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Here, Beneath My Lungs

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It started out innocently enough.

Most things with Genji did, despite whatever people said.


Particularly these days high up in the mountains of Nepal surrounded by an entire order of omnic monks.


“Now focus at your center.” Zenyatta instructed, quick hands lighting on Genji's stomach and the small of his back.


They were in the part of the temple that served as a sort of central library. Genji had gone seeking more information on something he’d heard in passing, and had been relieved to find it on the shelf in this small, tucked away corner. Lax booklending policies meant that occasionally he had spent an hour walking around the various parts of the temple seeking a book that had been passed around a group of friends instead of being returned to the library. Luckily omnic memory was perfect: they always knew who they had given the book to.

It was simply time consuming.


Most days Genji didn’t mind the extra walking (or occasional jogging, if he was going to be honest) seeing as he enjoyed the sunshine and the exercise. As much peace as he had found at the temple, he hadn’t lost his desire for action. Zenyatta understood better than most of the others, though some days even he chuckled in amusement when Genji couldn’t sit still for more than two minutes before getting up to move and stretch again. Genji liked meditating now far more than he had as a child, but it usually wasn’t the only thing he wanted to do.


Still, he’d already run through his training exercises today and had been unexpectedly taken with the way the sunlight was spilling into this corner of the library, catching the redder tones in the stone and lighting everything with bright, warm gold. Someone had put a whole pile of pillows into one corner, right up against the bookcases. The Shambali were simple, but they were far from ascetics-- and Genji knew from personal experience that you didn’t need joints of flesh and blood to appreciate a cushion. It was charming, and the breeze coming in from the outdoor patio was refreshing. Today, Genji couldn’t think of anything better than sitting in a nest of pillows to study the thin, leather bound book he had been looking for.


Zenyatta found him 10 minutes into struggling through the more omnic-oriented instructions.


He hadn't anticipated it would be so tactile when he asked Zenyatta for clarification on the meditation technique he'd been reading about, and yet Zenyatta's hands had touched his brow, smoothed over the breadth of his shoulders, and traced purposefully down his spine as he guided Genji through the correct breathing patterns and mantras to mentally repeat.


Shojiro had taught both of his sons early on how to meditate, and all of them had daily ten minute meditation sessions starting when they turned five. It was necessary for controlling the dragon spirits they held inside them, so Genji had done it. He had imagined he could feel his soul like a candle flame, growing inside his chest as he took in even breaths and tried hard not to fidget. At least, Genji had thought he had imagined it until he had met the Shambali. His opinion on whether or not omnics had souls was turned eternally towards the positive as soon as he felt their sparking auras. It wasn’t Hanzo’s stubborn and somehow blue presence warming along his side or the proud, confident soul of his father in front of them, guiding the way through the veil of body and spirit. It was, for lack of a better word, electric. When Genji concentrated among the Shambali, their souls skittered over his scalp in an energizing almost-tickle. It was different, but Genji could never say that meant they were not also souls. Particularly when one of the monks commented on the brilliant green of his own aura. Apparently he did glow like a candle.


In the end, however, they were different and their books weren’t written with a human in mind. Not even a cyborg.


Perpendicular to Genji, Zenyatta drew a finger from the small of Genji’s back up to the nape of his neck, bumping over his spine. He was talking about the flow of energy, or... something else. Very suddenly, Genji could hardly pay attention at all.


It was so unfamiliar like this that he almost didn't recognize it. Wanting to touch had never felt so warm and comforting to him. He'd never felt peace when he looked at his paramours the way he did now. He wanted, fuck , did he want-- but enveloping even that was a calm certainty. Zenyatta's head was tilted in inquisitive excitement. He loved teaching new things despite his tendency to over-teach to the point of making himself obsolete, particularly for things like meditation.


Genji's chest was full of a sweet ache, something tender and precious. He wished he could cup his hands around the feeling for safekeeping so that he might always have this moment.


He looked at Zenyatta, shining in the early afternoon light of the Himalayan Spring and he could almost see the opportunity slipping past his fingers. He hadn't been aware of it until today, but like hell was he going to let that get in his way. His lifetime of impulsivity might actually serve him well in this instance.


Genji jolted forward, leading with his mouth. A fraction of a second after his lips made contact with the cool metal of Zenyatta’s faceplate he remembered something crucial: Zenyatta couldn't kiss back. The fragments of a young playboy of the Shimada clan that had somehow managed to linger in the soul of a man-turned-cyborg were crushed: he'd always adored kissing. It had been one of his first indiscretions to kiss a visitor to their estate in some hidden corner, flaunting his independence alongside childish giggles and clumsy hands. To think that he wouldn't have it anymore made his heart sink in more than just embarrassment for having kissed an Omnic . Their faces couldn't move in that way; they couldn't kiss. He hadn’t been thinking.


