Some part of him knew his mind was wandering, that what he was seeing wasn't now. And as much as he trained himself—mind, body, and soul—he still gave into moments of weakness.
"This is your duty, as part of this clan," the older man before him snapped, fist landing angrily on the desk between them.
Even though he felt the fury twisting inside him, Genji remained outwardly calm. "No," was all he said.
That was how it all started, his conscious mind mused. Hanzo couldn't even wait for their father's body to grow cold to begin pushing him.
He knew what followed that day, though. Responding to his thoughts, the scenery changed. There was no longer a desk between Genji and his brother. Only a sword and a bow. And less visibly—so much more existed between them. They charged one another and just as quickly, the scene changed again.
"Do it," Genji dared through clenched teeth and haggard breathing. His eye flicked over to his swords behind Hanzo, where they'd landed after being knocked from his grasp. There was no way he could get to them. Genji may have done a good number on Hanzo, but Hanzo still had the upper hand. And his bow.
An arrow to the neck wouldn't be a horrible way to go, he remembered thinking at the time. With Hanzo's skill and proximity, he could probably put one through his skull—surely his own brother could spare him and end it quickly.
His eyes widened as Hanzo's tattoo began to glow blue and he nocked his last arrow.
Genji's eyes flew open with a gasp and he glanced around himself as the memory faded. The walls of the Shimada castle in Hanamura were replaced with the walls of the temple in Nepal.
"The purpose of meditation is to calm the mind," a voice supplied to his right.
Genji didn't reply. He pulled his legs out from under him and leaned back against the wall behind him. He'd only been working with Zenyatta for a little over a year, but it had been a few years longer than that since Overwatch had been disbanded.
Typically his meditation sessions were calm and his thoughts were more inward, on his emotions and state of mind rather than memories. But lately his mind had been wandering.
"Perhaps you should take a journey," Zenyatta suggested, standing now. Genji looked up at him, confused. He'd been doing that whole "journey of the mind" thing since he got here. And clearly letting his mind "journey" was not helping him.
"There are clearly still things you have not come to terms with," Zenyatta clarified.
"I have accepted what I have become," Genji all but grumbled, a new memory surfacing.
"You are troubled," the Omnic before him said. "I sense conflict. Neither on one side, nor the other. Not human, not cyborg. You have not accepted your cybernetics."
"Ridiculous," Genji muttered, beginning to walk away.
"True self is without form," Zenyatta called after him.
Genji glanced down at his metal hands for a second, before reaching back and pressing the releases on the back of his head. With a hiss his face plate dislodged and slid down into his awaiting fingers. Even though they'd fought side by side in Overwatch, he had never removed his faceplate in front of others. Well, with an exception.
But the Omnic didn't react as he expected, as he assumed everyone would at the sight of his barely human face. Everything that wasn't metal was heavily scarred and angry pinks and reds as a reminder.
"In anger, you defeat only yourself."
Genji rolled his eyes and slid his mask back into place. "I don't have time for your ridiculous wisdom."
A robotic laugh trilled after Genji as he turned and began to leave the ally. "When you do have time for my…ridiculous wisdom…I will be waiting for you, Genji."
Back then, when Overwatch was disbanded and he was left to wander, he had run into Zenyatta. The Omnic quickly saw through his inner turmoil and the walls he'd put up. Maybe that's why he found himself trusting the robot so easily. Well, after a bit of coaxing on Zenyatta's part.
"I know the doubts that plague you," Zenyatta murmured almost as a reminder, standing above Genji now.
"I don't know what you are referring to, Master," he replied with a grunt as he stood. Zenyatta just stared at Genji, arms crossed. "Okay, I have a little idea."
"You have forgiven him."
"I did," Genji mumbled, crossing the small room to stand before a painting of two dragons and a photo of him and Hanzo when they were younger. "I forgave him long ago."
"Then it is time you face him."
"Maybe," Genji agreed quietly.
"There are a few journeys I believe you will have to take in this physical world before you are finally free, my student."
Genji spun around to shoot Zenyatta a look he knew his master couldn't see. "What else is there?"
Zenyatta laughed and took his leave. "You will find out in time, Genji." He paused in the doorway. "Perhaps you should visit Dr. Zeigler when you are finished with your visit in Hanamura."
Genji's eyes narrowed and he went rigid. "Who said I was going to Hanamura?"
Zenyatta's response drifted in from the hallway, "you had better hurry if you want to catch him."
He sighed and turned toward the small desk in the corner where a stack of letters sat in a neat pile off to the side. He had begun writing letters to Angela as a subconscious form of healing and forgiveness. After a while he began to actually mail them to her. It took a few attempts to track her down, but once he did she kept him up to date personally on her whereabouts. She was off somewhere in Europe traveling to where she was needed. Not exactly an "on the way" stop.
But Zenyatta was probably right about one thing—it was time he face Hanzo as he is now. As much as he tried to seclude himself from the world, news spread even in Nepal, and the world was spinning. Something was going to happen and he did not intend to sit by idly anymore.
Genji sat on the floor and began a new letter to Angela…
"Dr. Zeigler, you have mail," a nurse announce as he passed her in the hallway of the hospital. "I left it behind the nurse's station, next to the computer." He gestured with his free hand over his shoulder, other hand juggling a thick stack of files.
"Thank you," she smiled as she passed him, her own stack of files in her arms. She volunteered at this hospital when she heard news of a terrorist attack in the city nearby. This small hospital had become quickly overrun with patients and not enough staff. Patients lined most of the hallways and nurses were darting everywhere, trying to help those they could.
Angela made it to the station and dropped the stack of folders on an empty desk chair, smiling apologetically to the older nurse at the desk. "These are all discharged. I tried to keep them alphabetical to make it quicker for filing—"
The woman smiled and pushed her chair away from the desk. "Doctor, please. Just let me do my job. You worry about the people, I worry about the files."
"Thank you," she breathed. She spun where she stood, quickly scanning across the desk of four computers looking for her mail. "Uh, I was told—"
The nurse leaned over and plucked a white envelope out from between two monitors. "Love letters at work?" she teased.
"No, it's nothing like that," she said quickly despite her blushing. "He's just an old patient of mine that likes to keep in touch."
"Mhm. Honey it's ok. You don't have to explain yourself to me." The woman gestured down the hall. "Dislocated shoulder in room 385."
Angela tucked the envelope into the deep pocket of her lab coat and headed down the hall, hiding her reddened face as best she could. Letters from Genji always made her day better, her heart race, and on days like today it made working the night shift easier to bear. The letter was a rock in her pocket for the rest of the night, her mind constantly drawn to its presence, eager to be read. But her patients took precedence and she didn't get a break long enough to read it.
The first time she got a letter from Genji was a couple years ago—maybe a year after the fall of Overwatch. It was short, awkward, and to the point. Probably more thoughts from him than she had gotten his whole time in Overwatch—their conversations were plentiful, but very one-sided. When he woke up, he was rightfully angry, but she wasn't sure at whom. In the back of her mind, she knew he harbored some blame for her. She was, after all, the one who performed the cyberization. Granted, she was entirely unaware of the deal he made with Overwatch. She was only concerned with the mangled dying man on her operating table and doing everything in her power to save him. She had failed before, she would not repeat it.
After that, when he joined Overwatch in their efforts to take down the Shimada clan, she took to making idle chit-chat as she worked on him between missions, fixing up damages and improving what she could. He would give her short, simple answers, but nothing too enlightening.
The first letter he sent her, he apologized for taking so long to thank her for saving his life—that he realized he had never properly thanked her, and he hoped he could do so in person one day. He briefly mentioned staying with Zenyatta, that the Omnic was helping him in ways he didn't know he needed.
"Go home, Dr. Ziegler." A hand landed on her shoulder and she jerked upright in surprise. "Get some rest, you look exhausted."
Angela smiled. "I can see a few—"
"No," the other doctor pressed. Among the other doctors working with her, Dr. Heilm—a short haired pistol of a woman no taller than Angela's shoulders—was by far her favorite. While the care of the patients was priority number one, the care of the staff was always second on her list. And as much as she hated to admit it, Angela could push herself a little too much.
"We have things under control now," Dr. Heilm pressed, nudging the blond towards the door. "Most of the emergencies are taken care of, just bumps and bruises now. Go. I will call you this afternoon to replace me." She winked and Angela laughed, thanking her as she headed for the nurses' station to check out.
She felt the ache in her legs and feet as she dropped down into a seat on the bus. Normally she'd walk for the exercise, but walking across town after working a 12 hour shift just didn't seem all that appealing right now. Besides, it gave her the perfect opportunity to read the letter.
Angela giggled at the poor handwriting on the front. She always wondered how the post knew where to send it. She could barely read the chicken scratch herself. Tearing one end of the envelope, she peaked inside and carefully removed a feather and folded paper. He always sent her a sparrow feather with his letters instead of signing them.
