It’s a few days later when they receive the news that her Oma’s been killed.
They know what’s happened as soon as they answer the video call, dark grief lining her grandfather’s face in shadow. And though he tries to stay strong, when Lena greets him, he wavers. Grief hangs in his eyes as he looks upon his only grandchild.
And on Lena’s face, the eyes of his wife stare innocently back.
Lena’s six when she first hears about Overwatch, a new organization that’s taking the fight to the Omnics.
Or at least, that’s what her parents say.
They’re worn and battered by the war that shatters apart their home. Bad news buffets in from every avenue.
It gives them hope.
When Lena hears Overwatch is sending troops and aid to the Netherlands, she starts to hope, too.
The fact that Overwatch manages to make her Opa smile for the first time in months has nothing to do with it.
The Netherlands holds a special place in Lena’s heart.
Lena’s never known the country she was born. But she knows the country she lives in. The stories her parents tell shed light where her own memories fail. And her own experiences color in the lines.
To Lena, England is hatred for something you can’t control. England is having to wear worn, patchy clothing because no one will hire your parents no matter how well educated they are. England is the loneliness that stays, even after the bully leaves.
But the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is the stories her parents tell her at bedtime, and the warmth and love that stays even after they leave. The Netherlands is her Opa’s voice as he makes awful little puns over the phone, and the way his face shines when Lena comes on camera during a video call.
The Netherlands is her Oma’s laugh, and smile, and sad, tired, eyes that still manage to shine with love even in Lena's memories.
Lena and her parents live in England.
And yet, despite everything, they’re still Dutch.
Why does that have to be such a bad thing?