It’s a usual morning when Jesse finally notices it. It’s not something unusual in their line of work — a small bruise mares Hanzo’s cheek. Jesse doesn’t think much of it; the archer could’ve gotten it from anywhere, a mission, the training yard. He could ask the archer about it, but they aren’t friends, they aren’t even friendly.
He turns from the archer and back to eating his food. It’s not long before the rest of the team joins them at the table. Just like that, Jesse puts the bruise to the back of his mind.
A few weeks after Hanzo’s arrival on the base, Jesse starts to notice things. He keeps to himself and minds his business, but it doesn’t stop him from catching little details. It’s just the type of person he is.
Hell, even before Blackwatch, he had always been an observant person. That’s what made him so invaluable to Deadlock. Able to see the slightest movement when someone was pulling for a weapon, able to see the telltale signs of someone lying or plottin’. It came in handy and had saved his ass more than a few times.
It wasn’t completely out of the ordinary when he noticed the slight limp Hanzo was trying to hide as he came into the training ground. He covers it well, his face gives him away though, the corners of his eyes scrunching in pain every time he walks, he leans heavily on his left leg to keep pressure off the right side of him. It occurs to Jesse that Hanzo’s last mission was almost six days ago, he also hadn’t had the chance to spar with anybody. Nobody other than his brother wanting to even associate with the archer. He wonders what could have happened, not that he cares too much about what happens to the archer, but he’s curious.
He stays in the shadows, slowly lowering Peacekeeper as he observes the man. This is closest they’ve been since he arrived. He watches as the man gentle removes his bow from his back, handling it with such care. Jesse briefly wonders who gifted him the bow, maybe he’ll ask Genji next time he sees him. Next, he loads an arrow into the quiver. As the archer aims, the sleeves of his gi, rise, and Jesse is privy to deep black and blue bruises around his wrist and arms. He has no idea what could have caused such injuries, he tries to think to the last mission Hanzo was on. It involved recon on an old Talon base. Last he heard there was no combat on that mission.
Something uncomfortable settles in his stomach, he leaves the range before Hanzo even knows he’s there.
Two weeks later, Jesse enters the kitchen and hears laughter, unsurprisingly it’s Hana and Lucio. But there’s another voice, deeper and calmer mingled in there. He peeks around the corner and sees Hanzo sitting in between the two.
It’s a surprise, to say the least, the archer had made no effort to speak with any of them other than his brother, his brother being his only companion. To see him enjoying some video game with the youngest of Overwatch is more than shocking. Hana and Lucio both sitting snug to his side without a care in the world.
Jesse wondered when this change of events had happened. Hana and Lucio had been the only two, other than Genji, out of the rest of them who tried to even interact with Hanzo. Jesse had a feeling it was more out of curiosity than anything. Hana had dubbed Hanzo a, “cool ninja assassin.” Not only that, Hana and Lucio had always been the friendliest of their group. Last Jesse saw the two had been unsuccessfully trying to get Hanzo to play a video game with them, the archer always looked uncomfortable at the idea.
“No, no, you’re holding the controller wrong Han!” Hana giggles, taking the controller out of Hanzo’s hand and showing him the right way. Jesse watches as Hanzo smiles at the nickname, watching as the young mechanic teaches him how to hold the controller. “Maybe we should lower the difficulty to since he’s a beginner and all.” Lucio chimes in.
Jesse heads back into the kitchen, not wanting to ruin the moment. He and Hanzo aren’t enemies, but they aren’t friends. Some part of him doesn’t want to disturb the fun Hanzo is having, he hasn’t seen the archer smile since he arrived. Regardless of his feelings for Hanzo, far be it from him to stop Hanzo from bonding with other members of the team.
Walking back into the kitchen, he sees Genji sitting on the countertop, a cup of tea in his hands, as he hums softly to himself.
“Howdy partner,” Jesse says, greeting his best friend. He and Genji haven’t had much time to talk and hang out since Hanzo arrived on the base. Jesse didn’t exactly mind, Genji was trying to reestablish a relationship with his brother. Far be it form him to get in the way of that. It’d be a lie to say he didn’t miss their midnight conversations and daily training meetups, though.
