A/N: This story follows a sort of 'expanded universe' I've written for Overwatch, and it's recommended that you read 'Reign From Above', 'Madness and Meihem in the Outback', then 'Lacroix' before this story if you want to follow along certain themes, plot-points, and references.
Also, the cover art was created by 'lipeka' over on Tumblr; and it's amazing! Go check out the rest of their art :D
Lena Oxton, the "Furious Flighter" as she'd sometimes called herself, roamed the hallways of the Gibraltar Watchpoint, speedily, as if unable to hold still for any longer than a second or two. Sure enough, even when she slowed up, her body would evaporate into the air, bursting through a shot of empty gravity before materializing clear across the room, having made up for any lack of speed.
Still, despite her lackadaisical attitude and general tomfoolery, she knew very well that, here, she was at work, and at present, that was quite clear. "Faheera" and Mei had returned from Australia, bringing along two newbies, at that. Lena knew she had to work quickly- not that that was any issue for her.
Popping into the prep area for surgery, her eyes and nose peeked into the next room, seeing a rather large man sitting on the medical table, reading over a sheet of paper in his hand. This must have been that Roadhog fellow, she figured; Mei had already written up a detailed report, illegally posted it onto her blog, removed it, and then taken it to Winston for a confidential debriefing, though Lena was included in all those.
She walked into the medical room, Roadhog's head looking up at her blankly, helped by his heavy mask, as she spoke up, happily, "Hiya! How'ya doin'?!"
Roadhog didn't answer as he tilted his head back down toward the paper, though, on the way, his eyes seemed to notice the device implanted into Lena's chest, a whirling energy present within the thing. Following his stare, Lena peered down, laughing as she held both fists on her hips, striking a triumphant pose.
"Oh, my chronal accelerator? Pretty nifty, huh?" she spoke up, admiringly, "Yeah, it's no big deal… It just lets me warp through freakin' time and space. Nothing much."
She giggled at her "cool" attitude, shaking her head as she leaned back, though Roadhog only returned to reading. In a split second, Lena warped over to his side, reading over his shoulder, which he obviously didn't care for. She nodded with an agreeable gasp as she figured out what was going on.
"Ahh, you're the one getting your lungs fix-… Hmm, this is a recovery regiment? How're ya liking them?"
Roadhog went on staring but ultimately shrugged with an affirmative, "Nice. Doesn't feel like I'm huffing exhaust with every breath."
"Awesome!" Lena shouted excitedly.
Roadhog looked away, "I'd like to say I'd make use of these, but I'm just quiet in general."
Lena grinned mischievously, leaning in toward him with a subtle tap of her elbow on his arm, "We'll make a talker outta you yet, don't worry! Just make sure you call me Tracer when were on base, alright?"
"The doctor mentioned something like that," Roadhog muttered in reply, monotonously, "Said I should just call you Oxton."
Lena grimaced angrily, huffing out her breath as she shot back, "Ah ha! I bet it was Angela, wasn't it? I oughta give her a piece of my mind, ya know!"
She looked around quickly, settling for a nearby desk and beginning to rummage through it, yanking out a stack of sticky notes, triumphantly throwing her hand into the air, "Got 'em! We'll see how she likes what I'm cookin' up… Mwah ha ha!"
She cackled maniacally as she rushed out of the room, a quick burst of atmosphere throwing some papers into the air, though Roadhog simply sat there, confused by the entire scene.
Winston had been watching his monitor all morning, barely breaking his view away to even speak to other people. A grin look stayed across his face as his eyes stared intently at the blips and lines that crossed the map of the American Southwest he'd had pulled up. Groaning, he finally lowered his head into his waiting hand, rubbing his face as the door behind him shot open, Lena Oxton walking in nonchalantly.
She tossed a pack of pink sticky notes onto her desk, falling into her chair as she leaned back, exhausted, exhaling loudly, "Whew, it's already been a day. I went up and fixed the antenna, checked in on our patient, and managed to tackle one of the bots that had gone haywire."
Turning toward Winston, her face sank, "But that's not all that needs to be done, huh..?"
