Never the type to feel strongly (or at all) about anything in particular, Widowmaker doesn’t spend her time disliking or liking anyone (or anything). She keeps her room sparse – a bed, a bedside table, a lamp, a dresser, and the tarantula she calls Tarantula. Her personal life, she keeps ever sparser. Even when Overwatch’s rescued (their word, not hers) her and showed her pictures of Gerard and the old team back when she was known as Amelie and made her remember, it was nothing more than an oh, so that’s how it is now. Oh, so that’s what’s for dinner. Oh, I ran out of milk. Merde. She feels more strongly when she finds that the local supermarket only sells instant coffee. Or when she misses a headshot.
And Tracer makes her miss. A lot.
Her heartbeat increases slightly, ever so slightly when she finds herself aiming wide, hitting a lamp post instead of a Talon grunt. His head, by her estimate, is at least the size of a prize winning pumpkin – which makes it even more ridiculous that she’s missed a shot as easy as that.
With a sharp intake of air through her teeth, she hunkers down and once again peers down her scope. It’s a frenzy of explosions and colourful whizzes with the odd gorilla and dwarf here and there, but it doesn’t phase her. Talon lacks any subtlety (in fact, with her gone, their subtlety has dropped from one to the grand total of zero), so really, all the chaos is not the slightest bit distracting. She’s used to this. She doesn’t need to, but she takes another mouthful of air and holds her breath. Adjusts her scope to align with the head she’s just missed, readies her finger on the trigger and–
–and Tracer whizzes past, teleporting directly in front of her before jumping the thirty feet down with a battle cry worthy of a Viking. Widowmaker watches with her approximation of horror (or a normal human being’s approximation of a raised eyebrow) as Tracer lands straight on Widowmaker’s target and drop kicks him.
Pausing for a second, she exhales the breath she’s holding and pushes the trigger to convert her rifle back into an assault rifle. Grappling to the farthest building she can see, she decides that Tracer is a moron.
She’s going home to read a book.
She’s in the middle of the chapter about the economics of prostitution when she hears the knocking on the door.
“Come in,” she says, flipping to the next page. She already knows that it’s Ziegler from the distinctive pattern of her footsteps. Long stride, light patters for footsteps. Like someone who’s not used to being grounded. Like someone who’s never had her wings torn.
A moment later the door opens and Ziegler enters, looking odd with a lab coat and two plates of cake instead of the valkyrie suit and healing stick. What is it called in English? She can never remember. Foreign languages and late nights never really go together.
Ziegler gives her a wan smile. “May I?” she says, raising one of the plates up as a gesture for… something.
Widowmaker’s accommodation in Talon consists of a heavily guarded (but rather comfortable, nonetheless) cell where guests are to be shot within sight, so social courtesy is never quite her forte. Still, she remembers something from her days as Amelie and nods, scooting towards one edge of the bed to make room for the doctor.
Permission granted, Ziegler sits at the end end and hands Widowmaker one of the plates. Tiramisu.
“One of your favourites,” says Ziegler. She takes the fork from her plate and slices a small piece off. “At least, I hope I remember correctly.”
“It is,” Widowmaker says simply. She does the same and stabs the piece, putting it into her mouth. She slides the cake off the fork with her teeth as not to stain her lips. Sublime.
Talon gave her military rations. Overwatch gives her cakes. Gone are the days where she would drop into bakeries in the middle of an assassination for a piece of cake. For now, Overwatch is winning by a landslide. She likes cake.
Five minutes later and they’ve both finished their cakes. Taking her plate, Ziegler stacks it on top of hers and deposits it on top the bedside table, right next to the atrium where Tarantula is undergoing the last stages of its molting process. She notices that Ziegler never really looks at the atrium directly, instead fixating her sight onto the corner of the ceiling whenever she’s in danger of seeing Tarantula. Doctor Ziegler and her fear of spiders. There’s no shred of the naive, idealistic girl left in her, but fears never change, do they?
What was Amelie’s fears? Widowmaker can’t remember.
After the plates have been safely deposited and Tarantula studiously avoided, Ziegler sits back down on her spot, angled just so slightly toward Widowmaker. To facilitate easier conversation, Widowmaker presumes. She makes a note to ask Athena to requisite a chair for her room. She’s not planning on having guests often (or at all), but it will be useful just in case she does, and to change the lightbulb.
“I… we noticed that you left,” Ziegler says, still trying her best to not look at the atrium. “Is there anything you want to tell me?”
Yes; my accuracy has dropped 6.27% because your field agent called Tracer is incompetent at best and a moron at worst.
“I have been missing my shots,” Widowmaker says instead.
Ziegler nods. “I see. Any particular reason to that?”
“What about her?”
“She is what we call l'idiot du village.” Widowmaker pauses. “And a dégénéré,” she adds for good measure, remembering the drop kick and that new hobby Tracer has picked up called Body Block The Sniper Because I Can.
“Hmm.” Then: “Interesting.”
The bloodlust she feels whenever she sees a trail of blue has been quite interesting, too.
Through the corner of her eye, she sees Ziegler nod again – more to herself this time – and hears her mutter something German under her breath. “Interesting indeed.” She claps Widowmaker on the shoulder and rises, straightening her coat. “Give me just a few moments. I’ll be right back.”
Just like that, she speed walks outside the room with a flourish of her coat and disappears around the doorway. There’s a sound of another door opening, a few thuds, German profanity, the scraping of wood against wood, and finally Ziegler’s back, dragging a chair behind her with a notepad and a pen in the other hand.
Widowmaker watches impassively as she plops the chair a few spaces away, facing Widowmaker and sits on it, crossing her legs.
Opening the notepad to an empty page, she clicks on the pen and starts writing. “All right. I am ready,” she says, not looking up from her notepad. “Can you tell me more of why you feel that Lena is—” furious scribbling “-–the village idiot? Oh, and an imbecile, if I heard that correctly.”
Really. They’re doing this. Widowmaker’s been through this before. Usually they don’t do this in her room. They do this in a nice plush office, and she gets to sit on a reclining sofa with cuffs on and a few dozen guards outside.
She glances at Tarantula. It’s belly side up beside its old skin, rubbing its freshly molted legs against each other.
“I did not say imbecile,” she says. The blue sheen of its fur is beautiful. “I said degenerate.”
“Mmmhmm.” More scribbling, then Ziegler stops. From the corner of her eye, Widowmaker catches Ziegler tilting her head, brows knitted together. “Although I don’t quite understand the difference. A degenerate – an imbecile. All the same, no?”
“Different,” Widowmaker says, firm.
Ziegler nods into her notebook. “Yes. Go on.”
“Consider the difference between a mongrel and a pure bred… a pug, perhaps.” Yes. Widowmaker has made this comparison many, many times in her head. That abhorrent earnestness, the way Tracer darts here and there – as if there are only two modes to her movement: on and off. With a broken off switch. How she’s always first at the dinner table. How she fights with the dwarf for the last scraps and always wins by virtue of speed alone. Those eyes.
Just a tail. She’s just missing a wagging tail. Widowmaker’s analogy would be perfect, then.
“A mongrel, by definition, is ugly– let me finish,” she says, just as Ziegler opens her mouth to interrupt, looking positively scandaled. “But their genetic diversity makes them healthy, robust. Intelligent. Now take a pug. Bred only for their appearance. Breathing problems so severe it is like…” She crinkles her nose. And the smell. Spiders are so much less hassle. “Having tiny fat man following you from behind–”
She’s interrupted by Ziegler’s snort, which soon devolves into a coughing fit. To mask her laughter, of course. What’s there to laugh at? It was a brilliant metaphor. This woman has no taste in subtlety.
“Right. Ahem.” One last cough into her hand before resuming her scribbling, now Ziegler is looking at Widowmaker straight in the eye, apparently having mastered the art of writing without looking. “Sorry, I was just–” A snort. A cough. “Hayfever. Very bad this year around. Ah, you’re saying? That Lena is…” Another tilt of the head.
A long time ago, Widowmaker would have found that gesture endearing. A lifetime ago.
“A pug. Cute, but terribly inbred.”
Scribble. Scribble. All the while Ziegler’s staring at her with a somewhat absentminded, dopey smile. If assassination isn’t part of the Hobbies section in her resume, Widowmaker would have found it unnerving. But it is, so she merely taps her index and middle finger over her kneecap.
Tap tap tap. Tap. Tap tap.
“So, a pug,” Ziegler finally says, still with that smile.
Even with assassination in her list of Core Skills, Widowmaker is starting to feel uneasy. She feels like what she imagines her victims would feel (not that she knows – it’s purely speculation) before they walk into her trap.
“Yes. That’s what I said.”
