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ripe and ruin

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His dreams are memories—or fragments of; gunshots ringing in the godforsaken alleyways of LA, the smell of cheap detergent at the laundromats and the sound of coins being inserted in the machines, the way the mattress dipped in the bunk above his when his fellow recruit shifted in a restless sleep.

Mostly, he dreams of his time at Overwatch.

Of the inside of his office where he spent most of his time behind the two computer screens on his desk, analyzing data and satellite images and maps and intelligence reports, he remembers the mornings the best.

Steam drifting from his styrofoam cup of black coffee on the tabletop, the sunlight streaming inside from in between the slanted shutters, and the soft whirl of his computer fan are details so remarkably vivid, he might as well have been inside his office again.  

There are other things too: the stampede of Bastion units across the battlefield, ceaseless gunfire, the propeller of a Crusader’s power armor as he storms forwards, and the air a palimpsest of smells: smoldering metal, and wires, and bodies, one chasing out the other.

Arguments with Morrison seamlessly blend into their last fight at Swiss HQ.

He doesn’t remember the fluorescent tubes glaring their light down on them as harshly as this. Morrison’s uniform has blood on the collar, like his knuckles do, but the stains stand out too boldly, brazen.

And then, the smoke alarm ringing throughout the corridor as the bombs he had his squad plant in sector F go off. Evacuation protocol 4 being initiated. Athena’s robotic voice ringing through the speakers.

Jack stares at him in shock, his bottom lip split and red and raw; his brows furrow together and his eyes narrow as he realizes what the extent of the betrayal is. His mouth moves, but he can’t recall what exactly it was what Morrison yelled at him. Traitor, perhaps, or just his name, it doesn’t matter what it was, because he can remember quite clearly the anger in his eyes, of his expression.

Colons of smoke roll down the hallway as the bombs in sector C reduce the laboratories to rubble and shake this side of the building. He uses the opportunity to push forwards and shove Morrison against the wall, but has to take a punch to the gut and ends up grunting in pain.

They’re grappling like street rats, relying solely on the adrenalin burning in their veins. His nose still stings from Morrison’s elbow, busted, the blood crusted dry in the hairs of his ring beard and on his lips. 

It’s getting harder to breathe, to see, but at one point he managed to pin Morrison down with his forearm pressed to his throat. Chunks of debris get blown past them when the bombs in the sector they’re in go off; white dust covers the floor while the smoke becomes so thick it clogs up against the ceiling and smothers the light of the fluorescent tubes. His jaw is sore from a mean left hook, his teeth grit as he puts more weight into his chokehold. Jack’s eyes are watery, gleaming in the dark. 

            I trusted you—He mouths this at him, like a curse, his eyes a set of embers smoldering in the sockets.

Here, the bomb in the room right of them would detonate and the blast would knock down the wall over Gabriel’s back, burying him in plaster and concrete while his body would shield Morrison from most of the rubble. He always ends up burning from the explosion.

But this time it doesn’t, this time he doesn’t wake up on a cot in some abandoned apartment complex or a bunk in Talon’s HQ or wherever he decided to lie down to rest and didn’t miss the small window of time where he actually could. He’s experienced that a lot as Reaper; missing that elusive moment where he’s so tired he could actually fall asleep, before his brain kick-started back to thinking ceaselessly, planning and plotting and considering.

The fabric of the sleeve of his Blackwatch uniform becomes an elbow guard, attached on one end to a spiked gauntlet and on the other to black straps wrapped around his elbow. He watches how the tiles and the dust and the pieces of wall change into sand, how the smoke makes way for the afternoon sunlight, saturating the landscape in a golden glow, like a sepia filter.

Widowmaker’s looking up at him and he pushes down harder, makes her gasp for air, feels her struggle underneath him. Her gut is bleeding out, he knows, because he recognizes this place: the desert route their latest target was taking from the Algarve to Lisbon, with the large billboard advertising Coca Cola, its paper peeling and its colors faded to a dirty pink.

Accusations remain unvoiced in his mind, the outlines of his plan were so simple: he would block the car and take care of any bodyguards while she sniped the target from the rafters behind the billboard. But he underestimated the amount of mercenaries that were hired, driving on motorcycles in gaudy colors ahead and aside and behind the car.