… And yet he was also wrong.

Zenyatta exclaimed a soft “oh!” of surprise before he was reaching up to cup Genji’s face in one cool hand and press in against his lips. It was like nuzzling, sort of. It was the same way that any other person he had kissed had leaned into his touch, he realized, and Genji couldn’t keep his hand from tightening on the angular shoulder it had rested on. The sudden relief was almost dizzying, so quickly after moments spent hastily preparing himself for a sheepish apology


Genji kissed him again, and this time a soft vibration flickered across his lips. His breath caught.


“Was that you?” He couldn’t bear to pull away so soon, and his lips brushed Zenyatta’s faceplate as he spoke.


The answer to the question was obvious, and maybe if his heart wasn’t pounding in his chest Genji would have been able to articulate an actual question. Was that because of the kiss? or maybe, Was that on purpose?


“An organic monk might gain control over their breath and body temperature. We are no different.”


Genji decided to take that as a yes. There was a soft radiating warmth now to go along with the buzzing any time that Zenyatta moved with him, nudged closer. He allowed himself to indulge for several minutes before the guilt of not having even asked caught up to him.


“Forgive me, Master.” Genji sighed between them, parting to press his forehead to Zenyatta’s.


Zenyatta laughed. Some of his lights flickered gently with the sound. “What for?”


“And you should call me Zenyatta more often.” He added, catching Genji's hand as it slid from his neck, holding it to his chestpiece. “The line between master and student has been blurred for some time.”




Zenyatta seemed to read his mind. “There is no disrespect in closeness.”


“That is lucky for me,” Genji said seriously. “Seeing as I am almost in your lap.”


“What were you going to apologize for, Genji?”


Genji glanced away. It was a somewhat strange apology to make when it was only his hand braced against the ground that kept them both from tumbling over on top of each other.

“Kissing you.”


“Only apologize if you regret it.”

“I take it back.”


“Good.” Genji hadn’t known that Zenyatta could purr like that, and he was as helpless to keep the noise he made back in his throat as he was to resist leaning forward again to crush his lips to metal. Zenyatta’s hands swept across his shoulders, down his back. They ended up in Genji’s hair, cradling his head as he licked and sucked across the seam and edge of Zenyatta’s jaw. Judging by the sighing, Genji felt confident in saying that he could feel it. The trailing vibrations circled playfully around each other just as his tongue pressed to the metal. It sent a shiver down Genji’s spine and he ducked to swipe his tongue along the flat, underside edge of Zenyatta’s jaw before continuing to mouth over the shapes of the pistons at his neck. He was determined to find something that felt to Zenyatta as strange and wonderful as Zenyatta’s kisses felt to him. Based on how Zenyatta’s hands had smoothed over his hair before tugging at it once in a full-body jolt, it seemed he was on the right track.


Cold needles in his arm had him pulling away with a shaky groan.

“My arm,” Genji said by way of reluctant explanation to the slight cock of Zenyatta’s head. He grimaced as he moved back, shaking the numbness from his muscles and the soreness from his fingers. Now that he was thinking about it, his knees hadn’t exactly enjoyed that position much, either. “I’m sorry, can we--?” He was going to say return to either of their rooms, but Genji found himself hesitant to leave the cozy spot.


His indecision must have been obvious.

“Lie back,” Zenyatta said softly. There were enough pillows that Genji couldn’t even feel the edges of the bookshelves against his shoulder blades when he reclined away from Zenyatta. The distance didn’t last long. Zenyatta followed him, settling against Genji’s chest. Through either the omnic’s apparent disinterest in being subject to gravity or Genji’s happiness alone, he seemed almost weightless when Genji drew him in closer. They lingered, enjoying the easy embrace. It was hardly the first time they had done such a thing-- Zenyatta had dragged Genji from out of nightmares with physical and spiritual arms wrapped around him, and it was their customary greeting if they’d ever been apart for a few days. It was new despite that, seeing as Genji had never affectionately nudged the tip of his nose against Zenyatta’s faceplate during.

Not to mention how Zenyatta was currently lying between Genji’s spread thighs.


Clever mechanical fingers carded through Genji’s hair, taking care not to tug too tightly. When Genji smiled to himself, they moved to trace over his lips. No one had ever touched the scars on his face before. Genji wouldn’t have let anyone, but he didn’t mind Zenyatta’s scrutiny as his fingertips followed the long scar over the bridge of his nose. How could he feel broken and undesirable with Zenyatta in his arms and the warm prickle of his aura so familiar to him? Impossible. As was refraining from kissing him.