“I didn’t know you found her cute.”
“I did not–”
She’s cut off by the sound of the pen clicking and the notepad closing, and Ziegler rises. “It’s fine,” she says, positively beaming. “Thank you for being so honest with me. We’ve made quite the progress today, haven’t we?”
“Doctor-patient confidentiality, Amelie. Don’t worry, I won’t tell a soul. If you’ll excuse me, I must… ah, attend to my duties. I will see you soon. Promise.”
And with that, Ziegler’s gone. Leaving Widowmaker alone with Tarantula, the dirty plates, and a chair.
She picks up the book she was reading and resumes the chapter. She agrees with the author. Prostitution should be a legal profession. It’s always easier to track down a target when their favourite establishments are legally required to have a paper trail for each one of their transactions.
In which Widowmaker waxes lyrical about good old fashioned murdering and Tracer headbutts people.
Widowmaker likes the sniping part of her job description more than the assassination part. Technically they both achieve the same thing: glassy eyes. The act of killing itself, the grand finale, however, is as different as it can be.
Consider sniping. A squeeze of the trigger. A millisecond– a second of travel time. One shot, one kill. Or two. Or three, if she gets lucky with lineups.
(Actually, her most kills with one shot was five– after that mission she’d bought a slice of cake from the nearest bakery and promptly ate it as soon as she went back to her room. Not because she suffered from Emotions, but because it felt like the right thing to do.)
Now consider assassination. Honeyed words, bare skin, blending in, standing out, concealed weapons. A stab to the heart, perhaps. A poison in the drink. So many variety. So many ways to go. Sometimes it even ends with no one dying. And those, Widowmaker feels, are the most disappointing missions of all.
She doesn’t like assassinations. It’s convoluted – too many ways where it can go wrong. With sniping, there are just two variables: her and her rifle. And the wind, but she’s too good to let something as simple as nature get in her way of a good shot. Still, despite all that, she finds herself in this very room, drinking this very wine, conversing with this very man, just because her accuracy has gone down a further 0.41% and that is bad for business.
“Mmm. C'est magnifique,” she says, voice so low and so silky she’s practically purring. “It must be a…” a pause, and she starts counting down from five. Four. Wave hand like she’s trying to remember something on the tip of her tongue. Or trying to fan herself. Three. Two. Smile sheepishly (but sweetly). Apologise. Crank the accent up. “I am really sorry – I really don’t know much about wines… for example–”
As she gestures with her chin at the general direction of bar behind the man, she leans forward just a bit and places her hand on his knee. Just a bit. There’s a fine line between being a little tease and vulgar trash. Widowmaker is never vulgar. His gaze slide down her cleavage, looking so mightily pleased with himself at what he imagines the night will contain.
Spoiler: It does not contain anything of his inside her.
She, however, will put something else entirely inside of him and it will feel like heaven. Ah, the thrill of a kill without an inbred dog constantly nipping at her ankles. How liberating. She is so, so very determined to not let any(one)thing ruin this. Normal people might find themselves relaxing at home with a cup of hot tea and a good book. Widowmaker finds herself relaxing by doing some good old fashioned murdering. Find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life, Amelie’s mother used to tell her. A wise woman with very wise words. Widowmaker has never worked a day in her life.
(Amelie, however, was stuck as a helpless housewife and that, Widowmaker decides, is a fate worse than death.)
“The bottles behind you?” she continues, voice so silkily husky she wonders if she’ll develop lymph nodes from the unnatural contortions of her vocal chords. She’s also exaggerated her accent so much she has trouble understanding herself. She sounds like a caricature. Or a Canadian.
She slowly slides her hand up, up up his thigh. Watching the floor to ceiling mirror through the corner of her eye all the way. She’s smiling, he’s smiling. Her smile is: predatory, sly, deceitful. His smile is: not important enough to waste words on. He’s probably just horny. Regardless, she knows she looks stunning in this red dress, and that in his mind she’s already stark naked, spread eagle on his bed.
Ah well. Such is life.
“What about them?” His voice is raspy, soft. The voice men wears when they talk to their girlfriends on the phone in private.
He’s also talking more to her breasts than anything else, but she lets it slide.
“A liiitle bit dangerous, don’t you think?” She’s practically on top of him now, sitting on his lap, one hand cupping his cheek.
His hands are on the small of her back. She doesn’t need to guess where they’ll end up in a few seconds. “How so?” he asks, a bit crosseyed, like it’s taking everything in him to not faceplant right into her breasts.
“This.” Staring straight into his eyes, she reaches back and grabs the empty wine bottle that they’ve just recently emptied by the neck. Points it skyward, then swings it down. Hard.
All that, in a split second. Her slow metabolism is her most favourite thing about herself. Alcohol tolerance through the roof. The Swedish dwarf has learned his lesson, and apparently so has this man.
Still with his legs between hers, she stands up and straightens her dress. Three just outside the door, six dispersed through the mansion. Easy, but she doesn’t have much time. The sounds of wine bottle against skull is loud, and she can already hear footsteps approaching.
Using the arm of the sofa as leverage, she jumps over the sofa and runs toward a dresser where she knows he hides an emergency gun in. Yes. It’s there. Third drawer down. Full chamber. Magnifique.
And just in time, too. The door bursts open and two men enter, not even intelligent enough to survey the room through a safe distance before barging in.
She drops both of them like flies and life, just for that moment, is quite beautiful. Striding to the doorway, she tosses the gun she’s been using and takes a fresh one from one of the men.
Now, where is the last one?
Ah, there he is, hidden behind a statue of something that looks like a cross between a sloth and a tapir.
She hums. Says in a sing song: “I seeee you…”
He opens fire and she sidesteps lightly to the left. The bullet whizzes past her harmlessly. What a lousy shot. She, however, is no amateur. That stupid man with his foot sticking out. The rule of a firefight is simple. Take potshots and never let anything you will miss stick out of cover.
What a disgrace to his profession. She supposes she’ll help him out. Aiming down the sights, she lines it with the foot, readies her finger on the trigger and–
–and Tracer whizzes across the room, careening head first into the man, knocking him hard enough against the statue to topple it. It crashes, and Widowmaker fights the urge to bury her face in her hands.
Right. Tracer has resorted to headbutts now. Why is Widowmaker not surprised.
“Cheers love! The cavalry’s heeee— whoa waaait, why aren’t you purple?”
As chunks of marble land near her feet, she sighs and wonders if the floating Omnic monk is right and her karma is indeed in dire need of cleansing.
in which Widowmaker knees Tracer right in the crotch.
“Winston said… ammo… budget… hnnngkh!”
Talk about purple.
Tighter. Some shaking.
“I’m not talking about your barbaric, inelegant drop kicks. How–” more shaking “–did. You. Find me?”
Before we continue, picture this scene:
A grand mansion. Some dead bodies. A priceless statue shattered into pieces. Next to them is a body with a bullet between its eyes and six broken ribs from being rammed by an uncommonly thick skull travelling at a velocity faster than time itself.
(Q: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
A: The object with the thicker skull wins.)
Widowmaker is on top of Tracer, hands on Tracer’s throat, knee between her legs. It all sounds very erotic, like the start of a badly acted porn. It doesn’t help that Widowmaker’s pupils have dilated so widely one cannot be faulted for mistaking it as lust. Tracer’s pupils are just as wide too, but that’s probably because she’s quite close to dying.
With the bodies around them, it’s more like a scene a quarter into a D-grade horror film than anything else, really. That, or a wrestling match, because Tracer’s slapping Widowmaker’s forearm with a gusto only the dying and the desperate can muster.
“Hnnngh can’t– can’t breeatheeeee–”
Amelie’s mother once said that problems eventually go away if you ignore them hard enough. Wise woman. Pity she kept ignoring her husband even as he strangled her to death. That was how her father had dealt with problems: eliminating them.
It’s terribly tempting if not for the fact that making an enemy out of two giant organisations might not be the smartest life plan – and as unfeeling as she is, strangling a puppy to death just seems utterly unnecessary. Unlike Reyes, she prefers to do it fast, efficient, and from a distance.
She relents her grip and Tracer sputters and coughs, wheezing. Widowmaker is still on top of her and she’s still on the floor, of course. She’s not getting off that easily. Just to make sure there’s no wiggle room, Widowmaker moves her hands from Tracer’s throat to her wrists, pinning her hands down besides her head.
Yes; Widowmaker knows what their position looks like. No; she’s not enjoying it. The logical thing to do would be to release Tracer and put a few continents between them before this goes any further.
That would be an admission of defeat, and Widowmaker never loses. Shimada and his 36 against her 47 wins in Go can attest to that.