“Was that my brother?” He asks, his voice tinged with something off that Jesse can’t place. With the mask on, his voice is already metallic, but it sounds harder, almost angry. It’s out of place, to say the least.
“Uh, yeah. Need me to grab him?” Jesse asks, confused. Quite honestly, he’d thought Genji or Hanzo would grow sick of being in each other’s shadow every day. Every time Jesse looked up, Hanzo was by Genji’s side and vice versa. Then again, who else did Hanzo have to talk to or interact with other than Genji? Now it seemed he had Lucio and Hana, but still.
“No, it is quite alright, I will.”
Just like that Genji leaves, when he enters the common room and calls for his brother, Jesse doesn’t miss how Hanzo tenses, his eyes widening slightly before his face goes back to something passive.
When Jesse sees Hanzo later in the day sporting a split lip, he says nothing. The uncomfortable pit in Jesse’s stomach grows deeper.
Next time Jesse sees Hanzo, it’s at a team briefing, the archer sitting next to his brother, of course. Though before the meeting, Hana and Lucio had been trying to get him to sit next to them. Much to the confusion of everyone else except Jesse, he knew Hana and Lucio had all but added Hanzo into their friendship. Taking the man in as if he was a lost stray.
Winston tells them there’s a mission in London, Talon activity. Not that any of them are surprised, the last few months had been quiet almost too quiet, they must have been planning something. Winston says it’s a mission that requires them all this time, much to their excitement. It’s been a while since they’ve all fought side by side.
Winston pairs them off in teams of two, the teams aren’t out of the ordinary except for the fact he’s pairing Jesse and Hanzo this time. Usually, it was the two Shimada brothers, they worked good together, Genji seeming to take the lead while Hanzo followed.
Jesse doesn’t miss how Hanzo looks back to Genji. Fear, uncertainty? Something flickers in his eyes as he quickly looks back to his brother, not even bothering a glance in Jesse’s direction. Jesse can’t tell what Genji is thinking, the mask still firmly in place. He seems to wear it a lot more often now, sparsely does Jesse see the mask off him.
“Winston, are you sure that is wise, Hanzo is not comfortable around Jesse.” The cyborg says.
Jesse feels himself bristle slightly, for odd reasons. Some for how Genji answers for his brother, and some for how he hasn’t done anything for Hanzo to feel uncomfortable around him. When they first met, it had been a cold reception but that was months ago. While he and Hanzo were far from friends and didn’t talk, Jesse was at least cordial. There was no reason they couldn’t work together.
“Be that as it may, I feel their two skills together will be better utilized for this mission. Moving on now, Lena and Hana, I want you two…”
Jesse tunes out the rest of the mission brief, instead glancing now and again at the Shimada brothers. Hanzo is a coil of tension, while Genji is utterly relaxed. He doesn’t understand what’s got Hanzo so riled, it’s only one mission apart. Besides, Jesse didn’t believe Hanzo was uncomfortable around him. They sometimes talked in the morning, a quick hello here and there, and the archer never seemed unsettled then.
After the brief is over, Jesse leaves to pack what he needs. He never takes much in these missions, preferring to travel light. He runs into Lena while going to his room, not entirely on accident on Lena’s part.
“You gonna be okay for this mission?” She asks, concerned. She still didn’t exactly trust Hanzo, she was kind to him as was her nature but she was distant. What Hanzo had done to Genji, had left them all with a bitter taste in their mouth. They were starting to come around to the man, but they were still wary. Hanzo didn’t precisely help such wariness by not speaking to any of them.
“Oh, I’ll be just fine, one little mission ain’t gonna hurt me,” Jesse says with a charming smile before departing. He’s not worried at all honestly, he can see for himself Hanzo has no reason to hurt any of them, if he was, he would have done it already.
Jesse’s mostly worried about the awkward silences that’ll plague their mission.
On his way to his room, he hears harsh whispering, it’s Genji’s. He creeps closer to the sound coming from the break room. He’s speaking in Japanese, but he sounds furious. Jesse can tell he’s angry, the last time he heard Genji speak so furiously were in their Blackwatch days.
