This chapter is worksafe. Also, it's the second longest chapter I've written so far! [AO3 link]
"Really?" she said, leaning forward with her phone. "The Wembley, back in Gibraltar? That's nearly five hours away - bit far for a night out, innit?"
"That's true," Winston replied over the line, "unless you go suborbital."
"You serious, mate?" Lena blinked. "You've got a Sparrowhawk?"
"We had to get here before you did. How'd you think we managed that?"
"...didn't think of it, I guess. We were a bit distracted." Some pilot I am, she thought. Should've realised. "Seems a bit much for a night at the pub, though."
"Well, it is. But it is our usual hangout, and we've been in Oasis for weeks now, for the most part, and we were thinking it's about time for something a little more ... routine. See if we can get a little more back to normal."
Tracer considered that. "Doctor O'Deorain's signed off? She's supposed t'know if Em leaves Oasis - y'know, the agreement and all that rot - and really..."
"We... weren't thinking about including Widowmaker or Oilliphéist. Just the Overwatch gang, like usual. Like old times."
She frowned, but could see the point in it, so let it go for the moment. "Does this mean I'm cleared for Gibraltar? Me spending the night there, I think that's..."
"You are, but we'll come back here, as agreed. If we're... how do you put it? A little too much in our cups? Athena can fly us back as well as I could."
Lena smiled a little at that. "Who else is coming?"
"Almost everyone who's here. Jack isn't - he's going along to give the Watchpoint a look-over, make sure nothing's been disturbed, but won't be out with us. It'll be you, me, Mei, Hana, Fareeha, and Angela."
Tracer felt a little frisson of fear run up her spine at the last name in the list. No, that's not fair, this isn't another test, it's just a night out, she thought to herself. Just that. I think. "Even Angie? She doesn't usually come along, not unless it's a special occasion..."
"Well, it is - first night out since you got back."
Lena nodded, pointlessly, and frowned again, thinking. Won't leave Oilliphéist here alone. Can't take her with us without breaking the agreement, least not without Moira's approval. Means Widowmaker has to stay here. Really don't like leaving them behind, though...
She took a nervous breath. "Let me... let me think. When d'ya want to leave?"
"We were thinking we'd head out at 17:00 - the flight won't take too long, but we'll still have to deal with clearance and landing and everything else."
"Makes sense. Um..." she gave it a thought, "...pencil me in, I'll meet you up half an hour before. But I'm gonna check with Danielle and Em, make sure they're comfortable with it, and I'll call y'back."
The hesitation on the other end of the commlink was small, but definite. "Sure thing. Talk to you soon."
Tracer broke the connection, and looked unhappily at the phone, before looking back up to her counterparts. "I..."
"Go," said Oilliphéist, from her seat across the living room table, Widowmaker nodding her agreement. "They're worried about you, luv, and trying to make it up. So go."
Danielle sipped at the tea Lena had made a few minutes earlier, a pleasant tippy assam which had become the teleporter's favourite. "They want to make sure you're all right, and get you somewhere away for a little while from... everyone they consider dangerous."
"You," Lena said, dejectedly.
"Yes," said Widowmaker, raising one eyebrow amusedly. "And Oilliphéist. Correctly so, let us not pretend."
"Don't like the way they're dancing around it. Makes me nervous."
Emily grinned. "Ah, don't worry, Lena! We'll be fine. I can handle my aunt."
"It's not that, luv, it's... well..." She shrugged. "Well, it is that, partly. But also, Angela's gonna be there, and I don't like... bein'... alone? That isn't right, Winston'll be there, I know he won't let anything happen, but..."
"You do not like being the only person there who has been through what we have been through," Widowmaker said, voice quiet. "Particularly not a gathering with someone so capable, who fears us so very much."
Oilliphéist nodded to her lover, picked up her phone, and made a call. Her silver eyes flashed to Tracer, and she said, "Y'won't be alone."
She heard the other end of the signal connect. "Hullo, Aunt Moira! It's Em." She nodded her head back and forth, a yes, yes, I know you're busy motion. "Yes'm. But mind if we step out for the night? We're thinking of going to a pub in Gibraltar." She smiled, as a quiet voice on the other side of the line made noises unintelligible to Dani and Lena. "Yes, Gibraltar. Yes, it's far. We'll be quite late, but certainly back before tomorrow morning. And I'll keep a locator beacon turned on." Some more voice over the far side of the line. "You're so good to me. Thanks, auntie." A little more voice. "Love you too. Bye!"
