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Impression

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Ana Amari was always charismatic, she was open, she was good at speaking and saying what was on her mind. She was sharp and good at picking up what people were trying to say. She didn't hesitate to show how deeply she cared about her teammates. She was, in all regards, a people person.

While Ana was all these things, her daughter, Fareeha, was quite the opposite. Reserved, quiet, speaking only when she finds it necessary or during missions. She seemed to have trouble picking up on some things, and she only seemed to care about her teammates during the mission. And she was, in all regards, an introvert.

At least, that was Angela Ziegler’s first impression of her. That theory was soon tested, however, in several confrontations that made Angela question her hypothesis.

 


 

     Fareeha– Pharah as she had known her while in combat, was in full armor, visible sweat dripping down her face. Angela was gauging what her abilities were in combat so she could keep track of her if necessary. Mercy slipped and started to fall off Gibraltar’s cliff, Pharah was out of sight and all she could do was float down and hope she wouldn't get swept away.

Pharah noticed she was out of sight, her visor picked up her signal, a blue outline of the falling medic. She swiftly swooped down, perhaps she should've slowed down before she caught her. Hard metal collided with Mercy’s thin frame.

Pharah apologized profusely once they landed. “That was irrational of me, I should have paid more attention.”

“No no, it wasn't your fault, it was an accident.”

The other just insisted that she make it up to her, she was persistent, if nothing else. Angela begrudgingly agreed.

 

So Angela came to realize that Pharah cares more than she thought.

 


 

     The second time Angela saw Pharah she was standing alone in the rec room. While the other members were gathered around a table watching Reinhardt and Zaryanova arm wrestle, Pharah was off to the side brewing some tea. She glanced up when she heard the collective cheers then looked back to the tea.

Angela considered striking up a conversation, but couldn't bring herself to it. Compared to when she saw the young Fareeha who would run around the base, eyes filled with spirit and wonder, the woman brewing tea was like a predator stalking its prey. Pharah was tall, strong, and in her own right, more intimidating than the two who were armwrestling.

“Time!” Tracer called out. Everyone groaned, pulling out money, each of them giving Pharah money.

“What happened? Who won?” Angela asked Lena in confusion.

“Pharah won technically. She bet it would be a tie.”

 

Perhaps she was more observant than Angela gave her credit for.

 


 

     The third time was when Jesse McCree joined their ranks again. The first person to greet him was surprisingly not Genji, or Winston, or even herself, but Pharah– now Fareeha again. She had a smile on her face and oh god she’s smiling and Jesse smiled back.

“Wouldja look at you,” he drawled, “damn, you're almost as tall as me.”

Fareeha laughed holy shit she just laughed, “And you have your western look down.”

A puff of smoke left his lips, pulling his cigar away, “Someone’s gotta do it.”

He glanced over, spotting Angela. A devilish grin quickly replaced his fond smile.

Oh. Fuck. No.

“Hey there, Angelcakes.”

God dammit.

“Jesse,” she said through a strangled smile.

Fareeha snickered, “Angelcakes?

Angela's face reddened out of embarrassment.

“Yeah, was a nickname I gave ‘er when she was part of that student program what was it again?”

“Overwatch had a program that allowed prodigies to get hands-on experience and provided resources to those who needed it.” Angela explained.

Fareeha nodded, “Yes, I remember that now. Some of those kids were snobby.” A pause until she quickly added, “Not you, though.”

Sensing the awkward turn in the conversation Jesse claps both of their backs, Angela nearly stumbles forward while Fareeha remained unphased. “Well! I haven’t ate in a while so who’s up to gettin’ somethin’ to eat?”

“I can’t,” Angela said, retracting from his touch.

“Aw c’mon, Angela.”

She shook her head, “I have a paper to finish.”

“Guess it’s just you and me, Farah.” He shrugged and turned to Fareeha.

Fareeha nodded, smile returning to her face, “Looks like it is.”

 

Angela watched as the two walked off, her heart pounding in her chest. Why was it doing that?

 


 

 

    The fourth time, Angela wished to never have to experience it again. Pharah went on the latest mission with Jesse, Genji, Hana, Lucio, and Lena. Angela didn’t worry too much about it, they were all very skilled in what they do so when they got back sooner than they were supposed to she was shocked.

Even more so when Genji and Jesse carried in an unconscious, bleeding, Pharah.

Angela prepared for immediate surgery, she couldn’t use her staff on her due to her armor imbedding itself in her left arm, and many more dents that would interfere with healing if she were to use it.

To see this invincible woman so broken reminded her that no one was immortal. Halfway through the process of removing the armor she came to find that Fareeha already had two prosthetic limbs, her legs. She didn’t ponder on it much. She had to save her.

In the end she wasn’t able to save her left arm, another prosthetic for Fareeha to add to her collection. She and Genji will get along, came a grim thought. She finished up and waited for Fareeha to wake up.

Genji later explained to Angela what happened, “There was an explosion and some civilians weren’t evacuated yet. Pharah shielded them with her own body, it was very honorable but it was also very dangerous. She’s lucky we found her in time.”

Angela thanked Genji, lucky was the right word for it. He simply nodded and told her that she should get some rest.

 

Angela didn’t know what Fareeha was thinking when she found she had another prosthetic.

 


 

    Angela stopped counting after that. And after that Fareeha withdrew from the others, trying to avoid them at all costs, even shifting her schedule to make it so it wouldn’t interlace with the others.

Angela had enough of it, so one day without putting much thought into it by god she put thought into every minute detail she marched up to Fareeha’s dorm and knocked.

No one answered.

She knocked again.

Still no answer.

She was about to knock once again until Jesse passed by, “If yer lookin’ fer Farah she’s at the gym.”

Of course. Stupid.

“Thanks, Jesse.”

“No problem, mi amiga.” He paused and put his hand on Angela’s shoulder, a look of distress on his face, “She’s been beatin’ herself up over what happened. Ya gotta talk to ‘er, Angela.”

 

Why me? She wondered briefly when she made her way to the gym.

 

     There she spotted her, beating away at a punching bag, quick jabs yet all power. Angry even.

“Lieutenant Amari.”

Jab jab jab .

“Lieutenant Amari, ” there was more edge in her tone, accusing, sharp.

Jab jab.

Fareeha!

She stopped.

The lecture Angela had prepared when she was walking to the gym had vanished when she watched as Fareeha hunched over, holding onto the bag with her one flesh limb, and leaning against it. She was shaking.

“Fareeha... I know it takes some getting use to-”

Fareeha stood back and with a roar punched the bag again, it tore off of it’s hook and landed on the ground ahead of her a few paces. “I failed my team again, and I lost another goddamn limb...” She swallowed her words as they came out, instead of full blown yelling like Angela expected.

“What are you talking about? Everyone is fine because of you. That wasn’t a failure,” Angela said, gently now.

“It was, I was a fool, I let my guard down and more lives were put at risk than there should have been.”

“You had no control of what Tal-”

Fareeha cut her off, “It wasn’t Talon…”

“Excuse me?”

“Talon didn’t cause the explosion… I did…”

“Fareeha… You can’t be serious.”

“I missed my mark, the rocket hit the building instead of the aircraft I aimed at… I didn’t shoot fast enough and so I thought it only fair I pay the price…”

Angela opened her mouth to say something but couldn’t find the words.

“I’ll never be my mother,” Fareeha said so quietly Angela almost didn’t hear her.

“This isn’t about Ana, whatever mistakes you make- they aren’t because you’re not her. They’re because you’re you and that’s not a bad thing. I like you , Fareeha, stop trying to be Ana .”

Fareeha just stood, quiet and still, until, “Thank you…”

 

     That night Angela decided to revise her hypothesis.

Ana Amari was always charismatic, she was open, she was good at speaking and saying what was on her mind. She was sharp and good at picking up what people were trying to say. She didn't hesitate to show how deeply she cared about her teammates. She was, in all regards, a people person.

While Ana was all these things, Fareeha, was different in her own ways. Reserved? Yes. Quiet, and speaking only when she finds it necessary or during missions? No, Fareeha said many things, sometimes without even speaking the words. She was quick to pick up on little habits some people had, even noticing her own. All she seemed to do was care, care to an extent that seemed unhealthy. And so she was, in all regards, Fareeha Amari.

Chapter Text

Doctor Angela Ziegler was… extra, to put it simply. Compared to when she was simply a teenage prodigy, this Doctor Ziegler was out there. And Fareeha found it obnoxious.

Not only was her callsign Mercy, her suit looked like a damn angel for crying out loud. If that wasn’t screaming vain and egotistical she didn’t know what was.

The one thing that put her over the edge though, was her outlook on war. Fareeha found she hated that the most, for whatever reason it made her annoyed whenever she would listen to the other constantly saying that violence is never the answer.

“If she thinks I will just lie down when there are oppressors hurting innocent people, she’s naive.” Fareeha muttered to herself after one of the weekly lectures she often gave.

That was, however, just the first impression Fareeha Amari had of the good Doctor.

 


 

    Her views on Doctor Ziegler were soon challenged, the first time they were was when she woke up with a splitting headache, upset stomach, and an aching arm. The previous night she was locked in a drinking contest with Zarya, she should’ve stopped as soon as the straight vodka was brought out but she couldn’t say no to such a challenge.

Not only that but during their drunken mishaps she got dragged into getting another tattoo, this time it was on her right arm, which she would later discover. They all said she won last night, but by the next day she was the real loser.

Next she found herself stumbling to the medical bay. Maybe she could find some painkillers there to at least ease her headache.

“You look awful.” Said the current doctor it was Doctor Ziegler. It was always Doctor Ziegler. She was sitting in her office that was attached to the med bay, a look on her face conveying pity. Was it really pity?

“And you’re loud,” replied Fareeha.

“I'm speaking with an inside voice, you're the one who has a hangover.”

Fareeha clenched her jaw, she didn't need to add annoyed to how she was feeling. “Whatever, where's the painkillers?”

She watched as the Doctor stood from where she sat, “Wait here. I have some special medicine for hangovers.”

Fareeha leaned heavily against the wall, closing her eyes, trying to focus on something other than the pounding she felt in her head. It surprisingly didn't smell like medicine in her office.

She heard the clicking of heels and straightened up.

Angela held out a pill bottle to her, “Here you go, take two every 12 hours if you’re experiencing any more headaches. However if you feel disoriented or like you're not quite here come to me immediately.”

Fareeha quirked a brow, “Why?”

“It's… still a work in progress,” she said hesitantly, “but don't worry! Unless you have a peanut allergy it shouldn't affect you too much.”

“I doubt it could affect me more than this hangover can,” she mumbled.

The way Angela laughed sounded genuine, it wasn't a forced “Doctor laugh” that she had heard so many times from other doctors.

“Of course, if you need anything more I'll most definitely be in my office.”

Fareeha gave a curt nod and walked out the door.

 

In the end she did not, in fact, feel the side effects that Angela mentioned. And she thanked Angela for giving her the meds.

 

Perhaps it wasn’t pity, but the kinder variation- sympathy, that Angela felt towards her.

 


 

    It would take more than one challenge for Fareeha to think differently on Angela’s “preachy” impression, however. Such is how all relationships whether it be platonic or romantic go.

And unfortunately it was a rather rude wakeup call, it wasn't even from the Doctor herself.

“Why do you hate Dr. Ziegler?” Genji asked her one day.

Fareeha furrowed her brows, “I don't hate her.”

“Ah,” was his reply.

Fareeha went back to brewing some morning coffee.

“So why do you cringe every time she speaks of pacifism?”

She cringed.

“There it is, that look. We all have our own outlooks on violence, Dr. Ziegler has a reason why she's against such violence just as you have a reason to keep fighting.”

“She’s naïve.”

“Naïve?” He laughed, “Angela is many things, but naïve? No.”

“Well, as long as there's conflict there will always be fighting, its natural.”

“Perhaps,” Genji paused, “but sometimes it's better to resolve conflict by peaceful means. Especially when the one you're having conflict with is a pacifist.”

Fareeha frowned, brows furrowed and wow that wall is really interesting.

“Though if you ever plan on solving your issues with her, Dr. Ziegler doesn't hesitate to speak her mind.”

Fareeha poured her coffee into a mug and started walking off, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

 


 

    Fareeha stood at the door of the Doctor’s quarters, hand curled up, hovering over the door.

Genji was right, she needed to resolve her issues with Ziegler before things got out of control.

Before she could knock, the door slid open and there was the Doctor herself, looking at a datapad in one of her hands and holding a coffee mug in the other. She looked up and jumped, simply startled that Fareeha was standing there.

“Oh! Lieutenant Amari,” she nervously brushed a hair behind her ear, “did you need something?”

Fareeha let her arm fall to her side and swallowed hard. “I—” however she was going to start quickly vanished from her thoughts when she noticed the way Doctor Ziegler looked at her. Concerned, worried, curious blue eyes peered up at her and she lost whatever reason she had to be annoyed.

She truly was Angelic.

“Are you okay? You're looking red.” Ziegler pushed her datapad up under her arm and reached for Fareeha’s face.

Fareeha stopped her when it clicked as to what she was doing by gently grabbing her wrist, “I’m fine… I was–” quick think of something “wondering if you had time to train with me. I understand you have yet to gauge my skills.”

Angela smiled, “I'll be free at 6 this evening. I'm glad you asked me first, I normally have to grab others when they have checkup.”

Fareeha nodded, “I'll see you in the sky.”

 


 

    It wasn’t until her reunion with Jesse when she fully realized that any spite she had for the doctor was gone.

“So what was that back there?” He asked her as he chewed his dinner.

Fareeha raised a brow, “What do you mean?”

He pointed his fork at her, mouth full and paused to swallow, “I think yooou— have the hots for Angelcakes.”

“I don’t,” she scoffed.

He puckered his lips and batted his eyes, “Not you, though. Because you were sooo pretty and perfect how could I not like you?

Fareeha felt her cheeks warm, “That’s not what I said, Jesse.”

Jesse made kissing sounds.

Fareeha pushed the table against him.

He coughed out his food.

“A’ight– I deserved that.” He sputtered.

“Damn right you did.”

He hacked, took a drink from his water, and sighed in relief. “But seriously, I ain’t blind. Ya’ got some sort ‘ah tenseness when you’re ‘round her.”

“I’ve already been confronted about this by Genji, not you too,” she groaned, holding her head in her hands.

“Hold up– Genji?”

“That’s not the point, Jesse. I… may not have had the best impression of her.”

“She does get preachy, I know, but ya gotta give her a chance.”

“I already did, it was a few days ago and I owe her for a thing.”

Jesse’s eyebrows shot up.

Damn, should’ve worded that differently. “Not like that, Jesse. Besides, you know about my disposition.”

He nodded solemnly, then stood, “Sorry ‘bout that. Well I’m gon’ head to bed now. T’was nice speakin’ to ya again. Night, Farah.”

Fareeha smiled fondly and stood up as well, “Night, cowman.”

Jesse tipped his hat, “So it’s finally cowman, eh?”

Fareeha lightly elbowed him, “Shut up.”

They went separate ways after that after saying their goodnights.

 


 

    That night Fareeha found she couldn’t sleep. Thinking and rethinking about the conversation she just had. Did she like Angela? No, that’s impossible. It’s not like she liked the way Angela smiled, it’s not like she loved the color of her eyes, it’s not like she was the most beautiful woman she had ever laid eyes on.

 

No, she decided, none of those things were right. Fareeha was able to fall asleep after that.

Chapter Text

A frustrated groan left Fareeha’s lips as she fell back, splaying out on the ground.

“Do not be discouraged, Miss Amari,” came the synthetic voice beside her, “it takes much practice and patience.”

She propped herself up on one elbow, looking at Zenyatta, “I know, it’s just- frustrating. I’ve dealt with this in the past so why am I struggling so much?”

He hummed in thought, “I don’t believe you ever truly confronted it in the past. Correct me if I’m wrong but you simply didn’t think about it and busied yourself with your job. And now that the dust has settled you started to think on it more.”

She grimaced, he was right.

“Don’t let that discourage you though, Miss Amari. Please sit back up, we’ll try again.” He said with such a gentle voice she nearly didn’t hear the distortion in his voice due to being an Omnic.

Fareeha sighed and sat up, crossing her legs and staring at her metallic hand for a moment before intertwining it with her flesh hand.

“Close your eyes.” He paused and watched as she closed her eyes, “Now do not pay attention to your surroundings. Block out everything except my voice.”

He waited a beat until he continued, “Think back to when you lost your legs now.”

Captain! Tariq’s losing a lot of blood, we have to get out of here!

The voice of one of the rookies echoed through her head.

Go, I’ll hold them off until you’re safe.

Her jaw clenched and her shoulders tensed.

But Captain-
Go!

Hand was shaking.

Captain there’s a mi-

She flinched, eyes shooting open. “I can’t do this…” she said just above a whisper.

Zenyatta pauses for a moment, watching her intently before saying: “If you say you cannot do it then you won’t do it. If you do not think about what happened then you will never be able to move on.”

Fareeha let out a deep breath and closed her eyes.

“Let us try a different approach, this time tell me what you see. I will guide you.” He pushed one of his orbs forward to float over her head.

She nodded and after a moment’s pause she opened her mouth to speak. “I’m with my squad, we were sent in to take back a research center.”

“Continue.”

“One of my squad members points up ahead and says it use to be a minefield during the crises. They're all inactive.”

If Zenyatta shifted at the mention of the Crisis she couldn't see.

“The enemy spots us and... shoots two of my men down.”

“Do not go through the memory too fast, you must give yourself time to process everything.”

Fareeha took a shaky breath, “One of my men is gravely wounded…” Her voice faded and her brows knitted together.

 


 

 

“Get Tariq to safety! I'll hold them off!” Bullets whizzed by, the sound of gunfire filling the air.

