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Dragon's Downfall (A Highschool AU)

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Jesse awoke in a cold sweat, hands shaking as he reached out to the small nightstand for his phone. He hit the lock button with his thumb, and the display lit up, informing him that it was only three in the morning. “Fuck…” he muttered under his breath, swinging his legs over the side of the bed as he forced himself onto his feet. Despite the time, and the pouring rain, Jesse knew he needed a smoke to calm his nerves. Grabbing the box of cigarettes off of the top of his dresser, he made his way out of his room, pausing only when he heard Jack mutter something in his sleep. When he decided he was truly asleep, Jesse continued down the stairs, past the numerous medals hanging on the walls that his fathers had brought back from years in the military, and out the back door onto the patio, which was thankfully covered by roofing, keeping the violent downpour of September rain from soaking him. Staring out into the dark curtain of constant rain, he leaned against the house and lit up a cigarette, taking a long, much-needed drag off of it. It filled his lungs, and the nicotine worked quickly to relax his tense muscles.

Just over the fence, he could see the house of one of his classmates, Angela Ziegler. Her parents were good friends with Jack and Gabe, so he was obligated to be on friendly terms with her. She was always kind to him as she was with everyone, and they got along well for the most part. They seemed to run in different circles however, seeing as she was a “goody two-shoes” type. Upstairs, he could see the light on in her bedroom. Knowing her, she was probably studying for the chemistry test they had tomorrow. By all means, Jesse probably should have been too, but he didn’t care enough to do such a thing.

His thoughts began to drift away from the class president across the fence, and back into his dreams. This one had been about his mother, with her large brown eyes, and the way she would look at him like he had put all the stars in the sky, like he was the best thing that ever happened to her. His dream had recalled the way he’d wake up in the morning to the smell of eggs and bacon, and shuffle his way into the kitchen to hear his madre humming along to the oldies. She would turn around and ruffle his hair with her small hands, planting a kiss on his cheek. “Good morning, mijo.” she would muse before turning around to attend to the eggs. He would wait until she wasn’t looking and wipe her kiss off with the back of his hand before sitting at the table and looking out the window at the glass windchimes that the old woman next door loved so dearly.

With one last shuddering drag, Jesse snuffed the cigarette out on some sort of plant pot he was crouched next to, and threw it into an ashtray littered with Gabe’s own cigarette butts, and pulled the sliding glass door open quietly, slipping back into the house. He cut through the kitchen, and was headed for the stairs when suddenly, the dining room was flooded with light. Jesse spun around to find Gabe sitting at the table, arms crossed over his chest.

“What the hell are you doing?” he snarled, arms crossed. Jesse felt a chill run down his spine. For a moment, he had no clue what to say, until Gabe’s eyes travelled down his arm to his hand, where he was still clutching tight to the pack of cigarettes. Gabe’s eyes darted back up to Jesse’s face, his expression softening slightly. “Did you have a dream about her again?” Jesse nodded, and Gabe sighed, extending his hand expectantly. Jesse shuffled forward and slapped the cigarettes into his hand. “Listen, I know that thinking about her is hard, but this-” he held up the pack “-is not the way to deal with this. Alright?” he sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose before looking up at him again. “Go to bed, Jesse.”

Jesse turned and made a beeline for the stairs like a dog with his tail between his legs, and just as he began to climb he heard Gabe call out from behind him, “I won’t tell Jack this time.”

***

The front door closed with a click as Hanzo Shimada slung his messenger bag over his shoulder. The area here was unfamiliar to him, but his new guardian had left early that morning, and Hanzo knew he must figure it out on his own. All that he had been told was that it was within walking distance and that there were a few other high school age kids on the block. Real helpful.

He was uncertain of what to do, and after waiting a few minutes, he caught sight of a girl with blonde hair swept into a high ponytail walking beside a taller girl with bright, flame-red hair that was short and swept out of her face. The pair chattered away about some news article on genetic modification as they walked past Hanzo’s new dwelling. He observed their bags and concluded that they seemed like they knew where they were going, and Hanzo could only hope that it was towards the high school as he stepped out from the walkway in front of the house, and onto the sidewalk behind them. He stayed quite a ways away as to not eavesdrop on their conversation. He didn’t care enough to anyway, but didn’t feel like getting into an argument with anyone who assumed he did.

Today would mark the first day of Hanzo’s career at Winston Memorial High, and despite the desperate voice in the back of his head, he refused to lose his calm for a moment. All it was, was another school. He already knew how this would go. He would show up, and he would keep to himself. A few girls may try and talk to him because they were interested in him romantically, and he would brush them off like he always did. He would keep at his studies, and then in a few months, something would happen and Hanzo would be sent off to another new home to repeat this damned cycle again. He was well aware how this worked, but didn’t care any to try and stop the cycle.

He would be turning eighteen in April, and at that point, he would be free to make his own decisions, for once in his life. His father had passed quite a few years ago, and he’d left his clan when he’d left Japan. Hanzo clenched his fists in his jacket pockets as he walked, begging his mind to not go down that path. The last thing he wanted to think about was Japan. That damned place, his home, Hanamura...Genji.

Shaking his head to free his painful thoughts, he looked up and found himself standing near the front doors of Winston Memorial. The girls who had led him here had already went inside, mingling in with the crowd of teens. Hanzo pulled the door open and slipped inside, heading for the main office for a copy of his schedule.

***

“So, I’m thinking that we sneak out tonight and head to Zarya’s for that party. What do you say?” Olivia proposed, tapping her claw-like fingernails on Jesse’s desk. He looked up from where he was scribbling in his notebook to notice the grin spread wide across the latina’s face. She waggled her eyebrows at him enthusiastically, watching his face for reaction. “Oh, come on, amigo, what’s the issue?” she whined.

“Have you met my dads?” he laughed, shaking his head. “Do you really think I could even consider sneaking out without Jack being all ‘Jesse, you’re in big trouble!’ “ He mimicked Jack, wagging his finger to prove his point more.

Olivia sat back and laughed, “Think about it, McCree.” she nodded, turning only when Mrs. Amari called for everyone’s attention. She began to explain what the class would be working on, when the door opened, and all eyes turned to see what idiot walked into Ana Amari’s class late. Under normal circumstances, one would expect to see a fearful Lucio standing in the doorway, but instead Jesse McCree’s eyes landed on the most gorgeous man he’d ever seen.

Despite walking into an unknown classroom for the first time, his stance was rather certain. Strong hands gently pushed the door closed behind him, as he glanced up at the room filled with surprisingly quiet teenagers. All eyes were on this new student, with his hair pulled up into a tight updo, despite a stray lock that fluttered around his brow, and a traditional gold ribbon holding his hair up. Jesse admired his strong jawline and high cheekbones as the new student gently adjusted his bag. His dark eyes met with Jesse’s briefly, and he could swear that his heart skipped a beat as his gaze lingered for a moment before turning to Mrs. Amari.

“I apologize for interrupting,” he started in a thick Japanese accent, bowing slightly “I am a new student and I believe that I am in Ana Amari’s History, correct?”

Mrs. Amari simply glanced at him, before turning to the whiteboard. “That is Mrs. Amari, please. Take a seat and get ready for some notes. Today we’ll be discussing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy-” Jesse already began to tune her out after that, watching as the new student looked around briefly before taking an empty seat next to the bubbly Hana Song. Jesse had hoped that he would take the empty desk directly behind him.

Across the room, Hana had her earbuds in, and was playing on a handheld gaming console in her lap, not even noticing the new student next to her for a few moments until Mrs. Amari stopped mid-sentence to walk back to Hana and pluck the device out of her hands. “Hey!” Hana cried out. “I was almost to the checkpoint!” Amari paid her no mind however as she simply sauntered back to the front of the room, placing the small device on her desk.

“The checkpoint will be there after we finish talking about Kennedy.” Mrs. Amari rolled her eyes, and began to scribble some notes on the board. Jesse watched from across the room as Hana finally noticed the new student.

“Oh, are you new?” she asked in a low voice as to not catch the attention of Mrs. Amari, pulling a notebook out of her bunny-shaped backpack. “I’m Hana, but you may know me as D.Va. I’m kind of a gaming legend.” she giggled, flipping her hair over her shoulder dramatically. He gave her a quizzical look while pulling out his own notebook. Amari began talking, and Jesse couldn’t manage to eavesdrop as the man across the room whispered a response to Hana.

His gaze was fixed on the new student as the YouTube star giggled and chattered next to him. From across the room however, as if he could feel Jesse’s eyes on him, he looked up and met eyes with him. Embarrassed, McCree’s eyes darted away, and looked down at his notebook, where he began to scribble down the notes Amari had already written on the board. He could feel him still looking at him for a few moments still before the new student began writing notes as well.

After a long and boring class of dead presidents, the bell finally rung, and everyone began to pack up their belongings and shuffle towards the next class. Unintentionally, Jesse caught the tail end of a conversation between Hana and the new student as they were leaving. “I’ll show you to your next class!” Hana chirped. “But hey, I’m going to this party tonight, and I was wondering if you would tag along? I could introduce you to some of my friends, and we could hang out! It would be fun.” she asked, enthusiastically.

“I do not know if-” he started, only to be cut off by the short girl’s shrill voice.

“I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer. I’ll find you after school and we can go from there. Okay?” she laughed. So, he was going to a party with Hana? He didn’t exactly seem the party-going type, but Jesse was intrigued all the same.

“Olivia!” Jesse shouted suddenly as if struck with an idea, seeing his friend already halfway out the door. She flattened herself against the wall to let a quiet Amelie pass through before heading back to where McCree was zipping his bag shut.

“What is it? Have you reconsidered our plans for tonight?” she grinned hopefully, shaking her shoulders in a little dance. He rolled his eyes and watched the hallway, making sure Hana and her new friend were already out of earshot.

“Do you know if Hana is going to Zarya’s?” he asked hesitantly, gently biting the inside of his cheek and watching his friend’s face expectantly.

“Well, duh. Where else would she be? Hana doesn’t miss a party for the world.” she laughed. “Why are you wanting to know?” she looked at Jesse suspiciously. “Don’t tell me you’ve got the hots for little miss ‘A-Cup’ “ she let out a laugh. “If so, you’re gonna have to fight Lucio first” she gestured a thumb to the door where Lucio had just disappeared through.

“No, no! God, no.” he laughed. “She’s just uh...hilarious, when she’s...drunk.” he laughed nervously, scratching the back of his head as he stood and slung his bag over his shoulder. “I think I might try and go, then.” he decided suddenly.

“Yay!” Olivia squealed. “We’ll meet by the park?” she asked, heading for the door. Jesse gave her a hesitant nod, and she waved at him before leaving for her next class. He sighed inwardly as he left for chemistry, and hoped to whatever God there may be for him, that this new character that had so suddenly grasped his attention would show up to this party and that going wouldn’t be a big waste of Jesse’s time.

***

All Hanzo wanted was an escape. He was trying to leave, all he wanted was to go home and be alone, but no , these overly excitable women would not let him get away.

“So, anyway, I told that red-head’d jerk that she’d better get outta mah face before she ended up bein’ the next thing to croak! Get it? ‘Cause we were disectin’ frogs?” Lena laughed, gently slapping Hanzo’s shoulder. He laughed politely, sending Hana a distressed look.

“Yeah, that’s not funny at all.” Hana muttered, out of Lena’s earshot. At least Hanzo was in agreeance on that matter.  “Well, we’ve gotta get going. See ya, Lena.” Hana smiled, pulling Hanzo away by the arm.

“Oh, alright! Wait, will the both of you be goin’ to the do tonight?” Lena asked, stopping them. The do? The british slang this energetic girl continued to spit out confused Hanzo to no end. When she just got a confused look from the two, she stopped and clarified, “I mean, the party. Will you all be at the party?” she asked.

“Ohhhhhh.” Hana laughed nervously. “Yeah, of course. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” And with that, she waved her goodbyes as she dragged Hanzo away from Lena as fast as she could. “You’re welcome for getting you away from that. If you thought I was bad, hah! She never shuts up!” she giggled.

“Right, Thank you.” he responded awkwardly, bowing his head slightly. He looked around anxiously, trying to find an excuse to get himself out of this situation.

“Hey, loosen up a bit. You don’t have to be so serious.” she chided him after they made it halfway down the block. “Anyway, let's go to my house. I was thinking about doing some sort of livestream today anyway, and you can be in it.” she smiled. Hanzo considered just telling her no, straight up, but her grin was so big, he was afraid he’d crack it if he voiced his displeasure, so he let it continue on as she began to babble about her large fanbase, her subscriber count, and all of the money she somehow made off of...whatever it was she did.

Soon enough, Hanzo found himself being led into a house, up a set of stairs, and into a room with more pink than Hanzo had seen in his life, which was saying a lot, considering how Hanamura was oftentimes covered with sakura petals in the spring. A large bed was covered in a thick pink comforter and topped with several rabbit-shaped pillows and stuffies. In a corner, sat a large desk surrounded by an immeasurable amount of equipment. From cameras to microphones, a large computer monitor sat in the middle of it all, an angry white rabbit set as the background of her desktop. Before he could remark on anything, Hana threw herself into one of two bean bag chairs in the floor, and patted the other gently for Hanzo to sit in.

“So,” she prodded, looking up at him with big eyes. “How’d you like your first day?” she grinned and began to kick her legs back and forth like an excited child. Hanzo realized in this moment that he was extremely uncomfortable. Why did he agree to this? Why did he let this impish child drag him around and pull him into her bedroom? He easily brushed off most women, but this one was insistent.

“Hanzo?” she looked at him, slightly concerned as his eyes began to dart towards the door. “Okay, I see what’s happening.” She sat up straight and looked him in the eye, “You’re scared of me.” What? Hanzo Shimada, afraid of this persistent girl? “You’re an introvert. You’re scared to be my friend. You think I’m interested in you, don’t you?” she asked pointedly, folding her arms over her rather flat chest. Hanzo froze. Hana was dead-on in her accusations and she fucking knew it. Her face pulled into a wry smile as she saw his expression. “Well, here’s the truth. I don’t like you. I want to be your friend. Stop being a pussy. Okay?”

Hanzo had no clue how someone could look so innocent, smiling that sweetly, and say something so dagger sharp. He considered leaving for a moment, but after looking her in the eye, they both knew that he wasn’t going anywhere. “Okay.” he finally conceded. She gave him a wink and got up, heading to her desk, where she fiddled with a camera and pulled up Twitch.

“I told you I’m doing a livestream, right?” she called over her shoulder. He grunted in acknowledgement, and she turned around, equipment in hand. “You’re gonna be my co-star today!” she giggled.

***

There was no one else in the locker room by the time that Jesse got out of the shower. His muscles ached and his lungs burned from the practice he’d just escaped. Sometimes he wondered why he decided to play baseball, but he knew that if he didn’t, his dads would be disappointed. Jesse considered himself to be lucky, having two amazing father figures that loved and cared about him, but the aspect he didn’t consider himself to be lucky in, would be that Gabe happened to be the baseball coach.

The rest of the team managed to get out of practice early, but Jesse was made to stay after longer than the others, running five extra laps to ensure that he didn’t  ‘get smoker’s lungs’. McCree found his duffel bag inside his locker where he’d left it, and quickly redressed, glad to be in something that wasn’t soaked with sweat. Fishing around in the bag, he found his phone, and realized he had ten new notifications. All from...Lucio?

“Hurry it up, Jesse.” Gabe called from outside. Jesse pocketed his phone and went out into the hall quickly, as to not make his father even more impatient. “Alright, let’s head home.” he smiled when he saw his son. “You did pretty good out there today, especially with those extra laps.”

“Yeah, thanks for those.” Jesse groaned, rubbing his neck as he glared at Gabe. The older man just laughed and shrugged off Jesse’s comment. “Is Dad home?” he asked, trying to keep up conversation as they made it out the front doors.

“No, he’s working a late shift tonight. It’s just gonna be us tonight.” Gabe replied, unlocking the truck with a beep. Jesse frowned as he climbed into the passenger seat. After a brief silence, the radio was turned on, and Gabe was soon humming along to some oldies station. Jesse took the opportunity to check the overflowing messages from Lucio.

4:18

Lucio: dUDE

4:22

Lucio: DUDE, YOU THERE?

4:25

Lucio: omg dude, ok so Hana is livestreaming rn, and like

I’m super jealous. Guess who’s with her?

4:30

Lucio sent a photo

Jesse opened the photo attachment and felt his breath hitch in his throat. It was a rather blurry screencap from Hana’s Twitch account. She was there, with her signature pink stripes on her face, and she was gesturing wildly towards the man next to her, which happened to be none other than the new student from earlier today. Jesse quickly scrolled through the rest of the messages, scanning over them.

4:41

Lucio: Do you think he likes her or something?

Omg dude, what if he’s trying to get with her

He’s better looking than me!

4:43

She’d pick him for sure.

Dammit.

Jesse glanced at the clock, which read “5:03” and quickly responded.

5:03

McCree: Is she still livestreaming?

It took longer than he wished, but Lucio finally tapped out an answer.

5:05

Lucio: Yeah, man. Want a link?

McCree: Please.

As soon as the link came through, Jesse fumbled with his headphones, untangling the mess of wires as quickly as his fingers would allow him as he tapped the link. After an agonizing  buffer-time, Jesse watched as Hana’s face came into view, with her friend at her side.

“-and I’m totally going to get him into gaming!” Hana thrust a thumb over her shoulder in his direction, winking at the camera. Something dinged in the background, and she looked down. “Oh, it looks like another one of my real-life friends is watching. This time it’s...McCree?” she laughed and cocked her head to the side, looking into the camera. “It's been a while since you’ve watched one of my livestreams, McCree.”

“Who is this McCree?” the man asked, squinting uncertainly at the screen. Jesse felt his heart skip a beat at the sound of his name in Hanzo’s mouth, despite how much his accent butchered it.

“He’s one of my friends!” Hana laughed, and thought for a moment. “He’s in our history class.” He still looked uncertain, so she thought for a moment, before declaring, “Remember, I said that he was super into the cowboy aesthetic!” she giggled. From his end, Jesse felt his entire face go red, as he began furiously tapping.

McCree: Why are you making fun of me with people I’ve never even met! You’re so mean to me, Hana!

As his message pinged through, Jesse caught a glimpse of a smile across the man’s face. “Oh, whatever McCree! I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true!” she giggled. Jesse was about to tap out a retort when the car shut off, making Jesse look up, realizing that they were already home.

“Whatcha watchin’?” Gabe grinned, leaning over to look at his phone screen. “Oh, is that the Song kid?” he asked, opening the truck door and sliding outside. Jesse gathered up his duffel bag and slid out the other side.

“Oh, yeah. Hana.” Jesse laughed, still feeling a bit awkward after being roasted in front of her millions of fans. Slinging his bag over his shoulder, he walked inside the house.

“She seems like a good kid.” Gabe smiled, walking into the kitchen. “Anyway, I’m ordering Chinese. What do you want?”

Jesse looked back down at his phone, only to see that the livestream had ended, and he’d missed his window of opportunity in watching it. He looked back up at his father and sighed, “The usual will work for me.”

***

The livestream had been done for a while now, and Hanzo was leaving Hana’s house by her side, headed for this party. He’d seen the woman they called Zarya earlier at lunch time, surrounded by a few jocks and a girl he recognized as Mei. She was the school’s only female football player, but seemed to be the pride and joy of Winston Memorial.

Here he found himself headed to a party held by this girl he’d never met with a devil-child he’d just met this day. He’d already sent a text, letting his guardian know that he’d be out for the night, even though the man didn’t care anyway. Beside him, Hana had changed into a candy pink varsity jacket and ripped jeans and was chomping loudly on a wag of pink bubblegum. She looked up at him, and gave him a huge smile. “Lemme guess, first party?” she asked.

“Something like that…” he grumbled back, catching sight of their destination as they rounded the block. It would seem as if the party had already started, seeing as the bass could be heard from where they were.

Hana smiled and skipped ahead a few steps, turning to look at him as she walked backwards. “Maybe we’ll find you someone while we’re here!” she winked, shooting finger guns at him. “I’m sure I could hook you up with someone. I know plenty of girls, and it's not like you’re ugly, like McCree.” she let out a laugh, covering her mouth with her hand.

“That is not necessary...” Hanzo stuttered, his face beginning to grow red in the fading fall light. Self-conscious thoughts began to rise up in his mind. Did he seem that lonely? What aspect of him begged for companionship?

“Oh, are you interested in guys, then? I know a few dudes that swing that way!” she teased, a devilish smirk on her lips. At this, Hanzo began to stutter, trying to force words from his brain to his mouth. “Calm down!” she laughed at his reaction, returning to his side. “I’m only kidding. But if you ever need my help, I’m here.” she winked once again, before turning down the pathway leading to Zarya’s door. She stopped and adjusted the baby blue baseball cap on her head before politely knocking twice.

The jock threw the door open, her cheeks already slightly flushed from alcohol. “Hana! My favorite YouTuber!” she grinned, pulling the other girl into a tight hug. Hanzo watched in fear, afraid that the bodybuilder would snap Hana in half. “I’m so glad you made it!” she let go of Hana and turned to look at Hanzo. “And who exactly is this?” she asked, smiling at him.

“This is my friend Hanzo. He just moved into town. He’s cool.” Hana grinned, shooting Hanzo an exaggerated wink.

“It is nice to meet you.” Hanzo bowed slightly in tradition, and was taken aback whenever the pink-haired girl grabbed his arm roughly to shake his hand.

“Any friend of Hana’s is a friend of mine!” she laughed heartily and stepped back, letting the door open wider. “Come on in, my friends!” After the two had stepped inside, Hanzo had to take a moment to register what he’d just walked into. There were people everywhere. He faintly recognized classmates here and there, dancing, drinking, talking. Hanzo jumped when Hana grabbed his hand gently, and they met eyes briefly as he noticed Zarya was showing the two around. “If you want alcohol, help yourselves!” she shouted, gesturing towards a bar counter as they passed through the kitchen. It was covered with various bottles of liquor, vodka, beer, rum, whiskey, and anything in between.

Hanzo noticed that despite the chilly September night, the back sliding door happened to be open, and even more students gathered outside. They walked outside as people began to chant, “Junkrat! Junkrat! Junkrat!” The three looked up to find a skinny kid wearing only a pair of ripped shorts standing on the roof.

“What are you doing, Jamison?!” Zarya called up in her concerned Russian accent. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

At that, this Jamison, let out a loud cackle before shouting back down, “You an’ I both know that’s impossible!” And with that, he jumped off of the roof, doing a rather impressive backflip into a pool, splashing several bystanders in the process. The small, drunken crowd let out a collective cheer as he rose to the surface with a war cry.

Hanzo took a solid moment to wonder to himself why the hell he was here, surrounded by these people, and then looked back down at Hana, remembering how she basically forced him here. Sensing his gaze on her, she leaned over and grinned. “Loosen up, Hanz. Have some fun.” He let out a sigh, and headed back to the kitchen, grabbing the nearest bottle of vodka and pouring it into a red solo cup. With that, he attempted to head back outside to find Hana, only to bump into someone who had rounded the corner, spilling his drink all over a flannel shirt he hadn’t seen before.

“Shit, I’m sorry.” he growled, looking up, his own eyes locking with McCree’s soft brown eyes. “Oh, you’re...the cowboy aesthetic…” he muttered, before he even registered what he’d said.

***

Initially, McCree was pissed that someone had spilled alcohol all over his favorite flannel, but after locking eyes with the smaller man, his heart skipped a beat instead, finding that he’d somehow bumped into the only actual reason he’d shown up to this party. He was a lot shorter than he’d thought. “Cowboy aesthetic?” he frowned, instantly hating the name that Hana had given to him that had somehow stuck with her friend. “The name’s McCree, actually.”

“Right, I am sorry.” the other man bowed slightly, and immediately backtracked to the counter, where he found a roll of paper towels. He grabbed a few and walked back to McCree, gently dabbing them against the spot where he’d spilled his drink. He squinted in the dark, trying to make out the stain.

“Uh, you d-don’t have to do that…” Jesse muttered, his face beginning to grow pink at the other man’s attention. Instead, he found himself being dragged along by his arm to a surprisingly empty bathroom, where he shut the door and the man got a look at the stain in proper lighting. “Seriously, don’t worry about it.” he stammered, watching as he stopped and looked up at him.

“I apologize if I overstepped my boundaries.” the other man apologized, bowing as much as the small space would allow. “I was simply trying to fix my mistake.”

“No, no!” Jesse waved his hands. “You’re fine! I just…” Jesse found himself stuttering again under the handsome man’s gaze. “I would rather know your name.” he finally forced out, rather smoothly.

There was a pause as the other man blinked for a moment, before replying, “Hanzo.” Jesse didn’t say anything for a moment, letting the name float around in his brain. “Hanzo Shimada.” There was something about his name that Jesse found familiar, but he brushed the thought off, carelessly.

“It's nice to finally meet you, albeit under some pretty strange conditions.” Jesse stuck out his hand to shake, letting out a confident laugh. Hanzo looked at him for a moment before grasping McCree’s hand in his own and shaking it gently. “Now whaddya say we get out of this small-ass bathroom before some drunk girl stumbles in here and pukes all over the place?” he laughed. Hanzo looked up at him, a small smile sprawling across his face as he nodded.

They both moved for the door at the same time, and ended up stumbling together against the sink, Hanzo being thrown into McCree’s chest. As if on cue, an already drunk Lena threw the door open, glassy eyes catching sight of the two. She sobered up in a full four seconds, calling out to someone behind her. “Ey! Look who I caught in the bathroom!” she giggled, gesturing for someone to come over.

Jesse looked down and found the look on Hanzo’s face to be one of pure terror and embarrassment. Gently, he grabbed Hanzo’s shoulder and pushed him upright, pulling himself off of the vanity, his own face rather red. In the doorway however, he found Hana and Olivia giggling endlessly.

“Leave it to McCree to sneak off with the first victim he could lay his hands on!” Olivia shouted as Hana grabbed her sides, bent over laughing.

“Right, because you know I’m such a player.” Jesse snapped back with a roll of his eyes. “He was helping me clean out this stain, for your information.” he gestured at the still-wet spot on his shirt.

“Mmhm. Whole lotta cleaning goin’ on in ‘ere” Lena laughed for a moment before gagging and dashing for the toilet. With that, Hanzo and Jesse made their exit, getting out before she could accidentally puke on them.

Once safely outside, McCree turned to Hanzo again, a sly grin across his face. “I see you’re jumpin’ all over me, but would you rather get another drink, since yours ended up on me?”

***

Hanzo’s face flushed at the taller man’s comment. Did he think he intentionally fell on him? What kind of fool did this stupid cowboy take him for? “No, I’m fine.” he snapped back, rather angrily. McCree's normal smug look was replaced with shock as Hanzo turned away sharply, heading outside.

“Wait!” the other man called out from behind him. He didn’t care though, he just wanted far away from the cowboy-aesthetic and his assumptions. Hanzo found another drink in his hand, sipping on it in the cool night. He wondered to himself where Hana was, but honestly was too angry to care. He felt abandoned and frightened, surrounded by strangers.

Why had he even allowed this to happen? He would be gone soon, anyway. He didn’t need to make friends. He learned long ago that friends just made things harder. He was lonely by nature, ever since he was a child. He stood and threw his red cup to the ground suddenly certain that he was going home. He was headed for the front of the house when suddenly screams broke out. Amidst the sudden chaos, he heard someone shout, “Police!”

Fear flooded his system, and he took off back outside and into the neighbor’s yard, taking the long way around, heading back the direction he had come from. Shouts continued to echo behind him, but he didn’t dare turn around. If he got caught, his ass would get in some serious trouble. He’d probably get sent off again so soon.

Despite his anger, that was the last thing Hanzo wanted. A part of him actually liked Hana and her bubbly personality, a part of him liked Lena’s dumb jokes, and a part of him liked the large Zarya’s friendliness. He could even say that he could learn to be friends with the fool, McCree.

Right now though, that meant getting out of there as fast as possible. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw red and blue lights over his shoulder. He made his way back to the sidewalk and rounded the corner. He could hear a few other teens fanning across the streets, returning to their homes and hideaways. He slowed finally, his lungs burning like fire, and wondered if anyone he knew got caught.

***

“I am beyond pissed right now.” Jack growled, glancing in the rear-view mirror at his son who happened to be very tipsy, and had ran straight into a fence trying to get away from his father. “I cannot believe you would sneak out like this.” Jesse didn’t want to hear this. He knew he was in trouble the moment the cops arrived. After Hanzo had stormed off, McCree decided that instead of following him, perhaps he should get a drink and think about it. One beer turned into two, and that turned into a shot of whiskey, which was followed by a few jello shots with Hana.

