McCree's phone buzzed on the nightstand by his bed, eliciting a groan from him as he reached for it. Why was his alarm so early anyway? For the life of him, he couldn't even remember if he had set an alarm in the first place. Or why. He went to put it on snooze but it just kept buzzing. He tried again, which somehow made the buzzing worse. Nearly throwinghis phone in anger, he remembered how his alarm clock back in the old overwatch base did the same whenever obe of the higher ups sent a message and wanted to make sure that it wouldn't be ignored.
He unlocked it and sure enough, Winston had sent him a message though it didn't say much. Just a bunch of numbers with We need you back written on top of it. If his memory served him right, he was looking at the coordinates of watchpoint Gibraltar. He stared at the message again. Was overwatch getting back together? He thought about going back, how it would be like to see everyone after all these years. How it would be like to see his old friends and co workers. How it would be like to see Angela…
Shaking his head, he forced his mind to think of something else. He saved the message and put the phone back on the desk. After a quick shower, he went down to a diner near his motel for breakfast. Usually he didn't spend as much as he did, but his last bounty was a big one, and the paycheck proved it. Bacon and eggs with a slice of apple pie, his mouth watered at just the thought of it. Just like his mother used to make. McCree exhaled in frustration. Two decades after that night that changed his life forever. It didn't hurt nearly as much anymore, but it still hurts.
He sat down and placed his order, sitting peacefully as he waited for it to be delivered to him. "Come here often?" a voice called for him from behind "I haven't seen you here before."
McCree turned around and saw a latina in all purple clothes. Half of her head was shaved and the other half went down to her shoulder, with purple highlights at the end. She had different electronics were augmented into her body. Back in the day, that woman would have looked peculiar, but with everything that has been happening for the past few decades, that was actually considered normal.
"I could say the same to you." He replied, which the woman took as an invitation to sit over with him.
"You're right." The woman said "I've never been here before, but after I've seen what the residents here look like, I wish I'd gone sooner."
"Flattering. What do you want?"
"So just because I give you a compliment, I already want something from you?"
"Well its either that, or you actually do like me." McCree said "But you don't look like the sort that would make the first move. You look more like someone who enjoys making people fall for her then shatter their heart just for shits and gigles."
The woman seemed somewhat surprised, but she kept the act up anyway. "Fine, I do want something." She said flirtatiously "I want you."
McCree's order came and the waitress placed the plate in between them. McCree took a bite before responding. "Like I said, flattering, but I've dealt with women like you before so either tell me what you really want or just leave me alone because you're wasting both of our time."
"Straight to the point. I like you." The woman said "I'll tell you when you wake up."
The woman reached to inject him with something, only to be shocked when the needle hit the metal of McCree's prosthetic arm. He noticed and chuckled at her. "You haven't done this before, haven't you?"
In anger, the woman threw the plate of food at McCree and lunged at him with the steak knife but McCree kicked the table upwards and she lost her balance, falling to the ground with a grunt. McCree wrestled the knife from her hands and pinned her to the ground. He pulled out the syringe from his metal arm and upon seeing this, the woman began to squirm.
"Let's see what this is shall we?" he said as he injected it into the woman.
Slowly, the fight in the woman left and she started to go limp. "Sedative?" McCree asked, to which the woman drunkenly swore at him. Tossing the needle aside, he put pressure on the nearly unconscious woman's neck. "When you wake up, I want you to tell whoever sent you to fuck off."
"Tell him yourself." The woman woozily said before passing out.
McCree took a moment to process what she said and he nearly caught a shotgun blast because of it. Diving behind the overturned table and reached for his holster, barely grabbing his revolver before another shotgun blast tore through the chair he hung it on. Lobbing a flashbang over the table, he ran for the window and jumped through it barely dodging another shot.
He got up and fired at his attacker, only to see his bullets go through him in a puff of black smoke. McCree panicked. He knew only one person that was able to do that, and that person was not to be taken lightly.
"Come out kid. Don't make me take your other arm off."
"Haven't seen your face in a while Reyes." McCree said, jumping behind one of the hover bikes for cover "Any reason as to why I'm seeing it now?"
"Just passing by. None of your business."
