeing Hanzo’s bald misery might have rattled his resolve, but the solid warmth of him against his chest, the smell of his hair, even feeling of his breath on Jesse’s neck, all that makes it iron again. Jesse can only just stand to leave Hanzo, he couldn’t bear to lose him, not to this fight. This mess belongs to him and Reyes, and he’ll be damned if he puts the man he loves in danger cleaning it up.
Jesse tries to step away, but Hanzo jerks him back and crushes his lips under his own. It’s demanding, hungry, strangely sweet, so very Hanzo. Jesse can’t help it, he loses himself in the heat against his mouth, the grip on his hair. This might be the last time he gets to do this, so why not make the best of it?
Hanzo deserves a goodbye worth remembering.
Reyes knows how to make an exit, that’s for damn sure.
Winston had been cautious with the intel, carefully testing what he’d been given. Disrupt a theft here. Tip off the local authorities there. Overwatch were no more of a nuisance than they ever were, but they weren’t moving when they didn’t need to any more. Now, after damn near sixteen months, Winston’s blown the lid off the whole damn thing.
The inner council has been baying for blood. Only one of their own could have had access to everything Winston disclosed, and it was only a matter of time before they figured out who was responsible. The only real pity is that only a few are here bodily to accuse Reyes.
The other lackeys—assistants and security and Lisin’s right hand—start at the sound of Reyes’ shotgun. Jesse’s lip curls up over his teeth in a merciless parody of a smile. That’s his cue.
Lisin’s got a psychopathic son of a bitch by the name of Ridgeway as his muscle. Before that, Ridgeway was a plant in Blackwatch. Was the one who shot Mkhize in the back on the way out of Adelaide, because Mkhize was starting to figure him out. Admitted as much over cards at the last one of these shindigs.
Jesse liked Mkhize.
So Jesse shoots Ridgeway first.
Chaos erupts after that. Reyes keeps firing behind the closed door, and Jesse has to be as quick as he’d ever been to keep ahead of everyone out here. The door bursts open and Jesse catches a glimpse of O'Deorain’s perfect look of oh fuck me as she staggers out of the room and pulls a fade, disappearing in a blur around a corner. Reyes sweeps out after that, his coat swirling in a cloud of nanites. His mask is on, but Jesse can picture the look of grim satisfaction.
“Meetin’ go well?” Jesse drawls as he reloads.
Reyes just laughs.
Usually, Olivia is in a hurry to beat feet after checking in, but tonight she lingers. She tips her empty glass with one finger, tilting it until it would fall without her, and won’t meet either of their eyes. Reyes’ clothes rustle as he crosses his arms. Jesse feels unease begin to knot his guts.
“There’s one more thing,” she says, briefly flicking her gaze up to Jesse. “Don’t freak out yet, but your man hasn’t been on any of the last ten Overwatch deployments.”
Jesse’s stomach drops to the floor. He grips the edge of the table to keep from throwing something. The surface cracks under his left thumb.
“Could you have missed one?” Jesse asks, trying to keep his voice even and low. The last thing any of them need is him shouting and causing a scene. Based on how she winces and Reyes angles toward him, he doesn’t do a great job.
“It’s possible, I guess. Not likely. I’ve already done some digging.” She sets the glass aside and leans back in her chair. “There’s no bodies anywhere they’ve been that match his description. So, like I said, don’t freak out yet.”
Jesse bites his tongue so he doesn’t say what they all know—that doesn’t really mean shit. That doesn’t prove that Hanzo didn’t die in Bumfuck, Nowhere, or that his body was unrecognizable when it was recovered, or that someone in Overwatch didn’t perform a field cremation.
“He could have just left,” Reyes says. “Or he’s just been sitting on the bench.” The rasp of his voice makes everything he says sound gruff, but otherwise it’s as close to gentle as he can manage.
“He’s not much for sidelines,” Jesse mutters. He tries to use Reyes’ logic to smother the anxiety, but he can’t help but play out every awful possibility in his mind. The fear feels heavy like certainty, and why the fuck has he been running if Hanzo’s not out there somewhere, when he could be hunting the assassins right back? (He immediately feels guilty thinking that—Fareeha, Captain Amari, Genji, he has plenty of people he’s desperate to see again and running’s the only way to do that.)
“I’ll keep looking, okay? Stay alive in the meantime.”
He and Reyes have a shitty apartment just outside Guadalajara this month. The damn thing makes the trailers Deadlock had circled in the desert feel like luxury digs, but it rents by the week and nobody gives them a second look.
They’ve spent the last year going from shithole to rat trap to flop house. Once they caught a few hours’ sleep in a literal cave, and that felt like a high point because the cave didn’t reek of piss. What’s left of Talon is determined to find them and gut them like pigs, but no one so far has caught up to them and lived to tell about it.
The noose is tightening around the last few key Talon players, and soon they’ll be dead or in custody. Overwatch is seeing to that. There will still be people who would kill them given the chance, but they won’t have the resources to find them. For now, it’s just dodging what amount to the wild swipes of a dying animal and keeping their heads down.
In the last year, Jesse hasn’t once felt fear like he does now. He’s smoked through one pack of cigarettes since they got back and is well on his way to wearing another hole into the threadbare carpet.
In the back of Jesse’s mind, Hanzo had always been out there. Maybe not safe, per se, but not in nearly as much danger as he was. Maybe he was something like happy. Maybe he’d moved on to someone else, and maybe he hadn’t, and Jesse told himself both stories depending on his mood.