“What about you Captain?”

“Just go!” She yelled back and they all took off. She shot one last rocket and launched into the air. As she flew she heard a distinct crunch and alarms instantly started to blare inside her helmet.

“Captain! Your jets are smoking!” One of her men called over the coms.

She felt pressure being applied to her back which meant only one thing, “My jets were shot, I'm going to make an emergency landing.”

Pharah watched as Saleh stopped flying and watched her, “I’ll stay with you, Captain.”

“Saleh-”

“You can’t cover your own back, I’ll stay with you,” he insisted.

She had almost landed when her jetpack started to sputter, “Something’s wro-” before she got to finish her sentence the reserve fuel ignited, causing a burst to fire out of her jets heating not only the ground immensely but the metal on her back.

She fell to the ground the rest of the way and she could hear a loud boom from under her.

Her ears were ringing and head was pounding, she could hear muffled yelling and oh god everything hurts.

“Captain! Captain hang in there! I’ll get you out!”

Where was she? She could hardly see.

When she came to her senses she saw Saleh, distress on his face as he approached.

“Saleh-” she rasped and coughed as soon as she tried to move.

“Stay still, I’m calling in air support.”

She tried not laughing, almost telling him I am air support. But stopped immediately, “Saleh… I…”

“Stop being so stubborn for once, Captain.”

She looked at him, genuine distress on her face, “I can’t feel my legs.”

Saleh froze, looked down, then grimaced.

“How bad is it.”

“Cap-”

“Tell me now, that’s an order.”

“They’re gone…” He swallowed hard, “Your legs are gone.”

 

Oh god. Oh god no. No no no. She blacked out after that.

 


 

 

   Fareeha woke with a start, her heart was pounding and everything seemed to be so distant. It took her a moment before she noticed she was in the medical bay and not meditating with Zenyatta. She sat up and rubbed her head.

“You had a panic attack.” Came a voice from beside her, she flinched, startled by the voice, and grabbed her sheets, about to throw them off and defend herself.

“It’s okay, it’s just me, Angela.”

Fareeha sighed in relief then paused, “How… how did I end up in here?”

“I was afraid of that- Zenyatta told me to come get you when you started to panic. He knew that I would know what to do, I offered if you wanted to go to the medical bay, you agreed. Then when we got here you fell asleep.”

Fareeha clenched at the blankets. She had a panic attack, in public. She didn’t want anyone to see that side of her, that was weakness, she’s not suppose to be weak. And Angela of all people to witness to it and oh god she’s so weak and useless and oh god everything seems to be closing in. She gasped for breath but couldn't find it– was she dying? No n—

“It’s okay, it’ll be okay. You’re safe, you’re not there, you’re here. Just breath. Just focus on the sound of my voice.”

She complied and tried to even her breathing, focusing on Angela’s voice rather than her own thoughts.

She found she rather liked Angela’s voice.

After a long moment, which felt to Fareeha like grueling hours, the panic attack subsided and she regained her composure.

“Better?” Angela asked, concern clear in her eyes.

“Y-yes… thank you.”

There was a long moment until Fareeha finally added, “Can you not… mention this to anyone?”

Angela nodded in understanding, “Of course. Doctor-patient confidentiality is a rule I practice… however I have a few questions I need to ask you.”

Fareeha swallowed hard and nodded, seeing the doctor in her takeover.

“How often do you have attacks like these?”

She hesitated, “Only if I think about it for too long.”

“Do you have vivid flashbacks to what happened?”

Fareeha nodded slowly.

“Do you have these sudden flashbacks when there’s a similar situation at hand?”

She hesitated again, waiting to answer too long.

“Fareeha?”

“Yes…” She bit her bottom lip, god what if she’s to be discharged? She didn’t want that to happen, not when she finally got into the job of her dreams.

“Do you have insomnia or nightmares at night?”

“Both.”

“Do you find yourself being emotionally detached or having unwanted thoughts?”

Her lips thinned and she looked over Angela’s shoulder, “Yes.”

There was a sympathetic look in Angela’s eyes before she stood up, “Thank you for your honesty. You’re free to go.”

Fareeha nodded curtly and slipped off the bed, making her way out of the medical bay.

“Oh, and Fareeha?” Fareeha stopped and looked back to Angela. “My door is always open if you need to talk… or something.”

Fareeha forced a smile, “Thank you, Doctor."

 


 

 

   After her round of target practice she had regularly with Jesse she took a walk along the cliffs of Gibraltar. The sun was just setting, causing a brilliant variety of colors paint across the sky. Fareeha sat down on the ledge, letting her feet dangle off as she looked out across the ocean, the frigid air caused her to shiver and rub her arm in hopes to warm it. It did nothing, however, the cold metal of her prosthetic only caused her to become even more cold. She cursed under her breath, looking at the prosthetic for a moment.

She heard footsteps approach and she turned to see Genji, a plate in his hand, “Do you mind if I join you?”

“Be my guest,” she motioned next to her.

He sat down, crossing his legs and then took off his mask.

Fareeha couldn’t help but stare at his marred face as he drank a strange substance that was next to very mushy food.

Genji glanced over to her, “What? Didn’t think I ate?”

“Oh- uh, sorry…” she coughed, “I assumed-”

He laughed, “Yes, many people do that. I still have to eat- just not solid foods. I may not be able to eat the noodles from ramen but I can still enjoy the taste. Doctor Ziegler made that much possible.”

Fareeha hummed in response, looking back out to the sea.

Genji looked up from his food and out, “It’s beautiful here; I never got the chance to appreciate it.”

“How do you do it?” She abruptly asked, looking at him.

“Do what?” He raised a brow.

“How did you accept the prosthetics —how can you just act like you’re the same?”

He hummed in thought, trying to figure out how he would word it. “I don’t. At least, I don’t act like I’m the same. I know I’m not. I know I’ll never get to have many of the joys of being completely organic again but that won’t stop me from trying to enjoy life. I use to hate my body, had I not been tutored by Master Zenyatta I most likely would not be here. And I don’t mean being here at Overwatch. However there are still doubts in my mind, I don’t think I’ll ever fully heal but I know I shouldn’t give in to those doubts.”

Fareeha let the words sink in, thinking them over for a long moment, “Thank you for the advice.”

Genji nodded and smiled, “Any time.”

 


 

 

   Fareeha woke with a start, jolting upright and nearly punching the wall her bed was pushed against. Sweat was forming on her forehead and her cheeks were damp with tears. She let out a sigh of relief when she found she was just in her room. She looked over to her alarm clock, seeing it was one hour past midnight.

After a moment of sitting in the dark she got up and washed her face off before leaving her room. She was glad she didn’t have to room with anyone, the Watchpoint being so large and so few people working there that it wasn’t necessary yet.

As she walked down the corridors she saw a light on in the mess hall, out of curiosity she entered the room. She was surprised when she saw Angela in there standing over the coffee machine with a paper in her hand. That shouldn’t be surprising.

“Can’t sleep?” Angela asked without turning to see who it was. Maybe it happened often with other people.

“Can you?” Fareeha quipped.

“Touche.”

Fareeha watched as Angela poured herself some coffee, “want some?”

She shook her head, “No, I don’t need to stay up later than I already am.”

Angela nodded and took the cup to a table and sat down, “Care to join me, at least?”

“Of course,” she seated herself next to Angela and glanced at the paper in her hand, “what are you reading?”

“Oh, it’s about the long term effects of nanotechnology in humans and how certain people respond to it. I have a theory that perhaps over time if someone has it in their bloodstream long enough the nanotech will become similar to our immune system but far more fast-acting. I just cured a cancer patient with the tech recently, so I have to keep a close eye on how they fair afterwards. Maybe then the common cold can be wiped out completely.”

Fareeha nodded, and wow she loved the way Angela’s face would light up when talking about her passion.

“However I’m still trying to work out a flaw I found, over time the technology instead turns on the human and eats away at their blood, attacking things it shouldn’t which so far I’ve found can cause premature Alzheimer's, arthritis, small stuff that can still affect you. That’s why when I use my staff immediately after you’re healed the nanobots get expelled through sweat.”

“Is that why I’m more sweaty when we get back?” Fareeha asked, smiling in a joking manner.

Angela laughed, “Only if you’re not careful enough.”

 

Fareeha rather liked Angela’s laugh, she found.

 

“Because if you aren’t I don’t want to have to revive you because you drowned yourself in sweat.” It was grim, but she found humor in it. They both did, and they both laughed lightly.

“What coffee do you prefer, Doctor?”

Angela raised a brow at the sudden subject switch, “Frappuccino, caramel swirl in it is what I usually prefer. Unless it’s a bad day then black. Why?”

Fareeha nodded and mentally noted that, “I said I owed you. Sorry, I just remembered.”

“Oh! Fareeha, it’s fine, you don’t owe me anything!”

“Of course I do, more so now than before. Thank you, Doctor.”

Fareeha watched as Angela scrunched up her nose, it was something she discovered she did when she was either worried or she didn’t like something, “What?”

“Stop calling me Doctor. You only ever need to call me that when I’m doing my job. Please, it’s just Angela.”

“Okay… Angela.”


Angela smiled and Fareeha found she rather liked the way Angela sounded.

Chapter Text

“Mercy?”

“Yes, Pharah?” Mercy looked at Pharah who smiled impishly at her. Oh no, thought Mercy, who had an idea as to what was coming next.

“I've got you on my radar.”

Mercy stifled a laugh and feigned exasperation, “Pharah.

“Have Mercy on me, Doctor. At least I'm not Pharah-way like the others.”

“Pharah, come on, be serious.”

“Hey Mercy, you know what my favorite drink is?”

Mercy paused in thought, then said with uncertainty, “Tea?”

“Just-ice. Get it? Ju–”

She groaned and rolled her eyes. “Yes, justice, I got it.”

“Southern side is clear, we will meet you back at the objective, Reinhardt out.” Mercy heard over her comlink, successfully making them somber up, remembering what they were doing.

“Understood, Pharah out.”

She watched as Pharah took out an empty clip from her launcher and replaced it. They had a mission in Egypt, Athena reported to them that there was activity from Talon who was trying to take control on the Temple of Anubis. They didn't know the reasoning behind it but Fareeha was adamant about going to aid Helix in fending them off.

Before the mission began, Angela had watched the short yet sweet reunion she had with old teammates.

On paper, the agents that went to help were mercenaries Helix hired to help. In reality Overwatch offered its help and Helix agreed due to some “loopholes” they were able to find. Overwatch was able to send six agents, Reinhardt, McCree, Tracer, Genji, Pharah, and herself, Mercy.

Helix and Overwatch had been in close contact ever since Pharah joined their ranks, even going out of their way to cover up some of their missions as Helix Security drills. The founder had been part of the Overwatch generation, if anything that was the only reason they were on good terms.

“Requesting backup, eastern end of town, I have a wounded with me.” A voice came through with immense static, it was distorted and unfamiliar.

“This is a restricted channel, identify yourself.” Pharah replied, her face was unreadable.

The person responded in Arabic, Mercy couldn't understand what was said but whatever it was, Pharah stiffened immediately. “Understood, send me your coordinates and I will rendezvous with you with our medic.”

The comlink clicked off and Pharah turned.

“Who was that? What did they say to you?”

“Let’s go,” was all Pharah said before launching into the air. Mercy bit back the words she had in mind and thinned her lips following after her.

 


 

When they arrived at the scene there was a masked person hunched over the body of another, blood was covering their gloves as they put pressure onto the wound. The masked person looked up as soon as they landed. “Please, hurry, a stray bullet pierced his vital organs, my stuff can only do so much.” Their voice was muffled and distorted presumably by the mask but Mercy could still hear the pleading behind it.

She nodded and quickly went to work, “I need you to tear open the jacket, I'll keep pressure on it while you do so.”

The stranger nodded and unzipped it and tore off the shirt he was wearing.

Mercy clicked the side of her glove and it shimmered for a moment before she reached into the wound. After a moment she was able to find the bullet and remove it, she threw it to the side and used her staff to close the wound.

The man groaned, and moved to get up but Mercy stopped him, “The nanites are still taking effect, you must remain as still as possible until you're better.”

“I'm fine, Shrike let’s go.”

“Shrike” who she supposed was the one that requested help, looked at her and Pharah, Pharah more than herself, then back to the man.

“No, we will go with them, Seventy Six. You can provide amnesty for us until he's better, yes?”

Mercy looked to Pharah, who was visibly tense. Did she know who they were? “Of course,” Pharah said.

Shrike… Seventy Six, those names seemed familiar, Mercy stared at Shrike for a long moment before it clicked. They were wanted criminals in many parts of the world. What were they doing here?

Mercy stood up and lowered her voice so that only Pharah could hear, “Pharah, is this a good idea? Seventy Six… Shrike? They're wanted criminals, they could be connected to Talon.”

“I understand why you're wary of them, Mercy. But please, trust me when I say this: they aren't Talon, we can trust them.”

Mercy was hesitant at first but nodded, “Okay, I'll trust your judgment.”

“Thank you.” Pharah offered a smile and Mercy couldn't help smile back.

“Pharah, Mercy, report. You're not at the objective.” McCree said over the comsystems.

“We have one wounded, I had to perform emergency healing.”

“Understood, send us yer coordinates an’ we’ll be right there.”

 


 

It was silent for the most part while they were waiting for the rest of the team. That was, until Pharah snapped her attention to Shrike.

“A letter.” Was all she said but Mercy could feel the weight in it. She didn't understand what was happening, how– why would she know criminals?

“Fa-”

“After months you send me just one letter?”

“I did what I had to.”

Right, letting me think you were dead for half a year is justifiable.”

“We can discuss this in private later. Perhaps when there's not other people around.”

Pharah’s jaw clenched and she let out a huff before crossing her arms and walked away. Mercy didn't understand what was happening. At all.

“Do you know each other?” She asked, brows furrowed in confusion.

“Yes.” Said Shrike, who shifted on the ground, keeping herself close to Seventy Six. They started to talk and Mercy assumed it was something she shouldn't hear so she decided to catch up to Pharah.

“What was that all about?”

Pharah sighed and stopped walking, looking ahead to keep an eye out for the rest of the team. “Nothing.”

Mercy looked up to her with searching eyes, not being able to quite read her face.

Pharah glanced over to her and let out another sigh, “I’m not going to tell you, Shrike will explain everything. Maybe. I haven’t spoken to her lately…”

Mercy wasn’t quite satisfied with that answer but nodded anyways and looked ahead.

 


 

    It wasn’t long until Mercy was able to spot the rest of the team approaching, she waved them over, and unsurprisingly enough Tracer was the first to reach them.

“Heya! Rein called in our lift so they should be here in a tic! Who’re those blokes over there?”

“The injured,” Pharah said simply.

“You kids need to slow down,” Reinhardt grumbled as he lumbered over. After taking off his helmet he looked over to Shrike and Soldier 76 and smiled widely, “Ah! These must be the two you assisted! Reinhardt! At your service!”

Shrike stood up, “Shrike. We have your medic to thank.”

Reinhardt nodded then bent down low to speak to Pharah and herself, “Those two are criminals are they not?”

“I can hear you,” Shrike spoke loudly, causing Reinhardt to stand tall, looking them down.

“Forgive my distrust but I'm aware of the bounties on your heads. I'm not fond of those who hide behind masks all the time.”

Shrike seemed to pause, looked down to Seventy Six, then back to Reinhardt, “That is understandable,” they raised their hand to the side of their mask.

“Shrike–” Seventy Six started.

“Hush, Seventy Six. I want to go home, I’m tired of running.”

If everyone wasn't confused before, they were now. All except Pharah, Mercy noted. But before anything more could happen the sound of roaring engines approached, the Orca was there. Whatever Shrike was going to do they stopped immediately.

“I will file the rest of the mission report for Helix when we get back to base.” Pharah cut in, “Now let’s go.”

Everyone nodded and watched as the hatch opened up on the side of the Orca and they all got on board while Reinhardt carefully carried Soldier 76.

“Welcome on board, agents. I hope the mission was a success?” Came Athena’s voice from the speakers.

“Hiya Athena! I’ll tell ya all about it on the way back to Gibraltar!” Tracer beamed as she hopped in the pilot’s chair.

 


 

 

The flight back was dreadfully silent save for the chattering from Tracer and Athena. The same question was racing through everyone’s minds. Who is Shrike and Soldier 76?

Mercy looked over to Pharah who seemed to be glaring Shrike down, frustration was the most prominent feeling she got from the other.

“Reinhardt, bring him to the medical bay,” Mercy instructed, “I’ll meet you there.”

“Understood,” Reinhardt nodded and started to walk away.

“I’ll be there too,” Shrike added.

Mercy nodded and watched them disappear through the corridors.

“So… y’all gonna bring up the fact we just let random people into Overwatch and let ‘em know we’re back in action? Who gave authorization to that?” Asked McCree as he removed the cigar from his mouth.

Pharah spoke up before Mercy could get a say in the matter. “I did, if it backfires I will take full responsibility for it. I’ll go file the mission report then go to the medical bay for post-mission check-up.” With that she strode out of the room.

Everyone was quiet for a moment, until Tracer was the first to speak up. “Wha’ was that all about?”

“Dunno, but I’ll catch ya guys later.” McCree gave a wave and walked out whistling.

“It was better than those awful puns she was telling you.” Genji said to fill the silence that followed.

Mercy felt her face go red from embarrassment, “You heard that?”

“You had your comlinks on! It was awful! None o’ us had the guts to tell ya but thankfully Rein was there.”

“I also think she was flirting.”

“Pharah? Flirting with me?” Angela laughed, cackled even, at the prospect of Pharah flirting with her in the middle of a mission.