“You never do this shit. Why now?” Jack asked, expecting some kind of answer, but none came from Jesse, as he sat in the backseat rubbing his chin, looking out the window. His father just sighed, and the rest of the ride resulted in a quiet tension between the two. Jesse watched in dismay as the cruiser pulled into the driveway, Gabe standing on the front porch, arms crossed over his bare chest. He’d been asleep, obviously and was not happy to be awakened to the news of his son sneaking out.

Jack got out and pulled the back door open so Jesse could stumble outside. “What the actual fuck is wrong with you?” Gabe immediately shouted. Jesse was tired though, the alcohol really starting to set in. He couldn’t make his mouth form a response, so he just looked at his father and laughed. Which was the entirely wrong thing to do, considering Gabe came down off of the porch so fast, Jesse saw stars. It took him a good thirty seconds to realize that Gabe had a tight grip on the front of his flannel, and had him slammed against the living room wall. When had he even made it inside?

Jack grabbed Gabe’s arm, pulling him off of Jesse. “He doesn’t know what you’re saying, Gabe. Let it go for tonight.” he growled at his partner. “Believe me, I’m just as mad as you are, but this isn’t helping shit. Not tonight.”

“You’re right.” Gabe sighed finally, letting go of McCree, who simply tumbled to the ground, suddenly overcome by his emotions, and openly weeping. “He’s a fucking mess. Help me get him upstairs.” he looked at Jack, and with a nod of approval, they both grabbed onto him, dragging him up the stairs and into his messy bedroom, where he flopped onto the bed, and rolled into the blankets, crying.

“I’m sorry, dad.” Jesse slurred. “I wasn’t going to, s’not my fault. All Hanzo...all him.” and with that, Jesse passed out cold, not another word from his lips. Gabe sighed, and leaned down, wiping the stray tears from Jesse’s cheek.

“Poor kid.” he muttered, tossing the blanket over him, and turning off his lamp. Jack slapped an arm around his partner’s shoulders, smiling at him half-heartedly. Gabe took the chance to sigh again and lean his head onto Jack’s shoulder as they walked into the bedroom. “What are we going to do with him?”

 

Chapter Text

Jesse awoke the following morning to a blistering headache, and cold sweats. His alarm blared beside him, letting him know that it was 7 ‘o clock and that he needed to get his ass out of bed and on his way to school. Shutting it off, he rolled back over and decided that there was no way in hell he was going to school that day as he dozed off again.

“There’s no way in hell you aren’t going to school today.” Gabe growled, chucking a bottle of painkillers at his hungover son. “Get ready and get your ass downstairs.” He stomped off down the stairs, where he could hear him saying something to Jack in the kitchen. With a groan, he pulled himself into an upright position and looked around his room. Sometime in the night, he’d thrown his flannel into the corner, and he found his pants in a crumpled mess in another corner. Pulling himself to his feet, he made his way to his dresser and pulled on a plain black t shirt and jeans. Making his way to the bathroom down the hall, he cringed at the sight of his own, tired face.

Splashing water in his face to wake him up, he shakily undid the cap of the bottle of painkillers his dad had thrown at him earlier. Downing two, he found his comb and attempted to tame his bed head. He probably needed a haircut and a shave, but had never got around to it. Not that long hair was a bad thing. Especially not on someone like Hanzo. Hanzo’s hair seemed almost like silk, even with it being tied up as it was. Jesse wondered to himself what it would look like when it was down.

“Get your ass down here, or you’re gonna be late!” Gabe’s voice called from downstairs. With a last look at himself in the mirror, he shut the light off and shuffled downstairs. He found Jack in the kitchen, frying eggs on the stove, while Gabe sat at the table, sipping on black coffee out of a mug that proclaimed he was the world’s #1 dad. Jesse had bought one for each of them as a joke on Father’s day a few years back.

“Bye guys, love you.” he tried, heading toward the front door, praying they wouldn’t stop him. They didn’t, surprisingly, and Jesse had thought he’d gotten away with it until he made it to the hook he left his keys on, and found them missing. With a sigh, he trekked back to the kitchen, where Gabe fiddled with the keys expectantly.

“Missing something?” his father grinned knowingly before grabbing the keys in a fist and taking another sip of coffee. “Sit down.” he gestured to a chair at the table. As he sat, Jack placed a plate of eggs and bacon in front of him. Shocked by the gesture, Jesse looked up to see Jack looking at him, slightly concerned.

“Listen, both of your dads have gone through their share of hangovers. This’ll help.” he explained before walking back to the kitchen to clean up his mess. Jesse looked down at the meal and back at Gabe before grabbing the fork and digging into it ravenously.

“So, I’m not going to get the keys back anytime soon, am I?” Jesse asked, swallowing a bite of egg. Gabe let out a laugh, shaking his head. “Right.” he paused to pick up a piece of bacon and slip it into his mouth.

“You’re a fucking dumbass. There’s no way I’m letting you drive for a while.” Gabe finally spat out. At this, he hesitated, checking his wristwatch before looking back up at Jesse and grinning devilishly. “Oh, and you’d better get going. Quite a long walk.” and with that, he grabbed Jesse’s plate and pulled it across the table. “Don’t worry, son. I’ll take care of this for you.” he winked, grabbing McCree’s last piece of bacon and placing it into his mouth, savoring the crunch.

***

Hanzo wasn’t surprised when he found that a good bit of his classmates were absent the following day. Probably all hungover. Whose idea was it to throw a party on a Wednesday night anyway? As he walked into history, he found that Hana was surprisingly in attendance, and breathed a breath of relief. The idiot McCree, however wasn’t there, which seemed like a good omen to Hanzo. He settled into his seat, and looked at Hana who was absorbed into something on her phone, earbuds in. He decided not to bother her, and opened his notebook instead.

Right before the bell rang, the Brazilian Lucio dashed inside the door, throwing himself into a seat behind Hana, and began tapping on her shoulder. An annoyed look crossed her face as she jerked her earbuds out and spun around. “What?” she snapped, before seeing who it was. “Oh, hey Lucio!”

“Hey, Hana! Whatcha watching?” he asked, peering over her shoulder at her phone.

She giggled and moved it closer so he could see. “Someone made a remix of Jamison jumping off of the roof at Zarya’s last night!” On the screen, Hanzo could see the one the crowd had called Junkrat zooming back and forth from the pool to the roof, and back again, in time to a beat he couldn’t hear due to her earbuds.

“Aw man, that’s classic!” Lucio shouted, laughing loudly until Mrs. Amari walked into the room and silenced him with a glare. Hana spun back around and shut her phone off before it was confiscated. She looked over at Hanzo, and gave him a friendly smile.

“If you all will get your notes out, we’ll continue our lecture from yesterday-” she was cut off suddenly by the door opening. All eyes snapped to the door to find a disheveled McCree stumbling inside.

“S-sorry I’m late, Amari.” he was breathing heavily as if he had sprinted there. He shut the door behind him and collapsed in his seat. She clicked her tongue and folded her arms over her chest, shooting him a disappointed glare.

“Now, Jesse” she began with a smirk, “Don’t make me tell your dads you’re running late to class.” Jesse flushed bright red at the teacher’s teasing. “You know damn well I will too.” she winked before turning back around to the board,where she began to write down notes for the class to copy down. Those who were present and partially awake laughed at his dismay.

“It's alright, I’ll just tell Reinhardt about the incident last Christmas.” Jesse shrugged once he got his wits back. The class erupted into a chorus of “oohs”, judging their teacher.

“What did you do last Christmas, Mrs. Amari?” Hana laughed incredulously, raising her eyebrows at the older woman, whose face was bright red. The class erupted into laughter as Amari simply waved them off and sent McCree a knowing glare.

“Enough of that,” she said, once again turning to write notes. Hanzo watched from across the room as McCree pulled his notepad out of his bag, a lazy smile still on his face. He looked over suddenly, and seeing that Hanzo was looking at him, he smiled and waved. Frowning, Hanzo turned sharply, focusing on taking notes and not at the disappointed gaze of the cowboy from across the room.

***

It was lunch, and Jesse was dead set on finding Hanzo and apologizing. Olivia, however had other plans. “C’mon, McCree!” she whined, tugging on his arm as he marched into the lunchroom. “I need someone to keep me company while I do this hack job!” He simply brushed her off, his eyes scanning the room for a sign of the man.

“There’s something I gotta get done. Have Lena stay with you or something.” he muttered, eyes landing on Hana, and advancing toward her instead.

“Lena? Seriously?” Olivia laughed. “You’re kidding.” she sped up so she was next to him. “You’re not kidding.” She skipped neatly over a spot where someone had spilled ketchup on the floor. “What has you so worked up?” she asked, looking at him with a serious look, much unlike her usual demeanor.

He stopped and turned to his friend, offering her a reassuring smirk. “It's obviously all of my pent up sexual frustration, and I’m going to go fight Lucio over Hana.” he joked, crossing his arms over his chest. “Or maybe I’ll fight Lucio for Lucio. That sexy-ass Brazilian.”

A smile returned to her face. “I fucking knew it!” she cackled, snorting as she headed in the other direction. “Whatever it is you’re doing, come and find me when you’re done.” she laughed, making a beeline out of the crowded room. McCree sighed, finally glad he got her off of his case, and found himself at Hana’s table, where Lucio was chattering non-stop.

“Hey, McCree! What’s up?” Hana smiled at him, sensing he needed something. He sat down on the opposite side of the round table and glanced around the room, watching to see if Hanzo was perhaps sitting elsewhere.

“Have you seen your friend Hanzo anywhere?” he asked, his gaze snapping back to her, begging mentally for her to not ask him why he was looking for the newcomer, knowing damn well that he didn’t have a decent excuse.

She watched his face suspiciously for just a moment before, smiling like her normal self. “No, he said he had something to do and headed upstairs.” she explained, poking at a strawberry on the tray in front of her quietly. McCree thought about her answer for a moment before thanking her and standing to go. “I’ll let him know you were looking for him if I see him.” she grinned as he turned to go. Jesse paused for a moment, wondering how the other man would take it if he heard Jesse was looking for him, but just waved at Hana as he headed back to the main halls.

From there, he wandered around for a good twenty minutes before calling it quits and heading to the computer lab where Olivia no doubt would be. He swung open the door and immediately heard his friend’s voice from the corner where she sat, laptop resting on a desk as she muttered into a headset.

“I think I know how to do my job, perra .” she growled into the line. There was a brief pause as whoever she was communicating with snarled something back. “Listen, chica , you do not want Sombra for an enemy.” Jesse let out a low chuckle at mention of Olivia’s codename. They had brainstormed it up a year ago when she first started doing hacks and such for money. She’d had this talent for a while, apparently, but it was Jesse’s idea for her to do something resourceful with her skills. Most of her jobs were from your normal everyday people who wanted their ex’s facebook hacked, or their enemy’s bank account drained. Every once in a while though, she got a hold of some information she could safely use for blackmail, and it worked just about every time. A dangerous job, but one that worked out in her favor more times than not.

She looked up, seeing McCree and gestured for him to come over to where she was seated, her conversation with her client descending into angry Spanish, causing Jesse to cover his mouth to conceal his laughter. After a few more angry slurs, Sombra slammed her laptop shut and tore her headset off. “Real piece of fucking work, that one was.” she growled, tapping her claw-like fingernails on the desk.

“I could tell.” Jesse laughed, leaning back in the chair and propping his feet up on the desk. “What went wrong?” She sighed and leaned back in her own chair, cracking her knuckles gently as her friend watched her expression which told him the truth: everything.

“Just a big mess.” she rolled her eyes, but a moment later a grin spread across her face. “So, did you fight Lucio?” she teased, eyebrows raised.

“Ah, no.” McCree looked away dramatically. “I just couldn’t bear to hurt him. He’s too beautiful for this world!” Wiping away a fake tear, he collapsed into Olivia’s lap, too grieved to notice that someone had entered the room.

“Hey, this room is being used.” Olivia snapped at someone as Jesse sat up straight, turning to find Hanzo in the doorway. He looked rather lost in all honesty, but he wasn’t fazed by Olivia’s rudeness all the same.

“Hey, Hanzo!” Jesse stood up and made his way to the doorway. “Can we talk for a moment?” he glanced back at Olivia, who seemed less than thrilled by it all. Hanzo gave him a strange look, but agreed nonetheless. McCree walked out into the hallway, rubbing the back of his head and looked at him. “I’m real sorry about the other night at Zarya’s. In all honesty, I’m not real sure what I said that upset you, but I know I did somehow and, well…” he trailed off, trying to scan Hanzo’s face for a reaction. “I’d like to start over from the beginning.”

Hanzo was silent for a moment before arching a brow and asking, “Why do you even care this much?” The question took McCree slightly aback. “You do not know me. Apologizing for something you do not know?”

“I just…” McCree trailed off, not really knowing how to answer him. “I just think you seem like a pretty cool dude, Hanzo. I’d like to be your friend, and I can tell that I overstepped some sort of boundary the other night. I made you mad somehow and I’d like to make it up to you.” he tried for the second time.

This earned a thoughtful look from Hanzo, who was watching him just as intently. “Alright.” he agreed. “I do not wish to be treated as a fool, however.” McCree was quiet, unsure of how he had treated Hanzo as a fool, but didn’t dwell on it. “If anything, I think you would be the fool here, cowboy aesthetic.” Hanzo chuckled before turning and walking away.

“Uh…” McCree watched after him, speechless for once in his life. “I guess I’ll see you around then?”  he finally called out, only to see Hanzo cast him a sideway glance before turning the corner and continuing down the hall.

As if on cue, the bell rang, signalling that lunch was over. The door behind him swung open, and Olivia emerged, her laptop bag resting on her shoulder. She shot him a look he couldn’t make sense of. Somewhere between anger and secretive.  “What?” he whined, watching her walk away. She simply clicked her tongue as she walked off, not speaking another word. Jesse rubbed his face as students began to flood the halls, and reluctantly, he took off for his next class.

***

Of course, it rained. By the time the school day was through, Hanzo found that the rain was simply pouring outside. He had no umbrella, no ride. All he had was his thin black hoodie. His house was at least a ten minute’s walk from here. He had considered asking Hana for a ride, but her parents had already stopped and picked her up. Realizing he had no other choice, Hanzo pulled the hood up on his jacket and stepped out into the rain, flinching as the cold water soaked through the material quickly. Walking briskly, he began to make his way out the front gates and down the street. Several vehicles passed him by as he walked, and he prayed that none of them would hit a particularly large puddle that would soak him.

The rain was usually calming, but the young dragon found that he was slightly irritable today, for some reason or another. That would be why when the black pickup truck slid to a stop next to him, he shot a glare that could melt ice. The window suddenly rolled down though, and Hanzo recognized the driver as McCree. “Get in!” he shouted, reaching across to unlock the door. He stood there, surprised for a moment before quickly accepting the cowboy’s offer and pulling himself up into the truck, the window rolled up tight. “What are you doing out in the rain?” McCree asked, looking over at the other man.

“Walking home.” Hanzo stated, still having half a mind to get back out and continue walking. McCree laughed at his blunt answer, shaking his head. “What?” Hanzo snapped, frowning.

“Nothing, it just strikes me as funny seeing you gettin’ all wet like that just tryin’ to go home.” he laughed. Hanzo began to tug on the door handle, opening the door to leave. “No! Wait!” Jesse reached across the seat to grab Hanzo’s shoulder. “Please stay. I’ll drive you home. You could get sick.” he begged him, concern written all over his face. Hanzo shot him a suspicious look for a moment before shutting the door again and leaning back. After waiting for Hanzo to click his seatbelt on, McCree pulled back out into the road. “You’re gonna have to show me where you live.” he explained, driving in the direction Hanzo was walking.

“You are going the correct way for now.” he instructed, watching the downpour slide off of the vehicle. There was a silence that was rather awkward, but brief, due to Jesse’s talkative nature.

“So, I totally got busted at Zarya’s last night.” he laughed, glancing over at Hanzo, who raised his eyebrows as if to ask for more details. “Well, you see, the funny thing about that is that both of my dads are cops. So nothin’ I do gets by them.” he chuckled, looking straight ahead.

“Then why did you sneak out? Just to go to a party?” Hanzo asked, questioning Jesse’s decision-making skills. Jesse looked away quietly, pausing before continuing.

“I, uh…” he stammered, “I just wanted to see my friends, I guess.” he laughed, slipping back into his normal demeanor. “But anyway, I was still there when the police showed up, and I had drank a bit too much already.” he chuckled, pulling the vehicle to a stop at a red light. Looking over at Hanzo, he continued his story. “Well, my dad, Jack, happened to be one of the officers on duty last night, and so when I saw my old man, I took off runnin’ and I tried to jump a fence, but ended up just layin’ on the ground.” Hanzo cracked a smile at the idea, gesturing in the direction McCree had to turn to get to his street. “I guess we’re both lucky right now. I’m supposed to be grounded from my baby,” he smiled and patted the dashboard. “But, Jack stopped by and dropped off my truck so I wouldn’t have to worry about walking home in the rain, like you.”  he smiled, glancing over at Hanzo, who was staring out the window.

“Another left up here,” Hanzo instructed, pointing in the direction of his house. They drifted back into silence, although it was a comfortable one, Hanzo rubbing his shaking hands softly together.  He was grateful to be out of the rain, even if it was in a vehicle with McCree.

“Oh, I’m sure you’re cold.” Jesse spat out suddenly, noticing the other man’s shivering form. He reached to the middle console, and cranked the heat up on full blast.

“Thank you.” Hanzo pressed his hands close to the vent, letting the warm air flow over them. “Oh, this is my house.” he pointed at his new abode, sliding the bag over his shoulder.

“You shittin’ me?” McCree asked, slowing to a halt in front of Hanzo’s house. The cowboy looked at him, a look of pure amusement on his face. “I live just two doors down that way!” he laughed and pointed at a house down the block from them.

“Oh, really?” Hanzo was surprised he hadn’t noticed McCree before. “I was unaware.”

“Yeah.” McCree laughed as Hanzo started to get out of the vehicle. “Hey, wait!” he called, making Hanzo pause and turn back to him. “If you don’t mind, could I maybe come by tomorrow morning? We could walk together to school, since I’m pro’lly gonna get my keys taken when I get home.” he proposed scratching the back of his head nervously.

“Yes, I would appreciate the company.” Hanzo nodded at him before sliding out of the vehicle and running down the pathway to his house. He turned to wave at McCree one last time, catching a glimpse of a grin on the other’s face as he drove off.

***

McCree was setting the dishes out for dinner when the doorbell rang, calling his attention. He sat the final dish down and called out, “I’ll get it!” to the kitchen where Jack and Gabe were finishing up the meal they were about to share. He pulled the front door open, to reveal Olivia, wrapped in a pink raincoat.

Hola!” she grinned when Jesse swung the door open. “How’s my favorite cowboy?” She threw her arms open wide as if for him to hug her.

“What are you doing here?” he growled unamused by his friend’s dramatics. She frowned, her arms dropping to her sides as she realized she wasn’t going to get that hug. Instead, she looked at her long fingernails, now painted a pink that mimicked the raincoat.

“Just coming to see my favorite amigo! Now are you gonna let me in or not?” she asked, peering inside over his shoulder. Jesse, however, wasn’t quite in the mood to deal with her games, and moved so she couldn’t see. He could tell she was up to something, and he didn’t like it.

“Nah, I’m busy” he snapped back, going to shut the door on her. Suddenly, an arm came into his line of view, gripping the door, and keeping Jesse from shutting it in Olivia’s face. He spun around to find Jack holding the door open.

“Were you about to shut my favorite daughter out of the house?” Jack smiled, pushing Jesse out of the way so Olivia could come inside. “You hungry, kiddo? We’re having spaghetti!” he called out as he headed back toward the kitchen, watching Jesse with a wary eye to make sure he didn’t push his friend back outside into the rain.

“Don’t mind if I do, Mr. Morrison!” she grinned devilishly, kicking off her boots as she looked Jesse in the eye triumphantly. McCree wanted to throttle her right about now, but took a deep breath, following her as she skipped her way into the dining room where Gabe was setting the last of the food on the table. Jack emerged from the kitchen with another plate.

“How’s it goin’, Gabe!” she grinned, winking at the older man as she took a seat at the table. Gabe froze, watching her settle into her seat, waiting for a response.

“Wait, this one is eating, too?” he growled, looking at Jack incredulously. Jack simply nodded, and watched as his partner pulled his chair out violently and sat, pouting. As McCree settled into the seat next to her, he could hear his father mumbling, but the only words he could make out were “...ruinin’ my spaghetti…”

Jack finally took his spot between Gabe and their guest, and began to pass food around so everyone could get a helping. “So, to what do we owe a visit from you, Ms. Colomar?” he smiled at her, heaping a pile of spaghetti onto his own plate before passing the bowl to her.

“If I’m going to be honest-” she started, but was interrupted by Jesse scoffing. Honest was something she never was. After shooting him a glare, she continued, “I’m pretty sure that Jesse here-”

She was cut off again by the annoyed McCree. “Don’t call me Jesse.” he warned, glaring at her. As much as he hated to admit at the moment, Olivia was his closest friend, and in all honesty, if he was going to let anyone besides his parents call him Jesse, it would be her. His own name seemed to be something held dear to him though. Something his mother had called him as a child. Something that only he allowed Gabe and Jack to call him, the only reason they being allowed, because they knew .

“Are you going to let me finish, amigo ?” she snapped at him impatiently. He simply rolled his eyes and poked at his spaghetti with a fork. Satisfied with his silence, she announced, “I’m pretty sure that McCree has a crush, and I’m here to get to the bottom of it.” Jesse’s jaw dropped, his eyes darting to catch his fathers’ reactions. Jack had paused in eating, fork halfway to his mouth, and Gabe’s jaw was clenched so tight he could easily crush his own teeth.

“He has a what , now?” Gabe growled protectively, glaring at his son. Jesse sputtered for a moment, embarrassed before turning to Olivia.

“What the fuck , Olivia?” he growled. She was laughing at the whole awkward situation, of course, finding humor in it all. Jesse felt anger rising up in him and resisted the urge to shove his fork through his “friend’s” hand, which was resting on the table as her claws tapped patiently.

“Language!” Jack warned, glaring at his son, still unsure of what to say to counter the situation and calm his partner down. After a tense moment, he spoke up again, “So, who exactly is this crush ?” he asked suspiciously.

“I’ll kick their ass!” Gabe growled, grabbing his fork so hard it nearly snapped in two. Jesse sighed and pushed his chair back enough that he could successfully smack his forehead off the table. “Is is bitchface from across the hedge?” he asked, gesturing toward the Ziegler’s house with his thumb. “What about that Song kid? I saw you watchin’ her livestream the other day!” he questioned for a moment before looking at Olivia suspiciously, “Is it you ?”

“No, Dad!” Jesse growled, bringing his head up from the table to glare at Gabe helplessly.

At this, Olivia lost her cool and erupted into laughter, holding her sides as she rocked back and forth in her chair. All eyes were on her suddenly as she wiped tears from her eyes, trying to catch her breath. “I was only kidding!” she lied, cackling. Jesse felt relief wash through him as he watched his parents’ expressions turn from angry, to relieved, to annoyed. “I’m just here to keep poor Jesse company and help him with his History since he’s on house arrest and can’t come over to my place.” she explained.

“Well maybe he shouldn’t have snuck out and came home shitfaced.” Gabe muttered, returning to his spaghetti. Jesse resisted the urge to roll his eyes, and instead snuck a glance at Olivia, who was definitely covering up something once again. He wasn’t excited to have a conversation about whatever was on her mind, but he knew not to bring it up now.

“Anyway, Olivia, how’s your family doing?” Jack asked, obviously desperate to get off of the previous subject. The dinner conversation descended into idle chatter, and when everyone had finished, Jesse was tasked with cleaning everything up as Jack and Gabe returned to the living room to watch some action flick Gabe had been dying to see for months. Much to his surprise, Jesse found that his friend had decided to help him by drying the dishes he washed and placing them in the cabinets where they belonged.

“So,  would we want to talk about our friend Hanzo?” she asked suddenly in the silence, voice low enough that his parents couldn’t hear her. Jesse sighed, washing off a plate and handing it to her to dry.

“No, we do not want to talk about that, thanks.” he groaned, reaching for a pot to wash next. She was silent beside him for a moment, actually thinking about something, and not just spouting off something sarcastic.

“You know you can talk to me about this stuff, right?” she asked, looking up at her tall friend. He looked back down at her for a moment before continuing to scrub pasta sauce with a sponge.

“Yes, of course I do. There’s nothing to talk about though.” he shrugged, obviously making excuses. At this, Olivia clicked her tongue and laughed, snatching the pot from his hands as soon as it was rinsed.

“Yet.” was all she said, before they fell into another silence.

***

Hanzo found himself pacing as he awaited McCree’s arrival. Did he forget, maybe? As he glanced at the clock, he promised himself that if the cowboy did not arrive within five minutes, he was leaving without him. He sat at the dining room table, checked his bag once, twice, making sure he had everything he would need for the school day. Satisfied with the results, he made his way to the bathroom, toying with the ribbon in his hair. Why was he fiddling with things? Waiting around for the fool to get there? It was quickly decided that he was leaving at that moment.

Slinging his bag onto his shoulder, Hanzo slipped into a pair of combat boots and pulled the door open, pausing only when he saw that McCree was already standing on the other side, hand raised to knock. “Oh, McCree.” he mused, surprised to see him. “You’re here.” he observed the blue flannel he wore, similar in style to the one Hanzo had spilled vodka on a few nights prior.

“Heya, Hanzo. Ready to go?” he chuckled, stepping backwards so Hanzo could fit out the door. Hanzo nodded and stepped outside, locking the door behind him with a spare key his guardian had given him a few days prior. They began to walk, shoulder to shoulder rounding the fence surrounding the yard to walk on the main sidewalk. “So are you prepared for the test today in Ana’s class?” Jesse suddenly piped up, trying to keep up conversation as they walked.

Hanzo had been up all night studying for this damned test. American history was not really his area of expertise. “I am uncertain of how I will fare.” he admitted to the taller man, biting his lip nervously.

“History not really your thing?” Jesse asked, arching a brow as they walked. Hanzo shook his head, kicking a pebble a few feet in front of them. Jesse found this peculiar considering how brilliant he’d considered Hanzo to be. With only a few hiccups here and there, Hanzo’s English was practically perfect despite his heavy accent. He had heard from Lena that Hanzo had simply wowed his calculus class by solving a large amount of problems in a short amount of time. History must have been his weak spot. “Ya know, if you ever need help with it, like studying or something, I could help you out.” Jesse offered. “History is one of my better subjects.” he chuckled, glancing at Hanzo to catch his reaction.

“I...may just take you up on that offer eventually.” Hanzo conceded, offering Jesse a small smile, unaware to the butterflies fluttering in McCree’s stomach at the gesture. They walked for a few moments in silence before McCree suddenly pulled his phone out of his back pocket, and smiled at Hanzo.

“Wanna swap numbers?” he asked, excitedly. “That way if you ever get stuck in the rain again like yesterday you can text me and I could help you!” Hanzo paused, suspicious of the man’s intentions before nodding, pulling his own phone out and opening the contacts so McCree could program his number. The two traded phones, typing their numbers into the other’s. Hanzo typed his full name and number, adding no picture or other information. As they traded back, Hanzo noticed that the cowboy had set his name as “Honky Tonk McCree” and had added a rather ridiculous photo of himself with his tongue sticking out and eyes crossed.

Hanzo hid his chuckle with a cough as the other man looked at his phone. “Awh, man! Not even a picture!” he whined, shooting the dragon a disappointed look. “No nickname, either?” Hanzo shook his head with a shrug. “We’ll see about that. Just wait until I think up a good one for you.” McCree winked at the other man, and looked up to notice the two girls Hanzo had followed to school on his first day. “Hey, Ang!” he called out, making the blonde spin around to look at him.

“McCree!” she called, stopping to let them catch up to her. “How are you?” she smiled, glowing despite the foggy morning.

“Reckon I’m doin’ alright.” he responded to her. “Mornin’, Moira.” he nodded to the other girl less enthusiastically.

“McCree.” she responded sourly, continuing to walk by Angela’s side. McCree sent her a dirty look that Angela dismissed with a shrug.

“Good morning.” Angela smiled, turning to Hanzo. “I’m Angela. I believe we are in the same calculus?”

“Yes, I recall seeing you there. My name is Hanzo Shimada.” he bowed slightly, smiling politely at her.

“Right!” she grinned, and gestured to her friend, “This is my friend Moira O’Deora-”

She was cut off by the redhead, who didn’t even look up from her phone. “Yes, we have biology together this semester.” she explained briskly, obviously wanting out of Angela’s sunny conversation quickly.

Angela awkwardly turned her attention back to Jesse. “How have things been? Your parents?” she smiled, genuinely interested in his parents’ well-being.

“They’re doing fine. And I can’t complain to much on my behalf.” he grinned. “How’s that student council shit going?”