Zenyatta’s aura spiked warmer, and Genji grinned.


It was unhurried and comfortable despite Genji’s tongue trailing over Zenyatta’s neck and the way the Omnic’s fingers sought the catches on Genji’s outer armor, stroking over them before asking “May I?”

Genji nodded before helping to remove the silver chest pieces. Zenyatta’s voice synthesizer made a clucking noise as his hands sought out the next catches.
“This seems far more complicated than necessary.” He decided, likely just to make Genji laugh. It worked, and Genji nuzzled in to murmur against his faceplate.


“Perhaps you should file a complaint with the omnics that helped me design it.”


Zenyatta tilted the last few degrees necessary to bring them into a kiss.

“Perhaps I shall.”


Genji’s body was indeed complicated.

Not only was there technology embedded and fused to his skin and full limb prosthetics, but the armor that fit perfectly over all of it came off in pieces as opposed to all at once. He spent most of his time in full armor due to the cold much of the year, but Genji couldn’t deny that a lot of that was also disinterest in undoing what felt like hundreds of catches and pushing a hundred more buttons.

As it turned out, it didn’t go faster with more hands, but it certainly was more enjoyable.


There was a soft, aborted noise from behind Zenyatta. Genji looked past his shoulder to lock gazes with another of the Shambali. He couldn't help but think on what this looked like. His black hair was undoubtedly mussed from Zenyatta’s hands combing through it, lips red from kissing hard metal, and various pieces of his armor were strewn around them so that Zenyatta could palm the flesh of his chest. And Zenyatta. He was between Genji’s sprawled legs, one hand skirting his crotch and the other kneading over Genji's remaining pectoral muscle.


The Shambali was holding several books, likely going to put them away somewhere near their corner nest of pillows. Their forehead lights flickered, glowed bright, and they barked out a laugh. It was shocked and delighted, really-- like they revelled in the exotic nature of what they were seeing. They waved their apologies before backing out of the hall. Genji ducked his head to hide his smile.

Zenyatta chuckled softly from under his chin before lifting his head, brushing Genji's lips with his faceplate.


Genji resisted the urge to roll his eyes and nodded instead. He was fairly certain the cultural differences alone nullified any chance of feeling ashamed to be caught this way.

“You don’t have to worry about me.”

“I do anyways. But only because I care about you.”


“Then know that I am very happy.”


Zenyatta seemed to preen.


Genji couldn’t help but notice that despite his hand high up on Genji’s thigh, Zenyatta hadn’t made any moves to remove any of the armor below his waist. That wasn’t surprising; just because it turned out an omnic enjoyed kissing didn’t mean he would enjoy anything more. Still, Genji had to at least check.

He tapped at the metal of his modesty plate to draw Zenyatta’s attention.

“Do you want this to come off?”


Yes .” Zenyatta said, fervent and reverent all at once. Genji guided his hand to one of the catches to keep him from noticing how badly that admission had made him blush. He wasn’t used to being an object of desire anymore; didn’t know where to put the bubbling anticipation so that it wouldn’t show so obviously on his face.


Zenyatta’s curiosity had always charmed him, even when that feeling had come despite Genji’s devotion to sulking. Now Zenyatta sat back so that Genji might lift the plate away on his own, head tilted to one side. His lights flashed bright for an instant before he was moving back into the cradle of Genji’s thighs for a closer look. Genji recalled that he used to be better at this, back when “better” meant coy and seductive. Now, however, there was something to be said in defense of the raw vulnerability of silence.

Light was falling across him, catching on skin and metal alike. Zenyatta reached up to his face, cupping Genji’s cheek so that he would meet his gaze. The hand brushed over his lips once more before dragging down over the synthetic jaw that had replaced shattered bone, touching on the side of Genji’s throat before Zenyatta’s fingers spread wide at the center of his chest. Touching both halves of him: the flesh and blood of his left side and the mechanical synthetics on his right. Genji swallowed past a tightness in his throat as Zenyatta’s hand trailed down over the running lights on his abdomen. He looked back up at Genji, and Genji knew what he was asking because he knew them . Genji nodded, and Zenyatta’s lights brightened once more before he first touched.


Genji let out a shuddering breath he hadn’t intended to hold. Zenyatta was careful, starting by brushing over Genji’s dark pubic hair, following it down between his legs. It didn’t take long for him to become bolder. Genji gasped.