“What was that first one? ‘Ve got you on my radar or something like that?”

“I agree, Tracer, that sounded more like a bad pick-up line than anything.”

Mercy’s face became redder than it already was.

“I betcha five credits that Pharah is ‘ead over heels for ya!”

“I think the correct word is heal,” Genji said, a laugh in his voice, “Spelled with E and A than E E.”

Tracer laughed with him.

“You- you’re both so… insufferable,” Mercy turned on her heels and left in a huff. She was still able to hear the jolly laughs from the two as she continued walking.

 


 

It was two weeks after they allowed Shrike and Soldier 76 into their base that Angela had felt a sense of familiarity between the two.

The two had been inseparable, where there was one, the other was close by. It brought up memories of Jack Morrison and Ana Amari, those two were always so close. But they were dead now, and there was no reversing it.

The agents hardly saw them around, they seemed to be reclusive, Seventy Six more than Shrike. Shrike was more sociable, whenever they were grabbing food or drinks from the mess hall they would strike up conversation, say polite how do you do’s, and the sorts. Many warmed right up to Shrike, but some still remained wary, Angela being one of them.

 

Until one day.

 

“Angela?”

“Yes, Fareeha?”

“I'm glad I'm not an archeologist.”

Angela raised a brow, “Where is this coming from?”

Fareeha smiled that smile, “It's because if I was, my career would lie in ruins.”

Angela paused for a moment, and when it sank in she groaned, “Fareeha, that was so bad.”

“At least I don't have a belt made up of watches. Otherwise it would be a complete waist of time.”

She sighed dramatically and shook her head, “Just… eat your food, Fareeha.”

“Help,” Fareeha snickered after taking a bite from her food, “I’m being asalted.”

Angela laughed but stopped when she noticed Shrike approaching. Fareeha raised a brow when she noticed the change in Angela’s demeanor and turned to see what she was looking at. Fareeha instantly stiffened, the smile vanishing from her face as she went rigid.

“Don’t stop on my account,” Shrike said as they sat down.

Angela tore her eyes away from the two and stared at her food.

There was an awkward pause for some time until Fareeha opened her mouth to say something. What followed was nothing Angela expected.

“Why are you still hiding, mom?”

“Wait- mom?” Angela exclaimed, confusion, and what the hell is going on.

“I’m not hiding, I’m here.”

Oh great they were ignoring her now.

No, you’re not. You’re still wearing your mask. You haven’t told anyone you’re still alive.”

Her head was swimming.

“Mind your tongue.”

“Why don’t you take off your mask, do you know how hard it is for me to see everyone struggle? To think you’re dead?”

“I-”

Fareeha cut off Shrike before she could say anything more. “You wouldn’t. Angela, Ana’s alive.”

Angela furrowed her brows, and she stared at the two for such a long time. Then, under her breath, “What the fuck.”

 


 

After that, Shrike sighed in resignation and removed her mask, stating it was no point in hiding it anymore. The whole ordeal seemed like a blur to Angela, it felt so unreal to see Ana Amari’s aged face. An eyepatch over her right eye was the only thing that seemed to change drastically.

After that, Ana and Fareeha got into a shouting competition. Angela just stared.

Years of wondering what she could’ve done if she was there on the mission returned to her mind. All those years spent, wasted, stored away. All those years of thinking the backbone of Overwatch was dead, and to find out she was still alive?

It made her furious.

Angela stood up abruptly, the chair she was sitting in skid back a little, and caused the two to stop yelling at each other.

Why didn’t you tell us? That was so… selfish.” And with that, she stormed out of the room, a faint call of her name coming from Fareeha.

 

“Angela?”

Angela heard outside her office door. She didn’t respond.

“Angela, I’m coming in.”

Angela stared at the keyboard of her computer when she heard the door open up.

“Angela…” Fareeha started, approaching her.

She glanced up to Fareeha with searching eyes, “All those years… I was wondering what I could have done if I was there…”

“I know,” Fareeha said quietly as she pulled a chair up next to her.

“How could you-” She stopped herself from continuing on when she saw the look on Fareeha’s face. One of understanding.

“I thought she was dead too, you know? Not as long as everyone else. But for that time I was mad… I was more mad at Commander Morrison than anyone else, though. How was it fair that he came home and she didn’t?”

“God,” Angela whispered, rubbing her eyes, “I don’t have a right to feel like this. You’re her daughter.”

“You’re still family, Mom thought so, at least…”

Angela sighed and stood up, looking down at her feet, “I know… I just…”

Angela felt arms wrap around her and she looked over to see Fareeha. She knit her brows together and returned the embrace, burying her face in the crook of her neck.

“We’ll figure it out…” Fareeha whispered, and Angela believed her completely. Convinced she was right.


It was moments like these, Angela thought, that she never wanted to end. Moments where she can just, shrug off all the weight she carries and accept some help.

Chapter Text

A groan, “Can we please go? You promised..”

“Not yet, patience. We’ll go tomorrow.”

 

    Ana awoke startled, hand reflexively flying to the gun at her side- gun that would be at her side were she not here . She blinked, looking around the place before remembering where she was. Right, she was back . In Overwatch.

She moved her hand so it was just hovering over her missing eye, then glanced over at the time. It was still late in the night, and she knew she should get more sleep but after spending years staying alert at night she found it was hard to break that habit within just a few days.

The old sniper reached for her eyepatch that was on the desk next to her bed and put it on, then got up and headed for the door. She made her way to the exit, taking a walk to the edge of Gibraltar’s cliffs. She stopped, looking out.

“You still up?” She heard a voice behind her, she didn’t have to look to know who it was.

She hummed in response and only looked over when she saw him stand by her side. There was a long pause, it wasn’t an uncomfortable pause, no, it was quite the opposite.

“I never thought I’d get to see this place again.”

“A lot of memories, not all of them bad.” Jack said, a light tone in his voice.

Ana nodded in agreement, a soft smile gracing her face, “Remember when Reinhardt fell asleep outside?”

“And he had a sunburn she bad he couldn't walk?”

They both shared a laugh, and let the silence wash over them.

Ana clenched her jaw, they both know what she was about to ask. “You're planning on leaving, aren't you?”

“Come with me,” he turned his body towards her, his eyes pleading.

“I'm not leaving, not again.” Conviction was in her voice, a piercing glare at him.

He sighed in defeat, looking down. After a moment he looked up, “Then I’ll stay.”

“What about your war?”

He turned away from her, “You’re more important. Besides, I might be able to find out what really happened with more help than just you.”

“Jack Morrison, asking for help?” She barked out a laugh, “Who are you and what have you done with Jack?”

He shook his head and laughed with her. Ana missed this.

 

“If I didn't know any better it sounded like you just asked me out,” Ana said with a laugh, a twinkle in her eyes as she teased Jack relentlessly.

She heard Gabriel laugh from across the room as he made the three of them food.

“N-no! We’re in the military!” Jack stuttered, his face becoming redder than a tomato.

Relax ,” she shook her head laughing slightly, “I'm teasing. Besides, I'm known to be quite the heartbreaker!”

It became quiet, and she frowned slowly when she realized what she had said. The mood became sour for her almost instantly as she slumped in the couch.

“Hey,” Gabriel started, prevented any more negative thoughts from cumulating, “food’s ready so if you don't snap outta it I'll eat all of your food.”

 

“Mum?”

Ana hummed in response, looking over at Fareeha.

Fareeha was looking down at her hands, furrowed brows. “Seventy Six is Jack, isn't he?”

“You've always had a sharp eye for these things, habibti .” A teasing smile formed as her eye twinkled with mischief.

“You're… not leaving again, are you?”

Ana understood the seriousness of the subject and stopped smiling. She pulled Fareeha into a hug. It was odd, to say the very least. Fareeha was so very tall now, so very different holding her as an adult than as a child.

“No, I've left once before, for too long did I wonder what would have happened had I listened to Jack and retreated. What could've went differently. And I realize now that leaving was perhaps the worst thing I could have done. I'm not leaving, not again.”

Fareeha seemed to have accepted that, returning the hug and burying her head in the crook of Ana's neck.
“I would have told you I was alive sooner.” Fareeha was silent and so she took it as the go ahead to continue on, “The shock of my injury made it so I couldn’t remember what happened. I didn’t know what I would tell you. I wasn’t even sure who I was for nearly three months.”

Fareeha seemed hesitant to say anything, but settled to saying, “That… makes sense.”

 

A scream, that couldn't make it out of her throat. She grabbed at where her eye had once been as blood spilled out. This is it. Was her first thought as she writhed on the ground.

The pain was so much, it was unbearable. She opened her mouth to try to scream again but nothing came out.

She looked over, painfully so, and saw her comlink on the ground. She crawled over to it and tried to pick it up, it slipped out of her hand several times, the blood on them proving to be so much. Finally she had it in her grasps, she tried to click it on. Static. And then a crackle. It sparked at the hard shell around it split. It was far too damaged, she couldn't do anything now.

Nothing would work.

She blacked out.

 

Ana woke up, dazed and confused. Her eyes— eye came into focus and she looked around. She was in a hospital room. But how did I get here?

A doctor walked into the room, “you're awake. It's a miracle you survived with as much blood loss as you've had.”

Ana was silent, wracking her mind to try and remember what happened.

“First, can you tell me your name?”

Her name? What was her name? It started with an A, right?

“It's okay, you don't have to tell us. I'll try something else, how did you get injured? Someone brought you in with no explanation other than they found you in an abandoned building.”

“I- can't remember.” Ana said finally.

“I understand, the bullet damaged parts of your brain. Do you have family we can contact?”

“I-” she had a daughter. Right? “No.”

He nodded in understanding, “You need two more surgeries before you’ll be free to leave.”

Ana nodded, looking out the window. Everything felt so surreal. The doctor walked out of the room and brought her shaking hand up to where her right eye had once been, the bandage still around it.

Now what?

Chapter Text

There were days where there weren’t any missions. Where there wasn’t any struggle or conflict and the world was quiet for a while, if only for a while. On days like those Fareeha would find Angela sitting in the common room reading, most of the time it was research, others it was romance novels. (Which Fareeha found out in an almost comical matter. She found it endearing though, that the genius doctor who made many breakthroughs in medicine was entranced with romance novels .)

They fell into a routine. When Fareeha found Angela as such she would clamber down next to her and rest her head in other’s lap. Angela would then start to sift her free hand through Fareeha’s hair as she explained either the plot or the science depending on what she was reading.

And sometimes, if Angela wasn’t reading anything, Fareeha would talk about what was weighing over her head. If it hadn’t been for Zenyatta’s coaching, Fareeha didn’t know what she would do. He had suggested to her that it would be good for her to talk to someone she trusted. And she found it helped her greatly.

 

“-So the winged warrior ends up sacrificing herself so that the doctor may live. But that's not the tragic part, the tragic part is in the epilogue when the doctor is reflecting on all that happened to her and only then admitting that she loved —and still loves, the winged warrior.”

Fareeha nodded, signaling that she was indeed still listening to the doctor’s ramblings. “That doesn't sound like a very happy book to be reading.”

Angela closed it and set it aside, running both her hands through Fareeha’s hair, “No, but it was quite the book to read. Even if it wasn't happy, I suggest reading it.”

“Why read when you tell me everything that happens?” Fareeha said with a laugh.

She looked up at Angela’s face and saw the faintest of blushes. “Well, I can't explain everything unless you read–”

“You read out loud under your breath,” she interrupted, a wry smile at her lips.

Angela raked her fingers through a knot, getting a quiet ouch from the other. “I won't read while you're here then, so then you have to read it yourself.”

“If I do that I'll miss the important parts.” Fareeha pouted. After reading every book, Angela made it her duty to point out even the smallest of things, small hints and clues from the start of the book, the foreshadowing, and how the eventual romance did or didn’t make sense. Fareeha found that she liked the romance novels where the two protagonists got to know each other over time, rather than falling in love within two days. “Slow burns,” Angela’s voice in her head reminded her.

“You are so childish,” Angela teased.

“Doctor Ziegler,” came the voice of Athena, “your presence is needed at the medical wing.”

Angela sighed and stopped stroking Fareeha’s hair, “I will be there as soon as possible.”

Fareeha sat up, allowing Angela to move, slightly disappointed that their time together was interrupted. Of course, she understood why, Angela was head of medical. Even on a day off. “Sorry Fareeha, you know what it’s like,” Angela said as she stood up.

“It’s fine, I’ll talk to you later.”

 

“Can you pass me the sugar, mum?”

“Pass the sugar, what?” Ana replied not looking up from the holopad in her hand.

Fareeha groaned and rolled her eyes, “Pass me the sugar, please.”

Ana looked up and pushed the sugar across the table over to her. After putting the sugar in Fareeha shook her head, “You know, I'm not a child anymore.”

Ana laughed into her cup as she took a sip, “I know, I'm trying to get the embarrassing mom act down again. How am I doing?”

“Terrible. If you want to do it right you have to bring up old songs or jokes,” she teased.

“Right, of course, how could I not think of that?”

There was a lull in conversation as they looked anywhere but at each other. They still needed to talk about many things but neither of them wanted to initiate the conversation. They'd been skirting around it for quite some time now and it left both of them tense.

Fareeha sighed, they were both too stubborn, but someone would have to break the ice. She opened her mouth to speak.

“I'm sorry, Fareeha… I know I wasn't around much when you were a child— and because of that you must be mad that I left you again.”

“Mum that's…” she chewed on her lip, she thought she was mad at her because of that but– no, not for that reason. “I'm not mad at you for that, I understand why you left now… I'm frustrated because you didn't support me when I wanted to join Overwatch.”

“It's not the life I want for you.”

“I know it's not but… it's what I want. I want to fight, I want this.”

She was met with silence from Ana, until the other reached over to her gloved hand and started to pull it off. Fareeha flinched to pull away but it was too late, the glove was off, revealing the metal that resided under it.

Ana’s face was unreadable as she ran her hand over it, inspecting it very closely. She broke the silence finally, “When did this happen?” Her voice calm, collected.

Fareeha clenched her jaw, “A few months ago…”

“Your legs?”

“How did you–”

“When?”

She chewed on her lip, “Two years ago.”

Ana sighed and pulled away, “This is exactly why I didn’t want you to join the military, habibti. I didn’t want you to lose yourself in war like I have. I wanted more for you than the life of a soldier. I fought for a world where old soldiers like me weren't needed. But it's not like that, and you're here, and the world’s safety is heavily at risk again.” Fareeha looked away, jaw still clenched and brows furrowed.

“But,” Ana started again, she looked up and met her eye, “you’re an Amari. And as much as I would have liked otherwise, fighting is in our blood… I’m proud of you, who you are, what you’ve done…”

Fareeha stared for a long while, eyes searching Ana’s for any hint that what she said was a lie. And when she couldn't find any she let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. She was no longer clenching her jaw and she leaned forward a little.

Those words, I’m proud of you. It's all she could have asked to hear. She rubbed profusely at her eyes when she started to feel them well up.

Ana looked at her, concern etched on her face as she moved to comfort her daughter.

Fareeha stopped her, “I’m fine, mum. I just… that was everything I could have asked you to say.”

They sat, a comfortable silence unlike before, Fareeha found peace with her mother in that moment. Of course, they had years of separation to make up for. So Ana wasn't exactly off the hook yet.

 

Fareeha looked around the briefing room. She was sitting next to her mother, who was beside Soldier 76, or, as she knew better, Jack Morrison. Lena was spinning in the swivel chair next to Mei who looked to be reading while waiting for the meeting to start. Genji was flicking paper at his brother, Hanzo, while the elder Shimada flicked some back at him. Jesse was leaning back, feet on table, and hat covering his face. Most likely sleeping.

Reinhardt was talking at Zarya and Hana, Zarya listened intently while Hana just rolled her eyes. Lucio sat, drumming his hands on the table with his headphones on, all the while trying to avoid eye contact with Satya, who was sitting in her regal composure, also avoiding eye contact. Torbjorn and Zenyatta were talking in hushed voices, what they could possibly be talking about was beyond her. Of everyone that was there, Fareeha noticed that Angela Ziegler was nowhere in sight.

Before Fareeha could ask where Angela was, Winston cleared his voice, and everyone quieted down.

“Now you must all be wondering why I've gathered you here today,” Winston began as he nervously pushed up his glasses.

“I would like to formally uh- reintroduce Captain Amari.” Murmurs spread through the room, only a few were there when it was revealed that Shrike was Ana Amari. “Which is good news for us. Because now that we have the Captain back we’ll be better.”

Lucio raised his hand up high, “Yes, Lucio?”

“Why is that so important? For those who weren't here in the old Overwatch.”

“Erm- according to the rules, the second in command becomes the strike commander if the original is um… gone. I’ll turn it over to you now, C-”

“No,” Ana interrupted, “I won’t be taking command. I have spent more than half of my life taking charge of Overwatch. I think it would be for the best that someone younger and newer than I take the lead.”

“Understood, I believe a vote for a new strike commander is to be put forth then. I will uh- set it up at the end of the week. Does anyone have anything to report?”

Silence.

“Very well, dismis-” before Winston could continue any further Angela came in, her face contorted into that of anger rather than the pleasant smile she constantly wore. She stormed over to where Jack was sitting and slammed a folder in front of him.

“Open it.” Angela crossed her arms over her chest, looking at Jack pointedly.

He slowly moved to open it, he paused, worried creases on his forehead appeared as he flipped through the pages clipped to the folder.

Verdammt, take off die fickerei mask, Jack !”

Fareeha watched as Ana seemed to shrink away as Jack’s hands shakily moved up to remove his mask. Once the mask was gone, he clenched his jaw and averted his eyes from everyone. They all stared, mouths agape, a deafening silence filled the room.

“This whole time it was you! Why didn’t you say anything?