The blonde cringed slightly at the curse that slipped from Jesse’s mouth before responding. “It’s fine, doing great.” There was a brief awkward silence as no one knew what to talk about before Angela began again. “Have you two ever considered joining the science club?”

McCree let out a snort. “I know I haven’t. Not exactly a science-y guy.” Moira muttered something with a sly grin, and Jesse considered saying something but didn’t. Hanzo simply shook his head when Angela looked to him for his response.

“You two should stop by sometime! We are planning on going on a trip-” Angela’s voice trailed off as he faded into his own thoughts. The blonde’s overflowing personality reminded him of his brother, who always chased after such females. When they were children, Hanzo always remembered how Genji would chase a bubbly girl from his class around the park, yanking on her pigtails when he got the chance. And when the other girl dissolved into tears, Hanzo would scold his brother, who in turn, hugged the poor girl to make up for it.

If his brother weren’t dead, Hanzo was sure that he would like it here, in this rather quiet community. He could imagine Genji becoming a football player, rivaling with Zarya, or perhaps he was a part of this science club, chattering away with the likes of Moira and Mei.

But his brother was dead, and nothing Hanzo could do would change that.

“Hey, you doin’ alright?” McCree asked suddenly, pulling him from his thought. He looked up and found that they were standing in front of the school. Moira and Angela had already slid inside the doors, and the cowboy stood there, holding the door open for him, a worried look on his face. “Ya got all pale on me, there.”

“Yes, I am fine.” Hanzo lied, stepping through the doorway, and following McCree into the main hall, which was filled with the voices of tired students.

“Alright. I was thinking that we should meet here in the evening, if you wanna walk home together.” McCree suggested, watching for a response in Hanzo, who surprisingly smiled and nodded at the other man. Spotting a smug-looking Olivia strutting towards them, McCree quickly said his goodbyes, leaving Hanzo alone. Watching McCree go, Hanzo readjusted his bag strap and headed off to History.

Chapter Text

Ding! Jesse’s phone lit up as he lay sprawled across his bed, begrudgingly flipping through a list of vocab words for math, taught by the friendly, yet strict Mr. Zenyatta. Desperate for any such distraction, he hastily snatched his phone off of the night stand, and read the text.

7:45

Lucio: Hey dude! What’s up

Jesse sighed, hoping that it was Hanzo. He briefly considered putting the phone on silent and going back to his homework, but he knew damn well that he wasn’t going to have these words memorized tonight. It was Saturday night, anyway. He would rather be out with Olivia as she worked on a hack, or hitting up a club with Hana and Lucio, fake I.D. in hand. He wondered to himself if Hanzo would even consider coming along to something like that.

7:46

McCree: Studying, and wanting to die.

Lucio: Aw, man! That’s harsh!

McCree: I’m sorry, do you even have Zenyatta for a math teacher?

7:47

Lucio: Lol, nope. I was lucky to be stuck with Mr. Ogundimu.

McCree: Oof. Nevermind what I said about Mr. Zenyatta. Ogundimu is definitely worse.

Lucio: You know it!

Rolling over onto his back, Jesse tossed his phone onto the nightstand and proceeded downstairs, where Gabe sat alone, chomping down on a slice of pizza he’d ordered. When Jack was working late, Gabe never cooked. “Hey Dad.” Jesse called out, diverting his father’s attention from a televised rerun of “Band of Brothers”.

“Hey kid, want some pizza?” he asked, gesturing toward the kitchen. Jesse obliged, heading for the kitchen, only to discover that the pizza was covered in pepperoni and anchovies.

“Ew, Dad that’s disgusting!” McCree called in the direction of the living room, getting only a chuckle in response. He found that the smaller box on the counter had plain cheese, and took a slice, heading back to the couch to sit by his father and eat it. They sat in silence, watching the movie quietly before Gabe spoke up.

“You think you’re ready for the big game on Monday?” he asked, elbowing his son with a grin on his face. McCree gulped down the chunk of cheese in his mouth before even trying to respond.

“As ready as I’m gonna get.” he shrugged, knowing how much it bugged his dad. Gabe elbowed him again, harder. “Ow!” Jesse cried, wanting to slap his father with the greasy remains of the pizza slice. “I’m just saying, last two years we got our asses handed to us by Vishkar.”

“That’s not gonna happen this year!” Gabe claimed, shaking a fist at no one in particular. Jesse laughed at his father’s enthusiasm, taking a bite from the crust of his pizza. “The Vishkar are going down this time! I don’t care if they’ve got that girl on their team or not, we’re gonna win!”

“Vaswani?” McCree clarified. “She’s pretty good, Dad. I don’t know…” he trailed off, doubting his father’s claims.

“She’s just one person, Jesse.” Gabe laughed confidently, turning to look his son in the eye. “Baseball is a team sport. Team . Not just one person has to be a good player, the whole damn team has to be in on it.” He was right, too. Jesse just hoped that sort of wishful thinking would get them through the game, and told Gabe so. “Yeah, me too kid.” his father smiled and ran a hand through Jesse’s hair affectionately. Both of their heads snapped up at the sound of the front door opening, watching as Jack appeared from the hallway, kicking his shoes off and treading across the living room.

“Hello, you two.” he smiled, punching Jesse lightly in the arm before leaning down to give Gabe a quick peck on the lips. Jesse made a vomiting noise, which only inspired Gabe to grab Jack’s face and kiss him again, eliciting a louder groan from his son. “Easy there, tiger.” Jack laughed, “Don’t wanna scar the kid.”

Jesse and Gabe watched the movie in a comfortable silence as Jack went upstairs and took a shower, changing out of his uniform into pajama pants and an american flag t shirt before returning downstairs to snuggle up next to his partner, leaning his head on his shoulder as the series was reaching its end. Jesse found himself yawning, and stretching his arms over his head. “I think I’m gonna head upstairs and finish studying. Night, Dads.”

“Jesse.” Jack called out from behind him as he was leaving the room. He turned just as his father threw the keys to his truck at him. “You’re ungrounded. We will not have a repeat of last time, are we clear?” he explained in a threatening tone. Jesse grinned and nodded before heading upstairs for the night, a new spring in his step.

***

Being alone in the house with his guardian, a lazy man who didn’t interact with Hanzo at all unless necessary, was extremely awkward for Hanzo, so he mostly kept to his room over the weekend, only emerging for food and bathroom breaks, or to take a shower. This style of living was already having its toll on Hanzo, even if it were just for Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. He took the time he had however to study his notes for History. He had not been pleased when he got his scores back from the test McCree had mentioned.

Glancing at his phone, Hanzo briefly considered texting McCree. Asking perhaps if he

could come over and help him study, since he needed the help. He quickly shut the idea out of his mind, figuring that McCree was probably just being polite and didn’t really intend to help Hanzo with his work. Instead, he snatched the phone atop his soft comforter, and typed out a quick text to Hana.

11:43

Hanzo: Hana, are you busy?

It took a few minutes for her to type out a reply, probably occupied with other things.

11:47

Hana: Just woke up, lol

Hanzo glanced at the clock. How had she just awoken? The sun had been out since around seven that morning. Hanzo was always an early riser, and had been awake since six, brewing tea in the cramped kitchen as he watched the sunrise over the suburban rooftops.

11:48

Hana: Why? Wanna hang out?

Hanzo: That is actually what I was wishing to ask. As long as you do not have a previous engagement…

11:49

Hana: No! Like I said, I’ve been asleep until now.  I’ll send you my address so you can come over. I’ll teach you how to play some of my favorite games!

Hanzo waited a moment, and Hana’s address pinged through. Although he’d been to her house before, he hadn’t memorized how to get there. He went to his closet and grabbed a pair of chuck taylors before heading downstairs, letting Gary, who was lounged in a recliner half asleep, know that he was leaving for a while.

Hana’s house was only a five minute walk from his, and Hanzo was suddenly nervous as he knocked on the door. He’d never gone out of his way to enjoy the company of a friend. The closest he’d ever had to a friend was his brother.

The door swung open, and Hana stood before him, still in a pair of pink fuzzy pajama pants and a white tank top. “Hey Han. Come on in!” she smiled, opening the door further. “You hungry? I was just about to eat some fruity pebbles.” calling over her shoulder, she walked towards the kitchen, where she pulled a bowl out of the cabinet, and turned waiting for his response.

“No thank you.” he politely declined. She simply shrugged and filled her own bowl, heading to the fridge to grab a gallon of milk. After she’d finished making her cereal, she made her way upstairs, gesturing for Hanzo to follow her. There, she set her bowl down carefully, as to not spill milk everywhere, and then plopped down into a cross-legged position, patting the floor next to her for Hanzo to sit. He obliged, sitting next to her, and reaching for a makeup bag she was pointing at.

“I’m gonna do my makeup real quick if you don’t mind. I was thinking maybe we could do another livestream today if you’re okay with that?.” she suggested, looking to him for permission, which he gave with a hesitant nod. “My viewers really liked you, apparently. I’ve gotten like a thousand messages asking when you would be on a livestream with me again.” she laughed, pulling an eyeliner pen out of her bag.

“They did?” he asked incredulously. “Why? I did not speak much, and I just answered the questions you asked.” Thinking back on the event, Hanzo remembered thinking that her audience probably thought him an awkward and shy fool.

“I know, but that’s what they liked! I guess we kinda balance each other out. You’re very serious, but still interesting, and I’m just a big goofball.” she giggled, perfecting the signature pink stripes she often wore on her cheeks in her videos. “Alright! Ready to go!” she turned and looked at her friend before standing to get the equipment ready.

Once it was all set up, Hanzo found himself sitting next to Hana, a pink controller in his hands. It took Hana a moment to start the livestream, and gave it a few moments for a few hundred people to join the livestream, the number steadily climbing. “Hiya guys! D.Va here!” she winked at the camera. “I’ve got my friend Hanzo here with me again today, and we’re going to be playing some Call of Duty!” she grinned. The computer dinged and she leaned over to see which of her friends had come online. “Oh, hey Lucio!” she waved. Turning to Hanzo, she began again, “So Hanzo have you ever played Call of Duty before?”

“No, I cannot say I have.” he answered, fiddling with the controller in his hands, trying to map out the buttons in his mind.

“Any sort of shooter in general?” she pried, getting a ‘no’ from him again. “Well this should be fun!” she laughed before starting up the game. It took Hanzo a good twenty minutes to grasp a basic understanding of all of the controls, but he took to it rather easily, much to his own surprise. “You’re doing great!” she smiled, cheering as he took out three of the AI enemies in the game. “You want a real challenge? Let’s go online.”

Online was nothing like the AI’s Hanzo was battling beforehand. Frustration began to build up inside of him as someone was ‘spawn camping’ as Hana called it. Everytime he would run outside of the safe room, a sniper shot a single bullet, killing his character instantly. “That’s it.” he growled after the third time, switching to a sniper class character. He climbed the stairs of the safe room until he finally caught sight of the troll, sitting atop a nearby building. “Hana, run outside and distract him. I’ll get in the window and snipe his ass.” he instructed, eyes focused intently on the screen.

Hana laughed at his, “Aye Aye Cap’n!” and with that, she moved her character slightly outside the door, causing the sniper’s attention to snap to her. Hanzo took this opportunity to slide into the window, and using the ultra magnified scope, he killed the troll with a single bullet. Hana suddenly shouted, cheering at his success, which made him jump in real life, dropping the controller. “Oops, sorry!” she laughed. “You’re so good at this.”

“I suppose I am not bad, considering this is my first time.” he admitted sheepishly. The computer dinged, and Hana glanced over, seeing that another of her friends had come online.

“Hiya McCree! Come to get roasted again?” she grinned devilishly at the camera, before turning back to the game. At the mention of McCree’s name, Hanzo fumbled for a moment, looking at the computer screen, which ended up getting him killed in-game. “Hanz!” she shouted, “You were supposed to be my backup!” She let out a cry of defeat as her character also was killed.

“Sorry.” he apologized, his face growing red. She simply laughed it off, and looked back to the computer screen, Hanzo glancing over her shoulder to read the words from the cowboy

McCree: I ain’t set on getting roasted today. Just seeing how my favorite YouTube star is holding up. Also, hey Hanzo!

“McCree says hi.” Hana grinned, turning to see Hanzo was already reading the message.

Awkwardly, Hanzo waved at the camera, unaware of how to act when not speaking to the man face-to-face. “Hello, cowboy aesthetic.” Hana snorted in an unattractive manner, covering her mouth with her hand.

McCree: Jesus, y’all are never gonna stop calling me that are you?

“Nope, the name sticks!” Hana giggled. Hanzo smiled, hardly being able to contain it as Hana continued to tease him in front of the internet. Glancing back to the screen, he noted that they had been kicked from the match for inactivity, but it looked as if Hana didn’t care, as Lucio teamed up with her to roast him further. She spun around suddenly to face Hanzo. “What do you think, Hanzo?” Noting the puzzled look on his face, she realized he must have not been paying attention for a moment. “Of McCree’s scraggly old beard! I said it made him look like an old man.”

Hanzo thought for a moment before answering honestly, “I believe that it is rather fitting for him.” Hana stopped laughing for a moment, watching his face intently, before deciding that he was serious, and started laughing even harder.

McCree: At least someone will stick up for me!

Hanzo found himself blushing as comments flooded in about him and his ‘adorable and honest’ personality. “Awh, look Hanzo!” Hana giggled, pointing out a few of them and reading them out loud, much to the fans’ delight. His face only grew redder at the attention he was receiving.

McCree: Hanzo, your face went all red!

Hana giggled at McCree’s comment, looking at Hanzo, whose face was indeed red as a tomato. He stood suddenly. “If you’ll excuse me.” he bowed instinctively before dashing out of the room and into Hana’s bathroom across the hall. He heard her whine after him, but closed the door firmly behind him.

“McCree says he’s sorry!” she shouted into the hall, but Hanzo didn’t emerge. Instead, he took a moment to take a few deep breaths. Looking into the round mirror hanging above the sink, he noticed that his cheeks still glowed with a red hue, unsurprisingly. From his pocket, he felt his phone vibrate and pulled it out gently, seeing the name “Honky Tonk McCree” flash across the screen. Reluctantly, he unlocked his phone.

1:22

McCree: Hanzo, I’m really sorry! I didn’t mean to upset you, I was just teasin’

Hanzo paused, taking another deep breath before typing out a response to the cowboy.

1:23

Hanzo: It is fine, I was simply overwhelmed.

McCree: Haha, yeah. Hana and her viewers can do that to ya.

Hanzo sat down on the edge of the bathtub, thinking of what to respond when McCree had sent him another text already.

1:25

McCree: So, I got my truck back finally, and I was thinking, maybe I could pick you up in the mornings since I won’t be walking with you anymore. If you’d be down for that?

He paused at this sudden offer, unsure of what to say to it. Did he feel comfortable doing this? McCree had been kind enough to give him a ride last week when it was pouring. It wasn’t a matter of the other man’s driving skills as much as it was that  Hanzo would feel as if he were a burden. Then again, would McCree have offered if he felt Hanzo a burden?

1:27

Hanzo: If you are sure it wouldn’t be an issue, I would gladly take you up on that offer.

McCree: No, its no big deal at all! I offered, didn’t I? Lol

Hanzo was surprised by how quickly McCree responded, and smiled somewhat at his reply. He was right, he did offer.

1:29

Hanzo: True. Is the livestream still going?

McCree: Yeah, she’s stalling. You should probably get back out there and save her lol

With that, Hanzo slipped his phone back in his pocket and opened the bathroom door, smiling softly as Hana’s head darted up to look at him. “Hanzo! You’re back!” she grinned really big, and held the cotton candy pink controller out to him. “Wanna go for another round?”

Smiling, he sat next to her and took the controller, starting up the game. “Of course.”

***

McCree woke up to his alarm blaring, and sighed, remembering it was Monday. As he switched it off, he pulled himself to his feet and let his foggy mind start to clear, heading for the bathroom down the hall. Once inside, he stripped his pajama pants off and turned the water on, full heat. He waited for it to warm up, looking at himself in the mirror for a brief moment. He ran a tired hand along his jawline, feeling his rough beard Hana had made fun of yesterday. Although he considered shaving it while he was being roasted over it, hearing Hanzo say that he liked it kept Jesse from taking a razor to it.

He smiled, stepping into the hot waters, and suddenly remembered that he would be picking up Hanzo that morning anyway. He was ecstatic that the other man had agreed to let him drive him in the mornings. After a quick shower, Jesse redressed in a brown button-up shirt and a pair of faded jeans, tucking them into a pair of worn-out cowboy boots he’d had for years. He slung his school bag onto his shoulder, carrying his duffel bag in his other hand, and headed down the stairs, taking them two at at time, eager to leave already.

“Headin’ out, mijo ?” Gabe asked, sipping his coffee as Jesse came through. Although he was in a hurry, he stopped to swipe a piece of bacon off of the plate in front of his father. “Hey!” he growled, warning him.

“Bye, Jesse!” Jack called from the kitchen. “I’ll see you at the big game tonight!” Jesse shouted his goodbyes back to his parents, before grabbing his keys from their hook and dashing out into the driveway, where he hopped into his truck, and turned the heat on, letting warm up the truck before he left to get Hanzo. He decided to take a moment to text his friend as the truck gradually reached a comfortable temperature.

7:22

McCree: Getting ready to leave. I’ll be there in a few.

He received no response, but continued in backing out of the driveway and drove down the street, pulling into Hanzo’s driveway and waiting. He considered honking as a joke, but wasn’t sure if anyone inside was asleep still. While he waited, he slouched back in his seat, thumbing through his Instagram feed. Hana had posted a selfie with a bunny filter on, gaining thousands of likes. He saw a video of Jamison “Junkrat” Fawkes jumping from the roof at Zarya’s party last week. About the time he scrolled past a picture of Angela with her arm slung around a rare smiling Moira, McCree watched Hanzo slip out the front door and head toward Jesse’s truck.

Jesse made sure the door was unlocked before Hanzo pulled the door open and slid into the cab next to McCree. “Good Morning, McCree.” he smiled politely as he buckled his seatbelt, settling his messenger bag between his feet.

“Howdy,” Jesse grinned, giving Hanzo a two-finger-salute as he backed out of the driveway carefully. He almost swore he heard a chuckle from Hanzo, but saw nothing when he glanced over at him. “Warm enough in here for ya?” he asked.

“It feels fine in here, thank you.” Hanzo replied, politely. When he didn’t need to be completely focused on the road, he would sneak glances at the dragon out of the corner of his eye. Today he wore light blue jeans, neatly cuffed at his ankles, blue converse resting against the floor. Underneath a leather jacket, he wore a tight fitting blue shirt.

Jesse turned his attention back to the road, before remembering about the game that night. “I just remembered, but there’s a baseball game tonight, so I won’t be able to drive you home after school.” he explained, sheepishly. “Sorry.”

“You play baseball?” Hanzo asked him, a hint of surprise in his voice.

“Yeah.” Jesse answered, laughing nervously. “Why? Surprised?” he teased, sending Hanzo a sideways smirk.

Hanzo flushed slightly, embarrassed. “I just did not take you to be the type.” he excused, trying to cover up his unintentionally rude comment. Jesse let out a laugh at Hanzo’s answer, the sound of it physically relaxing Hanzo.

“Well, my Dad’s been playing with me for years, and ever since I’ve been in high school, he’s stepped in to be the coach.” McCree explained, eyes fixed on the road. “So, its like I kinda have to.” he chuckled.

“Do you enjoy it?” Hanzo asked, a curious tone to his voice. This took McCree off-guard. He’d never been asked before. It was never about if he enjoyed it to him. A lot of it was not disappointing his parents. He’d been playing it since they’d picked him up out of that damned canyon in Arizona.

“You know, I’m not even sure.” he laughed nervously, scratching the back of his head with one hand. Hanzo fell silent, no longer asking him any questions. After a brief silence, Jesse reached for the radio, fiddling with it until it landed on a soft country ballad. He tapped his fingers against the wheel in beat to the drums in the song, trying to think of conversation topics, anxious for leaving it open-ended like he had.

He was surprised whenever Hanzo was the first to break the silence. “So, McCree, how did you fare on the test for Amari’s?”

“Oh, I actually did halfway decent. Got a 92%” he answered, pausing before asking, “What about you?”

“I...did not do as well.” the dragon replied hesitantly, as if he thought McCree would ridicule him for his idiocy.

McCree didn’t say anything for a moment before musing aloud, “I see.” There was a brief silence as he thought. “Why don’t we study together sometime?” he asked suddenly. “I don’t have practice on Wednesday.”

“I...I would appreciate that, greatly.” Hanzo agreed rather quickly as they pulled into the school’s student parking. Once McCree had pulled into a spot, he turned and grinned at Hanzo.

“It’s a plan, then.” he nodded before unbuckling and sliding out the driver’s side door. Smiling to himself, Hanzo slid out the other side, pulling his bag onto his shoulder. As Jesse rounded the truck, he caught a glimpse of the smile on Hanzo’s face, putting a stupid grin on his own.

***

“Why are you sitting with us again?” Olivia asked, glaring openly at Hana and the DJ that followed her around constantly. Hanzo was surprised to find that his friends were sitting with McCree and his friend, Olivia when he arrived in the lunchroom. He picked at the school’s slop that was supposed to be meatloaf as Hana and Olivia bickered back and forth.

“We are planning out the afterparty tonight, obviously, Olivia.” Hana spat, slamming a small fist on the table. Olivia just rolled her eyes at this, and went back to scrolling on her phone. “Anyway,” Hana turned back to the rest of the table, “After McCree magically wins the game against the Vishkar Vikings for the first time in four years, we will head out of town, fake ID’s in hand, and party like there’s no tomorrow!” she wiggled in her seat to an imaginary song. “But we are definitely stopping at Steak n’ Shake first!” she demanded.

“I dunno, Hana. Seems like a lot for a Monday night.” McCree reasoned, shifting uncomfortably at being the one to be a buzzkill to the plans.

“Quit being a big baby bitch!” Hana teased, making a face at McCree, who in turn choked on a dorito he’d snuck out of her bag. “You’re just scared I’ll outdrink you again!”

“Wha-” McCree’s head spun for a moment, trying to catch up with the burns he’d just been delivered. “That’s bullshit and you know it, Hana! I can hold my liquor!” he grinned, pounding a fist against his chest.

Hanzo laughed quietly at the exchange, somehow being caught between the two. “Oh, really?” Lucio laughed, joining in. “That’s a lot coming from Mr. ‘Ah! It’s my dad!’ who jumped into a fence instead of over it!”

“How’d you even know about that? You weren’t even there!” The cowboy asked, his face red.

“Dude, everyone knows about that.” the DJ shrugged, Olivia snickering and nodding in agreement.

“Whatever, we’re getting off topic.” Hana objected, stopping the minor scuffle between the two. “Who’s in?” she asked, sticking her hand in the middle of the table, as if for a team cheer. Her hand was immediately covered by Lucio’s, who grinned like an idiot.

“Guess I got no choice.” McCree sighed, throwing his hand in, Olivia adding hers next. The whole table looked at Hanzo expectantly, but he hesitated, questioning the idea.

“Awh, come on, Hanzo! I think it's time for you to loosen up a bit!” Hana squealed, and grabbed his hand, thrusting it into the center of the table. It would seem as if he choice had been made for him, and as Hana cheered, he glanced over and found McCree smiling warmly at him.

“McCree!” a voice suddenly boomed from another table. They all looked up to find Zarya, the football star, bounding over to them, a much shorter Mei, scurrying by her side. She sat down at the already crowded table between McCree and an annoyed Olivia. “McCree, my friend! I just wanted to wish you luck tonight for the big game! I wanted to let you know that Mei and I will be there, and we will cheer you to victory!” she shouted, clapping the cowboy on the back.

“I’m sure you’ll do great, McCree!” Mei smiled cheerfully, standing behind Zarya.

“Thank you both!” he laughed. “From the looks of it, I’ll have my own section in the crowd.” He looked around at all of his friends, and smiled. With that, the bell rang, and everyone stood, leaving for their respective classes. However, as Hanzo slung his bag onto his shoulder, he was surprised to see McCree come up next to him. “Hey, can I walk you to your class?” he asked. Hanzo nodded, and they set off out of the cafeteria. “So, um, I wanted to just say…” McCree started, mumbling something before starting again. “Um, well Hana. She can be real pushy. Believe me, my dates to the last three year’s dances would know,” he stopped, chuckling at some memory before continuing, “But anyway, if you aren’t comfortable with something, just tell her so.” he finished, before hastily adding, “I’m not sayin’ I don’t want you to come though, because I definitely do, I just-”

“Stop stammering like a fool.” Hanzo interrupted him. “I am fully aware of my own boundaries, and Hana’s persistent attitude. However, I am going to the game tonight because you are my friend, and because I want to.” he explained, stopping outside of his class, not missing the way Jesse flushed at being called his friend.

“R-right.” the cowboy muttered, looking away, a smile tracing his lips. “Well, I’ll see you this evening, I guess.” he waved, and took off down the hall to his next class.

Hanzo smiled, watching him leave for a moment before turning and entering the classroom, sitting next to a silent Amelie Lacroix.

***

The team cheered as one as Gabe finished his inspiring speech inside the dugout. From there, he watched as the other team took the plate, as was tradition for the opposing team. Jesse and his teammates ran out onto the field, where he took his spot at third base. Looking up into the stands, he scanned the crowd for a moment before finding his large group of friends, who he noticed had let Angela and Moira join them. Mei held up a sign that read “Go Gorillas!” and had an adorable drawing of a gorilla with a baseball cap and bat. He found Hanzo squeezed in between Zarya and Hana, who was sporting a sign that read “McCree is the way to the McWin!”. He chuckled at the sign, pulling his hat on tighter as he refocused on the game, the happy thought that Hanzo had come to see him bouncing in the back of his mind.

The first batter stepped up to the plate, a freshman Jesse had never seen before. He figured the boy in front of him would have to be pretty good to get top of the batting order. The freshman was fairly shaky as he stood there, gently tapping his bat on the ground before pulling it up and back into proper position.

Jesse watched as one of his female teammates reeled back, and threw the ball at the shaking child with no mercy, and flinched as he heard a loud CRACK! The ball whizzed toward second base, another teammate diving for the ball. He caught it in his glove, and the kid who had already taken off for first base swore loudly, heading back to the dugout. “Out!” the umpire announced as the Winston Memorial section erupted into cheers, seeing that the match was already off to a good start.

Out of the dugout came the beautiful Fareeha, daughter of Winston Memorial’s own Amari. She had transferred schools a year ago when she had gotten into a rather bloody fight while trying to defend some poor kid. Fareeha and Jesse had been good friends ever since he moved there, and he grinned at seeing his friend, resisting the urge to wave. When he caught her eye, he grabbed the brim of his baseball cap and tipped it slightly to her.

She tapped the bat on the ground before gracefully pulling back, waiting for the pitcher to throw. A confident look on her face, Fareeha swung as the ball whizzed toward her but missed, stumbling forward slightly. “Strike!” The catcher behind her snatched the ball up and threw it back to the pitcher who wound up, throwing it again. This time, she did not miss, the ball flying through the air. The outfielders immediately began to scramble around, trying to catch the ball, wherever it may land. They failed however, as the ball landed in the grass. Jesse watched as his friend ran past first base and slid right to second, hitting the base seconds before the player near her had caught the ball. Standing up, she dusted herself off and sent McCree a playful smirk, which he returned.

He heard the other players murmur as the dreaded Satya Vaswani emerged from the dugout, head held high in defiance of the glares she was getting. She jogged to the home plate, and nodded at the pitcher, bringing the bat to her shoulder, ready to strike. Jesse glanced at Fareeha, who was poised and ready to run.

The pitcher threw the ball, and with a loud crack, the ball went hurtling toward first base. Jesse’s team however didn’t catch it right away and fumbled with it as Vaswani took off for the first base. Jesse watched Fareeha sprint toward him and raised his arms in the air, signalling for the ball to be tossed to him. Ignoring the inevitable taking of the first base, the ball was tossed to Jesse who caught it swiftly, and dove to touch it to the base as Fareeha began to slide towards it.

“Out!” the umpire called out, the crowd bursting into cheers. He jumped to his feet, and reached out a hand to pull Fareeha to her feet.

“Nothin’ personal, Fareeha.” he grinned, tossing the ball back to the pitcher after she had stood and dusted herself off.

She took off for the dugout, shooting a look back at him. “Yet it always is, McCree!” she laughed. He shook his head, and turned to look at Vaswani who was perched gracefully on first base. This game was going to be a tough one, and he knew it.

***

Hanzo had no idea what was going on. In his few years in America, he had never cared enough to learn the rules to baseball, and therefore was extremely confused by what was going on in front of him. He learned however to clap when the others cheered, and identified McCree as number thirty-seven. He stood by the third base, and after the other team had struck out three times, he watched diligently as each member came out and batted. When he saw the jersey with the number thirty-seven, the group around him cried out in joy, cheering on their favorite cowboy.