With newfound determination, she leans her face closer to Tracer’s – close enough to see the freckles on her nose, to see herself reflected on those eyes. “Who told you my location?”
Her voice is almost a hiss. It’s the voice she uses when she needs to lay down The Fear. Tracer squirms, hips lifting off the ground and almost bucking Widowmaker off. Feisty. Her struggling only excites Widowmaker further – she is a predator, after all, and Tracer is nothing more than her prey.
And to her credit, Tracer is handling this remarkably well. As soon as she’d stopped turning purple, that grin is back on her face and oh– Widowmaker does not like that look.
“Y’know love, if you wanted me like this you only had to ask– in fact, I’m sure there are comfier places to pin me down against. Like the master bedroom for example.”
While she’s saying this, Tracer is also craning her neck upwards, and the next thing Widowmaker knows, their noses are almost touching and she can smell the mint in Tracer’s breath.
If any shiver runs down her spine, it’s only because she’s wearing a dress the size of a dishrag and nothing else. And if she feels suddenly hot, that’s most probably because Tracer’s chronal anchor is overheating.
But two? Yes. Two can play this game. No one out-seduces Widowmaker, let alone a pup barely past her puberty.
“Don’t flatter yourself, little girl.” She speaks this right into Tracer’s ears, enunciating every syllable with deliberate slowness. The sharp hiss Tracer’s inadvertently makes is satisfying. Widowmaker is, how do they say it in English? Ah yes. Flipping the tables.
She shifts forward, lowering herself further and further until their bodies touch. Tracer is warm, so warm. “Maybe you should run back home and play with that gamer friend of yours, hmm? Let the adult do her job.” For once.
“Oh you–!” Tracer starts. Then stops. Remains silent.
“What’s the matter, chérie? Cat got your tongue?”
There’s an odd tone to Tracer’s words. Like she’s holding something back, or ate bad food. Widowmaker straightens her elbows to give herself clearance, and looks down at Tracer. Tracer’s avoiding her gaze, looking sideways at the body next to them instead. She’s also started to squirm again, and Widowmaker’s hands are nowhere near her throat. Either she’s emulating a worm, or she did eat something bad. Widowmaker’s seen her eat before. Either that, or head trauma from before. It also explains why she hasn’t blinked away and/or rewound time.
It’s not like she particularly cares if Tracer has food poisoning and/or concussion, but she does care about being the primary suspect should Tracer keel over and die here. Her concern only stems from wanting to protect herself from being punched to death by an angry ape than anything else.
“Hey. Look at me,” Widowmaker says, taking her hand off Tracer’s wrist. Cupping the sides of Tracer’s jaw between her index finger and thumb, she gently applies enough force to make Tracer look at her. But even then, she can’t seem to get Tracer to meet her eyes. “What’s the matter?”
Nothing. Just Widowmaker looking at Tracer looking at the exit hole on the corpse’s temple.
“Listen,” Widowmaker says again, “if there is something wrong with you, you will tell me right now. Understand? I will not have you die on–”
“It’s your knee! Your bloody knee, Widowmaker!”
Widowmaker blinks. Her knee? What does she mean her knee?
Of course, a moment later her question is answered, and she dearly, dearly wishes she has Tracer’s ability to rewind time, or even one of Ziegler’s potent, memory altering drug.
(Q: Why is Tracer acting strange?
A: Because she just came.)
“Did you– just.”
“I did not!” Tracer all but shouts, face beet red. Either it’s because she’s embarrassed, or because she just. Well. Traumatised Widowmaker for life. War zones do not hold a candle to this… this thing. She’s not sure what to call it. She’s always been brilliant in bed, but this? Even for her this is… well. This.
“…so that was not a long, drawn out moan I just heard?”
“It’s not my bloody fault your knee was so far up my crotch it was pretty much inside me! And I am sensitive and it’s a jolly good thing, all right!”
“Yes, it is,” Widowmaker says, not quite sure what she’s agreeing to. “Do you want to—”
“I think I’ll just–”
She slowly, slowly lets go of Tracer’s wrists, lifts the leg that’s between Tracer’s thighs and very gingerly rises to stand a safe distance away from someone she’s sure she had unintentionally violated.
She doesn’t know how to feel about that. Her training has never prepared her for this.
Gesturing at Tracer who’s now sitting cross legged while rubbing her wrists, she says, “you first.”
“I was going to suggest that I should… y’know,” Tracer says to the floor. “Blink away. Rewind time a bit. Go home and get bloody pissed over a few dozen pints of Guiness. Pretend this didn’t just happen. Kill myself.”
Widowmaker nods. “Perhaps you should.” Again, she’s not quite sure which part of Tracer’s proposed actions she was agreeing to. She would like a Guiness (or a hundred) herself, too.
“Yeah. I’ll do that.”
“I’m going to blink away now.”
“And then I’m going to rewind time. It only goes back a few seconds, but I feel like I should.”
“A few seconds ago you were–”
“–think I’ll just teleport, then.”
“Yes. You do that.”
“This didn’t happen.”
“No. It didn’t.”
“You’ll leave it out of your report, yeah?”
“Cheers. Uh. Bye then.”
Tracer gives a final nod to the floor, and Widowmaker is alone once again. She remembers that the man has quite an impressive collection of alcohol in his bar. High alcohol tolerance or not, she’s determined to spend the night sitting at that bar. If her liver should die tomorrow, so be it. She’ll just request a new one from Ziegler.
And speaking of Ziegler? Well, Widowmaker will just have to deal with her tomorrow.
In which Widowmaker grapples people and contemplates on punching an angel.
“Let me in,” Widowmaker says to the blindingly pink mech.
“No can do, it’s at full capacity,” the mech says with a dismissive wave.
Widowmaker looks up, squinting against the morning sun. Why is everything so bright today? She much prefers Volskaya over Gibraltar. Too much sun.
Her head hurts.
“Now if you don’t mind, I’m gonna head out. Got some noobs to crush.”
“I do mind.”
Leaning against a pillar, Widowmaker crosses her arms and surveys the mech as it starts its flight preparation. First booster. Second booster. Slow ascent. A metre. Two metres. There it is.
And just like that, the mech comes back crashing into the ground with a reverberating thud. Widowmaker idly wonders about its weight as it looks left, right, up, before its cockpit opens and the girl crawls out.
With half of her body outside the cockpit – suspended by her legs, she turns and scowls alternately between Widowmaker, the pillar her grappling hook’s wrapped against, and her mech. “That was sooooooo not nice.”
Widowmaker shrugs. “I want in.”
“Or you stay here.”
“Psssh.” The girl waves her arms. She must have brilliant lower body strength to suspend herself like that. “I could just get out and unhook it myself, y’know.”
“With those arms?” Widowmaker nearly scoffs. She doesn’t mean it to be insulting – merely stating a fact. That girl really does have stick arms. Probably the size of a pencil. She’s surprised the girl can lift up a feather, let alone a pistol.
“Like your arms are any better!”
“Ah well.” Another shrug. “C’est la vie.”
They stare at each other for what seems like minutes before the girl lets out a loud hmph! and clambers back into the cockpit. “FINE! But don’t complain about it being too tight!”
First triumph of the day. Widowmaker smirks, then starts the process of unwrapping her grappling hook off the pillar.
‘Very tight’ is a massive understatement.
The girl is pretty much sprawled on top of Widowmaker, awkwardly trying to control mech with her calves propped on Widowmaker’s shoulders and her backside, well, let’s just say Widowmaker has memorised all of its contours.
The girl huffs. “Told ya it’ll be tight.”
“I am not complaining,” Widowmaker says, craning her neck as far back as she can, back flush against the end of the cockpit, eyes fixated on the ceiling.
“Yeah well I am! I mean we’re pretty much on second… or third? Base and I bet you don’t even know my name.”
Well, she’s right. About not knowing her name. Widowmaker’s heard it before, but she doesn’t make a habit to commit anything into her memory unless it’s something she’s tasked to kill. She’s never had to kill this girl. It would be rude, however, to not know the name of the only person separating her from the air, and the vast expanses of the ocean below. No land in sight. She doubts she can swim to the nearest landmass without drowning. Not that she has any particular qualms about dying.
“I do know your name,” Widowmaker says, trying hard to recall the last time she hears someone call this girl. When was that? Ah yes. Anubis. By that Chinese girl who seems to be friends with everyone. If there’s anything Widowmaker hates more than losing, it’s exaggerated friendliness. From her experience, the line between friendliness and getting stabbed in the back is extremely thin. Just ask Amelie’s dead husband.
“Oh yeah? And what’s that huh?”
There’s a H in it. And an A. And an N. And the closest name she can think of is: “Hannah.”