“I-”

“We all mourned you! We were lost without you! And here you are, playing… playing vigilante when we had to move on!”

“Angela, if they knew I was alive…”

Bullshit. At least Ana had the decency to write a letter to Fareeha!”

“Angela-”

“And you!” she pointed to Fareeha, “How long have you known?”

Fareeha was taken aback for a moment, then furrowed her brows, “Me? What do I have to do with this!”

“How long!” Angela barked.

Fareeha clenched her jaw, “A few weeks now.”

She laughed, almost hysterically so as tears started to form at the corner of her eyes, “So two people we all thought were dead just faked it and abandoned us? Is there anyone else who’s not dead?”

Ana and Jack gave each other a look and they both stood up, “We need to speak, in private.”

Fareeha watched as Angela balled up her fists and nodded, following the two out of the briefing room.

Silence fell upon the room, until Winston cleared his throat, “Uh… so, since that… happened… you’re all dismissed.”

 

Fareeha sat in the dining hall, poking at her food with a fork. It’s been two hours and she hadn’t heard from her mother, Jack, nor Angela. Then again, she didn’t ask around yet, and wasn’t planning on it any time soon. That was one thing Fareeha wasn’t too good at handling: confrontation.

She didn’t want to face Angela, because she knew Angela trusted her and she kept something important from her. However it wasn’t a secret for her to tell, she wondered if Angela would understand that. What happened wasn’t up to her.

Fareeha heard someone clear their throat and she looked up. She was so lost in thoughts she didn’t even hear Angela approach.

“Angela I-”

Angela grabbed Fareeha’s wrist, “We need to talk in private.”

Fareeha followed along, and once they were out of the earshot of others Angela looked at her directly in the eyes, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“What was there to tell? Oh hey, Jack Morrison isn’t dead.

“Yes!” Angela insisted.

Fareeha shook her head, pulling her wrist away so that Angela would let go, “It wasn’t something for me to tell.”

“What about the morality of the group! If you cared you would have told me.”

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It. Wasn’t something. For me. To tell.

“You’re so-”

“So what?”

“So- so insufferable! You think you're so righteous even if it means you're lying through your teeth! I knew you were cold and self absorbed!”

Fareeha grit her teeth and clenched her fists, “Me? Oh, right, I’m self absorbed; says the one who dresses like a goddamn angel and calls herself Mercy for fuck’s sake!”

“You think you’re always right and then you lead us like you think you’re our leader or something!”

“You know what? I don’t have to take this shit from you! I shouldn’t be some punching bag for you to let all your anger out on! I’m just a commissioned soldier, and look— here, I’ll tell you the truth now since you’re so insistent on prying into other’s lives.

“I’m suppose to leave back to Helix in 6 months because of course I don’t get some goddamn dream come true. I’m just here to make sure a highly illegal operation doesn’t get out of hand and end up blowing up another base costing hundreds of lives.” Her voice cracked, “I'm only a temporary asset.”

Fareeha didn’t even feel the tears that fell from her eyes. Angela was silent, as she looked at her with wide eyes. It wasn't until she felt the hot tears that she quickly covered her eyes with her arm and stormed off.

 

There was a knock at the door and Fareeha begrudgingly got up to answer it. There stood someone Fareeha had least expected. Aleksandra Zaryanova, taking up the whole doorway. Fareeha didn’t talk to Zarya much, other than a few times she was her spotter and that one night where they had a drinking contest, but that was about the length of their relationship.

“Clean up, we’re going out.”

Fareeha raised a brow, “We?”

Zarya moved to the side and there stood Lucio, Mei, and Hanzo. An interesting assortment of people, in Fareeha’s opinion. “We’re going inland to grab supplies. Oxton suggested we invite you.” Hanzo said simply with a shrug.

Fareeha sighed and nodded, “I’ll be out.”

It wasn’t long until Fareeha came out in clean, casual clothes. Zarya smiled and slammed her hand against Fareeha’s back causing her to lurch forward. “Come now, let’s go out and enjoy ourselves.”

 

It wasn’t a quiet ride in the orcha for the most part. Fareeha tried listening in on the conversations but it soon became background noise at the most. It was until Hanzo walked over and sat down next to her. She glanced over at him, not particularly ready for a lesson from another Shimada.

“Your tattoo intrigues me.”

Of all the things for him to say, she didn’t expect that, so she decided to humor him. “It’s called the Eye of Horus.”

“Does it have a purpose for anything other than decoration?”

“I got it to honor my mum when I thought she was dead, she always said it was a symbol for protection.”

“Tattoos gotten to honor a lost loved one are important. When I still believed I killed Genji I got a tattoo of a sparrow feather to honor him,” he pulled back his right sleeve and it revealed said tattoo on his wrist, he pulled the sleeve back down. “Now it seems invalid.”

Fareeha looked away and subconsciously ran her hand over her own tattoo. “I don’t think it’s invalid. Even if he’s not dead. If anything, it’s now a sign that you care about him.”

Hanzo hummed, “I have not thought of it that way. Thank you.”

The orca landed and everyone got up and walked out once the door opened.

“So, where to first?” Lucio asked Zarya, who was the one with the map.

“The map says there are two markets nearby, you and Hanzo can go to the other one. Mei, Fareeha, and I shall go to this one,” she said as she pointed at the map.

Lucio nodded, “Got it.” He motioned for Hanzo to follow him and they split.

From there on the crowd grew increasingly large. Fareeha didn’t understand what people were saying, they were in Spain, after all. The trio made their way over to a stall, it had a variety of different fruits, so Zarya approached. “How much?”

The owner, and omnic cocked it’s head to the side and Mei shook her head, “Let me. I speak Spanish.” She cut her way in between Fareeha and Zarya and started talking to the omnic.

Mei pulled out some money and handed it over to it and then took some fruit and put it in a bag. “You’re lucky I came along,” she said with a smile.

Zarya and Fareeha just stared at her for a moment as she started over to the next stall, “Well? Come on.”

 

It was a few hours later when they regrouped, each telling the other what they got and sharing some laughs as they boarded the orca. The aircraft took off, and everyone left with a smile on their face.

The ship landed back in the base and Fareeha smiled. “I think we should do this more often,” she said, “it was fun.”

They all nodded in agreement, then left to drop off the supplies. Fareeha glanced across the way and saw Angela. They made eye contact for a moment and they both froze. Fareeha opened her mouth to say something but was interrupted by Zarya. “Come join us, we’re going to cook.”

Fareeha nodded and looked away, walking off. They would have to sort it out some other time.

Chapter Text

“Another successful mission,” Winston cheered over the communication’s channel, “Pharah, Ana, Mercy? What’s your report?”

Mercy and Pharah could feel Ana’s glare bore into the back their heads as they tried to look anywhere but at each other. “Heavy collateral damage, other than that everything’s okay," Ana reported.

“Understood, we’ll come pick you up shortly.”

They were in the aftermath of a battle zone in Illios. The team was able to ward Talon off from stealing important artifacts inside the temple. Ana walked over and stood in front of a cave’s entrance, blocking Pharah and Mercy to move out.

The com systems clicked off and whatever tension was hanging in the air finally manifest. Ana clicked her tongue and pointed at them, “What were you thinking?”

“Mum-”

“Ana-” They said in unison.

Ana folded her arms over her chest, glaring at them, “Fareeha, what you did was reckless, you could have died.”

Angela smirked, but soon stopped when Ana’s attention drifted over to her. “ And you could’ve let her die.”

“I wasn’t about to follow her to my certain death!” Mercy defended, looking away from the elder woman.

Ana pinched the bridge of her nose and muttered something under her breath. “Whatever issues you’re having, you better get over them. You are both acting like children and it’s not doing our missions any good. We’re at a heritage site, the least the both of you could have done was lower collateral damage.”

Mercy inhaled, about to retort and explain that no, that’s not true, when they heard a rumbling. Pharah glanced up, eyes going wide when she saw the unstable ruins start to crack above them. Ana saw this too and backed away. Pharah grabbed Mercy and pulled her close, then dove the opposite direction Ana went.

 

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!

Went the rocks that hit Pharah’s back as she shielded Mercy. Eventually, it subsided. There was a long pause until finally, “Fareeha?” Mercy’s voice was stricken with fear, she couldn’t see Pharah’s face. Is she breathing? Is she unconscious?

Her fear drained from her when Pharah moved and let go of her. “I’m fine.” Pharah winced when she tried to stand and stumbled a little bit.

“You’re not fine, how many rocks hit you? No, don’t answer that, come here, let me see.”

I’m fine,” Pharah insisted, she stood up and put on a brave face. There was a crackle and her legs buckled underneath her, she stopped her fall with her hands. She grunted and pushed herself to sit on her knees.

Mercy couldn’t watch anymore. “Verdamnt, Fareeha let me help you.”

She was hesitant, but nodded, “You’ll have to take off my wings before anything else.”

“Walk me through it.”

“There are two locks on the side at the top of the fuel cell. Pull them up and it should start disconnecting. Once that’s done I’ll have to disconnect from it.”

“How, Fareeha you’re-”

Pharah tapped the side of her own head with a weak smile, “Classified.”

Mercy sighed, but she understood, so she unlocked the wings from their place. Pharah closed her eyes for a moment, then there was a clicking sound and a hiss. She let out a breath, her shoulders sagging, “You can take them off now.”

 

Mercy moved to remove them, and was not at all surprised to find that they were heavy. Pharah moved to sit down properly, grabbing her legs and forcing them to lay out straight. “My prosthesis got damaged because of the beating my wings took. They’re all connected because of Helix technology. My arm works still though because that’s a separate system.”

She began to remove the armor from her legs when she heard static through the comlink in her helmet.

“Fare- ree- gela-” came a static transmission.

Fareeha gasped, “Hello? This is Pharah, I repeat, this is Pharah.”

Angela and Fareeha waited in bated breath as there was a long pause of static until- “Fareeha!” It was Ana’s voice.

Fareeha grinned, “Mum, we’re alive.”

“Oh thank god, you’re alive. We’re working on getting you a way out, we have Angela’s staff on this side, if she got worried about that. Are you working on getting a way out too?”

Angela blinked, she hadn’t even noticed she dropped her staff.

“I’m glad to hear that- but unfortunately my legs got busted. I can’t do anything until you get us out.”

There was a short pause, “Winston said it might take an hour or so to get through to you.”

Pharah nodded, “I copy, Pharah, out.”

The comlink clicked off and Pharah took off her helmet, she went back to removing the playing from her legs.

 

It was deathly silent save for the clicks and hisses that came from Pharah’s armor. Pharah sighed and spoke first. “If we’re going to be stuck in here for a while, there’s no more beating around the bush. We need to talk.”

Angela looked away, she felt shame rise in her for what she had said. She shouldn’t have taken anger out on Fareeha that wasn’t hers to have.

“I got defensive, I-” Fareeha started, “I wasn’t thinking. One moment we were talking and the next…”

Angela shook her head, “No, no it wasn’t your fault. I… You were only retaliating. It wasn’t right of me to take it out on you.”

The two sat in awkward silence, neither saying sorry because one is too stubborn and one is too vain.

“... Are you actually leaving?”

Fareeha paused, her hands resting on her now bare cybernetics as she looked at them. She sighed. “Yes.”

“Why didn't you tell anyone?” Angela moved in to look at the damaged cybernetics. Dents, bullet embedded in the shin on the left one, no engineers here. Need new ones? Scratch that, salvageable. Perhaps a replacement joint for the right.

Fareeha grabbed Angela’s wrist gently and moved it away. She took hold of her left leg and twisted it from where the prosthesis started, it clicked and she pulled it off. “It was part of the deal to my commission. Helix only found out about the Recall by pure mistake. If Winston kept me here for a specific amount of time then Helix would keep quiet.”

“Blackmail.” Angela mused.

“I don't agree with everything Helix does.” Fareeha replied with as she looked over the prosthesis.

Angela looked at Fareeha, her eyes searching. “Why do you stay with them?”

“I have helped more people in Helix than I did in the military. It was a good opportunity at the time…”

Angela nodded, looking away again.

 

Fareeha sighed, looking up from the prosthesis and to Angela again, “Why are you in Overwatch? I thought you didn't agree with it’s return.”

Angela nodded, “I don't, but when you have nothing left... The thing that gave you everything is more tempting than nothing.”

Fareeha raised a brow at that, “What do you mean?”

She sighed, still looking away from her. “With Overwatch’s fall I got investigated. During the investigations rumors went about in the media. They said that I experimented on citizens, and that I had laboratories full of dead people as a product of my work. My reputation got stolen, my hospital lost funding, and for the longest time I blamed Overwatch for it all. So I started traveling to help those that would take my help.”

Fareeha set her leg down, “I’m sorry to hear that…”

Silence.

Angela shifted so that she was sitting next to Fareeha. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you the way I did. That was unfair of me.”

And there it was- the one thing Fareeha was waiting for. “I am too. I didn’t mean all I said.”

“No, you were right. I am… vain.” She cringed, it took a lot of strength to admit it. But she finally did and now she didn’t know what to do.

“And I’m cold.” Fareeha said, “I didn’t want to get close because I knew I would have to leave.”

“That’s understandable.” Angela closed her eyes and she leaned over, resting on Fareeha’s shoulder.

Fareeha glanced over to her, hearing her light breaths as the other drifted off to sleep. Angela must have been tired. Did she get sleep at all recently? She sighed and brushed a strand of hair away from Angela’s face. She leaned in and kissed the top of her head, then got back to tinkering with her prosthesis.

 

Angela awoke when Fareeha shook her lightly, “Angela. Angela get up. They’re almost through.”

Angela yawned and blinked, did she fall asleep? She soon became alert when she heard voices that weren’t theirs. She got up and went to where the rocks stacked up. “Hello?”
“Angela!” She heard McCree’s voice from behind, “Hang in there you two, we’re almost through. Better steer clear- who knows what’s gonna happen when we get through.”

Angela backed away from it.

“Angela, get behind me,” Pharah said from across the cave. Angela turned to look at her as she put her helmet back on. Angela nodded and went over to her, sitting down behind the armored soldier. Fareeha positioned herself so that Angela’s head was tucked under her chin securely.

 

The rocks burst, fragments and shards spraying across the cave. Once it all subsided there were footsteps and Fareeha looked up, letting go of Angela.

Ana rushed in first, looking over Fareeha, “Are you okay? Do you have any injuries?” She grabbed Fareeha’s face and inspected it closely.

Fareeha swatted Ana’s hand away, “I’m fine, mum, it's only my legs.”

Ana sighed and nodded, backing away as Zarya moved in.

A cheeky smile soon found it’s way onto Fareeha’s face, “I guess I missed leg day. Think you can give me a hand?”

Angela groaned as she stood up, taking the Caduceus staff back, checking over it to ensure it didn't take any damage.

“Little Falcon needs help? I'm surprised, too stubborn for your own good unless it's for punchline.” Zarya picked Fareeha up with ease. “You're much lighter than I thought, what's your secret?”

“Amputation. I wouldn't suggest it.”

“Come now, let’s return to base.” Zarya said as she carried her out, Angela and Ana in tow.

 

“Am I free to go?” Fareeha asked as she sat up.

Angela nodded as she jotted something down on a piece of paper. “All free. However you're going to be grounded for a few weeks until you get your legs back.”

Fareeha groaned, “I hate being grounded.”

Angela helped her into a wheelchair, Fareeha muttered a thank you and moved to leave. She paused at the door, then turned to look back at Angela. “Angela?”

Angela looked up, “Hm?”

“I missed talking to you…”

Angela smiled, “I did too.”

“Are you um…” Fareeha paused, thinking what she was going to say through.

“Am I…?”

She shook her head, “Nevermind. It's nothing. See you later, okay?”

Angela studied her face, then nodded, “Okay.”


Angela heard a knock at the door to her office and looked up from her work. She took a quick peek at the time, Who would need me so late at night? She wondered as she got up to open the door.

There, in the doorway, was Fareeha Amari in her sleepwear (Angela noted the cute teacup pattern on them with a small smile.)

“Fareeha?”

“Good evening, Doc— Angela.” Fareeha greeted with a smile.

Angela rubbed her eyes, “Evening? Fareeha, it's past midnight.”

“I know that, but if I said ‘good night’ then it would seem like I just came over to tell you I'm going to sleep.”

“I suppose that makes sense… but wait, why are you up this late?”

Fareeha hummed, “I couldn't sleep so I decided to have a movie night.”

“How many people will be there?”

“Just me... and maybe you if you want to join?” A hopeful glimmer was in her eyes and Angela paused to think about it.

“... What movie?”

She grinned, “The Princess Bride.”

“The Princess Bride?” Angela never heard of that movie before, so it was either a new release or an old movie.

“It's really old, but it's still a good movie.” Fareeha pushed her wheel chair out of the way so Angela could walk beside her as they went to Fareeha’s room.

“I look forward to it.”

 

Fareeha sat, watching the show closely, mouthing the lines as if she had seen it a hundred times before. In all honesty, Angela wasn't even paying attention. Instead, she found herself studying Fareeha’s face.

Fareeha glanced over and raised a questionable brow, “Do I have something on my face?”

Angela blushed, caught red handed, “I— no I was just… admiring your eyeliner.” Nailed it.

“That's good, I usually wing it.”

Angela looked at her blankly.

“Because… winged eyeliner? Winging it as in improvising.”

Angela sighed and shook her head, stifling the laugh that dared escape. “Why do you make puns?” An innocent enough question, not even a question, more like an almost statement.

But her laugh died down when she saw Fareeha’s face twist into remorse. Fareeha fell quiet for a moment until she said, “Gabriel taught me.”

“Oh…” Angela’s voice was barely audible. Does she know…?

