It all started simply enough.
Genji walking into the kitchen, finding Hanzo at the table slowly sipping a cup of tea as he read something on his tablet. Hanzo looked up slightly when his brother grunted a knowledge at him as he walked in, his gaze stuck on Genji’s back as he started fixing a tea for himself with little jerky motions.
”Is something wrong?” Hanzo asked in their native tongue, after a minute.
Genji grunted again. Then his shoulder slumped with a barely audible mechanical hiss. ”It’s nothing.” he replied, sounding slightly annoyed. ”It’s just Lùcio. He keeps stealing my ice cream, and he knows it’s mine. I even wrote my name on the tub, but he managed to delete it, somehow.” Genji grumbles. ”I’m gonna catch him, sooner or later.”
Hanzo let himself huff out a small chuckle. ”So hung up just for a tub of ice cream?”
”It’s not just the ice cream!” Genji exclaimed heatedly, turning around. ”It’s the principle! He keeps doing that and I can never catch him with his hands in the jar, he’s sneakier than I thought.” He crosses his arm on his chest, and Hanzo can perfectly imagine the frowny pout behind the metal mask. ”Also I was really looking forward to that ice cream, alright.” Genji added, sounding slightly like a disgruntled child.
Hanzo hid a small smirk behind the cup of tea. After taking a small, silent sip he said, in a measured tone. ”I seem to recall a time when you really liked hiding smoke bombs into things.”
Genji’s head jerks a little, as if surprised. He stares at Hanzo for long seconds, before carefully saying ”Are you implying what I think you are implying, brother?”
Hanzo sniffles, rising his chin gracefully. ”I have no idea what are you talking about.”
Hanzo was walking by the kitchen when he heard a high pitched yelp, a loud hissing sound, and Lùcio stumbling out the door, coughing, tears in his eyes. He’s rapidly followed by a thick, purple smoke slowly dissipating.
Hanzo said nothing, kept walking, and chuckled to himself when after some seconds he heard Genji scandalized voice exclaiming “I KNEW IT!”
Genji looks at his brother’s profile in the golden light of the rising sun as they sit in peaceful silence on the roof of the watchpoint.
Many things have changed in both of them through the long years they passed separated, but some things have pretty much stayed the same. Genji’s ability to read his brother’s mood by just looking at his posture and the way the light reflected into Hanzo’s eyes was one of those things, he was sure of it.
That’s why Genji spoke, relaxed and unafraid. ”Do you remember that time we freed the frogs from our pond through the vents as father was having one of his ‘important’ meetings?”
Most days mentioning their past lives and their brotherly connection that was once light and carefree would cast a cloud of sadness into Hanzo’s eyes, but that day was not one of those. Genji felt smug pleasure in his chest when he was proven right by the surprised laugh Hanzo let out, rapidly turning into a baritone chuckle.
”Yes, I do remember.” Hanzo replied, turning to look at his brother with a fond smile. ”Never caught us. Father knew, but had no proof.” Hanzo let out another chuckle, slightly shaking his head. ”We were little terrors.”
”That we were.” Genji agreed, letting some seconds pass before adding. ”Say, Hanzo. Don’t you think things are slightly too calm around these parts?”
Hanzo stared at him, surprise turning into an almost childish mischief. ”What are you thinking about, brother?”
Genji was grinning madly.
Angela sighed when she entered in the communal lounge and found Hanzo and Genji hissing at each other in low, angry japanese. Genji’s face was hid behind his usual mask, but Hanzo’s glare was enough for the both of them.
They were probably trying to be sneaky about their fighting, not doing a very good job of it.
She put an hand on her cheek, frowning. Things were understandably tense between the two brothers. She thought they were getting better, but lately all they did in each other presence was talking in their native tongue in that tense, biting tone that left no imagination to what was being said, despite the fact that no one could understand a word of japanese. The road to reconciliation for the two of them would probably be very long. Angela just hoped they would keep walking it together, despite the bumps into it.
And on top of the nearly constant brotherly bickering, there had been someone that thought they were really funny, at base. In the past week the amount of small, harmless pranks have about doubled. A prank every now and then was nothing new with their colorful array of personalities, but the sheer number of the ones this week was astounding.