Accidentally or not so accidentally, Hannah shifts her legs and a sharp, bony knee lands on Widowmaker’s stomach. Involuntarily letting out a small grunt, Widowmaker immediately turns her head to the left to avoid Hannah’s precariously close butt. The butt moves away again and Widowmaker takes a slow, deep breath.
It reminds her a little too much of that… situation with Tracer, and that sets a rolling wave in her stomach. Some sort of feeling she can’t identify. Nausea, perhaps. Yes. Definitely nausea. She is definitely not getting turned on thinking about that situation while staring at everything Hannah has to offer. She wonders how someone can move in a suit so tight.
She can’t see Hannah(?)’s expression, but she can almost hear and feel the stunned silence.
“…Wow, Widowmaker. Wow.”
“I’m not good with English names.”
“I’m not English!”
“I see that.”
“It would be easier if you just told me your name,” Widowmaker says. Her shoulders are getting sore from supporting Hannah(?)’s legs.
“It’s Hana Song. H-A-N-A. Ha…Na. Get it?”
A stream of Korean under Hana’s breath. Something obscene, would be Widowmaker’s guess.
“Geez. Talking to you is like talking to a massive brick wall. Worst. Hitchhiker. Ever. You’re like— like—” She pauses. Probably trying to grasp for a metaphor. “A poodle. Super dumb and super rude. Seriously. I’ve been bitten by dogs twice, and both times they’re poodles. Maybe they’re just racist or something.”
She huffs, and Widowmaker wonders if she should correct Hana. Poodles are, after all, one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Very unlike a pug. “They are actually very intelligent dogs.”
A scoff. “Riiiight.”
“You can Google it.”
Hana’s leg shifts, resting on Widowmaker’s trapezius. She knows from previous experience that nudging it aside only makes Hana more determined to accidentally hit her other pain points. So she stays still. She’s endured worse. Like Tracer.
“I don’t believe you. Next you’re gonna tell me that pugs aren’t cute.”
“They are–” and Widowmaker catches herself before she says anything else. She’s learnt her lesson. Thank you, Ziegler. “How long to go?”
“Fifteen minutes. Thirty if you keep crowding me.”
“There’s only so much space in this cockpit. I cannot make myself smaller.”
“Well maybe you should lose weight, then.”
Right. Widowmaker is definitely not responding that to that. Who ever thought that hiring a twelve year old professional gamer would be anything but a terrible idea?
An hour later, they’ve finally arrived. Half past noon. Hana, Widowmaker decides, is utterly terrible at estimation.
“WORST. HITCHHIKER. EVER,” the mech says before stomping off, flying into the distance, and detonating itself.
Widowmaker watches as ant-sized figures scatter from the core of the explosion just before another pink mech falls from the sky.
Where did it come from?
Talk about budget.
Alas, she’s no accountant, and with her stellar accuracy (and it will remain so, as long as she stays clear of a certain pesky pup), it won’t be her head on the chopping block. She’s safe (for now), and she intends for it to stay that way.
Aiming through the sights of her rifle, she gives a poor shmuck a double tap. A kill is always the best way to start a day. Apparently the sound of her shots are drawing attention from his friends, but it doesn’t matter. She’s already half the map away, grappling from building to building with abandon.
It’s like swings, but for adults.
It doesn’t take long for her to spot her target. The glowing river of yellow nanobots following an armoured, giant of a man is a dead giveaway, and she puts it into her to-do list to lecture Ziegler about subtlety. No one sane would wear a brilliant white suit with the glowing, gaudy wings and halo in a battlefield.
Then again, Ziegler is entirely too obsessed with death and reanimation to be entirely there. She decides to wipe that item off her to-do list, and readies her grappling hook.
And just like that, she feels herself pulled right into Ziegler, hitting Ziegler on her very armoured back with her chest.
“Hngh!” exclaims Ziegler, probably surprised at having someone crash land into her.
“Ugh,” grunts Widowmaker in return, probably having broken a rib or two.
How heavy is that valkyrie suit?
Not important. She should unhook–
“FOLLOW ME TO GLORY!”
And whatever plan she has is interrupted by the giant’s decision to leave his healer behind and charge into a fray of grunts, smashing them against the wall and toppling the building. And the building behind it. And another building behind that building.
If she were the owner of the buildings, she would sue the contractors for shoddy craftmanship. And then sue Overwatch for repair damages.
“Well,” Ziegler says, and Widowmaker feels the movement of Ziegler’s shoulder blades through her chest as she shrugs, “I’m used to being left alone. It’s the life of a support, I presume.”
“I see,” says Widowmaker.
“Would you mind untangling yourself, please? As much as I enjoy your affectionate gestures, it’s a bit distracting in battle, ja?”
Being the consummate professional that she is, Widowmaker ignores Ziegler’s inappropriate flirty battlefield comment and goes to work in unhooking her grapple from the Valkyrie suit.
For a few awkward moments, they’re glued together in the middle of a warzone. It’s a few, vulnerable moments more than Widowmaker would have liked, and Ziegler’s wings are hard and have the tendency to flap around and hit Widowmaker on the sides of her head.
Finally, finally the grapple comes off and Widowmaker exhales. “You’re free.”
“Danke,” says Ziegler, flexing her shoulders before turning around to face Widowmaker. “Now, what do I owe this pleasure?”
“RYUU GA WAGA TEKI O KURAU!”
Before she can resume her sentence, Ziegler takes her by the elbow and leads her toward a structure that’s missing most of the things that would make a structure. Just as they step in, a giant, red dragon floats almost lackadaisically across the street they’ve just vacated.
Does that thing ever hit anything?
“And you were saying…?”
Widowmaker is still watching the tail of the dragon float by when Ziegler speaks.
How can anyone be hit with that thing? What is the point of that? What is that?
“I was–” The dragon finally disappears, and Widowmaker snaps her attention back to Ziegler. Somewhere, something explodes and the ground shakes. Ziegler is just standing there with that smile, looking like the personification of a death obsessed lunatic. She’s heard the stories from Reyes. “You were the one who sent Tracer after me.” Giving up on subtlety in fear of having another battleshout interrupt her, Widowmaker goes straight for the kill.
It’s not an erroneous guess.
Slip up and mistakenly call someone… cute in front of Ziegler and proceed to have that someone show up in all of her missions like a puppy with separation anxiety nipping at her heels?
Yes. She can see Ziegler’s mark on it. No one else has the energy and the drive to meddle so much in another person’s affairs. No one but Ziegler.
(Once again, she’s heard Reyes’s stories, and they are chilling.)
“Mhmm.” There it goes again. That tilt of the head that was once endearing. “I do not remember doing that – perhaps you’ve mistaken me for someone else?”
And that smile.
It was then that Widowmaker wonders if Talon will take her back, and what facet of her personality she’ll have to sacrifice to make that happen.
Or maybe she can just punch Ziegler with the butt of her rifle. Hmm. Decisions. Decisions.
In which Mercy squeezes butts and Widowmaker gets beat up.
Out of all the potential outcomes to her day, Widowmaker never would have thought that it would be this.
- Sitting slumped against a crumbling pillar.
- It’s raining like it’s the precursor to Noah’s ark and she’s nowhere close to anything resembling a shelter.
- Despite usually not being bothered by the cold, she is, in fact, feeling quite cold. It’s a new experience and she does not like it one bit.
- Her dominant arm’s useless because there’s a bullet lodged in her deltoid
- She’d dropped her sniper rifle down a cliff somewhere.
- An idiot is holding a small piece of her very broken, very shattered visor.
Hair flattened against her skull, goggles long ago thrown away, Tracer curves her lips up. Down. Up. Like she’s not entirely sure what would tamper Widowmaker’s wrath best. She’s the perfect image of a dog caught pissing on a rug. In the end, she seems to have settled for the deer-about-to-be-hit-by-a-truck look.
Combing her fingers through her hair, Tracer holds the piece out with her other hand. Like a peace offering. A peace offering that she’d literally stomped on and broken into teeny tiny bits.
“Uh… I’ll buy you a new one?”
Widowmaker answers by raising her left arm and lets her grappling hook go. It wraps around Tracer’s calf and down she goes, foot dragging through the mud as she falls flat on her back.
She ignores Tracer’s yelp and tries to recall how she’d ended up here: in the middle of nowhere, injured, and alone with the last person on earth she would like to be alone with.
Ah yes. Ziegler. It starts and ends with Ziegler. It always does.
She likes to say that she was the adult in that conversation, that she’d chosen the highroad by not resorting to punching Mercy with her rifle. But she can’t. Because:
- Lying is for the weak and the cowardly, and,
- She was staring right down the end of a rocket launcher.
The opening was big enough to put both arms in, and she fought the urge to take a step backwards.
