Driving Route 66 had always been a dream of Gabriel’s, he used to see all the signs at the Santa Monica pier, dreaming of enjoying the old motels still along the route and what little remained of the decaying structures by the side of the road.
However, spending two weeks on the road had never seemed like something he’d have time to do. Not with the war. Gabriel had joined the military right out of school, then SEP, then Overwatch, then Blackwatch. His life had been one crisis after another, but living a life that could end at any moment just made him want it more.
It was Jack who’d taken the first steps. Jack, who'd listened to Gabriel talk about driving Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, and who had finally managed to squeeze two full weeks of time off for them both, though it was probably like squeezing blood from a stone. Gabriel wasn’t sure how’d he’d managed it, probably involved a bit of begging to Ana, but he was thankful. They left their uniforms and weapons behind and flew to Chicago where Gabriel insisted on buying an old car outright. Jack would have rented a car, but Gabriel had wanted one of the old ones that didn’t hover.
They’d gotten an old Ford truck with a bench seat, no back seat, and a full bed. It let them dump all their luggage back there, covered in a tarp tied down with cord.
“You ready for this?” Gabriel asked as he adjusted his rear view mirror and started off down the street where they’d purchased the classic truck.
“Ready to spend hours in a car? I think I’ll manage,” said Jack dryly, slouching in the passenger seat with his knees against the dashboard so his feet just hovered above the floor. It looked uncomfortable to Gabriel but Jack seemed happy enough as he munched on a bag of popcorn. “We should stop by my family farm on our way past Bloomington,” he added on.
“Yeah yeah, we’ve got loads of time to see whatever we want along the way.”
When they hit Route 66 proper, Gabriel felt a weight lift off his shoulders. No matter what happened next in life, no matter what trial blindsided them... he was doing it. He would always have this. He glanced over at Jack who was on his phone, brow furrowed in consternation. Gabriel reached out and snatched his phone away.
“Hey!” Jack barked, trying to grab it back.
“No working on vacation!” Gabriel said, dropping Jack’s phone into his door.
“You don’t know that’s what I was doing,” Jack muttered, leaning against his window as he gave up getting his phone back.
Gabriel just gave him a look. Jack was the one who’d gotten them the time off and he was also the one most likely to work right through it. “Ana can handle Overwatch for a couple weeks, you sticking your nose into it will just get annoying.”
“I can’t remember a time I wasn’t working...” Jack’s face was turned away from him so Gabriel couldn’t quite tell what emotion he was conveying there. Maybe a little wistful, perhaps a bit of regret.
Gabriel reached over and squeezed Jack’s knee. “Then we’re both owed this, c’mon, Jack... for two weeks let’s just pretend we’re normal goddamn people on a normal goddamn road trip.”
Jack glanced over at him with a wry smile but reached down to tangle his fingers together with Gabriel’s over his knee. “You’re right, for once.”
“For once?” Gabriel yanked his hand away and put it back on the wheel.
Jack laughed, finally fucking relaxing.
They left their phones in the glove compartment after that, checking them only when they needed directions or for an hour at the end of the night. Gabriel had expected Jack to fight him more about it, but he seemed to be really enjoying himself without that yoke over his shoulders. They stopped at ancient ghost towns that were sometimes little more than foundations, to crumbling buildings they could walk into, idly wondering about the people who had been through them at the height of Route 66’s glory days.
The road was in real shitty shape, barely maintained. The ride would be more comfortable in a hover car but less genuine in Gabriel’s opinion. Neither he nor Jack complained about it. At night they found old motels still clinging to life, or on hot nights they spread out bedrolls and blankets in the bed of the truck and slept under the stars. After years of battle and difficult choices, the illusion that he was a normal man out with his lover was a nice one.
He was having such a good time it felt like it was going too fast; Gabriel was trying to mentally slow down the passage of time the way a man might rope a stallion and try pointlessly to stop it from running off. It wasn’t that he didn’t feel his and Jack’s jobs weren’t important, there were people that depended on them... but shit... he wasn’t ready to go back yet. This trip was good for him, and good for Jack.
Jack was the most relaxed Gabriel had ever seen him. He had his feet on the dash and was lazily smoking a cigarette, the window open to whip out the smoke before it could sit in the cab of the truck. His blond hair was roguishly ruffled by the wind, his cheeks slightly red from a fresh sunburn. He was, in Gabriel’s opinion, the most beautiful man in the world.