"It became my business the minute you began to shoot up the fucking diner!" McCree yelled as he counted how much rounds his revolver was worth.
"I've been counting kid." Reaper said, beating him to the punch "You have one round left, and we both know you need way more than that."
McCree scrambled around, begging for an escape as he heard Reaper slowly marching towards him. Patting himself down for any spare rounds of ammunition, McCree came up empty-handed though he did find something else, and if he played his cards right one bullet was all he needed. From behind him, Reaper kicked the hover bike, sending him to the ground where Reaper proceeded to press his boot against his chest.
"This is what I should have done twenty years ago." Reaper said, raising his shotgun.
"You're forgetting something Reyes." McCree said "I always have back up."
Behind them, an engine revved up and Reaper turned around with his guns drawn ready for a threat that was nowhere to be seen giving McCree enough room to wiggle free from his foot. Reaper turned to shoot him but was too late. Having been missed by Reaper's first shot, McCree fired off a shot. Reaper managed to dissipate into smoke but not fast enough and McCree managed to shatter his mask.
With no rounds left, McCree was vulnerable but to his surprise, Reaper didn't take advantage and instead chose to walk, or more specifically float away from him. Tossing aside the keys of the hoverbike he found, he got on his own hoverbike and quickly fled the area before Reaper had any chance to change his mind.
Once he deemed himself far enough, he took his phone out and checked the message Winston had sent. It was only recent, sent just a few hours before he had woken up, and he doubted anything has changed since so if the invite was still good, his choice had already been made for him.
It was time to go home.
McCree woke up in the estate's guest room, startled by the sound of gunfire. At first he thought they were under attack again, and the sound of Ashe cussing in anger only served to scare him even more. Quickly throwing on the nearest article of clothing, he ran out following the sounds, heart stopping as Ashe began to yell for Bob. What kind of security would he be if the one he was supposed to be protecting had died while he was asleep?
"Elizabeth!" he desperately called out "Elizabeth are you ok? Where are you?"
"Calm down Jesse, I'm fine." Ashe said from the estate's lush greenery where she had set up a table with various targets, most of which were still standing. In her hands was the lever action rifle he had seen mounted above the fireplace when he first arrived. Next to her was Bob, holding a box of .45 Colt the rifle was chambered in.
"What are you doing?"
"Well whatever it is, I'm clearly doing it wrong."
"I'm serious Elizabeth." McCree said "Why are you doing this, and in the morning nonetheless."
Ashe exhaled and placed the rifle on the table. "While I was waiting for breakfast in the dining hall, I saw one of the tables that had a dent on one of its corners. The corner in which that police officer slammed Reginald's head in. You responded way quicker than any of the security team. If I hadn't brought you here I would have died that night. I hate feeling helpless so I decided to learn how to protect myself."
"Learning how to shoot a gun isn't all there is to self defense Elizabeth." McCree said "Before anything you must learn hand to hand combat."
"I have a black belt in jiu-jitsu Jesse. It was one of the many classes I was forced to take." Ashe said "I doubt those skills would be any use to me if my opponent can shoot me before I can close the distance."
"Wasn't shooting one of the classes you took?"
"No. My parents said it isn't ladylike to shoot a gun. They wouldn't even let me near the skeet shooting area. Its pretty clear they wanted a son, but got me instead. They already resented me even before I was born, at least to some degree."
"Damn Elizabeth, I shouldn't have asked."
"Its fine." Ashe said "Just go back to sleep, sorry for waking you."
Instead of turning back, McCree grabbed the rifle, cocked it and took out three glass bottles in quick succession before giving the rifle back to Ashe who seemed to have taken the gesture differently than how McCree meant for it to be.
"No need to show off asshole."
"No, t-that meant that I was going to teach you."
Ashe took the rifle from him. "You could have just told me that." She said, already frustrated from the whole morning of her bullets hitting nothing but dirt. She cocked the rifle and fired, missing her target once again.
"You're holding it wrong." McCree said "If you keep on firing from the hip you won't hit anything. Keep a firm grip with your non firing hand and press the butt of the rifle against your shoulder."
Ashe did as she was told and fired, this time winging one of the bottles. "Getting better." McCree said "Now keep your elbows down and in and let your face fall naturally on thhe stock."