“Put your weapon down.”
Ah, yes, flying Egyptian woman. The gaudy one, with wings and enough armor to dress a small tank. A tankette, perhaps. What do they call shiny things? Bling? This woman blinged in the sun.
Widowmaker unshouldered her rifle and held it perpendicular to her forehead, as some sort of sun-visor. The reflections from the armour hurt her eyes, and eyesight was more important than beating up Ziegler.
“Is there a problem here?” said the tankette, who at least had the decency to lower her bazooka.
“Yes,” Widowmaker said, squinting against the beam of rays reflected from the woman’s shoulderpads.
“I wasn’t asking you.”
“But you are looking at me.”
“Yes. But I was asking Angela.”
“Then you should ask her.”
“I am --”
“Okay, okay, children?” Mercy siddled right between them, her wings hitting Widowmaker on the shoulder, and the Egyptian woman right in her face. Small victories. “Fareeha, love? There is no problem at all here, I promise. Amelie is simply here for a lovely chat, ja? I’m not dismissing you but...” she pointed her healing stick somewhere to the left, where the mountain of a Russian woman had trapped fourteen (yes, Widowmaker counted) enemy soldiers inside a pink death ball. “Perhaps you could help with that?”
Pyramid woman seemed to be considering this for a bit, then nodded. “You’ll be fine?”
“No,” said Widowmaker.
“Absolutely fine!” said Ziegler, very loudly. One of her wings flapped and hit Widowmaker right in her stomach.
“Ngh.” How many times had she been hit today? And they told her she was the violent one.
“...fine,” the mini tank said finally. Then she turned to Widowmaker and pointed two fingers at her eyes, then at Widowmaker’s. She needed six more fingers to make that gesture, but Widowmaker didn’t say it. “But I’ll be watching you.”
The clouds parted and Widowmaker was nearly blinded as a reflected ray of sun against armour hit her straight in the eye.
While she blinked and ignored the moisture forming in her eyes, Ziegler went to her tippy toes and pecked the baby tank on the lips. And-- oh, was that a squeeze to the butt?
“Ah, Fareeha. before you go, what do you want for dinner?”
“Just you, my love.”
Widowmaker suddenly felt quite nauseous, and it was not from the twenty-three bottles of wine she consumed yesterday. She didn’t know what they saw in each other, but they both had wings, so that was probably it.
She watched as the embryo tank flew away, hovered in mid-air, then let loose more rockets than it would take to kill a measy fourteen people. Such wastage. Widowmaker would only need five bullets. Four, if that one man at the edge would simply float closer to the centre. She always prided herself in being economical. Death at bargain prices.
Mercy turned toward her, ramming the butt of her stick into the ground. “I apologise for the interruptions. A healer’s job is never quite finished, you see.”
“She did not look like she needed healing.”
“There are more ways to heal than nanobots, Amelie. If you would just sit in my lecture for once, you’d understand.”
“What. By touching the derrière?”
“Among others. Sometimes it involves fingers and--”
“I need healing. I need healing. I need healing. Dr. Ziegler! I require healing.”
The robot Shimada whizzed past, and Ziegler casually raised her stick, released the golden stream of nanobots until he backflipped out of range, straight into a Talon tank and started hitting it with his sword.
The tank exploded.
Because of course it did.
Imbeciles. Overwatch was staffed by utter, complete imbeciles.
Even though she only needed to breathe twice every minute, and her last breath was thirty-two seconds ago, Widowmaker took a long, deep breath. Then counted to three.
One stupid inbred pug.
Two stupid inbred pug.
Three stupid inbred pug.
There. And exhale.
As soon as the air emptied her lungs, Ziegler clapped her hand together and positively beamed. Widowmaker had taken her rifle away from her temple, but decided to bring it back up.
“Ah, I see you’ve taken my advice to meditate! That is very good progress indeed, Amelie! Oh how I wish I have my notes here… but never the mind! I will note down your progress when we get home. But I digress. Lena. Yes. Whyever would I send her after you? What could I possibly gain from that?”
“Entertainment. You have always liked meddling, Ziegler. Like that time when I had an argument with that Swedish drunk--”
“To be fair, you were also drunk. And you shot him in the backside.”
“He told me that the baguette wasn’t invented in France. Sacrilège.”
“It actually wasn-- actually, let bygones be bygones, shall we?” That lopsided, unhinged smile again. If Widowmaker were capable of having nightmares, it would be filled with Ziegler’s smiling face. But she wasn’t capable, so that was a moot point. “From what I understand you just wanted Lena to stop following you like a...” She tilted her head.
“Lost, badly trained, inbred puppy.”
“But a cute puppy?”
Widowmaker ignored that remark. The flying Egyptian nucleus tank was still hovering somewhere out of sight. She could hear her jetpacks working in overdrive. After she joined, Overwatch’s total subtlety rating increased to a grand total of one. From minus eleven.
“I want her to stop.” And drown somewhere in the Mariana Trench, preferably.
“Well, have you tried talking to her?”
“No, but I have tried shooting her.” And choking her, but that probably traumatised Widowmaker more than it hurt Tracer.
“And how did that work out?”
“She is still alive and still annoying. My accuracy has gone down a further 0.2 percent.”
“Then that method is clearly not working. Try talking, Amelie. Lay out your concerns. Reach an accord.” Ziegler and Widowmaker both sidestepped at the same time a hook on a chain flew by. They waited for the hook to retract (bringing along a screaming man), then sidestepped back. “Perhaps it’s time for you to try something different?”
And that something different led Widowmaker to this, somehow.
“Uh, Widow? I know you’re right angry and all, but it’s kinda cutting off my circulation?”
“Silence. I am thinking.”
“Can you think a bit faster, please? It’s cold. And wet. And I’m hungry.”
Widowmaker sighs, then props herself up and trudges towards Tracer.
“Hiya?” Tracer says, waving up at her from the ground.
Inbred as she might be, she does have the talent to still look somewhat cheerful (and by Widowmaker’s definition, cheerful is anything above not crying) despite sprawled spread eagle on the ground, clothes covered with mud more than not.
(And the fact that Widowmaker can see everything through Tracer’s wet blouse definitely doesn’t cross Widowmaker’s mind. And she definitely doesn’t find it arousing.)
Making sure that her limbs are far away from anything resembling Tracer’s groin, Widowmaker goes down on one knee and briefly thinks about cupping Tracer’s chin, but that resembles the previous… incident too much. “Tell me what happened. How has everything gone to shit? ”
“Well… it all started with…”
In which Tracer headbutts Widowmaker and Mercy intervenes. Kinda.
“Right. So I drank the dozen pints of Guinness after…uhm. Anyway, I woke up this morning feeling like absolute shite, so I got up, went to the bakery to get a salmon and cream cheese bagugh!”
Widowmaker smooshes Tracer’s cheeks together. Now she really looks like a pug. All cheeks and nose. “Fast forward.”
Unsmooshing Tracer’s cheeks, Widowmaker takes a piece of her visor off the ground and holds it right in front of Tracer, sharp edge pointing at Tracer’s eye.
It’s not a threat or anything. But it can be, depending on circumstances. As a newly brainwashed recruit, one of the first things Talon got Widowmaker to do was sit in the Threatening Your Way to Greatness lecture.
It’s one of the best things that’s happened to her, along with the full eight-day course on various methods of bodily harm and the cheese fondue fountain in Overwatch’s canteen. Unfortunately, Amelie and Widowmaker both share the fondness of sweets. There’s just some parasitical part of yourself that you can’t kill, no matter how hard you try.
So yes, it’s not a threat. Not really, despite this idiot acting like it is one, tilting her head backward like that, puppy-like eyes wide open, small nose wrinkled, chest rising with each slightly hyperventilated breath, lips parted slightly as if she’s begging for--
Widowmaker blinks. Oh. She must’ve hit her head harder than she thought. And there’s only one skull thick enough for that.
“You headbutted me.”
“Whaaat? Nooooooo…” That no starts high, turns low, and ends with a shaky chuckle. “Me? Headbutt people? Neveeerr.” Widowmaker inches the shard closer and Tracer gulps. “Christ okay fine! Fine! I headbutted you, okay? But it wasn’t intentional or anything!”
“Oh? Tell me all about it.”
If there’s something unfortunate about Talon training, it’s the fact that they’re really thorough. Even now she can’t stop her voice from drawing out the vowels, or from lowering its pitch into the scientifically endorsed Seductive Range proven to be effective with both men and women.
But what she can do is not pin Tracer’s wrists, or whisper it right into her ears. So that’s. That’s probably a win.
“So um, can I sit up for this? Bit hard to speak with rain constantly going in my mouth.”