On an electronic board, numbers were displayed, none of which made any sense to Hanzo. Hana had left briefly, followed by Lucio, returning with a bag of popcorn, which she shared with Hanzo. He had never tried it before, and found the crunch of the salty snack quite enjoyable. Olivia slid between Lucio and Hana on the bleachers, snaking her clawed fingers into the bag as well. “Hey!” Hana cried, smacking the latina lightly, smiling despite her theft.

“Hey.” Olivia winked at Hana, before popping the stolen goods into her mouth. “Mm.” she grinned, and moved down a row, letting Lucio have his seat back.

“Hana.” Hanzo leaned over toward her, looking out onto the field. “Who is winning?” he asked, cringing as he waited for her to ridicule her.

“It’s on the board, silly!” she giggled, pointing to the electronic scores he didn’t understand. He sent her a look, and she turned serious. “Wait, have you never been to a baseball game?” she asked, cocking her head to the side. He shook his head, feeling awkwardly uncultured. “Oh, I’ll explain how it works!” she smiled, and pointed at the field where the batter, someone on the away team was batting. “So that’s the batter. The point is for them to hit the ball, and run to each of the three bases and back to where they started before the other team can get them ‘out’, you see?” she explained as the batter hit the ball. The ball flew into the fence around the field, and the outfielders scrambled to pick it up as the batter ran to first, second, and then third base before dashing for home. The ball had already been passed to someone closer though, and they threw it to the home plate before the batter made it, the umpire announcing the out.

“That guy,” she pointed to the umpire, “lets us know that they got a strike. Three outs and then the players switch places.” she explained. “Make sense?”

“Yes.” Hanzo sighed, smiling at Hana. “Thank you. It is much clearer now.”  She nodded, and offered the popcorn to him again. He took another handful, and watched as McCree jogged to the dugout, ready to start batting.

Chapter Text

They were in the final inning, and Satya Vaswani was at the plate. The first batter had struck out again, and Fareeha was perched on first base, ready to run. The score was close, but Jesse prayed that they could turn it around in their favor. They were down only one point currently, and the crowd quieted in anxious waiting.

Their pitcher paused for a slightly moment, before winding up and throwing the ball. She swung for it, but it simply whizzed past her, landing in the catcher’s glove. Uncertainty, an emotion Jesse had never seen her wear, crossed her face for a moment as the catcher tossed the ball back to the pitcher. “Strike One!” Winding up again, the pitcher threw the ball, and whizzed past her nervous swing once again. “Strike Two!” the umpire yelled once again.

The ball was tossed back once more, and the Jesse could see the crowd was intently fixated on Vaswani as the pitcher wound up for her third and final pitch to the woman. This time, however, the ball smacked hard against her bat, which she tossed to the side as she ran to first base. The outfielders all scrambled about, trying to catch the ball, but it went far beyond the fence. Fareeha ran from first, to second, and past third, throwing a smirk at McCree as she raced past him. Behind her came Vaswani, eyes fixed on the home plate only as she passed.

Jesse cringed as he watched the scoreboard change, two more points added to the Vishkar Vikings’ roster. The next batter stepped up to the plate, and he turned his attention back to them.

With the best already out of the way, the next two outs were rather easy to achieve, and the teams switched places, Fareeha wishing him luck as they passed. He stepped into the dugout, and sat on the edge of the bench, watching impatiently as the first batter went out. Suddenly, he heard a loud “psst” from behind him and spun around to find Hana, Hanzo, and Lucio peering through the barred window at him.

“Hey! What are y’all doin’ down here?” he grinned, grabbing the bars so he could pull himself closer to see his friends.

“Just comin’ to see our favorite baseball star!” Hana grinned, waving the sign she’s made for Jesse. “You’re doing great out there!” She cheered, jumping up and down briefly.

“I dunno. If we don’t start doin’ better, we may just lose this game.” he frowned, glancing over his shoulder at the batter at the plate, who had just struck out. There were three more batters ahead of Jesse, and he hoped somehow they would get the team on the winning side.

Suddenly, a hand shot through the bars, grabbing Jesse tightly by the chin, squeezing his cheeks together. “That is not a winning attitude.” Hana growled, forcing him to look her in the eyes. “You are going to do great . You will win.”

“All right, all right!” Jesse laughed, pulling away from her grip, and holding his hands up in surrender. “No more negative talk, I gotcha.” He looked at Hanzo, noting his silence. “You enjoyin’ the game, Hanzo?” he asked, a hint of worry in his voice.

“Yes, I am.” Hanzo smiled at the cowboy, “I did not understand how the game worked at first, but Hana explained it to me.” At this, Hana flashed a confident smile, and laughed.

“Good.” McCree smiled back, and in hearing another crack of the bat, turned to see that one of his teammates knocked it out of bounds, and was now running home, another teammate running back into the dugout as well. He cheered, watching as his next teammate went out.

“We should go now.” Lucio added anxiously, noticing that Gabe was glaring at the three teens who were distracting his son from the game. Hana laughed and reached her small arm through the bars to pat him on the cheek once more before turning and going back to the small section occupied by McCree’s biggest fans.

As he turned back around, Jesse watched as his teammate was struck out on his way to first base. Sighing, he traded his cap for a helmet and grabbed his red aluminum bat, laying it across his shoulders as he emerged from the dugout and made his way to the plate.

Two outs before him, if he were to strike out, Jesse would be the reason the game was lost. However, if he managed to make it home, he would win the game, the first game against the Volskaya Vikings in years.

He looked into the crowd, catching sight of Jack, who sat at the bottom of the bleachers. Jack, seeing that he caught Jesse’s eye, grinned and gave him a thumbs-up. He smiled back at his father, before glancing once more at his group of friends, all of them cheering him on enthusiastically. Jesse felt his heart flutter however, when he noticed that even Hanzo was clapping, smiling wide at him.

He turned his attention from them, standing by the plate. He lined himself up with it, and in taking a breath, he tapped the bat on the ground and pulled into a ready position. The other team’s pitcher wound up, and suddenly the ball was hurtling towards him. He swung at it, and much to his delight, he heard it hit, but it went straight into an off-bound area. “Foul ball!” Growling, he spat, and tapped his bat, once again bringing the bat up ready to swing. The pitcher threw again, and Jesse hit it, the ball flying over the heads of the other team and into the outfield where players dove and scrambled, trying to grab it.

McCree flung the bat to his side and ran as hard and as fast as he could go for first base. Noticing that they were still fumbling for the ball, he found himself dashing to third. In the back of his mind, the image of Hanzo’s smile hovered as he ran as fast as he could. The crowd had erupted into a sea of screams as Jesse continued to run past second, dashing for third. By this time, they had grabbed the ball and one of them had thrown it at third, only for it to bounce out of the player’s mitt and into the soft grass, where they dove to retrieve it. It was too late however, as Jesse had already made contact with the base, bent over partially, catching his breath. Cheers echoed in the field as he watched Gabe smile wide at him from the dugout, clapping proudly as the next player emerged. All they needed now was for the next player to run, and they would have won the game.

As the pitcher threw the first throw, Jesse found himself ready to sprint, watching the ball intently. His teammate swung but missed. Hissing under his breath, he readied himself again, and when the ball came his way, he hit it and rather hard. Immediately, he dashed for first base, as McCree took off for home. As he neared the base, he heard shouts from the other players, and a faint whistle of the ball. Jumping, he slid suddenly on his ass, leg extended to reach the plate in time.

There was a moment where everything was quiet, and as the dust settled, McCree saw his foot touching the plate. “Safe!” the umpire shouted, and the crowd began to cheer louder than before. He’d done it. He’d won the game. He got up and ran back to the dugout, receiving high-fives and chest bumps from the rest of the team.

As he took off his helmet, he looked to Gabe who beamed proudly at his son, and while fixing his hat, grinned and said, “And that’s how the west was won.” Gabe cringed slightly at the western reference, but smiled still. Out on the field, the next batter came to the plate, but when he hit the ball, it flew out into the field and was caught, ending the game, the score in the Winston Gorilla’s favor.

***

The teams had to shake hands with each other after the match, something Hanzo considered to be commendable, although rather strange, considering the fact that most of the other team probably wanted to slit McCree’s throat. Once McCree had changed from his uniform, he met his group of friends at the field’s entrance. His small fanclub gathered around him, Hanzo included, to chatter and congratulate him on the win.

“Thanks guys.” he laughed at the onslaught of compliments and excited comments, “This was one hell of a game.”

“You’ve got that right!” Zarya boomed, laughing heartily. “I haven’t been that excited over baseball since I was a small child!” the tall Russian admitted, slinging an arm around McCree’s shoulders and squeezing him. Hanzo wondered to himself how easily the female bodybuilder could snap the poor cowboy, squeezing him close like that.

“It was an excellent game, indeed!” Angela added, smiling kindly at McCree. Moira nodded in his direction as her way of showing her approval. Hana began to chatter some impression of the other team, eliciting laughter from the whole group.

“Hey, McCree!” a voice called from across the field. They all turned to find a member of the other team bounding towards him. “That was one amazing game!” the woman cheered, a smile across her face. Hanzo had noted the interaction between this woman and McCree during the game, seeing the teasing looks they tossed each other throughout. She now had her shoulder-length hair down, where it tossed about her face with her excited movements.

“Of course, Fareeha. I’m on the team, aren’t I?” McCree replied haughtily to the Egyptian girl with a laugh. She gave him a wry look and punched his shoulder, making him wince in pain.

“Right!” she laughed, although the smile on her face quickly faded when she caught sight of Angela and Moira. “Angela.” she nodded, suddenly awkward, much adverse to what Hanzo could see was her normal personality.

“Fareeha.” Angela nodded back, just as awkwardly. Hanzo could easily sense the tension between them, and opted to ask McCree about it later.

“Well, I’m heading back! Great to see you, McCree! Text me sometime!” she smiled, returning to her normal self before running back to where Hanzo could see Ana Amari stood next to a tall man with snow white hair, McCree waving and shouting at the pair.

“We had better get going soon.” Lucio announced, starting for the parking lot. “I called ahead and reserved a table for us at Steak n’ Shake.” Hana began to hop up and down in excitement. “Zarya, Mei! You guys tagging along?”

Mei looked at Zarya, who nodded, “If Mei feels up to it, I’d love to.” she grinned. Mei nodded in agreement.  “We’ll meet you there!” With that, they took off for Zarya’s car in the lot.

“Ang, Moira?” Lucio asked, although rather hesitantly as he realized he had to invite the redhead along. Angela however, shook her head no, making an excuse for the both of them involving homework and an early day tomorrow. “Alright, let’s head out, then. Hana, you riding with me?”

She let out a laugh, “Pfft, of course! You think I would ride with cowboy aesthetic?” She shot a teasing look back at the offended party who simply flipped her the bird. “Oh,and Olivia?” she grabbed the latina’s arm. “You’re riding with us.” she demanded as she began to march off next to Lucio, Olivia surprisingly going along without complaint.

Hanzo began to follow them when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He spun to find McCree standing there. “Will you ride with me? Everyone else is going with someone else, and I’d appreciate the company.” he smiled softly. Hanzo agreed, and McCree smiled again. “I’m just gonna say bye to my dads real quick like, if you wanna tag along.” Hanzo hesitated before walking beside the taller man. “Don’t worry, they won’t bite. Well at least not too hard anyway.” he laughed. Up ahead, Hanzo caught sight of two men. The taller one was blonde, his muscled, pale arm slung around his partner, who leaned into the taller man with his arms crossed, curly black hair adorning his head and chin, standing out against his dusky skin.

Mijo !” the shorter one cried as they approached. Jesse sprinted ahead to dash into his parents’ arms, Hanzo following at a walking pace  “What did I tell you about this game, huh? What did I tell you?” he laughed, hugging his son tightly.

“We are so proud of you, Jesse.” the taller one smiled, releasing McCree from the hug, still beaming.

“Thanks, guys!” McCree grinned, and as Hanzo approached, the trio turned to him. “This is my friend Hanzo Shimada.” McCree introduced him. The older men eyed him suspiciously as he bowed in tradition. “These are my dads, Jack” McCree gestured to the blonde man, “and Gabe.” he pointed to the other man.

“It is a pleasure to meet you.” Hanzo said politely, causing Jack to raise an eyebrow in what he couldn’t tell was approval or suspicion.

Gabe, however started at Hanzo intently for a moment before simply blurting out, “Are you related to those Shimada-gumi? That gang from Japan I’m always hearing about in the news.” A wave of shock went through Hanzo, and he tensed, his mind beginning to race with thoughts of Did he know? How could he know? No, he didn’t know. It was just his last name. How could he find out?

“Dad!” McCree shouted, glaring at his father.

Gabe however just let out a laugh. “I’m just messin’ with your friend here.” he stepped forward and patted Hanzo on the shoulder. “I’m sure you get that a lot. You went white as a ghost there for a moment.” he chuckled before turning back to McCree. Hanzo took a moment to regulate his breathing again. “So you headin’ out with your friends for the night?”

“Yep. Just to Steak n’ Shake, and then I think we’re gonna hang at Lucio’s for the night.” he lied, flat out. His parents just nodded in approval, told him to have fun, and headed for the parking lot. “That was easier than normal.” McCree mused, turning to Hanzo. “Sorry about Gabe. He can be a real dick at times.” he apologized, glancing at his parents to make sure they were out of sight.

“No, I understand.” Hanzo smiled, although he was still rather shaken from the man’s ‘joke’. “Your parents seem like good people.”

“You think?” McCree asked incredulously with a laugh. “That’s one reaction most people don’t have to them.” He turned and began to walk toward the parking lot. The dragon could see McCree’s black pickup parked neatly in the same spot he’d left it in that morning.

“Excuse me” a voice politely called out. “Excuse me, McCree!” The two turned and found none other than Vaswani, the other team’s star player, rushing toward them. “Hello. My name is Satya Vaswani.” she introduced herself, extending her hand to McCree.

“Right.” he took her hand. “Jesse McCree, I believe we have met a few times before.” he grinned.

“Of course.” she nodded, no trace of humor on her face. “I wanted to congratulate you on your exemplary performance today. It was a truly spectacular win.” she bowed her head slightly in acknowledgement. “I am aware that we are both of the senior rank this year, and this shall be our last year playing against another. I simply wish to let you know what an honor it has been, and a most enjoyable experience.”

Hanzo glanced at McCree, whose face was full of shock. “I- thank you, Satya.” he grinned. “It has definitely been a hell of a run.” McCree chuckled, “Thank you for making it all the more fun.”

She was taken aback by his compliment. “Uh-huh..” she paused for a moment before turning to leave. “Goodbye, McCree. May our paths cross again.” she waved slightly before jogging off to wherever she was headed.

Hanzo watched as McCree waved at her disappearing figure before turning back to him and grinning. “Let’s go.”

***

McCree sat in the large booth at Steak n’ Shake, face red and gasping for breath, as he watched Hana force Hanzo to share a shake with her. It was mint oreo flavored, and she wanted a picture of herself and Hanzo sharing it, although he was less than thrilled to do this. The cowboy was laughing until his ribs hurt watching Hanzo’s scared face as he attempted to take a drink, only for Hana to yell at him and smack him for the expression he made. After several minutes of this, she sighed, deciding to just one of the shots she’d already got, and slid the shake in McCree’s direction. “You guys can have this. I didn’t want it anyway.”

“Why’d you order it then?” Olivia asked from her other side, grinning. “Just for a silly picture?” Hana laughed and shrugged, making most of the table groan at her decision.

McCree picked a fry from the multiple baskets the group was sharing and popped it into his mouth. “You really are somethin’, Hana.” he chuckled. The small girl reached over Hanzo to smack at McCree, pushing the poor dragon into the other man. As McCree dodged her swatting hands, he felt Hanzo’s head hit his chest, and felt a shock of surprise pass through him. Jesse stopped to look at him just long enough for Hana to get him real good across the face. “Alright, alright!” he growled, gently placing a hand on Hanzo’s shoulder to steady him. “Poor Hanzo here’s caught in the middle of this.” He reached for the shake, and was surprised when Hanzo snatched it from his grasp, taking a sip of it.

“I am in a rather regrettable position, yes. That is why this shake is mine, now.” he replied cockily, grinning in defiance at the cowboy, whose jaw had dropped, before taking another long drink of the shake. The table erupted into sudden laughter at Hanzo’s sudden betrayal.

“I’ve been cheated, I’ve been made a fool.” McCree whined dramatically, falling over onto the shoulder of a giggling Mei. “Save me from this humiliation, Mei! You’re my only hope!”

“No can do, McCree!” she laughed as he looked up at her with puppy dog eyes, “It's just too fun distracting you while Hana-”

She was cut off by a shrill scream from Hana who was squirting ketchup out of a bottle onto Jesse’s face. “Aw, dammit Hana!” he shouted, sitting up straight and reaching for the napkins Hanzo offered. “Thank you. At least someone here is on my side!” he laughed, and then saw Hanzo sipping from the milkshake again before adding a quick, “Nevermind.”

“So, are you all ready to go dance like we don’t have Ana Amari tomorrow?” Olivia piped up, earning a shout of approval from the others. “Everyone got their ID’s?” she asked, glancing around.

“I do not own a false identification.” Hanzo admitted, and Jesse felt his heart sink. That’s right, shit. He was about to offer to stay with Hanzo and do something else, when Olivia pulled an ID from her purse and tossed it at Hanzo with a slight flick of her wrist. He caught it surprisingly, and looked down at it, eyes widening. McCree leaned over and saw that Olivia had already made one for the newest member of their group. “I...thank you.’ Hanzo said uncertainty, surprised that one had already been made for him.

“I always think ahead, amigo. ” she smiled, winking at him and sending Jesse a look that he pointedly ignored, instead turning to look at Zarya, who was offering Mei the last fry from her basket. The rowdy group didn’t take much longer and got their bill splitting it amongst the group, and heading out to the main road again to walk to the club down the street.

Jesse found himself at Hanzo’s side, and smiled at the shorter man, “Have you ever been to a club before?” McCree saw the club up ahead, the same one they usually went to. Out front stood the same bouncer as always. He eyed a door on the side of the building, one he’s slipped through before to get quick escape from some drunk who had the guts to try and deck McCree.

“No, I have never had much of a social life, outside of my life here.” Hanzo admitted, looking a bit nervous as they approached the club, flashing neon signs everywhere they looked.

“Hey.” Jesse said, making the smaller man look up at him suddenly, “This’ll be fun. Just relax and be yourself.” he assured Hanzo, who only clenched his jaw tighter.

“This is myself.” he muttered, a look of surprise crossing his face as McCree simply laughed. The best thing about this club was that the bouncer at the front always let the group in. Either he was too stupid to see how young they were, or he just didn’t care. Regardless, they made it inside and were soon thrust into the crowd of sweaty bodies, all dancing to the same beat.

McCree looked around taking in the scene around them, enjoying the feel of it all before sharply turning and find Hanzo standing behind him, looking around in awe. He smiled at the amazed look on the dragon’s face before reaching back and grabbing Hanzo’s wrist gently, bringing him back to reality. Hanzo jerked away quickly at McCree’s touch, before frowning slightly. McCree was embarrassed, but nodded his head in the direction of the bar, signalling that the two should head in that direction. After seeing that he understood, Jesse turned and started for the bar, pushing through the crowd they had accidentally got stuck in. He felt someone grab his hand suddenly, and turned to find Hanzo was stuck between two women who had backed up into him. Smiling, Jesse gently tugged on him, pulling him close to him as he maneuvered through the crowd, before they finally emerged next to the bar. Jesse sighed inwardly, feeling Hanzo slide his hand out of his, and instead turned to grin devilishly at the other man.

“Can I buy you a drink?” he asked with an over-exaggerated wink. Hanzo grinned right back, nodding as they approached the bar, sliding onto a pair of stools. The bartender was dealing with another customer first before coming over to the two men. Jesse gestured toward the bartender for Hanzo to order, watching as the man started to struggle. A sign behind the bar read today’s special drink, something called ‘Red Dragon’s Breath’. “My friend here will take the special, and I’ll just have a glass of water.” he ordered for the two of them, and watched as the bartender scurried off to grab their drinks.

“Thank you.” Hanzo nodded to McCree, looking out onto the dance floor once again. Jesse followed his gaze and caught sight of Hana and Olivia dancing, Lucio awkwardly trying to get in between them so he could dance with Hana alone. Mei and Zarya sat on a couch in a corner, engaged in conversation over some sort of fruity drinks. He chuckled and turned back to thank the bartender as he set the drinks down where they sat.

“So Hanzo,” McCree started, “I was wondering, where did you live before you moved here?” He grabbed his glass and took a sip of the ice cold water, gazing at the dragon, who turned around to look at McCree.

“Before I was here, I was placed with a family in New Mexico.” he explained, not meeting Jesse’s eyes as he eyed his drink-- bright red in a double shot glass.

“New Mexico?” McCree asked, a spark of excitement in his eyes. “I’m from there! Lived with my mother in Santa Fe.” he explained, smiling softly in remembrance. Hanzo nodded, taking in the information. “So you’re a foster kid then?”

“Yes.” Hanzo replied shortly. “I was born in Japan, but moved here when I was nine with my father. He has since died, and I have been in the system since I was fourteen.”

Jesse felt a familiar ping of pain in his chest. “I’m sorry about your father. Didn’t mean to bring up anything harsh like that.” he apologized, jostling ice cubes around his glass. Hanzo took a larger sip, cringing at the kick of cinnamon liquor in the drink.

“There’s nothing to apologize for. He is gone, and that is that.” he answered simply, looking at the cowboy, who was still rolling the ice around in his cup, completely focused on the rolling motion of the ice cubes.

“To be honest, I don’t know if my mom is alive.” Jesse laughed darkly, his thoughts on her suddenly, “She was deported when I was ten. I was on my own after that.” McCree stopped at that and looked up, realizing he had overspoken. “I have two great dads though now, so I guess it worked out for me.” he smiled, and then looked down, realizing how shitty that would sound to someone who had no parents at all. “You live with that Gary guy then?” he asked, changing the subject. Hanzo nodded, taking another swig, and successfully finishing his drink. “He’s always seemed like a sleazebag.” he laughed.

“Pretty much.” Hanzo laughed, clanking his double shot glass against the bar. Jesse grinned, taking in the sight of Hanzo underneath the flashing lights. The man’s pale skin danced with the colors that filled the club. As Hanzo looked out into the crowd, Jesse let his eyes wander, looking at the dragon’s full lips, his strong jawline, and to the soft pale flesh of his neck that McCree wanted to press his own lips to so badly. Hanzo turned to look at Jesse, and he quickly turned and took a gulp of his water, trying to push the image from his mind, well aware that his face was burning. He was grateful for the dark lighting that hid his blush.

“Would you like to dance?” McCree asked suddenly, looking back up at Hanzo, who was toying with his shot glass. “We can dance on the outside so that we don’t end up getting crushed by the tramp parade over there.” he nodded toward a group of obnoxious girls in tight fitting dresses toward the middle of the crowd. “Or we could go and find Hana-”

“I do not know how to dance.” Hanzo admitted, cutting McCree off. He didn’t meet the cowboy’s eyes, seemingly embarrassed by his lack of knowledge. Jesse, on the other hand, found it rather endearing, and stood, slapping a few bills on the counter for the drinks, and walked to a spot where less people were dancing, gesturing for Hanzo to follow him.

“Its real easy, you just move with the music.” McCree began, his hips beginning to sway back and forth. “Then, if you’re feeling real crazy, you just start doin’ something with your arms.” he laughed, and began to raise his arms above his head, smirking at Hanzo, whose own hips had started to twitch in small movements. “C’mon.” he grinned, and gently grabbed the dragon’s hips, guiding him from side to side. Looking him in the face, Jesse saw an expression he couldn’t read, but was surprised as Hanzo didn’t push him away.

Hanzo tried to say something, but reading lips wasn’t enough, and Jesse couldn’t hear over the booming bass. “What?” he cried, and moved closer for Hanzo to tell him, but he still couldn’t hear.

Standing on tiptoe, the shorter man grabbed McCree’s shoulders and put his face next to McCree’s so he could hear him. “Thank you, McCree.” his breath hit the cowboy’s neck, and for a brief moment, his grip on Hanzo’s hips tightened in shock. He was about to nod back a reply when the song ended and he removed his hands from Hanzo, a strange feeling curling in his stomach. “What’s wrong?” Hanzo shouted, but McCree didn’t register, suddenly glancing around for their friends.

He found Olivia dancing with some random guy. Lucio was writing down a suggestion on the list for the DJ. Zarya had Mei in a corner, where they danced in their own cheesy way to the music. Jesse’s heart skipped a beat when he noticed Hana was nowhere near the others

Jesse felt dread grow inside of him as he took off, Hanzo calling after him, worried. He crossed the room to Olivia quickly, his head spinning in all directions for some sign of the small girl. “Olivia.” he growled, grabbing her shoulder. The man she was dancing with quickly came around, ready to shove Jesse, but she placed a clawed hand on his chest, stopping him. “Have you seen Hana?” he asked, starting to grow frantic. When she answered no, the protective Jesse began to make a beeline for bathrooms, where he found her.

She was pushed up against a wall by some disgusting creep, obviously drunk off his ass. “C’mon sweetheart, lemme have a little taste of those lips.” he smirked, leaning in to kiss her.

“In your dreams, fuckface!” she tried to hit him, but he simply grabbed her arm and pinned it to the wall above her head. Jesse stepped forward and grabbed the guy’s shoulder, spinning him away from Hana, who looked up in shock at the scene about to unfold.

“Obviously you don’t know how consent works, but I’d suggest for you to get your nasty paws off of her right now.” McCree warned, hoping it wouldn’t escalate.

But of course it did. “Not a chance.” the other man spat in Jesse’s face. “I’d ask if you were her boyfriend, but you’re way too ugly for that.” he laughed. “Now fuck off, why don’t you?” he tried, turning back to Hana and grabbing her chest with one hand. Hana screamed, tears beginning to fall from her face as she was groped by the stranger.

The sleazy man’s sudden move was enough to set Jesse off, and soon enough he was on the other man, punching him as hard as he could in the face. Hana escaped quickly, dashing away. The man, even if drunk, was still rather strong, and managed to punch Jesse in the mouth, busting his lip. McCree took a step back, spitting blood before looking back up at the other man, and coming at him again. Jesse grabbed him by the collar and promptly threw him into a wall, shattering a mirror in the process. The man took a moment, shaking his head trying to clear his dizziness, but McCree didn’t give him time to recover as he jumped on him, kicking him in the stomach before dropping to his level and punching him in the face several more times before being pulled off of the bleeding idiot by Hanzo and Lucio as well as another bar-goer. Hana stood to the side, being held by Mei and Zarya, chest heaving as she wept, panicking still.

“Dude, you’d better dash before security comes. They’ll call the cops.” Lucio shouted over the music. Jesse nodded and looked around for Hanzo, who was already a step ahead of him. Jesse extended his arm to grab Hanzo’s hand as they took off for one of the side exits, weaving in and out of the crowd. Glancing back, he noticed security had already made their way to the back, but hadn’t noticed the escaping McCree yet. They finally made it to the exit and dashed out into the night, sprinting toward where Jesse had parked up the street.

They jumped into his truck, and immediately Jesse turned it on and began to pull out of the spot. “McCree.” The tires squealed as he pulled out onto the main road, a horn blaring as he cut someone off. “McCree.” He sped off into the night, his heart racing out of control. “McCree!” Hanzo shouted, grabbing McCree’s arm, which was a mistake, as Jesse jerked back fingers clenching into a fist. He looked as if he would hit Hanzo at the next available chance, but Hanzo wasn’t putting up with it. “Pull the truck over, McCree!” Hanzo demanded, and McCree, already descending into a full-blown anxiety attack, did as he said, pulling off into some abandoned lot.

***

Hanzo fiddled with the cab light for a moment before managing to get it switched on. He found Jesse with his head buried in his hands, weeping openly. “I lost control, I lost control…” he kept muttering, over and over, rocking back and forth. The dragon was more careful this time, and didn’t grab Jesse, but simply laid a hand on the shuddering cowboy’s back, rubbing in circles gently. He could see Jesse’s normally collected attitude fading away with each wracking sob.

Those words brought a too-familiar memory to Hanzo’s mind. He remembered the way he’d held his brother in his own arms, weeping. Their cousins stood by, silent, watching with no emotion. “I lost control, I lost control…” he had whimpered, over and over, like the coward he was. He had clutched tight to his brother, to that rebellious shock of bright green hair, and it had taken two adults to pull him away from his brother, two adults to take him away from that scene, but only one to change his life, and to give him the new start he didn’t deserve.