All of Jesse’s cigars have been switched to mint-flavored ones. Jesse took it in good stride, not minding the fresh taste and finding quite impressive the fact that whoever it was, they managed to even get to his Super Secret Stash. The original ones returned in a couple of days, all nice and tucked into a box with a cowboy themed paper wrapping, bow on top and all. Jesse still smoke the mint ones every now and then, smelling slightly like a freshly opened tub of toothpaste.
Lùcio’s phone ringtone somehow kept changing to a small tune sung by frogs. At first Lùcio grumbled and grumbled putting his usual ringtone back in, only to have it sounding like frogs again in a couple of hours. As if someone was managing to slip his phone out of his own pocket and putting it back in without him realizing. After three days he gave up, the frog song still in place. He had grown attached to it now, humming along with it every time the phone rung.
Torbjörn woke one time with his mustache arranged in small, elegant braids. It was an impressive, precise work, and Torbjörn kept it that way for a while, because, quoting. “To manage such craftsmanship without waking me up is feat worthy of being honored.”
Angela herself was victim of one of these pranks, having something in her medicine cabinet quoting an old movie, Young Frankenstein, every time she walked by. She jumped the first time she heard the ”Give my creation… Liiiiife!”, and she emptied the cabinet and put the boxes of drugs back in three times before realizing the culprit was actually a small recorder connected to a proximity sensor cleverly disguised one of the boxes.
And what was most impressive about these pranks, besides the fact that very perfectly executed, was the complete lack of traces left behind. No video from security cameras, no foot or fingerprints, no sign of someone “breaking” in to mess around. Perfectly clean, spotless work.
Her first suspect would be Genji. He was nearly literally a ninja after all, capable of moving silent and unseen, and he could be quite the funny character at times. Except he had alibis most of the time, in between his usual routine keeping him busy and his fights with Hanzo. Angela highly doubted Genji would in the mood for pranks with all the grumpy fighting he was having. Hanzo would probably be second place for what concerned sneakyness… But, well, he was Hanzo.
”She looking at us, try to sound a little angrier, Hanzo!”
”I’m trying!” Hanzo replied through gritted teeth. At least his glare was pretty convincing. ”Do you think she suspect something?” He added, jabbing a finger into Genji’s chest as if accusing him of something.
”She can be pretty clever. We have to outsmart her!”Genji replied, crossing his arm and squaring his shoulder, his tone of voice harsh. ”We better split, I’m sure she’s gonna intervene to stop our ‘fighting’ soon, at this rate.”
”Sounds fine, we have to go plane for the hit on Winston anyway” Hanzo said, throwing his arms out in a dramatic manner. ”See you later, same place, brother.”
Hanzo stalked out the room in excessively angry strides, fist tight at his sides, and Genki looked at him, before exclaiming in angry tone that wouldn’t sound out of place in a bar fight ”Tone down the dramatics, Hanzo, it looks like we are practicing for a school play!”
The middle finger Hanzo threw him over his shoulder without even turning was genuine. It was very hard not to break into snorting giggles as Angela approached him with a slight light of pity in her eyes.
”Hanzo, I snapped a picture of Reinhardt’s face when he opened the box, do you want it?” Genji said, sounding annoyed, his foot tapping impatiently.
“Why are you even asking?” Hanzo replied, slamming his bow down with a low thud and turning to glare at Genji. ”Of course I want it!”
Genji shook his head and started to walk out the room, growling ”I’ll send it to you to the private channel, then, along the recipe for that tea you liked the other day, ok?”
”THANK YOU!” Hanzo yelled after him.
“You guys are still fighting? laaaaame.” Hana grumbled, popping her gum.
Later that day there were tears of laughter in Hanzo’s eyes as they sat in their secluded spot on the roof, watching what turned out to be not just a picture, but an entire play-by-play slideshow of Reinhardt opening the cardboard box, his face slowly crumbling into an expression that would look perfect on four years old getting a pony as a birthday gift, and then the ginger kitten being scooped up in his gigantic fist, and a bearded face being pushed against the small, adorable ball of fur.
Genji wanted to print and frame Reinhardt’s expression, just because. And they gained a kitten in the process. He always wanted a kitten.
“This was the best one yet.” Hanzo said, slightly hiccupping, bumping his shoulder playfully against Genji’s. “Good one, brother.”
”No, I must insist.” Genji replied, passing the bottle of beer they were both drinking from back to Hanzo, who took a hearty swig.”Your Winston idea was absolute genius, there’s no topping that.”