 

“Reaper is who?” Angela gasped, her hands still shaking from her anger directed at Jack.

“Gabriel…” Ana started with a sigh, her face remained unreadable, “he’s Gabriel.”

“How did you find out?”

“Before our return— we fought him. I took off his mask and he—”

“He doesn't look good, Angela,” Jack finished.

 

Fareeha cleared her throat “He uh… he made them a lot when I was around, so I asked him to explain them to me. A situational play on words, that's what he called them.”

Angela paused, then cautiously continued, “Were you close?”

She smiled softly, “Very. He was like a dad to me. I mean… so was Jack and Reinhardt... but Gabriel was closer.”

Angela nodded and turned to the movie. Fareeha can't know.

Chapter Text

“Here ya go, they’re all fixed up.”

Fareeha smiled, clicking her prosthetics into their joints, “Thank you, Torbjörn. I’m not sure how long I would’ve survived being grounded.”

Torbjörn chuckled, shaking his head, “Well, I’m sure you’ll have to wait a bit longer. If ya want full control of your wings again you’ll have to work on your nerve connection.”

She paused, looking to him, “How did you know about that?”

He tapped the back of his neck with his own prosthesis, “Who do you think built ‘em?”

“Really? That makes sense now. Did Helix commission you to make it?”

“No, it was a design I helped work on before Overwatch’s fall. They simply bought it from me.”

Fareeha nodded, “Think you can help me repair it then?”

Torbjörn chuckled lightly and shook his head, “It wasn't just me that designed it, Angela was the one who designed the actual implant . I'm not a neuroscientist.”

Fareeha nodded and hummed— “Thank you anyways, Torbjörn.”

 

    Fareeha glanced at the clock, Angela was usually in her office at this hour, most likely doing some research. (Or drinking from her secret stash of wine that everyone knew she had.)

She punched in the code to Angela’s office —after finding it was locked, and slid into the room.

There she saw Angela, sleeping at her desk, head resting in her arms as she… snored. Angela snores. That was almost... cute. She ended up sighing, however, when she took notice of the empty wine bottle on the desk. Shaking her head, she went to pick her up and move her to her room. It wasn't good for her posture to be sleeping as such, after all.

Fareeha lifted her with ease, carrying her bridal style. She stopped when she was cut off by Lena, who had just blinked in front of her. “Oh—! Sorry Far!”

Fareeha shushed her, holding on to Angela securely. Lena let out a quiet oh and apologized, she winked and saluted, blinking off again.

As she walked with Angela in her arms, Angela —in either a tired or drunken state, snaked her arms around Fareeha’s neck. She felt her face heat up from it and glanced away from Angela. Once at the door to Angela’s dorm, she paused and tried to open said door. After a moment of fumbling she sighed, “Athena, can you open Angela’s door?”

“Of course, Lieutenant.” The AI said with amusement in her voice. The door slid opened and Fareeha walked in

“Thanks.”

She clambered over and hovered over Angela’s bed, starting to let go of her. Angela, however, had other plans. She would not let go of her neck.

“Angela,” she whispered, “you have to let go.”

“Nooo,” Angela whined, eyes still shut as she gripped onto Fareeha.

“Angela…” Fareeha started to pry her hands off of her neck, she was certainly stronger than she looked. Finally, when she was finally able to peel Angela from her, she let out an exasperated sigh and turned to leave.

She stopped when she heard Angela stir, “Fareeha?”

Fareeha turned to see Angela looking at her groggily, “Yes?”

Angela hesitated for a little bit, then said, “Stay with me…?”

“Uh-” she stopped again to look at the time, after a moment she looked back to Angela and nodded. “Yeah.” She moved to take off her shoes, and stopped at the bed, suddenly becoming self conscious.

Angela scooted over and patted next to her, waiting for Fareeha to slide in.

She took it as the go ahead and laid down next to her, feeling heat creep up her face as she positioned herself so that she was lying face up, and completely still.

“Fareeha.” Angela hummed as she moved closer, arm moving so it was resting on her abdomen.

“Y-yes?” Why was she freaking out about this? She was normal in their couch sessions so why was this any different? What changed?

“Please relax,” and now she was murmuring stuff under her breath as she drifted back into sleep.

Perhaps it was because she never saw Angela in such a calm state, yes that was surely- “hrk

Her thoughts were prematurely cut short as she grunted in pain when Angela kicked her side. Angela kept disproving her impressions of her, this one particular one being sound sleeper. Which it seemed she was anything but.

There was only so much of this she could take but she knew that if she tried, Angela would grab hold of her with her vice grip. So she sighed, accepting her fated existence of getting bruised by a tipsy doctor kicking in her sleep.

 

    Fareeha awoke sluggishly as she sat up, rubbing her face. It took her a moment to notice her surroundings— this wasn’t her room. After a moment of disorientation she recalled last night’s events and let out a sigh. She rubbed the side Angela had kicked her -repetitively.

She shifted so that her legs were hanging off the edge of the bed. She stared down at the prosthetics, suddenly remembering why she went to Angela’s office in the first place. She felt a hand creep on her shoulder, her mind was pulled out of whatever spiral it was going down and was put into full alert mode. Instinct kicked in and she grabbed the hand, then elbow whoever was behind her.

She blinked, realizing that the only person there was her and-

Verdammt.”

Angela.

Fareeha stood and spun around swiftly, “Oh my god— Angela I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to elbow you- you just-”

Angela put up one finger as she held on to her nose, there was a sickening crack making Fareeha wince. “Get me some tissues.”

She nodded, apologizing profusely the entire time, then handed the tissues over. Only then did she notice blood dripping out of her nose, which set her off on apologizing again.

“Fareeha, please. It’s alright.” She finally interrupted.

“I just-”

Fareeha.” Angela sighed, cutting her off once again, “It’s okay…”

There was a pause and Fareeha finally relented, sighing in relief and rubbing the back of her neck. She was still pretty embarrassed about what happened.

Angela looked at her curiously for a moment, then scrunched up her nose. “Wait… what… what are you doing in my room in the first place?”

Oh. Well now this was even more awkward than it was before. “Uh… I… found you asleep at your desk. You were a bit tipsy so when I brought you to your room you asked me to stay.” There was no reason to lie about what happened, it wasn’t like they’d done anything other than sleep, and get kicked in the side.

“I see…” She hummed, and turned away, laying back down on her side so that her back was facing Fareeha.

“You aren’t mad?”

She got a noncommittal hum from Angela, furrowing her brows she stood up, taking it as a sign to leave. Angela was many things, but a morning person didn’t seem to be one of those. “I’ll see you later, Angela.” With that, she grabbed her shoes and slid out the door. She paused, as she stood just outside of Angela’s door, looking forward she saw Zarya standing there with wide eyes.

Only then did Fareeha become aware that she was wearing the same clothes she wore the day before, and that she never made it back to her own dorm.

Zarya smiled widely and patted Fareeha on the shoulder. “Congratulations, Little Falcon.”

Before Fareeha could say anything, Zarya walked off.

Oh no.

She covered her face with her hands, this was not happening. Anyone who knew them would know that they were just friends. It wasn’t hard to tell.

Fareeha slunk down the hall, hunched over slightly as she tried to focus on just getting to her room.

 

    Breakfast was a nightmare from the moment she walked into the dining hall. The first thing she saw was Zarya talking to Mei, Jesse, Lena, and her mother. Oh no. Immediately she started to backpedal, hoping she wasn’t spotted but it was for naught.

“Ah! Little Falcon! There you are!” She heard from across the room, she dared to peek over her shoulder and saw Zarya waving her over. As she grudgingly walked over to the table, her eyes fell to her mother who sat there sipping a cup of tea. She made direct eye contact with her mother, hoping in vain that her pleas for help would transmit telepathically.

Her mother simply wore that placid face that she would use whenever someone got into a stupid situation and wanted to see how it would pan out. Fareeha went to grab some food and sat down silently, she started to eat and hoped it would deter them from talking to her.

“Little Falcon here got laid last night.”

She nearly choked.

Lena looked at her wide eyed, “Really! Wow! Who’s the lucky one?”

She looked to Jesse in hopes that he would show sympathy. Jesse gave her a shrug and took a sip from his coffee. Betrayal. They’re first on her hit list.

“Wait…” Lena paused, and Fareeha could practically see the gears turn in her head. “Oh my god! Was that what you did with Ang last night?”

This wasn’t happening.

Zarya nodded, grinning like a madman, “I caught Little Facon on the walk of shame.”

This couldn’t be happening.

Fareeha looked to Mei, who was unnervingly quiet. Maybe she would be able to pick up on her distress.

No sign was given. This was it— this was how Fareeha Amari died. She accepted her fate. If a hole could just form underneath her and swallow her up that would be great.

“Zarya and I fucked in the gym yesterday,” came Mei’s calm voice.

Immediately, everyone fell silent. Zarya soon became beat red, eyes wide as she stared at Mei in horror.

“I could go into detail about how we-”

“No! It’s fine! I’d rather eat my food…” Lena murmured the last part, looking down at her food.

Mei looked at Fareeha apologetically, then went back to eating.

Fareeha mouthed a thank you as she grabbed her food and made a quick getaway.

 

    Fareeha found solace in her room, eating her meal on her bed as she reflected on the morning’s events. She side, setting the plate aside on her nightstand (she would put it back in the dining hall once she was certain it was safe.) With a sigh she fell back into routine. Shower, change, take medication, morning jog, hit the gym, see if her help was needed around base, report to Helix. It didn’t seem like much when she wrote it down for herself, and in all honesty it wasn’t.

But after what happened that fateful day when she had a panic attack in front of both Zenyatta and Angela, she would rather keep her mind occupied. It turned out, in the end, she has a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She knew she expected it, it’s what her doctors suggested after her legs got amputated but they never dug into it upon her request. It was foolish, she realized, but losing her arm made it all the worse.

It was when she was out running when all these thoughts came to mind, it was part of the reason why she would go on a morning jog daily. It kept her occupied, and that she didn’t mind too much.

It was also when she was out running when she ran into the person she had unintentionally, mind you, been avoiding. “Fareeha!”

Fareeha stopped her jog and looked over her shoulder and saw Angela running to catch up to her. As soon as she stopped jogging, Fareeha noticed the pain in her side but didn’t say anything about it, knowing exactly why it was hurting.

Angela slowed to a stop, breathing heavily as she stopped beside Fareeha, “Do you… really do this… every day?”

Fareeha chuckled, smiling, “You don’t?”

Angela shook her head and bent over, still trying to catch her breath.

“You okay there?”

Angela held up her index finger. Fareeha took this as a sign that she was, indeed, still alive. She straightened up again, breath even now, “Yes. I’m okay.”

“What are you doing running this path?” Of course she was curious, Angela hardly left the lab, and when she did it wasn’t to go out jogging. Unless she actively sought her out, Fareeha had no idea what she was doing here.

“I…” Angela seemed hesitant, chewing on her lip for a moment, her nose scrunching up. “I wanted to talk to you.”

Fareeha’s mind already started racing, did word really travel that fast? Again, knowing Lena was there… That didn’t make her feel any better. “About?”

“Last night.”

Fareeha let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. “What about last night do you want to talk about?”

“We didn’t… do anything did we?”

Fareeha laughed, perhaps too loudly, and mentally kicked herself for that. “Except for getting kicked? Nothing other than sleep.”

Angela looked at her with worry on her face, “Getting kicked…?”

“You… kick in your sleep… A lot, actually.” And there’s that dull ache on her side that was an indicator of what happened last night.

Angela gasped quietly, looking at her apologetically, “Mein gott, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Did I-”

“You left a bruise on the side of my abdomen, yes.”

Angela, in an instant switched to doctor mode and looked at her side, hands reaching out to- “It’s fine though,” Fareeha cut her off and gently grabbed her wrists stopping her from advancing any more. She let go, it was strange to feel Angela’s skin with only one hand. She didn’t like it. Angela retracted her hands away hesitantly. “Honest. It doesn’t hurt that much, besides, it’s just a bruise. I’ve been through worse.”

With a grin, she held out her prosthetic arm, “You gave me a hand with it though.”

An audible, exasperated groan came from Angela, eliciting a satisfied smile from Fareeha.

After a pause, Angela abruptly said, “We would never do something like that though, right?”

Fareeha forced a laugh, looking away awkwardly, “Oh no, never.”

“And we certainly wouldn’t get involved in a relationship.”

She looked at Angela incredulously and shook her head, “No! Of course not.”

“I’m glad we agree.” Angela said quietly, but Fareeha heard anyways and nodded.

Another awkward pause, until Fareeha cleared her throat, “Well, I gotta run.”

Angela rolled her eyes, “You’re incorrigible.”

Fareeha snickered and turned away from her, waving as she started to jog again, “I’ll see you later!”

 

    “Habibti, please sit down. Your pacing is making me restless.” Fareeha heard her mother say from the table. They fell into a new routine which Fareeha accepted gladly. After lunch they would sit and talk to each other over tea. It was a start, if anything.

Fareeha sat down in the chair across from Ana and stared at her fingers as she tapped on the table rapidly.

Ana sighed, “Fareeha.

She stopped, looking up.

“Something is eating at you. Anyone could tell, what’s wrong, habibti?” Ana said as she set down her cup of tea and reached across the table and placed her hand on top of Fareeha’s.

Fareeha leaned back in her chair, staring at the ceiling, “I don’t know. I just… I feel frustrated.”

“Why?”

She dragged her hands over her face with a loud, frustrated groan. “It’s something Angela said. She said that the idea of us being in a relationship would be ridiculous. And I just…? I shouldn’t be upset about it. Why am I so upset about it? It wasn’t even that big of a deal!”

Ana chuckled, causing Fareeha to snap her head forward, glaring at her mother. “What’s so funny?”

“Oh habibti… You’ve been in a relationship before, yes?”

She paused to think, “Yes but… out of obligation.”

“There’s your problem. You wouldn’t know why you’re feeling this way since you’ve only felt it out of obligation.”

Fareeha stayed silent, allowing her mother to continue on.

“How do you feel when you’re around Angela, and only Angela.”

This caused Fareeha a pause, she never thought that over before. She felt safe, of course, she felt safe around other people too but it was a different safe. She also felt like she could fly, not like her Raptora, but really, truly, fly. “She… makes me happy. And I feel safe, and like I could fly all at the same time.”

Ana nodded, closing her eyes as she took a sup from her tea. “Butterflies in your stomach?”

“Yes.”

“You feel flustered even though you know you shouldn’t be?”

“Yes.”

“You want small touches to last longer?”

“Yes.”

“I think you know the answer, then.”

Fareeha took this moment to reflect on everything leading up to this. No— that wasn’t right. She couldn’t… but she was. She leaned forward and rested her elbows on the table, burying her face in her hands.

“And there it is.”

“But I can’t. I have a duty to uphold. If I let myself fall in…” the word hung in the air for a bit, “If I let myself then who knows what repercussions could be caused by it.”

“I do, Fareeha. I know first hand what the repercussions are, we are soldiers. But it’s okay to let yourself indulge in things like that. We have to live before we die, after all. And you will feel pain and heartache from it. But you have to decide on if it would be a good experience or not.”

Fareeha nodded, she knew her mother’s words held wisdom, and it was perfectly reasonable. But there was still that part of her that wanted to back out of it as soon as possible.

 


 

 

    Six months came, and six months went in a fashion that was much like it had been. The only difference for Fareeha now was that she was deliberately trying to avoid contact with Angela for too long.

But when the time came and she stood in the hangar bay, duffle bag and a box containing the Raptora ready to be moved into the VTOL, now was the time she most desperately wanted to see Angela. She already said her goodbye’s to everyone, her mother being the most teary-eyed one.

So there she stood, staring at the ship before her. She glanced back to the door and looked dejectedly back to the entrance of the aircraft. She walked up the ramp and held on to hand-grip, looking back one last time.

Before she could enter she saw the entrance door slide open and Angela dashing over. She stopped, just in front of the ramp. They stared at each other, until Fareeha broke the silence, “So, this is goodbye isn’t it?”

Angela scrunched up her nose and frowned, “I hate goodbyes, don’t say that.”

“Okay… then how about…” She stopped to think about what to say, and when she did think of it, she smiled sadly, “I’ll see you later.”

Angela smiled back in the same demeanor. Fareeha then turned her back and entered the aircraft, the ramp closing shut behind her.

 

“You have done your role in Overwatch quite well and have done distinguishable acts of valor and heroism.”

Fareeha stood stiff, heels together, both arms at her side as she looked at her commanding officer in Helix Security. Her squad stood behind her, a straight line forming. The man pinned another star to her suit, indicating her promotion.

“Captain Amari,” he said with a salute.

She saluted back.

Then, he relaxed and smiled, placing a hand on her shoulder, “Good job. Captain Kalil would have been proud.”

She gave a curt nod.

“Dismissed.”

Everyone started to leave but the officer stopped Fareeha, “I have a mission for your squad. I understand you just got back, but you’re the best team we have.”

“What do you want us to do?”

“The Reaper… we’ve been tracking his movements since he was spotted with two other bounty hunters in Cairo. The other two are known for stealing from Watchpoints we’ve been contracted to protect, and we have reason to believe that they’re in cahoots with The Reaper. We finally pinpointed his location, I want you to bring him in.”

“Of course, Colonel. You can count on us to take him in.”

He smiled, “Good, don’t disappoint me.” With that, he walked off leaving Fareeha to her own devices.

She felt a heavy sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Chapter Text

Angela stared at the screen in front of her, eyes slowly shutting as she yawned. She looked up when she heard the door to her office open, her hopes lifting only to deflate when she saw who it was.

“Expecting someone else?” It was Genji, his faceplate was off revealing the tired look in his eyes.

“No,” yes she was, “I was just…” hoping Fareeha would come through that door, "surprised to see you is all."