McCree approached her. "Here, let me show you."
Ashe was about to offer him the rifle but instead he came up from behind her and placed his hands on hers and fixed her stance for her. For some reason, this distracted her. The gentle touch of his hands, his breath on the back of her neck, it took her mind off of the current task at hand so much so that she almost didn't hear him tell her to fire.
She pulled the trigger and the glass bottle shattered. McCree pivoted to help her aim at another bottle, which also shattered. "There, now try on your own."
Ashe hated herself for it, but she didn't want to be free of McCree's touch. Maybe it was because she never felt the touch of someone, a touch that wasn't meant to hurt her anyway, or maybe it was something else. Whatever it was, she didn't want to let go of that feeling. She didn't have time for that, she had something to do, and after doing everything McCree taught her, she shattered a third bottle.
"Very good." McCree said. He borrowed the rifle and took aim at a training dummy that Ashe had for some reason and cocked the rifle. Ready to fire, he stopped short of actually pulling the trigger annd Ashe noticed.
"Jesse, what's wrong?"
McCree didn't answer, in fact he didn't do anything at all. He just stood there, staring at the dummy, the rifle shaking in his hands. His eyes were tightly shut and when he began to hyperventilate and Ashe panicked, running over to his side. "Jesse? Jesse look at me. Jesus Christ are you ok?"
McCree dropped the rifle annd fell to his knees. He opened his eyes to reveal that he was crying. "I could see her Elizabeth. I could see my mother. I could see her on that dummy, a bullet hole on her fucking forehead. I did that! I killed my mother Elizabeth!"
He cried in his hands. "I should have just died that night."
Ashe knelt next to him and grabbed him by thhe shoulders. "Jesse don't you ever say that, you understand me? Whatever this is, you're going to get through it just fine. I will make sure of that, ok?"
McCree answered her with a tight hug. Behind them, Bob stepped forward but Ashe stopped him. It may have been sudden, but she was never held like that before. She hugged him back just as tightly. It didn't matter to her where he came from. That in another life, they would have been worlds apart. He lost everyone he cared for, and she had been alone her whole life.
They needed each other.
"Sir, this is as far as I can take you."
"Its fine." McCree told the taxi driver as he looked outside the window, where there was nothing much to be seen for miles. "I can take it from here."
"If you don't mind me asking, what exactly are you planning on doing all the way out here?"
"I'm sorry partner but that information is not mine to disclose." McCree said "How much do I owe you?"
McCree looked at the meter and although it was reasonable for the distance he had traveled, it still shocked him. After paying the fare, he thanked the driver and got off, waiting for the taxi to get far enough before he reached for his phone. He scrolled down to a number that he hasn't contacted in years and sent a message.
'I got Winston's message. You mind giving me a lift?' His message had said. He wouldn't be surprised if he didn't get a response right away, or if he got a response at all, but as soon as the message was sent, his phone already vibrated with a message notification. He smiled and put his phone back in his pocket. After a while, something appeared in the sky and slowly descended until it was in front of McCree.
He smiled. "Hey Fareeha, missed me?"
Pharah smiled back and gave him a hug. "You said you'd call."
"Sorry, I just didn't know if I was able to talk to you after all these years." McCree said, rubbing the back of his neck "So you finally managed to get that thing to work."
Pharah looked at her jetpack. "Took me a while, but I finally managed to convince my mother that it was safe."
"What about the other thing, were you able to convince her of that?"
"Oh that, yeah I'll never tell her that."
"She'll find out sooner or later Fareeha, and it'll piss her off more if she hadn't heard it from you."
"Whatever." Pharah shrugged "Enough chit chat, the others want to see you again."
Pharah crouched down and McCree looked at her. "Can I trust you not to drop me?"
"Stop being a pussy and just get on."
"That's what you said last time." McCree said as he climbed Pharah, albeit awkwardly since the rockets were already occupying a lot of space on her back. Once he was in a somewhat proper piggyback position, Pharah took off. With his eyes tightly shut, McCree held on for dear life while Pharah seemed to have intentionally go as high as she can just to scare the poor cowboy.
Eventually they finally reached Gibraltar and McCree nearly lied down and kissed the ground by how grateful he was to be back on it. The two of them walked into the base where McCree noted that not much has changed since he was last there and he voiced his thoughts to Pharah.