He creeps towards the sound and catches a glimpse of Hanzo and Genji, Genji fist are balled at his sides while Hanzo is looking down, the room is too dark for him to see his face.
As he peaks his head in and the voice stop, Genji turns quickly to the door. “This is a private conversation.” He says coldly to Jesse, so unlike the friendly cyborg, it gives Jesse pause.
“Apologies, bud, thought something was wrong.” Before anyone can say anything else, Jesse leaves for his room. Maybe on the mission, he can ask Hanzo what all that was about.
Jesse doesn’t comment on the way Hanzo limps to the Jet. He doesn’t say a word.
The mission is straightforward, their lead wasn’t exactly wrong but the Talon activity is easy to clean up. A few weapons caches here and there, a few stray Talon agents to kill off. It was an easy job. Most of the team had taken the time to go to restaurants or clubs after finishing their mission tasks each day.
Just like he had Jesse had predicted, Hanzo didn’t say much to him, outside of the field. They worked terrific together, Hanzo acting like a guardian angel from above while he took out targets on the ground, watching Jesse’s back with deadly precision. In the three days they spent together, Jesse took the time to get to know him as best he could.
Just from their brief conversations here and there the archer liked to meditate, noodles were by far his favorite food, he was actually quite shy as well. Refusing to go out with the team to clubs or restaurants, preferring to stay in the peace their shared hotel room provided. The small snippets of what Hanzo likes were all he was able to squeeze out the archer.
Even when they were in their hotel room alone for hours at a time, Hanzo didn’t speak. Most of the time he meditating. As much as Jesse wanted to know more about Hanzo, he didn’t disturb him, Hanzo looked peaceful in the moments he was meditating. He rarely looked like that at the base.
On the last day of their mission, Jesse remembers asking him if he was excited to get back home, Jesse himself feeling a little homesick. Jesse will never forget the anguish in his eyes, the dread.
“It’ll be good to be home.” Jesse can hear, basically, see the lie on Hanzo’s tongue.
Deep down, he knows why deep down he doesn’t believe why. He just nods and packs.
A week after the mission, Jesse had formed a tentative friendship with Hanzo. It’s nothing close to what he now shares with Hana or Lucio, but it’s better than what he’s building with Lena.
During their mission, he found something more than the stoic man he thought Hanzo was. Not some unforgiving murderer, he had placed the archer in the category of. The fact Hanzo even joined Overwatch, showed Jesse how committed the man was to be better.
Every morning he and Hanzo sit at the table over coffee and tea, there’s not much conversation, but Jesse can tell Hanzo finds some comfort in his presence and he can say the same of the archer. He finds himself seeking Hanzo out for company when he’s not with Genji or trying to practice with the archer in the training room. He can tell Hanzo enjoys being with him, how he smiles when Jesse enters the room, how he’s eager to join Jesse in the training room.
One morning when Hanzo is up earlier, having prepared both their drinks. Hanzo sets his coffee in front of Jesse, telling him good morning, and asking him if he slept well.
Before Jesse can respond, he can’t help but notice the bruises on his wrist, they look like handprints, but he can’t be too sure. The wrist is gone out of view the next minute and Hanzo is pulling his sleeve down, looking sheepish and shamefaced.
“Training accident,” Hanzo says quickly, going to sit across from Jesse. “My brother doesn’t know his own strength sometimes.”
Before Jesse can even think to comment Genji comes into the kitchen, Jesse doesn’t miss the terror that crosses over Hanzo’s face before its gone, or the flinch when Genji sits down next to him and begins chatting animatedly with Jesse.
Jesse doesn’t have it in him to ask. All he knows is that hole in his stomach that plague him is not a hole any longer. It’s swallowing him whole.
Hanzo is losing weight, his eyes look haunted. Sometimes he’s to sick to leave his room, sometimes he limps for days without having ever gone on a mission. Sometimes theirs bruises in places they shouldn’t be.