“Eyes on the road, Gabe,” Jack said, smoke curling from between his lips as he spoke.
“We’re the only ones here,” Gabriel countered. He jerked his chin towards the interstate they could both see, full of cars. “Everyone is over there.”
Jack chuckled, “So that means you get to drive around without watching the road?”
Gabriel pulled off the road and parked. They were in the middle of nowhere, hidden from the interstate by some crumbling old gas station and a copse of dry trees. Jack gave him a curious look, cigarette hanging loosely from the corner of his lips. Gabriel unbuckled and scooted over the bench seat to grab the cigarette and toss it out the open window. Before Jack could protest Gabriel grabbed him by the back of his neck and kissed him hard.
“What’s--mmph--what’s this about?” Jack managed to get out between kisses.
“Our time,” Gabriel growled against his lips, reaching behind him to unlatch his door. “We can do what we want with it.”
Jack grinned, fumbling a bit to get his seatbelt off and slid out of his seat with Gabriel on his heels. The air was hot around them as Gabriel shoved Jack against the side of the truck, hands roaming over his body, pushing his t-shirt up to stroke over his skin and card through the pale hair on his chest. Then he followed it down his muscled belly to the brim of his pants.
“Wanna fuck you,” Gabriel said, working open Jack’s pants to get at his cock.
“You think they--oh fuck-- have a pin for that in the tourist traps?”
“What? A pin that says ‘I fucked on Route 66’?” Gabriel asked incredulously. He grabbed Jack by the shoulder and turned him around so he was leaning over the side of the bed of the truck, forearms on the edge of it.
Jack laughed, just letting Gabriel yank his pants and underwear down to his mid thighs. “Or, I got it, ‘I drove Route 66 and all I got was a wrecked asshole’.”
“Well that’s what you’re getting, I’m not sure it’s a universal experience.” He nuzzled up under Jack’s ear and kissed his throat, grinding lazily against his naked ass. There was lube in the glove compartment but he wasn’t in any hurry. “And how big is this pin, exactly?”
Jack reached back with one hand to grab his cheek and spread it, letting Gabriel grind in deeper. “Ooh fuck yeah,” he sighed, head thumping lightly against the truck. “Decent sized pin,” Jack managed to grit out, though he was clearly losing track of the conversation.
“What about a t-shirt?” Gabriel said, bending over Jack’s back to reach up and grope at his chest, pinching his nipples through his shirt.
“Nnng--” Jack pressed back against his cock while trying to arch into his hands at the same time. “It says... christ , Gabe--”
“Yeah?” Gabriel laughed under his breath, twisting Jack’s nipples hard enough to make him yelp and reach up to grab his wrist tightly, though he didn’t try to yank Gabriel’s hand away.
“N-no, that’s not what it’d say,” Jack grit out. “It’d say ‘my boyfriend is a huge fucking asshole who wouldn’t just fucking fuck me over our rented truck on Route 66’!”
Gabriel smiled and kissed the back of Jack’s neck, already starting to shine with sweat as they stayed out in the sun. He licked up some of that salty sweat then nibbled along the shell of his ear. “Okay,” he breathed, “give me a second.”
Jack whimpered when Gabriel pulled away, burying his face in his crossed arms. If only the world could see strike-commander Morrison now, with his pants around his thighs and his hard cock bobbing between his legs. Gabriel didn’t stare too long, reaching into the truck to open up the glove compartment and pull out the lube. Their phones had several unread messages but Gabriel didn’t even bother trying to read them before he shut the compartment with a snap.
“I’ve got an idea for a shirt,” Gabriel said when he came back, undoing his jeans to free his cock and giving it a long, slow stroke.
“You’ll be the death of me,” Jack grumbled, glaring at him from the corner of his eye.
Gabriel slicked his cock and leaned over Jack’s back, pressing into him easily. They didn’t need any prep anymore, their bodies were molded to each other; and they’d been fucking like rabbits every goddamn night, neither of them were particularly tight by now. “It’d say... ‘I love you, Jack Morrison,’” Gabriel murmured, pressing a kiss against his shoulder.
Jack reached back to grab Gabriel’s ass and pull him in flush all at once, letting out a strangled moan that he’d never get tired of. “I drove Route 66 and all I got was dicked down the whole way,” he said, a little deliriously.