She was surprised by the length of the letter as she unfolded the paper and noticed he had not only filled up the page, but had spilled onto the back as well. Anxiety bubbled in her stomach at the thought of trouble and she wasted no time scanning the chicken scratch as best she could.
The tone of this letter was much different from his others, which were much more light-hearted and carefree—at least, they had been increasingly so since his first awkward letter. This one was much more serious—no bits of wisdom or anecdotal stories about his Master. This was slightly darker and it worried her.
Genji talked briefly about the growing terrorism around the world, and that he had no doubt she was already doing her part to help, with or without Overwatch. He mentioned how he felt like an outcast, even a little lost. Where was his purpose now? Where did he fit in? Her heart ached for him. He moved on to talking about how little meditation was doing to help him anymore, and that Zenyatta suggested he take a trip. A trip where? She thought as she continued on.
Genji explained how memories of "that day," as he referred to it for the first time since their correspondence began, and how memories of taking down the Shimada clan "among other negative memories" had been plaguing him for some time now. She felt a little hurt that this was the first she was hearing of it. She was unaware he was struggling with things internally. Were the memories of what she did to him a burden as well?
It is time to face my brother, Hanzo, he wrote. I am leaving now for Hanamura. I know he will be there. Every year on the day that we last battled, he visits the Shimada castle. Angela didn't need to ask to know what date that was. It was the same day she walked into work, blindsided by a demand to save a dying Japanese man that was being flown into the med bay at Gibraltar. She glanced at her watch to the date displayed behind the hands, and noted that that date was today. Ten years today.
He went on to explain that he knew she might be a little worried, but that he needed to do this not only for closure for himself, but because Hanzo needed it just as much as he did. Ten years is a long enough punishment, I believe, he wrote. And being deemed an enemy of the Shimada clan is not a good consequence to have to live with, either.
Angela rolled her eyes at his poor attempt at levity and flipped the page over. The last paragraph was a bit lighter. He asked that she send word to Zenyatta if she planned to leave her current location, that he hoped he could stop by and see her before he headed back to Nepal, "since he was already traveling," he said.
Angela smiled at that. There was one last line written beneath the paragraph. I will have my old communicator with me. As innocent as the line was, she could hear his voice in her head saying the one thing he always told her when she saw him off on solo missions. "I will have my communicator with me should I require assistance."
But she knew he would never ask for help against Hanzo. And she didn't keep her communicator on her person anymore, not when she was working. Overwatch activity was illegal now and she didn't want to risk her job by someone finding on her—or worse, have it taken away.
She leaned her head against the bus window and waited for it to arrive at her stop, a block or two from her apartment building. As worried about him finally facing Hanzo, she couldn't help but feel a little excited at the prospect of getting to see Genji again. Her mind wandered, imagining what it would be like to face him again.
A sigh escaped her lips as she unlocked her front door and stepped into the air conditioned unit. She could practically hear her bed calling her name from the other room. Kicking off her shoes was all she managed before she made her way to it and flopped down. Angela barely managed to remember to put her cell phone on the nightstand, volume on for when Dr. Heilm would call.
It was her phone that woke her up some time later—or she thought it was at first. But when she looked at the black screen of her phone and saw no incoming call, the confusion in her sleep-fogged mind grew. The incessant beeping continued for a few seconds, slightly muffled, before Angela realized in a single, waking moment that it was her communicator in the dresser drawer beeping, not her phone.
She scrambled to get out of the bed, her legs twisted in the blankets, and dove across the room to the dresser. "Where are you," she mumbled, digging through the miscellaneous junk. The communicator bounced in her fingers as she found it and frantically picked up. "Hello? Yes?"
"Mercy?" a deep voice responded, but the accent catching her off guard.
"Winston," she sighed, half in relief, half in disappointment.
"We need you at Watchpoint."
Angela was taken aback and she spun to look out the window. She wasn't too far from Gibraltar to begin with—maybe a day's trip if she took a plane. "But…we can't…" she mumbled to herself aloud.
"Look around," Winston pressed. "I have no doubt you're still in active duty—helping victims—whether you'd admit it or not. The world needs us now more than ever."
Angela let out a breath of air and pinched the bridge of her nose. She didn't know what to say. He was right, of course. Nothing had changed for her when she left Overwatch—she continued her work, both healing people and her nanobiology research.
"This recall is a cry for help," Winston continued, voice gentler. "I don't want to make you do anything you don't feel comfortable with. I know you'd be helping regardless."
"I can't sit around when people need me," she admitted in agreement. "But…I had plans…"
Winston let out a roaring laugh. "Genji wanted me to pass along a message to you."
"You spoke to him?" she asked, hopeful. "When?"
"Hm…about ten, twenty minutes ago?" Winston replied, voice a bit further away. "He told me to pass along his whereabouts—says he's headed here instead."
Angela let out a sigh of relief and wondered if he had made it to see Hanzo before the call went out. New resolve settled in her chest. "I'll be there." She paused as her phone lit up to an incoming call and she immediately silenced the ringer and sighed. "I'll be a day or two, though."
"I can have Tracer come pick you up on her way here," Winston suggested.
"It is not that, I just have to tie up some loose ends here before I can join you," she explained quickly. "Prior commitments."
"We'll be waiting," he confirmed before ending the call.
Mercy scrambled to pick up her phone before the call was dropped. "Dr. Zeigler."
"Feeling better?" the voice of Dr. Heilm asked.
"Much, thank you," Angela smiled. "How are things there?"
"The rush has died down, but we are still understaffed," she replied, "people are still in the halls, not enough nurses or rooms. We've had to start turning people away."
"I'll be in as soon as I can."
Genji was far from the first to arrive. He was actually surprised by how many made it there before him. Shortly after leaving his brother shocked, surprised, and more than a little disgusted in Hanamura, Genji's communicator had gone off. At first he'd figured Angela had gotten his letter, although he never expected she'd call to yell at him.
"Welcome back, Genji," an excited voice cheered as he walked into Winston's lab.
"Thank you, Tracer," he replied.
"How was your trip?" a new, more metallic voice asked of him. Genji bowed before his master. "All is well, I assume."
"It went…different than expected," was all Genji supplied them with.
"I'm surprised you got here so fast from Japan," Winston said from his computer. "Some members in Europe are having a little trouble getting their butts moving."
"It is to be expected that others have roots now," Zenyatta supplied.
"You were in Japan?" Tracer mused. "What were you doing in Japan?"
"I had business to see to," Genji said with a short laugh. "Winston, perhaps you could send someone to recruit my brother."
Winston spun in his chair to look at them. "Your brother?"
Genji nodded. "Hanzo. He is…lost right now."
"I'll go!" a new voice piped in. "Been here no more 'an two days and I'm bored outta my mind."
Tracer rolled her eyes. "We've just been waiting for everyone to show up, McCree. And no one is keeping you here."
"I must warn you," Genji started, but McCree held up a hand.
"I've met your brother here 'an there," he said. "He won't remember me, but I'm sure I can be persuasive."
Winston turned back to his computer and pulled up a map. "Where was he last?"
"When I got the recall message I had just seen him in Hanamura, at the Shimada castle."
"Hmm…" Winston began clacking away on the keyboard. "That was two days ago. He could be anywhere by now."
"He wouldn't have gone far," Genji explained, a hand under his chin. "The Shimada clan is after him, so he most likely won't be in Hanamura anymore, but he wouldn't have gone too far."
A silence followed, broken only by Winston's computer. No one needed to ask why the Shimada clan was after Hanzo—aside from Zenyatta, who learned the information over time while he was teaching Genji—everyone was there when he was brought to Overwatch, barely alive. Everyone was there during his missions to take them down.
"Athena," Winston called out. "See if you can run facial recognition in Japan."
"Right away," the computer responded.
"Lemme know when you find him and I'll go recruit 'em," McCree grunted, walking towards the door with a wave.
Genji watched him leave, marveling at how much older the man looked since he'd last seen him. He wondered distantly if he looked any older. Not that you'd be able to tell. A small wave of sadness trickled into his mind at the thought, a reminder of how different he was from the others, still.
"Torbjӧrn is preparing to land on the roof," Winston announced, pushing away from the computer and hopping down from the chair. "I'm going to go meet them." He put a hand on Genji's shoulder as he passed. "Welcome back."
"Thank you," Genji nodded.
"I'll come with you!" Tracer announced, following Winston out with a wave to Genji and Zenyatta.
"How was your trip?" Zenyatta asked after a few moments of silence. "Do you feel more at ease with it now?" He headed for the door himself and Genji followed.
"I do," he admitted. "Though I think my brother's heart is more turmoil now more than ever."
Zenyatta nodded. "I am not surprised."
Genji pursed his lips beneath the mask and frowned. "I knew he visited the castle every year, but this was the first time I saw what it was he did while he was there."
"Everyone copes differently."