Jesse’s sobs quieted slightly, bringing him back to the present. With gentle hands, Hanzo gently grabbed his jaw, and brought his head upward so he could get a look at the fool’s injuries. With a thumb, he wiped away the tears that had slowed, and noted that Jesse’s opponent had only busted his lip. As if he already knew where to look, Hanzo pulled the glove box open and found an array of different napkins from various fast-food restaurants. Grabbing a few, he wiped the blood from his face and chin that had been flowing freely. He held Jesse’s jaw firmly as he dabbed the blood that continued to appear from his lip. As he fixed his eyes on McCree’s lips, the cowboy’s face started to grow red, which reassured Hanzo, seeing that the other man had finally come back to his senses.

A smile traced Hanzo’s lips as he watched the other’s reaction. “That was a brave thing you did, McCree.” Hanzo looked into his dark eyes, “I’m glad Hana has a friend like you.”

McCree cracked a smile, “Well there is only one of me.” Yeah, he was back to normal. Hanzo laughed, and pushed his jaw away playfully. “What? It’s true.” he whined.

Hanzo moved back to his side of the truck, when his phone beeped. Looking down, he noticed it was from Lucio.

12:01

Lucio: Is McCree okay??

Hanzo glanced over at the other man, who was pouting still as he held a napkin to his still-bleeding lip as he fumbled around for the cab lightswitch.

Hanzo: He’s fine.

12:02

Lucio: Good. Tell him to meet back up at my place. We all need to just chill and talk this shit out.

Hanzo turned back to find McCree already pulling out onto the road. “Lucio says for us to meet up back at his place.” he explained.

“Nah.” McCree replied, eyes fixed on the road. “I’m heading back home for the night.Tell him that we can meet up real quick like at Go-Mart” Hanzo noted this and told Lucio so. “If you want, you can come over to my place and stay” he offered to Hanzo, who simply shook his head.

“No, it is fine. I do not wish to be a burden.” he laughed, and in getting ready to continue, he noticed Jesse stealing multiple glances at him. “What?” he asked at McCree’s stare.

“Sorry, I’m just tryin’ to figure out how you still think that you’re bein’ a burden on me when I asked you to come over.” he laughed, still glancing at Hanzo every few moments. He had no response, simply sputtering for a moment. “So, you will stay, then?” he asked again.

“I guess I could-” Hanzo started, only to be cut off by a bit of laughter from Jesse.

“Alright.” he replied, and paused, a short silence blooming between the two. “Thank you, by the way.” McCree spoke up suddenly, eyes still fixed on the road. “For uh, calmin’ me down. I usually don’t have someone to do that for me. “

“You are welcome, McCree.” Hanzo shifted in his seat as they pulled into the Go-Mart parking lot. Jesse shut the truck off and went inside, Hanzo following him quietly. He used his fake ID to buy a pack of Marlboros and a pack of Moonpies, before headed back outside, to where Lucio’s car was pulling into the spot next to McCree’s. Before the car even stopped, the passenger side door was flung open, and Hana dashed out of the vehicle, towards McCree who was lighting up a cigarette. She ran into him, full-force, pushing him into the gas station wall, grasping tight to him, a wordless act of gratitude.

McCree didn’t say anything, and simply hugged her back, just as tight. Lucio and Olivia crawled out of the car, exchanging a glance with one another before slowly approaching the others. After a few minutes, Hana pulled back and looked up at McCree with her big eyes all puffy from tears. “Now haven’t I told you that pretty little face of yours would get you into some pretty big trouble?” he grinned, cracking a joke like normal. She pouted and slapped his face gently before stepping back completely.

“Your face looks bad, amigo .” Olivia noted, stepping forward to grab his jaw and move it so she could see his lip better. “But at least its stopped bleeding.” she noted, shrugging.

“I can thank Hanzo for that. He fixed me up with the power of McDonald’s napkins.” he chuckled, nodding toward his friend who had fallen rather quiet. “I think we’re gonna head back to my place, though.” he started, taking a final drag off of his cigarette before flicking it to the ground and stomping on it.

“I’d like to go home.” Hana admitted, tugging at Lucio’s sleeve. He nodded, and started back for his car.

“I suppose I’d better go home too.” Olivia sighed, patting Jesse on the shoulder, and whispering something Hanzo couldn’t hear into his ear before smirking and heading toward Lucio’s car.

“That’s not funny, Olivia.” McCree growled, his face glowing red in the flickering Go-Mart light. Hanzo looked at the latina girl as she skipped off, watching her wink at the two of them, and wondering what she had said to get the cowboy flustered as he was.

Hanzo pushed it from his mind though as he climbed into the truck with McCree. He hungrily opened the twin pack of Moonpies. “Want one?” he asked, to which Hanzo turned his nose up to the sugary pasty. “Suit yourself. These are my favorites.” He grinned and bit into one of the marshmallow filled delicacies before pulling out of his spot and heading back home.

Chapter Text

What in the actual hell was he thinking? McCree pulled into the driveway of his house after stopping at Hanzo’s for a change of clothes. His hands shook nervously as he pulled the door open and slid out of the vehicle. He made his way to the front door, glancing behind him to find Hanzo there, bag slung over his shoulder.

“Jesse, that you?” Jack’s voice shouted as he walked in the front door. After Hanzo slid in behind him, McCree stopped to lock the door behind him.

“Yeah, Dad!” he shouted back, walking toward the living room. When he entered, he found Jack and Gabe curled up together on the couch, watching “Saving Private Ryan” on the TV. “Hey guys, I decided to come home-”

“What the hell happened to your face?” Gabe snapped, getting a good look at his son, and witnessing his now-purple, swollen lip. Jesse felt his heart stop for a moment. He had forgotten that his parents would likely bitch about his lip.  “Did you get into a fight?” Gabe sat up straight, and his eyes narrowed suspiciously at the sight of Hanzo in the room as well.

“Hello to you too, Dad.” he rolled his eyes. “We were messin’ around out in Lucio’s basement and I slipped on a spot of oil, busted my face on concrete.” he lied on the spot, not missing the way Hanzo glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. “But anyway, I asked Hanzo to come over, if that’s alright.” he mentioned, knowing full well that his parents wouldn’t care.

They both took his excuse seemingly easily, and turned back to their movie. “We don’t care, you know this.” Jack replied, pulling Gabe closer on the couch. With that, the two headed up the stairs, where Jesse slung open the door to his room, apologizing for the mess that was a few shirts thrown here and there. He walked over to the dresser, and smacked the pack of cigarettes he’d bought onto the smooth wooden surface before turning back to see Hanzo shuffling uncomfortably.

“Here.” Jesse pulled a beanbag chair he’d had since he was fourteen out of a corner, and gestured to it for Hanzo to sit. He set his bag by the dresser before attempting to sit gracefully in the chair, only to fall, sinking into the beads with a surprised look on his face. Jesse let out a snort at his reaction, “Sorry! I forgot to tell you it lost some of it’s stuffin’ over the years!”

“I see that.” Hanzo smirked, embarrassed of his own reaction. He shifted around trying to find a comfortable position, failing miserably.

“I’ll be back. I’m gonna go take a quick shower because I feel like dirt.” Jesse excused, grabbing a pair of pajama pants and a tank top he’d slung on the bed that morning. Hanzo nodded curtly, and McCree soon left the room, the nervous feeling in his gut easing a bit.

***

After McCree had left the room, Hanzo found himself examining every inch of his new surroundings. The whole place was a mess, and he had to resist the urge to clean it, as he would with his own room. He had the same issue when he was at Hana’s house as well. A few flannels were tossed about, including one he recalled spilling Vodka on. Hanzo considered the possibility of that shirt being there since the party. An empty bowl sat on the nightstand, surrounded by several half-empty water bottles. Crumpled in the floor was a BBQ potato chip bag that seemed to have been long-demolished.

Hanzo stood, and walked over to the TV that sat atop a black entertainment center to keep himself from cleaning impulsively. Crouching, he saw that McCree owned the same type of console that Hana liked to play on, and in perusing the games, he noted that he also had the same game Hanzo had been taught to play as well as a few others he’d never heard of. He never took Jesse to be much of a gamer, but after a brief consideration, it didn’t seem so far-fetched.

He looked back to the dresser, where McCree had tossed his cigarettes, and found a few photo-frames. In the first one, a younger McCree stood in front of a movie theatre, a cowboy hat perched atop his head. Beside him stood an annoyed girl, with her arms crossed. It took Hanzo a moment to recognize her as Olivia, who usually wore her long hair swept to the side with an undercut, but in the picture she had a chin-length bob. In the background, a sign read “Django: Unchained” Hanzo guessed it was probably a Western movie, and wondered if Jesse frequented that genre.

His gaze moved to the next photograph, where McCree stood proudly in front of his parents in his baseball uniform, bat slung over his shoulders. His parents were hugging him from either side. Jesse looked quite young in this picture, maybe only fourteen or fifteen. His hair was shorter, no stray hair to fall in his eyes like the McCree he knew now. Brown eyes gleamed as a wide smile took up his face.

The final picture was of a woman Hanzo didn’t recognize. Her skin was a soft caramel color, and her dark hair flowed over her shoulders like silk, stopping at about her collarbone. Dark eyes much like Jesse’s were framed by slight wrinkles from years of laughter. Her large lips were pulled up into a smile as if she had just heard something funny. He figured that this woman was his mother, the woman he had mentioned earlier at the bar. The two had spoken about their parents, and Jesse had wondered if she was even alive. Deported, Hanzo recalled him saying.

He felt almost as if he was invading Jesse’s privacy by gazing on the beautiful woman, so Hanzo turned and went back to the bean bag where he sat -carefully this time- and pulled out his phone to distract him from the wandering thoughts of McCree’s past life. A notification from a few minutes ago caught his attention. The app that Hana made him download so he could watch her livestreams informed him that she was currently live.

Surprised, he tapped on the notification and was brought to the video, which when loaded, featured Hana in a pair of pink pajama pants next to Olivia. “I just am so glad that McCree was there.” she was hugging herself, clearly in the middle of a story. “If he hadn’t have been there, I...I don’t know what would have happened.”

“McCree is a good man.” Olivia added. “He, along with any other man, should never stand by while someone is being attacked.” Hanzo realized they were talking about the situation earlier that night, and jumped slightly as McCree re-entered the room, water droplets falling from his hair. Hearing Olivia’s voice, he crossed and plopped down onto the understuffed bean bag, leaning against Hanzo’s shoulder as they watched in silence. “What happened to Hana is wrong, and I hope for her sake, and others, that by sharing this livestream, people will get an idea on what the right thing to do is, and do it.” she looked at Hana, who was nodding in agreement.

“Thank you, McCree.” Hana smiled, before Olivia reached forward and shut the video off. Hanzo turned and looked at McCree, who was almost awkwardly close to him.

“Makes me feel awkward.” he noted, looking down at his hands, which fidgeted nervously with the strings of his pajama pants. “I mean, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t do the same.” Hanzo nodded, watching McCree’s face which was set in a thoughtful expression. He shook his head suddenly and moved so their shoulders no longer touched, crawling toward the TV. “I’m not very tired, wanna play something?”

Hanzo wasn’t exactly tired either, but opted to just watch him play instead. Jesse pulled out a game called “Red Dead Redemption” and began to play as a cowboy in the Wild West, a role Hanzo found suited him. McCree was sitting on the floor, legs crossed, dark eyes focused on the screen in front of him. “McCree.” Hanzo called out, watching as McCree stopped his horse in-game and turned to him. “Would you rather sit on this?” he asked, gesturing to the bean bag he was still perched on.

Without even answering, he turned back to the game and scooted over next to Hanzo, throwing himself onto the beanbag as he had before, his back pressed up against Hanzo’s arm. “This is comfortable enough.” he chuckled, jumping off of his horse in the game to assist a lady being attacked by a group of bandits. There was a brief silence, before Hanzo remembered to ask about Fareeha.

“Your friends, Fareeha, and Angela?” Hanzo piped up suddenly gaining Jesse’s attention as he finished off the bandits. “Is there some sort of history between the two?” he asked.

He felt Jesse freeze for a moment before letting out an awkward laugh. “Well, yes actually.” he paused as the lady turned on him and began to attack McCree’s character. “Most people don’t tend to pick up on that, but they were a thing a few years ago. Angela tried to keep it quiet, because-well, people are judgy about being gay, you know?” Jesse laughed awkwardly before continuing, “But Fareeha was pretty open about her sexuality. Angela just wasn’t ready, and they split up. The only reason I know is because Fareeha always confided in me about these things.”

Hanzo was quiet, musing over the information he had been provided. “Ah, shit!” McCree growled as the woman suddenly lunged at him in the game, knifing him in the stomach. The screen went red, and McCree growled before turning to look back at Hanzo, who was watching in surprise.

***

McCree stayed like that for a few hours, leaning against his friend as he played. They didn’t talk much, but McCree didn’t mind. He liked just spending time around Hanzo. Laying against Hanzo, he realized why he had asked him to come over. Although he’d initially panicked at the idea of the dragon spending the night in his room, Jesse realized how truly comfortable he felt in his presence. Sometimes he’d become flustered or awkward, but that was because he liked the quiet man, and he knew it. Laying there, he found that being with Hanzo made the dark thoughts and anxiety that had come to a boil earlier, simply melt away.

“Hey Hanz, you gettin’ tired?” he asked, stopping to save his game. When he got no response, he glanced over his shoulder, and found Hanzo had leaned his head on it, and was fast asleep. Jesse froze, unsure of what to do. He wasn’t sure how long Hanzo had been asleep and didn’t know what to do.

Although his eyes were tired, he decided to keep playing instead of waking Hanzo from where he slept comfortably on the cowboy’s shoulder. Although he had played the game several times before, he found himself in the last mission of the game, fighting off waves of American soldiers as his wife and son hid in the barn.

This part had always caught him off-guard. Even when he knew it was coming, seeing it always put a lump in his throat as the cowboy John Marston takes his last stand. He fought wave after wave as they came, and watched as John’s family ran away to safety. He barricaded himself in the barn, peering through the slants in the wood at the last faces he would ever see, and slinging the doors open, McCree took down as many as he could, but they were too many for John Marston and McCree cringed as he was shot to pieces, left to bleed out in a puddle of his own blood.

As the game ended finally, he heard Hanzo let out a soft moan in his sleep, probably dreaming of something. McCree smiled at the sleeping figure, and pushed closer against the dragon, turning so he could lean his head against Hanzo’s before letting his own eyes droop shut, the credits rolling across the screen with no one left awake to watch them.

Jesse found himself in that damned gorge again, just like he had been all those years ago. The sun blazed above him, turning the dusty wasteland into a living hell. He looked down at those old rough brown boots, way too big for him. They were his father’s, a man his mother only talked about when highly inebriated from a few too many swigs of liquor. A lizard ran from rock to rock, trying to not attract the attention of the twelve-year-old who wore boots too big for him in both a literal and metaphorical sense.

In his hands, he fumbled with the gun he called “Peacekeeper”. He’d got the name from one of the old Western DVDs in the box of stuff kept in the attic. Jesse used to spend hours in the living room late at night, eyes plastered to the screen, watching Bonanza for the third time that school year. Maybe it would be Gunsmoke instead, it all depended on his mood.

The gun itself had been his grandfather’s. Although he’d never met the man, his mother was more than willing to tell stories of growing up around her papa . He was a good man, or so he’d been told. He was born, lived and died in Mexico, a place his mother was glad to have escaped. Even if it did take the help of a man she’d fallen in love with, who only left her when he heard of his son’s existence.

“Hey, kid. You gonna finish the job?” the taller man snarled, sharply kicking McCree in the shin, making him wince and return from his thoughts. He looked up and found a man trembling before him on his knees. A scrap of dirty cloth was placed in the man’s mouth, and he looked up at Jesse with fearful eyes. He stared back at them, the gun feeling suddenly heavy in his calloused hands.

He felt another kick, this time to his knee, making him stumble. He caught himself and squinted up to glare at the man responsible. He was a nobody like Jesse, just someone scooped off of the hard streets and forced into the life of the Deadlock gang. “C’mon McCree. Do your job.” the other man demanded again. He gulped, glancing back down at the gun in his hand, the man’s voice echoing in his mind.

Without further hesitation, McCree pressed the barrel of Peacekeeper to the man’s forehead and pulled the trigger.

***

Hanzo awoke to the sounds of McCree and his struggled breathing. Much to his surprise, Hanzo found himself still on the bean bag, leaning against the shaking McCree. In sleep, they had somehow pressed closer together, McCree’s arms wrapped around Hanzo’s shoulders and Hanzo’s legs tangled in McCree’s. He felt his face grow red in the strong man’s grip and would consider going back to sleep, had it not been for the terror playing across McCree’s features as he slept.

“McCree,” Hanzo grabbed his shoulder gently. When this didn’t work, he gave it a slight shake. “McCree.” he repeated, gently slapping a hand against his face. This woke the cowboy up, eyes wide as he tried to make sense of the sight in front of him. Hanzo gave him a moment to blink as he began to wake up. “Are you alright?” he asked, a concerned tone to his voice.

“I uh…” McCree trailed off as he noticed how close they were, a blush spreading across his face. “Oh, uh, sorry Hanz…” he pulled away from the other man, backing up into his bed. Hanzo tried to get his focus off of how cold he was now that he was not a tangle of limbs with Jesse. He grabbed his phone, and upon seeing the time, felt his heart skip a beat. Without a word, he showed it to McCree. “Shit. We are so fucking late.”

Hanzo jumped to his feet and grabbed his bag, where he’d kept an extra change of clothes. He dashed to the unfamiliar bathroom and quickly changed into his normal black hoodie and jeans. He found that his hair had somehow come partially down during the night, and grabbing the loose ribbon, he quickly re-tied it into its normal style before heading back out of the room to find Jesse.

“My dads had an early shift this morning and didn’t stop to wake me up like normal.” he growled, having changed into a black flannel and jeans, a pair of old cowboy boots on his feet. He grabbed his bag and began to make his way downstairs, muttering angrily in Spanish as he went. “I would offer you breakfast, and believe me, I make the best breakfast, but we have zero time.” he apologized, waiting at the door for Hanzo to slip into his shoes.

“I understand.” Hanzo replied as they exited the house and climbed into McCree’s truck. He started it quickly and they began their journey down the road, taking it a bit faster than normal. Hanzo had wanted to ask his friend how he was feeling, considering he had to wake him from a nightmare, but decided not to push the issue. McCree would have brought it up if he wanted to talk about it, right ?

They spoke little as McCree slid into a spot and they made their way through the front doors. Glancing at the clock on his phone, Hanzo realized they were only halfway through their first class. That fact did not bring him much joy, considering the fact that he would have to walk in late for Amari’s class for the second time this year.

McCree paused outside the door, and looked at Hanzo. “You sure you don’t just want to skip this class? I know a great spot to hide out.” he offered with a nervous smile. Shaking his head, Hanzo reached around Jesse and opened the door himself, stumbling into the middle of a lecture. Every student turned to look at the pair, and Hanzo kept a straight face as he entered and crossed the classroom.

“Both of you late for the second time?” Amari snapped as both of them slid into their seats. “Hanzo has an excuse since it was his first day, but McCree?” she raised her eyebrows at the poor cowboy. “And walking in together? Is there something you aren’t telling us, Jesse?” she teased, wagging a finger in his direction. Hanzo looked away from the cowboy to avoid the desperate gaze he was shot as the class erupted into laughter.

He found Olivia’s to be the loudest as she cackled, tears forming in her eyes. From beside him, Hana poked Hanzo’s shoulder, a sly grin on her face. He felt his own face burn at Amari’s accusation. His stomach dropped however, when McCree cockily replied, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

The room howled with another round of laughter, and Hanzo tried to focus on pulling his notes out, well aware that half of the class was watching him while the other half watched the flustered McCree. Hanzo briefly considered crawling into a hole and dying, but tried his best to keep a straight face as the laughter died down and Amari returned to the lecture, no further retorts to the sassy cowboy. Hanzo dared a peek over at McCree, who was already looking at him. He shot the cowboy a flustered look, and got a simple shrug in return. Sighing, he turned back to his notebook and attempted to catch up on the notes he was painfully behind in.

***

“You told her what?” McCree spat, almost dropping the sandwich Olivia had shared with him. They sat on the rooftop, eating like they normally did. McCree had considered sitting with Hana, Lucio and Hanzo, but Olivia talked him into spending time together alone.

“Listen, McCree. Let me explain.” she started, setting her sandwich on a napkin as she began. “Hana was in a pretty awful mood. She needed something to cheer her up.” Olivia was trying to make excuses and Jesse wasn’t happy about it.

“That’s not a good reason, Olivia.” he took a bite from the PB&J, glaring at the smug latina as he chewed, a bitter look on his face.

“Whatever. But you know she’s friends with Hanzo, and let me tell you.” she stopped, laughing, “She’s all in on helping me get the two of you together.” Jesse choked on his sandwich, face heating up in embarrassment.

“She’s in on what now?” he gasped, grabbing his water bottle and unscrewing the cap. Olivia let it sink in as he gulped it down. “Are you out of your damn mind? I didn’t ask for this! And I’m sure Hanzo wouldn’t be too pleased to know y’all are try’na force him onto me. He probably doesn’t even like guys. Ever thought’a that?” He didn’t want her help, or Hana’s for that matter. Jesse considered himself to be old-fashioned, and was scared that their meddling would result in any chances with Hanzo fading away.

“Oh stop being such a baby.” she rolled her eyes, picking her sandwich back up carefully. “What’s that one cowboy proverb you always spit out? The one with the horse and the water?” she asked, grinning. She knew damn well the exact saying she referred to, but wanted to make Jesse think for it.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. He supposed that was true. McCree still didn’t like the idea of Hana knowing about his awkward and most likely unrequited feelings toward the dragon. Hell, McCree wasn’t even sure Hana knew that he liked guys until now, considering that she had forced him to ask a few different girls to homecoming over the years. Last year, he’d managed to escape the bullet that was prom by faking sick, and then sneaking out to Lucio’s house for a night of drinking.

“You’ve gone quiet.” Olivia noted, finishing off her sandwich. “Thinking about it?” McCree just shot her a look, quietly eating the rest of his sandwich. “You know me, McCree. I’m not going to do anything extreme. Besides, Hana can keep a secret. I’m sure.”

“I thought you didn’t even like Hana, or Lucio for that matter.” he spat out, eyeing her suspiciously. Although he’d been friends with all three of them for years, Olivia tended to be more of a lone-wolf. She was friends with Jesse and that seemed about it until recently.

“She’s, uh...grown on me.” Olivia answered hesitantly, earning a searching look from the cowboy. “But really, McCree. Relax. Your secret is safe, and just think of us being here as support.” She smiled at him before pulling herself to her feet, hearing the bell ring that signalled lunch was over.

That evening after McCree had dropped Hanzo off at his house, he came home to find both of his parents already home. He tossed his bag into his room and returned downstairs to find Jack and Gabe sitting on the couch. “Jesse, are you ready to go?” Jack asked, pulling a pair of shoes on.

It took McCree a moment to remember what day it was. “Oh, uh yeah.” He patted his pockets, feeling for his wallet and phone, and once he found they were there, he headed for the door and put his shoes back on. Behind him, he heard Jack and Gabe shuffling around as they got ready. The three of them went out and climbed into Gabe’s personal car, and took off for Effi’s, a local pizza place they visited once a year.

Today, four years ago, Jesse was officially adopted by Jack and Gabriel Morrison-Reyes. He still remembered as they walked out of the courthouse, being able to officially call himself their son. Immediately after the papers were official, the three had gone to Effi’s for the first time to celebrate. He wasn’t all too close with them yet, but they had saved his life. They’d managed to get him out of some serious charges that could have ended up ruining McCree, and he would always be grateful for that.

As they pulled into the parking lot, Jesse found himself smiling at the yearly tradition. It was almost like a birthday for them, a celebration of the day he began to actually have a childhood, and the day the two of them became parents. They went inside, and their favorite waitress, an African woman who went by Orisa, settled them at their normal table. “Will you be having the same thing you order every year?” she teased, smiling wide at the three. After they ordered, she went back to the kitchen to place the order, and the three sat in a happy silence.

“I can’t believe we’ve made it this far.” Jack chuckled out of the blue, making the other two exchange a look before looking at Jack who was beaming at his two favorite people. On his side of the booth, he slung an arm around his partner. “Babe, just look at him. We didn’t completely ruin his life, now did we?”  The two erupted into loud laughter, and every time they tried to stop, they only laughed more.

“What’s so funny?” Jesse asked, smiling with his arms crossed over his chest as he dads lost their shit. After earning a few cautious looks from other customers and staff, the two men calmed down, purposefully not looking at each other, for fear they’d start laughing again.

“Well…” Gabe started, chuckling before continuing. “When we made the decision to ask you to let us adopt you, Jack and I got into a huge fight.” he leaned back, stuck in some memory. “As I recall, you’d punched Jack in the nose, and right after...well do you remember?”

Jesse thought back, definitely recalling the way he’d almost broken Jack’s nose. “Yeah, you came in there, Gabe. You were pretty calm despite the fact I just busted him in the face.” he gestured to the blonde, who was grinning.” You told me that if I worked with you, you’d help me out, because what choice did I have?” McCree chuckled, remembering Gabe’s dead cold stare as he explained exactly how Jesse would go to jail again and again for the rest of his life, and he’d either rot there, or get himself killed some other way. At fourteen, Jesse was a stupid kid, but he damn sure was smart enough to know how to play his cards.

“Yeah, I shook you up real bad. But after you let us get the charges cleared for you, we started talkin’ bout takin’ you in.” he grinned, looking over at Jack, who was still smiling as well. “Even though you’d punched him, Jack was the one who suggested it. And let me tell you, Jesse.” he leaned forward, grinning at his son. “I looked at Jack, and for the first time, I told him he was a fucking nutcase .” The two stopped to laugh over it, Jesse grinning at the mental picture being painted for him. “I said, ‘Jack, no. We’re gonna completely ruin this kid’s life, and he doesn’t need much help as it is’ and Jack looked at me-” Gabe stopped to do his best Jack voice, deep and mocking, “-’Gabriel, he’s just a kid. Let him be a kid’ And so I punched Jack in the face, just like you did, but he talked me into it.” he finished, taking a swig of a soda Orisa had placed on the table.

McCree burst into laughter, imagining Jack getting decked twice by the two men he would end up caring the most about. The three laughed about it for quite awhile, only quieting when Orisa placed a large pizza in front of them, one half cheese, the other half anchovies, the way they always got it.

***

Hanzo tossed and turned on the tough mattress, his mind a thunderstorm of thought. All of the doubt and anxiety built up from his newfound social interactions was simply overflowing. Part of his mind scolded him for getting as caught up with the cowboy as he had the previous night. He had awoken, practically cuddling the man, and it had made him late for school, something his father would never tolerate. Another part of his mind reminded him that his father is dead, and he should be lucky. He had never been able to make close friends in any other placement. The first part of his mind popped back in to remind Hanzo that ‘close friends’ oftentimes do not ‘cuddle’.

He flopped over, grabbing his phone and considering texting McCree, but decided against it in the end. As he recalled, McCree had offered to help Hanzo study tomorrow anyway. He need not bother the cowboy more than needed. He wanted to text Hana, but in his current state, he couldn’t bring himself to talk to her, or anyone.

So instead, he just flopped onto his back and glared at the ceiling, unable to express the tight ball of emotion in his chest. He laid there and let it fester until he could no longer stand to stare at the four blank white walls any longer, and quickly slipped outside. It was a rather nice evening, although it was beginning to get dark. Hanzo had no destination in mind, and just simply walked, letting his mind focus on what was around him rather than the dark cloud currently filling his head.

He found himself at a park he’d only passed once or twice since he’d been here, and began to walk the path set around it. A few joggers passed him, a couple pushing a baby carriage was stopped up ahead by a bench. He passed a playground where children screamed and ran about, faintly triggering a memory in the back of his mind.

When they were children, Hanzo and Genji would often go to the playground near the Shimada Mansion and run about. Genji was always the risk taker, climbing up to the tops of the playsets, where children were not allowed to go. Hanzo, being the anxious child he was, would stand below, shouting up at Genji, “Get down! You’re going to fall and hurt yourself!”

“Stop being such a mom!” the sparrow would call back, sticking his tongue out at the eldest sibling, before sliding off onto the intended sections of the playset, unharmed. Shortly after, Hanzo would run as fast as his legs would take him, chasing his poor brother down, and tackling him, wrestling in the grass until the younger sibling always surrendered.

Hanzo blinked, bringing himself back to the moment, noticing he had stopped on the path next to the playground, staring blankly at the children playing nearby. Not wanting to be mistaken for some sort of creep, he moved on quickly, continuing down the path. He walked by a pond, gazing into the water. He was rather delighted to find that the pond had been stocked with several different koi of varying sizes.