“I’m trying to be sweet.” Gabriel gave Jack’s ass a smack and thrust in hard.
“Maybe I am too,” he countered, pushing back against each hard thrust.
“Then you suck at it, Morrison.”
“Thought you liked it when I sucked.”
“I’m clearly not fucking you hard enough.” Gabriel growled and grabbed Jack by the back of the neck to pin him down.
“Finally, something we both agree on,” Jack said breathlessly, so transparently egging Gabriel on that he almost wanted to go slow and easy just to spite him. Maybe next time. There would always be a next time.
So Gabriel pulled nearly all the way out, Jack’s ass squeezing around him like he didn’t want to let him go. Then thrust back in hard, shoving Jack flush against the side of the truck with a grunt. He fucked him hard, just like he wanted, until all of Jack’s smart, sassy remarks were nothing but breathless, desperate sounds of pleasure and he was pushing back desperately into each punishing thrust.
No one drove past them, but Gabriel was distinctly aware of the sounds of the interstate just behind them. They were sheltered by an abandoned building and some trees, but if those things were gone, thousands of people could all get a glimpse of him plowing the famous Jack Morrison over the side of their truck.
And there was no guarantee some other road-trippers wouldn’t drive by, get a real eyeful of the both of them. Gabriel smirked to himself as he leaned back over Jack’s back, kissing and sucking up a hickey against his throat. Those hypothetical people might turn to each other in embarrassed shock and wonder did that man look familiar to you ?
Gabriel wrapped one arm around Jack to grip his cock and stroke it while he fucked him, feeling his entire body shudder with pleasure. He felt when Jack came, the way he clenched around Gabriel’s cock and how his cock twitched and throbbed in his fist. Gabriel groaned, pressing his forehead against Jack’s shoulder as he kept fucking him, chasing his orgasm as Jack sagged bonelessly against the car, encouraging him with a hand on his hip to keep pulling him in.
Hot and sloppy sex out in the desert sun was almost like a dream he’d forgotten at some point. No Overwatch, no wars, nothing but the sweat making his shirt stick to him and the feeling of Jack’s asshole gripping his aching cock. Just two strangers out on the road, two nobodies with normal lives to get back to at the end of their vacation. Gabriel wasn’t much of a dreamer, but every once in a while he let himself drift. Usually when he was balls deep inside of Jack, oddly enough.
“Oh fuck there we go,” Gabriel panted, finally thrusting in to the hilt and holding himself in deep as he came inside Jack, biting down on his shoulder as pleasure crackled through him like lightening skittering over the surface of a lake. His muscles tensed and twitched before the pleasure finally faded into a dull heat. Gabriel stroked his hands up and down Jack’s stomach and chest, enjoying the scratch of his hair against his palms.
Jack was completely relaxed under him, humming a little as Gabriel rubbed over his nipples briefly. “Thought of another pin,” he finally murmured.
“What?” Gabriel kissed the back of his neck and slowly pulled out of him, looking between their bodies to see all his cum leak out and drip down Jack’s balls and over his thighs.
Jack pushed himself up with a groan and turned around, leaning back against the side of the truck with his elbows up on the edge of the bed. He looked completely fucked-out, eyes lidded, hair a mess, face dripping with sweat. His shirt was soaked with it and bunched up under his armpits while his pants were still around his thighs, his cock just hanging out, a bit of cum stubbornly clinging to the slit. He took a deep breath and let it out before speaking. “I sweat my ass off on Route 66.”
Gabriel laughed and leaned in for a kiss. “We might actually find that one.”
They got themselves cleaned up as best as possible and back on the road. Jack used some water to wet his t-shirt and just wrapped it over his shoulders as he basked in the air conditioning. “Goddamn... couldn’t wait until the sun was down?” Jack groaned, head falling back against the seat.
Gabriel shrugged, unrepentant, “Wanted you now.”
They made a stop in Tulsa so Gabriel could see the art museums and Jack could good-naturedly follow him around as he talked about some of the artists on display. Gabriel had always enjoyed art, from graffiti to classical paintings, and Tulsa had museums that catered to just about any kind of art he could want to see.
Jack looked at art and wondered how it was mounted to the wall. What kind of hardware were they using? How did they align it? What kind of stud finder did they use? Gabriel knew this because Jack had gone off on that exact tangent when they looked at a particularly huge western art piece hanging up at the Gilcrease.