"He set out offerings and incense," Genji said quietly. As disgusted as he had been when he first realized that's what his brother had been doing to honor his murder, now he felt almost sad. He knew Hanzo had left the clan shortly after his "death," but to have it confirmed he left because of guilt—it dislodged a foreign feeling in his heart. Maybe the trip had not eased his mind as much as he would have hoped.
"I am confident your feelings and emotions will sort themselves out over time," Zenyatta told him as if reading is thoughts. Zenyatta once explained that he was far more attuned to the mechanical changes in Genji's body than his physiological, and thus could read his cyborg half better than most humans could read him at all.
"I am sure you're right," Genji sighed. They walked in silence together. In the distance Genji could hear people milling about. They were probably wondering as he was what the point of the recall was. No doubt it had to do with the tensions rising across the globe, the terrorist attacks and threats.
Genji continued to follow his master down a hall to two large metal doors that led outside to a wide, flat area near the cliffs on the backside of the facility. It dropped off into the ocean, but the flat, grassy area was too orderly to have been natural.
"I didn't know there was a garden here," he mused as Zenyatta picked a spot in the center to meditate.
"Winston says he isn't sure who put it here, but I find it to be the most tranquil spot on the grounds."
Genji took a seat in facing Zenyatta with his back to the door, but gazed around him. There was a single tree to one side, away from the building, that provided enough shade for the little spot. Patches of various flowers and shrubs lined the entire space in a perfect circle, closing them in. It was tranquil indeed.
The flowers tilted and swayed as a breeze swirled through the pocket of nature. Without a second thought, Genji reached back and dislodged his face mask. Placing it on the ground next to him, he tilted his head back and relished the feel of the cool wind and the damp sea air, the scent of salt and flowers. With his mask on, he felt sensory deprived, but with it off he felt exposed. While he had accepted himself, he knew others may not.
Zenyatta was motionless, clearly deep into his own meditation. Genji couldn't help but succumb to his own anxieties as he watched over his shoulder as the helicopter landed on the other side of the building. He wished he could see who was with the smaller man, but also was not eager to be around others at the moment.
His mind wandered and he wondered if Angela would be present—if she had gotten Winston's message, let alone his own. He made a mental note to ask Winston if they'd spoken at all. He would have to write her a letter otherwise. And he was surely closer to her here than when he was in Nepal.
"Meditate, my student," Zenyatta interrupted his thoughts, a chuckle in his voice. "Worrying only makes one suffer twice."
"That is not as comforting a thought as one would have you believe, master," Genji grumbled, finally closing his eyes and making attempts to calm his thoughts.
Angela stepped into the room, frowning at the stale taste of the air as the lights blinked to life. It was just as she had left it. She dropped her bag onto the bed and made her way to the windows, pushing them open to let the sea breeze in and get the stagnant air moving.
"Well, look who it is."
Angela spun around to a familiar face in her doorway and grinned. "Why, Jesse, I think I am most surprised to see you here at all."
That earned her a smirk. "I'm here to help people, not my corrupt teammates. I know my mission." He pushed off the wall and stepped into the room. "You thought you'd just sneak into Watchpoint without anyone noticin'?"
"I was not sneaking," she argued. "Torbjӧrn was kind enough to pick me up on his way here."
"We've got quite a carnival of people here already," he laughed. "What have you been up to?"
She took a seat on the edge of her bed and he leaned up against her dresser with his arms crossed. "I've been working at hospitals, helping the victims of the terrorist attacks. There was one in Ilios not too long ago. I would have been here days ago but I didn't want to leave them when they needed me." She paused and looked him over. He was wearing his usual jeans and a button down with the sleeves rolled up, but he'd forgone his usual armor. "What about you? How is your arm doing?"
"Oh I've been here and there. Doing a bit of this an' that." He held out his mechanical left arm. "'S a bit stiff, to be honest. I can do all the maintenance I want on it, but you were always the best." He winked and she laughed.
"We can go down to the med bay and I can fix it up for you," she said, standing and unzipping her bag. She pulled out the white lab coat that lay on top and gestured towards the door. "I'm sure all it needs is a little bit of love."
"It's not like I neglect it," he grumbled, following her. She actually had no doubt he took as good care of it as he could. It just got a little harder when you are limited to what you can do, what with it being your own body.
It reminded her that she had not done any maintenance on Genji in the last few years—since she'd last seen him. It worried her a little. She hoped that, living with the Omnics, they would do as good of a job as they could with his upkeep.
"I wonder when Genji will arrive," she pondered aloud and McCree's eyebrows came together in surprise.
"Robo-ninja? He got here this morning," McCree told her. His inquisitive gaze turned into a mocking smirk. "Didn't know you too were close at all. Seemed like you used to have to pull his teeth out to get him to sit for maintenance."
Angela didn't feel like rising to the bait at the mention of their strained relationship years ago. She'd have to beg him to stop by the bay—or get someone to drag him there. "He started writing me letters," she replied with a shrug. They made it to the medical wing and she pushed the swinging doors open, waiting for the lights to flicker on. Just like her bedroom, everything was left the way she had it for the most part. She assumed Winston may have been through.
McCree took a seat in a bench Angela gestured to, straddling it to give her better access. She waited as he unbuttoned his shirt and removed the sleeve on his left arm with a handful of metal tools in one hand, a rag in the other. She pulled over a stool and got to work prying up a few of the plates to access the inner workings.
"So Robo-ninja writes you letters, huh?" McCree began conversationally.
"Please do not imply anything," she mumbled. "I get enough from the staff at the hospitals whenever a new letter comes."
"He seemed a lot more…at ease when I saw him today."
"He's been working on himself."
"What, like getting' his shit together?" McCree laughed. "He mentioned going to see his brother." Mercy didn't have a response and a silence fell over them. "What do y'all even talk about in your letters?"
Mercy sat up straight and wiped a tool off on her rag, frowning at the sludgy streak it made. "He's been staying with Zenyatta for the last year, working on accepting things. He tells me stories about Nepal, I tell him stories about my work. Working in the hospital you get some crazies."
McCree laughed at that. "The few minutes I saw him he did seem less stiff."
Mercy pressed her lips together and hunched back down to clean up pieces closer to his shoulder. "Sometimes I believe he hates me for what I did to him."
McCree gently pulled Angela's face up with his free hand, a surprised look on his face. "Now you listen here—you saved that man's life. I can personally guarantee you that he does not hate you for it."
"He didn't want that body, that life," she sighed, pulling away from him. "We forced it on him."
"And he'll find a way to live with it," McCree argued, holding up his own arm. "We all do."
She worked in silence, not totally convinced, and he let her. Some part of her refused to believe he didn't harbor some sort of ill feelings toward her for being the main reason he is what he is today. At least, not until she heard from him directly. And she had no such plans to ask him until she was positive she knew what his answer would be. She pressed down on the last panel and wiped her hands on her jeans.
"How does that feel?"
McCree rolled his shoulder and twisted his arm around at the elbow and wrist. "Much better," he sighed. "Feels like new."
Angela held up a once-white rag, now gray and black. "It helps when you can get all the dirt out."
"I told you," he chuckled, pulling his sleeve back on. "You always were the best."
"Thank you, Jesse," she said with a smile as she cleaned off her tools and put them back in a box with McCree's name on the side. She slid the box back into its place in a metal storage cabinet in the corner next to a box with Genji's name on it.
She forced herself to close the cabinet and walk away. "If anything feels off, feel free to stop by anytime," she told him.
"I'm gonna go find food if you wanna join me," he offered, buttoning his shirt.
Angela shook her head. "I need to update my computer in here with my latest research," she explained.
"Just make sure you eat," he called over his shoulder. "Need to keep our best doc in shape."
She laughed and followed him out, waving goodbye when she turned down the hall for her rooms.
When Genji opened his eyes again, he was surprised to find it was dark out. Zenyatta was still in the same position next to him. It had gotten a little colder and he could pick up the distant sounds of a storm rolling in from the sea. He sighed and slid his faceplate back into place, the sound of it drawing attention from his master.
"It is getting late," Genji muttered, standing. "We should go inside before the storm hits."
Zenyatta nodded. "Did you find peace?" he asked as they walked back inside.
"I think there is still much more to confront with my brother than I initially intended," Genji sighed.
"That is up for you to decide what can be, and what you can let go of," the Omnic advised. "Not everything needs an answer or an end. Sometimes letting it go is enough."
The passed a group of members standing in one f the more open intersections of hallway, talking. McCree looked up as they passed and called out to him.
Genji bristled instinctively beneath his suit at the old nickname and turned towards the other man. "Yes?"
"Ms. Mercy was looking for you earlier," he said, pointing down the hall over his shoulder. "Left 'er in the med bay."
"You have my thanks," Genji managed, exchanging a nod with his master before changing course for the medical bay.
