His muscles ache and his entire body hurts with various injuries both minor and not. It’s the first time he’s been able to escape the barrage of people that keep coming to see him since he’s arrived back at the base after his teams last mission and Gabe’s looking forward to having a quiet moment where he can lick his wounds and recover. The one exception to the quiet Gabe aches to surround himself with is Jesse. Jesse who he can now see is huddled in a corner away from everyone else for a semblance of privacy he could’ve easily reached had he gone back to either of their quarters.
That fact is the first thing that warns Gabe that Jesse isn’t quite right after last mission. (Unsurprisingly as everything that had happened after the halfway point had been one unexpected complication over another, something Gabe won’t allow himself to experience ever again. After all he’s better than that. He needs to be.)
Luckily for them both Jesse’s currently in a room which can be easily locked as no one else is currently in it to grant them both more privacy for whatever this situation will bring. Gabe slips into the sideroom and locks it behind him, making his way to Jesse with a soft, “It’s me,” when Jesse’s head snaps up at the sound before kneeling in front of him and putting his hands on top of Jesse’s to see how his touch will be accepted at the moment. Jesse responds by unfolding himself from the corner and reaching into Gabe for a hug, his head rapidly finding the crook of Gabe’s neck as he sighs into it.
“I just don’t get it.”
Gabe turns his head to the side, pressing a kiss to the top of Jesse’s hair. “What don’t you get Jess?”
“Most of the time, everything goes fine and no one’s gotta worry and it makes sense that what we’re doing’s good even though we’re doing all this killing along the ways a-and then there’s days like this. Days that make me feel like I’m not better than some shit in a gutter, that everything I do is either meaningless or just more of the same from what I was doing back in Deadlock and I fucking hate it. Makes me doubt me. Makes me doubt you. Fucking hate doubting you because Gabe, if what we have, what you tell me ain’t true then what the fuck am I doing, y’know?”
Gabe pulls him even closer, trying to give Jesse as much comfort as he can because he knows what’s plaguing him. He’s felt it himself and he never wanted Jesse to as well since his ever continuing growth into a better and better person and he has no idea what to do to stop it but what feels to him feeble attempts at comfort that he will give to him anyway.
“I can’t say that everything we ever do is right because we’re both human and we make mistakes but I can tell you without any doubt that you’re an amazing person Jesse… You’re much better than I am at this point and I know we do the shit work, the dirty work that keeps Overwatch and honestly the fucking world running but it’s work that’s gotta be done. And the fact that you’re even wondering about it is more than enough proof that you’re a good person Jess. I’m shit at words and you know this so I can’t do much to like… help you like that but I love you and you can always come to me, right?”
Jesse pulls away to look into his eyes before sighing once more and leaning forward so that they’re forehead to forehead.
Gabe picks up Jesse’s hands, removing the tactical gloves from them and kissing every single one of his knuckles softly. Looking back up he’s met with a soft gaze and another kiss shared between them. Deep but not filled with passion, just a reaffirming that they’re home.
As they sit there in silence, wrapped up in each other and reassurances, the last words that break up their quiet moment before they return to Gabe’s quarters to shower and rest are:
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”