(Roughly a month after the break in incident)
Ashe looked over the many food choices in the supermarket. Sure the homecooked meals prepared by the kitchen staff were good, but after eating them her whole life, they started to lose their appeal.
"Hey, found what you're looking for?" McCree asked as he approached her, two baskets filled with food in his hands.
"I told you Jesse, I'm very picky." Ashe said "I also told you you didn't have to come with me and yet here you are. So stop complaining and wait."
"I wanted to come with you. What kind of bodyguard would I be if I didn't?" McCree asked "Besides, you let that omnic come with you so I figured you didn't mind." He said, looking over at Bob who managed to knock over another pyramid of stacked fruits, much to the dismay of one of the employees.
"First of all, you're security staff. That means you're in charge of taking care of the house and making sure it and everything in it is safe." Ashe said "Bob on the other hand, is my actual bodyguard which means whether I like it or not, he goes wherever I go."
"Even to the bathroom?"
"Jesse!" Ashe yelled, though she couldn't help but smile as she punched the man in front of her in the arm. "Go back home and watch over the estate."
"Those are just material things Elizabeth." McCree said "I'd rather protect something way more valuable."
That line caught Ashe off guard and she found herself blushing at the man's charm, the contrast of her white hair only making it even more obvious. Thankfully, even though he was aware of his affect on her, McCree chose not to say anything. He grabbed the food that Ashe was finally able to choose and carried it for her to the counter.
"Someone's a gentleman."
"Well you're the one paying for everything I bought so I may as well just carry it for you."
Ashe chuckled as she pulled her wallet out. She paid for it and McCree got ready to take everything to the car when Ashe stopped him. "Its fine Jesse, Bob can do it."
"We parked at the very edge of the parking lot Jesse, do you really want to carry it all the way."
"Fair enough. Here you go man." McCree said as he handed one of the plastics to Bob who just looked at him as he picked up the rest of the plastics and walked out the door. "I don't think he likes me very much." He whispered to Ashe once the omnic had left the building.
"I think he's warming up to you." Ashe said "You're still alive aren't you?"
"Being told not to kill me and actually not wanting to kill me are two different things. I can tell that he's just waiting for me to give him a reason to kill me."
"Give it some time Jesse, Bob is actually very nice. At least as nice as an omnic can be."
"So why do you treat him like shit then?" McCree asked.
"I'm like that to everyone. At least at first anyway, the ones I still treat like that are the ones I actually like."
"So you like me then?"
Ashe scoffed. "In your dreams Jesse. No matter how close you think we are, at the end of the day, you're just security staff."
McCree and Ashe walked over to the waiting area as they waited for Bob to put the groceries in the car and drive the car to them. Ashe sat patiently but McCree was restless by her side, changing his sitting position every now and again.
"Bob is a slow omnic Jesse." Ashe said, finally annoyed by McCree's constant checking of his watch.
"Yeah but he left like ten minutes ago."
"You're seventeen Jesse, not seven. Quit whining."
"But I'm bored."
"Well then go over to the counter to see if the lady there has a coloring book or something." Ashe said, meaning for it to be a joke but it came out sounding more motherly than she wanted it to be, and McCree took advantage.
"Fine then mom." He said as he got up.
"You're actually going to do it?"
"What? No, I'm going to take a piss." He said before leaving her alone.
Ashe watched him walk away for a bit before turning back to her magazine with the intent to continue reading her article, only to have her attention stolen once more when to masked and hooded figures entered the store, fired a shot into the air and yelled for everyone to get down on the ground. Ashe, along with everyone else complied while one of the assailants commanded the people at the counter to put everything from the register inside the bag.
The other one was looking around, examining everyone in the room. Ashe did her best not to stand out, but the thief spotted her anyway and approached her. "You, get up now." The thief yelled, revealing through her voice that she was female.
"I don't want any trouble."
"Nobody here does, you're just unlucky enough that I chose to give it to you."
