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At What Cost?

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"Jesse you do not understand! The dragons are killing him!"

The gunman blinked.

"What're you tellin' me there, Genj?"

The ninja sighed and slipped into a seiza.

"The spirit dragons exist as a part of us, they use our life force to continue living. My father only had one dragon and he didn't live to see 50."

Jesse blinked. Hanzo was turning 40 next week. Suddenly Genji's false bravado surrounding his brother's surprise party made sense. Each year was a year less that Hanzo had fought through.

"Before the pact with the dragons our family lived to be quite old. Some of the elders are still with us, though they grew jealous and fearful of the spirits."

Jesse ran his eyes over his best friend's cybernetics. Genji nodded.

"You know, it wasn't until recently that I realized what Hanzo had tried to do back then." He raised his metal arm and touched the middle finger to the thumb. "Jesse when the council told him to take my life he did what he thought would elongate it."

The air went suddenly still.

"He tried to kill my dragon, Jesse."

A gloved hand tipped his Stetson out of his eyes.

"So that's what ripped ya limb from limb then."

Genji nodded miserably.

"Hanzo made a bet and that bet almost killed me. I'm sure that is part of what has eaten him up all these years, Jesse."

Brown eyes filled with pain met Jesse's. "He thinks he killed me while he was saving me."

McCree whistled low.


Genji nodded sadly.

"And now it is he who dies while I can only watch, helpless."