He’d never thought anything would be enough. When he was younger, he had filled his time with passing amusements - never enough as he climbed into a bed only meant for one, finding two others as he descended further into his own self-perpetuated madness. He had been spoiled, son of a yakuza boss, lover of men and women and anyone who would have him - eyes lined by sparkles as others would lie and say he himself was the true light. Fingers in his green hair would scratch at his scalp, pulling his head back as another pair of lips worked at his neck, hands on his abdomen. It had never been enough.
He’d never thought anything would be enough. In Blackwatch, he had filled his time with rage - the only fire he could feel anymore in a body such as that. Many agents stared at him; they recognized him as a man more machine than heart. Angela tried to reassure him in her soft voice, the one she’d always use with him, but she could not understand. Her hands had created a monster and she had been on the sidelines. No, she did not understand. He filled his time in Blackwatch with one other thing: sex with Jesse McCree.
Genji had hated the way McCree would look at him, with his smile half cocked and his hat pulled low. There was nothing good to come from an assessing gaze anymore - only half-baked comments about his new body, about how they were meant to trust him. He supposed he hated Jesse McCree right up until the moment his hands were on Genji’s body, beneath armor and synthetics that his hands had no business touching. But McCree had asked, and Genji had whispered yes. His faceplate had been long gone, and Genji couldn’t even remember the reason. Genji supposed he should have been allowed hazard pay, for how difficult it was not to fall in love with Jesse McCree as he called you names like sugar, darlin’, honey bee - all while making you come apart beneath him.
He filled his time with a lot more than sex, he supposes. The nights they spent together - Genji tucked under McCree’s arm - those were the most precious. Then, Genji would never have admitted it to himself. At the end, he spent much of his time thinking of how he would leave McCree, how to hurt him the least. A clean break would do the job, and after Rialto, Genji was gone in an instant. McCree had fucked him the night before, the night after they returned. Genji could still feel a burn in his thighs - in his lower back, the parts of him he still considered human - as he left without a word. He knew McCree would wake up to a cold bed. He knew Jesse McCree would know he was gone the night after he’d pinned Genji down and seen a smile stretching across a synthetic jaw below him, lips meeting that same smile so briefly as he whispered: I love ya, Genji, and I’m gonna make love to ya.
He hadn’t fucked him.
He found peace with himself in the mountains of Nepal, but he knew it wasn’t enough. He was content for the first time in his life, but wanted more. The recall was something of a blessing, and something of a curse. Genji believed that only time could tell him the difference.
It was good to see the people he could now admit he had considered friends. Lena pulled him into a tight hug, and Angela did the same - tears pooling at the corners of her eyes as she said his name.
“It’s good to see ya, Genji!” Lena shouted, and Genji did not lie as he told her it was good to be back, if only for the moment - if only before a specific moment.
He was introduced to their new members: a medic he knew from screens across the globe, a girl with a laugh like Rein and a smile like Torb, an ex-Talon operative who wanted to do good for the world now that he had helped his home. They were all good - could feel it radiating from them, making him want to make a difference, and for a moment, it was enough.
The day Angela called him to the med-bay of the almost empty base at Watchpoint Gibraltar was different. She was nonchalant as she told him: “Jesse is arriving today. Winston went to extract him this morning.”
It was like a blow to the solar plexus; he couldn’t think. Nothing could be enough knowing he did not try.
“Angela,” Genji began, closing some of the space between them. She was still his best friend. “He will not wish to see me. I left him - left you. I told no one, and he…” Genji paused, glancing down before regaining the courage to look at her. It was hard to look Angela Ziegler in the eye, at times. “He loved me so much, and I was unable to return the favor the way I’d have wanted, the way I did want.”
She sighed, her blonde hair pooling around her shoulders - light of the late morning sun streaming in through the window at her work counter. Her face was in shadow as a result, and Genji thought that was how he had lived much of his life - shadowed, unaware of what he was facing through fault of his own.
“I think that, even if that is the case now, Genji… It won’t always be.”