A large one, bright orange bobbed near the surface, as if he were waiting for Hanzo to feed him. There were a few feeders nearby in which one could exchange a quarter for a handful of fish food. Glancing back to the hungry fish, he decided that he would definitely be coming back another day to feed it. After watching the waters for a bit, he decided to move along the path.

He walked along a long stretch which turned into a curve, the path beyond obstructed by trees and foliage. Up ahead, he heard a pair of familiar feminine voices, arguing over something. “I’m just saying that you shouldn’t be afraid of this! You’re only hurting yourself.” a sultry voice he recognized as Moira’s, called out.

A sigh was heard from the other person, just around the bend of the path. “Moira, I know what you mean, and yes, I agree.” the other voice belonged to Angela, the friend of McCree. “I’m just...scared.” she sounded defeated, and Hanzo almost turned around and walked the other way, sure he was walking in on a private conversation, but as he thought that, a branch cracked under his step. Both voices were silent, waiting as Hanzo came around the corner and caught sight of the two women, sitting together on a bench shaded by a few trees.

“Oh! Hello, Hanzo!” Angela grinned, waving at him. She showed no sign of the fearful voice she’d just been using before. “How are you today?” A smile spread across her face as he approached the two.

“Just fine.” he lied, nervously fiddling with a loose string in his pocket. “And you?” he asked, glancing at Moira in a polite manner.

“We’re good.” Moira answered drily. Her cold eyes betrayed what Angela was trying so hard to cover up, the fact that he had walked in on a private discussion, something that she didn’t want Hanzo to be a part of. Angela fell silent at Moira’s rude remark, and Hanzo simply bowed his head and said his goodbyes, turning and continuing down the path. He was quite a ways away before any trace of the two women's’ voices were heard again.

The sun was finally starting to set, and he decided he had better turn home. He was dissatisfied in the walk, considering it was only a mere distraction from his thoughts. He knew as soon as he returned home, they would fill his mind once again. Those thoughts, and more, now that he had yet another memory of his brother bouncing around in his brain once again.

He looked up at the sky as he walked, and admired the beautiful streaks of yellow, orange, and pink, wondering that if somewhere up there, Genji was watching him. A bitter smile crossed his face, realizing that if his brother was watching him, Genji was probably poking fun at his older brother somewhere up there.

Chapter Text

The day went by rather quickly for McCree. His classes seemed to pass in a blur, and he spent his lunch time in the spare computer lab, listening to Olivia and her angry Spanish ramblings as she hacked away. The end of the school day came rather quickly, and he was happy, secretly looking forward to his evening with Hanzo, even if it was filled with studying for Ana Amari’s hellish test.

Jesse sighed, tired of the latina’s rambling as she followed him to his truck in the parking lot. “So yeah, I totally screenshotted his tiny peen and I’m gonna send it to his mom if he doesn’t slip some money into my bank account.” she finished her story, making Jesse laugh, surprisingly. She had been telling this story for quite a while, apparently it being about the guy she’d been dancing with Monday night. McCree barely remembered the tipsy college student, until she recalled how he tried to punch Jesse when he was looking for Hana.

“That’s the most honest hacking I think I’ve ever heard of you doing.” he grinned, as she laughed, tossing her hair over her shoulder. She spouted off something about being the best.

Up ahead, he caught sight of Hanzo, dressed down in jeans, cuffed at the ankle, hiking boots, and a rather form-fitting black t-shirt, leaning against the bed of Jesse’s truck. His black hair was tied into a charmingly messy bun on the top of his head. In his hands, he held a book, and his dark eyes were fixed firmly on it, entranced in his reading.  McCree had already checked him out this morning during the drive to school, glancing at him out of the corner of his eye whenever he thought he could get away with it without the other man noticing.

“Ooh, look who’s waiting for you!” Olivia cried out, elbowing McCree in the ribs and wiggling her eyebrows suggestively as she spotted their friend. He glared at her, glancing up to see if the dragon had seen them, and was relieved to find that he was still focused on his book. “Calm down, amigo .” she grinned, lowering her voice. “Any plans tonight?” she winked again, causing McCree to flush once more. She noticed this, her grin growing larger at her friend’s embarrassment.

“We’re just gonna study. He’s havin’ some issues with Amari’s class-” he was cut off by the look Olivia gave him. “What?” He stopped, raising an eyebrow at her smug look, knowing well that she was going to say something terrible.

“Study.” she did air quotes with her fingers, which earned a hard shove from McCree, shooting her a look as they approached the truck. She stumbled to the side for a moment, almost toppling over, but caught her balance. She shot daggers at McCree, before smiling and waving in Hanzo’s direction as he looked up from his book.

“See you tomorrow, Olivia.” he shot her a warning glare, begging her to not say or do anything in front of Hanzo. She behaved however, and simply smiled before dashing off to where Lucio was climbing into his car, probably to hitch a ride off of him. McCree turned back to find Hanzo shutting his book, slipping it into his messenger bag. “Heya, Hanzo.” he smiled, and felt his stomach flutter as his friend returned the smile.

“Hello, McCree.” he replied, and walked around the other side of the truck, McCree glancing over his shoulder to find Lucio’s car driving by, Sombra leaning over to honk the horn as they passed. Jesse waved at them, shaking his head.

Unlocking the truck, he climbed up into the driver’s side and started the truck. “So would you like to head back to my place to study? My dads are working late. Or is there somewhere else you’d have in mind?”

Hanzo seemed to think for a moment before grinning and turning to him. “Actually, I have an idea.”

***

The dragon was somehow more confused than anything as McCree tried to explain the legislative system. Hanzo was well versed when it came to politics- well, Yakuza politics. American politics were a whole other story, one that he never bothered to learn through his time in the states.

McCree was being patient with him, but Hanzo knew that his ignorance must be tiring. Especially since the two had already been there for an hour. They sat together on a bench in the park that he’d visited the day before, going over a list of vocabulary words that Hanzo had yet to grasp. “You wanna take a break?” McCree asked, finally, leaning back. Hanzo nodded and glanced over toward the pond, trying to let his mind relax. “You’re doin’ alright. This stuff takes a bit to memorize.” McCree added, as if he noticed Hanzo’s doubt.

Hanzo didn’t answer though, and instead stood and turned towards the pond, walking in its direction. He heard McCree pause before following behind him. Despite needing the lesson, Hanzo still had one goal in mind, and smiled to himself as he pulled a quarter out of his pocket. He found the machine, and slipped the quarter in before turning the crank, small pellets filling his outstretched hand.

He heard a chuckle from beside him, where McCree was patiently watching. “Y’know, in all of my time livin’ here, I never took the time to feed these fish.” He glanced up at the taller man, wondering how someone could live somewhere that had these beautiful creatures, and barely notice them. Walking to the pond’s edge, he smiled as he crouched by the water, the action attracting several koi fish.

“I’ve always enjoyed watching koi.” Hanzo smiled, throwing a handful of food into the pond, where the fish fought for the pellets. “When I was a child, we had a small pond in the courtyard of my family’s home, back in Japan.” he mused, before stopping abruptly, suddenly aware that he was sharing more than he intended to. McCree didn’t seem to mind, and crouched next to him, holding his hand out for Hanzo to share the pellets. Hanzo glanced at him briefly before dropping a few pellets into the cowboy’s hand.

“Tell me more.” McCree tossed a few pellets to the fish below. “I mean, only if you want to.” he added quickly. Hanzo was rather surprised at McCree’s request, and watched the fish for a moment before replying.

“Whenever things would get stressful in my home, I would always spend an evening in the gardens. They were beautiful in the summer. So many different flowers, cherry blossoms everywhere in the late spring.” he mused, tossing his last bit into the water. “It was a small pond, so we only had five fish. Two were orange, one was spotted, one mostly white, and the last was bright gold in color. That fish was always my brother’s favorite.” the smile quickly faded from his face as he brought his brother up, a ping of guilt in his chest.

McCree tossed his last bit into the water as well, before inquiring, quietly, “I didn’t know you had a brother.” Hanzo tried not to cringe, but still did, knowing that he probably made the cowboy feel awkward in doing so, but he couldn’t help it. He wasn’t trying to pull any sort of sympathy from McCree, and was afraid he would scare him off like that.

“I did, but he passed when we were younger.” Hanzo replied, chest tight. With that, he stood, and returned to the park bench, eager to escape the conversation.

“Ah’m sorry!” Jesse spat out quickly from behind Hanzo, making him jump. He turned to find an awkward McCree looking apologetic. “I didn’t mean to...I-I pushed you to talk about it.” the other man stuttered.

“It is fine. I brought it up anyway. “ Hanzo shrugged him off, before grabbing his bag, and beginning to slide his books into it. “Thank you for the help this evening. It is appreciated.” he bowed slightly.  

McCree, still looking awkward, nodded. “It’s no problem.” and then added, “I’ll drive you home.” The two walked back to the parking lot rather silently, and climbed into McCree’s truck. Starting the truck up, Jesse finally spoke up, “We never had fish or anything where I was, but one time, when I was about seven, my mom saved up a bunch of money and took me to the zoo.” he started. “We took the bus, I always hated the bus.” he stopped to laugh before continuing. “I really liked the petting zoo. It was my favorite. I got to pet a horse, and lemme tell you- I loved horses.” This struck Hanzo as odd, but he listened anyway. “I’ve always been real big on Western movies, cowboys, all of that. They fascinated me as a kid, and getting to pet a real life horse was like a dream come true. I was so happy that my mom bought me a stuffed horse from the gift shop.”

Hanzo smiled distantly at the memory Jesse laid out for him. The woman he’d seen in the picture on McCree’s dresser, holding a younger McCree’s hand as he led her around the hot zoo, pulling her toward the horses. He wondered why McCree chose to tell him about this, but didn’t ask, instead opting to sit back in the seat.

“I just thought that since you shared with me, I’d share with you.” McCree finished, looking over his shoulder before pulling out of the spot.

“Thank you. I...enjoy hearing about you in this manner.” Hanzo said quietly, looking out the window. McCree hummed in response, and Hanzo didn’t stir to look at him, but instead gazed at the scenery passing by.

“You wanna stop by my place and get a bite to eat?” McCree broke the silence after a few minutes. “I believe I told you I make the best breakfast, and although it could be considered dinner, I still offer the best.” he paused to look over at Hanzo and grin.

Although he wanted to, Hanzo turned down the offer. He felt he was spending too much time around his new friend, and was probably an annoyance more than anything at this point. McCree had already spent his evening helping him with homework, and he’d heard Hanzo’s memories of his childhood. He felt as if McCree probably wouldn’t take much more of Hanzo’s struggles before ditching him, which was understandable.

The two carried on though, deep in pleasant conversation before Hanzo was dropped off to hide out in his room, away from Gary, away from McCree, and away from the park that now reminded him of his brother.

***

Finishing his last lap, Jesse McCree returned to the school’s locker room to get cleaned up. A few days ago, he’d made the mistake of leaving a pack of cigs out on his dresser again, and Gabe found them. Extra laps once again for smoke-free Jesse McCree. His muscles ached with fatigue as he stepped into the hot streams of water, feeling the filth flow away down the drain. The steam-filled room set him at ease as he took his time, washing his hair and body. He let his thoughts wander for a bit, until Gabe stuck his head in the locker room and screamed for McCree to hurry, which he did. After redressing, he climbed into the passenger side of his truck, letting Gabe drive the two of them home. Gabe tried to pass the drive time with idle chatter about practice and that week’s game, but Jesse’s mind was elsewhere.

It had been a week since he had been to the park with Hanzo. Although they saw each other at lunch and during the morning and evening rides, McCree was rather displeased with how things were going between them. For some reason, it felt like Hanzo was pulling away, isolating himself. Jesse didn’t want to pry or invade Hanzo’s sense of privacy, but his feelings for him just would not go away, and he was almost scared to let him slip away any further. He had thought that in the past few weeks that the two had made some progress, or it had seemed. He was starting to feel closer to Hanzo, only for him to completely disappear again.

That was how McCree found himself at Olivia’s house after practice that afternoon. Why am I here? With a brief knock, one of her younger siblings answered the door before shouting up the stairs for her in Spanish. “Oh, McCree!” she shouted when she saw him, hopping down the stairs, two at a time. Despite not being one for yoga, Olivia wore yoga pants and a loose-fitting purple t-shirt. “Everything okay? You never come over, usually.” she remarked, pulling him in the door and up the stairs.

He opened his mouth to answer but was cut off by shouting. “Is that a boy, mija ? Are you bringing a boy into your room ?” her mother shouted from the kitchen, hands on hips as she watched them go upstairs.

“Oh, mama ! It’s just McCree! He doesn’t count as a boy to me anyway!” she rolled her eyes, continuing up the stairs. Olivia’s mother looked as if she was about to snap something back, but two of her children decided to get into a fight in the living room, diverting her attention briefly as she went to break it up.

Once they made it inside her room, Olivia closed the door firmly behind them, and returned to what appeared to be a giant nest on the floor made primarily of blankets and pillows. Her laptop sat to the side, but she had it shut for the moment as she patted a spot next to her in her nest. McCree gladly sat down, and she shot him a concerned look. “To what do I owe this pleasure, McCree?” she asked rather bluntly.

He wasn’t sure how to answer, hesitant to reveal his feelings to even his best friend. He was certain she would tease him regardless. His silence was enough of an answer for her though, as she nodded and leaned back in her nest. “Hanzo, right?” she asked, to which McCree simply nodded, wondering how she could guess. “What happened?”

He sighed, looking around nervously. “I mean, nothin’ happened.” In his lap, he began to examine his fingernails, short and stubby due to his obsessive biting. “I’m doin’ somethin’ wrong, and I don’t know what.”

“Are you the one doing something wrong, or is he?” she proposed, lacing her clawed fingers together in her lap as she watched his expression carefully. McCree thought about her question for a moment, briefly running through all of his previous conversations with Hanzo, and coming up short.

“I don’t know. Its like he’s makin’ himself distant, and I don’t know what I did to cause that.” Suddenly embarrassed, he decided to dismiss the subject altogether. “Its whatever, It doesn’t matter.” He leaned back against her bed, and a short silence hung over the two of them as they both thought about the situation. He was starting to regret coming to Olivia’s house, feeling as if he was sharing way too much as it was. She didn’t appear to mind however as she leaned forward, her elbows resting on her knees as she thought about what he had told her.

“Nah, it does matter.” she decided, scooting closer to look him in the eye. “It matters to you. And besides, Hana and I’ve already noticed and got something up our sleeves.” she grinned, a mischievous look in her eyes. Jesse gulped, afraid of what she had planned.

“What do you mean?” he asked, cracking his knuckles nervously as he pondered the idea of Hana and Olivia coming up with something together. “This is why I didn’t want her to know. Both of y’all comin’ up with ideas is terrifying.”

She let out a laugh. “Trust me, McCree. It’s not bad. In fact, I think I’ll have Hana go ahead and start on her end…” she trailed off, glancing around for her phone. She found it underneath her thigh, and quickly shot a text to Hana, the message unknown to Jesse. Anxiety curled in his stomach as he thought about what exactly she was doing.

“Olivia, I don’t know what you’ve got planned, but I don’t think-”

“Done!” she cut him off, smiling wide at him. “Listen, just give us a chance. If this doesn’t work out, then we’ll move on.” she paused, sending him a reassuring look, “I promise.” McCree sighed. She didn’t promise things very often, and he was hesitant to give into his friends’ meddling, but the least he could do was trust them. “He’s got you hooked bad.” Olivia frowned at her friend, fiddling with her phone in her hands. “I’ve seen you crush on a few others before, but never this bad.”

She was right, and McCree couldn’t explain it either. The more time he spent around the dragon, the more he felt himself being pulled in. Initially, he felt that he could have blamed his infatuation on the man’s outrageously handsome looks, but after meeting him and spending some time with him, Jesse found that his connection to the dragon seemed to be much deeper. “Wait, you don’t know who else I’ve liked!” he accused.

Olivia snorted at this and began ticking them off on her fingers, “Amelie, Fareeha, you kind of liked Satya, you liked that one guy in gym class, you liked the waiter at steak n’ shake, oh and you liked Sparro-” McCree cut her off with a shout.

“Okay! Okay! I get it!” he pouted, arms folded over his chest. “And for the record, I didn’t like Fareeha.” he tried, but Olivia sent him a knowing look, which he pointedly ignored.

***

“Explain to me one more time what exactly it is we’re doing.” Hanzo frowned at Hana, who was lounging across her bed, slurping up the rest of the milk from her cereal bowl. Hana had summoned the dragon to her house early that morning, claiming that they had important stuff to do that night, and she had basically avoided his questioning all day.

She sat the bowl in her lap with an annoyed look on her face as she used her sleeve to wipe away a milk mustache. “I told you, its just a bunch of us going out and doing stupid stuff.” Rolling her eyes, she sat her bowl on her nightstand and grabbed her phone from next to it. “Its gonna be Me, You, Olivia, Lucio, Lena, Zarya, Mei,and McCree.”

“Okay, and why are we doing this?” Hanzo asked, seeking a reason for this sudden outing. Hana groaned, probably due to the fact that he had asked the same question several times today.

“There is no reason, Hanz! We’re just doing it because we’re friends, and that’s what friends do!” she explained once again. Hanzo nodded, but still felt as if she was hiding a bit of the truth from him. Regardless, he wouldn’t push the issue but still felt in the dark about it. “I’m gonna start getting ready, though. I look bad today.” she frowned at herself in the full length mirror across the room before standing and searching for her makeup bag.

Hana took approximately two full hours to get ready, something that amazed Hanzo entirely, but by the time she was done, it was time to go. She texted Lucio, who was already on his way to pick the pair up. She left the room for a moment, and Hanzo took the moment to look at himself in the mirror. Sighing at his reflection, he tried to recall how he got thrown into this strange friendship in which he was a part of a larger friend group.  

“Hanz, you coming?” Hana popped back in the room suddenly, making him jump. Before he could answer, she giggled and grabbed his arm, dragging him down the stairs. “Bye Mom, Bye Dad! Be back later!” she shouted to her parents, who were always somewhere out of Hanzo’s sight. Sliding out the front door, Hanzo caught sight of Lucio’s beater, Olivia already lounging in the front seat. Hana pulled the back door open and slid across so Hanzo could slide in behind her.

Spinning around, Olivia grinned at the two. Hanzo almost missed the look that the two girls shared. “Ready for tonight?” she asked, tapping her nails on the headrest as she looked at the two.

“Of course!” Hana cheered, smiling wide at Olivia, and then to Hanzo, a reassuring vibe emanating from her. He relaxed as Lucio pulled away from the curb and they sped off towards wherever they were going.

Chapter Text

McCree leaned back on the bench in front of the theater and sighed. Glancing nervously at his phone for the thirteenth time, he noted once again that his friends were late. He was nervous enough about today as it was, but with them being late, it made him even more anxious. He had texted Olivia several times, but got no response. That would be like her to not answer him though. Clicking the lock button, he sat his phone back down and leaned forward, anxiously scanning the sidewalks for any sign of his friends once again. Seeing nothing, his foot began to tap again, anxiously. 

He pulled his phone back out and began to anxiously check his notifications, finding nothing new. He pulled up snapchat and decided to go through all of the stories. It was the usual stuff, Lucio offering a link to his soundcloud, a gym selfie from Fareeha. The next story that played happened to be Hana’s, which featured her along with Lucio, Olivia, and Hanzo in a car, singing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the top of their lungs. Checking the timestamp, McCree noted that this was from ten minutes ago. Well, at least he knew they were still coming and weren’t planning on ditching him. He flipped through a few more stories before turning his phone’s screen off again and looking up. 

Down the street he spotted a familiar bubblegum pink jacket, and found Hana and the rest of his friends heading toward them. “Hey!” he shouted and waved, heading toward them. As soon as he caught their attention, he jogged towards them. His eyes landed on Hanzo, whose face actually wore a pleasant smile, as if he had just heard something funny.

“Sorry we were late dude, we had a few detours.” Lucio groaned as they approached, shooting a look at Lena who now joined their group. 

“Heya, McCree!” she smiled at him. “We don’t hang out very often! This should be fun!” McCree smiled back at the over-excited Brit before turning his gaze to Olivia, who smirked impishly at him, her arm linked with Hana’s. Jesse almost asked why, but realized why pretty quickly. Looking around, he started to count everyone as pairs, Hana and Olivia would likely spend the evening at each other's side. Lena was invited along so Lucio wouldn’t be third-wheeling Hana and Olivia. Mei and Zarya were on their way, and they were basically inseparable. That would leave Hanzo and himself. 

Ah, so this was their plan.  

“So what are we gonna see?” Hana asked, looking up at the board that displayed what was playing. Everyone grew quiet for a moment, realizing that no one had actually thought it through. As his eyes swept across the board, McCree felt his breath hitch as his eyes landed on one particular title. 

“I...uh...I know what I wanna see.” he spoke up nervously. Everyone turned to him expectantly, wanting any suggestions to solve their dilemma. 

“McCree, no.” Olivia answered, still looking at the board. She knew him too well. He shot her a glare she didn’t even care enough to receive. 

“Which one is it?” Lena asked, squinting uncertainly at the board. Jesse considered just shutting up about it, but Olivia answered for him. 

“They did a remake of that old western movie.” she answered. “McCree’s in love with those stupid movies for some reason.”

“They’re not stupid!” he defended, looking back up at the board. “It's a remake of the 1952 classic, “High Noon”. I had the old one on VHS as a kid.” he explained. 

“Wait, wait, wait!” Hana interjected, making everyone look at her, “Is that High Noon, with that big actor co-starring with the Brigitte?” 

“That famous YouTuber girl that does all of the building videos? Yeah, I’m pretty sure…” Jesse answered, the name ringing a familiar bell. 

“I. Love. Her.” Hana squealed, drawing the attention of several bystanders. “I watch all of her videos! She’s such a sweetheart!” Hana continued to gush about the YouTuber. “We talk sometimes and she told me about how she was offered a lead role in this movie and of course I told her I’d watch it, but I forgot when it came out and-”

“Woah, chica !” Olivia laughed, cutting the excited Hana off. “Slow down. You want to see this?” she gestured toward the theatre, and Hana smiled, nodding excitedly. “Then, I’ll see it with you. I’m sure McCree wants to watch it. Everyone else can tag along or watch something else.” She shrugged, suddenly solving the problem. 

“That sounds like a good plan. I don’t mind watching it if Hana wants to.” Lucio piped up, nodding enthusiastically. Lena however, grabbed onto his arm and loudly declared that she would join them, much to Lucio’s very evident distaste. 

“We’ve still got to wait for Mei and Zarya.” Hana reminded everyone, who nodded and began chattering amongst themselves as they waited. Jesse was silent, just watching everyone, until he noticed Hanzo was also quiet, listening to Hana giggle about Brigitte again.

“Is there something you’d rather watch?” McCree asked, leaning against the wall. Hanzo turned, after realizing he was being spoken to, and looked up at the titles of the movies again. “If you don’t wanna watch a stupid old Western, I wouldn’t mind watching something else with you.”

“No, I am not one to watch movies normally.” Hanzo explained, his face betraying just how unfamiliar he was with the titles. “I have never seen one of these ‘Westerns’ anyway, and I would like to try one.” he explained. The idea made Jesse’s heart flutter a bit. If Hanzo ended up liking movies like this, he would have so much he could share with the man. He had spent most of his early years obsessively watching them over and over and over, hungry for a scrap of the man his father was. 

“Hopefully you do.” McCree grinned down at Hanzo. The dragon looked back up at him for a moment, their eyes locking, before Lena’s shouting distracted him, and he looked up. McCree’s eyes lingered before looking up to find Moira and Mercy. 

“Heya, Ang! Hey Moira!” Lena was shouting. “What are you guys doing here?” The two were dressed fairly casually, and quickly approached the group to stop Lena’s shouting. 

“What else does one do at the movie theater?” Moira replied, sarcastically, causing the Brit to wrinkle her nose up momentarily. 

“We were just seeing what movies are playing today.” Angela replied, desperately trying to cover up her friend’s rude remark. 

Despite the fact that nearly everyone didn’t want them to join due to Moira’s sour attitude, Lena grinned really big and glanced back at the group before blurting, “We’re watching ‘High Noon’, wanna join?” Looking around, it was obvious that everyone must’ve been groaning internally at the Brit’s invitation. Out of them all, Lucio looked the most terrified at the proposition.

“I think that sounds like a great idea. What do you think?” Angela turned to look at Moira, who only shrugged. Lena cheered, before turning back to Lucio to continue her conversation about her “totally 100% real girlfriend back in London”. 

McCree turned back to Hanzo, as if to continue whatever conversation they were having before Lena’s shouting distracted them. Hanzo’s eyes were fixed on Moira and Angela rather firmly, as if he were prying for something. 

It wasn’t long before Mei and Zarya showed up, Mei making sure to apologize at least twenty times for being late. Everyone just sort of shrugged it off, and made their way inside. As the group walked in, they found the theatre surprisingly crowded, and opted to sit in the back row. They filed in, Zarya at one end and McCree at another. After some bickering over who got to sit next to Hana, she ended up having Olivia on one side and Lucio on the other, leaving poor Lucio having to sit next to the cold Moira. Hanzo was in between Angela and McCree, much to his distaste. 

“You wanna switch spots with me?” McCree offered, seeing as how he was pressed up against the wall, and wouldn’t mind sitting next to Angela. Hanzo shook his head however and said he’d be fine. While previews were rolling, McCree watched as the others chattered about this or that, and instead took this moment to turn his cellphone off.

“Why are you turning it off?” Hanzo asked, pointed at McCree’s phone. 

McCree chuckled and slid it into his pocket. “You’re supposed to turn them off during a movie so they don’t go off. Haven’t you ever been to the movies before?” he asked, sending the dragon a sly grin. 

“No, I never have.” Hanzo replied, making McCree feel guilty for a moment for joking about it. Hanzo quickly broke into a grin however, making the cowboy’s heart flutter. 

***

“I am thoroughly confused.” Hanzo announced in McCree’s truck. Lena caught a ride with Lucio,and Moira and Mercy simply caught a ride with Mei and Zarya, leaving no room for a concerned Hanzo,. 

“About what?” McCree furrowed his brow, looking over at his passenger briefly as he tried to find a parking spot in the packed parking lot of the mall. 

“That ‘Western’.” he clarified, looking out the window. “I do not understand why this ‘Miller’ was set on destroying Will Kane and his wife.”

“Well, you see, he used to be a marshall -kinda like a sheriff in the old days- and he was the one who threw Miller in jail.” Jesse explained, pulling into a parking spot. “The remake had a lot more explosions and sex than the original. I think I like the original better, although that Brigitte made an awfully good Amy.” 

“McCree, are these ‘Westerns’ why you speak with such an interesting accent? And all of your cowman sayings?” Hanzo asked, suddenly curious about Jesse’s personal habits. As he shut his truck off, he couldn’t help but snicker at the other man’s question. 

“Sort of.” he replied with a shrug. “That and actually living in the West” He opened the door and slid out of the truck, making sure it was locked before coming around the side of the vehicle. “And what do you mean by ‘cowman sayings’.” McCree made air quotes, which brought a small grin to Hanzo’s face. 

It took him a moment to wrack his brain for one of the ridiculous sayings McCree would sometimes spit out, but finally gave him the example of, “This ain’t my first rodeo”, his accent butchering the saying to pieces. “I don’t know what a rodeo is, and why the fact that it isn’t the first is an issue.” 

The cowboy snorted, stopping to slap his knee lightly at Hanzo’s question. “That saying just means that it ain’t the first time I’ve done something.” he explained, smiling down at Hanzo, who looked like he finally understood. 

He decided, as they walked toward the sidewalk surrounding the building, that the “Western” genre wasn’t too bad, and he wouldn’t mind seeing another one again. Hanzo realized he had no idea what the group’s plans for the night were, and judging by the nervous looks that the cowboy had secretly flashed, he suspected that McCree didn’t know either. 

As they reached the sidewalk, his attention was snapped back to the sounds of Hana and Olivia screeching his and McCree’s names out the windows of Lucio’s car, which was just pulling into the parking lot. McCree laughed, waving at them, and paused on the sidewalk, waiting for them to park. 

After everyone had gathered, Hanzo found himself following the crowd of loud teenagers inside the mall and towards what appeared to be an arcade. As they squeezed through the entrance, they all scattered, going to different games in small groups. Hana grabbed a hold of Hanzo and dragged him towards what looked to be a machine with a mechanical hand to grab some sort of prize. 

“Help me play this claw machine, Hanz!” Hana smiled back at a confused Hanzo. After inserting a coin into the machine, Hanzo watched as the gamer grabbed the joystick and jostled it around, controlling the claw. He glanced over his shoulder, wondering where the cowboy had gone, only to find that he had been dragged off by Lucio to some sort of racing game. “Which one do I want?” Hana asked, causing Hanzo to turn back around. 

The claw was positioned between above a sea of plushies that resemble some sort of turnip monster. Leaning closer to the glass, Hanzo pointed at one that was a bubblegum pink. “That one right there: it looks like you.” 