“Are you even looking at the brush strokes?” Gabriel asked, baffled as Jack tried to lean around and look behind the frame.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s a picture. I’ll bet this is mounted in at least four places for even weight distribution and to keep it hanging level.”
“Beautiful things are wasted on you, if it’s not a gun or a tractor you don’t care, do you?”
Jack smirked at him. “That’s not true... I like big knives too.”
Gabriel punched him playfully in the shoulder and hauled him back from the painting so he could stand there and talk about the artist. Jack, to his credit, made all the right humming sounds in all the right places.
Then they visited the park, where Jack immediately perked up at the sight of a life-sized chess set. All the pieces were already lined up, too. “Come on!” Jack grabbed Gabriel by the wrist and tugged him over, letting go only when they got to the giant board.
“What? You want to kick my ass at this scale too?” Gabriel complained without heat as he took the white pieces and Jack took the black ones. The pawns came up to their knees, and the king and queen were up to their chests.
“I’ll beat your ass at chess in any scale imaginable,” said Jack.
Gabriel glanced over to a couple of young people with their phones out, standing far enough away that they probably thought they wouldn’t be noticed. Jack was cheerfully talking about some incomprehensible chess maneuver, but big , and taking no notice of the way they very unsubtly snapped pictures of him from a distance. Gabriel knew Jack was aware, he could play oblivious better than anyone, but he was always alert to what was going on around him. Jack was just choosing to ignore it, or perhaps he’d gotten used to that kind of attention over the years.
As strike-commander he’d ascended into legend for many people. These kids had probably never once seen him in person. Only on propaganda posters or a saturday morning cartoon. Jack Morrison was a living superhero, and here he was pushing giant chess pieces around in their city park and saying words like “Albin countergambit” and “benko opening” which meant about as much to Gabriel as the words “abstract expressionism” or “binary movement” meant to Jack.
“Aaand checkmate,” Jack said, leaning with his arm on top of his knight.
“Hey-wait-I-” Gabriel had been so busy watching Jack he’d paid little attention to the game.
“Ready to play for real?” he grinned.
“You’re on, Morrison.” Gabriel grabbed his pieces to get them back into their places as Jack laughed.
Jack still won, but Gabriel liked to think he gave him a run for his money this time.
They stopped for gas in Adrian, Texas. The halfway point. They took a selfie by the white line painted on the asphalt then got a piece of pie in the nearby diner. These were places and traditions far older than they were, and there was something comforting about living in a world that had come back from the brink of destruction enough that maintaining a white line in the asphalt on a road no one used anymore was important again. Gabriel knew peace forever was a stupid idea, that trouble was building on the horizon, but for right now he was at peace, and Jack was too. So it stood to reason that no matter what trouble rocked their worlds, they could find peace again. Gabriel took that thought and wrapped it up tightly, storing it close to his heart. He knew he shouldn’t think about work right now, but there were... disconcerting things going on in the world right now. With Blackwatch, with Overwatch, with Talon, with the god programs that lie dormant but not dead.
With him and Jack just as two people struggling to make things work when sometimes they were pulled in opposite directions and had to keep their relationship a secret.
“Normally you think a lot quieter than this,” Jack said, drawing Gabriel back to reality. He watched Jack run his tongue along his fork, licking up the sticky filling that had remained after his last bite of apple pie.
“Just... thinking about how we’re halfway there,” Gabriel said, which wasn’t entirely untrue. “Then we have to go back and... you know.”
“I know,” said Jack gently.
In New Mexico they stopped by the Route 66 auto museum, which was a museum more Jack’s speed. Gabriel liked it too, he just didn’t care what kind of engine a car had as long as it ran. Then they stayed at the El Rancho hotel and cracked jokes about which of the rooms Jesse McCree had been born in. A text Gabriel sent to Jesse that night when they brought their phones out and got an exasperated ha ha Boss in return.
They even made a stop by the very diner where Gabriel had worked at dismantling the Deadlock gang and where he’d picked the kid up in the first place. The place had coffee that still tasted like shit and which had trains rattling above their heads every once in a while, sending forks and plates clattering. Gabriel hated it as much as he had on the day when he raided the damn place.
