You hadn’t thought twice about what you were actually doing. It hadn’t occurred to you to think about it because there had been no time to do so. You were on a mission alongside a handful of other agents, your objective having originally been to procure some sensitive Overwatch data, which included information and possible locations of former agents. Unfortunately, Talon seemed to have had the same idea – though you wagered they wanted that data for a far different reason.
This was how you came to be crouching behind a small car, bullets flying over your head. You peeked around your cover and fired at the black-clad Talon soldiers. It wasn’t easy to see due to the low light and the slight fog that hung in the air but you were pretty sure you saw one of them go down, so at least one of your bullets went in the right direction. You’d just been about to fire again when there was a click as your magazine emptied and you swore under your breath, diving back down into the safety of cover.
“How is it going down there?” Genji’s voice buzzed through your comms, and you had to shout over the sound of gunfire.
“Peachy!” You replied bluntly, and heard a low chuckle in response. It had been a serious question of course, but Genji (and everyone else, actually) knew you were more than capable of handling yourself. “I’m out of ammo, though. 76, there’s only a few left. Would you mind?” you finished, looking over at the soldier who was taking cover behind an old van on the opposite side of the street.
“My pleasure.” You heard him growl, and then he dived out into the open and in quick succession launched his helix rockets towards the unsuspecting mercenaries.
“Nice shot.” You said, the sudden absence of gunfire allowing you to speak to him without using your earpiece. You stood from where you’d been crouching for cover and sighed in relief that the fight was finally over.
“Don’t let your guard down, there might be more of them.” 76 warned as you crossed the street, approaching him. He reached into a pocket somewhere and then tossed you a fresh magazine, which you only just managed to catch. You didn’t have time to thank him before he spoke again. “Now can we actually get what we came for?” he rumbled impatiently. You rolled your eyes.
“Alright, Grandpa.” You heard Tracer giggle at your comment through your comms, and if 76 didn’t have his visor on you knew he’d be giving you the look.
“Get a move on people, its all clear up here.”
“わかります。!” Genji said in acknowledgement.
You walked ahead of 76 a few feet, glancing around a corner and just double checking no more Talon agents were hiding anywhere.
“Don’t push too far. Wait for the others.” 76 warned. You glanced back at him and then stopped, knowing all too well the consequences of disobeying him.
(Shouting. Followed by disapproving grumbling for the next few days.)
“Dammit this thing is jammed again.” You watched 76 examining his pulse rifle and then something on a distant rooftop caught your eye. A…glint? Something reflective. Your eyes widened suddenly and you dropped your weapon to the floor as you sprinted towards the man in front of you.
“Jack, get down!”
He barely had time to look up before you had tackled him, an ear-splitting crack slicing through the air as you did so. The bullet intended for 76 tore through your shoulder, and as you hit the ground your ears were ringing so loudly all you were able to hear was yourself crying out in white hot agony.
76 was disorientated for a moment, his head having collided harshly with the ground, but was quickly shaken back to his senses at your howl of pain. He pushed himself upright and looked down to see you sprawled on top of him.
“Y/N!” he turned you over, his glove wet with your blood when he pulled it away. He cursed under his breath and looked up at the rooftops. The sniper had fled, but just to be safe he pulled you behind the cover of a car, your head now cradled in one of his arms. You groaned loudly at the movement which had only caused you further pain. 76 pressed one finger to his ear to activate his comms.
“I need aid immediately! Does anyone copy?” he called through the radio. There was a buzz and Tracer’s voice came whirring through his earpiece.
“I copy! Sit tight, loves.”
76 pulled a biotic field from his belt and slammed it on the ground beside you. The both of you knew it wasn’t going to help an injury that was so severe, but its warmth was comforting. He inspected the fresh wound in your shoulder, and beneath his mask he grimaced. It wasn’t good, the bleeding hadn’t slowed at all and he had nothing to plug it with. Having no other options, he firmly pressed the palm of his hand against it. Your eyes flew open at the pain that tore through you and you screamed.
“Sorry-“ 76 sounded entirely out of character as he apologised quickly. You felt yourself at the risk of fainting from the pain, and your eyes faltered.
“Hey! Stay with me, kid.” He growled lowly, giving you a mild jolt.
“Can’t…” you struggled even to speak a single word, so staying awake was beginning to seem like an impossible task.
“Yes you can, come on.” He encouraged, voice softening a little. “Focus on me.”
Your eyes flickered up to his face, settling on the vibrant red of his visor.
“A mask….isn’t much to focus on…” you smiled weakly. Jack withdrew his now bloodied hand from your shoulder and reached up to unlock the front part of his mask. You heard the gentle click, followed by a hiss, and then he lifted it off his face, setting it down on the ground beside him.
“Better?” he asked, and now you were able to see the crease in his brow, how the blue of his eyes flicked across your face, and the long scars that adorned his features.
“Much.” You replied, voice wavering. After that everything sort of became a weird blur. You felt warm fingertips at your cheek (when had he taken off his glove…?).
“Jack-“ you said with difficulty. At some point you must have passed out, either from the exhaustion or more likely the blood loss – perhaps both.
“You’re gonna’ be fine, kid.” His voice was the last thing you heard before losing consciousness.