She grabbed Ashe and dragged her along, yelling at her companion to hurry up. He yelled back at her, revealing that he was male through his voice as well. Ashe knew she heard those voices before, and yet she couldn't remember from where, even if her life depended on it, and in this case, it actually might. He instructed her to drag Ashe to wherever they had parked and to bring the car here. The man turned around to continue raiding the cash register and got a punch from McCree, one hard enough to send him to the ground.
McCree charged at the other thief who saw him just in time. She raised her gun and fired it at McCree, sending wire to wrap themselves around his body before electrifying themselves. McCree yelled as the voltage surged through his body and he fell to the ground.
"We're taking him too." She said.
The woman dragged Ashe with her while the man carried an incapacitated McCree over his shoulder. With a gun pressed to her back, Ashe was forced to tell her captors where they had parked, forced to watch as they shot Bob with the same gun they used on McCree, the electric current temporarily shutting him down, and was forced to drive them out if there.
When the feeling came back in McCree's limbs, he sat up and saw the gun of his captor placed on the seat next to him while its owner was looking away. He debated in his head on whether or not he should go for it but that thought was immediately shut down.
"Don't even think about it Jesse."
"How did you-, why do you know my name?"
"Oh sorry," she said before taking her mask off "how rude of me."
"Taylor?" McCree asked, shocked but annoyed that he hadn't recognized her.
"In the flesh." Taylor said "I'd apologize for shooting you but you decked Diaz pretty hard back there so I'll just call us even."
In the passenger seat, Diaz took his mask off to rub his jaw. "Thanks for that by the way, you asshat."
"I'm the asshat? You're the one dragging us through the parking lot!"
"We're claiming that favor you owe us without making it look like you two were accomplices." Taylor said "You should be thanking us."
"You're welcome." Diaz said before checking his phone "Make a left here Ashe."
For some reason, Ashe obeyed and the minute they rounded the corner, came face to face with a police road block, guns pointed at their windshield.
"Keys out of the ignition and step out with your hands up or we'll be forced to open fire." One of the officers said through a megaphone.
"Ashe, don't forget you two are still wanted for assaulting an officer and breaking out of the precinct. If you let them catch us, they'll throw the two of you in the back of a squad car as well."
"I know, I know." Ashe said as she reached for a spare set of keys. She rolled down her window and raised her arm out to show it to the police officers.
"Good, now get out. Slowly."
Ashe threw the keys in front of the police barricade and put the car in reverse, tires screeching as they drove out of there. The police fired at them, the bullets cracking the windshield but none of them went through. Ashe jerked the wheel and turned the car around before speeding down the road and into the highway, where they used the traffic to their advantage.
Diaz ran his finger through the cracks from the other side of the windshield, amazed because if it weren't for the actual marks on it, it was as if the windshield was never shot at all. "Any reason the windows are bulletproof Ashe?"
"My parents built and run an empire that makes them so much money that the account I drained last month for that police officer got filled back up in like, a week." Ashe said "You don't get to the top without making a few enemies. My parents made a lot of them so now they're paranoid, hence the bulletproof windows."
A police car rammed them from behind, cutting off their conversation. Ashe looked in the rear view mirror to see the car back up then ram them again. The car backed up, getting ready to ram them again and when it sped up, Ashe swerved out of the way. When the police car went past them, Ashe cut across three lanes and through the divider so now they were on the other side of the highway where she cut across three more lanes so she can take the next exit, the traffic caused by her actions causing traffic that made it impossible for the police cars to follow them.
Ashe started to head back when Taylor tapped her on the shoulder. "Don't you think your estate would be the first place they'd look?"
"Not really. Mom and Dad's lawyers are so good that the police are too scared to arrest anyone within the estate. That happened one time with one of their friends and their lawyer not only got the charges dropped, she even got the policeman charged for assault."
"Damn, your parents are dicks." Taylor said, which got her a thump in the arm from Diaz.
"Tell me about it." Ashe said "I doubt they even knew what's been happening to me for the past four weeks. Or if they care."