He nodded, a skeptical look in his eyes.

She pushed herself away from her desk after finishing an equation and looked up at Genji, “What can I do for you this late, Genji?”

“Ah, yes, well I was just checking to ensure you have not fallen asleep at your desk again.”

Angela raised a brow, “This is new… okay who set you up to do this? Was it Ana or Jack?”

“Fareeha, actually. She also told me to get rid of your wine bottles as soon as possible as well.”

“Did she now?” Angela smiled slightly, Fareeha was always so caring- even when she wasn’t there. She sighed and looked to the cabinet that held her wine. Perhaps it was time to stop, she remembered what Fareeha said one time. It was so her to tell Genji to rid her of her supply.

“Yes, she did. Strict instructions just before she left.”

Angela hummed in response and sighed, getting up, “Alright, who am I to disrespect the Lieutenant’s orders when she’s not here? I will go sleep, but I’m not letting you touch my wine.”

Genji laughed at that and shook his head, “I was not planning to anyways. I know how you get.”

She bid him farewell and slid into her room, falling asleep almost immediately upon impact with her bed.

 

“Alright Fareeha, sit down. What was it you needed from me?” Angela watched as Fareeha took a seat and remove her shirt leaving only a sports bra.

Angela swallowed the lump in her throat, this was her patient at the given moment, treat her like one.

“I just want to make sure my injuries are healing fine.” She started, pointing to the stitches across her abdomen.

Angela nodded and started to inspect them, after a moment she looked back up to Fareeha, “It is healing just fine, Fareeha. No infections.”

Fareeha, instead of smiling like she normally did, pursed her lips.

She raised a brow at this, “Is there something else?”

Fareeha nodded, hand going to the back of her neck, “I need you to look at the implant on my back. It got damaged from an earlier mission. It’s why I’ve been infantry as of late. Torbjorn told me to go to you since… since you designed it.”

“Oh! Why didn't you tell me sooner?”

“Helix told me not to speak of it to anyone. Company policy. I would have had I known you made it.”

Angela nodded in understanding, “How large is the implant, full spinal, half spinal, or a column?” She herself had a full spinal implant, it was the only way for her to get the wings to work on her Valkyrie.

“Half spinal. It’s why my prosthetic stopped working. But Torbjorn outfitted me with new ones so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

She nodded again and pulled out some devices, “If you could lay down on your stomach, and remove your bra so I can gain full access.”

Fareeha did as asked, and Angela scanned the implant. It started at the nape of the neck and stopped at the curve of her spine. There was a fracture in it, two inches below the start of it. “Hm… When was the last time you got a check up on it?”

Fareeha was hesitant at first, then sighed, “Maybe… a little over a year.”

She tsked and shook her head, “You need to take better care of your cybernetics, it strains your nervous system as it does. I will be putting pressure on you back, tell me immediately if it hurts.”

The repairs went smoothly, nothing terrible happened which was always a good sign for the days to come.

As Fareeha put her clothes back on, Angela felt her eyes linger on her back. She was able to observe every vertebrae… The way her shoulder blades moved…

Fareeha turned around, a smile on her lips, “Thank you, Angela.”

She was swiftly brought back into reality and bit the inside of her cheek, a blush creeping up her face, “O-oh! No need to thank me, just… doing my job.” She cleared her throat, “However, I will need you to come to me at the end of every month so I can keep a close eye on that implant of yours.”

“Of course,” with that she bolted out of the medbay. Angela pursed her lips, Fareeha was acting strange ever since… no, it was probably nothing. She probably had somewhere to be.

 

Angela looked up from the book she was reading and to the empty spot next to her. She had grown so use to Fareeha joining her that suddenly reading didn’t seem as enjoyable as it was before. There was no one there to rant about something, no one to tease her when she read under her breath, no one to listen to her every word as if their life depended on it. She sighed, frowning slightly and looked back to the book in her hands.

Normally, one hand was always occupied, combing through her friend’s hair. Why was she thinking about this now? Perhaps it was because she hasn’t had a friend quite as close as Fareeha.

No, she has had Genji at one point, they weren't as close as they were before but... She pushed the thoughts to the side; right now, she had to finish reading the second installment of Too Close to the Sun by the ever mysterious writer, S.R.J.W. This one was called, To the Moon and Back, honestly she wondered how he continued on with the story. She thought Too Close to the Sun ended simply enough, but she supposed it was better than nothing. Especially considering how tragically it ended.

This one was about the Doctor going through great lengths to find peace with her cursed immortality; after decades, she met someone who reminded her too much of the Warrior in a world where humans and the supernatural lived together.

But she didn’t have anyone to tell this to. She glanced to her side again and closed the book. It just wasn’t the same.

Angela nearly jumped off the couch when she finally took notice of the person standing in the doorway, a slight smile on his face as he brought a cup of coffee up to his lips.

“Jack? Sorry I didn’t see you there sooner. What are you doing here?”

He hummed as he made his way across the room, “I’m still deciding.”

“Deciding?” She questioned.

“On what I’m doing here. In the commons. What about you?”

“I was reading.”

“It looked more like sighing to yourself and looking up every few seconds to me.”

Angela furrowed her brows, “I was not doing that.”

“It was exactly what you were doing. Got somethin’ on your mind?”

Angela sighed, not looking at one specific thing.

Jack laughed, “You were saying?”

She looked back at Jack, “I've been thinking about Fareeha a lot lately.”

“Really? Was it about the rumors Zarya and Lena spread six months ago?”

“You heard about that too?” She groaned. “Nothing happened! I just asked her to sleep in the same bed as-”

Jack held up his hand, “I know, I know. I didn't say anything more happened.”

Angela regained her composure, “As I was saying… I've just been worried is all. Before she left, she started avoiding me and I still don't know why. Whenever I wanted her to accompany me somewhere she swiftly declined claiming she had something to do. Just when I thought I was finally understanding her I have to start all over. And now she is back in Helix on the front lines, who knows if they provide emotional support. Do you know, Jack? Because I don't and it's driving me mad! What if she-” she was cut off by Jack’s laughter.

“What? What's so funny? Do you know why I feel like this?”

“I have a good idea of what it is.”

She looked at him pleadingly but he just smiled and started to walk away, mug up to his face. “I won’t tell you though, that’s for you to figure out.”

She let out a frustrated grumble as she leaned back into the sofa.

 

Angela chewed on the end of her pen. She figured out the problem with her nanites, the coding gets corrupted because of wear, so there would have to be a solution to that. Plastic doesn’t erode away fast but… then what? Let the host get plastic poisoning? No, that wouldn’t do. She pulled a syringe out from the draw and injected herself with the newest batch of nanites. It would wear off in a month or so, so that gave her plenty of time to start thinking of a solution. Hmm… maybe she needed a different perspective. She leaned back in her chair, eyes narrow as she looked at the problem before her.

She heard the door to her office slide open and saw Fareeha standing there, two plates of food in her hand. “May I come in?”

Angela smiled brightly, “Of course! I might actually be able to use my help.”

Fareeha walked in and sat down opposite of Angela, placing one of the plates before her. “Good, because I might be able to use your help with this food.”

“Is that what this is for? Any special occasion?”

Fareeha smiled, “No, Genji just informed me that you hardly eat when you’re immersed in your work.”

“I do eat.” She protested, poking at the food.

“Athena, when was the last time Angela has eaten?”

“Approximately fifteen hours and thirty-five minutes.”

“Traitor,” she hissed under her breath.

Fareeha looked at her pointedly.

Angela looked away.

“Angela, you have to take care of yourself. If you keep this up no one will listen to you when you tell them to take care of themselves. Unless you want your Hippocratic Oath to be a Hypocrite Oath.”

“How long have you been sitting on that one?”

Fareeha grinned, “A few months.” Her smile soon vanished and she looked at her seriously. “You can’t keep neglecting your own needs, Angela. It has become concerning, to say the very least.”

“I am taking care of myself, Fareeha.” A stubborn look in her eyes as she defiantly shoved the food away.

“Angela, I mean it. You’re making me worried. You didn’t even leave your office to eat today. Do you know what today is?”

Angela’s heart stopped, oh no, did she forget something important? Was it Fareeha’s birthday? Was it hers?

“We were suppose to go flying together.”

“Oh…” it sunk in. Fareeha seemed so excited about it when she asked her, it looked as if she had something really important she wanted to tell her on said flight. “Oh mein gott, I’m so sorry, Fareeha. I… I completely forgot. I was just so…” Her voice faded, she knew that Fareeha already knew that, but instead of a scolding, Fareeha looked at her softly.

There was a look in her eyes… something that wasn’t there before. What was it? Admiration? Disappointment? Angela couldn’t place her finger on it.

She watched as Fareeha pushed the plate back to Angela and stood up, “Just- take care of yourself, I have a meeting to attend.”

"Wait Fareeha I still need-" before she could finish her sentence Fareeha had walked out the door, "your opinion..."

Angela sighed to herself and stared at the food before her. It didn’t look too bad, in fact, it looked more than appealing. She would have to thank her for it later.

 

“Angela, you’re pacing. And I thought you wanted to talk to me,” Ana sighed as she sipped her tea. “And stop biting your nails.”

“I just don't get it.” Angela sputtered as she stopped mid-step.

“I can't help you if you don't tell me what it is.”

“Me! I can't focus, my heart has been racing almost nonstop. Those are possible symptoms—”

“Angela, please slow down. Take a moment, breathe.” Ana interrupted.

Angela stopped and did as she was told.

“Now sit down and have some tea.”

Angela thinned her lips and sat down, taking a drink from the now-cold tea.

She heard Ana murmur from across the table, "Kan li hadhih almuhadathat min qibal.”

“What was that?”

Ana smiled innocently, “Oh nothing. Now, I want you to put these thoughts aside for now and enjoy the tea with me. Just like old times, yes?”

Angela sighed and nodded, “Of course. You're right, sorry, Ana.”

Ana chuckled, a knowing smile on her face, “Mother knows best.”

 

Midnight hit fairly quickly, and Angela found that sleep didn’t come easily to her that night. Her own mind was running down rabbit trails, not focusing on just one subject but refraining her from sleeping nonetheless.

So she did the one thing she knew how to do in such a situation, go to the common room.

Once there, she started to rummage through the food for a midnight snack. Comfort food, that was perhaps the only thing the others weren’t aware about. That and her sleeping habits. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. She smiled to herself as she got herself a bowl of ice cream, Fareeha was aware about that.

She frowned though, when she looked up realizing that she wouldn’t be graced with her presence tonight. They had similar sleeping patterns, but she knew Fareeha stayed up far later than herself. She scolded her several time for that until she eventually started taking sleeping pills per her request.

She couldn’t stand how little Fareeha cared about herself. Always doing anything for the greater good of others, herself coming second. Maybe that’s why she loved her so much.

The thought was abrupt, and it made her pause for a moment. She stared down at her ice cream as it slowly melted. She became acutely aware of her heart palpitating, her face burning, and the butterflies in her stomach.

Oh…

OH.

She set her spoon down and pushed the food aside, suddenly losing her appetite. Suddenly everything started to make sense.

The reason why she was so self conscious about that one night… even at the beginning of it all. Did she have an underlying crush on the woman the entire time?

She didn’t know, and quite frankly she didn’t want to know.

She’d been in love before, having many lovers during her time but couldn’t commit to them fully. And, if anything, she only had them because of her sexual attraction to the other. But this… this was different.

Angela felt nothing but adoration for Fareeha, she was charming, smart, and passionate in everything she did. Not only that but she was so genuinely caring to the point of self sacrifice. But why? Why that feeling? Angela was comfortable with where she was at with Fareeha, she enjoyed their friendship. She didn’t care about the possibility of kissing those plump lips, snuggling into her in the middle of the night when neither could sleep, touching those- she interrupted her thoughts and buried her face into her hands.

Scheiße,” she cursed to herself. She really was in love, wasn’t she?

No- she couldn’t let this happen, she was a doctor, the last time she was in a relationship with a coworker it didn’t turn out well. Then again, Fareeha was working at Helix again, so technically…

Angela dragged her hands down her face, Why does this have to become complicated so suddenly?

She would rather put sorting through her thoughts off. For now, sleep seemed a lot more appealing.

 

In the morning she fared no better, especially when it was Ana who woke her up. Not only did it complicate her own feelings for Fareeha, but it made her nervous around Ana. Fareeha was her coworker, and on top of that, so was her mother! She will never function like this.

“Angela, it’s nearly noon and you’re still sleeping. Stop moping about not having Fareeha and come out.”

How did she-! She frowned, Ana always did have a sharp eye. She sighed to herself and begrudgingly got out of her bed and hobbled over to the door. When it slid open, Ana stood there with a letter in her hand.

“What?” Her brows knit together in confusion, she never got mail here. Unless…

“It’s from Fareeha, for you actually. That’s why I didn’t bother opening it.” Ana held it out for her to take it.

Upon hearing it was from Fareeha, she took it immediately and ripped it open. There it was, a handwritten letter, neatly written too.

As she read it over, a smile started to spread. She never knew how well Fareeha wrote, she put much detail into her endeavors and explained with great lengths exactly what she had done and why she was sending the letter. And it wasn’t a bore to read either, then again she might be biased.

“Well? What does it say?”

Angela folded the paper back up neatly, the same way it was before she opened it. “Fareeha said she was finally, and officially, promoted to captain. She also explained with great detail the finer quality of the new armor that’s being made. She seemed excited about it it. Also, she explained that she was sent on her first mission since being back and is being deployed out to an old Overwatch armory. She couldn’t tell me why, but she said she might be able to visit after the mission.”

Ana had a worried look in her eye, but she smiled nonetheless, “Ah, I will have to congratulate her when she gets back. No parties though, she doesn’t like parties much.” She then turned and started to leave, but something possessed Angela to stop her.

“Wait, Ana, I need to talk to you about something…”

Ana turned back around and raised an eyebrow, “Oh?”

“It’s… about Fareeha.” She bit her bottom lip nervously.

“If it’s about your feelings towards her, I already know.”

Angela gawked, staring at Ana with wide eyes, “How did you know?”

“Angela, I’ve known you for over twenty years, I would be a fool if I didn’t know. You’re not known for your subtlety.”

She hid her face behind her hands, “I can’t believe this is happening…”

Ana chortled, and moved Angela’s hair away from her face, “Angela, I don’t disapprove, if that’s what you’re wondering. In fact, I want you two to be happy, together. You’re perhaps the only one right for her. You help balance her, and she balances you. You… ah, what’s that English word again? Like when two colors are opposite but look good together...”

She paused in thought for a moment, then nodded, “Compliment, you compliment each other.”

“Ana I don’t think…”

“It wouldn’t hurt to try, Angela. You would be surprised. The first chance you get to talk to her, tell her. Or I will have to order you to, I’m still very much a captain myself.”

Angela sighed and nodded, “You’re right but-”

Ana put her index finger on Angela’s lips and tsked, “Butts are for sitting, Angela. You’ll never know until you try.”

 

Angela paced in her office, what Ana said held weight. They did compliment each other well, and when they flew together… it was like they were in their own world, just the two of them… She wanted that to last forever.

Her phone began to ring, which brought her out of her thoughts. She looked to see who it was and smiled brightly when she saw that it was Fareeha. This was it, she was going to tell her. She didn’t care about any repercussions, she needed to tell her. Now or never.

She took a deep breath and pressed answer. “Hello?”

“Hello, this is Angela Ziegler, yes?”

That wasn’t Fareeha.

“Yes, how did you get that phone?”

“You were the first on Miss Amari’s contacts. She’s in surgery right now, there’s been an emergency.”

All the color drained from her face.

Chapter Text

Reaper let out a low, rumbling chuckle as he approached Pharah’s form. Smoke rose from the jets on her back and fuel leaked from the cells. She laid on the ground, barely breathing and in a fetal position. Her rocket launcher was obliterated, the carcass of it strewn all around her. Her right arm felt like it was burning, the metal of her gauntlet digging into whatever was left of it. The desert sun beat upon her making her feel as if death grabbed hold of her entire being.

The crunch of Reaper’s boots sounded quiet compared to the ringing in her ears. He walked to her side and kicked her over so that she was facing up. The force of the kick caused her to cry out in pain. The wraith crouched over her. “And so, Icarus falls. You put up a good fight— not good enough though.”

She blacked out.

Two Hours Ago

Fareeha stared ahead as the APC lumbered through the sands of the Giza Plateau. She only looked over when she saw one of the new recruits sit beside her. “Rookie,” she acknowledged.

“Private Hidaya, Captain. I’m a sharpshooter, just like your mother, ma’am. I really looked up to her when I was young. She was the reason I joined your group- erm- I mean… it’s an honor to be fighting under an Amari. Uh… I mean...” The woman’s face became beet red when she realized she was blabbering.

Fareeha smiled slightly, she was use to it at this point. It made it all the clearer that Priv. Hidaya was new to Helix. She hadn’t seen her around base until recently — well, until she was placed in her platoon. Then again, she had only been back in the organization for about a week preparing for the mission.

“Welcome to the kill everything team, Hidaya.” There was mirth in her eye when she took notice of the way Hidaya fumbled for a moment before nodding.

“Th-thank you, Captain! I won't fail you!”

“Ooooh, Captain got one of the rookies to swoon over her.” Fareeha flinched when she heard the whisper in her ear, turning immediately to see who it was.

She sighed and rolled her eyes, “At least I have people swooning over me, Saleh. What do you have swooning over you? Baboons?”

Laughter filled the APC and Fareeha grinned when she saw the hurt look on Saleh’s face. “You wound me, Amari.”

“The truth is painful,” she chuckled.

“1 hour until we rendezvous with the extraction team.” Came the voice of the driver to the vehicle.