He just stared at her. And for what seemed the millionth time that morning, Angela Ziegler sighed at him, pulling her hair into a bun - glasses falling down the bridge of her nose.
“If you have no input, you can simply accompany me while I work.” She laughed as she said: “I’m not sure why I bother.”
McCree’s transport arrived that night; Genji watched several people leave through the doors nearest the mess to go greet the new arrival, those that were excited to see him and those who were simply excited to see. Lena bounded by Genji, smiling ear to ear as she passed.
“C’mon, love! Figured you’d be the first out the door!”
Genji laughed at her, metallic behind the visor - breaking behind a mask.
He found his quarters to be too large that night. There was nothing for him to do but close his eyes and remember when McCree had whispered his name like a prayer.
Avoiding people was not an often successful tactic, but Genji chose to employ it nonetheless: hiding with Angela in the med-bay as she scoffed at him, asking Ana Amari to make him herbal teas for sleep maladies. Genji was able to continue this pattern for an entire week, the ex-Talon operative - whose name he had learned was Baptiste - teaching him how to make different Haitan dishes after practicing getting healing shots off at Genji as he’d dash through the air.
The beginning of the end, the beginning of the real beginning, was when he had been leaving the med bay. Jesse McCree stood there, looking like he’d seen a ghost. Maybe he had, as the last time he’d seen the apparition in front of him he’d been professing things like I love you.
He was trapped beneath the weight of McCree’s stare - had forgotten how much taller the other man was - had forgotten so many things that he’d never meant to. It had been enough, he had realized in the mountains of Nepal, but he’d forgotten all the same.
“McCree. I was just leaving. Feel free to speak to Angela, now, if you’d like.”
“I came to get a band-aid for that new medic because I figured - least I could do. He’ll be patchin’ me up soon enough. But it can wait just a minute.” McCree paused, really looking at Genji - full visor on. Genji could tell he knew the location of his eyes. “You’re leavin’? You been here this whole time, avoiding me while I’ve been askin’ after ya?”
“I did not know that you had been doing so. I told no one to lie to you.”
“You told no one to lie to me, Genji?”
“I suppose that I lied, in the end. I am here, surprise.” Genji made to move past him, attempting to avoid contact - but there was the ghost of McCree’s hand on his arm before he drew back.
“So that’s it?” Genji could not respond, voice stuck in his chest, heart in his throat. The parts of him that he’d considered human for so long were breaking. He wished he was all machine. “I’ve been missin’ you for years, hopin’ that you’re okay, and you’re gonna leave me with surprise?”
“McCree, I do not think this is the place to speak of this.”
Genji had expected the conversation to end there, for McCree to go obtain the band from Angela, and return to patch up the medic he had found some mercy for. The fact he found himself in McCree’s old quarters - the space where he’d been loved, so many times - it was something almost too much to handle. He knew Jesse McCree too well to expect an ending.
Something told Genji to remove his visor, dropping it to the floor. Angela could yell at him for his care later as Jesse closed the door behind him.
“McCree, I -”
“Can I kiss ya?” And Genji knew he was hallucinating - knew that he was hearing what he’d wanted to hear. Jesse McCree was sunshine and loud boots and love. He was capable of making Genji burn. He did not ask a man who had left him without a word permission to do the one thing he himself has been thinking of for so long. He did not - and then he did.
It was whispered when Genji spoke, mask breaking - no visor to hold him. “Yes.”
And the kiss was soft, both hands on his jaw as McCree craned his neck downward to meet Genji’s lips. For once, Genji did not know what to do with his hands, placing them on McCree’s hips - hoping.
“I’ve been wanting to do that for over a minute now, and on top of the years I’ve been thinkin’ about you… It was too long to wait, so you’ll have to excuse me for my sudden -”
Genji cut him off - on his toes, gentle pressure almost too much to handle before he pushed their foreheads together. “I am sorry, for so many things.”
“I reckon we’ll have to talk about that soon, but right now, it’s time for me to think about lovin’ on ya, sugar. A man has needs and all that, and you’re still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
Genji knew. It would be enough.