Hanzo winced as he dragged the comb through a particular dense knot in his hair, gritting his teeth as he yanked with stubborn persistence. The knots had formed while he had washed his hair; he had made the mistake of pulling it from its tie and stepping into the shower immediately without brushing through it beforehand. Now, he paid the price for his exhaustion and impatience, neither of which were dissipating any time soon. It also didn’t help that he had an audience.
‘You are staring at me,’ he said, without turning around.
‘My apologies, Hanzo,’ Zenyatta replied from the furthest bed, though Hanzo felt his gaze remain on his back.
‘Would you like me to help?’
Hanzo stopped, looking over his shoulder at Zenyatta, trying to determine if he was being mocked in some obscure way. Of course, it was impossible to tell simply by looking at Zenyatta’s face; the cool metal bore no expression beyond the constructed neutral one Omnics shared.
‘I am quite capable of combing my own hair,’ he said. Perhaps he should not be so curt; they were sharing a room for the next few days at the very least, it would not do well for them to be at odds with each other.
Instead of responding in kind to Hanzo’s rudeness, he felt the warm aura that haloed Zenyatta at his back, and slim, cool fingers slipped the comb from his hand. Zenyatta’s free hand pressed against his lower back, guiding him towards the bed. Hanzo sighed, and moved with it, exhaustion heavy on his shoulders. Folding his legs up under him, he settled comfortably as best as he could while Zenyatta sat behind him, letting his weight sink into the mattress.
Hanzo tensed, throwing a distrustful glance over his shoulder at Zenyatta.
‘You can trust me, Hanzo,’ Zenyatta assured him gently. ‘It is not my intention to harm you.’
Hanzo nodded after a moment, turning away from Zenyatta.
Zenyatta carefully parted his hair into smaller sections, and picked apart the tangles of knots that did not want to lay in their respective sections with patience and a quick, easy dexterity. His fingers carded through Hanzo’s hair before he set the comb in it, and then those same cool, steady fingers followed in the wake of the comb’s path as it slid through his hair, the damp salt and pepper strands falling through Zenyatta’s fingers. He carefully coaxed out knots and skimmed his fingertips over his scalp; Hanzo blinked sleepily as his scalp tingled from the gentle touch, the soft scrape of the comb teeth through his hair, spreading down his neck and creeping lower through his spine. Initially unwilling to have someone touch his hair, he now relaxed under Zenyatta’s gentle ministrations. He breathed out a sigh, not so quiet that it escaped Zenyatta.
‘Are you comfortable, Hanzo?’ Zenyatta asked. ‘I do not wish to hurt you.’
‘No, you are not hurting me,’ he replied, then, after a moment: ‘Thank you.’
‘You are welcome.’ Zenyatta’s voice never lost the soothing, modulated tone that echoed with a metallic twang in his throat. ‘I would prefer assisting you than watch you tear your hair the way you were brushing it.’
Hanzo smiled as Zenyatta slipped the finished section of hair over Hanzo’s shoulder, his fingers grazing the bare skin with the lightest of touches. Had he been someone else, Hanzo likely would not have noticed, or would have passed it off as a trick of his imagination.
He wasn’t, and he didn’t.
Twisting around, he studied Zenyatta’s face as Zenyatta continued to comb his hair despite the awkward angle, teasing out knots and gliding his fingers through the damp strands, checking none had been left behind. Hanzo got the sensation that he was smiling, despite the unchanging smooth curves and planes of his face.
Well, not entirely smooth. From a distance, it was impossible to distinguish the dents and scrapes on Zenyatta’s face, the imperfections littered across his body: there was one in particular down the right side of his face, slashing across the eye, that would have been particularly damaging had Zenyatta been flesh and bone. Several smaller ones speckled along the join between his face and jaw plate, while another long, thin scratch ran parallel over the top line of the lights adorning his forehead.
‘You are staring at me,’ Zenyatta teased. Hanzo felt heat rise from his neck to his hairline, and he quickly twisted back round, away from Zenyatta.
‘I apologise. I did not mean to,’ he said quickly, staring at the quilt.
‘It’s alright, Hanzo,’ he replied quietly. ‘I do not mind.’
He continued to brush through Hanzo’s hair with steady, gentle efficiency. Eventually, when Hanzo’s hair hung in a smooth, glistening dark waterfall down his back, Zenyatta set the comb aside and threaded his fingers through his hair meticulously, checking once more for knots and tangles.
‘There,’ he said, finally, with an air of success. ‘That should not cause you any problems tonight.’
Hanzo nodded, barely listening. Only half aware of what he was doing, he reclined against Zenyatta’s plated metal chest, tipping his head back in a silent request for Zenyatta not to stop. A questioning pause followed, but after a moment of consideration, Zenyatta continued to slide his fingers through Hanzo’s hair appreciatively. Hanzo shifted comfortably, stretching his legs out in front of him as his chin dipped down to his chest. His eyelids drooped, enjoying the sensation of strong fingers dragging long, steady lines across his scalp, and he relaxed into a half-doze he would never usually allow himself, the warm, lulling light Zenyatta emitted in that halo of his never faltering.