His heart pounded in his mechanical chest with every step he took, taking the familiar route down to the medical labs beneath the main level. When had she gotten here, he wondered. Half of him wished he'd gone up with the others when Torbjӧrn landed just to see if she'd come in with him.
He froze outside of the doors to the bay she worked in, remembering the last few times he'd been in there, the freshest memories of this room. He hadn't been kind to her then. He hadn't been kind to anyone. Morrison or Reyes would have to drag him down there just to get his post-mission maintenance done. Even now he wasn't sure what reason kept him so stubborn about it.
Angela stopped at the other end of the hallway when she rounded the corner and saw Genji standing in front of the doors to her lab. He seemed mostly unharmed, but the way he was standing was stiff and rigid, hands balled into fists at his side.
Say something, a voice inside her urged, and she struggled to find words as she approached. "Genji?" she managed, internally scolding herself for letting the one word come out sounding like a question rather than getting his attention. She wanted nothing more than to hug him out of relief that he was okay and unharmed.
Genji jumped at the sound of his own name and he turned to find the blond haired doctor approaching him with a stack of folders in her arms. She hadn't change a bit in the years since he had seen her last. She looked exactly the same. She visibly wilted under his gaze and he broke the silence by pushing the door open for her.
Angela scooted past him and made her way to her desk to get the file integration from her tablet to her main computer here started.
She could feel Genji's eyes on her back behind that infuriatingly solid face plate, but he said nothing. The awkward silence bore down on her and she struggled to think of something to get him to talk. He'd never been a huge talker before, but she'd hope that with their mail correspondence, he'd feel more open to idle chatter at the very least.
Genji watched her, able to read her like a book. Had she always been this easy to read? Her face was scrunched up as she plugged her tablet into the computer and tapped away on the keyboard. She was visibly struggling with her thoughts, but he had nothing to say to offer comfort. He himself didn't know what to say.
"Uhm," she began, spinning to face him finally, playing with a bracelet on her wrist. "How was Japan?" That was a safe topic, right? Not something as dumb as the weather, or how he had been, and surely it would get him to talk.
He took a breath to make sure his voice was steady when he finally spoke. He felt so out of place now, which was an odd feeling. "It was what I needed, I believe," he managed. She waved him over to a bench and sat down on the stool in front of him. She must have been doing maintenance on McCree—it would explain why he "left her in the med bay."
Angela started him a little when she suddenly reached behind him and released his mask. She did it out of old habit—back in the days where he would be stubborn and refuse to help her even the slightest with his own maintenance.
"Sorry," she murmured, putting the metal plate on the table behind him. Her fingers made their way to his cheeks, gentle dragging her fingertips across the raised marks. "You seemed unharmed." She could feel her cheeks warming a little, but the urge to touch him, to make sure he was real and here and safe overpowered her head. Not wanting to repeat the same mistake twice, she asked him, "Can you remove the chest plate, please?"
He blinked at her for a second, trying to find words, and then reached to his sides and pressed the releases for the front of his armor, the chest piece coming off in several sections. "He was not very happy to see me," he told her with a smile as she reached around to catch the back piece from falling to the floor. "But I told him what I needed to say, now it is up to him."
His chest and abdomen was nearly as scarred as his face, but the scars were deeper, angrier looking. There wasn't a section of skin that wasn't scarred, but she was still proud she'd managed to save it, unlike both arms and legs. Half his ribs were metal, a better cage than one made of bone, in her opinion.
Angela dropped all the pieces of his armor onto the table and left to retrieve his box from the storage cabinet. "I'm glad you're not hurt," was all she could think to reply with. With the box in her hands, she sat back down in front of him and smiled.
"I did not expect to find him laying out offerings and incense when I got there," Genji found himself admitting as Angela dug through the box looking for the tool that opened the control panel on the back of his neck. She glanced up at him, blue eyes and a small smile that made his blood race.
"What did you expect, then?" she asked. "You told me a long time ago that you knew he made yearly visits."
"I do not know what I thought I'd find," he mused, turning his head so she could pop open the panel and plug in her tablet. "I can say, though, that he did not expect me to show up. He thought I was an assassin sent by the Shimada clan." He let out a chuckle and noticed her eyes flick up to him for a half a second.
He told her a brief recap of what happened—their squabble, and Genji revealing to his brother that he was alive—maybe not the same, but alive nonetheless. He didn't have to tell her that it bothered him that Hanzo immediately rejected him, saying he was not the brother he once knew. Angela picked up on it and just knew. During his meditation earlier, he had come to terms with this and that, no, he was not the same man that Hanzo had killed.
Angela was working on his arms, checking over the systems and mechanical bits to make sure everything was running smoothly. His fingers curled involuntarily as she tugged at some of the wires, testing the connections. "You took off your visor for him?" she prodded gently, knowing that was not something he would have done lightly.
"Yes. He reacted just as I thought he would," Genji sighed. "Surprise and disgust…"
Angela's heart froze.
"I knew he left the clan after it happened," Genji continued, ignorant to her turmoil behind him. "I was not aware it was because he felt guilt and regret."
She quickly finished up and snapped the last panel on his legs back into place and pushed the chair with her feet to roll to his other side, dropping tools into the box. Genji flipped back around to face her and was slightly surprised by the panicked look on her face.
"Is something wrong?" He glanced at his arms and legs, but nothing seemed out of place. His body felt better, well oiled now.
"No," she denied quickly. "Nothing is wrong. Everything is working much better, I think." She knew she was begin to ramble, but continued on anyways. "I need to repair a link in your nervous system that is corroded, so you might—"
"Angela." Worry had set into Genji and he didn't like it. Something was off with her now. Even from before, when he was rude to her and didn't converse, he knew her. And although time had passed, she may have changed, but he still knew her.
"What is it?" he asked again. She finally looked up at him.
"Do you blame me?" she asked quietly, and she felt fear and about a dozen other emotions take over her.
"What?" He was shocked.
Angela dropped her face into her hands and tried her best to keep sobs from escaping her body. "Genji you left here because you couldn't deal with what I made you. You hated when I did to you so much. And I'm sorry."
Genji's heart sank and he began to panic. He stood up and pulled her up out of her seat, wrapping his arms around her. "The only thing you did was save my life. I can never repay you for what you have given me."
She pushed away from him and wiped her face on her coat sleeve, not entirely believing what she was hearing. "You left because you hated your cybernetics—"
"Never you, Angela," he repeated. "I never blamed you for any of this. I am sorry to have led you to believe this for so many years. In hindsight, I do not believe I gave you a reason to believe otherwise…"
"No, no," she interrupted quickly. "It's not your fault. I guess I just jumped to the first conclusion without really thinking…"
He gave her a disbelieving look, eyebrows raised. "We both know you are smarter than that."
She smirked. "Okay, you were a little rude," she conceded, crossing her arms across her chest. "But I understood back then—you think McCree was a basket of sunshine when he lost his arm? It takes adjusting to."
Genji had no response to that. He hadn't been there when McCree lost his arm, he didn't even know Angela was the one to replace it. McCree was one of the few to help him through it, to empathize in a way no one else could.
"I'm hungry," Angela announced. "I haven't eaten since breakfast." She paused. "You can come with me, if you'd like, or you can go do your own thing. I think you're as tuned up as it's going to get for now. I ran some diagnostics and I'm sure some of your hardware systems will need replaced, but that'll have to be done later when I can build them."
Genji smiled and picked up his visor and faceplate, sliding them back into place as he followed her out of the med bay.
Genji watched in silence as she ate. The mess hall would usually be pretty empty around this time of night, but with people still arriving after the recall, a few groups lingered at tables, talking and catching up.
Angela in particular was surprised to see McCree hanging around. He flopped down into a chair in front of them with a grunt and looked between them. "Not eatin', Genji?"
Genji frowned beneath his mask and tried not to let his irritation show in his voice. "It does not taste the same."
Angela frowned at him, fork of rice halfway to her mouth. She felt bad she hadn't managed to save that sense in his system. Recreating taste and touch was hard, if not impossible. But she made a mental note to look into taste, seeing as he still technically had the receptors for it. Maybe if she—
"I got word from Winston about your brother," McCree continued, completely oblivious to Angela's inner thoughts. But that pulled her right out of them and Genji perked up.
McCree nodded. "I leave in the morning."
"Your brother?" Angela asked, surprised.
"He asked Winston to recruit 'em," McCree told her. "You guys know about the briefin'-whatever tomorrow?"
Angela shook her head and waited for McCree to explain, shooting concerned side glances at the cyborg next to her.
"Winston can't get a hold of Morrison. Musta ripped out the tracker in his communicator," McCree drawled. "So I guess he just wants to get the old group together and talk about what we can expect."
"Seems logical," Genji noted.
"I'll get the time from Athena," Angela murmured. "I don't really feel the need to be there since I don't have any plans on jumping back into the field right away."
"Aw, c'mon now," McCree began to whine, smirking. "You're the best medic we got."
