Like most of Fareeha’s Terrible Ideas, this one ends in a freefall from the skies.
The major difference with this particular Terrible Idea was that for once it was involuntary. Well, mostly involuntary. Fareeha had semi-planned for this to happen, just not the uncontrollable plummet to certain doom in a deadweight metal coffin of suit form.
The mission was wrapping up; she could see Winston’s red, bloody murder fading. Tracer was a bright blur zigzagging between piles of the wreckage of the abandoned town below. But it’s the distant, pure blue glow of Satya’s teleporter tucked away in an empty factory on the far edge of town that Fareeha can’t tear her eyes away from.
“It’s fullproof,” Fareeha assures Hana and Lúcio over a private comm channel, already blasting off into the sky and closing in on her pure blue target. “I’ll swoop in there and tell Satya a pun so awful she can’t help but fall in love with me.” Fareeha sniggers to herself. “Get it?”
“Fareeha.” Hana and Lúcio deadpan in unison.
“Oh come on! Did either of you hear my joke about the pharaoh and the sarcophagus last night?”
“No,” Lúcio starts dubiously. “But— ”
“That’s good because you would have fallen in love with me too. This is absolutely going to work. Clears skies, full hearts, can't lose!”
Hana hums, long and loud and completely unconvinced but morbidly curious like all chaotic good best friends are.
“Seriously though,” Fareeha says. “I’m not imagining this, I know there’s something between us. It’s been there for weeks, that’s why I’m going to cut out the middleman and go for his jugular.”
“Very efficient,” Hana notes with approval. “Satya loves efficiency.”
“Or you could, I don’t know. Talk to her first?” Lúcio suggests helpfully. “You know, something more than a few blurted, flustered words for once?”
“Ohhh, that sounds like fighting talk to me, Fareeha!” She can hear Hana’s taunting grin as clear as crystal. “You gonna let him do you like that?”
“Damn right it is!” Lúcio laughs. “I’ll drag her right outta the sky! Also, it’s foolproof, not fullproof.”
“Huh.” Fareeha frowns through her visor, wispy clouds streaking past her and the town blurring beneath. “Is it?”
“Please tell me you’re only joking because you know how dumb this plan is, Fareeha,” Lúcio asks hopefully.
Fareeha snorts. “Of course I’m joking.” She lies, soaring through the air and already halfway to the factory and her awaiting fate.
“Come on, you both know I wouldn’t try this if I wasn’t absolutely positive it’ll work.” That was the assertive security chief voice, the one that brokered no doubt or hesitation and only inspired confidence. Fareeha can’t keep it up though and sighs. “Also, I’m kinda desperate here.”
“Just ask her out, you useless lesbian!” Hana yells. “I know Satya plays it cool and keeps to herself most of the time but you just gotta get in there! She won Lúcio over, didn’t she? She’s hilarious and beautiful and totally understanding and— ”
“Oops, high altitude, you’re breaking up. Gotta jet!” Fareeha happily lies again and cuts off Hana and Lúcio’s further protests by promptly closing the comm channel.
She’s almost at the factory. Closing her eyes with another determined grin, Fareeha eases the throttle and starts her steady descent, putting her foolproof plan into action.
It’s also the exact reason why she doesn’t see the incoming sonic blast on her radar from below, and why she’s way too late to fully dodge it.
At the end of the barrel of her rocket launcher, the omnic with the lucky shot explodes into a thousand fiery pieces in the same second.
The static of the blast rattles Fareeha’s clenched teeth, blindly blowing her back through the air. Fareeha hears her jets splutter weakly, dropping her a few feet. Her interface flashes red, glitching like a shattered screen. Fareeha quickly scrabbles at the manual override on her armour to reset everything and—
The roar of her jets dies, and the following silence is deafening.
Suspended in the air for one calm moment of mounting horror, Fareeha thinks of Satya: her quiet kindness, her resolute bravery, her uncompromising morals. Fareeha thinks of the fluttering feeling of love, home and safety that bleeds from her chest everytime Satya smiles at her over the dinner table or after a successful mission. Or when Satya shares a secretive laugh with her at something dumb one of their teammates does, hidden behind an elegant palm, eyes crinkled shut and all for Fareeha.