He stops spending time with Lena, not accompanying her on walks around Gibraltar anymore. He stops listening to music with Lucio, he stops playing video games with Hana. He stops speaking to Jesse all together. Hanzo doesn’t speak at all, really, unless spoken to, not even to Genji. Most of the time the archer looks as if he’s staring into space. Not focusing on anyone or thing.
Hana, Lucio, Lena, and now Winston are worried. Sometimes they ask Jesse if he knows something. They think Hanzo is hurting himself, or someone is hurting him but they don’t know who. They ask Genji, he is just as confused as them, promising to talk to his brother.
Jesse can’t remember the last time Hanzo smiled, let alone said more than a word here or there. He doesn’t hang out or speak to anyone anymore. Only Genji, he follows the man around like a lost puppy.
The team is right, something is wrong. Jesse always knew something was wrong; from the moment in the kitchen, he knew it was something. The only other person he could think of responsible for what’s happening to Hanzo is Genji.
Genji, his best friend. The one who went through hell and hellfire with him in Blackwatch, who’s saved his ass more than a few times. But it can’t be, that’s not who Genji is. The man is a model of peace, he forgave Hanzo. He told Jesse himself, he’d forgiven Hanzo. He loves him. Genji would never hurt his brother. He wouldn’t.
Jesse searches for other explanations for what’s happening to Hanzo, he can’t find one. Jesse knows he’ll never forgive himself for how he waited. How he didn’t act.
A few days later, Jesse enters Overwatch at 3 am. Spending the night in bars and clubs, it’s been a rough few weeks. Between the problems at Overwatch, Talon, and the influx of missions, Jesse needed a break. The base is dead silent. He passes Hana passed out on the couch in the living room, the game controller still in hand. He enters the elevator to his floor. The one he shares with Genji and Hanzo.
He stops right outside his door when he hears something, his buzzed brain not knowing if it’s the alcohol or an actual sound. He pauses, waiting to hear the sound again. He hears someone sobbing softly. It’s muffled as if their trying to hide it. It’s coming from Genji’s room.
Jesse is almost scared to open the door, fearful of months of suspicions will be confirmed, he opens it anyway and nearly collapses at what he sees.
Hanzo is bunched in the corner, his knees pulled up close to his chest, hair disarrayed. When Hanzo looks up, his face open with terror and fear. The archer tries to stand unsuccessfully and falls.
That spurs Jesse into action; he’s by Hanzo’s side in half a second. He tries pulling the archer to his feet but a cry of pain stops him.
“Stop, stop, you have to go. Leave, you have to go-” Hanzo sputters, trying to push Jesse away and stand on his own.
“Hanzo stop, stop before you hurt-” Jesse pauses to get better leverage as Hanzo tries to fight his way out his grasp. Hanzo is frantic, his eyes wide with terror.
Jesse looks down at the man tiring himself out, trying to escape, his skin so calmly and cold. It’s wrong, Hanzo shouldn’t be this cold. It’s when Jesse sees the livid purple bruising on his ribs, footprints on his rib cage. A glance at his face and his lip are split and a small cut grazes his forehead.
God, Jesse wants to cry, he wants to scream and shout, and he can’t be mad at anybody but himself. Hanzo crumples to the floor, unable to hold himself up any longer. He cries out still sobbing softly to himself.
Jesse turns to run and get Angela when he sees Genji standing in the door. His mask off and his face closed off, completely blank. As if the scene in front of him doesn’t bother him in the slightest.
“I see I must always keep an eye on you brother,” Genji says coldly.
“S-Sorry, I’m sorry, Genji. Please don’t be mad, forgive me.” Hanzo chokes out.
That’s all it takes before something in Jesse snaps and his charging at Genji full speed. Slamming the cyborg to the wall, he is furious. If he had Peacekeeper, he doesn’t know what he would do.
“What have you done!” Jesse shouts furiously.
“Nothing he didn’t ask for,” Genji says coldly.
Jesse stares at him, horrified, “what the hell are you talking about?”
“I am giving him the chance to repay me for what he has done to me,” Genji s growls ruthlessly as if Jesse is asking him ridiculous questions.