“Alright team, gear up. Once we have touchdown, I want to split up into two teams to surround the armory. Pull straws, whoever gets the shorter ones go headfirst with me into the armory. The longer ones can flank with Tariq. Understood?”

Everyone nodded and Fareeha put a clip into her rocket launcher, “Let’s go kick ass.”

 

“Tariq, status update.”

“It’s clear so far, pretty quiet… I don’t like it, Cap.”

Pharah’s heart pounded against her chest, her adrenaline making her want to just run down the halls rather than stalk slowly through them. The light from her launcher shone into each room they checked. For an Overwatch armory, it sure looked like some sort of accounting business. “Keep your eyes peeled, Tariq. He could be aware of our presence here already. Don’t let him get the jump on you.”

“Understood.” The coms went silent and Pharah stopped in front of a large door. Her eyes scanned for any way to enter when she spotted a identity reader on the opposite wall. She signaled her team to stop and move to cover.

She dug into her suit and pulled out her mother’s old ID, it was an object only she and her mother knew she had, and so far it has been one of the most useful items she has taken with her on missions like these.

The red light on the reader went from red to green and with a creak, the door split open. She signaled her team to follow after her. Their footsteps echoed through the building, this must have been the true armory. Was it really an Overwatch armory? she briefly thought as she took notice of the weapons. They certainly weren’t the uniform colors.

Upon entering an even larger part of the building, she shone her light forward and saw a black mass crouched over something. It was Reaper. She glanced over and saw the iconic mask was set down on a table, his back was turned to them but he definitely took notice of their approach. His clawed fingers started to reach out for the mask but stopped when her team collectively cocked their weapons.

“Don’t move,” Pharah said forcefully, “you’re to be taken into the custody of Helix for your crimes.”

“Go away,” Reaper’s voice didn’t seem to be as muffled and scratchy as it was rumored, in fact it sounded… familiar.

“No one can run from justice forever, and your time running is out, Reaper.”

Reaper sighed and he grabbed his mask, putting it back to his face, “Disappointing. I hoped I wouldn’t have to bloody myself today.”

A shot fired off and Pharah looked over to see smoke rising from Hidaya’s gun. “Private! The hell? Don’t shoot, I repeat, do not shoot!

“Captain I-” Hidaya was cut off by laughter from Reaper.

Reaper started to move swiftly towards Hidaya, thinking quickly, Pharah ignited her jets and tackled Reaper to the ground. “Saleh! Get the team out of here!” She called out as she grappled with the mercenary, struggling to keep him to the ground.

“But Captain-!”

“That’s an order , none of you have the mark VI, I don’t want you to get hurt. Now go.”

“You heard her! Move! Move!”

 

Once she was certain they were gone, she ignited her jets again, this time directing them upwards. She ducked her head down as they burst through the top of the building. Reaper got one of his arms free from her grip and she heard a shot ring out. She expected to feel pain but instead she smelled smoke. How the hell- he didn’t even have guns.

She couldn’t stop herself from letting go of him and watched as he fell. Just before impact, his form was replaced with a black fog and then back into his original form. Of course. The reports certainly weren’t exaggerating when they said his abilities seemed inhuman. She didn’t allow that moment to overcome her, instead, she shot one of her rockets at him. It hit him directly below his feet and a mixture of smoke and dust began to rise. Her jets started to sputter so she made the immediate decision to land, not wanting a repeat of last time.

When she landed she stood where she shot her rocket and waited for the smoke to clear. Before she could make any evasive maneuvers, a clawed hand reached out and grabbed her by the neck, lifting her off the ground as Reaper started to reappear.

Pharah let out a choked grunt and lifted her legs so that they were against his chest and ignited her jets again. The damage caused by Reaper backfired quite literally on him at full force as they started to burn his legs.

Reaper let out a pained howl and let go of her neck, allowing her to not only escape him but gain her distance again as well. She shot off another rocket as soon as possible, not wanting to let him recover. Before it could hit him he turned into a fog again and started to move towards her.

She lifted her left arm to shoot off her concussive rocket at him and hopefully slow him down but before she could, he reformed, shotguns in hand and he shot a volley of bullets at her.

Pharah watched in horror as one of the slugs entered the barrel of her rocket launcher. What happened next happened so quickly. The slug ruptured the cavity which housed the rockets, and then a chain reaction went off. The four remaining rockets exploded one by one and the rest of her rocket launcher went with it in her own hands. Because of the shear strength of the explosion she could feel the flesh on her right hand start to rip away from her body, heat started to sear through her breastplate and burn her skin. Shrapnel from the carcass of the rocket launcher dug into her armor, one so large it severed her prosthetic arm from its place. The blast caused her to fly back, landing harshly on the hot desert sand.

The wraith crouched over Pharah's form. “And so, Icarus falls. You put up a good fight— not good enough though.” He used the barrel of one of his shotguns to lift Pharah’s helmet visor up. What he saw caused him to freeze. “No…”

His shotguns dissipated into a fog as he dug under what was left of the armor for dog tags. Once found, he pulled them closer so he could read them.

He dropped them quickly, as if it was searing hot iron burning his hand. Eyes wide behind his mask as he stumbled backwards. “Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Oh god, kid, I'm sorry I didn't… oh god she’s dying.”

He tore off his mask and picked her up.

Pharah lulled in and out of consciousness, at one point she glanced up to him, and muttered something.

“You gotta speak up kid, I can't hear you.”

“I thought… you were dead,” she lost consciousness.

Gabriel clenched his jaw, what had he done? Blood seeped out of her armor as he moved swiftly, what was he supposed to do? He couldn't bring her to Talon— he can't do that to her. The only thing he could do was bring her to a hospital.

He prayed that he would get there fast enough.

 

Gabriel stumbled into an ER, blood trailing behind as it dripped down Fareeha’s limp form. “Please,” he begged, “you have to help her.”

The nurse at the front desk widened her eyes and called immediately for doctors.

They rushed to him with a stretcher and took her from him, placing her on the stretcher and vanishing to stabilize her.

Gabriel let out a shaky breath and sat down in the waiting room, hands covering his face.

An hour later one of the Doctors approached him, “Sir? I need to ask you a few questions.”

Gabe was hesitant, but he nodded and let the doctor sit next to him.

“What happened?”

“An explosion.”

“Do you know an Angela?

Gabriel stopped, eyes narrowing at the doctor, “Why?”

“Miss Amari has been fading in and out of consciousness, whenever we would try and ask her questions she would keep asking for her.”

Gabe was hesitant, but he nodded, “Here, give me something to write on.”

The doctor handed over a clipboard that had information already filled on it. Gabe didn’t give the effort to look over all of it before writing down a number. “I don’t know if the number is right anymore, but you should call it.”

The doctor smiled and and stood up, he looked away and told a nurse to call the number, “Sorry, thank you-” when he turned back around, Gabe was gone.

 

When Fareeha woke up, she found she was back in Helix’s barracks, she felt a pounding on her right arm and against her chest but she paid no mind to it. It didn’t even cross her mind to check herself before moving, rather, the first and foremost concern on her mind was her team. Were they safe? Did they get hurt? Are they okay?

She stumbled out of her bed and left her dorm. The hallways seemed to stretch on and on as she continued to walk. Well, walking was a bit of an overstatement, she was more stumbling forward and supporting herself against the walls.

She stopped walking when she heard voices behind the walls. Her eyes searched for a door and spotted one not too far away, it was open so she walked in.

Upon seeing who it was-- she froze instantly. “C-.... Captain Khalil?”

Khalil looked up and smiled, “Ah, Fareeha, we were just talking about you.”

“We?” It was only then that she took notice of her other squadmates. Aizad, Mahmud, Okoro, her whole team was there. But… they were dead, weren’t they? She wracked her brain for any memories of what happened prior.

“Easy now, Amari, don’t overwhelm yourself. Just sit down for now, take a minute to breathe. You just went through a lot.”

Fareeha, instead of following his instructions, stood stock still. Her eyes darted up to him, something didn’t feel right about this. A wave of unease washed over and she took a step back. “You’re dead, you’re all dead.”

Okoro was the first to speak, his monotonous voice never betraying anything he truly thought, “Yes. You are correct, Captain. And so are you. Well, mostly dead, my condolences.”

“No… I can’t, I have so much to do.” Panic was in her voice and she took another step back.

Khalil nodded, “You do, which is why we’re here.”

“I don’t understand.”

“If we were not here, you would continue on down the hall you came down. We don’t know where it leads, really, but we know that if you go down it you won’t be able to come back.”

Fareeha remained silent, waiting for him to continue.

“So we’re here to give you an opportunity that we didn’t have… A choice.”

“What’s the options?” she asked eagerly.

“Go down the hall, see what’s beyond, or you can go back to the living.”

She thought over the pros and cons, On the one hand, she would go back and she would have to endure the pain. She would endure it, she would learn from it, and most importantly she would be able to change . She could help change the world, she had that ability.

On the other hand she wouldn’t have to deal with the cards she had been given in life. She wouldn’t have to constantly struggle with herself as a person, not have to worry about her insecurities or any more hurt or pain she might have to endure. But what startled her the most about that option was that this wasn’t the first time she thought about it, and she doubted it would be the last.

“We’re losing her!” One of the doctors barked over the loud continuous scream from the heart monitor.

Angela came rushing to the door of where Fareeha had been transferred but was stopped by a few nurses. She desperately tried to push them aside and climb through, “Let me in! I’m her-” She watched, just before they shut the door, one of the doctors pull out a defibrillator.

“She’s my…” The door slammed and she was guided away from the OR. She’s my what?

My other half, she completes me, she is my sky, and if she leaves... She cut herself off, no, Fareeha was the strongest person she ever knew. She will get through this.

 

Fareeha slowly opened her eyes, and was met with the blinding lights above her head. The next thing she noticed was how damn dry her throat felt. She didn’t want to acknowledge how heavy her right arm felt, she had an idea as to why that was, it was familiar to her.

Next, she took notice of the person…? That’s a person, yes, not a glob of black smoke. They appeared to be sleeping in a cot that was pulled into the room.

Ah, yes, that’s where she was. A hospital.

A hospital. Shit.

In that moment she became acutely aware of what happened and she moved to get up but immediately regretted that decision. Her head hit the pillows and she closed her eyes. She needed to take stock of what was going on.

Okay, prosthetic legs? Check. Head? Check, that’s a good thing. Left prosthetic, she felt the fabric of the sheets and nodded to herself, check . It took her a moment longer to process what just happened. She ran her fingers over the sheets once more, and took notice that they were coarse and thin. Coarse. Thin.

She blinked.

She could feel.

A grin spread on her face and she flexed her fingers all the while pulling them out of the sheets. She could feel with her left arm. Full on, actual feeling. It wasn’t dulled, it wasn’t numb, it was the whole thing.

However, her mood quickly dropped when she went to move her right arm. It was sluggish, and her shoulder was burning. Fareeha’s grin fell even more when she looked over. Her entire right arm was cybernetic. As opposed to her left arm, where it stopped just above her elbow, this one included her shoulder. She had expected it to be wrapped in bandages at the very least but not this.

She felt bile rise in her throat and she turned her head to stop looking at it. Her mind began to spiral down a dark path, only to be brought out of it when the person in the cot shifted. Just as they shifted, her focus shifted as well.

Who are they? Was her initial thought, but when she saw familiar gold locks peeking out of the sheets that had been sloppily thrown over them she smiled slightly. Yes, that was definitely Angela. She didn’t think to question how, or why, she was here, instead taking it as face fact.

Angela shifted again, this time so that she was facing Fareeha. Fareeha watched her face for a time, I must have worried her so much. And the team… the team, shit are they okay? Are they safe?

She moved to get up and winced, stopping just short of her feet touching the ground. She brought her left arm up to her bandaged chest. She could still feel the ghost of a burn behind it. Fareeha let out a shaky breath and almost stood up. She was interrupted, however, by a voice from beside her.

“Where do you think you're going?”

She whipped her head around to see who was talking and saw Angela sitting up, a sigh of relief left her lips and her shoulders relaxed, “I… my team. I need to report to Helix.”

Fareeha watched as Angela got up and walked around the bed so that she was standing in front of her. She pulled up a chair and sat down.

“Your team is okay, they stopped by to check on you not long ago, they left you a few get well cards too.”

Fareeha closed her eyes and nodded, “Okay… that’s good, they’re okay. They’re fine…”

It was quiet for a moment before she spoke up again, “How long is my medical leave from Helix?”

“They said as long as you deem fit.”

“Okay.” More silence and Fareeha shifted so she was laying back down, “It happened again…”

“Fareeha-”

“You know… when I became a soldier I didn’t expect to lose all of my limbs. But here I am. Again . How long was I out this time? A week I’m going to assume, judging by how little the joints to my prosthetics don’t hurt as much.”

Angela nodded, her lips thinned and Fareeha looked at her quizzically.

“It’s nothing, I’ll go tell your doctor that you’re awake. You should be cleared to go soon.”

“Okay… thank you, Angela. I mean, I still have a few questions but they can wait for later.”

Angela smiled softly, “Of course.” She lingered for a moment longer seemingly in thought, before getting up and leaving the room.

Fareeha sighed and frowned, why do things like this keep happening to her? Well… at least this time she didn’t wake up to a nurse screeching for a doctor when she lost her legs. That was something else.

She closed her eyes and let herself succumb to sleep.

 

When Fareeha was cleared, Angela told her that she booked a room at a hotel and that they would be going there first. Then, they can go get her stuff from Helix, and after that, physical therapy.

The drive to the hotel was quiet for the most part. Angela understood, after what Fareeha just went through she didn’t blame her. At least she was alive. But she didn’t know what was going on in her head, she didn’t know what exactly she went through.

“I died.” Fareeha said so abruptly Angela nearly stopped the car. She slowed down, pulling over to the side of the road and stopped.

She looked at the steering wheel for a fraction of a second, then over to Fareeha.

“I died, Angela,” she repeated, an empty look on her face, “for a moment I died. I felt myself die. I know I died. I was in a hall, and then I saw my old team. The ones that died on a mission...”

Angela’s grip on the steering wheel tightened. She had revived people from the brink of death, she’d lost people for a moment on her operating table before, they never left the same way they came in. They had the same look on their face that Fareeha had now. “Fareeha…”

“It was… peaceful, actually. My mind was clear, maybe the clearest it’s ever been...”

“Don’t talk like that,” Angela snapped, her jaw clenched and hands gripping the wheel impossible tight, “don’t talk like dying would have been better.”

Fareeha stared at her with wide eyes, “Angela I…”

“I could have lost you,” her voice became strained “I could have lost you and I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that I-” She cut herself off, tears starting to fall down her cheeks. Fareeha reached over with her one hand and gently pulled Angela’s hands off the steering wheel and held onto them. She placed her other hand on her cheek and wiped away the tears.

Fareeha then started to thumb the top of Angela’s right hand with her new right one. “My old prosthetics were military grade,” she said quietly, a smile in her voice, “I couldn’t feel anything before. It was numb. I knew I had an arm but I couldn’t feel it was there . When I held something, I knew I was holding it but it was hard to tell sometimes. It took longer than you think to get use to it.”

Angela sniffled.

“But… Now I can feel, Angela. I can feel again and suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad anymore. I wouldn’t give my life up for a moment of peace, Angela. Yes, the thought has crossed my mind, more times than I would like to admit but… After what happened, I started to think… It’s not worth dying if I don’t get to see you… I have so much in life to offer, I’m not done here yet.”

Angela’s heart skipped a beat when Fareeha maneuvered their hands so their fingers were linked. A smile graced Fareeha’s face, “I… I almost forgot what if felt like to feel with this hand.”

Fareeha let go and Angela already found herself missing the feeling of Fareeha’s hand in hers. “We should probably get to the hotel before nightfall.”

Angela nodded and wiped her cheeks. She looked ahead again, turning the car back on, “Of course…”

The rest of the drive was quiet.

 

When they arrived at the hotel, Fareeha was more than happy to be walking around again. She told Angela that she was starting to get restless in the car so they had to stop several times for her to be able to stretch. She always asked with the utmost respect.

(“Angie, please, I have to move around.”

“If we make any more stops we won’t get there before midnight.”

“I don’t care, I’ll bail out while we’re still moving if I have to.”

“I might have to bring us back to the hospital and ask if you have head trauma.”)

And when they discovered that the room had only one, queen sized bed, it was even more of a riot.

(“Didn’t you check before booking it?”

“Shut up, I was tired.”

“And I was in a week long coma. That’s not much of an excuse, Angie.”)

When did she become Angie?

“I’ll just sleep on the couch,” Angela insisted.

Fareeha was already laying down on one side of the bed. She frowned, “No, you won’t. Just… stay with me. Please.”

Angela pursed her lips, but finally relented and laid down, her back turned to Fareeha. Fareeha turned the light off and turned so that she was facing Angela’s back. She moved closer to her and wrapped one arm around her, burying her head in her hair.

“Are you comfortable with this?” She whispered.

“Yes,” Angela whispered back, then pushed herself up against Fareeha.

Nothing more needed to be said, they both knew what they were thinking, but neither of them were ready to say it.

So they laid there, their breathing matching each other’s, and let the exhaustion of it all wash over them.

Chapter Text

Even after a year, Angela kept in contact with Fareeha. So much happened following that time they barely had any time to themselves, and when they did they were skirting around the obvious. Both knew how they felt, both wanted to say something but because of all the hecticness life brought them they couldn’t find it in themselves to admit it outloud.

Fareeha recovered, perhaps more quickly than Angela had ever seen someone recover, but she had her insecurities. (Fareeha once confessed this, under the light of the moon as she dragged a cigar. She recalled that memory too vividly. Perhaps it was the shock, the horror that the one she found so dear to her was partaking in such dangerous activities. Was blatantly reckless.)