He could’ve handled them, he told her afterwards, she wasn’t supposed to deviate and get off her vantage point.

She wasn’t supposed to get shot in order to.. to what? Protect him? The notion alone is enough to make him scoff in derisionThere was only one priority and that was killing the target. He’s said those words so many time, they might as well become his last ones.

They weren’t, and he doesn’t want to remember what words were.

Her smirk had infuriated him, just like her hand hard-pressed to her abdomen, the blood slowly tainting the pink of her bodysuit dark, spreading, always spreading.

Mission accomplished, she had told him, as if it was a joke by then, as if it warranted her pressing her mouth, her damned mouth, so close to his mask.

And now he’s above her, bearing the brunt of the sunlight on his broad back, on his black coat, on the silver markings of a spine. With his forearm pressed to her throat. In this position, it would be laughably easy to crush her windpipe.

Reaper finds himself so angry at her that he wants to. His anger always had this potent promise of destruction, especially towards that what was his, at one point or another.

Overwatch, Blackwatch, and now her.

Her eyes are wide in his shadow, reflecting his mask like the skull it’s supposed to represent. She should’ve stayed put, he thinks to himself, should’ve kept herself from harm. Maybe she should’ve stayed away from him all together, because he never intended to become…

If he acknowledges this attachment to her, it becomes something tangible, something that takes root in his chest and suffocates him from the inside out. This thought makes Reaper put all his weight onto his forearm.

Widowmaker struggles violently underneath him, but he’s got her wrists pinned stuck beneath his kneecaps. She can’t buck up her hips and try to wrap her legs around his torso or neck, because of the shot wound in her gut. Her body is restrained, immobilized due to its own mortality, fragility, and yet more desirable despite it all.

The cartilage structure around her trachea crunches, cracks completely then and the scream dies stillborn in the cavern of her open mouth, but he’s pushed the pliancy of her throat past its breaking point with the flat of his forearm. Fractures her larynx, continues to exert too much pressure and waits for her to choke on the blood, on the lack of air.

The corners of her mouth are slick with a reddish spit.

For a brief moment, he succumbs to an emptiness that numbs him from tip to toe. Her lifeless body, her battered throat, her dull eyes, it doesn’t evoke any reaction from him. Reaper stands up and comes to pause next to her, looking away from her towards the horizon. The sun hangs high in the afternoon sky. In the shadow of his silhouette, her blood comes across as black.

He always ends up burning from the explosion.

His chest’s too tight, as if clumps of coal remain smoldering inside his lungs. He opens his mouth and smoke comes out, stuck between the inside of the faceplate and his own face. Remorse, loss, regret, they coil hotly in his stomach.

This is what he was afraid of; the anguish of responsibility over her death, and more deeply, that he can’t be on his own anymore, that he can’t be on his own anymore now that he has her.

Reaper blinks slowly and the interior of the motel room appears, disappears, flickers like a mirage in the desert: the opposing wall with its floral wallpaper, the lamp on the night table and his mask next to it, flat and facing the ceiling, his coat draped over the backrest of the chair, the open doorway to the dark bathroom.

He reaches blindly for his shotguns under the bed with one hand, wants to have his fingertips bump against the stock or the barrel of one of them, to be reassured by the knowledge of having them close-by.

There’s a blue mosquito light plugged into the socket near the bathroom and its glow seems to drag on towards his side of the bed, highlights the several blood stains on the floorboards that the cleaning lady couldn’t get out.

His hand and wrist are caught in the light, the pale scar tissue there discolored, blessed silver.

Eventually, he rolls over on his left side and traps some of Widowmaker’s long tresses underneath his elbow. She groans lowly, shifts until her knees are pulled up under her torso and takes part of the sheets along her, exposing his right side. 

“Get off.” It’s a whisper, in a hoarse, gravel and wine voice; the soles of her feet flat against his shins, pushing.

But he doesn’t budge, only presses the sharp joint of his elbow down onto her hair and makes the mattress dip—until she feels it in the roots of her hair, hisses and turns onto her back, cranes her neck to peer at him with half-hooded angry eyes.