She put the phone down and grinned as Widowmaker smirked. "Now," she said, "was that so difficult?"
"But you're not..."
"I know, luv. We'll just be..." She waved her fingers in the air. "...around. Go, relax, have some fun, let them feel better. We'll keep watch."
Tracer huffed out a little bit of a laugh, and felt herself calming down a bit. "Thanks, luv." She stretched, big, in her chair. "Might do me some good, I suppose. I could use a night out." She reached over and took Widowmaker's hand. "I'll make it clear, though. Next time - it's not just me."
"I do not mind." Widowmaker took Lena's hand, nuzzled, and kissed it. "We are not joined at the hips, ma chérie."
"Well," chirped Tracer, wickedly - "Not all the time" - and Widowmaker almost giggled a little in return.
"C'mon, Widow," Oilliphéist said, rising from her seat, picking up her Breath. "If we're gonna beat 'em to Gibraltar, we need to leave right now."
"Ah, yes," Widowmaker replied, picking up her Kiss. "We should." She kissed Tracer's hand again before rising. "See you soon, ma petite contrariété."
Tracer's smile flashed as she teleported directly out of the Sparrowhawk at Watchpoint Gibraltar. "Hooo, I'd forgot how much fun those are!" She teleported around more a bit, apparently for no good reason other than she could. "We should use these for everything!"
She's certainly high-strung this evening, Angela thought, unstrapping herself from her flight seat, stretching out from the high-G transit. I hope that's a good sign.
Tracer teleported around the control tower and looked towards the north in the not-so-darkness, out of sight of the others for a moment. Where are you, I know you're here... ha! In the mid-distance, she spotted a familiar silhouette, and then a second, and she waved, and both waved back, and she grinned, broadly, relaxed. Then she rewound, appearing back at the ramp amidst the Overwatch crew, grin still intact. "C'mon, slowpokes! That lager won't drink itself!"
Winston punched in an access code, a large door opened, and the larger civilian transport floated out onto the tarmac. Morrison checked security systems, verifying no detected intrusions, and nodded as he ducked inside to do a manual sweep. "See you when you get back," he said, gruffly. "Apologise to Blair for me."
"Will do," Fareeha replied. "He's not going to be happy that you're working tonight."
Fareeha smirked, a little.
"He's not my boyfriend."
Fareeha eyes narrowed, and she smirked a little more.
Morrison scowled, but with a hint of humour in it. "With all that's going on, I can't not run a full check. But... I'll join you later, if I can."
"Much better," Fareeha said, as Angela giggled and pulled her away to the transport. "Come on, dear, stop trying to fix the soldier's love life. It's impossible."
"Yeah, I was afraid of that," Lena said, as she walked in through the antique front door.
"What's wrong?" Winston asked, following in behind her, the large scientist a tight fit in the frame.
"Ah, not much - this place is pretty dark, yeah?"
"Sure! But it's comfortable."
"It's a lot less atmospheric when you can see all the dirt and th' holes in the plaster. That ceiling's a mess."
"Ah," said the Lunar scientist. "I'll have to take your word on that. Nothing's going to fall down, is it?"
"Nah, it's just old. Most of it's been painted at least once. I mean, why fix it if y'can't see it, right? I get that, but... c'mon." She snorted. "Well, beer's still beer."
"And darts are still darts."
"Won't be fair now, luv."
"It will be if we handicap it right."
Lena smiled as Hana ran over and grabbed their usual corner booth, the big one with the movable bench, and Mei-Ling followed closely behind. "We already had t'do that once, big guy. Can't compete with a Brit at darts, not on level ground."
"Sure - we'll just do it more." He grinned.
"Well..." She took a big sniff of the room. Smelled like old times, mostly, but with a little bit of an odd tang, like cleaning fluid in the w.c.. Ventilation system must be off, too, she thought, shrugging. "We can try. We'll figure it out, somehow."
"Get enough bitter in you and we'll be even!"