"Which is why my skills are better suited for the lab," she countered.
"Suit yourself," he laughed, standing up. "Just wanted to let you two know." He winked as he left and Angela went back to eating.
A heavy silence fell over them then and Genji knew. He just knew it was coming, that she wouldn't let it go.
"Your brother," was all she finally said and he leaned back in his seat, arms crossed.
"McCree was in the exact same business, you know," Genji told her. "Before he was on Blackwatch, he was a criminal, just like my brother Hanzo and I."
"I'm not judging," she defended, dropping her fork down onto her empty plate. "I was just wondering what part of your story of your trip to Japan you left out that makes you think Hanzo would come work for Overwatch."
Genji let out a laugh and stood up. "Hanzo is conflicted, but I believe he will make the right decision."
Angela found herself at her desk later that night, legs crossed beneath her on the chair. She was going through some of the data she had mined from Genji's systems, looking at the decreases in functionality over the last few years of wear and tear. She might have saved his chest, but he still had a lot more going on beneath the skin than most humans.
To say she was surprised at how well he'd managed to keep up with his own maintenance would be an understatement. She never would have guessed he'd gone so long without her maintenance. While the typical corrosion and wear was evident, even with his thorough personal maintenance.
Despite the late—or rather, extremely early—hour, she set to it designing upgraded systems for him based on the last few years of research she'd done. She flipped between that and researching ways to enhance his damaged senses. The least she could do for the moment would be to let him enjoy food again.
Angela hadn't worked overnight in a very long time, and she remembered why she was glad it had stopped when she noticed the sun coming in the windows at such an angle, that the angry bright light made her squint at her work.
Annoyed, she stood and made her way to the mess hall in search of coffee—since the coffee maker in her lab had vanished over the years. She knew she was grumpy and sleep deprived when she mentally crossed her fingers hoping no one was in the mess hall, and then remembered the meeting Winston planned for the morning. So of course there was a small gathering of people sitting around a table off to the side.
"Good morning, Angela!" a cheery voice greeted as she walked in, her tone changing as Angela made her way towards them. "Did you get any sleep last night, love?"
"I just need some coffee," she told her with a smile, trying her best to hold back the biting words that the other woman clearly did nothing to deserve. It wasn't Lena's fault she'd decided to forgo sleep. A nap would be in order after the meeting.
"Some things never change, I see," she heard Torbjӧrn chuckle as she left the table in search of caffeine.
Angela noted how odd it was, as she readied herself a cup of coffee quickly off to the side of the mess hall, that she could work a 12 hour shift in a hospital and not feel a thing, but work overnight at a computer and she felt every tired ache in her body.
As she approached the table a second time, space was made for her and a chair had been pulled over from a neighboring table. "So what's the Doc been up to the last few years?" Lucio asked, pushing his headphones down his neck.
She felt small under everyone's stare, but noticed quickly that Genji was not among them. "Nothing too spectacular," she mumbled, playing with the lid of her coffee. "I stayed in Africa for a while, a few places in Europe. I was near Ilios when I got the call."
Reinhardt leaned back in his chair. "There was a terrorist attack there recently, was there not?"
"Like I said," Torbjӧrn interjected. "Some things never change."
"Aw, leave Ms. Mercy alone," McCree told them. "Out of any of us, she's probably been doin' the most to help out."
"I think it's great," Tracer said. "You should meet Emily—she's pre-med. You two would get along great!"
"Hey, where's the robo-ninja?" McCree interrupted.
"And Zenyatta," Lucio added. "D is still asleep, so I'm assuming she's gonna miss the whole thing."
Torbjӧrn scoffed. "Pity."
McCree's eyes landed on her and she shrugged. "Why ask me? I haven't seen him since his tune-up last night."
"Right," he drawled, leaning back in his chair but giving her a look that she actually kind of wanted to slap off his face. Grumpy still, clearly. Angela thought it best to not respond at all.
She sipped the last of her coffee and watched the conversation around her. Genji was most likely with Zenyatta. He wasn't one to miss a briefing, so she didn't worry too much. She hadn't made much headway in the terms of a replacement system for his armor—she wanted something that would be just as sturdy, but maybe last a little longer. A decade of use would be great—he probably could have gotten that much without being hindered too much, but she wanted to shoot for a couple decades at best.
She waited for a lull in conversation before she spoke up, a new thought in her head. "Torbjӧrn, do you think we could talk sometime later today?"
The small man looked surprised, but nodded. "Sure, I always have time for ya. What is it you need, if I may ask?"
"I just wanted to discuss some ideas I have with this new system I'm building. My field is strictly in medical and nanobiology," she explained. "I don't have the extensive knowledge of alloys and mechanics that you do."
"Oh, sure!" he said. "Just stop by my workshop anytime."
McCree's eyes narrowed on her. "Hmmm….anybody else smell ulterior motives?"
"Wasn't it you that was telling everyone to leave her alone when she got here?" Lucio asked, chin in his hand.
"Aren't you leaving for a mission today?" Angela shot back, looking him over. "I'll bet you come back empty handed."
Lucio's mouth dropped open and the others fell silent.
"No Sleep Angela is my favorite kind of brutal," Lena said with a giggle. "Boy did I miss this."
McCree stood up with a laugh. "Yeah, well, I'll be leavin' as soon as the meetin' wraps up. Wouldn't wanna miss the important stuff." He gave her a wink and a smile.
"We should head that way," Reinhardt sighed, standing. "I do not understand why this had to be done so early." He let out a big yawn and stretched.
Angela stood and quickly made her way towards the coffee machine for a refill to get her through the next hour or so of meeting.
"I'd rather get it out of the way now," Lucio said.
Angela quickly caught up and followed the group out of the mess hall and towards the meeting room. She hated it. It was dark and small and had no windows. The darkness was for clarity of the screens, but it still did nothing to help the already dismal outlook of missions they were sent on.
She wasn't even entirely sure why she was attending the meeting at all, to be honest. Her body ached for the softness of a bed and the comfort of blankets wrapped around her. She couldn't help the smile sliding onto her face and she felt silly getting giddy over the thought of sleep. God, she needed sleep.
Angela looked up at the sound of McCree laughing, Genji standing stiff as a nail in the adjoin hallway.
"Jesse, if you intend to continue the use of that nickname, you might want to better protect that other arm of yours," Genji said calmly, but a quiet metallic noise echoed softly down the quiet hallway. A shuriken stuck in the wall not an inch from McCree's right arm.
"Oh, c'mon, can't handle a nickname?" McCree fired back, grinning.
"Okay, let's not do this," Angela snapped stepping between the men and held up both hands, one holding her coffee. "I do not want to spend more of my morning in the lab fixing up injuries."
"Apologies," Genji replied and she narrowed her eyes at him, frustrated that she couldn't see his face. Sarcasm was hard to gauge with him.
"My money's on Genji," Lena whispered to Lucio.
"Nah," he whispered back. "Cowboy all the way."
"I think the good doctor has them both beat," Torbjӧrn added in.
Reinhardt just laughed behind them all, and then ushered them towards the meeting room so that "Angela can go take her well-earned nap."
Genji fell into step with Angela at the back of the mob, but said nothing, and she was too tired to initiate a conversation. But the silence was pleasant and comfortable. She enjoyed him just being there. Maybe this meeting wouldn't be as bad as she thought.
"Where's Zenyatta?" she asked as they approached the doors.
"My master has been with Winston all morning," he replied quietly. "I am not entirely sure what they are up to. He mentioned something about a projected barrier."
Angela just nodded and made her way across the dark room to find a seat, which didn't provide the expected level of comfort she was hoping for. She set her coffee down on the table and leaned back in the chair, watching as everyone else took a seat around the large round table. Surprising to her, Genji took a seat next to her. She tried to remember where he used to sit for these things, but the more she thought about it, the more she believed he stood in the corner, brooding.
"No sleep last night?" he asked, eying her coffee, unable to help but feel like it was his fault she was pulling all-nighters already.
"It's fine," she waved him away, taking a sip. "I just need a nap. Once I get this system figured out, I think you'll be fine for a while. Besides some minor upgrades to increase functionality."
"Don't push yourself too hard on my account," was all he managed before Winston and Zenyatta entered the room, the latter taking a seat next to Genji.
Winston walked to the front of the room and took a position in front of the huge screen. He held a tablet in his grasp—it looked almost comical in his huge hands. He cleared his throat a couple times and Angela felt for him, remembering that public speaking was not one of his favorite things—Morrison often took care of all that for him.
"The reason for the recall," Reinhardt prompted. "Start there."
"I'm pretty sure we all know why we're here," Lucio drawled, cheek in his hand looking rather bored already.
"Right, but as to why now, of all times, did I decide to initiate the recall command," Winston began, pulling up security footage of a fight being had in the middle of what looked like Winston's lab upstairs. A shadowy wisp of a figure passed the camera a couple of times before Winston froze the footage.