"There wasn't much to change here. Just a little maintenance to make sure everything still works." Pharah said "Oh and they fixed the medbay since Reyes trashed it."
McCree turned serious. Nearly a decade later and he could still remember every detail of that fateful night. How Reyes turned into what he was, how Reyes shot his arm off and how he left not only overwatch, but Angela as well which was the part of that night that had bothered him the most. The look on her face was what made him reluctant on coming back prior to Winston's recall because he knew that he would have to deal with her, and he wasn't sure if he was ready for that just yet.
"Is Angela here already?"
"Yeah but she had to take off again because Jack needed help." Pharah said "He ran into some trouble in Dorado on his way here. They should be back by the end of the day."
"Were you able to talk to her before she left?" McCree asked to which Pharah nodded "Did she say anything about me? Anything at all?"
"It didn't come up. Why, is there something wrong between you two? Well other than the fact that you left without so much as a goodbye that is."
McCree put his face in his hands. "I said something to her before I left."
"From your expression I'm guessing it wasn't a good place to pick up from when you come back."
McCree shook his head. "I was just pissed with what she did to Reyes. She actually went that far to test her research. Testing it on herself was one thing, testing it on someone else, it was too far and in my anger I…I told her that I was done her. With us."
"Wait what?" Pharah stopped walking making McCree stop alongside her "Don't tell me. Don't fucking tell me you broke up with her."
McCree silence only confirmed it and Pharah punched him in the arm. "You dumbass! You know how much that girl loves you."
"I know that Fareeha!" McCree yelled back "I love her just as much, but with everything that happened that night, I wasn't thinking straight. I realized that after I left but I was too ashamed to show my face to her after basically abandoning her."
Pharah and McCree stood outside the mission debriefing room where most of the new arrivals stayed at since Winston wanted to get them acquainted with overwatch before they had to start out. There were even some of the original members of overwatch staying there and the sight of the people he deemed his family made him smile despite his conversation with Pharah earlier.
"Hey Genji!" McCree called out as he approached the cyborg.
Genji turned towards him though instead of approaching him with open arms, like McCree was towards him, Genji struck him in the gut, making McCree double over.
"What the hell?" McCree gasped out.
"That was for leaving without a goodbye." Genji said since he, just like everyone else, only found out McCree left by the time he was already long gone.
"If I said goodbye to everyone I wouldn't be able to leave, you know that." McCree said "I understand why you hit me though. I deserve it."
"You deserve way more than that." Genji said before pulling the cowboy in for a hug "But for now, I'm glad you're back."
McCree hugged his friend back. "Thanks."
"Hey!" a voice called for McCree and when he turned around to face it, he got a slap from a rather angry Egyptian "After all I've done for you, you just disappear without so much as a word?"
"Sorry Ana." McCree said as he rubbed his face.
"Well?" Ana asked "Am I just a stranger to you now?"
McCree pulled his old captain in for a hug and she gladly accepted. "Lord almighty Jesse, you look like shit."
"Yeah, about that. I kind of had a run in with…with Reyes."
Ana's expression turned grim as she sighed. "Never in a million years would I have thought that Gabriel would turn on us."
"That wasn't Gabriel, Ana. The Gabriel we know died that night. Whoever Angela brought back, that person is just wearing his body."
"I've been telling myself that too." Ana said "Go to the medbay, get yourself checked out. Oh and Jesse," McCree raised an eyebrow at her "its nice to have you back."
McCree went to the medbay, unsure of who will treat him if Angela wasn't there. Or if he wanted to be treated by anyone other than the Swiss angel herself. He had noticed that Moira was nowhere to be seen and he couldn't help but think if she was either dead or she ran off with Reyes, both of which were very terrible in their own right.
"Please take a seat I'll be with you shortly." McCree was so lost in his own thoughts that he didn't notice the somewhat short Asian woman that greeted him as he entered the medbay until she spoke. In fact, said Asian woman was familiar to him, he'd seen her before, he just couldn't place his finger on it. The woman reached to grab something on her desk and when he saw the Ecopoint Antarctica logo on her jacket, he remembered.