She chuckled, and hopped next to the table as Fareeha called over from the bar - "Everybody's usuals?" - having just relayed Jack's apologies. Blair waved at the chorus of yes-please and thank-you from behind the counter and filled a large tray with an assortment of beers and wines, and a separate, smaller tray with a brownie and glass of sahlab.
"Thanks," Fareeha smiled, with a small nod, as she took her own tray to the small individual table Angela had placed by the end of the booth. Blair followed, serving the large tray of drinks. "Good t’see you lot back in town! Chip order's in, I'll be right back with the munchies."
"Brilliant, luv," Tracer chirped, and the barkeep looked, then started, surprised. "Yeh," she said, a little tiredly. "I know. They're new. Long story." He nodded, and kept his smile as he retreated to the kitchen.
"Guess I'm gonna have t'get used to that all over again," she said, taking a pull from her pint. Mei-Ling poured half her Tsingtao pilsner into a glass, leaving half in the bottle, to go back with the tray.
"I don't know why you just didn't wear your contacts," Hana said, sampling her lager. Ah, yeah. Nice to be back, she thought, relaxing into the padded leather bench.
"Don't like 'em," Lena said, shifting a little on the bench seat. "They bug me."
"We can take some time tomorrow for a new fitting, if you'd like" Angela said, brightly.
"Nah," Lena replied, taking another drink. "Rather not, luv."
"Well, it's either that, or get used to his kind of reaction."
Lena glared, expression sharp. "I like my eyes, doc. You got a problem with that?"
"Of course not, it's just that..."
"I like them too," Winston interrupted, Lena turning to look at him with a quick smile.
"Y'do?" she said, surprised.
"They're pretty. And you like them, so, I like them, and that's all that needs to be said about that," he stated, firmly.
"Of course," Angela replied, just as quickly. "I'm sorry, Lena, I am sometimes too much a doctor."
"It's true," Fareeha said, having taken another bite of her brownie. "She really is."
Lena leaned a little against her best friend's arm. "Thanks, luv." She downed the rest of her pint, all at once. "Y'wanna have a go at those darts? Only double and triple scores count for me, and only for regular value."
"Sure!" The gorilla pulled himself out of the way, and Lena wobbled a little as the alcohol hit her bloodstream in a rush. "Woah! That's..." She laughed. "That's good. Let's do this!"
Lena picked at the fish. They'd finally figured out how to make a competitive game at the dart board, but it involved spinning the target, and it hadn't taken too many rounds of that nonsense to bring Blair over full of all-right-all-right-none-of-that. But he'd agreed to let them install a second, spinnable board, later.
"You okay, Lena?" Winston asked.
"Yeh, I'm good." She popped a chip into her mouth, and finished off the third pint. "A little bored, tho', t'be honest."
She looked over at Fareeha and Hana playing at the snooker table, Angela watching from the opposite side, Lena not entirely able to convince herself that she was watching the game and not her. "And a little paranoid. Angie's not taken her eyes off me all night."
"I know what you mean," her friend said, quietly. "I think you're right."
"Not just me, then."
"No. We talked about it earlier, she's ... worried."
"Doesn't trust me anymore, y'mean."
"She trusts you. She just doesn't trust what might've been done to you."
"Yeh," Lena muttered. "Not much difference from this side, though."
"I just wish all this was over," he said, quietly. "Over, and we could go back to normal."
"I wish Wids was here," she said, quietly, staring into her empty glass. I know she's just outside, but it's not the same. "She could be stared at too, and at least it wouldn't be just me."
"I got stared at a lot, when I first landed," he said, sipping at his lager. "Still do, most places. It's not fun."
"No," she agreed, squeezing his hand. "It's not."
"But what're y'gonna do when all this is over?" the MEKA pilot demanded tipsily. "This isn't a game you can play from both sides."
"I dunno - we'll figure it out!" Lena replied, frustration in her voice. "We're still gettin' t'know each other properly, yeah? It'll be fine."
"Lena, please - haven't you thought this out at all?" Angela asked, a little too crisply.
"Course we have, luv - we're gonna buy that condo, live on an island..."
"Lena, please, I am serious! Emily is... how can I put this?"
"She's a psycho killer," interrupted Hana Song, definitely one too many into her cups. "That's what I don't get. I get it with Widowmaker, kinda - she didn't ask to be what she is, you're a sucker for a nice ass, and that is one nice ass. But Oilliphéist did."