It was hours later that you woke to find yourself lying in a bed. Your eyes felt heavy and dear god what was that horrible throbbing in your shoulder? Your head hurt too. After a minute or so of blinking and trying your very hardest not to just fall back asleep you came to your senses a little more and were able to work out that you were in the medical wing back at base. But…how did you get here? You’d been on a mission to –
You suddenly remembered where that continuous throbbing was coming from.
Your thoughts were interrupted when the door opened and Mercy entered the room, a data pad in her hands. She looked up.
“Oh, you’re awake.” She seemed surprised but offered you a warm smile nonetheless.
“Dr Ziegler.” You spoke in barely more than a rasp and swallowed a few times in an attempt to rid yourself of the dry feeling in your throat. She walked over to you and tapped on the pad in her hands - checking your vitals you supposed.
“How are you feeling?” she asked gently.
“Uh…tired.” You answered simply. Angela smiled at your response. “My shoulder hurts, too.” You felt like a little kid who had just fallen over and scraped their knee but, well, she did ask.
“I would expect it does. I can give you more painkillers, if you’re uncomfortable.”
“Please.” The pain was starting to get harder to ignore. “Thanks, Angela.”
The scientist set the data pad down on the bedside table.
“You saved Jack’s life out there.” She commented whilst administering the drugs. You hadn’t really thought about it all that much, probably because at the time you were too busy bleeding out. “It was brave of you, to do what you did. If a little foolish.” She added quietly.
“I know; I risked my own life. I didn’t think about it at the time, I just…” you trailed off, staring up at the white ceiling. A gentle hand on your arm brought your attention back to the Doctor at your side.
“I think any of us would have done the same.” She gave you a smile, reaching to brush a stray lock of hair from your forehead.
“Now rest up. Call if you need me, OK?”
And then you were left alone to your own thoughts again. Angela always had a way with people, left you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, even when situations were dire.
“What the hell happened back there? You were meant to be keeping the rooftops clear!” Jack’s voice was raised, only a fraction away from actually shouting as he strode down one of the bases corridors.
“Somehow the sniper evaded me, I was sure I had checked everywhere. I am deeply sorry.” Genji was following behind the ex-commander, sounded terribly guilt-ridden as he spoke.
“Sorry isn’t good enough!” Jack growled, spinning around and stopping inches away from Genji, who nearly walked straight into the man. “Someone could have been killed because of you. Y/N nearly was!”
“Don’t call me that!” 76 shot back quickly, glaring at the cyborg. Genji bowed his head and silently retreated outside. Jack watched him leave and then sighed. He rubbed his eyes, looking – and feeling – exhausted. He straightened up, huffing out a breath before heading towards medical.
You tried at one point to sit up, but the painkillers obviously hadn’t entirely kicked in yet and you winced, dropping your head back down against the pillows in defeat. Suddenly your thoughts went back to Jack. You wondered what he’d say to you, and were preparing for a scolding for risking your life so impulsively.
Just as you were wondering this the door opened, and you turned your head towards the noise. 76’s heavy boot made a low thud as he stepped inside.
“Hey.” He said, seeming mildly – but still pleasantly – surprised to find you were awake. “Thought you might still be out.”
He seated himself in the chair beside the bed, pulling it a little closer. He still had all his gear on, leather jacket and all, minus his gloves and visor.
“How’re you feeling?”
“Like I’ve been sleeping for too long.” You said with a sigh. “Feels like I’m jetlagged or something.”
“Well, Angela might be a little pushy sometimes but she knows what she’s talking about. You need to rest.” he said.
“What about the mission? Did you get the data?” You inquired, suddenly concerned about what might’ve happened. Jack nodded.
“Don’t worry, we got it. Well, Lena got it, actually. I was busy taking care of you, since you decided to jump in front of a bullet for me.”
You thought you might’ve avoided a scolding, but maybe not. You braced yourself for it, but when you risked meeting his gaze you found that he was smiling at you. You opened your mouth to speak, confused as to what was happening, and it took you a moment to figure out what words to use.
“You…you’re not mad? Honestly I was expecting –“ you began, but he interrupted.
“Expecting me to yell at you?” he chuckled, bowing his head briefly. “No, I’m not gonna’ yell at you, kid.” He just looked at you with that stupid smile still on his face and you were absolutely sure a light blush crawled over your cheeks.
“I was going to.” He admitted. “But that was before Dr Ziegler quietly reminded me that you saved my life.”
You opened your mouth to say something but stopped when you felt his hand cover yours.
“Thank you.” He said, blue eyes locking onto yours.
You laughed softly, partly in relief, and closed your hand around his bigger one.
“We’ll call it even if you get a good nights sleep.” You said, giving his hand a gentle squeeze. “Deal?”
Jack stayed with you, thumb stroking idly over your knuckles, until you fell back asleep. Which, granted, didn’t exactly take you long. Jack couldn’t hold back a yawn and he stood to leave, but not before he leant down and pressed a chaste kiss to your forehead.
It was almost a week later when Angela had finally deemed you fit to be out of bed for more than 5 minutes. In fact, it hadn’t been more than 5 minutes before Genji had found you and started blabbering incessant apologies, saying how he took the blame entirely for what had happened. You had shushed him with a smile and pulled him into a hug. Despite his robotic parts, he radiated a strange sort of warmth. He’d let slip the small argument that he’d had with 76 the same day it had happened. So of course you made Jack apologise.
Which he did (reluctantly).