In the scarce lighting, her teeth are too white, contrasted nicely by the darker blue of her lips.

“What’s gotten into you?” Her question pushes out the heavy silence in the motel room.

There’s a low buzz then; a mosquito getting zapped by the blue light.

He grumbles, “nothing—” and rakes his left arm underneath her back, underneath the fabric of the sleeping shirt she’s wearing, drags her closer against his chest while the palm of his hand comes to rest on the dressing over her abdomen.

“So careless,” Reaper says as he exerts some light pressure on the wound; and he imagines the raw meat of her abdomen, bloody and messy, riddled through with the thin steel wire he dipped in cheap vodka and used to stitch her back up.

He continues gruffly, “and for what?”

Her breathing hitches when his palm comes down on her lower belly and stays there, warm and heavy, painful. A gasp slips past her lips and resounds too loudly inside the cheap motel room. The corners of his scarred, fucked up mouth twitch upwards at the noise.

“You,” Widowmaker replies matter-of-fact, but there’s a throaty quality to her voice, accentuated by a shaky exhale, the slow rise and fall of her chest.

It’s a tease, the way he digs the heel of his palm into her abdomen, into the tenderized skin under the white dressing. She winces and slaps her hand against his right shoulder, trying to force him back, yet he doesn’t budge. But there’s a glint in her eyes, a spark.

“I ordered you to stay put,” he chastises, bringing his face closer to hers, “I had it covered.” This comes out in a growl, a rumble from deep within his chest.

His hand moves up towards her midriff, between her breasts, up her clavicle to the base of her throat; the hemline of her shirt is bunched up around her stomach, leaving her abdomen and the cotton panties they got at a convenience store bare. They’re white, five a pack, poor quality.

Reaper’s dipped his hands in a pair of those before, and the elastic band tears easily.

“Sixteen mercenaries isn’t what I would call covered,” she rebukes, her accent making her sound even more smug to his ears, but she then tilts her head to the side to give his open palm more access.

His wrist slides down again, over her naked breast, dragging his fingertips over her collarbone slowly, but his fingernails are clipped short and don’t hurt like the sharp claws of his gauntlet would. Her hips buck up shallowly, almost timidly. She’s learned that her desire for him can be a double-edged blade.

There’s an edge to his tone of voice when he answers, “I’m already dead.”

Widowmaker croons when his fingertips brush over her nipple, and murmurs with a curt, staccato laugh, “but you don’t feel that way, mon chèr.”

It’s not to his habit to kiss her; most of the time he burrows the sharp of his canines into her neck, or the junction of it with her shoulder, sometimes he nips at the handles of her hips or leaves marks all over her smooth tummy, on her breasts, on her thighs.

But kisses are different, they mark a turning point, smoothen the serrated edge of his rough mouth with the unfamiliar intimacy of her lips against his. His thumb and forefinger catch and pinch her nipple. She moves her head even closer to his, until their foreheads touch and she looks as if she might confess something to him, something he can’t stand to hear.

There’s nothing remotely gentle about how he presses his mouth to hers, open and hot and hungry; he moves so he’s half on top of her, steadying himself with his right hand on her hip, pushing one leg between hers. His tongue swipes over the seal of her lips, pokes in between and slides over the back of her teeth.

Reaper feels her hands on his flanks, pulling at the tank top he slept in to touch his scarred, lacerated skin. She’s always cold, but when he’s worked up like this, when he wants to fuck her like this, it’s soothing.  

Her moans and gasps when he kneads her breast and plucks at the elastic band of her panties to make it snap back against her hip, they’re hushed by the kiss, reduced to shaky exhales and little mewling noises. His beard is bristly against her chin, but she doesn’t seem put off, just like she isn’t put off with it when he eats her out.

“I wanna fuck you from behind,” he says gruffly, after he breaks the kiss and feels his lips slick with spit, both hers and his own.

When he grinds his knee against her cunt, Widowmaker moans helplessly, rocks against him for more friction, more contact. If there was more light, he’d be sure to see a wet patch on those panties. He’s half-erect in his boxer shorts.