Giggling, Hana moved the claw above it and hit the button, letting it lower. They both watched in anticipation as it began to close around the soft object, grabbing it and pulling it upwards and towards the drop chute where they would receive their prize. As though it was a miracle, the machine didn’t drop the pachimari, resulting in cheers from Hana. She reached down and grabbed it from the prize slot. Holding it next to her face, she grinned at the dragon. “You really think it looks like me?” she laughed.

“Hmmm,” he mused, looking between the two, before snatching it out of her hands, and going to the ticket booth, where an uninterested teen was scrolling through his phone. “Do you have a marker?” he asked him, pachimari in one hand. After sending the dragon a dirty look, he pulled a marker out from under the counter and slapped it down on there for him to use. Hanzo grabbed it and quickly drew two triangular stripes on each of the turnip’s cheeks, before returning it to his friend. “Now it looks like you.” he smiled, watching as she held it up to take a selfie with. 

“C’mon now!” McCree’s voice roared, making the both of them spin, only to find him frantically trying to play a dance pad, game, but instead failing miserably, stomping on all of the arrows at the wrong times. Competing against him was surprisingly none other than Moira, who was hitting the correct buttons flawlessly. From behind them, the others had gathered, cheering on Moira, and leaving McCree fumbling aimlessly. The song came to an end as Hanzo joined the group. Moira turned and bowed, silently gloating her victory over the clumsy cowboy. McCree pouted for a moment, before noticing that Hanzo was near. “Hanz, why don’t you jump up here and play against me!” he grinned, gesturing towards him excitedly. 

“No!” Hanzo shook his head. “I am no good at that, sorry!” Frowning, McCree hopped down off of the dance pad, approaching Hanzo.
“Well, we’ll just have to find something you’re good at then, won’t we?” he stopped to smile at Hanzo, before leading the way to some sort of shooting game. “C’mon,” he handed the gun to his friend, before inserting a couple of coins and starting up the game. Hanzo looked down at the fake plastic weapon in his hands, then back to the cowboy who was already aiming intently at the screen. 

Hanzo knew that this was something his dear brother would have loved to see. As children, Genji was always sneaking off to the local arcade in Hanamura without permission, causing Hanzo to have to sneak out as well after him, to gather his sibling before his father would find out. After slipping through the dark city streets, he would always find the green haired rebel, wide-eyed behind some sort of gaming machine, tapping away as a crowd of other young kids surrounded him. 

Being here, in this moment, surrounded by the first friends Hanzo had in years somehow made him feel...so lonely. He missed his brother, and he missed him dearly. 

And he would never forgive himself for what he had done to him.

***

Trailing behind the others, McCree walked alongside of Hanzo through the mall, Hana leading the large group around from store to store. Although the others were chatting freely, Jesse couldn’t help but notice the strong silence coming from Hanzo, but decided not to push it. 

You’re doing something wrong. 

McCree cleared his throat nervously, and opened his mouth to say something to break the silence, but was interrupted by Olivia skipping to the back of the group, facing McCree. “Oh Jesse ,” she grinned wide at him

“Olivia, don’t-” McCree started, feeling a spike of annoyance but was cut off by her shushing him.

“I know, I know. Don’t call you Jesse.” she brushed it off. “Anyways, Hana and I were really wanting to know if you’re up for maybe going on a little trip next weekend.” She waggled her eyebrows excitedly. 

This took him aback. “A trip? To where?” he asked, arching an eyebrow at the latina. Glancing over, even Hanzo seemed interested in whatever it was Olivia and Hana were up to now. 

“Oh I don’t know, just a little road trip, and I figured all of us could go, you included.” she added the last part, looking at Hanzo. 

“Well Olivia, I-” 

“No thank you.” Hanzo cut in,both Olivia and McCree giving him a surprised look. Without another word, Olivia cut back for the front, and there was a brief awkward silence. They made their way to the food court and since there weren’t any large tables, the ground split and sat at different tables, Hanzo and McCree sharing one on their own. They sat there quietly for a few minutes before McCree decided to speak up. 

“Hey Hanzo, is everything okay?” he asked, giving the other man a concerned look. Hanzo looked up and immediately averted his eyes from the cowboy’s soft gaze. Another short silence overtook them. “Did I do something wrong?” Once again, a silence spanned between them. “Do you wanna talk about it maybe, I’m worried.” he tried.

This must have been the final straw for Hanzo though, because he looked up at the other man, annoyance clear on his face. “I do not wish to talk about anything of the sorts with you.” His words cut deep into McCree, leaving him momentarily speechless for once. “I do not believe I owe you any sort of explanation on how I am feeling, McCree.” he growled. 

McCree shifted uncomfortably, noticing that the others were now looking over at their conversation. “I was just asking, Hanzo. I mean you’re my friend and I was worried-” 

“Friend.” Hanzo repeated. “You know, I never asked for any of you to be my friend.” he spat, standing suddenly. “I did not want that and I do not know why you all feel the need to interrupt the way I live my life with foolish adventures when I explicitly did not ask for this.” With that he pushed his chair in and began walking away. McCree stood to walk after him, but was rewarded with another glare from the fuming dragon.

 Instead, he just collapsed back down into his seat and watched in wonder as Hanzo stormed away. The others began to speculate amongst themselves, but Jesse just blocked them out, still in a daze from what had just happened.McCree let out a sigh, looking down at his own shaking hands, and wondering just what he had done to upset Hanzo so much. 

 

Chapter Text

McCree hadn’t heard from Hanzo in well over a week. After the mall incident, he received not one text from the man, and when he had stopped to pick him up from school, he never came out to where he was waiting. Hanzo missed school a few days, and once he did show up again, he looked... tired . McCree had attempted speaking to him only to be completely ignored, or to find Hanzo talking to someone like Amelie or Angela. The cowboy, although he could be unobservant at times, had even noticed he was avoiding the others as well. Hana and Lucio would eat their lunches in much calmer settings, and Olivia was back to spending lunch alone if McCree didn’t join her. In Amari’s class, Hanzo was silent, and moved to an empty seat in the back of the classroom, not once speaking to his friends. 

Seeing the others like this sent a pang of guilt through the cowboy, but he didn’t really know what he could do to fix things. With Thanksgiving break coming up in the next week, he decided he should probably try to focus on schoolwork anyways. The last grades for the term were coming to a close and they were not looking good for McCree. With the baseball season over, this left a lot of time for McCree to be alone with his thoughts, which wasn’t always the best thing, especially around this time of year. 

McCree arrived home and hung his keys up next to the door. Kicking off his old cowboy boots, he peeked his head into the kitchen only to remember that both of his dads were working the late shift tonight and he’d be alone. 

I really should go write that book review…

Swinging the door to his room open, he tossed his bag on the bed and instead fired up his gaming console. Collapsing down into his understuffed bean bag chair, he browsed through the games he had, trying to ignore the memory of Hanzo sleeping in his arms in this same chair. Nothing really caught his eye, so instead he opted to find a western he hadn’t seen a thousand times on Netflix. 

About halfway through the movie, he heard a knock at the front door. What if that’s Hanzo? McCree scrambled to his feet quickly and headed downstairs, sliding to a stop in front of the front door. Taking a deep breath, he pulled the door open only to find Angela Ziegler standing on the other side. 

“Hello, McCree,” she smiled at him. He tried not to let the disappointment show on his face as he let his blonde neighbor inside. “My mom wanted me to bring you this” she held up a plate of what looked like meatloaf and vegetables. McCree’s stomach turned at the thought of it, but he took it graciously anyways. “McCree, would it be okay if we talked for a little while?” she asked, suddenly looking up at him with watery eyes. This took him aback slightly, seeing as how he had never seen the future doctor like that before. 

“Of course!” he nodded, and led her to the dining room table, while he put the meatloaf plate she had handed him in the kitchen. “Do you want something to drink?” he offered, but she just shook her head, a worried look on her face. Nervously, McCree sat down at the table across from her. “What do you wanna talk about?” he asked cautiously, giving her a concerned look. 

“I know I can trust you to keep a secret, McCree, but...could I ask for some advice?” she asked, wringing her small hands together. He nodded, wanting her to continue. “Of course you remember what happened between Fareeha and I, correct?” when he nodded, she continued. “I’m basically dealing with the same thing again, and… I don’t know what to do, McCree.” 

The cowboy was silent for a moment, thinking about it. “So, Moira…” he paused, judging from her facial expression whether he should continue. “She’s not makin’ you make a choice is she?” he asked softly.

When Angela and Fareeha had been dating, she was faced with a rather rough ultimatum from Fareeha. Come out or break up. McCree had spent all of his adoptive years with her just across the hedge, so he knew as well as anyone just how strict her parents were. They never let Angela make one step out of line, anything that could affect her future or make people judge. It was almost as if they already had Angela’s life written out for her. Go to school, get good grades, graduate, get scholarships, become a doctor, try not to do anything controversial along the way.  They were nice people, but very strict when it came to their daughter. It was a well-known fact that Angela was going to become a doctor after high school, but her parents had always taken that very seriously, wanting nothing to get in the way. 

“No, she isn’t making me make a choice,” Angela paused, tapping her foot nervously. “But I cannot go on like this.” McCree nodded, pursing his lips in thought. Tears began freely flowing down the blonde’s face, shocking McCree. In all the time he had known her, he had never seen her cry. Not even when everything had happened with Fareeha, not when she was declined by the school to study abroad in favor of another student, and not even when she had gotten detention sophomore year for skipping class with Fareeha.

“Angela…” McCree paused, before reaching across the table and grabbing her soft hand. “I believe in you.” he smiled at her reassuringly. “If you ain’t the smartest person I know, I don’t know who is, and lemme tell ya,” he paused to touch his chest for a moment “You gotta do what your heart is tellin’ ya.” She smiled, looking down at her lap as she thought. “And I’ll be your biggest fan. I’ll be here for you, no matter what, Ang.” 

She was quiet for a long moment, the only sound filling the room being the soft sniffs as she tried to compose herself in front of her friend. McCree squeezed the blonde’s hand reassuringly, cracking a smile. “Thank you, McCree. You’re right.” she wiped her face with the back of her hand before standing and walking towards the kitchen. “I’ll warm up that meatloaf for you.” 

***

Hanzo found himself at the park again, although the air was starting to get quite a chill. He didn’t mind however, and instead just piled on a heavier coat. He had brought a few quarters again this time so he could feed the koi in the pond. They swam gracefully under the chilled waters, uncaring of how cold it was, although the temperature punished the poor dragon, whose face had begun to redden. 

The sun hung rather low in the sky, and the park-goers began to head home, leaving only Hanzo to walk around the path and observe the vibrant streaks of orange and yellow the sunset had left the sky. 

Over the years, Hanzo had been several different places, and ever since his brother died he had been afraid to make friends. When they were young children, Hanzo was never once the troublemaker of the two, but after Genji’s death he found himself getting into trouble in every placement. It wasn’t necessarily that he had wanted to, but more so that he found himself acting in his brother’s place.

He also distanced himself from every family, every friendly person who had made his acquaintance. He wasn’t a stupid man, rather he knew that he would eventually act up and get sent somewhere else. Hanzo was also not the friend-type. Never really knowing anyone outside of the Shimada clan, he was close with his brother, and his brother alone. 

Going to this school however, and being greeted by so many kind people was something new and foreign to him. He was usually so bitter and off-putting that people didn’t even want to associate with him, besides the occasional desperate girl. But in his short time at Winston Memorial, he had already made so many friends, people who were kind to him despite the fact that he tried to push them away. 

And he had hurt them. 

Guilt filled Hanzo’s thoughts and he stopped to take a seat on a bench, watching the koi in the pond once again. 

He had snapped at one of his closest friends, McCree. This man had spent so much time with him, would drive him to school, helped him study, and was always ready and able to talk with. He had been ignoring the sweet and kind Hana, someone who had forced him into the social scene and had already helped him create so many amazing memories. He had been rude to Olivia, right in her face, and made a scene that was sure to embarrass the others as well. 

When it came down to it though, he felt this way because he had killed his brother. Hanzo had taken a lifetime of friends, fun times, bad times, family, and discovery from the green-haired sibling who looked up to him like no other, and Hanzo would never forgive himself for that. 

But, Genji would want him to live that life for him.  

Hanzo knew this from day one, but refused to believe it. He had told himself for years that Genji, in whatever kind of afterlife he was in, would hate Hanzo, and want him to suffer just as he had, as he lay on the cold floor, bleeding out in his brother’s arms. 

That just wasn’t what kind of person Genji was though, and Hanzo knew that. No matter how much he tortured himself over it, he knew deep down that Genji would want his brother to be happy. 

The dragon sighed, rising to his feet. The park would be closing soon, and besides, he knew he had something important to do now. He shook his head, clearing his head of these thoughts, and made his way to the park’s exit. After a quick google search to get him headed in the correct direction, Hanzo found himself on his way to the corner store for a rather important purchase. 

***

“Vote Hana Song for Homecoming Queen!” Lucio shouted, rollerblading around the school’s entrance, and throwing flyers at any passerby who would listen. 

“Really?” McCree chuckled after being handed a flyer with the bubblegum princess’ face on it. “She’s running for Homecoming Queen and you’re the one out here handing out fliers? Boy, does she got you whipped.” McCree laughed at Lucio’s flushed face. 

“She does not! I’m just helping a friend out!” he tried to defend himself, offering more fliers to uninterested students. McCree just rolled his eyes and laughed at this, heading inside the building for the day. He had forgotten that it was homecoming week. Winston Memorial always had a late homecoming week and with his failing grades being a high priority right now, he didn’t care to give it much thought. 

By the time lunch rolled around, he decided he wanted to sit with Hana and Lucio for once, but much to his surprise, he found them sitting with Hanzo at the lunch table, laughing and being their usual selves. Hana had her arm slung around his shoulders, taking a selfie with Hanzo who looked like his usual uncomfortable self. Lucio was chatting away, and even Mei and Zarya had joined the table, laughing along to something that Hana had said. McCree stopped in his tracks, watching the interaction happen and was halfway to the table, before he caught Hanzo’s attention and turned away, deciding to go find Olivia instead of bothering the dragon. 

It was great that Hanzo had decided he wanted to be their friend again, but there was a pang of jealousy in Jesse’s heart that made him realize he should just keep his distance from the attractive dragon. 

After a long search for Olivia in every empty classroom or computer lab in the school, he returned to the cafeteria only to find her sitting along with the others at the table. With a sigh, the cowboy turned and headed for the library. He had a paper he needed to work on anyways. 

***

As Hanzo left school for the day, he hurried to the school parking lot, and frowned, not seeing the familiar black truck with the BAMF license-plate anywhere. McCree must have already left. Hanzo had his heart set on talking to the cowboy however and took off for the cowboy’s house, just two doors down from his own place of dwelling. 

When he reached McCree’s house, he paused outside of the door for a few moments, preparing his speech for when he saw him. He had a big apology for the man, and didn’t want to mess up. 

“You gonna knock or what, kid?” a deep voice suddenly called out from behind him. Hanzo jumped and spun around to find one of McCree’s dads, Gabe, standing behind him in police uniform. He must have just gotten home for the day. Hanzo hadn’t anticipated the fact that he may have to deal with McCree’s intimidating father figures.

“I..uh...sorry” Hanzo stammered, immediately backing away from the door. Gabe rolled his eyes and walked past him to open the front door, entering the house. Hanzo watched after him, unsure of what to do. 

“Are you coming in?” Gabe snapped impatiently, gesturing for the dragon to come inside. Hanzo quickly nodded and slid inside of the house. Gabe was hanging his coat up on a coat tree near the door when he turned towards the uneasy teenager and gestured towards the dining room. “Come sit down, I’ll get you a drink.” 

Hanzo found himself seated at their dining room table, a tall glass of sweet tea placed in front of him, and an irritable Gabe sitting across the table from him. “So you’re here to see McCree?” he asked out of the blue, to which Hanzo nodded, politely bringing the glass to his lips for a drink.“He should be home any moment. I sent him out to grab some milk so we could make dinner. You’re going to stay for dinner, right?” Another nod from Hanzo relaxed Gabe,who sat back in his seat. 

“So, Hanzo, is it?” he paused, “Tell me a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, who your parents are.” Gabe mused, taking a sip out of his own glass. Hanzo suddenly felt as if he was being interrogated and tried not to let fear cross his face. 

“I am originally from a small town in Japan, but moved to the states with my father when I was young. When he died I was placed into the foster care system and have floated around ever since then.” Hanzo explained briefly, not wanting the man who had already questioned him about his clan to know much more than that. 

“I see.” the other man suddenly leaned forward, elbows on the table, and made direct eye contact with Hanzo. “So Hanzo, what exactly is my son to you?” Fear jolted through the dragon, feeling as if he were on the spot. 

Just as Hanzo opened his mouth to say something, the front door opened, and the two of their heads snapped towards the door, where McCree was kicking his boots off. “I got 2%, hope that’s okay...dad….” Jesse trailed off as he came around the corner, seeing Hanzo sitting at his dining room table. “Hey, Hanzo.” His dark eyes were wide in surprise at his sudden guest. 

“Hello, McCree.” Hanzo stared back at the cowboy, not failing to see the hurt in his eyes. Gabe stood, pushing his chair in and grabbed the milk out of McCree’s hand and going into the kitchen. “Can we talk, please?” 

***

Oh God, oh fuck. McCree was glad he came home when he did, otherwise Hanzo could have been a dead man, left alone with Gabe. He seemed mostly unscathed however, much to Jesse’s relief. They had settled in his room, which was a mess as always, and sat in the floor, the bean bag in between them. 

“So, what was it you wanted to talk about?” McCree inquired, fidgeting with his phone nervously. Hanzo, also looked uncomfortable for a moment before reaching into his messenger bag, digging through its contents, and pulling out a box of moonpies. 

“These are for you, McCree.” Hanzo bowed his head, holding them out to the confused cowboy. Confused, he reached out to the shaking man in front of him and took the box from his hands. Upon a closer examination, he found that the box was filled with not only the original moonpie flavor but others that Jesse had never tried before. “I owe you an apology.” Hanzo started, causing McCree’s attention to snap back to the embarrassed man in front of him. “When I snapped at you the other day, it was uncalled for.” 

“Hanzo-” McCree started, but was cut off by a sharp look from the dragon. 

“No, let me. Please.” he cut the cowboy off. McCree shut his mouth and sat back. “I am going to tell you something that is rather personal to me for the sake of our friendship, so please do not ridicule me.” McCree would never do such a thing about something important, but nodded nonetheless. Hanzo shifted uncomfortably before taking a deep breath and continuing. “I have mentioned before that my brother died at a young age. Although I was very strict with him, he was very important to me. He was my only friend as a child, and although I looked after him, things happened…” Hanzo trailed off, staring blankly at the wall. He shook his head suddenly as though pulling himself from a thought. “Anyways, I am still grieving, and I will never stop grieving over him. Lots of things remind me of him and I feel as if I do not deserve to have companions such as yourself who are so...kind to me.” at this, the dragon looked down in his lap. “And so I act irrationally at times. I offer my deepest apologies, McCree.”

McCree thought for a moment before cracking a smile at the fact he had called him kind. He scooted closer, looking at the hunched over figure bowing in front of him. “Hanzo, don’t apologize for somethin’ you have no control over.” McCree shrugged. Shocked, his friend sat up, giving him a puzzled look. “Everyone grieves in their own ways, it's a part of life. Who am I to deny you that much?” McCree paused, looking up at the picture he kept of his mother, the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world. He knew better than anyone that grief was potent, and could kill a man. Looking back, he found Hanzo also looking at the picture of his mother. “She was beautiful and wild, and I miss her everyday. I’m still not over her either.” Jesse smiled at the dragon sadly before continuing “But Hanz, you’re a good friend too, and I’ll forgive ya no matter what.” 

Hanzo sat in a shocked silence for a few long moments, mulling over what the cowboy had just told him. “Thank you for your kindness, cowboy.” Hanzo bowed his head, peeking a look at McCree to see him smiling at the nickname. 

“Now enough of this bullshit.” McCree grinned, leaning back and opening the box of moonpies in his hands. “You are going to try one of these motherfuckers and you are going to love them.” He rustled through the box trying to find one to offer Hanzo. 

The door swung open without even a knock and Jack walked in, arms crossed. “Not before dinner you won’t.” he chided, making Jesse sigh, sliding the moonpie back in the box. “Gabe told me you’ll be joining us, Hanzo. It's ready.” and with that he turned and walked back downstairs. With an apologetic shrug, Jesse climbed to his feet, offering Hanzo a hand to pull him up, which he gratefully accepted. With a strong grip, he pulled his friend to his feet, and took a moment to gaze into the dragon’s gorgeous brown eyes, before leading him downstairs for supper. 



Chapter Text

The next day when McCree arrived home after a tutoring session with a very kind and patient Mei, he was met by his fathers at the door. It was strange to see them both home at the same time, let alone waiting for him. “Hey guys…” McCree was alarmed, but hung his keys up anyway and turned to face them “What’s up?”

“We’re going to have dinner with the Zieglers tonight.” Gabe grunted,not too keen on going. McCree’s mind flashed back to the last time he’d spoken to his friend, as she cried at his dining room table. He wondered if she had made up her mind yet about her particular situation, and if so, if she had spoken to her parents. He had been so caught up with school work, worrying about Hanzo, and Hana’s homecoming queen shenanigans to really have time to speak with her. 

McCree dropped his bag off upstairs, ran a comb through his messy brown waves, and returned downstairs to find Jack holding a homemade pie this time. “Ready, son?” he asked, smiling at McCree. Gabe opened the door for the others, and they began walking around the block to the Zieglers’ front door. 

McCree somehow ended up in the front of the bunch, so he was the one to knock on the door. After a few short moments, the door swung inward and a blonde woman strikingly similar to Angela greeted them. “Welcome, guys! Come on in!” she grinned at the family, stepping aside to let them through “Make yourselves at home!” The family shuffled into the main hallway, and Jesse took a moment to observe the almost immaculate cleaning and decoration. “Angela is upstairs finishing up her homework for the day, Jesse.” He tried hard not to cringe at the usage of his real name “If you’d like, you should go fetch her. I believe my husband is nearly finished with supper.” 

McCree nodded and headed for the stairs, wanting to get away from the adults quickly. As he climbed the stairs, he could hear Ang’s mother cooing over the pie Jack had brought, and he had to stifle a snicker at the thought of leaving poor old antisocial Gabe down there to fend for himself. He made a left at the top of the stairs and found Angela’s door with ease. He knocked twice, and waited politely for her invitation inside before he pushed the door open gently and stepped in. 

The blonde was laying on her yellow and orange dotted comforter, literature book in hand. She looked up as he entered the room and smiled. “Oh, McCree. I didn’t realize you and your family were here so soon.” She sat up and closed her book, setting it to the side. 

“We just got here.” he clarified, leaning against the doorframe. “How’s the homework coming along?” he nodded at the closed book and scattered notes on her bed. 

She sighed, shrugging as she gathered them up into a neat stack on her desk. “Almost done, just so much work when it comes to these AP courses.” she smiled, and stood. “I’m assuming dinner is ready?” 

“I reckon it is.” McCree stepped out into the hallway and waited for his friend to do the same, closing her bedroom door behind her. He followed her down the stairs and into the dining room, where the others were already seated, waiting for them.

“There you are, sweetheart.” her mother called out “We were just getting ready to start.” Judging from the way her parents were acting with her, McCree assumed his friend hadn’t broken the news to her parents yet. The two nodded, and shuffled to their respective seats at the table. Angela’s father said grace and they set into a nice dinner of roast, served with potatoes and carrots. 

At least it isn’t meatloaf again. 

The guests all picked at their food, remembering Mrs. Ziegler’s previous dishes, except for Jack who dug right in, enjoying the fresh cooked meal. “This is wonderful,” Jack declared after swallowing a huge bite. As Mrs. Ziegler gushed, McCree wondered to himself if eating it quickly was perhaps the secret to eating this food. 

“So, Jesse,” Mrs. Zielger started, making him cringe once again “Have you been applying to college yet?” she asked, taking a sip from a wine glass. 

“No ma’am, not yet.” he replied, trying to be polite. Across from him, he caught Angela rolling her eyes at her mother’s question. 

“Oh, is that so?” the woman frowned, and turned to his fathers instead. “Angela has actually recently been awarded a scholarship to Overwatch University due to her academic progress, even though she hasn’t even graduated yet!” she bragged, gesturing towards the blonde, who was avoiding eye contact with everyone and instead focused on pushing vegetables around her plate. 

“That’s great news. Congratulations, Angela.” Jack grinned at her, to which she nodded as if to say thank you. “Our son hasn’t decided for sure what he wants to do after high school, but he’s still young after all.” Jack laughed, looking over at his son to wink. The Zieglers laughed, but tensely.  

McCree knew an answer like that would never fly in the Zieglers’ household. Angela’s whole life was planned out by the time she was 12, and detailed by 15. She didn’t have the luxury of waiting to choose, and McCree felt for her in that way. 

“You know, I’m surprised your son doesn’t have a girlfriend.” Mrs. Ziegler laughed, snapping McCree back to the conversation. “He is quite the handsome young man.” she smiled at him, as his cheeks flushed. From beside him, Gabe muttered something under his breath, and Jack beamed proudly across the table from the Zieglers. 

“He gets it from his mother.” Jack said, as if bragging, turning to smile at his son. “But the real question here is why your daughter doesn’t have a special someone.” McCree froze up, glancing over at Angela, who was not making eye contact, pushing a carrot around on her plate. “I’m sure all the guys just fawn over her. She’s a beauty and the smartest kid I’ve ever seen.” he chuckled. 

“You’re gonna make me jealous.” McCree heard Gabe mutter, out of earshot of the Zieglers. Gabe winced, as Jack probably kicked him under the table. 

“Well, our daughter doesn’t have time for that.” Angela’s father cut in, glancing at his daughter expectantly, although she said nothing. “She’s been focused on her studies, and has no time for boys.” he chuckled, waving a fork dismissively before taking another bite of a soft potato.

Finally, Angela looked up from her plate, and for the first time, McCree saw anger on the beautiful girl’s face. “What about for girls” she asked, creating a stunned silence, as everyone looked at her due to her sudden interjection. Her parents began to laugh nervously, unsure of what their daughter was talking about. “No, if I don’t have time for boys , do I have time for girls , Mom, Dad?” she laid her fork down and for once in her life gave her parents a look that said she wasn’t backing down this time. McCree heard his fathers shift uncomfortably in their seats next to him.

“Well I don’t know about that, Angela.” Mrs. Ziegler started, nervously looking to her husband for help. He returned the look with a bewildered stare. “Of course you can have all the friends you’d like, as long as they aren’t in the way of your studies…” 

“Oh, of course. My studies.” Angela sneered, making Jesse’s jaw drop open. He’d never seen the blonde so assertive before. “Because that’s all that matters, my grades, and my reputation, right?” she paused, but started again, not letting them answer. “But I wasn’t talking about friends.” Clenching her small fists, she looked her parents in the eyes. “I’m gay.” 

Jack inhaled sharply, and McCree turned to find his fathers both in shock at his classmate’s sudden outburst. 

“Honey, you’ve gotta think these things through. Don’t just come out of nowhere with something wild like that-” her father started.

“I have. I’ve thought it through and I’ve known for years.” she deadpanned.

“You can’t be serious. Do you know what that would do to your reputation? What would future employers think? The college?” Mrs Ziegler snapped, suddenly angry and afraid of her daughter’s confession. 

Gabe cleared his throat from across the table as if to remind the arguing family that they were still there. “Not that it's any of our business, but I’d like to point out that my husband and I have had a successful military and police career, ourselves.” 

“Well being a doctor is a bit different from being a pig, Gabriel! ” Mrs. Ziegler snapped, turning to McCree’s dads with fury in her eyes. At this, he jumped to his feet, suddenly filled with rage as well. Jesse and Jack immediately followed suit, with Jack grabbing his partner’s arm firmly as if to stop him from doing something dumb. “And you’re right this is none of your business. This should have been a discussion for when we didn’t have guests, Angela.” 

“It sounds like we’ll be taking our leave now.” Jack growled, shooting the blonde pair an angry glare. “Gabe, McCree, let’s go.” The three pushed their chairs in and without another word started shuffling out of the room. Passing behind Angela, the cowboy paused for a moment, and placed his hand on her shoulder, grabbing her attention. He flashed a sad smile at the blonde, and nodded, an unspoken agreement. She nodded back and he headed out the door. 