As her armour short circuits completely, her interface darkens, and dies before her eyes, Fareeha thinks it’s very fitting - all this falling - and her endless descent begins.
Fareeha wheezes in victory, and agony, because fuck that hurt. Miraculously nothing feels broken but she’s going to have one hell of a headache. Gritting her teeth with a pun on her tongue, Fareeha pushes herself up, twisting on her elbows so she’s stretched out on her side, looking around for—
“Stay down.” Satya murmurs lowly, suddenly at her side and with gently insisting hands on Fareeha’s armoured shoulder and hip before Fareeha can even say anything, be it her pun or her thanks. “I saw what happened and slowed down your momentum as best as I could but you could still have internal injuries. Mercy will be here shortly.”
Groaning, Fareeha offers a weak thumbs up and does exactly as she’s told. She lies flat on her back and stares up at the rafters of the abandoned pillow factory as she contemplates her life and how the first time Satya’s ever really touched her, she couldn’t even feel it. She’s never washing the armour again.
Satya fluidly rises and stands at the gaping hole in the factory wall overlooking the wrecked town. Fareeha can hear their teammates approaching already, which is good because she seriously thinks she’s going to pass out. Was that drilling in her head and ears normal?
“Did it hurt?” Satya asks, without turning around.
Fareeha wrenches her helmet off and blinks hard a few times when the factory spins. Definitely a concussion. “Ugh, sorry. What?”
Satya inclines her head ever so slightly. Fareeha sees the faint curve of her smile, her flushed cheek. “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”
Fareeha freezes, eyes wide, heart hammering against her ribcage. Her beloved teammates choose that exact moment to pour into the factory and flood Fareeha like a tsunami of concern and accidental cockblocking.
From over Tracer’s shoulder, Satya winks at her and Fareeha’s jaw drops. She gulps like a fish out of water, can’t even comprehend what’s just happened but then Angela is pushing forward and taking Fareeha’s face in her hands. She tilts Fareeha’s head to either side and confirms the most relieved concussion she’s ever confirmed.
The last of Satya that Fareeha sees that day is the deep exhale and the look of pure relief etched in every line of her being just after Angela gives Fareeha the ninety-nine percent all-clear, if clinically one lucky dummkopf diagnosis.
A circular beam of blue light, a small smile thrown over her shoulder, and Sayta disappears through the teleporter, gone as if she was never there in the first place.
Fareeha blinks again and sags back flat against the pillows beneath her.
”Good lord.” Jesse wheezes as he arrives and takes in Fareeha’s sorry state, laughing hard enough he has to hold onto his hat. “Just what kinda whacky cartoon sketch show are we living in right now?”
“That would be my life, Jesse.” Fareeha laments.
Hana sighs. “Please don’t answer that, Athena.”
“I had no intention to, agents,” Athena replies happily.
“Okay, how about I start a fire with my jets and then when the sprinklers turn on I let my helmet fill up and— “
“No one is drowning!” Lúcio declares firmly and tugs the pillow out of Fareeha’s steel grip. He whacks her in the face with it for good measure, but mostly to knock some sense into her. “Fareeha, I’m truly sorry to be the one to say this to you but I think you’re finally gonna have to use your words.”
Fareeha spreads her arms wide, thinks of falling again, and smiles up at the ceiling. “I’m doomed.”
Fareeha startles and glances up at him. Jesse looks almost manic with unrestrained glee, like the cat who got the cream, the canary, the entire yarn store.
That really should have been Fareeha’s first warning and the only one she needed. Every primal instinct of her younger sibling lizard brain flashes red alert, evacuate immediately, incoming torment.
Jesse saunters over and lays his folded arms behind her along the back of the sofa, resting his chin on top of them with a slow spreading smirk.
“A lil’ birdie just told me a certain someone is sweet on Miss Vaswani and that’s what that jet mishap of yours the other day was all about.”
Fareeha slowly sets aside her tablet and regards him calmly, fingers laced. “Is that so?”
If anything, Jesse’s grin only widens. “Y’can drop that poker face with me, Ree. Ain’t gonna work on the fella who taught ya.”
Fareeha pinches the bridge of her nose. “Okay, who’s the rat?”
“Nope! My lips are sealed.”
“It was Lúcio, wasn’t it?”
“Heh, it wasn’t not Lúcio?”