He resettles himself above her, removes his arm from underneath her back and sits between her spread legs. It’s difficult to distinguish her features in the darkness, especially now his broad back blocks the little light of the street lantern outside of the motel that falls into the room through the vertical slots of the blinds. Her hair’s glossy, spread out over both of their pillows, and her eyes glimmer wetly as she stares up at him.

“I can’t lie down on my stomach,” she tells him when he grabs her and pulls her closer so her crotch is flush against his. Her knees are cool against his sides, his tank top bundled up around his midriff.

Widowmaker winces when he rocks his hips to hers hard; the movement a strain on her abdomen. She knows he doesn’t care about her discomfort. It’s only stress relief, a chance to work the bugs out of his system. Her body reacts to his, affection starved even if she’s programmed not to feel affection.

And she doesn’t, but her heart always beats a bit faster then it’s supposed to when he as much as touches her in a way that doesn’t bring pain. It’s enigmatic, like a punctuation mark in a line of code.

The hitch in his movement comes as a slight surprise to her. Reaper leans over her so their faces are close again, brings one hand to the hinge of her jaw, sweeps his thumb over the skin there; the whisper of his breath a promise against her mouth.

“On your knees so your ass is up, then. Face down.”

She cradles the crown of her head with her hands when he rubs his cock up and down her cunt, at a pace that gives too much friction, makes her soak through those thin cotton panties. Her hips buck back up against him, try to match the cadence of his and she could come from this alone if he would put his hands all over her body: her breasts, her thighs, her hips, wherever.

Reaper presses his wet mouth down to the column of her throat, not biting and sucking like he usually does when they’re about to fuck, but kissing, tasting her cool, smooth skin with his lips and the tip of his tongue.

His cock is hard, too hot in the confines of his boxers, but instead of getting on with it, flipping her over and peeling her panties off her ass, he keeps grinding down against her for a bit longer. Her stilted gasps overshadow the restless, sultry silence in the room.

And when he finally dips one hand underneath the elastic band to finger her clit with the pad of his thumb, Widowmaker’s reduced to a panting, trashing mess. Her pussy’s so wet, there’s a squelching sound when dips his fingers down even lower to tease her.

“Gonna do you good now, com’on move,” Reaper orders, voice roughened up, but his tone soft, less barbed than usual.

Widowmaker regards him for a moment, sunken into the pillow, still coming down from the high of his hand, his cock rubbing against her. She doesn’t understand why she wants his mouth on hers again, but she’s sweltering from the desire poised upwards under her skin. Sweat gleams along her hairline, in the hollow of her collarbones.

She pushes herself up on her elbows and grimaces at the dull echo of pain that spreads throughout her body. Reaper helps her pull the sleeping shirt over her head and tosses it over the edge of the bed, allows it to discolor under the blue glow of the mosquito light. Her fingers skim his ribcage playfully when she helps him get out of the tank top.

The sheets end up on the floor, discarded.

They’re motionless; she’s sitting upright now, with her long legs still curved over his hips. Her chest is heaving, the scarce light gliding over her perky tits down her ribs and back up again. He doesn’t kiss her, but he honest to God wants to and that’s enough reason for him not to do it.

When she’s positioned on her knees in front of him, with her wrists crossed under her cheek, her profile outlined against the white mattress, legs slightly spread, and her hair all over the pillow and her shoulders, Reaper pushes down his boxer shorts to his knees. Her spine is arched and he slides his palm along the curve up to her ass, teases the pad of his thumb over the cleft. And he makes a show of pulling down her panties and letting them slide down her thighs, get stuck in the sweaty insides of her knees.

Widowmaker makes a low whining sound when he rubs down the crack of her ass then, pushes down on her asshole to stretch the dry ring of muscles briefly, further down to her cunt again, to slick his thumb, and back up, but slowly.

“You don’t,” she pauses, swallows reflexively when he pushes his thumb back in, “usually draw it out like this, mon…”

Can’t finish the endearment when his mouth presses down on her right ass cheek, teeth bracketing skin between. He hollows his cheeks and sucks hard, leaves his mark there. Her hands clench into fists when she pushes back against him. There’s a break in routine; every time Reaper does things like this, it’s to prep her for his cock.

This is just to tease her, to make her feel good, all hot and tight in her belly, tighten the springs until she’s ready to pop.