"I'm not certain Danielle is so very different, defection or not," Mei-Ling opined, on her third pilsner.
Tracer glared, copper eyes hard. "I thought this was supposed to be a nice night out at the pub, not a fucking intervention."
"It's not an intervention!" Hana huffed. "I just thought maybe you'd've thought his out a bit by now."
"Or at very least," Fareeha noted, "had a plan. You've got to have some kind of plan in place for when this is over. I'm good at plans, I'd be happy to help with..."
"Happy t' help with ganging up on me, apparently."
"That's not fair," Angela retorted. "Yes, we have all wanted to know how you're intending to handle the situation after this one, but I think we have a right to know that, given the people involved."
Lena looked around the table, eyes widening. "This whole thing was a setup, wasn't it?"
"I wouldn't go that far, no," Angela replied, warily. "We've always talked about problems on these nights out."
"Is this another one of your simulations?" Lena snapped, fear in her stomach. "Am I gonna remember this in the morning?"
"Woah, woah, Lena, no!" Winston insisted. "No. I swear to you, no. This is real."
"Is it?!" She spun in place, and her gaze softened, a little. "...Yeh. Okay. I guess I don't really mean that, but..." She rubbed her face with her hands, breathed out raggedly, and put her hands back down on the table.
"I need a mo'. I'm takin' a trip to th' loo. Don't follow me."
As she left, Winston looked back to his tablemates. "Well, that couldn't've gone worse. What were you thinking, ganging up on her like that?"
"She needs to face reality!" Hana insisted. "She needs to deal with it, or we're all in trouble!"
"We are already in trouble," Mei-Ling said, sadly. "But we don't have any choice in it."
"I just wanted to help her analyse the situation tactically," Fareeha said. "I honestly didn't mean any more than that..."
Angela rubbed her temples, frustration in her forehead and eyes. "I should... I should apologise. I should follow..."
"No," the Lunar scientist said, firmly, "you should not."
Lena stepped into the washroom, and into a stall, and sat, shaking, on the commode. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. That was... oh god, that was bloody awful...
She pulled some tissue off the roll, and blew her nose into it, hard. What's going on, why are they so... so...
She shuddered, eyes wet. It's all right, Lena. It's all right. Pull yourself together. You've got this. They'll, they'll, after this is over, they'll... understand. Eventually. They have to.
She was about to pull out her padd and bring up the private commlink she and Oilliphéist had set up with Widowmaker, when her phone vibrated. "Cherie," she heard Widowmaker's voice say, "I hate to break into your evening, but..."
"Oh love, you have no idea how glad I am to hear your voice right now."
"Perhaps not. We have had an urgent summons - Moira believes Reyes has discovered our operation, and we need to move quickly."
Tracer blinked her eyes clear, swallowed hard, and smiled broadly, already feeling better. "Some action, then?"
"Yes. The timetable must be advanced. We're to leave at once, and rendezvous with Moira en route to North America. Warn your friends."
"Right! Will do. Where do we meet up?"
"In front of the casino by the airport. You know it?"
"Absolutely. See you in a few minutes."
Tracer stood, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly, before exiting the stall. She pulled a sheet of paper towel out of the dispenser, wetted it, patted down her eyes and face, and dried, with a second towel. There, she thought, looking at her copper eyes, famous half-grin spreading across her face. Much better.
Morrison closed the last door behind him, sealing the auxiliary entrance. He nodded to himself, satisfied - no sign of intrusion anywhere, all safe and secure. I'm really looking forward to getting back here
, he thought. Oasis is beautiful, but... I just can't trust it.
He brushed off his hands - even a locked-down facility gathered dust - and was about to signal Angela, see if there was still time to catch up, when he saw an all-too-familiar column of smoke coalesce at the foot of the launch pad, next to the Sparrowhawk. He pulled his rifle and aimed as the Reaper appeared, maskless, glare visible in the pad lights, even at range.
Gabriel Reyes dropped his shotguns, dramatically, to either side, and made no move towards the Soldier, who held his fire as his former compatriot raised one arm, slowly, a large, clear photograph of Lena Oxton serving drinks to the wealthy in São Paulo hovering in front of his hand.
"What the fuck," he said, "do you idiots think you have been doing?"