The shard goes closer. “Consider it free hydration.”
“Then consider me hydrated!” The slight hysterics are delicious. “So... I was busy going around shooting these Talon grunts-- just having a good time, really, when suddenly you came swingin’ around like a crazy spider lady--”
“Not a compliment. And after yesterday…”
“Yesterday never happened.”
“Yep. Sure didn’t. So after yesterday that totally never happened, I was kinda apprehensive about… um. Anyway, you came -- DEFINITELY NOT a euphemism -- said something about settling this once and for all, which I took to mean a duel to the death, which I’m kinda not okay with.”
“Go on.” Go on sounds more like goo ooon, and even Widowmaker is getting annoyed by it.
“Okay, can you stop sounding so goddamned sexy? It’s really distracting.”
“Cool cool cool. So you’re just naturally like--”
“Right. So this part, I’m not very proud of. But essentially: I ran. Blinked, rather. You kept chasing me so I kept blinking. It went on for oh… I dunno, five minutes? Sorry about your shoulder, by the way. I was trying to shoot an enemy but it kinda ricocheted off some wall.”
“In the end, you cornered me here and I ran out of charge. And bullets. So In desperation I… headbutted you? And you hit your head on the pillar? And I threw your gun off the cliff just in case? Also I’m really sorry and please don’t kill me?”
For a long time, the only sound around them is muffled explosions from far away and the plink plink plink of falling rain. It’s all very serene. Tracer is doing that dog caught shitting on your pillow look again: all wide pleading eyes and quivering grin showing a row of perfect white teeth.
So helpless, so entirely at Widowmaker’s mercy.
Even without the use of her dominant arm, Widowmaker can still do a lot of damage. She can: wrap her hand around Tracer’s throat. Press on the carotid sinus and watch as her blood pressure drops, her heartbeat slowing down until it matches Widowmaker’s, then doesn’t beat at all. She can wrap her hand around Tracer’s throat and run her tongue along the sides of Tracer’s jaw and
“Widow watch out!”
and before Widowmaker can think what the fuck, Tracer shoots up, bats Widowmaker’s arm away, and through the sheer tenacity of a small dog, launches herself from the ground and wraps her arms around Widowmaker’s waist.
She hears the near-deafening explosion of something hitting somewhere that was pretty close to where they were.
The momentum carries them backward, and oh-- there’s a cliff behind them. Widowmaker makes a small note to do her non-threatening threats somewhere away from cliffs, next time. Because they’re now freefalling down, with Tracer clinging onto her like a very annoying velcro strip.
She supposes she can grapple up, but well, her grappling hook is tied around Tracer’s calf.
“Just fucking heal me, Ziegler.”
“Not if you continue being a child about this.”
“Yeah you tell her doc!”
“That statement also includes you, Lena.”
Widowmaker would have turned and given Tracer a look, if she isn’t currently immobilised in a neck brace. The only thing she can see is Ziegler looking very comfortable in a chair with a notebook propped on her lap, and a blurry, hazy Tracer in her peripheral vision to the right.
They’re both propped up at a forty-five-degree angle on hospital beds. Harsh overhead lighting, strong smell of chemicals. Widowmaker spent the first few months of her life strapped to a hospital bed like this, until Amelie breaks and Widowmaker emerges alone: the sole victor.
It smells like home.
She doesn’t mind staying here forever, if not for the fact that a day here means a day without killing, and that’s bad for business.
She knows what Ziegler wants anyway. That conniving wolf hiding beneath the shimmering skin of an angel with gaudy wings. Or in this case, a lab coat.
“Wait, what happened to your oath? Didn’t you take the Hippocratic oath when you became a doctor? Do no harm?” Tracer asks, and Widowmaker finds herself thinking that it is a good question. Probably the first smart thing that whelp’s said since the beginning of time.
“Yes, that is true. But since you both harmed yourselves first by falling off a cliff and I am merely… letting that harm continue, I think my oath still remains unbroken.”
Widowmaker decides to throw fuel into the fire. As much as she loathes it, Tracer and she are a team now. A team that will summarily disband after this ordeal and never be spoken of again. “And the times when you got bored of healing and decided to be, and I quote, battle Mercy?”
“Yeah you tell her Widow!”
“Fair point, but you can’t blame a woman for letting off some steam once in a while, ja?” Ziegler says with a shrug and a smile that’s meant to be apologetic, but Widowmaker knows better. She’s going to sue Ziegler for medical malpractice, one day. “But this is not about me; so let’s get back to the point, shall we? Amelie. Broken neck, no damage to the spinal cord. Clean exit wound on the deltoid. Hmm, minor concussion. Lena, you broke your left tibia, but otherwise quite fine. Did I tell you your bone density is off the charts?”
“Aw thanks. I make sure I get my calcium intake every day.”
That explains everything.
“As your physician, I approve,” says the physician who’s acting like anything but. “Either way, you two are going to stay here until we resolve this little issue you’re both having.” Ziegler flips open her notebook and clicks her pen. “I have spoken to you both individually before--”
“I was spoken at,” Widowmaker says.
“--but never together. As the team doctor, it’s my responsibility to ensure that we remain cohesive, and both of you,” she points her pen at Widowmaker and Tracer in succession, “are decidedly not. Now let’s get to the bottom of why, though I do have a slight idea.”
“You know why.” That comes out as a hiss. Widowmaker is already running through the Google search she’s going to do after this. Local malpractice lawyer. Pro-bono.
“Yes, but why? ”
“Adding italics to your words does not make it philosophical.”
“Hmm. Avoidant.” Scribble. “Lena?”
“What? Me? I didn’t do anything!”
“You didn’t. But your chronal accelerator always overheating near Amelie is a symptom of a deeper issue.”
“Whoa, wait, we talked about this. I told you Winston’s gonna look at it as soon as he has time.”
“Ah, but he did look at it, did he not? And he couldn’t find anything wrong with it.”
“Yeah, well, he just needs to look harder. Also why is this about me? Widow’s the one who violated me then chased me around trying to kill me and ran us off a cliff!”
“You threw us off a cliff.”
“Yeah but you decided to interrogate me next to a cliff and I was just trying to save you okay?”
“And look at where we are now.”
“Okay. That’s fair. Touché.”
While they were arguing, the scribbling reaches a feverish speed, the scratch scratch of nib against paper is grating, and Widowmaker gives Ziegler her best death glare. Unfortunately, it isn’t effective, because glaring in a neck brace is about as threatening as the barks of a small dog in a purse.
“Violated,” Ziegler says. Oh. Oh no. “Can you elaborate further on that, Lena?”
That stupid pup and her stupid yapping mouth. “She misspoke. She meant hurt. Physically. I physically hurt her.”
“I don’t think she did. I heard it quite clearly. Lena?”
Widowmaker can see Tracer’s blurry face turning to Widowmaker, then to Ziegler. Back at Widowmaker. Then Ziegler again.
“Don’t,” Widowmaker says. She tries to put as much threat in that single word as possible, but the stupid neck brace. She has never felt as non-imposing in her life as this.
“Lena? This is a safe space. Patient-doctor confidentiality. Nothing will come out of this room, I promise.”
“Pinky promise.” And Ziegler actually stood and shook pinkies with Tracer. What are they, five? “Well?”
“It’s… actually not as bad as it sounds. Okay. It’s worse. Way worse. Yesterday I got this mission on my phone, right. So I went there, and Widow’s already there. And she got angry for some reason--”
“I have no feelings. I do not get angry.”
“Revision: a very not angry Widow decided to pin me on the ground because she was definitely not angry--”
“That sounds a bit like anger, Amelie.”
“And she held my wrists so I couldn’t like, just get up. She did this femme fatale thing I keep seeing in the movies where she was directly on top of me, and her knees were… uh, right against my crotch.”
“Iiinteresting...” More scribbles. “And how did that make you feel?”
Widowmaker: “Do not.”
Tracer: “Turned on?”
Ziegler: “I see. And then?”
“And then she whispered into my ear and I’m sensitive there okay! So… long story short I came, I ran away, I got drunk. And it never happened.”
Mon Dieu. Where is the world’s second-best sniper when Widowmaker needs a bullet through the temple. When she’s fully healed she’s going to sue Ziegler, shoot Tracer, shoot Ziegler after the court case, then shoot herself.
“If you put it that way…”
Widowmaker stays silent. She doesn’t care anymore. A spider never cares. She will lie here in her web of apathy and waste away.
“That explains everything. Have Winston check how your chronal accelerator handles very strong emotions.”
“Yes. Like lust, perhaps.”
Yes. Widowmaker is just going to die in this hospital bed and she is fine with that. How much pain killer or whatever Ziegler is injecting into her IV does it take to kill a woman of Widowmaker's size and metabolism?