“Maybe I like you better this way,” he drawls, but there’s an inflection to his voice that suggests he’s worked up too, working himself up over her, and he continues, “all bothered because of me.

And then he’s got his thumb to the knuckle inside her ass and two fingers in her wet pussy, pushing the two in deeper when he pulls his thumb out, establishes a rhythm to fuck her open.

She entertains the thought that this is how he gets her to beg for him and ducks her face against her wrists, defiant with her silence, close-lipped.

His mouth—his demanding, scarred and botched mouth—kisses the cleft of her ass and she’s shuddering when his tongue flicks out and licks a hot swipe down her ass crack. The bristle of his beard’s prickly against her hypersensitive skin. He switches out his thumb for his tongue and her insides are short-circuiting, a spasm running along her thighs.

S’il teshe presses her hips against his face, wants his tongue deeper, wants his fingers deeper, until her cunt’s gushing over them and the muscles in her legs give out on her.

Reaper curves one hand over her left flank to steady her; obscene, squelching sounds fill the motel room as he eats her ass out, reveling in all the needy noises that escape her. His cockhead is leaking precum, but a part of him wants to make her come first, then fuck her oversensitive cunt into the next orgasm.

Everything comes crashing down around her when he makes this sloppy, slurping sound and flicks the tip of his tongue against her asshole after he pulls out; her breathing’s haggard, her toes curling and her shoulders shaking.

But Widowmaker hasn’t even wrestled through the high of her orgasm when she feels his fingers slip out of her cunt. He teases the lips of her pussy with his cockhead, smears the precum open over them.

He pushes in then, slowly, makes her take him inch by inch, pulls back out in the same agonizing pace. Her knees dig into the mattress, and the balls of her feet smack up against his upper legs. She moves her head, uncrosses her wrists and slams her left fist onto the pillow when he starts to fuck her in earnest.

His fingers skim over her waist, trail over her flanks and then down again, dip into the meat of her hips when he thrusts in hard, sharp, deep, push her against him, deeper. Her abdomen’s protesting from the movement.

This is nothing like the first time they fucked, she thinks to herself as she tries to swallow down her moans, when he didn’t give a shit if she came or not, just used her body to masturbate. And she, well, she just wanted to feel something.

Afterwards, when they were assigned more missions together, broke away from Talon, the changes in his behavior were gradual but noticeable. Reaper started to make sure she was wet, warm, willing.

Widowmaker exhales shakily when she feels him press a kiss down her spine, curved over her.

“Good girl,” he whispers as he picks the pace up again and fucks her fast, allows the smacking of flesh on flesh to chase out the compliment he just gave her.

Another orgasm wrecks her and her arm falls flatly against the headboard. Everything blanks out to white in front of her eyes. Drool coats her bottom lip, the corner of her mouth, the mattress.

Reaper grabs onto a few tresses of her long hair and pulls her head backwards until her neck’s curved into a painful angle. He snaps his hips forwards, pulls out slowly, snaps his hips forwards again. He won’t last much longer, but fuck, isn’t she beautiful like this, just for him?

He rides out his orgasm in a few more thrusts, spilling his spunk inside of her, and watches how some comes dribbling out after he’s pulled out entirely. Her cunt gleaming wetly in the light streaming in through the window.

“I think… I pulled my stitches,” she says in a fucked-out voice, hoarse and exhausted, but also pleased, sated.

There’s far more emotion in her voice now.

Reaper brings one hand to her abdomen, to check if the dressing wasn’t bled through. It’s slick and he’s sure that if he holds his fingertips to the light, he’d see blood on them.

“Roll over, there’s still some vodka left, gonna sterilize the wire and try to stitch you back up again,” he orders as he starts to move, pulls his boxer shorts back up to his hips. “Shit. Why didn’t you say something?”

There’s a tired chuckle in response, her weight moving around on the bed, the sound of her getting comfortable. Her panties are stretched around her knees. He puts his palm on her thigh subconsciously.

“I suppose I didn’t want to, mon chèr,” Widowmaker finally says when he caresses the meat of her thigh with his thumb, continues, “I was rather enjoying myself.”

“So careless,” Reaper scolds, but there’s no bite, “and for what?”

They both know the answer to that question.