"The EMP hasn't gone off yet. That's a good sign, isn't it?"
Dusk had fallen by the time they emerged into the wide open Outback. Sneaking through the pastures had been much easier, and now they sat in a shallow cave in the side of a stack of red-brown rocks that overlooked the burgeoning farmland. Angela shivered as an errant breeze tickled the bare skin at her back where the fire in her wings had scorched through her suit and threw a handful of dried leaves onto their careful fire. Gabriel shrugged at her question.
"Do you honestly not care?"
"I didn't get you out of there to debate ethics."
"I don't believe everyone in Overwatch is corrupt,” she pressed on, mouth set, “Genji would be killing himself pushing that payload, and Wilhelm and Jesse are good men. The new recruits too - they want to be heroes, not murderers."
"I know," she looked at him, feeling as sick as she did certain, "I would do it again though."
"I'm sure the omnics thank you. At least you're not as blind as you were ten years - "
"I'm talking about that agent in the hangar. I would do it again if they were going to kill you."
His silence lasted a couple heartbeats before he pulled off his arm guard and stuck out a track-marked forearm, "If you're so interested in saving me, tell me how to get by without the meds."
"And then you disappear?"
"And then I disappear."
Angela took his pulse with light fingers, thinking back to the tests she’d run on the bloodied cotton swabs he'd left in her room.
"Your 'meds' are a virus that weakens you periodically. When you come back, they cure it and restart it. There's nothing wrong with you, Gabriel."
He laughed at that, and tapped his mask pointedly, sending a wave of guilt through her. At least he wasn't furious.
"I hope you have a plan for curing the virus my last 'meds' injected?"
"I believe it is controlled by a corruption of my nanobots. I can boost the site of the infection to draw them out, then heal you entirely."
There was no laughter in the set of his shoulders now, "Can't you go straight to healing?"
"Will you explain your objection to being boosted?"
Gabriel's sigh turned into a growl and turned his head away even as he raised his arm. His fist clenched when she sent the beam of blue into the injection site at the crease of his elbow, steadying his arm with her other hand. His pulse sped beneath her fingers and when she pressed down in the crease of his elbow, his breathing strained. She tilted her head, considering removing his hood so she could better gauge what was going on.
"You will tell me if it hurts, won't you?"
"Doesn't hurt," he grunted, "Just feels… I don't know, more. "
Angela focused back on his arm at once, feeling her cheeks heat up. She was reading too much into that again, surely. His skin heated up under the pads of her fingers, dampening like a fever. It was working.
"I'd almost forgotten how it felt to have you fly to me," he tapped his heart with two clawed fingers.
"Yes, I'm told there is a certain - flutter? - when I lock on."
He nodded and she saw the fingers of his free hand dig into his knee, "Why didn't you delete my DNA profile?"
"Profiles don't take up much space," she shrugged, watching his arm instead of his face, "It seemed unnecessary."
"Even when you realized I was a Talon operative?"
"It's a good thing I did, or you wouldn't have been able to move those rocks."
"That's not what I asked," he caught her hand in his and her breath stuck in her throat.
"What do you want me to say, Gabriel? You made it very clear in my room that you've always known - "
A hundred pinpoints of light under his skin around her fingers glow soft red. She upped the charge a final time, leaning in with anticipation, and he choked back a sound that made her cheeks warm. She tucked her hair behind her ear so it didn’t brush his arm and wondered if he’d forgotten he was still holding her hand.
"Could your response be linked to your death?” She murmured out loud, “If it had no effect before - "
He shook his head, two quick motions from side to side.
That explained why she couldn’t remember boosting him much before. She tried not to think of the noise he’d almost let slip.
"Switching to healing beam."
The man let out a sigh of relief that made her stifle a laugh. The whole situation was surreal.
Minutes ticked by in the soft yellow glow and she felt the heat under his skin recede until it was a pleasant warmth under her cool hands. If the EMP hadn't gone off by now, the omnic farms were safe. For now. Gabriel flexed his hand when she finally clicked the yellow beam off and proclaimed him cured. He seemed to be struggling with something so she stood to stretch her legs and give him space.
"Thanks, Angela." he muttered at last.
He sounded like Gabriel.
She took a deep breath, staring at the tiny lights that lined the farmhouse below, then knelt beside him, ignoring how he leaned back. He was Gabriel, not something she need to pull Gabriel out of. He had been right in front of her in the tunnel as much as he was now. He flinched when she pushed his hood back and reached for his mask but his breath was still uneven. Hers was too.
"Maybe it is better if you just remember the old me."
"But then what about you ?"
He was looking at the ground when she pushed the owl-skull mask up into his hair, but his eyes were the same honey-brown. One was misshapen by a heavy scar running up his cheek and the other side of his face was patched and ridged with burns. One twisted the side of his mouth down even further than his frown. She bit her lip as she traced a pale, hairline scar down the edge of his jaw - that one, she remembered making. He shifted, jaw clenched, but when he glared at her, his pupils were wide and dark.
"Had a good look?"