“I’m gonna drown him,” Fareeha promises. “Also, have you no morals for your fellow man?”
“Fuck morals!” Jesse hoots. “Y’got yourself a big ass crush!”
Fareeha hisses him quiet and frantically glances at the door as if Satya is magically going to appear there and laugh loudly at Fareeha’s ‘big ass crush’. So loudly in fact that the whole watchpoint collapses and squishes Fareeha like a little scarab beetle and also shatters her heart at the same time.
But no, mutual or not, Satya would never do anything like that. Of course she wouldn’t, and Fareeha knows that wholeheartedly. Whether or not Satya really does feel the same as Fareeha does, she would never purposely hurt anyone like that. She’s unendingly kind, so fiercely loyal and brave it snatches Fareeha’s breath away stronger than any free fall from the skies ever could—
Jesse snaps his fingers in front of Fareeha’s face. “Earth to Fareeha? Good lord, y’got it bad.”
“You have no idea,” Fareeha whispers, wringing her hands.
Jesse notices the change in mood immediately and his grin drops to something more sincere, but still a little teasing at the edges. Good; Fareeha can’t stand sympathy and Jesse knows that too. Sometimes she thinks he knows her better than she knows herself, and she’s so relieved for it. “Hey, hey. C’mon now. It’ll all work out, Ree. There’s nothing y’can’t do.”
“Being a soldier is slightly different to courting someone, Jesse. I think.” Jesse snorts and then that abrupt feeling of dread spikes in Fareeha’s gut again. “Oh no, please tell me you haven’t told Genji.”
“Told Genji what?” Genji asks excitedly form the doorway, scenting gossip in the air like a shark scenting blood in the ocean.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Fareeha grumbles. “And please at least try and get some sleep sometime tonight.”
“I’ll sleep when you finally declare your undying love to Satya. How does that sound?” Hana asks with a sarcastic snigger, closing the refrigerator door with a swing of her hip and spinning around.
That’s when she sees him. Hanzo, silently sat at the kitchen table, eyes glinting in the darkness. Hanzo smiles at her slowly and razor-sharp, like he holds Hana’s fate in his hands and he knows it.
“Uh, gotta go!” Hana blurts to Fareeha and quickly closes the comm-line. She grabs onto Hanzo’s arm and half drags him out his seat, glancing around the empty kitchen like they’ll be overhead any second.
“Hanzo! Hanzo. You can’t tell anyone about this, okay? It’ll be the end of Fareeha’s life and mine. Just pretend you didn’t hear anything. This never happened.”
Hanzo shrugs a shoulder. “Whatever you say.”
Satya takes a sip and grins, completely full of glee. “I know.”
“Is Brigitte around?” Torbjörn parrots, almost growling. “That menace of mine is so around this damned workshop she’s a circle. Did you know I caught her almost drinking engine oil instead of coffee this morning? Try and talk some sense into her for me will you, Fareeha?”
Fareeha chokes back her laughter. She’s heard this before, too many times to count. She walks past Torbjörn’s workbench and consolingly pats the top of his head. “Sure thing, Torb. No problem.”
Brigitte’s section of the workshop is as messy as Fareeha’s love life feels. Sweeping some bolts aside, Fareeha hops up onto Brigitte’s workbench. “Your dad’s worried about you. When was the last time you slept?”
“Uh, an hour ago?” Brigitte tries hopefully.
Fareeha levels her a look. “In a bed, not drenched in oil and grease, and for more than ten minutes.”
“Exactly.” Fareeha snorts when Satya leans from around a corner with a smile. She almost slides right off the workbench and onto her face, stumbling to stay upright.
“I thought that was you,” Satya says warmly. Her prosthetic arm is plugged into multiple sockets at the fingers, a screen of diagnostics running behind her. “How’s your head? That was a nasty fall you had yesterday.”
“Good as new!” Fareeha demonstrates by knocking her temple with her knuckles and only flinching a tiny bit.
Satya’s smile widens, eyes crinkling at the edges. “Good.”
Satya just stands there, drinking her visual fill of Fareeha. Fareeha’s knees feel weak under the curious scrutiny, feels Satya’s gaze settle upon her like a physical weight. She doesn’t look away, she can’t.
This is it, Fareeha thinks with sudden, startling clarity. The perfect opportunity, gold-plated and smelling strongly of engine oil. Time to make Hathor herself weep with pride and joy.