Winston groaned, shaking his head, "Bah, it's nothing. We'll give him another week maybe, but I'm getting worried; I know he and Gabriel were tighter-knit than anybody else, so given what all has transpired-"
The door flew open, revealing Dr. Ziegler with a rather heated look on her face, waving around a small slip of pink paper, "Lena!"
The pilot turned to her, suddenly, but couldn't hide the slight grin on her face, despite her words, "What? Is something wrong?"
Angela shot her a glare, "Why do I have Dr. Zhou and her lab-monkey taking turns kicking me?!"
Lena shrugged dramatically, still with a wide smirk, "I have no idea! Maybe they'll start calling you "Ziegler" next; you'd better keep 'em under control!"
The doctor turned to Winston, exasperated, but stopped as she saw him so intent on his computer that he hadn't even noticed her arrival. She tossed the sticky note away into a trash can as she approached him, resting a hand on his arm to get his attention, causing him to jump in surprise.
"Oh!" he shouted as his head swung down toward her, "Sorry about that. I was just, uh, counting."
"Counting?" Angela questioned, skeptically, "The gorilla who can do calculus in his head was so entranced by counting digits?"
Winston chuckled lightly, shaking his head, "Alright, you got me. You know when I sent out the recall, there was a set amount of time to get back to me about each person's status. An RSVP, sort of, and everybody responded…except for one."
Angela thought for a moment who she hadn't seen or heard about since returning, though it took her a quick look at the map on the screen to come to a conclusion, "Jesse?"
Sighing, Winston gave a nod, "We haven't heard from him. and yesterday was the final day to respond. Normally, I wouldn't be so dead-set on a reply, but given the circumstances…"
Angela's eyes shrunk as she peered down from the screen, her voice a hollow whisper, "Reyes?"
Her heart sank as she spoke the words. Of course, that was no longer the name given to him by Overwatch, though it had taken a far greater toll on Angela than anybody else to come to that conclusion. He had nearly killed Fareeha, after all; though out of that situation came the fact that Gabriel was, indeed, alive, which allowed Overwatch the need to prepare for anything, especially since Gibraltar was nearly infiltrated.
"Angela…" Winston repeated, getting her attention as she stood there lost in thought, "I didn't bring it up to you for that very reason. Though, to be honest, I have no reason for it to be anything needing to be brought up."
"It… No, it's fine," Angela muttered, downcast, "I understand though. Gabriel was the one who trained him; Jesse pretty much answered to him."
"Yes, and given his place in Blackwatch, I'd say he isn't exactly the one we need flying under the radar," Winston spoke matter of factly, "I'll wait a few more days, just to be sure. I don't know what else to-"
"I'll go!" Lena shouted, bursting through space and up to the other side of Winston, hopping up and down, "I'll go check on him! I've always wanted to jump the Grand Canyon!"
The others stared at her, though her elated smile remained, "See. See the Grand Canyon."
Winston rubbed his chin, looking back up at the monitor seriously, "Hmm… I'll think about it. It certainly isn't a task I could ask of many others, especially Angela or Fareeha… I'll get back to you tonight, alright? I'll call Adawe and get her take as well."
Lena hopped up and down excited, "Awesome! It's been so long! Y'know, he's the only one who'd call me Tracer 'round here; it made me feel like a super-secret agent or something! Ziegler, here, just makes everybody call me "Oxton". Ugh."
Angela shrugged, "You're stubborn like an ox; I didn't think there was much-"
Lena angrily popped through Winston's chair and in front of Angela, her serious face being incredibly uncharacteristic, to the point where Angela gave a short as she tried her best to hide her laughter. Lena only stared harder, upset with being made fun of, it seemed to her.
"Now, now; no fighting in the office," Winston sighed, "We have a gym for a reason."
"Yeah, and I'll see you there!" Lena sneered at Angela, who'd covered her mouth to hide her laughter.
She huffed off in a blast of energy, quickly leaving the room as Angela finally broke into a laugh, earning Winston's interrogation, "You sure do enjoy getting on her nerves."