She pressed her lips to the scar and felt him lock up beneath her. His face was full of distrust when he turned to her, but it was the sliver of hope hidden among all that that made her close her eyes and lean in again. This time his mouth met hers with a vengeance. In a second, her back hit the rocky cave wall. He pushed up against her so hard the ammo cartridges slung along his belt dug into her hips. She gasped against his mouth and he took the opportunity to push in harder still. Her heart sped and her mind buzzed at the lack of air - did he really not need to breathe?
Gabriel pulled back and laughed at the dazed look on her face. His hands slid up her thighs to grip her hips and she felt her core constrict.
“I shouldn’t,” she swallowed at how his eyes darkened, “Shouldn’t take advantage of you. The boosting’s effect - “
He ground his hips into hers and her words melted into a stifled moan to feel him hard through the fabric of her leggings.
“Does this feel like taking advantage?”
Angela shook her head, teeth digging into her bottom lip again to keep the sounds in. He ripped off a glove with his teeth and dragged her lip free so that her shaky breaths filled the cave.
“You always were mine, weren’t you?” he pushed a leg between her thighs and laughed when she pitched into him.
The thought of him watching her right back all those years ago made her thighs clench around him. His eyes closed for a second.
Gabriel laughed one more, and the sound vibrated through her as he caught the thin skin of her throat below the fading burn between his teeth. She pushed up into his mouth while one hand slipped up through the short hairs on the back of his neck, making him bite down. Her other hand traced down the planes of his chest to snap open his belt. She wanted his skin under her hands, wanted it to warm her like his mouth was, but his hand closed around her wrist and pinned it above her head. Her eyes flew open.
Angela’s free fingers slipped up to hook her leggings down so fast he didn’t realize they were gone until she was pushing his hand down. He choked back a groan at the heat between her legs.
“You have wanted this, haven’t you?”
He hauled her higher up the wall so that she hitched a leg around his waist. She grabbed his arm to steady herself.
“ Haven’t you?”
“Yes,” she gasped.
“To think I wasted all that time trying to be responsible,” his voice in her ear sent shudders rolling through her that made his grip around her wrist tighten, “When I could have been fucking you.”
The heat pooling in her stomach flushed through her face and chest, making her regular chill no more than a memory. She hooked her other leg around him to crush them together and rolled her hips at the same time. He exhaled sharply. His hand slipped down between them and a relieved grin spread across her face at the zipper sound that filled the shallow cave. She hoped they were tucked away enough that their silhouettes weren’t providing any wandering omnics a show.
His fingers slid into her, stripping all thought from her mind. They were good, and she pressed her lips to his to let him know, but they weren’t what she really wanted. The hand not pinned above her head scratched down his chest to grip the base of his cock, hot as a brand. She could practically feel the blood rushing through it. His fingers picked up in response, crooking forward in a way that made her ruin the kiss with a series of little gasps until she was ready. They were slick when he pulled her hand up from his cock to join the one held high against the wall. She bucked forward with a whimper at the sudden emptiness.
“Ssh,” his shining index finger moved to her lips and she took it in without thinking, making him choke on his words for a second as he hesitated, “Before. In your room. You said not like this ...“
The second his grip loosened, Angela arched her hips forward, dragging her slit up his length.
“This is good.”
His control snapped when she started to circle her hips. The fingers jumped to lock back around her hip, yanking her forward at the same time he drove into her. Her cry bounced off the cave walls. He buried his face in the crook of her neck and she felt his groan all the way to her toes when he drew out and plunged back in slowly, pushing her higher up the wall. A string of German that would have made Wilhelm blush spilled from her lips. The rocks scraped the bare skin of her back with every thrust but the pain made it all sharper. He said something too, muffled by her collarbones, and it took her a good minute of battling the way her mind shattered a little bit every time they crashed together to realize it was her name.
Affection flooded her; a different, liquid kind of heat and she twisted her hands out of his hold. They moved to his chest, his neck, his jaw, urging him up to meet her gaze. There was a question under the heat in his eyes that she wanted to answer, but couldn’t understand. She pulled him up to her with a hand at the back of his head and kissed him like it was ten years ago and they hadn’t ruined anything.
The angle tilted him inside her, hitting a spot that sent her gasping into bliss and all it took was the clench of her orgasm around him to bring him tumbling after her.
Angela was sore and full and wanted nothing more than to tuck herself against his side and close her eyes, but Gabriel didn’t look at her as he refastened his belt. A chill washed through her when he glanced out of the cave for a little too long, leaving her feeling sticky and used.
“And now you disappear.”
He reached for his mask. Cold fury gripped her as she snapped her leggings back up.
“I’ll find you. Even if you get yourself killed again, I’ll bring you back.”
“You belong with Overwatch.”
“Like you belong with Talon?”
“I learn from my mistakes,” he spun around with a snarl, clutching his mask too tight, “But you’re still ready to play God, even seeing what’s left of me? Or is that what turns you on?”
The sting of his words was negated by the desperation that rolled off him in waves. She’d felt it in the kiss and heard it in his voice but she still didn’t know how to fix him.
“Tell me you’re ready to die, and I’ll never touch you again. I swear it.”
He raised the mask to his face, then put it down and tugged his hood up instead. She reached for him, afraid that he could find a way to vanish despite her claim, but he stopped in front of her just long enough to thread their fingers together. He was still so warm. Her grip tightened.
Smoke curled through the air when he disappeared. It smelled like trying to hold onto a match for too long.