Struck with sudden inspiration, Fareeha casually circles the workshop, distractedly touching anything shiny she sees. “Are you free tonight? I was thinking we could have a sleepover. Movies and junk food, the works.”
Satya certainly looks surprised at that, but she doesn’t immediately refuse. “I’ve never had one before. I wouldn’t want to disappoint.”
“Satya, that’s literally impossible,” Fareeha says genuinely, then grins. “You couldn’t disappoint me even if you ran away with Hanzo and got married for the tax benefits.”
“Oh my gods,” Sayta dramatically presses the back of her hand to her forehead. “How did you find out about our secret plan? Tell me the name of your informant so I can silence them forever.”
Fareeha’s face aches with how wide her grin is. “I’ll give you a name if you bring the popcorn.”
Satya purses her lips, humming and faking at being contemplating. Her wry smiles easily gives her away. “You have yourself a deal.”
Beyond Satya’s shoulder and across the workshop, Brigitte flashes two thumbs up.
It’s good. It’s so so good. If this companionship was all Satya chose to share with her and nothing more, Fareeha will still die a happy woman.
“You can take my bunk,” Fareeha tells Satya once they’ve finally called it a night, already climbing into the sleeping bag she’s unrolled on the floor.
Satya stares at her from already in Fareeha’s bunk, unimpressed. “There is no way I’m letting you sleep down there. You were just complaining about your back to Zenyatta this afternoon!”
“It’s fine, honestly. Anyway, you’re the guest—”
“And as the guest, I say please get up here!”
Fareeha feels her stomach clench, nerves and anticipation fluttering like a storm of butterflies. “Satya—”
“Fareeha.” Satya shoots back just as quick, visibly fighting back a grin in trying to remain straight-faced.
“Are you sure?” Fareeha eventually asks after easily losing the staring match.
Satya’s face breaks into a pleased, victorious little smile. She shuffles backwards and pats the space beside her as Fareeha continues to stare.
Being invited into bed by the woman she loves. What is Fareeha’s life?
As soon as Fareeha slides in and settles down beside Satya, Athena turns off the lights. The room is plunged into darkness, which Fareeha is used to. What she isn’t used to is how aware she is of the presence at her back, the steady rise and fall of the blanket around both of them in time with Satya’s steady breathing. It’s so quietly intimate it makes Fareeha ache. The darkness gives her courage.
“Satya?” Fareeha asks the dark.
“Yes?” Sayta answers quietly.
Fareeha hesitates, the words lodging in her throat painfully. She swallows heavily and turns around to face Satya. “Do you ever feel like you’re living in between worlds? The past, present, and the one we walk into when we wear our armour? How do we decide which is the real one?”
Fareeha closes her mouth, opens it, closes it again. They’re lying so close, Satya’s eyes are bright even in the dark. Fareeha aches. “Do you ever worry about losing yourself?”
Satya is quiet for a very long moment, but it’s not a judging silence. “I know what you mean, Fareeha. I truly do. But there’s no fundamental disconnect between them. The little girl who wanted to join Overwatch and the hero who puts the Raptora armour on to protect the innocent? She is the same idiot who tries to roast marshmallows with her jets, sets off the fire alarm and ends up getting the whole watchpoint evacuated at four in the morning.”
“In my defence, that was twice,” Fareeha says sheepishly. If she thinks too much about everything else Satya just said she’ll end up crying. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not exactly romantic.
Satya’s teasing grin is a slash of white in the dark. “Three worlds or one world. Whatever you decide, I want you to know that the only world I want to live in is the one that I can share with you.”
Fareeha’s dry mouth parts on a shaky exhale, head dropping to press their foreheads together, eyes squeezing shut. Satya watches her in the dark, letting the words settle into the barely there space between them.
“Can I kiss you?” Fareeha whispers, opening her eyes.
Satya cups Fareeha’s cheek and thumbs the edge of Fareeha’s udjat tattoo. “If you don’t then I’m just going to have to kiss you.” Satya whispers back with a smile, a promise and a dare.
They’re so close they don’t have to lean far. Their first kiss is a soft brush of lips, two soft sighs, then another kiss, and another. They meet each other in the middle, and Fareeha knew she would never stop falling (for her).