Angela shrugged, wiping her face, "I mean, she gets on my nerves sometimes, so she deserves it, but I love her. Besides, if I don't get riled up, what else would she do here? Other than childish attempts at getting me assaulted from behind, that is."
She looked off, distantly, "Mei was much too eager to kick me, at that…"
"Well, in any case, if you do I tend to spar with her, it'd be a good opportunity for her to use up some of that energy," Winston noted, "Go easy on her."
"Pfft, like she'd go easy on me," Angela scoffed, knowingly.
Angela wiped the sweat from her brow, unhappily examining her damp rag as it hadn't done its job, simply tossing it to the ground before turning to grab another one. Fareeha, in an attack stance, returned to standing as she sighed with a unhopeful expression.
"You know, you won't be able to do that in a match, right?" she reminded, dishearteningly.
"Well, this isn't a match," Angela groaned, grabbing a dry rag to wipe off her face, "You know, in nursing school, we dedicated a whole week to simply wiping sweat off of our doctors while they worked."
"You don't get nurses in sparring," Fareeha groaned, rubbing her cheek, "Okay, power stance!"
Angela looked down at her feet, placing them correctly, though by the time she had her arms up, Fareeha could have rushed up to her, taken her to the ground, and broken a few joints. She examined the doctor's unsure stance, her face dropping, which Angela noticed.
"Alright, maybe technique isn't the way to go," Fareeha muttered, quietly, almost hoping she wouldn't hear, "Let's just try something like… Okay, Lena likes to go for the legs, then quickly go to town as you're on the ground, so perhaps we should focus on that. How quick are your feet?"
Fareeha waited for her reply, but her face slowly saddened as she recalled their night in Oslo, a few months ago- the doctor's feet stepping on her toes more than they were touching the floor as they danced. Angela seemed to be recalling the same event as she noticed Fareeha's expression, her words quietly appearing.
"Uh… Remember Oslo?"
"Yeah…" Fareeha answered, weakly, "I just thought of it, actually. Let me get a jump rope and we'll just-"
"N-N-No, that's fine!" Angela cried out, her hands out in front of her as her head shook, rapidly, "J-Just, let's forget the jump r-r-rope, alright?"
Fareeha eyed her, wryly, "Doctor Ziegler, are you afraid of jump ropes?"
"Pfft," she scoffed, looking away, "No! I'm totally NOT afraid of tripping and smashing my face into the ground… again!"
She crossed her arms, sighing, "All the kids had to have jump ropes at some point, and of course, I'm not any good with that sort of athletic coordination. So I fell; nobody knew when to do; they just stood there like headless chickens, so I just laid there, bleeding, for however long until a week parent came by."
Fareeha smiled, "No wonder you need to know the ins-and-outs of everything you do. I'm starting to learn more and more of what makes you tick, Dr. Ziegler."
Shrugging, Angela half-heartedly agreed before Fareeha held her leg back, raising her palms in front of her, "Well, time to learn everything about sparring. Come on; hit my hand! What was the first thing I taught you?!"
"A healthy spirit is a healthy body!" Angela shouted out, jumping into an attacking stance, grinning assertively, "Don't worry; I bring the fire!"
"Then hit me!" Fareeha shouted back, but as Angela punched her open hand, she actually ended up knocking herself off-balance as she pushed toward Angela in anticipation, the doctor's fist doing nothing.
Angela frowned, dropping her head, "I'm hopeless, aren't I?"
"N-No!" Fareeha assured her after regaining her footing, "We just, you know, need to work at it. You said it was next week, right?"
"Toni- oh, shit," Fareeha muttered, quickly regaining her spirit, "I-I mean, yeah, well get you prepped by tonight! Come on, it's Lena; it's not as if she'll drop you like a bag of dirt or anything."
"I don't know," Angela grimaced, uncertainly, "She seemed pretty upset by the whole Oxton thing. And, of course, that time I referred to those trails of spacetime she leaves behind her as "oxtails"; she didn't really care for that."