The screen split suddenly and a second video was playing beside the first, this one a security camera from what looked like the Overwatch exhibit. This video was brighter, clearer. And when he froze it on a similar looking black wisp, he turned back to them.
"He calls himself Reaper. That was a week ago," Winston pointed to the dark grainy video on the left, "He was trying to steal information about dormant Overwatch members and their locations. This was three days ago." He pointed to the other video.
"We stopped him and Widowmaker," Lena piped in, pointing at the screen.
"He's working with Amelie?" Torbjӧrn asked. "Do you know what they were after?"
"Doomfist's gauntlet," Lena breathed in response. Lucio perked up, and everyone's full attention was on Winston.
"Well, we know Talon is involved," Reinhardt grunted.
With quick, flicking motions, Winston pushed article after article from his tablet onto the screen. "We've had report after report of missing equipment, break-ins, and explosions across numerous empty Overwatch Facilities."
"What's missing?" Lena asked, hand on her chin.
Winston pushed up his glasses and pulled his tablet closer to his face. "Pulse Rifles, unfinished technologies, a few of Torbjӧrn's old turrets we were using for scrap parts—"
"That's why you people should have let me have 'em back—" Torbjӧrn began to rant before McCree held up a hand to silence him.
"Who's this Reaper workin' for?" he demanded. "Do we know who he really is?"
Winston shook his head. "Something is off about him, but I think he's hunting down Overwatch members."
"What makes you say that?" McCree asked flatly.
More flicking motions and three portraits were on the screen. "When I sent out the recall, I looked into the whereabouts of everyone I couldn't immediately locate. I started finding a trail of these." More motions and news articles covered the screen, all headlines about brutal murders, and all former Overwatch members. "They started about a year ago. Ten in total."
"Why did you wait so long?" Genji asked suddenly, and Angela looked over to see him rigid. "If there were that many—that is a pattern. Someone is clearly hunting down members."
"All the members that were murdered weren't field agents," Winston said. "And I didn't find the bread crumbs until Reaper tried to hack my systems."
"So now that we're all here," Lucio said quietly, "now what?"
"Now, we fight," Reinhardt pressed. "I have watched long enough. I may be old, but I can still protect my loved ones and my friends."
Winston nodded. "I can't force anyone to do anything, but my hope is that we can send out a team to find the members who have yet to respond, and let them know to watch their backs at the very least."
McCree looked up suddenly, snapping his fingers as his brain visibly ran faster than his mouth. "Talon—they raided a hypertrain that was runnin' to Texas," he said quickly. "But the way they got in, the way they fought, it was like something from Blackwatch."
Winston's eyebrows shot up. "What were they after?"
McCree shrugged and leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms. "Was about six months ago. I was more worried about the civilians on the train. Took out every Talon member and kicked the crate they were after off the train."
Winston smacked his forehead and sighed. "Hindsight, I guess," he muttered.
"I was more worried about the innocent lives," McCree argued. "Sorry I didn't know it was part of some big conspiracy."
"You think Talon got a hold of some ex-Blackwatch members?" Reinhardt asked, arms crossed.
"Intel maybe," McCree scoffed. "Most of the members are dead or hidin'."
"Well, where do we start?" Torbjӧrn broke in. "Do we know where they'll head next?"
"We've got rumors, but I'd rather start with the obvious," Winston told them, pulling up a new article about an Omnic appearance.
"Mondatta?" Zenyatta spoke for the first time. "You think someone would target Mondatta?"
For the most part of the meeting, Genji had felt…indifferent. Disconnected. But at the mention of someone he knew—he felt pulled in now. Sure he felt bad for the world, the terrorism plaguing it. But, then again…
"The world rejected us," Genji murmured.
Angela was the only one to hear him. "Hm?"
He shook his head. "Mondatta has people around him to protect him."
"This is true," Zenyatta affirmed. "Mondatta has a security team for ever public appearance."
"It's in King's Row, yeah?" Lena asked. "I can go, just to be sure."
"I'd feel better if you had backup," Winston mumbled.
"We should spend more time findin' members, especially if they're the ones bein' hunted down," McCree argued.
"I agree," Lucio said.
Lena glanced at Zenyatta, concern on her face.
"Well, we can send Torbjӧrn and Angela to—"
"No." Everyone froze at Angela's defiance, some surprised, others not.
"What?" Reinhardt broke the silence.
"I don't want to go into the field anymore," she explained a little harsher than she meant. She was still dead tired and really didn't want to argue this. Why did she have to defend not wanting to be on the front lines, seeing the bloodshed happening—seeing her comrades causing some of it?
"Angela, we aren't trying to force you to fight," Winston explained.
"Then what good would it do to send me around the world looking for people?" she asked. "My efforts are better spent here, doing my research and developing tools and my nanobiology. I'm not entirely convinced that bringing back Overwatch is a good idea. Look what it did to Reyes, Ana, and Morrison."
"People die in the line of duty," Reinhardt argued defensively.
"Morrison and Reyes were hardly in line," she nearly snapped.
"She has a point," McCree grunted.
"When the time comes to fight," Angela sighed, "I will reconsider. But for now, my place is in the med bay."
"I can heal in the field," Lucio shrugged. "No point in making her do it when I'm willing."
"Thank you, Lucio," Angela replied with a quick smile.
Winston nodded slowly. "Alright, then here's what I think we should do…"
The next half hour was spent with Winston rambling on about which operatives they should prioritize, such as Fareeha and Satya, both somewhere in the Middle East. Groups were formed to locate them. Genji and Zenyatta to find Satya, Reinhardt and Torbjӧrn to find Fareeha. McCree was going to find Hanzo in Japan, and Lucio volunteered himself and Hana would be ready to leave should they need to send out another team.
By the end, Angela's head was aching, her coffee was empty, and all she wanted was breakfast and sleep. Genji could feel the doctor next to him growing more and more irate as the meeting wore on, and nearly released a sigh of relief when Winston ended the meeting and everyone left to prepare for their trips.
"Get some rest," Genji sighed as everyone stood and headed for the door.
"I will, but I would really like to fix that corroded contact in your shoulder before you leave," she mumbled as they walked towards the stairs. She made to turn the corner into the stairwell, headed for her lab, when Genji grabbed her elbow and pulled her to continue down the hall.
"I'll be fine. It is only recon," he assured her, leading her to her rooms instead. She didn't even argue like he half expected.
"You think Talon is the one hunting down old members of Overwatch?" she asked, crossing her arms. She shook at the thought that if she had not come, someone could have hunted her down easily. She was well known in her field—around the world even. Her nanotechnology was a serious breakthrough, and it was well-known to be used within Overwatch.
"I do not know," he sighed. "There is something more to this. Jesse mentioned the attack on the hypertrain, and then there are all the terrorist attacks. Why would Talon be multitasking like that?"
They stopped outside her door and she turned to face him. "When do you leave?"
"This afternoon," he said, trying not to laugh at the confirmation that she had not, in fact, been listening very well. He doubted that she'd show up to any more briefings unless specifically asked to.
She ran her fingers gently over his visor. "Be careful anyways, okay?" she murmured.
"I'll have my communicator on me, should I require assistance," he replied, grinning beneath the metal.
She sighed. "You'll have Zenyatta with you," she said, unlocking the door and pushing it open. "I won't worry too much."
Angela waited four days for everyone to return, working hard on her research and the upgrades for Genji. Torbjӧrn was more than willing to help her pick out the appropriate materials that would work well with both his biology and his nanobiology.
She worried less about him as she spent more time patching up other members of Overwatch during their missions over the next six months. Mondatta was assassinated while everyone was out searching for members to warn them, and it sparked a fire under everyone. If they were unsure, as Angela was, about reviving Overwatch, they were sure then. Something had to be done.
In the months that followed, Angela had watched as six missions quickly went over successfully—they checked out every reported threat and neutralized it as quickly and quietly as they could. If anyone noticed that Overwatch was beginning to be active again, no one said anything.
Genji was at least glad for that. While Zenyatta had been preaching to him about the negative effects of revenge-seeking after Mondatta was killed, he couldn't help but want to right that wrong, to get revenge so eagerly deserved.
During the months, they'd recruited quite a few more people—some old members, some new. They'd also found out that, not only was Jack Morrison not dead, but he was secretly working with them for a month before they realized he'd been walking around the facility as Soldier 76.
And with that revelation came other news. Ana was alive as well, and the man they'd been trying to figure out, this Reaper, was Gabriel Reyes. Angela was trying to keep her emotions and thoughts in check as so much seemed to happen in such a short amount of time. Less than 6 months ago she was a doctor in a hospital. Now, it was like history was catching up with her.
Genji jumped at the chance for a solo mission when Winston brought it up. It was a recon mission—simply sneaking in, planting a bug in a computer, and leaving. The hope was to find out where Talon was working from, and there was a whisper Winston caught hold of that a team member would be passing through London.