Hanzo was never dead in any of Jesse’s imaginings. Jesse couldn’t bear to entertain the thought.
But now it’s all he can think about.
Four days and untold cigarettes later, Jesse’s burner buzzes. He jumps on it, punches in the passcode and opens the message almost before it’s done buzzing.
It’s a picture. A grainy still from a security feed. Hanzo, unmistakably Hanzo, buying something from a kiosk. Olivia’s message is simply He was in the Singapore airport ten days ago, no body there either, might still be there.
He’s okay. He’s still out there.
Jesse stares at the image. There’s enough detail that Jesse is sure it’s him, but just that much. Are there circles under his eyes, or is that just a trick of the light? Did he pierce the shell of his ear again? Jesse can make out his perpetual frown, directed at some hapless clerk. Poor bastard probably didn’t realize Hanzo meant nothing by it.
Jesse pulls a chair away from the kitchen table and crumples into it. He curls over the screen and tries to soak it in. Realizes it’s been years since he heard Hanzo’s voice. Since the day he gave Hanzo the drive. Jesse runs his thumb over the image, tracing Hanzo’s profile.
Reyes grunts an inquiry from the couch. Jesse jumps. He forgot Reyes was here.
“Liv found him,” Jesse says. “She found him,” he reiterates, because those words feel like a miracle in his mouth. For the first time in what feels like an eternity, he knows where Hanzo is.
Jesse jumps from the chair, starts toward his bedroom, toward his bag. He could be in Singapore in less than twenty four hours. Once there, he could find Hanzo. Liv’s probably done half the work already, he could do the rest, no problem. He just needs to clap eyes on him, to see for himself that he’s okay, that’s all.
Reyes catches him by the elbow as he walks past, stopping him cold.
“What are you doing?”
“I gotta go,” Jesse says, tugging his arm. Reyes doesn’t let him go, pushes him down onto the couch instead. He pulls the chair by the table across the room and flips it around, then drops into it heavily.
“Okay,” Reyes says. “Walk me through how you’re going to do that.”
Jesse swallows, his mouth suddenly dry. He has no plan, not really. He’s not thinking. Reyes should have just said that, and told him to stay put on top of it. But Reyes is asking him for his plan, like he’s going to go along with it.
“I haven’t used the Flores passport yet, and I can cover the tickets out of the Panama account,” Jesse starts.
It’s more than just that though. One identity buying another a plane ticket is a red flag. A one way on such short notice is another. His newly crooked nose might throw the facial recognition in the airport, but it might not. Olivia is good, but she’s not good enough to smooth the way for him in a couple of hours.
“You could, but you don’t know he’s still there.” Reyes’ tone isn’t cruel. It’s just factual. Jesse doesn’t know that Hanzo is there, doesn’t know he wasn’t caught just passing through. Jesse sighs. Looks down at the picture again. Why was Hanzo in Singapore? What if he's trying to start over again, put Overwatch behind him?
“I don’t know he wants to see me either.”
Reyes tips his head, looking almost sympathetic.
“Let’s say he’s there and he does, what then? I can get in front of a few cameras somewhere, maybe down in Cartagena.” Reyes’ lip curls up in a mean facsimile of a smile. “That’d be funny, depending on who they sent. Might not have to lift a finger.”
Reyes is offering to draw fire so he can—can what? Spend a few days with Hanzo? Only to leave him all over again? What if they got to Reyes because he wasn’t there? What if they followed him? What if they got to Hanzo?
There’s not a good option, Jesse realizes. The timing isn’t right. He and Reyes are safest together. Hanzo is safest where they’re not. Reyes knows that, and offered anyway. Just for that, Jesse knows he can’t. Not yet.
Reyes leans across the table and gives him a sly look. Impressive, given the bandana covering most of his face. Jesse scowls back.
“You just going to make sad eyes at him or what?”
“Hey, Boss. Fuck you.”
Reyes laughs softly and leans back again, stretching one arm over the back of the booth. They’ve been here for almost half an hour. Jesse had said he just wanted to make sure Hanzo wasn’t here to meet anyone else, but truthfully—
Truthfully he’s so nervous he surprised he’s not shaking, and he doesn’t want that to be the way Hanzo sees him after all this time.
Out of the corner of his eye, Jesse can see Hanzo watching the news and nursing his drink. Can see the tiniest upward tilt in his lips. It still makes his heart skip a beat in the best way.
“He’s finishing up. Now or never, tiger.”
Jesse eases out of the booth—kicking Reyes in the ankle on the way out—and waves over the bartender. She leans against the back of the bar, one eyebrow cocked. Jesse gives her his best smile and hands his crypto chit across.
“Can you make that gentleman there an Old Fashioned for me?”
She winks and nods, running his card and bustling off. Jesse rolls his shoulder and goes to sit down. Reyes is already standing.
“Be back at the hotel by 0900 or I’m leaving you.”
Reyes huffs and slaps his shoulder as he walks away. Jesse sits down, tries to look relaxed. Blows one shaky breath out of his lungs. He’s stared down death on almost a weekly basis for the last three years, this is nothing.
He listens to the low hum of Hanzo’s voice as he asks the bartender something, listens to the footsteps coming toward him. When Hanzo stops at the edge of the table, Jesse looks up.
He doesn’t mean to smile, it just happens. Hanzo’s lips are parted slightly in shock, but he's still gorgeous. His details are different—new jewelry, his beard a little longer—but he’s so much like Jesse remembers. It’s almost like it’s been no time at all.
“Hey, baby. How’d it taste?”
And just like that, Hanzo is in his arms again.