They drove in silence after that, only speaking up when they finally pulled up to Ashe's mansion. Diaz and Taylor grabbed their stuff, including the money they stole, and got out of the car.
"Hey, uh…sorry about your omnic. He can make it back here can't he?" Taylor said, rubbing the back of her head. She reached inside her bag and pulled out a small stack of money and offered it to Ashe. "For your troubles."
Ashe just stared at the woman in front of her. "What?"
"I'm rich, remember?"
Taylor awkwardly put the stack back in the bag. "Weird flex, but ok." She said "We'll see you again soon."
"I doubt that." McCree said.
"Yee of little faith Jesse, yee of little faith." Taylor said "Thanks again." The two of them ran one last check of their belongings before leaving through the estate's back gate. Once the two of them were gone, Ashe turned around and walked back into the mansion, acting as if all the events in the past half hour hadn't happened.
"Elizabeth where are you going?" McCree asked "Aren't we going to report this?"
"No we're not Jesse. Like it or not, Diaz was right. We're still wanted, the minute we walk into the police station, we'll have cuffs on our wrists."
"So we're just walking away? You do realize that by doing so we just let them get away with it."
Ashe turned to face him, and in all seriousness she said: "Get away with what?"
After getting the items she bought from the pile of groceries that McCree set on the dining table, Ashe went up to her room. For some reason, she felt jittery. She knew it was probably just the adrenaline from being in a car chase earlier, but it should have worn off by now. No, this was different. It felt…satisfying. For some reason, she found herself intoxicated with the feeling of what she had just done.
No Elizabeth. Don't even think about it. She told herself, but it was no use. She couldn't think of anything but that, and how it made her felt. The room suddenly felt hotter and Ashe figured a shower could help clear her head.
"Hey Elizabe-oh shit!" Ashe heard McCree yell before shutting door behind her.
At first, Ashe was curious as to why that was McCree's reaction but then she realized her top was already off when he entered. Her face turned a deep crimson as she covered herself, though it was useless now since McCree was already outside of the room, and since he had already seen them.
"Jesse don't you know how to knock?!" she yelled, trying to bury her shame in anger.
"Fuck, I'm sorry! I…I'm sorry." McCree yelled through the door before scampering back to his own room.
"Are you sure that's where she is?"
"This was the last location we tracked her to before she went offline." Winston said "That was a few days ago. Chances are she's being transported along with some high grade military equipment. I know it's a longshot but if we don't go for it now, we might never see her again."
McCree looked at the map on the giant screen in front of him. "Well I'll be damned. Of all the places in the world it had to be there." He said as Winston zoomed in a particular spot on the map.
"I know that's where your old gang is but you know the area better than anyone here. I don't want to put you in this position but we really don't have a choice here."
"Its fine, I understand." McCree said "Have a ship ready for me, I'll just get my things then I'm leaving."
Winston nodded and McCree turned to leave. "Oh, I almost forgot. Here, take this." Winston said before tossing something to McCree. He caught it mid air and examined it. At first glance, it looked like a guitar pick, but the glowing blue light in the middle suggested that it was way more valuable. "Just place it on her, it will take care of the rest."
McCree tipped his hat and left, running into Pharah on the way to the hangar. "Going somewhere?"
"I'm going to get Echo back. Winston says she's somewhere near Route 66, being transported on a military train."
"And you were planning on doing that on your own?" Pharah asked, arms crossed to which McCree just shrugged her off.
"I did it before didn't I?"
"That was a commuter train Jesse. This is different." Pharah said "Not to mention your Deadlock friends are still at large in the area."
"I'll figure something out. If anything, I'll just use them to get the train and just steal Echo once they do."
"That's the dumbest idea you've ever had Jesse." Pharah stopped him "What if they can't stop the train? Or if you can't steal Echo back? Or if they don't actually, you know, show up?"