The day she found out, she was in her lab working when McCree walked in quietly, an air of seriousness around him that was slightly unusual in front of Angela. Immediately her pulse began to race and she barely managed to ask him what was wrong, eyes roving over him scanning for any injury.
He crossed his arms and sighed. "Genji's missin'," he said simply. She opened her mouth to respond, but McCree pressed on quickly. "We lost his signal about two hours ago and Winston hasn't been able to pick it back up."
"We've been losing his signal all week," she found herself arguing.
A simple recon mission, Angela had told herself when he hadn't checked in when he was supposed to. It should have only taken him a couple of days at the most. He'd been gone for almost two weeks.
"I'm sorry," he said. "But Winston is sure now. I thought you'd wanna know he's sendin' out a small team to the location we had last. I know you said you didn't—"
"I want to go," she interrupted, standing.
"I figured it'd be best to have you come along in case…"
"When do we leave?" she demanded, making a mental check-list.
"As soon as you're ready," he said, moving for the door quickly. "We'll be in the hangar."
Angela sat angrily in her seat on the flight back, their mission a failure. They found no trace of Genji other than a few of the belongings he'd packed—some tools to upkeep his armor, snacks—and his broken communicator on the nightstand of a little inn.
The others on their mission managed to keep their distance, leaving her to sulk by herself in the corner of the jet. "I'll have my comm on me should I require assistance."
Bullshit. He hadn't even asked for help. He just went missing. And stayed that way. Day after day she got up and went to work in her lab, healing the wounds of Overwatch members as they came back from missions a bit more damaged than they left. After another week of nothing, Angela dragged out her Valkyrie suit and her Caduceus staff and got to work fixing them for combat.
She wouldn't let anything happen to anyone else on the team. Angela started to believe if she'd gone with him, just for support, he'd still be okay. Winston worked tirelessly trying to figure Talon out, to try and get a step ahead of them.
Morrison hadn't exactly taken over his role as leader again, but she found that he often took initiative, now that his identity was back out in the open. While a few were openly opposed to him being there, Angela included, they were quickly out-voted and Jack stayed, but under Winston's watchful eye.
So Angela was furious when an emergency mission came out, but she was forced to stay on the base, Lucio taking her place as field medic.
"I want to go," she argued. "You are not the boss of me anymore, Jack."
Morrison didn't look fazed, he just crossed his arms and looked to Winston, who pushed up his glasses and looked at her apologetically.
"I'm sorry, but we just don't think it's a good idea to send all of our medics on one trip," Winston told her.
"Then make Lucio stay," she snapped.
"We can't, he knows the region better than any of us," Morrison grumbled.
"Then Zenyatta can stay."
Winston sighed and put a hand on her shoulder. "Please just stay here," he begged. "I know why you want to go, why you've been going on missions, and I just don't think mentally you're fit for field work."
Angela's jaw dropped. "This is completely inappropriate," she seethed. "My personal feelings have never gotten in the way of my work before and they won't now."
"We trust you," Morrison said, trying to comfort her, "we just formed a team based on skill necessity, and there's no point in throwing you in when we don't have to."
"Who are you to talk about trust?" she snapped, spinning on her heel and storming back to her office, defeated.
All the anger had left her by the time she made it back down to her lab and she was simply filled with sadness, regret, and disgust. Jack didn't necessarily deserve that from her, and Winston surely didn't either. They were simply taking measures to keep more of them safe.
So she continued researching, working on her paper about nanobiotics and trying to find a way to help treat the superviruses that had developed over the past few decades. She wasn't happy, not being able to go out in the field, to make sure her friends were safe. But she stayed in the lab like they wanted her to.
She hadn't heard anything from Winston about how the mission was going, but she wasn't exactly begging for the information from him, either. She figured he would have Athena tell her if there was anything new. So, two days later, when the voice echoed through the quiet lab, Angela jumped at the sudden noise.
"Mercy, be ready for incoming. Genji's injured."
"Jack?" she questioned. "What—you found him?"
"We're landing in five," was all he replied with.
She scrambled, jumping out of her chair and racing towards the hangar, sparing only a second to grab her lab coat. Genji is injured, repeated in her head as she grabbed his box and asked Athena to get Winston to have a gurney ready in case it was needed.
Angela made her way to the hangar just as it was landing. She waited impatiently, bouncing on her toes as the engines shut down and the back of the aircraft opened with a hiss, a ramp sliding out achingly slow. One by one the mission's team members made their way down the ramp, Zenyatta and McCree first.
"It's not as bad as the old man made it sound," McCree assured her with a pat on the back as she passed.
"I healed as much as I knew how," Zenyatta added, "though he will much benefit from your knowledge of his body."
Angela tried to keep her thoughts of that comment as innocent as Zenyatta surely meant it. Finally she spotted Genji supported by Morrison emerging from the inside of the ship, making their way slowly down the ramp.
As soon as they reached the end, Morrison unceremoniously dropped Genji's arm. "I'll leave him with you," he grunted before stalking away.
Angela turned her gaze away from Morrison's retreating back and quickly did a once-over of Genji. He was standing solidly on his own, but his faceplate, visor, and part of his helmet were missing, revealing his jet black hair. Dried blood matted it and was smeared across the metal of the remaining bits of his helmet. She reached up and touched the dried blood that had been oozing from a cut on his temple.
"I lost a few pieces," he muttered quietly, uncomfortable under her scrutinizing and worried stare.
Angela stepped closer and wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in the crook of his neck. "I'm so glad you're okay."
He didn't respond for a few seconds, surprised and caught off-guard. Genji had thought about her reaction to seeing him again…a lot. He expected her to slap him, yell at him, lecture him. Not…embrace him…
Angela finally felt Genji return the gesture, his arms coming up to pull her closer, enclosing her shoulders. He ducked his head down next to hers. "There were a few moments I did not believe I would get to see you again," he breathed.
They stayed like that for a few moments longer before Angela pulled away, a small smile on her face. "Let's go back to my lab and get you cleaned up," she suggested. "Can you make it that far?" Without waiting for a response, she stepped over and took Morrison's previous role as his support, and Genji did not reply or refuse.
They made their way slowly and quietly to the med bay. Angela desperately wanted answers to the questions that had rolled around in her head—above all, what happened? How had a secret recon mission end up with a person missing for six weeks?
"I can tell what you are thinking," Genji mumbled as they reached the med bay doors, Angela slipping out from under him to hold the doors open for him. She gave him a skeptical look and if he weren't so tired, he'd have laughed. "I have always been able to tell what you are thinking, Angela."
She blushed, a slightly furious look crossing her features, and she turned on a heel back towards the storage closet. Along with Genji's box of tools, she snatched up the simple first aid kit and a few clean rags.
Genji stayed silent, watching her the whole time. She had gone from sympathetic and sad, to a little bit energized and angry. He was confused, or at least he told himself he was. He knew deep down what she was angry about, but he was at a loss as to how to fix it.
"I'm sorry," he said when she dropped down into the rolling chair in front of him.
"Take off the head pieces and your armor. Let's make sure you're not still bleeding," she instructed as she jerked open the first aid kit and snapped on some gloves.
"I failed the mission," he said as he dropped the metallic headpiece onto the table next to them with a clang.
"You did what you could." She wiped the side of his face with a warm damp rag, then picked up an alcohol swab and pressed down on the cut on his forehead.
"You don't even know what happened," he grumbled.
"I know you, Genji," Angela argued distractedly. "You did what you could."
He noticed something over her shoulder. "You're going back into the field?"
"Huh?" She sat upright, her pale eyebrows together, and then followed his gaze to the Valkyrie suit hanging on the wall. "Oh." She returned to the wounds on his head, checking through his hair for dirty cuts.
"Are you back in the field?" he repeated, not exactly sure which answer he would prefer. He wasn't one to tell her what to do, nor would he be extensively worried about her being on missions—she wouldn't be alone and she could handle herself. But he knew how she felt about fighting and war.
"You know, maybe if I'd been with you, you wouldn't have come back like this," she snapped.
He laughed and her face went red. "I don't doubt that."
"I'm so glad this is funny to you," she mumbled, jerking his chin to get access to the other side of his head.
"You're right," he said, sobering. "It's not, I'm sorry."
"But yes," she mumbled, a little embarrassed. "I have been on a mission or two since you left." She sat back at looked him over. He looked better after removing all the blood, but he looked tired, even beneath the scarring. "I was not allowed on this mission…I may have offended Jack and Winston over it."
"I am sorry to have worried you."
"I'm not going to say it's alright," she said quietly, taking one of his hands in hers. "Just promise to remember you are not indestructible?" She poked him in his bare chest. "Some of this is still flesh and…kind of bone…"
"I will do what I can," he promised and she smiled.