“Genji what the fuck, what the fuck. You said you forgave him, you said-”
“I know what I said!” Genji shouts angrily, pushing his way out his grip. “He is fine, he knows what I’m doing is for him.”
“For him! You sick fuck, you’re not trying to help him! You’re trying to get your sick fucking revenge on your brother. You could have killed him!” Jesse shouts back, Jesse feels as if he’s in some fucked alternate universe.at the moment. He can’t believe Genji would do something like this, Genji. He feels sick at himself, God he hates himself. He fucking knew it, he knew something was wrong and he did nothing.
Jesse looks at Genji and can tell he believes every word he’s saying as if he was genuinely hurting Hanzo to help him. As if Hanzo owes him some debt that can only be repaid this way.
“He gets to come here and start over, my life is ruined because of him. He destroyed me! I deserve-”
Jesse punches him, a punch he wasn’t even expecting to throw himself, that Genji fails to block. His head connects with the wall as he falls to the ground. Jesse doesn’t even let him finish, Genji’s mind is so twisted it’s not even worth explaining anything to him. He doesn’t even know when Genji got so twisted, did he ever truly forgive Hanzo.
“You invited him here to hurt him, didn’t you? To fucking torture a man who was already tortured. If you can’t fucking see how he was trying to change, how sorry he is. You-” Jesse pauses, he’s never felt so much rage and so much sadness before. “You use to tell me how your brother was this monster, this evil murdering prick at Blackwatch. But you know something Genji, I think you were confusing him with yourself.”
Before they know it, Tracer blinks into the hallway, “Guys I heard-”
Before she can finish, Genji disappears in a cloud of smoke, leaving behind a single sparrow feather.
“Go get Angela, now Lena!” Jesse shouts to her, turning back to Genji’s bedroom. Hanzo is passed out on the floor where Jesse left him, Jesse doesn’t even want to touch him. Doesn’t feel he has the right too, this is as much his fault as it is Genji’s. He knew, and he didn’t do a damn thing.
“I’m so sorry, Hanzo, please. I’m so sorry.”
By morning everyone knows what’s happened. Angela only allows Jesse and Winston into the medbay, much to the protest of the rest of the team. Hana raises particular hell, at being excluded.
Angela is reading off Hanzo’s injuries, and Jesse is tuning her out. He doesn’t want to know about the injuries he let happen. He doesn’t want to hear about the abuse; he let continue. He doesn’t want to hear about the injuries he caught a glimpse of them when he had carried Hanzo to the medbay. The injuries that just screamed abuse that he had ignored.
“Jesse?” Angela asks hesitantly. Her face is just as stricken as Jesse’s. Tired in a way. “Did Genji, did he say anything before he disappeared?”
“He said a fuckton worth of nonsense. He said he gave Hanzo what he deserved.”
Angela nods, she still looks devastated, Jesse doesn’t know if it’s because of Genji or Hanzo. She never quite took to Hanzo, having treated Genji when he first arrived on their doorstep half dead, her biases were in full swing. Genji was just as much her best friend as Jesse’s.
“Hanzo will need to be here for the next week or so, he’s sustained a few internal injuries. I’d also like to examine his mental state when he awakens.”
“Alright, let’s now let’s focus on getting Hanzo better, we will focus on Genji later,” Winston says, and Jesse simmering rage boils over.
“Bullshit, we could be searching for Genji right fucking now. That bastard almost killed his brother, and what? We’re turning a blind eye.” Jesse hisses at the ape. Furious because if the roles were reversed, they’d be hunting for Hanzo’s head.
Winston has the decency to look away, Angela as well. “That’s not what we’re doing Jesse. We’re short as it is, I promise you I will look for Genji. If I find a lead you will be the first to know.” Winston says somberly.
In the back of his mind, Jesse knows this situation is as difficult for him as it is for the rest of them. Overnight they learned Genji wasn’t the man they thought he was. Jesse nods stiffly and turns away from them, looking back at the broken mess that is Hanzo.
He looks so small, so vulnerable in the bed. Jesse softly grips his hand, making promise after promise in head to never let anything happen to Hanzo again.