The tips of his fingers were tracing through folds, skirting around the edges of Genji’s front hole. Instinctively Zenyatta seemed to know better than dip inside, and soon he was gliding over his cock. He lingered. Genji's cock twitched up, pulling tight in a sweet pulse of bliss before the feeling was tumbling away. Zenyatta's voice went hushed; a nice touch to underscore the awed approval.

“You are so fine here.”


Like he was appreciating Genji's craftsmanship . Admiring the intricate, velvet-soft make of him. Genji had been more than happy to let him explore, but he couldn’t let that pass without surging up for a kiss. Vibrations danced under his lips.

“Can you--” Genji’s cheeks felt hot when he realized how breathless he sounded. “That, with your fingers?”


The vibrations against the base of his cock were so sudden that Genji shouted, grabbing hard to Zenyatta’s shoulder.

Fuck --” Zenyatta startled. Years spent without cursing in the temple only to be undone by his coaxing fingers. “Sorry, I-- fuck , it’s good. It’s good.”

Zenyatta chuckled, and Genji half-thought he felt a spark of electricity when Zenyatta pressed their faces together.

“Like this?”


Genji nodded, then shook his head. It had been so long that anything was welcome but that wasn’t what Zenyatta was asking.


He reached down to adjust Zenyatta’s fingers, feeling how the metal of his hands had gone warm from contact with Genji’s body. He shivered. Genji had been hard since they had started kissing properly, and his whole body curled in when Zenyatta’s fingers followed his guidance without any hesitation. He tucked his face against Zenyatta’s neck and was more aware of his body than he had let himself be in a very long time. For once, everything he was feeling was good. His soul felt like it was burning with adoration; a rich sensation that filled every part of him, mechanical or not.


Zenyatta was soft and mindful, fingers gentle on his foreskin and impossibly more so on the wet head of his dick. Genji’s hips chased his touch, pressing into it and grinding against his fingers.

“Do you want me to finish you off?” Zenyatta whispered, the question only for the two of them. Genji nodded so hard he was surprised later that he hadn’t smacked his head into a bookcase in the middle of it. Zenyatta tilted his face up for a kiss and went to work.


If Genji thought he had been inadvertently teasing him before, what Zenyatta did next proved him wrong. He’d been doing it all on purpose .

The vibrations from his fingertips thrummed stronger, but it was still how he stroked Genji that had him gasping wetly. Rubbing along and across his dick in tightening circles, Zenyatta leaned away to watch him. It wasn’t always easy to tell exactly where he was looking, but Genji had always felt it obvious when the monk’s gaze was on him.

Perhaps he should have seen all of this coming sooner.


Genji let himself fall back against the pillows, fisting his hands in Zenyatta’s dhoti before he got any ideas about moving away. With one foot planted on the floor he could roll his hips up better. His head tipped back, caught up in feeling. No wonder he had let this become too much a priority in his youth: sex felt incredible. Nerves that hadn’t communicated anything but tension and a dull ache in years came alive under Zenyatta’s touch. Genji stretched, feeling luxurious and loved.

Release bloomed in his chest as much as his cock when it came to him, singing through his very soul with the quick movements of Zenyatta’s fingers. Clutching at his clothes wasn’t enough; Genji crushed all of Zenyatta to his chest, holding him tight as he came.

“Oh, my Sparrow,” Zenyatta murmured in the middle of the waves of it, hardly helping the way that Genji was trembling.


Were it anyone else -- were Zenyatta human -- Genji would have likely hurt them with the tightness of his grip. Zenyatta, however, was apparently delighted by the turn of events and wouldn’t stop rubbing his faceplate along the underside of Genji’s jaw. Now that they’d learned how to kiss one another, it seemed unlikely either of them were planning on stopping.


Genji caught Zenyatta’s hand, pulling it away and up to his chest while he panted and gathered himself again. He couldn’t resist kissing Zenyatta’s knuckles, and he smiled when it made the fuzzy feeling of Zenyatta’s soul next to his flare for a moment.

“Do you have…?” He asked finally. If you gave him a thousand years, Genji wasn’t sure he would ever have the courage to finish that sentence. Nearly a decade of celibacy had taken its toll on his confidence, and those same years made it difficult to be as brash as he once had been.

“No, unfortunately,” Zenyatta sighed, squeezing Genji’s hand.

Genji continued to catch his breath, watching dust motes drift through the sunlight.

“But you do feel something, don’t you?”
“I feel a lot of things.” Genji would have been annoyed at the vague answer if it weren’t for how Zenyatta squeezed his hand once more. Firmly. With purpose.


“Where do you have the most sensors?”

“My hands.” Zenyatta answered immediately.