“Oh. Ooooh. That… actually makes sense. It only happens around Widow, and I was following her around to test it out.”
“See? Look at how much progress we’ve made just by talking! And how do you feel about this new development, Amelie?”
“I don’t feel anything.”
“Even if it means solving the problem with your accuracy?”
Okay. That piques her interest. She will do anything for her accuracy. It has fallen to a dismal 92.97%, which is quite a death-knell to the World’s Number One sniper. If she sees another one of Amari’s gloating looks, she swears she will take out her other eye or die trying.
“I am listening,” she says.
“Good.” And Ziegler actually closes her notebook. Widowmaker knows when that happens it’s time for Serious Talk. And it never ends up well for Widowmaker. “Your main issue with Lena is that she is being an annoyance.”
“Yes, like an obese pug constantly following you around with its wheezing noise.”
“Hey!” They both ignore Tracer.
“And the reason Lena is doing that is because her chronal accelerator malfunctions around you and she wants to know why. And I won’t pretend I understand that reasoning, but there it is. And the reason it’s malfunctioning…?”
Ah, that head tilt again. No wonder Amelie lost. There must have been something wrong with that woman to have found it cute.
Widowmaker takes the bait. The thought of her accuracy going back to 100% is too tempting. “She wants to have sex with me.”
“Okay whoa no. No no no nonono. Yes I think about her sometimes but in no way does that indicate I want to jump her bones! Zero. Nada. Nein!” Tracer’s voice has risen above hysterical, and Widowmaker nearly feels sorry for her. But she can’t feel, and therefore she doesn’t.
Diverting her attention towards Tracer, Ziegler props her elbows on her knees and leans forward, notebook and pen on each hand. “Do you not want your chronal accelerometer to function perfectly again?”
“Accelerator. And… I guess yeah. I do. It’s getting annoying,” says the annoyance.
“Then I have given you both the answer to solve your problems, and what you do with it depends on you. Now.” Ziegler sits up, tucks her notebook between her ribs and elbow, then gives them both a smile. Widowmaker swears the room got a lot brighter. “I will come back with my caduceus, meanwhile please sort it out amongst yourselves and reach a consensus on an action. Bis bald!”
And Ziegler’s gone.
Widowmaker and Tracer spend the rest of the time in utter silence.
“Whoa what the hell!” Widowmaker watches idly as the plate of… what is that, chicken nuggets? Falls onto the floor and miraculously doesn’t shatter. Tracer is standing there, frozen still with a half-bitten nugget in her hand. “How did you. When did you. Why are you in my flat?!”
“Bonsoir, chérie. Shall we have a little talk tonight?”
In which they do things.
Tracer is sitting on the armchair opposite Widowmaker's couch, hands pinned together between her knees. “Look, I’m just not entirely comfortable with this, Widow. I mean, I get that we’re trying to solve a problem, but it seems… clinical?”
And Widowmaker doesn’t give a shit. She will do anything to have her old 100% accuracy back.
It’s not a lie. Anything. If the only way to achieve that is to copulate with that Australian bacon, then so be it. And on the hierarchical scale of people she would rather kiss (#1 being no one, unless that kiss ends in a quick shot between the eyes), Tracer ranks much higher than… whatever that is. A man pig. Something.
She would rather kiss a dog than a pig.
Widowmaker flicks to another page of the book called Interior Design For Your Beat-Up Old Cessna 172. Oddly specific.
“There is nothing wrong with clinical intercourse,” she says. Flicks to another page. This one is about installing a kitchenette in the cockpit. It defies all laws of physics, like trying to fit an ape into a dwarf. “I do it all the time.”
“Yeah but you usually kill them after.”
“I will not kill you.” Even though she does want to kill Tracer. But she is a woman of her words; you simply cannot remain competitive without glowing reviews from previous clients. It was so much easier before the internet and the thing they call the clouds, she heard.
Tracer considers this for a while, lifting a hand to run her fingers through her hair. A nervous tic. Widowmaker knows this not because she observes Tracer, but because that is what humans do. A nice little tell-tale.
Tracer considers for another page of how to install a coffee machine in the kitchenette, and Widowmaker flips to the next page. It’s quite efficient, how they arrange the kitchenette. “Are you still considering?”
“Yes, and stop sounding so sexy; it’s making it really hard to think right now.”
Tracer’s hair combing is now accompanied by small taps of the right foot. Rapid, nervous strikes of her toes against the wooden floor. Closer. Maybe they can reach a consensus before the next chapter. Widowmaker might have to borrow this book after.
Widowmaker just says: “take your time,” and flips to another page. A spider never rushes her prey.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
The slight jiggle of Tracer’s breasts with each tap. She is not wearing a bra. Of course, why would she. Women only wear underwear at home in badly written porno and garbage erotica. Tap . Widowmaker crosses her legs and holds the book higher up. She re-reads the sentence she’s read before, but it’s not because she’s distracted. It’s just a lot of plane words to take in. A lot of acronyms.
She hears a slow, deliberate inhalation from Tracer. Can almost feel the reverberations around her web.
“Cool. Cool,” says Tracer, a bit shaky. Nerves. “Let’s do this. We’re doing this.”
Widowmaker lowers the book just in time as Tracer jumps up from the seat and goes into small hops, shaking her hands like she’s preparing herself from something.
“We are having sexual intercourse. Not boxing,” Widowmaker says.
“I know, I know, it’s just that--” Tracer stops hopping and steals a quick glance at the chronal accelerator charging next to the TV, like a gaudy post-modern mantelpiece. “I’m nervous, okay?”
“Really. I couldn’t tell.”
“Oh you can be such a dick sometimes, Widow.”
Tracer looks at Widowmaker in a way that doesn’t match her words -- even Widowmaker knows that. And how Tracer stands, her hand on her hip, the slight ride of her shirt to show a pale glimpse of skin. Her shorts barely cover her legs. It’s just an observation.
Widowmaker shuts the book, puts it back on the coffee table and slides the table away with a push of her feet. It moves easily on the rug -- giving enough space clearance in front of the couch for the very textbook copulation they are going to engage in.
All purely business.
“Why don’t you come closer?”
If it comes out as a purr, Widowmaker doesn’t mean it, but Tracer obeys anyway, slowly making her way over until she stops a few steps in front of Widowmaker, looking for all the world like a lost puppy who can’t find her way home.
They stay like that for a few beats, looking at each other, and Widowmaker dearly hopes that Tracer has a plan. Some sort of fantasy she wants to re-enact, perhaps. Because Widowmaker sure as hell doesn’t.
When she broke into Tracer’s flat (and break is a strong word, the balcony was unlocked. She needs to tell Tracer to take security seriously -- anyone with a German-made grappling hook can let themselves in), her plan has started with have sex with Tracer and ended with nothing.
This is not her strong suit.
Her plan always involves a dead body or fifty-six (her record), but this scenario doesn’t leave anyone dead and/or maimed. What does one usually do in this situation?
So she does what she can only think of doing: she holds her hand out.
She’s not sure what she’s expecting. A high-five. Maybe a firm handshake, but then Tracer kneels and brings Widowmaker’s hand to her cheek. She looks up at Widowmaker with those puppy eyes and it’s strange how Tracer goes from nervous to lust like a switch, but that’s a very human thing to do so Widowmaker thinks, well then, and runs her thumb along Tracer’s lower lip. Just the slightest pressure. Left to right.
She barely keeps herself still when Tracer opens her mouth and flicks her tongue over the pad of Widowmaker’s thumb. Widowmaker doesn’t imagine where else that tongue can go as she pushes her thumb into Tracer’s mouth, feeling the slight suction as Tracer sucks on it, Tracer’s tongue doing lazy swirls around the top knuckle.
“I’ve always wanted to touch you, ever since we first met,” Tracer says after she withdraws her mouth.
She doesn’t let go of Widowmaker’s hand. Her pupils are dilated, almost dark, just like they were during the incident that never happened. And it brings Widowmaker back, too, further back, to her assassination of that omnic monk. She doesn’t remember the assassination well, only that it was a lucky shot and not meant for the monk. But the monk died, and there will always be streaks of blue wherever Widowmaker looks, now.
She wants it gone. She does. So she says: “then touch me.”
“Wherever you want.”
Tracer does. There’s no hesitation now, just want, and it rises from Tracer almost palpably. Widowmaker stays still as Tracer slips a hand under her knee and uncrosses her leg. Tracer doesn’t push her legs apart because it’s not that kind of situation. They’re not hot and heavy. They’re clinical and detached. An exchange of what Tracer wants (Widowmaker) for what Widowmaker wants (not Tracer).
“Take your clothes off.”