Fareeha held in a snicker as she covered her mouth, shaking her head, "You two…"
Groaning, Angela replied, "I know, I know. We're like sisters and all that."
"Something like that," Fareeha muttered behind a grin.
Meanwhile, Lena was hanging from a punching bag, her arms and legs all wrapped around the thing as she vigorously bit at the leather casing, a rather audible growling escaping from her as Mei watched, horrified. The scientist covered her face with her hand, shaking her head in dismay before looking up toward Reinhardt, who had pretty much the same expression.
"You know, such tactics would get you shot back in my day," Reinhardt groaned heavily.
Mei shrugged, "That's her problem, though. She doesn't exactly have 'tactics'; I've seen her in combat, man, she just bolts around like a mad dog. That wouldn't exactly be fair, though, in a sparring match."
Lena had allowed herself to slide down the bag, now sitting sadly on the padded floor below, legs outstretched as she looked over to the others, pitifully, "Am I a lost cause?"
"NO! NO!" Reinhardt assured her, boisterously, "You just… Have you sparred before?"
She shrugged, limply, "Well, Faheera, once, but I hadn't a clue what I was doing; I was mostly just diving at her legs and praying for a win. She's crazy good, though."
"Fareeha," Mei corrected, frowning.
Reinhardt let out a quiet moan as he thought to himself, tapping at his cheek, though Mei continued speaking, "Why did you pick a fight, anyway, if you weren't sure you'd win?"
"I don't know," Lena groaned as she fell backwards, now laying across the floor, "I didn't think she'd actually accept. She's always on about not harming others; I don't know what all has changed."
"She has somebody to fight for!" Reinhardt shouted out with a smile, "Or there's just something about those Amari women; I'll tell you, nothing made me more disheartened about carrying my shield than knowing my Ana wasn't able to be behind it!"
He nodded gallantly, "Were she to ask, I'd take up my hammer and just-!"
Suddenly, he burst out a massive punch at the punching bag, tearing it from its chain to the wall, sending it flying into the wall. He roared like a proud lion as he did it, but quickly hushed himself, embarrassed, looking around as if to see if anybody had seen him.
"Let me just, uh, find some glue or something…" he spoke quietly as he sauntered off, peering outside the door for anyone else before ducking out of the room, leaving only Lena and Mei there.
Mei sighed, her lips contorted in reluctance, though Lena was quick to catch that she had a plan cooked up, and she bolting through the air toward her, landing on her knees and pleading up toward her, "I know you've got somethin'! C'mon! Let me in on it! Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplea-"
"Okay!" Mei interrupted, bracing herself for the hug that Lena immediately jumped into, "Look, remember the Chronal Accelerator that I made? The Zhou Version? Well, Roadhog sort of admired the idea behind it, so Jamison and I tinkered around with it. Perhaps you'd like to give it a shot?"
"Would I?!" Lena shouted, happily, "What does it do?!"
Mei crossed her arms, "Well… It might be best if you try it first. I'd hate to make promises I can't keep; I mean, I don't even know if you can take that one o-"
"'Course I can!" Lena replied quickly, "Just in case it gets torn out or something, I'd like to figure out a way to retain existence even without it on, so I'll experiment sometimes."
Mei sighed, "Despite the fact that you might die? or, worse case scenario, make this entire base disappear into the eternal nether?"
Lena happily nodded repeatedly, which Mei couldn't exactly fault for being uncharacteristic, "Of course! I take the proper precautions!"
Well, alright," Mei shrugged as she turned to the door, "I know Dr. Zielger is getting helped by Fareeha, so you'll need all the help you can get. With this, and the element of surprise, I think her butt won't be the only thing getting kicked…"
She giggled alongside Lena, who managed a question through her laughter, "You really kicked her?!"
"How many times do you get invited to do that?" Mei replied, between bursts of giggles.
As they left the room, Reinhardt was crouched down as he returned, holding a toolbox around his arm, his lips pursed as he covered them up with a finger. The two ladies simply nodded in reply, covering their own mouths, before making their way off toward the coldest room on the base.