McCree waved Pharah off and continued walking. "Relax Fareeha, if I know Ashe, and I do, she won't pass up an opportunity like this."
"Still, its too dangerous to do this by yourself."
McCree sighed. He knew there was no getting rid of Pharah once her mind was set to something. He groaned. "Fine. Get your gear and meet me at the hangar."
Pharah turned around to head for the armory, realized how stupid she was then ran back for the hangar, just in time to see McCree inside a ship that had just taken off. He looked out the window to see Pharah yelling at him. "Sorry Fareeha." He muttered to himself as the ship left Gibraltar.
Usually on a flight that long, McCree would have his feet on the table and his hat draped over his face as he slept, but this time he found himself holding an encrypted tablet, sending a message an old number he knew all too well. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew this was irresponsible, but ever since Ashe had managed to get all the gangs in Deadlock Gorge, hell all the gangs in the southwest, there were so many anonymous tips flying everywhere that a message from an unknown number eventually became part of the norm.
High grade military weapon transport.
His message was simple, but he knew it was enough to get the gang leader's attention. Now all he had to do was wait. He managed to doze off for a bit, the ship's omnic pilot waking him up once they had landed. He thanked the pilot and stepped off the plane, the air he had been breathing for his entire childhood life suddenly feeling foreign to him.
Why was he so anxious? He had done way more dangerous things than what he was about to do now, but in all those situations he always managed to keep a cool head, so why was now any different? Maybe it was the thought of seeing Ashe after all these years, of seeing all his former gang members after he had stabbed them in the back. Sure, it was neither his fault, nor his choice to betray them, it didn't change the fact that, well, he betrayed them.
He made his way to the diner under the train tracks to wait for the gang to stop the train, and to get a taste of the food that defined his childhood once more. The coffee still tasted like boiled dirt, but the apple pie was so heavenly that one bite nearly made him forget why he was there in the fist place.
Thankfully the explosion of the train tracks reminded him.
McCree sighed. Maybe he would have time to finish that pie later. He stood up, left his payment on the table, grabbed his revolver and stepped out of the double doors and into the smoke outside.
McCree took a step back to marvel at the robotic figure before him. He helped her up and she held his prosthetic, examining his hand in hers. "What happened?"
"That's a story for another time." McCree said "I got a call. They're getting the band back together. They want me, but they need you."
Echo nodded and McCree turned for the hoverbike parked nearby. "Jesse," she called out "where are you going?"
"I have some business to attend to." McCree said "Say hi to the monkey for me."
"Monkey?" Echo asked with a chuckle.
McCree chuckled back. "Scientist. Whatever."
McCree started the bike and sped off into the highway, telling Winston over the comms to get the ship to come pick Echo up where he left her, and that he had to take care of something before he'd go back himself. Once he got off the comms and drove in silence for a while, he found his anxiety coming back although this time, he knew why.
The deadlock gang wasn't the only thing that made him stay away from home for so long. He knew that the minute he stepped foot back in this place that he couldn't leave without doing the one thing he had been putting off for a long time. He had been mentally preparing himself for it for a while, knowing that he'd have to go back sooner or later, but that didn't change how hard it was going to be.
Passing by a tied up Ashe and Bob on a payload, and speeding past them as Ashe yelled at him calmed his nerves a bit, but he was still anxious. As he got closer, the voice in the back of his head kept getting louder, telling him it wasn't too late to catch up to the ship but he just pushed those thoughts aside. He was doing this now. Period.
He pulled up to his destination and stopped the bike. Walking inside, he sighed once he found what he was looking for. "Hey mom. Hey dad."
He stared at the two tombstones in front of him, the names of his parents engraved on them along with the year they were born up to the night they died. That night. "I hope that wherever you two are, that you are happy. If you can see me right now, I just want to let you know that I love you guys. That I miss you, that I…I forgive you. I hope you can forgive me too since, well, I'm having trouble forgiving myself."