Hanzo grinned, his canines glinting wolfishly in the semi dark of the full moon light, mirth in his eyes. Genji, this time maskless, smiled back.
He threw his arm around Hanzo’s shoulders. It was good, to have his brother back.
The Month of Pranks, as it was to be passed down in history in the following years, ended up being stopped by one, innocent looking Mei that just came back to base after a long mission. She was looking up at them with a slightly concerned frown, as if she was worried for their sanity. “Why are you guys talking so angrily about which movie you are gonna watch later?”
Hanzo and Genji, “discussing” face to face, immediately froze mid-phrase and slowly turned toward her. Hanzo had an uncharacteristic deer-in-the-headlight expression stuck on his face, and it wasn’t hard to imagine it was about the same for Genji, behind the mask. Even more confused, Mei turned around with an inquisitive frown toward the rest of the team, who were all looking at them with their mouths hanging open in surprise.
“You didn’t tell me she speaks japanese.” Hanzo said, this time in english, his voice light with surprise.
“I forgot.” Genji replied, apologetic. “Uh-oh.”
Angela rose from the table, squinting at them, her teeth bared in righteous fury. This also would go down in history as the first and only time Angela ever swore. “You two little shits.”
“UH-OH” Genji yelped, high pitched, grabbing Hanzo’s arm. “Let’s book it!”
They made a run for it, Angela tailing after them with promises of murder and revenge.
“Yes, m’am.” They repeated dutifully at the same time, when Angela scolded them with the umpteenth “Understood?!”.
Angela had been lecturing them for the past half hour, hands on her hips, as they sat in front of her looking chastised. From a corner, Jesse sighed.
“Give ‘em a break, hon. You have to admit they pulled some pretty fun—“
“You stay out of it, Jesse McCree! Making me worry for their relationship was NOT fun!” She immediately interrupted him with a scowl, pointing a finger at him. Jesse immediately raised his palm in surrender “Alright, alright. You go on then, just wanted to throw in my two cents, ’s all!”
Angela snorted like a bull and turned back to the two brothers, ready for another round of scowling. Except Hanzo was now holding up the team’s newly baptized kitten, Prankster, up toward her.
“We got a kitten?” Hanzo offered in a small voice so uncharacteristic for him. Prankster meowed.
“Aww—“ Angela let out, her face fighting between a frown and kitten-fueled bliss.
Hanzo was distractingly scratching Prankster’s ear, the cat purring in his lap as he sat watching a movie, when Genji walked by to get himself a soda from the fridge.
Hanzo looked relaxed, almost sleepy, his hair down. It was getting long, brushing his collarbone. Genji let himself look at him as he opened the can with a soft hiss. He just felt… Happy.
He padded toward Hanzo, words clinging in his troath. ”Hanzo?”
Hanzo looked up with a soft hum, expression calm and unguarded.
I’ve missed you. I’m glad you are here. I don’t want to leave you ever again. You are my best friend. Genji let himself linger on these fleeting thoughts, before putting a gentle hand on his brother’s head and scrubbing vigorously. Hanzo let out a strangled ”Gah—“, pushing his hand away.
“You need a haircut, buddy.” Genji said, in english, just so he could use the word ‘buddy’. Hanzo briefly stuck his tongue at him as he brushed his fingers through his hair, childish in the way he let himself be only around Genji. Then he took a long strand of black hair between his fingers, considering.
”You are not wrong, I guess.” He conceded, softly. ”Want to play hairdresser?”
Genji’s mind went back, at years ago, and summer afternoons spent in the garden, scissors in his hand, too big for his small fingers, tongue stuck between his lips as he carefully cut Hanzo’s hair. The first time, a complete disaster, and the last one, precise and neat.
Hanzo had always trusted only Genji to handle sharp objects around him. A bittersweet memory, that weighted more on the side of sweet at the point they now were in their relationship.
”Sure.” He replied, easily, playfully tugging Hanzo’s hair. ”I’ll make you the prettiest princess of the land, just let me go get the scissors.”
”Ahr Ahr.” Hanzo mock laughed. ”I’ll wait here, don’t take too much.”
”I’ll be right back.” Genji said, walking out, softly adding to himself. “You are not going anywhere without me, now.”