Just for a bit, Widowmaker wonders if she should do it seductively, like how they taught her at Seduction 101, but then decides to do it as she always does every day. Tracer isn’t a mark, and there is too much effort in all the hip swaying.
Widowmaker stands and starts with her sweater, lifting it from her hips, up through her head and discarding it to the site. Then she unbuttons her jeans, pulls the zipper down-- and Tracer’s already on it, hooking her fingers into the gap between hips and fabric, and pulling down Tracer gives her a gentle push, and Widowmaker lets gravity take its course and allows herself to land back down on the couch, watching idly as Tracer slips the last leg off her ankle and tosses her jeans somewhere over a shoulder.
Reaching backwards, Widowmaker starts the motion of unhooking her bra but Tracer says, “leave those on,” and she stops, leans back, and looks at down at Tracer, who meets her eyes and then doesn’t, because now Tracer is preoccupied with trailing her lips slowly, slowly up Widowmaker’s leg, starting from the base of her calf up to her knee. Tiny little kisses, small nibbles that don't break skin.
And still, Tracer continues her way upward with that languid, infuriating slowness of hers, like they have all the time in the world. She worships, Widowmaker realises. Gerard did this, too. He worshipped Amelie with the reverence of the pious.
Widowmaker hates being worshipped. Because look at what happened to Gerard. Even with the wound on his back and the knife in her hand, he still looked at her like it was just a big joke and she’d burst into a laugh and say it was all just a joke and they would be fine again.
He never once stopped believing in Amelie. Widowmaker knows she should wrap up this farce and tell Tracer to stop, stop looking at her the way he did. She’s not Amelie. She opens her mouth to say that one syllable, but then Tracer and her tongue, Tracer is kissing that part of her inner thigh where the threshold of nerves start.
Her stop turns into a soft moan and she can feel her legs parting further by itself. This pup and her eyes with that gaze. It means nothing. It’s just her body reacting. And it means nothing, too, when her hand shoots out and her fingers find themselves entangled in Tracer’s hair just as Tracer starts running her tongue along the seams of Widowmaker’s underwear.
It’s a bad move, because instead of doing something ( anything ), that action causes Tracer to stop and look up at Widowmaker with those inquiring puppy eyes. Those eyes say: what’s next, master? and truth be told, Widowmaker doesn’t give a flying fuck about what’s next. It’s not like Tracer can’t tell what she wants right now. It’s been so, so long -- Widowmaker can feel how wet she is and can’t Tracer see?
Of course Tracer can. She just needs affirmation.
Widowmaker grabs a fistful of hair, pushes down, says, “use your mouth.”
Breathless, like Tracer’s the one sitting here instead of Widowmaker. This is what she goes off to? How predictable--
Unwittingly, Widowmaker lets out another suppressed moan. Tracer has pushed her underwear aside and started the trail upwards. Flat tongue travels up between her folds until Tracer hits her clit and stays there, lapping her up.
Her hips buckle against Tracer’s mouth. She’s supposed to be the one doing things to Tracer, but Tracer is the one who does her and it’s all wrong.
Does it matter? the voice that should’ve died asks, and Tracer enters her and curls her fingers up and hits that spot. And again. And the hand that’s on Tracer pushes in just as Widowmaker’s hips buck up.
It’s quiet: just the rain outside, the sound of Tracer’s fingers in and out of Widowmaker, the slickness of tongue and lips, and the sound that escapes Widowmaker’s throat that for once isn’t a facsimile of what an orgasm should sound like.
Tracer continues until Widowmaker clenches her thighs against the side of Tracer’s head, fingers grabbing hair, fabric, and says, ragged, “stop. Stop. ”
And Tracer finally does, withdrawing her mouth but keeping her fingers in until the spasms stop and Widowmaker lets out a long sigh. Finally, Tracer withdraws completely, still looking at Widowmaker with that unreadable expression: pupils dark, wet lips slightly parted. As Widowmaker clenches and unclenches, feeling the emptiness (and the need for something to be back in there), Tracer raises her fingers to her mouth and sucks, not once averting her eyes.
Then, after she’s done, Tracer asks (quietly, as if she hasn’t fingerfucked Widowmaker just moments before), “was it good?”
Was it good?
Widowmaker’s here, slumped, heartbeat raised nearly threefold to five beats per minute and Tracer asked if it’s good. Widowmaker doesn’t understand how Tracer can appear so meek one moment and coy the next. She’s not even sure she can say that Tracer and Ziegler aren’t together in planning this, but-- those lips still wet from saliva and Widowmaker’s come. And coy? Coy is better than that dead man’s look.
“It was fine,” says Widowmaker, and the beginning of a smile barely has time to form on Tracer’s lips before Widowmaker hoists Tracer up by the arms and into her lap.
And Tracer can’t help but obey, as Widowmaker pulls her into a kiss that starts with Tracer’s muffled surprise and continues with open mouths. There are some gnashed teeth, but more tongue than anything else. There are a lot of tongue. Tracer’s tugged Widowmaker’s ponytail loose just as Widowmaker reaches down and slips her hand into those shorts that barely cover anything. Two fingers go in and Tracer moans into the kiss.
It’s quite possibly the easiest transaction ever. Widowmaker doesn’t really need to do anything, really. All she needs to do is hold her hand still while Tracer does all the work. Widowmaker’s quite surprised at how Tracer can still kiss with how she’s grinding away with the wanton abandon that doesn’t last long at all.
What did she say she was? Sensitive.
It doesn’t take long before Tracer’s legs clench together in a suddenness that almost feels like total muscle seizure, trapping Widowmaker’s between them. Then she breaks their kiss and buries her face into Widowmaker’s neck, breath hot and words incoherent.
Widowmaker lets her ride it out, only withdrawing her hand after Tracer’s stopped grinding the last bits of post orgasmic pleasure out and goes still.
Ten of Widowmaker’s heartbeats pass before Tracer’s heartbeats regulate into an acceptable seventy-eight beats per minute. Widowmaker knows this because it’s in her job description to monitor her prey’s vital signs. Heartbeat, body temperature, all indicative of their emotional state, all can be used against them.
Tracer’s are slowing down. Hers? Still five beats per minute. Annoying. She still feels the throb, the emptiness that doesn’t go away. A normal reaction for someone in her position, but still an annoyance.
As Widowmaker contemplates going home to take care of herself, Tracer unburies herself from Widowmaker’s neck and gazes down. Sheepish.
“So, uh. Nice sex?”
“It was fine,” Widowmaker says. She’s not used to post-coital talk, preferring to just grapple away into the darkness as soon as the deed is done. She would have, if she’s not stuck under Tracer.
“Yeah, I guess it was.” With a small, crooked smile, Tracer lifts her arm and runs her fingers through her hair. “First times are always kind of awkward, you know? It’ll get better, though.” A squint. “Hey why are you still wearing your bra?”
But before Widowmaker can voice her concern, Tracer cuts her off with a “anyway, wanna meet Percy?”
Percy, it turns out, is what Tracer named a bigger than necessary dildo.
That is it. That is all Widowmaker knows about Percy. She didn’t ask any questions about why it is pink, or why it says Made in England at the base when she’s seen the exact same one for fifty cents apiece from definitely not England.
She didn’t ask because it’s functional enough. She knows because she’s bent over Tracer’s kitchen counter, Tracer’s hand on her back, holding her down.
She bites down on her arm to stop herself from making too much noise, and that’s how she knows fifty cents, origin unknown Percy works quite well. Its wielder is quite sufficient, too.
Widowmaker wakes up in an empty bed.
Don’t mistake this for sentimentality or the burgeoning of a cliched romance. Her staying the night was simply the output of a series of logical decisions: by the time they were done it had begun storming, and stormy weathers are not conducive to grappling or getting a cab.
That was it.
And now she’s going to find her clothes somewhere in the living room, grapple home, take a shower, feed Tarantula, then go on the day’s mission. Plenty of time to swing by her favourite bakery on the way, even.
With her day scheduled, she throws the blanket off herself and heads into the living room. It looks exactly as they left it last night. The only difference is the missing chronal accelerator, and her clothes folded neatly on top of Tracer’s small dining table. And next to the pile of clothes is the Interior Design For Your Beat-Up Old Cessna 172 and a handwritten note.
It says: You seemed interested so you can borrow the book. Don’t have fancy coffee but there’s instant. I also got you a cake. It’s in the fridge.
Complete with a smiley face at the end.
A considerate gesture. A kind gesture.
Not wanting to know why, Widowmaker slips the note into the pocket of her jeans and pads toward the kitchen. She’ll eat the cake and drink the abomination of a coffee and stare out of the balcony and not think of what this reminds her of.