There was a moment of silence while Angela worked, Genji watching her carefully. She noticed the faraway look in his eyes, how he was watching her but was seeing something else. He had a slightly haunted look on his face.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"I do not even want to think about it," he breathed, eyes closing.
Angela struggled with the next words in her mouth. "Genji….you know you can talk to me," she said finally, carefully. "About anything." When he didn't immediately respond, she pushed herself to continue, to explain. "I mean, I know we've experienced a lot with Overwatch in its lifetime, but more than being your doctor or your mechanic, I am your friend and I want you to feel like you can talk to me."
"It was supposed to be recon, but it was a trap," he said after a moment of deliberation. "Talon was waiting."
Angela sat in silence as he explained how his mission had gone south when he went to the location and their target was waiting for him, like he knew Overwatch would send someone. According to what Genji told her, they were planning something big. He managed to hack a few files from them, but he admitted they data mined him and knew about Jack.
Which meant Reaper knew about Jack. Gabe knew about Jack.
"Jack knows, I assume," Angela commented, removing her rubber gloves to switch to the technological repairs he required.
"Oh, he was very excited," Genji told her sarcastically. "As you can imagine." Angela laughed. Genji seemed to sober as Angela worked on fixing damages beneath the plating, pulling out stray, crumpled bullets. "We are about to become a lot more involved." He let out a breath and looked down at her with a frown.
"I would assume we'd be busier," she mumbled. "Good thing I've been brushing up on my field skills lately then."
Genji's frown deepened. "Your hands were not meant for war."
Angela grunted and switched to his other sides, making marks on the panels as she removed some for replacement. "That may be," she murmured, "but I will go where I am needed."
"Has there been word from my brother?" Genji asked suddenly.
"No, nothing," Angela told him, confused. She had won that bet when McCree had returned empty handed. Hanzo had only said he needed time, nothing else according to McCree—who had seemed a little bitter about the whole trip.
"I had hoped he would have made up his mind," Genji sighed.
"Give him time. After ten years of thinking you killed your brother, then you find out he's alive? It takes more than a few months to take that in. I would assume, at least."
Genji didn't respond, thinking on her words, as she finished his maintenance. When she was done he was missing a few of the more damaged plates. Angela had removed them until new ones could be made, making a note in Athena's databases that Genji was out of commission until he was completely repaired and healed.
She sat back in her seat and sighed, looking him over. Even cleaned up and slightly fixed he seemed ragged. There was little she could do for the sickly look of his skin and the bags under his eyes.
"Go lay in a bed," she instructed, using her doctor voice so he wouldn't argue. "I'll bring you something to eat and then you can get some sleep."
Genji pressed his lips together at the instructions, wanting to argue that he was capable of retrieving his own food and could make it to his own rooms, but when he stood and nearly fell over, the words died in his head.
Angela caught him as he tipped and placed a hand on his cheek, frowning. "You have a slight fever," she murmured, helping him to the beds. When she got him to one, she let him sit and put her hands on her hips. "Your balance is off. The fluid in your ear…" Her nose crinkled as she examined him.
"I will be fine."
Angela scoffed and walked for the door. "Of course you will—you are in my care, after all."
A week—a very long week, in Angela's eyes—and Genji was declared fit to fight. Immediately he was sent out on a new mission, Angela insisting she tail along this time. Morrison let her, simply to observe how they worked together. It was an easy mission and he wasn't convinced she could keep her feelings separate from the mission.
But she worked well on their team. Her biotics keeping them from being down too long, Angela felt helpful, even if she her views conflicted with her teams actions. She almost looked forward to going on missions when Winston had things for them to do.
Then came The Mission. About a month after they found Genji, Reaper found them. It started out like all the other missions Angela had tagged along on as Mercy. They flew out to a point, continuing the rest of their journey on the ground. The objectives from there differed, but the endgame was always the same. Go in, do what was needed to get done, get out.
Winston had constructed the team of Morrison, McCree, Genji, and Mercy. It was a small team because it was supposed to be simple—a weapons trade deal was going down in the west end of King's Row. Since it was supposedly a secret, they didn't think there would be many Talon agents involved. There never was in these types of situations. The more people, the more likely they'd catch someone's attention.
"Shit," Morrison breathed as a deep chuckling echoed down the empty street. "Shit, shit, shit."
"Well, I guess this mission just went down the drain," McCree commented, looking up at the tops of the buildings for the source. "What do we do now?"
"We get out," Morrison replied gruffly, repeating it into the comm. "Winston, we need extraction."
"On it," came the reply.
Mercy gripped her staff a little tighter, her pistol weighing heavily on her hip as a reminder of her own small protection.
"If it's just Reaper, we can take him out now," Genji insisted.
"This isn't the Shimada Clan, kid," Morrison bit out. "He's a little more trained."
"Doesn't help he knows everything we do," McCree added.
A shot rang out, deafening in the quiet, and Mercy felt her body slam back into the brick wall behind her, a piercing pain ripping through her arm. Metallic clangs echoed as her staff fell to the ground, its glow sputtering out.
"Mercy!" Morrison yelled, at her side instantly, pulling out his own first aid.
She was speechless, staring down at the blood coming from a wide gash in her left arm. The pain numbed her thoughts for a second, her mind completely blank.
"Angela!" a new voice cried out and she snapped back to the situation.
"Genji, stay where you are," she managed to say into her comm in a rush. "Stay hidden."
"She's fine," Morrison told him. "The bullet grazed her."
Mercy suddenly cursed in German and ducked underneath Morrison's arm to pick up her staff. "No, no, no, this is bad," she breathed.
"We should get out of the street," McCree said quickly, dragging the other two down an alley.
"Stay still," Morrison grunted, jerking her arm towards him so he could heal it.
"Leave it, go!" Mercy snapped. "I need to get my Caduceus staff working again or—"
"Genji's position is compromised," a voice interrupted them. "He's going to need backup. Now."
"I have it under control," Genji responded, voice strained.
"Kid, I swear to God you better be running," Morrison warned, picking his blaster up off the street in a single motion as he dashed out of the alley.
"Go," Mercy insisted. "I'm of no use without this. I'll just get in the way." McCree nodded even though his expression was conflicted, and quickly followed Morrison.
"Genji, get out into the street," she heard Morrison command, followed by metal on metal sounds and gunshots. She could tell they were moving further down the street, away from her.
She ducked down and began ripping panels off the staff in a panic, looking for the shrapnel that had to have gotten into the plates. She cursed, seeing the main line nearly severed by a piece of the bullet.
Mercy worked quickly, trying to get her staff up and working again, but it kept shorting out. "Come on, come on," she chanted to herself in German.
"Genji, stop," McCree was saying. "Winston is sending extraction, there's no need to engage."
"Mercy!" someone yelled over the comm.
"I'm going as fast and I can," she snapped back.
"Work faster," Morrison barked to her.
"Genji, fall back," she heard McCree shout over the line.
Her fingers fumbled, working on the connections, hoping and praying for a spark so she could help.
"Reaper," Genji panted over the channel, throwing Morrison into a fit of orders and McCree into a fury of gunshots.
"Genji, fall back now," Morrison screamed.
"His comm is out," a new voice chimed in, Winston. "I think Reaper clipped the receptor on his helmet."
Mercy let out a yell of frustration and pushed her hands faster. Finally, finally, her staff glowed to life and she hammered the panel back into place, tearing ass out of the little alley and towards the location of her team.
She could see the ghostly form of Reaper shooting at Genji, McCree and Morrison several hundred yards away, trying to get Genji to fall back.
Being even further, Mercy saw what none of them saw. "Sniper on the roof," she breathed.
"Repeat that?" Morrison demanded.
The purple form of the French sniper stood on a roof off to her right. She pushed her legs to go faster down the street. "Sniper!" she yelled. "On the roof!" She watched McCree and Morrison react, quickly finding Widowmaker as she lifted her gun, eye at the scope.
Mercy quickly found her target, and his comm wasn't working. He was busy countering Reaper's bullets with his sword. Her heart hammered in her chest. Purely out of habit she tried to push her boosters and wings to glide if only to get her to him faster. But the mechanical whine coming from her back only added an invisible weight to the dread and fear settling in her chest.
Mercy desperately needed him to get out of there, she needed his attention, and he needed to hear her. "Genji!" she screamed as loud as she could, and her whole world stood still.
Genji looked over his shoulder towards Mercy's frantic call, just as Widowmaker's shot rang out. Mercy watched as Genji's body shuddered with the hit, his visor going dark, the faceplate and metal pieces from his helmet flying in every direction.
She looked at the gauge on her staff as Genji's body hit the ground and pushed her legs faster, but she wasn't going to make it in time. It wasn't ready.
She was distantly aware of Morrison calling her name and Reaper laughing somewhere nearby. But it didn't matter. She dropped to her knees next to Genji with a scream.
She was too late.
There was nothing she could do.
Genji was gone.