Now they were getting closer and closer to California with every mile that passed. The bulk of their trip was done. Even when they saw the Grand Canyon. Even when they stopped by the side of the road at night to fuck in the bed of the truck then give stupid names to made up constellations and Jack fell asleep with his head on Gabriel’s chest. It weighed on Gabriel, tainting the time he had left with the knowledge that it was all slipping through his fingers and nothing he did could stop it.
Jack, for his part, seemed unperturbed. Maybe he was going through his own eternal struggle about going back to work, but he was doing a damn good job of hiding it from Gabriel. Maybe he just knew that that was what Gabriel needed so he didn’t fall into a black mood. Maybe that was just the kind of person Jack was, taking it all in stride one day at a time. Whatever the case, Jack kept his head above water as they got closer to Santa Monica, and the end of their journey.
The pier had changed very little from the time Gabriel had been a child. Catering to nostalgia for a time passed, it had rebuilt almost exactly how it had been before the omnic war had nearly destroyed it completely. He parked the truck but didn’t immediately slide out just yet, staring straight ahead at the Pacific Ocean as it stretched out for what looked like eternity before them. It was a hot, gorgeous day and people were packed onto the beach and in the water, lots of them running up and down the boardwalk with ice cream dripping over their hands.
“It’s like we started in my neighborhood and drove to yours,” Jack mused as he unbuckled.
“Huh?” Gabriel looked at Jack as he opened his door to slide out and stretch, groaning as his back popped audibly.
“We started in Illinois, stopped in Bloomington, and now we’re ending our trip in Santa Monica near LA where you grew up,” Jack explained. He cracked his neck then stretched his arms up over his head. “Ah fuck that’s a lot of driving. You gonna show me around, west-coaster?”
Gabriel grinned and his fugue blew away like morning fog. “You bet, midwesterner.”
They got ice cream and walked the boardwalk, oddly more anonymous here than they had been in Tulsa. There were simply too many people for them to stand out. It was nice. Gabriel led Jack to a viewing spot where another couple was looking out at the ocean through a pair of binoculars and a family was trying to get a screaming child into their stroller.
Gabriel took Jack’s elbow and led him up to the railing so they could lean against it and stare out at the ocean. Well, Jack looked at the ocean, but Gabriel looked at Jack. He had a burn on the back of his neck in the shape of the collar of his t-shirt, and both his arms were burned as well. Gabriel would make fun of his future farmers tan but Jack had the unique ability to spend all summer burning only to stay as pale as he had been before summer started. Jack called it his “swedish curse” and Torbjörn would usually find someway to walk by and ask if they’d called for him.
“You ready to go back to work?” Gabriel asked as he reached out and wrapped an arm around Jack’s waist.
“Gabe--” Jack glanced around a bit nervously, trying to see if anyone recognized them.
Gabriel muttered under his breath. “No one’s watching us, but they will if you keep acting suspicious.”
Jack turned back around and put his arms on the railing to lean forward a bit. He was still tense so Gabriel reluctantly let go of him. He supposed the illusion was well and truly over. They weren’t two unencumbered lovers on a summer road trip and they never had been. It had been nice while it lasted.
“I’m sorry,” Jack said, he sounded genuine but the sting was still there. “I... I don’t want to go back, if I’m honest. These last two weeks have been... something else.”
“Yeah,” Gabriel agreed, picking at a bit of loose wood on the railing.
Jack quietly murmured, “I love you, Gabriel.” He slid a finger under his chin and gently lifted his head up so he could kiss him softly.
Gabriel let out a breath, eyes slipping shut. “What happened to someone recognizing us?” he whispered.
“Like you said, no one is looking at us,” Jack kissed him one last time then pulled away. “And I guess I wanted just one more memory before reality sets in all the way.”
Gabriel’s eyes slid away from Jack for only a moment, catching on a sign at one of the many kitchy Route 66 themed tourist traps.
Custom t-shirts .
“Just one more thing before we get our phones out of the glove box for good,” said Gabriel, grabbing Jack by the hand and pulling him towards the shop.
“I drove Route 66 an’ all I did was get sweaty an’ wrecked?” Jesse cocked his head as he read the shirt, tipping his hat back with his thumb. “What th’ hell does that mean?”
Gabriel smoothed his hand over the shirt, heart fluttering a bit at the knowledge that Jack was wearing the exact same shirt right now under his uniform while he did a press conference. “It means we had a great time,” he said shortly. “Now get back to training, McCree, the work never stops.”