***

Hanzo somehow found himself in Lucio’s basement coloring a large banner. His friend Hana was currently obsessed with an American tradition he never quite understood. Homecoming was something most teenagers took very seriously, much to the dragon’s confusion. Hana had secured herself a spot as a homecoming princess, which, she explained to Hanzo, meant that she was in the running for homecoming queen. Now all the students simply had to vote for her, or at least the majority of them. Hanzo still didn’t grasp the importance of this but helped nonetheless. Right now, that meant that he would be on Lucio’s cold concrete floor, coloring in the gamer’s signature logo of an angry rabbit. Hana would be participating in a parade before the event, and needed a fancy banner to hang on the side of the car that would be escorting her. 

“So you guys have seen the dress, now I’m gonna show you an exclusive behind the scenes peek at my homecoming banner, and the amazing team I have helping me!” Hana winked into a camera held by Olivia, who was following her down the stairs. Hanzo had wondered where she had gone off to, leaving himself and Lucio to do the decorations themselves. Viral star D.Va led the camera to Lucio and crouched down beside him. “Okay guys, this is my good friend Lucio!” she smiled, slinging an arm around him. Hanzo rolled his eyes, noting the blush that appeared on the hopeless romantic’s face. “So Lucio, what are you doing?” she asked, gesturing for Olivia to move the camera to show his work.

“I’m painting your gamer tag on this banner in big letters, and I’m also creating a playlist that will play when you’re in the parade!” he smiled, holding his phone up to show the camera. Hanzo could easily guess that it was probably filled with Lucio’s own music, but Hana was so supportive of him, he knew she would never say no. Olivia panned over his work before moving the camera over to where Hanzo was finishing up the last touches of color to the rabbit logo. 

“Ooh, looks like Hanzo’s done with the logo!” Olivia prompted, causing Hana to climb to her feet and skip over to where he was and throwing her arms around his neck, hugging her friend from behind while standing. 

“That looks amazing Hanzo!” she beamed, ignoring the jealous look she received from a now-pouty Lucio. Olivia zoomed in on the bunny logo. “Doesn’t it look perfect? You’re the best, Han!” he shook his head dismissively. 

It was quiet in the basement suddenly besides the soft beats coming from Lucio’s phone as the pair giggled their way back upstairs. The dragon turned and watched as Lucio painted with determination, a lot quieter than he was before the two came into the basement. After viewing him for a few moments, Hanzo spoke up. “Why don’t you say anything to her?” he asked, an eyebrow raised at the D.J.

“Huh?” Lucio sat up, setting his paintbrush to the side “What do you mean, Hanzo?” 

Hanzo rolled his eyes and gave him an expectant look, only to be met with a blank stare from Lucio. He sighed, turning to fully face Lucio. “I see how you look and act around Hana. It is embarrassingly obvious your feelings for her, and I do not understand why you would not just come right out and say it.” he huffed. 

At this, the D.J’s face glowed bright red. “Is...is it that obvious?” Hanzo nodded at him. “I don’t know man. Hana is complicated.” he trailed off, leaning back on his elbows and looking at the boxes stacked in the corner of the room. “Which I guess is why I like her so much, but I don’t think she’d interested in me.” he sighed. “I’ve been her friend for years now and she’s never shown the slightest interest in me.” he turned to look at Hanzo, offering him a half-smile. 

“Well, you will never know for sure until you ask, will you?” Hanzo asked, climbing to his feet. Lucio was silent, thinking, as Hanzo made his way upstairs and out the front door. He desperately was in need of a breath of fresh air. He had been in that stuffy basement for the past two hours at least. 

Outside, it was already dark, but the dragon didn’t mind. He was grateful for the cold evening air, and sat on the front steps, letting his body adjust. The evening had been rather uneventful which was unusual for the group. They’d stayed late after school hanging posters, and even invited their favorite cowboy to join them, but he was in an impromptu tutoring session with Mei. As Hanzo relaxed in the dark environment, he briefly considered texting him to see if he would join them as they finished Hana’s homecoming preparations, but guessed that he was probably busy studying. 

Although he was glad he had made amends with the others, he felt a bit awkward around them again. He was trying his best to be his normal self, and even though they had all forgiven him, self doubt still crept into his thoughts at times, sending nervous chills through the dragon’s body. McCree was the only one he had confided in his full reasoning for his behavior, not because the others didn’t deserve to know, but simply because Hanzo viewed it as a weakness, and somehow the cowboy seemed to be the only one Hanzo would trust with something as delicate as that. 

He couldn’t understand why however. Logically, McCree was a questionable choice. He was a polar opposite of Hanzo, a jokester and a slacker, but Hanzo somehow noticed he felt a strong connection to him. Could it be due to the fact that he had come from a troubled past as well? Hanzo realized he didn’t know a lot about his past other than the fact that his mother had passed, he watched a lot of westerns as a kid, and that he was adopted by Jack and Gabe years ago, which really wasn’t all that much. He knew he shouldn’t pry however, seeing as how it was the cowboy’s business and his alone. 

Behind him the door creaked open and Olivia poked her head out. “Hola, cutie.” she cooed, making him arch an eyebrow at the latina. She grinned at him, and stepped outside. “We’re ordering pizza and they wanna know what you want on it.” Hanzo pulled himself to his feet and followed Olivia back in the house, trying to decide whether he wanted ham or pineapple on it tonight. 

***

McCree found himself on the couch, eating the pie Gabe had re-snatched from the Ziegler’s kitchen as his fathers ranted about the rude remarks and blatant hatred the kind family across the hedge had been hiding. Chinese takeout was on its way and McCree couldn’t help but feel relieved to be out of that nasty situation despite how awfully it had ended. He wondered to himself about how his friend was holding up and hoped he would find out when he saw her again. He had never expected her to just snap like that especially while everyone else was there. Angela was always a calm and collected woman, thinking rationally and not one to default to loud outbursts. He understood though, because she had been holding in all of this anger and fear for years. Maybe having McCree there in the room was enough of a push for her to finally just do what she’d been dreaming of. 

All in all, the cowboy was proud of her. 

The doorbell rang and Jack stood from where he was massaging his angry husband’s shoulders, and went to answer the door. When he returned, he held a bag of chinese food in each hand and gestured towards the dining room. “C’mon boys, let's go chow down on some real food.” 

Gabe and McCree made their way in, picking what they wanted from the bags. “You said real food, so that means you really didn’t like what they fixed?” McCree laughed, raising his eyebrows at Jack. 

“Are you shitting me?” Jack laughed through a mouthful of wonton. “That roast was dry as hell” he shook his head disapprovingly. So speed eating and bullshitting was the old man’s tactic after all. McCree made a mental note of that for future use. “So how long have you known?” he asked his son suddenly. McCree shot him a stupid look only to receive an eye roll in return. “You know what I mean. With Angela. I could tell you knew.” 

McCree knew he couldn’t hide this kind of thing from their prying eyes. “You remember Fareeha?” he asked, to which they both swapped a look. “Angela’s been through hell with her, and still didn’t wanna come out to her parents.” It was obvious why, considering that night’s events. His dads ate in silence for a few minutes, thinking it all over before changing the subject to something going on at the police station, which McCree tuned out, focusing on the orange chicken in front of him. 

After dinner his dads snuggled up on the couch to watch “Saving Private Ryan” while Jesse excused himself and headed upstairs. He checked his phone to find several unread messages awaiting him.

6:08

Lucio: bRUH

Lucio: is

Lucio: is it that obvious that i like hana???

6:32 

Lucio: ok so like

Lucio: i can tell ur busy but

6:33

Lucio sent a photo. 

Lucio: DO YOU SEE THIS MONSTROSITY

McCree paused reading to tap on a picture of a pizza with pineapple on it. He fought the urge to physically cringe at the sight and tapped out a response. 

9:01

McCree: who tf ordered that bro

McCree: also it's really obvious

He wasn’t expecting a reply so quickly, but wasn’t necessarily surprised when his phone dinged as soon as he set it down to grab a pair of sweatpants to change into. 

9:03

Lucio: HANZO WANTED THE PINEAPPLE DUDE

Lucio: also

Lucio: :((((

McCree rolled his eyes at the second response but took a minute to process the idea that the guy he had a crush on was the type to eat pineapple on his pizza. Deciding not to reply, he noted that he had a message from Olivia as well. 

6:45

Sombra: You should really be here, it's a lot of fun seeing Lucio get jelly bc Hana is touchy w/ Hanzo lmao 

He could only imagine the frustrated look on the D.J’s face seeing someone so apathetic being loved on by Hana. With a chuckle, he set his phone on the bathroom counter for the night and stripped his clothes off, getting into a well deserved shower. 

As the water ran over his body, he reflected on the crazy week he’d had so far. He went from getting the silent treatment from Hanzo to suddenly knowing more about him than he had shared with anyone. Angela had confided in him and solved her issue rather quickly in this week as well. As for his grades, they weren’t improving much, but he still had a little time. He noted that he hadn’t had any strange nightmares since September, which was new for him. Especially going into this time of year. Halloween was just around the bend which also meant D í a de los Muertos, a time of year in which he was reminded a lot of his mother. 

D ía de los Muertos was one of his favorite holidays to spend with her. They spent time together painting sugar skulls, baking pan de los muertos, and listening to old music. Together they would prepare an altar in the house, surrounding it with flowers, pan, candles, papel picado,a pitcher of water, and in the middle, the only picture Jesse had ever seen of his father, showing a smiling man with his signature hat and cowboy boots, posing confidently in front of a scenic mountain range. After this, McCree’s mother would gather him up and leave the house, stopping by a local florist before traveling to a cemetary way out of town, where his father was buried. This was the only time she would speak of him, and Jesse always came prepared with questions he’d had a year to think up. She’d share little bits and pieces of the man he was to Jesse as they arranged candles, and flowers near the grave, and also sweeping any loose leaves or junk from the grave itself. Once this was done, they always knelt and prayed before heading home. 

Ever since she was gone, it had never been the same. He tried his best to make sure he made it out to where his father was buried every year, but eventually he no longer had his own home to make an altar in, no money to catch a taxi out there, and no mother to tell him stories about the man he idolized. 

McCree heard his phone buzz on the counter twice, waking him from his flashback. He looked down at his now pruney fingers and realized he had been in the shower for quite a long time. He shut the water off and stepped out, toweling off his hair and wet body. Checking his phone he found it to be another text from Olivia. 

10:02

Sombra: Check this out. 

Sombra sent a photo. 

McCree slipped on his sweatpants and headed back for his room before tapping open on the attachment. At first McCree assumed it was a mistake. It was a picture of Lucio’s basement. In the frame, Lucio and Hanzo sat with their backs to the camera, working on some sort of project out of view of the camera. He wondered to himself why she would send it to him, when he saw it. 

Hanzo wasn’t wearing a jacket in the photo, and at the nape of his neck, you could see the slightest hint of ink poking out in some sort of design. Hanzo had a tattoo? 

That was pretty fucking hot.

He took a moment to imagine the dragon shirtless, his mind running wild with various ideas for what kind of bad ass tattoo Hanzo was sure to have. McCree shook his head of the thought, instead focusing on a reply. 

10:08

McCree: He has a tattoo?

McCree looked at his bag, slung in the floor and thought for a moment about studying, but decided instead that he had a big day and would rather climb into bed. 

Ding!

10:09

Sombra: Yep, looks pretty impressive. You should ask him about it sometime, maybe he’ll model it for you ;)

Flustered, McCree typed out a quick response to the latina’s teasing remark. 

10:10

McCree: YEAH RIGHT

McCree: You’re ridiculous, Olivia. 

Sombra: ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) 

At this, the cowboy decided he had enough, and fumbled around for his charging cord, plugging his phone in. Once it was connected, he rubbed his eyes and shut the light off, suddenly very tired. Pretty much as soon as he closed his eyes, he was fast asleep. 

***

The next day, Hanzo was feeling very overwhelmed. Everywhere he went, every class he was in, was filled with speak of homecoming. The only break he got from it was when he had class with the silent Amelie. He quite enjoyed her company because she rarely spoke to anyone, Hanzo included. He did not feel pressured to talk to her but should a conversation arise, it was not painful to experience with her. He was glad that she didn’t partake in this homecoming craze. Although when he got to lunch, it's all Hana would talk about. 

“I’m really really hoping I get it, guys!” she gushed, crossing her fingers as a sign of good luck. Hanzo watched her with amusement, toying with some sort of slop the school had given them on his tray. He sat up, abandoning his lunch as McCree plopped down next to him, giving Hana his signature cocky grin.

“There’s no way you won’t, the way you’ve worked these guys to the bone.” McCree laughed at the gamer, stopping to give Lucio a particularly meaningful look. The table erupted in laughter at his insinuation as the D.J. shrugged, face aglow. Looking over, Hanzo was surprised that McCree wasn’t studying and had actually decided to join the group for lunch. 

“Yeah, which reminds me, why haven’t you been helping out, too?” Hana eyed him suspiciously before shrugging. “Oh yeah, you’ve been studying like crazy. Are your grades really that bad?” This earned a shy chuckle and a shrug from McCree. Everyone just shook their heads at him, laughing. “Well, you are coming to homecoming, right? Who you gonna ask?” Hana leaned forward, resting her chin in her small hands as she waited for McCree’s answer. 

“As much as I’d like to, I can’t.” he started. Hana immediately drew back, looking as if she was gonna cry. “My dads are gonna be out of town so I gotta watch the house, and besides, I got more studying to do. I’ll still come watch the parade though.” he assured her. She began to whine about that before he cut her off. “Now c’mon Hana, you’ve dragged me to this the past three years now, haven’t you?”

“But it's senior year!” she objected, only to be met by him shaking his head. Letting out a groan, she suddenly turned to face Hanzo. “What about you? You haven’t asked anyone to the dance yet have you?” she asked, frowning at the dragon. Suddenly, he realized how much he didn’t wish to attend this event. Being crammed into a room full of his sweaty and horny peers, with the societal pressure to dance or be danced with. And to top it all off, there would be no alcohol. Hanzo was positive he didn’t want to go, so glancing at McCree he decided the cowboy would be his scapegoat. 

“Actually Hana, I shall not be attending either.” he bowed his head slightly in apology, ignoring the small shriek of disappointment she let out, he continued. “I have promised McCree here, that I will help him study his math before the test next week,” he lied on the spot, hoping that Hana wouldn’t see through it. “I would also be happy to attend the parade to see you, however.” 

Hana pouted briefly, but seemed to accept his answer. Looking to his right, he made eye contact with a slightly startled McCree, and silently begged him not to break his cover. Loyal as always, he didn’t, and instead spouted off with some nonsense about how the two had planned it earlier in the week. Lunch carried on in the usual banter, with a few surprise visits from Lena and Mei. The bell rang at the end of the lunch period and everyone gathered their belongings, getting ready to continue to their next class, when an announcement came through, directing them all to the gymnasium for a pep rally. 

The student body began to hesitantly push that way, and Hanzo found himself by the cowboy’s side. Looking up at him, he caught his attention. “McCree, what happens at a pep rally?”

McCree looked taken aback for a moment before putting two and two together that the dragon had never attended one of these events before. “It's gonna be loud, so prepare for that.” he laughed. “Basically they squeeze us all in here while everyone cheers for the football players tonight, and the cheerleaders do a lil routine. It's fun, you’ll see.” 

Hanzo almost trusted him, until he found himself squeezed in the midst of a sea of-of course- his sweaty peers, all screaming at once, and making his head pound. The school’s band began to blast music at full volume, and the football team was down below, running laps and cheering, with their star captain, Zarya, leading them on. As he was seated next to a stranger, Hanzo found himself leaning more towards his western friend as to avoid contact with the others. As he leaned in, he found himself catching a whiff of the cowboy’s scent. He smelled sandalwood perhaps? Mixed with the subtle hint of musk. It was a very nice smell to the dragon. 

“Its wild, isn’t it?” McCree suddenly asked, yelling over the noise and successfully startling Hanzo, who nodded in response. “I don’t care for these things too much but I think that Lucio’s got something interesting planned.” This being the first time Hanzo had heard of this, arched an eyebrow at the cowboy and leaned over him to look for the D.J. only to find him missing. 

Suddenly, the noise began to die down, drawing a sigh of relief from the tired man. He turned his attention down to the gym floor where the school’s principal was walking across the linoleum, microphone in hand. 

“Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying the pep rally so far?” she paused as a few students cheered. “Good, now I’m going to hand the microphone over to Vice Principal Kuiper, who is going to announce the homecoming candidates for this year!” The stern-face, balding man jogged out to the middle of the gym, taking the microphone from his colleague. 

“Thank you very much, Athena.” he waved her off. “I’ll now be announcing this year’s homecoming candidates.” He pulled a piece of paper from his blazer and unfolded it. As he began listing off names, Hanzo realized he knew virtually none of these people. He recognized a few of the girls from his classes but didn’t really find any of them noteworthy until he listed Hana’s name. 

At the sound of her name, the Vice Principal’s microphone cut out and lights began to dance across the gymnasium in a spectacular show, as a familiar D.J’s voice came across the overhead speakers. “Ladies and Gentlemen give it up for your future homecoming queen, Hana Song, aka D.Va!” Hanzo winced as airhorns went out all across the crowd, one being from the cowboy sitting next to him. Suddenly the theme song to Hana’s YouTube channel blasted as she ran out onto the gym floor, flashing winks and peace signs at the student body. The crowd roared in approval for the viral star, and just as quickly as it had started, the lights and music cut out, the Vice Principal’s microphone coming back to life. 

“Alright then…” he looked around nervously at the other teachers who had no idea what had just happened. “Shall we continue?” 

***

They dismissed school early after the pep rally, sending the students home to prepare for the parade that was set to happen in a few hours before the big game. Among the students leaving the building, McCree was not surprised to find Lucio was not among them. He probably was going to get in trouble for pulling that stunt for Hana. Hanzo walked with him towards his truck in the student parking lot, and he took this moment to ask him the question that had been lingering on his mind for the past few hours. “Alright Hanzo, so you and I both know that we didn’t have no study date planned for tomorrow, unless I just happen to be forgettin’ it.” he stopped once he reached his truck, turning to give the other man a look. “So what was all this ‘I’m helping McCree’ bullshit?” he asked with a laugh. 

The other man looked almost ashamed for a moment. “Ah yes, that.” he chuckled. “The thought of going to this event mortifies me. I’d rather shove bamboo under my fingernails.” he explained, laughing at the last bit. 

“So, are you comparing studying with me to shovin’ bamboo under your fingernails?” McCree joked, watching as the other man got flustered, trying to defend himself. “I’m just kiddin’.” he laughed, “However, since it appears that you may be free this weekend, I am in fact watchin’ the house and studyin’ and could use that big brain of yours to help me with my math homework, if you don’t have a previous engagement.”

The other man paused for a moment before answering “Of course, and you can help me with homework in Ms. Amari’s class?” McCree nodded, hopping into the truck. 

“Sure thing, Hanzo. That’s my strong subject right there.” he grinned, starting the engine. He pulled out of the parking spot, and began to drive toward the dragon’s dwelling. Once they arrived, Hanzo climbed out briefly to go gather some things for the weekend ahead of them, since it was decided on the way over that he could just stay with the cowboy. McCree went ahead and pulled into the driveway of his house, knowing Hanzo could stand to walk two houses down. He noted that the police cruiser was in the driveway, which probably meant that his dads were getting ready to leave for their business trip. 

He came in the front door, making sure to leave it unlocked for Hanzo, and hanging his keys up in their normal spot before shouting out, “I’m home!” He was greeted by the voices of his family somewhere upstairs, probably packing some stuff last minute. He went upstairs and tossed his bag in its usual spot before proceeding down the hall to the two men’s bedroom. The door was open, so he slipped inside to find Jack folding clothes properly and placing them neatly into a suitcase while Gabe was instead shoving any item he needed into a backpack. “You guys fixin’ to take off?” he asked, leaning against the doorframe. 

The two looked up at their son who had entered the room. “Yep, we’ll be leaving shortly.” Jack answered. “I left you an extra forty dollars on the table so you can feed yourself and your friend this weekend.” 

McCree was taken aback, he had never mentioned having a friend over this weekend. Gabe looked up and caught his expression, an amused look on his own face. “Oh, come on, McCree. We’re not stupid. We were teenagers once too, you know.” he crossed his arms, arching a brow at the wordless cowboy. “Just, no parties or alcohol, y’hear?” 

Jesse shook his head in disbelief at the two old men who were now laughing at the idea of him trying to throw a party in their house. “So, where exactly is it y’all are headin’ to, anyways?” he asked, trying to change the subject and somehow not hearing the sound of the front door opening downstairs. 

“Training seminar in Colorado, we already told you, son.” Jack piped up, throwing a bag in for his toiletries before zipping the suitcase shut. 

“What you don’t trust us or something?” Gabe teased, grinning at his son as he zipped his overstuffed backpack shut. “You really think we’re gonna miss a free getaway to a ski resort in Colorado with free food for anything?” he laughed. “Think again.” He groaned as he picked up the heavy object and slung it on his back. 

“You realize we have another suitcase, right hon?” Jack laughed, gesturing at his husband’s packing job, to which Gabe just shrugged. “Anyways, come here, son.” Jack opened his arms, and Jesse hesitantly stumbled towards them, only to be wrapped in a warm hug from the both of them. 

“Awh, now don’t act like you’re gonna miss me or something.” Jesse laughed, pulling back from the hug and turning to find Hanzo standing awkwardly in the hall. “Hanzo!” he became immediately flustered. “Here lemme take your bag!” he walked out of the bedroom, shooting an embarrassed glare over his shoulder before taking his friend’s bag to his room.

“Sorry, I hope I did not interrupt your farewells.” Hanzo apologized from the doorway. McCree found a spot next to his own backpack to set Hanzo’s before turning around. 

“No, not at all! They were just getting ready to go!” he peered around the dragon to give them a well-meaning glare as they exited their bedroom. 

“Yeah yeah, see ya Sunday evening, Jesse.” Gabe rolled his eyes, and grabbed his husband by the hand, heading downstairs. McCree rolled his eyes at his dads and redirected his attention back to Hanzo, who was fiddling with his phone. That reminded the cowboy he should probably check on Lucio. He fished his phone out of his pocket, and sent the D.J. a quick text. 

3:48

McCree: Hey man, how ya holding up?

Putting his phone back in his pocket, he turned to Hanzo as the front door shut downstairs. “What would you say to going out before the parade later?” he asked the dragon with the big smile. 

***

Surprise filled Hanzo’s expression as he stepped into a small cafe behind McCree. Of all the places the cowboy could have taken him, he did not expect this. Looking around, he found the atmosphere quite pleasant. The place smelled strongly of coffee and old books. There were plants scattered to and fro amongst various patrons, and a friendly barista greeted McCree by name. 

“It ain’t much but I like to come here sometimes.” McCree grinned at Hanzo, who was still taking in his surroundings. With that, he walked to the counter and began chatting with the barista, who Hanzo discovered was named Sojourn. 

Hanzo’s wandering eyes finally landed on the menu and much to his delight, he found that this place served several different types of tea. “Alright, Sojourn, I’ll have my usual.” McCree smiled and winked at the barista who rolled her eyes at the flirty cowboy, and turned towards Hanzo to take his order. 

“Oh, I suppose I will have the matcha, thank you.” he bowed slightly out of instinct. McCree smiled back at him. 

“I think I like your friend more than I like you, McCree.” Sojourn laughed as she turned her back to work on the orders. “Go on, sit. I’ll bring it out to you two.” At her suggestion, McCree swept an arm out to gesture for the dragon to sit where he pleased. Hanzo picked a seat by the window, and slid into one side of the booth, eyes exploring the storefronts across the street. 

“So Hanz, whaddya think?” McCree asked suddenly, causing Hanzo to give him a confused look. “About this place. The cafe?” he clarified with a smile. 

“Oh.” he looked around, admiring the atmosphere before looking back to McCree. “I like this place a lot.” He paused, eyeing a vintage turntable in the corner of the room. “It is quite pleasant. How did someone like you discover this?” he asked, a hint of a smile gracing his lips. 

“Wha- someone like me ?” McCree spat, fake offended. He held a hand over his heart, mouth gaped open at the insinuation. “What are you saying, Hanzo? That I’m not the type of person to frequent this establishment?” His voice was raised in volume, and after a quick glance around, it was obvious the other patrons were annoyed with the loud man’s ramblings. He quieted himself, leaning closer to get his point across. “I’ll let you know as a matter of fact that my dear friend Sojourn runs this place, thank you very much.” he huffed, crossing his arms. 

As if on cue, Sojourn was setting their respective drinks down in front of each of them. A cappuccino for the cowboy, and the matcha for the dragon. “Don’t let him fool you. The only reason he comes here is because his dads send him here for bagels every week.” she teased, rolling her eyes at McCree’s dramatic reactions. 

“Betrayed!” he cried out as she walked away. “I’ve been betrayed by Sojourn herself!” he threw his head in his hands and fake cried, as the dragon shook his head, covering his mouth with his hand to hide the snicker coming from it. 

“That’s what you get for lying to your date, McCree!” she laughed, ducking into a back room of the shop and leaving McCree alone with Hanzo and the rest of the annoyed patrons. 

It only occurred to Hanzo after he had taken a sip of hot matcha that Sojourn had referred to him as McCree’s date. Resisting the urge to spit it in shock, the dragon cough softly, catching McCree’s eye. 

“Okay there, Hanz?” he asked, concerned. 

Hanzo finally swallowed the hot liquid and made sure to take a deep breath before answering. “Yes, it was just a bit hotter than I had expected.” he lied, averting his gaze to the world outside of the window. 

“That’s what my friends say about me when they first meet me.” McCree cracked, taking a big swig of his drink, only to cough on it in a mixture of laughter and reaction to the temperature. 

Hanzo had enough, and burst into laughter, tears leaking from his eyes. The idea of anyone saying that to McCree was a joke within itself, but it was really the serious look on the cowboy’s face that had made his joke so funny to Hanzo. As he finally calmed down, he looked up to find McCree watching him with a big smile across his dumb cowboy face. 

“I don’t get what’s so funny about that.” he fake pouted, crossing his arms defiantly, and causing the poor dragon to burst into laughter again. 

The rest of their time in the cafe was spent in light conversation before McCree glanced at the clock on his cellphone and announced that the two needed to leave. Hanzo watched as the cowboy dropped a bill into the tip jar on the front counter, and waved goodbye to his friend before the two headed out, walking towards Main Street, which luckily was only a few blocks off. 

Once they arrived, they found the street already rather crowded but managed to pick out a good spot down by the bookshop where they waited for the parade to begin. The two ended up pressed close to one another to keep out of the way, but Hanzo didn’t mind all too badly. 

They must have arrived right on time, because much to Hanzo’s dismay he could hear the high school’s band blaring from down the street. The dragon had enough of the loud noises for the day, but he knew he had to be there for his friend. As the band passed, Hanzo identified various other parts of the parade. The cheerleading team did a routine as they progressed, and behind them was the science club. Hanzo and McCree made sure to wave at Mei, and McCree even waved at Moira, who clearly did not want to be there. Hanzo noted that McCree’s neighbor didn’t participate however. 

A few more clubs followed before the homecoming candidates flowed in. Hanzo skimmed past the majority, seeing as how he didn’t know them, but as the parade progressed, the dragon slowly began to hear a bass beat vibrating from further down the line. Craning his neck to look over the crowd, Hanzo soon caught sight of Hana’s spot in the parade. It was Lucio’s old beater, but Hana herself was standing in the car, her slender frame poking through the sunroof in the top of the car. On the sides of the car were the signs Hanzo had helped decorate. The music blaring from the car’s speakers must have been one of Lucio’s new mixtapes. As the car slowly approached them, McCree suddenly cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted for Hana’s attention. 

She was startled for a moment before spotting them in the crowd. As soon as she caught sight of the two, she began waving frantically, an excited look on her face. This drew a chuckle from the both of them as they waved back to her. From the front seat, Olivia was holding up her middle finger for McCree to see, a big smile on her face. Even Lucio looked like he was enjoying himself, waving at his friends as he controlled the car. 

They passed quickly, Hana throwing candy to the crowds who had gathered to watch the parade. Behind her was the football team, led by Zarya who waved at her friends as well when she spotted them. In her hands she held a sign that read “Rest In Peace #33.” and behind her another player held a similar sign that said “We miss you #35” instead. 

Hanzo turned to McCree, a puzzled look on his face. “What happened to those players?” he asked, looking up at the cowboy with a furrowed brow. 

A serious look replaced the normal cocky look on the cowboy’s face. “#33 was a good friend, Gerard LaCroix. He passed away in an accident a few years ago.” he paused.“You know Amelie, right?” he waited for the dragon to nod before continuing. “She was dating Gerard at the time, and was involved in the accident. I think that’s why she’s so quiet now.” he added with a frown. “As for #35, that’s the number of a friend who is spending his senior year studying abroad.” he explained, getting off of the dark subject. Hanzo nodded thoughtfully, turning back to the parade only to notice that it was over with.  “Well, you ready to head back?” McCree asked, stupid grin back on his face as always. Hanzo nodded and they took off to where McCree had parked earlier.