 

Angela rubbed her eyes when she heard footsteps. She must have fallen asleep reading. They had since left the hotel and Angela was now staying with Fareeha at her apartment, it had been a month since the incident that left Fareeha on medical leave. They said she would have to take as much time if she needed, lest there were psychological issues that might pop up and halt Fareeha’s productivity. Helix was very demanding, from what she understood.

But that was in the past, now Angela was worried about what Fareeha was doing up so late. Her wounds were still healing.

She stumbled off the couch in a half sleep daze and went to  the porch outside. She paused before going out, however, when she saw Fareeha light a cigarette.

Now fully alert, the corners of her lips fell and her brows furrowed. She opened the door and stood there for a while before saying anything. “You know… smoking is bad for your health.”

Fareeha jumped and turned her head quickly to Angela. Upon seeing her, she relaxed more and turned her back towards her again. She grunted in acknowledgement to Angela’s earlier comment.

She approached slowly and stood next to Fareeha, placing a hand over the other’s. “You can talk to me you know…”

Fareeha pulled away the cigarette and let out a long breath, smoke spilling out of her mouth. “I'm part of a militia.” She stated.

It seemed she needed a little push. “Yes…”

“I have a chance of getting hurt.”

“Go on…”

Fareeha let out a frustrated sigh, dipping her head down to look over the edge, her hair blocking the view of her face. “Why should I worry about what a cigarette does to my lungs if every day doing my job could be my last one? Dying is an occupational hazard.” She moved her arm and looked at the palm of her hand, “This is proof. I almost died… I did die. So what if I get sick from cigars? I won’t even have the chance to…”

Angela moved her own hand and put it into Fareeha’s palm. She squeezed her palm then looked up at her, her eyebrows drawn in together. “Fareeha… Your hands are proof you survived . Not that you failed. Your team is still alive because of you..”

Fareeha looked up and out, moving the cigarette back up to her mouth. “Maybe you're right… but maybe you're wrong.”

Angela thinned her lips and let go of Fareeha's hand. She turned to go back inside but stopped just before closing the door, “Stop trying to shut me out… I'm trying to help you.”

“Not everyone wants help.”

 

Perhaps that was what struck a chord in her. Not everyone wants help. The weight of those words came staggering down on Angela a day later when Fareeha was at physical therapy.

 

Fareeha was back on duty now, with Helix. So with the added distance, they couldn’t find the time.

At this point, it was like an endless dance. They would dance with someone else, and when at last they tried to meet back up to dance with each other once more they were pulled away by another partner.

In Angela’s case, her partner was Overwatch. It was in an uproarious state for the past few months, not because of Talon or any third party terrorism, but because several countries around the world were putting together a petition. The petition was to repeal the Petras Act, which meant… If the Petras Act was no longer in place, then Overwatch would, at last, be able to operate legally. It was a step forward, to say the very least. (Angela kept her lips tight, not wishing to upset anyone with her view on it. As they say, one step forward; two steps back.)

Overwatch’s only problem now was , they had no real leader. Winston — bless his heart — was trying his best, but he just didn't have the training for it. He was a scientist at heart. Both Jack and Ana didn't want anything to do with leading the new Overwatch, but where it was needed, Ana stepped in from time to time. Reinhardt and Torbjörn shared Jack and Ana’s opinion on the matter and stepped back from any leading. All the other trained military people weren't too confident in leading the entire group, along with the new recruits they weren't quite sure what they were going to do.

Which lead to a few collaborative efforts with other organizations that wish to support Overwatch’s return. So one could imagine the look on Angela’s face when she found out Fareeha and her team would be assigned back into Overwatch.

 

Angela was one of the first people there when Fareeha’s ship had touched town. She was a little disappointed when she didn’t see Fareeha exit first. The other people who left first must have been her team that she talked so often about. She was just about to head out when she saw her, pausing in her tracks she stared.

Fareeha stood at the door of the Orca, a duffle bag was slung over her shoulder, her hair was up in a ponytail and she wore those stupid aviators on her face. Fareeha looked around the room before she set eyes on Angela. A smile slowly found its way onto her face and she walked down the ramp. She didn’t make it much further before Angela was the one who closed the gap between the two. She wrapped her arms around the taller woman.

“Hey there,” Fareeha chuckled and wrapped her own arms around Angela.

“Overwatch hasn’t been the same without you. I-- we missed you…” She tried to quickly correct herself.

“Well, I don’t think they share the same sentiments as you.” Fareeha smiled that smile and kissed the top of Angela’s forehead.

“Okay fine, I missed you. But they miss you too! Probably… So… you need to introduce me to your team some time. I’m sure there’s plenty of stories they have to tell about their Captain Amari.”

Fareeha laughed lightly and nodded, “Trust me when I say this, I have more embarrassing stories about them than they do me . Actually, I could introduce you to them later this evening. We have to go through a few simulations, there’s a few rookies to the Raptora program, I have to show them how to work the armor properly . You can come if you want, you know… medic on standby?”

“I’ll think about it…”

Fareeha looked at her with sad eyes.

Angela rolled her eyes and sighed, “Fine, I’ll go.”

“Alright!” Fareeha grinned at her, “I’ll see you then!”

 

By the time Angela showed up to the armory, Fareeha and her team were all almost completely suited up. She spotted Fareeha talking to one of the men in her squad as she put on her armored glove. She watched them talk for a moment before Fareeha spotted her and waved her over.

“Angela! This is my second in command, Saleh. Saleh, Angela.”

Saleh whistled, “So you’re the Captain’s girlfr-” before he could finish the sentence, Fareeha covered his mouth.

“Sorry, Saleh is quite the comedian, isn’t that right, Saleh?

Saleh let out a grunt, brows furrowed, then he nodded. Fareeha let go and shook her head.

“You still owe us that dinner…” He said quietly.

“Dinner?”

“Nothing you should be worried about, Saleh only works with us for free food.”

“That’s not-”

“Hey Saleh, come here I need to fix something on your suit.” Came a voice from behind him.

Saleh rolled his eyes and groaned, standing up, “What do you want this time, Tariq?”

Fareeha watched as he walked off, then she turned to look back at Angela, “I swear, I’ve just become an over glorified babysitter keeping track of these idiots.

Angela laughed, “Well, at least you know you’re good with kids.”

There was an awkward pause between the two of them. They still needed to discuss things, where they stand. What they want with each other.

But for now, Angela decided to move the subject to the back of her mind. “Is that new armor?”

Fareeha beamed at the question on her armor and nodded, “Yes! Mark VII. It’s more focused on the safety of the pilot and to be able to fly faster. It looks sleek, doesn’t it?”

Angela observed it for a moment, her eyes scanning it up and down. It certainly fit Fareeha well. “Yes, very impressive.”

She watched as Fareeha put on her helmet, nearly the same in design as the last one. However, this one had what appeared to be an opaque mask under the visor.

“The mask is new.”

Fareeha nodded and clicked the side of her helmet, she watched in awe as the mask folded back and she lifted her visor. “It’s my oxygen mask, without it I’d pass out from the speeds I’ll hit. It’s far more useful than having just trained breathing. You should consider getting one for yourself.”

Angela chuckled and shook her head, “No, I’ve never planned on flying higher than it’s necessary. Thank you for suggesting it though.”

Fareeha gave her a look accompanied by a slight laugh. “Well then,” she started, pushing her visor back down and activating her mask, “see you in the air!”

 

By the time Angela got out to where Fareeha said they would be training, all of them were in the air save for Fareeha herself. She stood alone, holding her helmet under one arm and blocking the sun with the other as she looked up.

“I thought you were going to be up with them,” Angela observed out loud as she stepped beside Fareeha.

Fareeha let her arm relax and she looked to Angela with a slight shrug, “No, I get too carried away when I’m up there. I need to keep an eye on them to see how they’re doing.” She opened her mouth to say more stopped herself short.

Just say it , Angela kept the thought to herself, instead she leaned over slightly against her.

Fareeha smiled slightly, “Is that comfortable?”

“Yes.”

She looked at her skeptically.

“... No, not really.”

Angela stopped leaning against Fareeha and took her hand in her own. “We still haven’t talked about this.” She said just above a whisper.

Fareeha squeezed her hand, “No… we haven’t.”

“What are we? Where do we stand?”

Fareeha puckered her lips slightly, something she did whenever she was thinking, Angela noticed. They stayed silent like that for some time before Fareeha finally said, “I don’t know anymore… maybe we should put a pin in this until we’re out of uniform.”

Angela nodded, she understood how selfish that was to lay a heavy question on Fareeha like that. Especially during her work. It was unprofessional of her, and she silently cursed herself for not stopping herself.

What they are is something they haven’t established yet. Is something they have been tiptoeing around for so long they started to lose sight of what it was. Is the uncertainty and the doubt about the future. Is the knowledge of each other’s feelings but nothing more. Is something unsaid, especially at a time like this, especially with Overwatch’s official reform.

“Why was I sent back here, Angela?”

The abrupt question pulled her out of her thoughts so harshly she had a double take, “Pardon?”

“Why did Helix allow me to return? And with my team, nonetheless. They told me nothing other than I should pack my things.”

“Well,” Angela started tentatively, she didn’t know the exact reason. She had her theories -- her hypothesis, but she wasn’t certain, “Winston doesn’t want to lead Overwatch with all these new recruits. He doesn’t know how, doesn’t have the training for it. And with Overwatch’s reestablishment, we need… a Strike Commander.”

“...Me?”

“I,” she drawled, “don’t know if it’s going to be you. They’re watching for a few other people. But you’re definitely a candidate.”

“Why the secrecy then?”

“Captai- your mother thought it would be a fun surprise. I know you hate surprises though, so that’s the only reason I’m telling you.”

Fareeha hummed in acknowledgment and closed her eyes.

“Isn’t that good news? You could be Strike Commander, you always-”

“Honestly,” Fareeha cut her off and turned to look at her, her brows were knit together and her lips drawn tight, “I’m… a little scared. I know it’s everything I’ve ever wanted. But… what if I’m not good enough? I doubt I can ever be as good as Jack-”

“No. You won’t ever be as good as Jack… You’ll be better, Fareeha. Look at Jack now, he’s a cranky old man who was thrown into Overwatch without asking. But you worked your way here. You worked so hard. Fareeha, you gave two of your arms just to save people. If that’s not dedication to your duty I don’t know what is.”

Fareeha allowed a small smile, “Maybe you’re right… I’m more than happy to give people a hand.”

Angela shook her head and pushed Fareeha’s face away as she cackled at her own joke. “Here I am, giving you the best advice I could scrounge up, and you’re making puns. Maybe I should save my words of wisdom for people with no sense of humor.”

“Teach me your ways, old wise one.”

“I’m not old you ass.”

“Don’t you know? Wise people are born old.”

Angela laughed.

This... this is what she loved about Fareeha. That despite everything, she’s still Fareeha. And Fareeha is a dork who loves puns, bad music, cheesy romcoms, and… Angela hoped her name was on that list somewhere.

Fareeha turned her head back up to the sky to watch her team go through their routines and maneuvers. Angela watched too.

Their flying was so much more different than Fareeha’s. When they flew, it truly reminded her of how mechanical those faux wings were. When Fareeha flew, it was as if she herself was a falcon, a true protector of the sky, as if she had done it since she was born.

She stopped looking at the people already in the air, and at Fareeha. She smiled brightly, “Fareeha?”

Fareeha to look back at her, “Hm?”

“Come fly with me. It’s been so long… for training, of course.”

Fareeha smiled as she started to put on her helmet, “All you had to do was ask.”

Chapter Text

While the year seemed to go by in a blur to Angela, it crawled by painstakingly slow for Fareeha. She was still recovering, going through physical therapy was a necessity she found rather unenjoyable once Angela went back to Overwatch.

She hated it, hated being useless. The sooner she’d get back out into the field, the better.

It must have been some sort of blessing that the team she led was willing to wait. Tariq or Saleh would usually pick her up after her physical therapy and take her to the barracks so she could assess their work.

It’s a slow progression compared to when she lost her other hand, she suspects it has more to do with the fact that she nearly died than the loss of a limb. The phantom pains eb in and out on hard days, and for the most part. 

She’s gotten back on duty- not out on the field quite yet, no, but it’s more of the paperwork that comes with being a captain of a team. Requests and such that she’d never been much interested in before all this happened. But now she finds she doesn’t mind all too much as long as she’s able to do something.

She exchanges texts with Angela often, selfies taken with her team, small things that remind her of her. She leaves out for the most part how difficult it’s been without her. And a part of her even wants to apologize for what she said that night.

She finds herself, more often than not, sending a simple “I miss you.” Then she decidedly looks anywhere but at her phone.

 

Time passes, and she finds herself at Overwatch again, and this time… this time she allows herself to be ecstatic. This time she allows herself to be excited that she’s here , and she’s going to stay here. All she has to do is complete a few forms and the transfer will be complete.

Helix is many things, destructive, uncaring of citizen casualties, money mongers; but she will give them this one thing. It’s the least they could do for compensation of the incident.

When she lands, Angela at her side, she can’t help but feel she’s still flying.

“I missed you,” she finally says.

Angela glances up from whatever she was focusing on and fixates her gaze on Fareeha, eyes soft and smile even softer. “I missed you too.”

Before taking off her helmet she clicks on her coms system, “Saleh, you’re in charge. I have some catching up to do.”

“Yes, Captain.”

She clicks it off and removes her helmet, pushing it up under her arm, “Let’s get out of this armor.”

Angela nods and they make their way to the armory, slowly removing the armor. There’s a weight in the room, a heavy presence of words unsaid that they both know they so desperately need to say. So they take their time, stalling.

Fareeha glances at Angela out of the corner of her eye. Many people say she looks like an Angel, but in this moment all she sees is a human being. A human being, beautiful and tragic all the same but that’s what makes her all the more humane . That’s what makes Fareeha love her all the more.

The thought shocks her, because she realizes that a year ago she would never confess such things to herself.

“What is it?” Angela asks when she notices that she stopped removing her own armor.

Fareeha notices too, the pause, then sets the piece she was holding in her hands down. “Your hair is messy.”

Angela blinks, a surprised noise coming from her mouth. “I suppose I should expect such things from flying here in Gibraltar. It’s so windy here.”

Fareeha doesn’t respond with words as she does with a hum of acknowledgment, removing the last of her armor and throwing on her jacket. “There’s not many places we can go that would be very nice.”

“Oh, we don’t have to go out anywhere.” Angela makes an aha sound as she puts on her own sweater, “The lounge would be nice. I have some new books.”

“I would like that.”

 

Fareeha finds herself falling into their old pattern as if it was a part of her. She smiles softly to herself as Angela reads her newest romance novel and she stares at her for the longest time, noticing again, the way her eyebrows furrow when at certain parts of the story. The way her eyes twinkle when at the particularly romantic parts. The way her lips curl up into a smile at other parts. The way she tries not to snort when she reads a funny part.

“Angela,” she finds herself saying her name.

Angela stops reading, half closing her book in one hand to peak at Fareeha, who rests her head in her lap. “Hm?”

Fareeha sits up and grabs Angela’s hand, feeling the texture of her calloused hands in her own prosthetic hands. She’ll never get use to that.

“Come with me, there’s something I want to show you.”

Angela wordlessly nods and follows her as they weave their way through the corridors of the freshly cleaned Watchpoint. They make it outside and Fareeha guides her to the top of one of their tallest buildings.

It’s night time now, the moon high in the sky and the stars fade from light pollution, but in this moment the view is breathless with the reflection of the moon across the mediterranian.

“Fareeha, it’s gorgeous…”

Fareeha smiles to herself, “I came here a lot when I had something on my mind that I couldn’t quite shake.”
“And now?”

Fareeha’s smile softens, and she holds out her hands, “Care to dance with me?”

“I don’t know how to dance,” Angela whispers as she takes her hands anyways.

“I don’t either.” She admits under her breath, as she takes them into a slow dance. It’s much like flying, she finds, in a strange way.

Relying on each other to keep balanced, to keep the machine of their dance working

Their faces are close, impossibly so.

Fareeha feels she should say something.

“What is it?” Angela seems to notice the change.

“You asked me if I had something on my mind now.”

Angela waits for her to continue.

“There is… I’ve had it on my mind for a long time now. I love the way you think, I love the way you read tooth rotting romance novels, I love the way you care so deeply, I love how resolute and unflinching you are in your beliefs.”

She hears Angela’s breath hitch and they stop swaying.

“And I’ve been thinking about it a lot, because it seems time apart only made the heart fonder. Angela, I use to be too scared to tell you, and I use to fear that if I told you you would push me away. But we have one life, it’s all we have, and we don’t know what tomorrow or the next day might bring, but there’s one thing I would like to know will be a constant these coming days, weeks, years, however long, and that is you Angela Ziegler.”

Angela looks as though she might cry.

“I have fallen head over heels in love with you and I don’t know if I can go another day without telling you, anymore.”

Angela smiles widely, she moves first, arms wrapping around Fareeha’s neck, “Let me kiss you.”

“Okay,” Fareeha says with an equally gleeful smile, and then Angela is closing the gap first, standing on the tip of her toes as she drags Fareeha’s head closer. They melt together, Fareeha’s hands settling on Angela’s hips.

They draw away eventually, gasping for breath, smiling stupidly at each other. “Fareeha Amari, I thought of you as a quiet and reserved person when we first met, and yet somewhere along the way you charmed me so much I fell in love with you too.”

Fareeha laughs, a lightness in her chest and she can’t stop smiling, “We were idiots.”

“We were.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Fareeha takes Angela’s hands from around her neck and holds them before her. 

“Fly with me?”

“All you had to do was ask.”