McCree let a tear shed as he stood there in silence, as the memories of that night came flooding back. His mourning was interrupted when he heard some rustling in the background. Rustling that was close enough to make him to put a hand on the grip of his holstered revolver, ready to whip it out should the situation call for it.
"Scared McCree? Don't tell me you believe in ghosts."
McCree sighed and let go of his revolver. "I'm not in the mood for this. Have some honor and let a man grieve in peace."
"You're talking about honor? You abandon the gang then show up years later and use us. Where's the honor in that?"
The fact that a second voice had said that made McCree wonder how many hostiles there were. Still, he had no intention of taking them on. "What do you want?"
"First of all, tell us where Ashe is." A third voice demanded.
"I left her tied to a payload next to her butler. What's left of him anyway." McCree said "Where that payload is headed though, well that's beyond me."
"You've got balls McCree, I'll give you that. Knowing you're not making it out of here alive and yet you can still talk like that." A fourth voice said.
"How are you so sure about that?" McCree said as he heard the four gang members began to approach him.
"You're outnumbered McCree." One of the gang members said as he stepped closer and spat on the graves of McCree's parents. "Now get up and drop your weapon or your body won't get the chance to be buried along side them."
McCree grit his teeth in anger but complied regardless, slowly standing up and removed his revolver from its holster. He discreetly pulled the hammer back before dropping it and it discharged, shooting the man who defiled his parent's grave in the foot. As he fell to the ground, McCree went for the nearest attacker, disarming him and using him as a shield once the other gang members opened fire, essentially gunning him down in cold blood.
McCree grabbed the man's gun and blew one of the gang members away, unloading the two shots of the sawed off into her chest. He tossed the corpse he was using as a shield to another gang member which threw his aim off long enough for McCree to close the distance and snap the man's neck. Once the other members were dispatched, he turned his attention to the last remaining member, who was bleeding from his foot as he tried to crawl away.
He kicked the man in the gut before walking over to where an open grave was being dug. "You need to learn to respect the dead." He said as he grabbed the shovel "Because one day you'll get to meet them." McCree kicked the man in the gut once more before beating him to death.
Not much sleep was gotten that night in the estate, though for completely different reasons. McCree laid in his bed, the memory of walking in on Ashe kept creeping its way into his mind. Holy fuck was he getting fired. If he was being completely honest with himself, he was acting more like Ashe's friend instead of her employee. There were times that he would overstep his boundaries, but she just shrugged it off, this was different. It was worse.
"Jesse can you come to my room please?" Ashe asked through the intercom.
There it was. He might as well pack his bags now since chances are she's calling him up there to let him go, if Bob wasn't there waiting to tear his limbs off, that is. He made his way up there, his heart beating faster once he got closer. He reached her door and knocked, something he should have done in the first place.
"Come in." Ashe said. Even through the door he could tell she was serious.
McCree entered, already apologizing before he even got through the door. "Look Elizabeth I just want to apologize for a while ago. I also want to apologize for the way I had been acting-"
"Don't worry about it Jesse." Ashe said "You smoke don't you?"
"If its not allowed then I-"
"Jesus Christ Jesse, calm down you're not getting fired now just answer the damn question." Ashe said, annoyed.
McCree guilty looked away. "Yes, I do."
"What do you do if you get the urge to smoke. Like when you're body is yelling at you to put a cigar in your mouth. How do you make it stop?" Ashe asked, sounding slightly desperate.
"I don't. I just give in to the urge and have a smoke."
Ashe stayed silent, thinking something over. "Ok, that's all." She said and after apologizing one last time, McCree left. She waited for a bit to make sure he couldn't hear her as she pulled out a phone and a slip of paper that Taylor had given her while McCree's back was turned earlier. She dialed the number into the phone, and after three rings, the person on the other end answered.
"Taylor, its me."
"Really? Ok then, to what do I owe the pleasure?"
Ashe was involuntarily tapping her foot as she forced the words she wanted to say out of her. "When's your next job?"
"Why?" Taylor asked.
"I want in."