Genji didn’t hesitate to take the thumb brushing his cheek into his mouth with a quick turn and dip of his head. It was easy to suck on, smooth and body-warm thanks to touching Genji. The joints caught nicely in his teeth, and Zenyatta shuddered enough to rattle.

“Is that--?” Genji’s voice slurred around the thumb tucked momentarily into his cheek.

“It’s good, Genji.”


Genji pulled off, nodded to himself, and folded Zenyatta in better against his side so that they were lying together instead of on top of one another.


Zenyatta seemed more than happy to lie with him nestled into the small mountain of mismatched pillows while Genji kissed each of his fingertips in turn. Though it was far from what he had imagined when Genji had first stumbled across this little corner, it was still peaceful. A deep contentment had settled over him, and he had a feeling it might be several more hours before they moved. Despite his best efforts to rouse some self-judgement over his slothfulness, Genji was unsuccessful. He liked being with Zenyatta.


“I’ve never met anyone like you before,” Genji confessed into the small space between them and took two of Zenyatta’s fingers in his mouth. Any response Zenyatta might have had was stolen as his vocal synthesizer cut out completely. Genji hummed a questioning note and received in response a nod nearly as vigorous as his own had been earlier. It turned out it was difficult to smile around fingers, but Genji believed he managed okay.


Genji closed his eyes and sucked. Zenyatta shuddered again. It was the same response he had to Genji slowly bobbing his head, or parting his fingers with his tongue to lick around them. Zenyatta’s hand was shaking when he pulled it free from Genji’s mouth. Genji opened his eyes, mouth still slack and open.

Zenyatta’s lights were bright, casting a blue glow over the both of them. Before Genji had a chance to ask, Zenyatta was running trembling fingers over his wet lips. Genji turned into the touch, opening his mouth further when Zenyatta’s fingers slipped inside, tracing over the surface of his tongue.


Genji, ” Zenyatta said, and the awe was back in his voice. Genji raised his eyebrows: Yes?

Zenyatta only sighed, and pushed his fingers back into Genji’s mouth. Genji moaned when he closed his lips around them, dragging his teeth featherlight over the surface. It was easy to get lost in, but that had always been true for Genji when he was using his mouth. All he had to do was close his eyes and feel for the small twitches of desire when something was particularly good. Genji moved, urging Zenyatta in deeper before sucking off and nibbling at his fingertips, tongue flicking over the ends of them.

Genji’s cock took notice all over again when Zenyatta moaned, an “ oh ” so different from the first Genji had heard today. It was so rich with desire that he had to press his thighs together, taking Zenyatta’s fingers deep and swallowing around them to distract himself. He pressed his tongue firm against them. They jolted a fraction deeper.


Genji sucked hard and Zenyatta took them both through the Iris.


That was a slight exaggeration. Genji wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to, but Zenyatta certainly brought him right up against its edges. Hands made of sunlight seemed to touch his very spirit, and Genji couldn’t contain his joy. He kissed Zenyatta’s fingers as he pulled away to laugh, slumped boneless against the pillows. It was another moment before Zenyatta returned to himself, lights fading from dazzling yellow to blue. They flickered between the colors once or twice and then were steady.


“I don’t think that’s how this book meant for us to find the Iris,” Genji mused, reaching to pull it out from under his hip.

He expected Zenyatta to swat at him for his teasing, as sometimes happened in their more playful moments. He didn’t expect Zenyatta to laugh, or that he would fling his arms around Genji’s neck to drag him into kisses. Genji had planned to ask him how he was feeling, but he didn’t have to. Zenyatta’s soul was aflame with adoration.


“Why were you here in the first place?” Genji finally thought to ask when laughter and kissing had finally tapered off for the time being. It wasn’t as if this was a main hallway, after all. If it was they would have had to resign themselves to far more interruptions than just the one.


“I was looking for you.” Zenyatta’s voice was light with satisfaction.


Of course. Genji should have known. They were flush against one another now, thanks to all of the hugging Zenyatta had done. He couldn’t bring himself to mind.


It was harder to stroke an omnic’s back than it was a human’s. Omnics had so many ridges and gaps that Genji found it easier just to trace Zenyatta’s various parts than attempt to sweep over all of it. That was how he ended up idly stroking over some of the wires going into Zenyatta’s spine. There were two of them, one almost twisted around the other. Genji could probably slip his finger inside the gap if--


Zenyatta’s voice synthesizer crackled in surprise before smoothing into a moan.
Genji ,” He said, sounding strangely stern despite the thready quality to his voice. “Are you not planning on leaving anything for next time?”


He wouldn’t be able to see it, but Genji would bet that Zenyatta could feel in his own soul how Genji’s spirit bloomed warmly in tandem with the slow smile that spread across his face.