"Mei?" he asked, which got the woman's attention. She turned around, now fully seeing his face she recognized him as well.
"Jesse? Jesus I haven't seen you in forever."
"I could say the same for you." McCree said "I thought you were dead. We all did."
"I thought I was too." Mei said "When all the food and water in the ecopoint ran out, I just crawled into a corner and gave up. I got Winston's message and I went for it, figured that dying out there was way better than just sitting on my ass, waiting to die."
Mei beamed up, suddenly getting a positive attitude that was so bipolar from how she was just now that it made McCree worry a bit. "Its fine Jesse, I'm here now aren't I?"
"You sure are." McCree smiled at her and Mei gave him a hug. Although McCree was never really close with her, having only interacted whenever she was with Angela on the brief time she had before she left for ecopoint, he hugged back.
"I didn't know you were medical staff."
"I'm not, but I picked up a few things from Angela so I decided to help out as much as I can."
After talking for a while, McCree told Mei he was going to see his old room, mainly because talking about Mercy only served to remind him of how bad he left things off with her. On the way back to the dorms, he passed by the old common room where two of the new recruits were trying to teach Reinhardt how to play a video game. McCree chuckled at the german gaint as he yelled in both anger and laughter.
He finally reached his room and entered it, seeing that everything was just where he left it. He looked at his watch and realized he woke up way earlier than he was used to. A few hours of sleep can't hurt, can it? He laid down, the sounds of Reinhardt failing over and over still reaching his room at the end of the hallway. He chuckled, wondering if he would ever be able to drift off to sleep.
It was good to be home.
"What the hell was that Reyes?" Moira demanded as Reaper solidified into the Talon mobile base.
"He got away." Reaper said, pushing past her as he walked towards his quarters.
"Come back here Reyes I am still talking to you." Moira called out, which only made Reaper flip her the bird. Annoyed and enraged, Moira attacked him, the purple beams making him writhe in pain as they attached themselves to his body.
Reaper fell to his knees and Moira approached him, making the connection a lot stronger. "I'm not just some other runt you picked up from the streets Gabriel." She threatened "Treat me with the respect I deserve or-"
Reaper backhanded Moira once she was too close and broke the connection as she stumbled backwards. He grabbed her by the neck and lifted her up before slamming her against the wall. "Or you'll what? Leave? Go ahead because you're just like all the other fuckwits we work with. I. Don't. Need. You. We're all here because we need something. We're not family, we're not friends. If you want any of that, go back to overwatch because there is no room for that shit here. You understand me?"
Moira clawed at his hands but Reaper only tightened his grip around her neck.
"Gabriel…p-please." Moira stuttered as she began to turn blue.
Reaper slammed her against the wall again before letting go. Moira slumped to the ground and Reaper walked away. He reached his quarters where Sombra was waiting for him, her feet on perched on his desk. "Hello there Gabe."
Reaper groaned at her. "How much more of you do I have to deal with?"
"Wow, not even a hello?"
"What do you want now Colomar?" he demanded "And put your fert down before I break your legs in half."
Sombra rolled her eyes but she did get up and walked out the room, beckoning Reaper to follow. "We may not have managed to kill McCree, for some reason…"
"Watch it." Reaper warned.
Sombra raised her hands in defense. "…but we did get something better."
The two of them reached the airlock, where there were screams of pain that can be heard through the door.
"What is this exactly?"
"The others caught a member of the deadlock gang." Sombra said "Amelie is in there right now, torturing him for more information on their leader. They've been in there for a while so if we're lucky Amelie should be-"
The door to the airlock opened and Widowmaker emerged, tossing aside a bloody knife as she wiped blood off of herself. "Just rewatch the camera feed, I wasn't able to note the information he gave me. I was too busy."
"With what, I wonder." Sombra said "You want a copy of the feed? Human suffering is clearly a turn on for you."
Amelie gave her the finger as she walked away. Sombra laughed before turning back to Reaper. "So, when are we going to make our move?"
From inside, the gang member groaned, begging for them to let him go. Reaper groaned before pressing a button on the wall, and the airlock opened, making the man scream as he fell from the ship. "Tell the pilot we have a change of course." Reaper said.
"We're going back to Deadlock Gorge."