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I have a new favourite troupe and it's fake-married-for-crimes. Sadly, I don't have time to start a new WIP so here's me brainstorming.
So maybe the war between Talon and Overwatch ends and a new peace begins. Jack and Gabe are revealed in the aftermath and the UN find out.

With Jack, the UN are willing to "let bygones be bygones" because of his political history.
But with Gabe, they are less forgiving. Even though Gabe acted as a double agent inside Talon, the UN felt that he should still answer for his actions as Reaper.

Which finds Jack and the old Overwatch guard (except Gabe) in a meeting with the UN.
In brief, the UN want Gabe locked up in a high security prison for life.

The old Overwatch team begins to argue for Gabe's case but it becomes apparent that the UN have decided on his fate.

In an outburst from Ana, she says "locking him up is the worst idea you'll ever make!"
And a UN representative retorts with "and why is that?"

Jack's been sitting and staring at the faces around the table for a while now. He used to know every one around the table and he thinks back to all the strategies he used back when he was Strike-Commander.
There are different ways of dealing with the situation but the first thing that comes out of his mouth is:

"Because Gabe and I are married."

Out the corner of his eye he can see Reinhardt stiffen but a well placed boot on his foot keeps him quiet. Ana shuts her mouth,
And Torbjorn looks like he might just have inhaled his beard.
Even the UN look surprised.

"Uh...when did this happen?" A UN member asks.

"When I was Strike-Commander." Jack replies.

Another UN member swallows. "Do you have documentation or...?"

"Burnt in Zurich, sorry."
"Witness...?" Another UN member tries.

"I officiated the wedding." Torbjorn coughs from the corner of the table. He looked like he wanted to be anywhere but here.

"Ah, ok. Well...we still need some sign of...bonding."

Ana flaps her hand at Jack. "Well, he has some...markings?"
Jack turns beet red.

"Markings?" A younger UN member asks.

"We don't ask about what goes on in the bedroom, kid." Torbjorn coughs. The underlying implied 'kinky shit' is there.

The UN members all turn beet red and cough into their hands.
Jack clears his throat. "So that's why putting Ga- my husband in prison is a bad idea." He coughs "I can't guarantee I won't try to break in...or out."

He speaks the last as a threat even though his face is probably burning hot.

The UN nod knowingly.
"Right, of course. I'm sure we can change his sentence to something else, maybe house arrest?"Someone proposes.

It's a lot better than high security prison where they might try to hurt Gabe behind bars. Jack heaves a sigh of relief.

"We assume you'll be living with him, Jack?"
Jack nearly jumps out of his seat but utters a quick "Yes!"

Inside he curses himself. He and Gabe's relationship was rocky at best, what with their past fights.

Jack didn't look forward to telling Gabe about this new arrangement at all.
---

Gabe finds out in the worse way possible. Well, there are worse ways, but because he was blindsided, this was probably the worse way.

He was having a chill afternoon back at Gibraltar, waiting for the old Overwatch team to get back with news from the UN,
When Sombra bursts out laughing in the middle of it and wouldn't stop.

Hells, Gabe was in the middle of a cooking show and he wanted to know how much sugar you could safely dump in a brownie too.

Instead, he turns off the Tele and decides to take a walk.
He runs into the old Overwatch team's car as it comes up the driveway. To Gabe's surprise, a UN official hastily gets out with them and shakes his hand.

"Ah Mr. Reyes! It's been so long. I should thank you for your work as an undercover agent in Talon, it's saved many lives."
Gabe hums out a "Sure." But he's more bothered by the candy red face of Jack Morrison coming to stand behind the UN rep.

"We have ironed out the details about your next steps and there is nothing to worry about!
"The UN have settled on house arrest as your punishment. You'll also be allowed to wander provided that you are with a verified escort!"

That's...considerably less severe than Gabe expected. To be honest, the former Merc had expected execution or prison-for-life.
Well, he wasn't going to look a gift-horse in the mouth and moved to thank the rep. Instead the little man continued to talk.

"Oh and the UN are willing to provide you with the appropriate housing, seeing as your other assets were destroyed in Zurich or frozen.
"Which, I must also apologise and add a late congratulations!"

Gabe does a double take. "I'm sorry, congratulations for what?"

"On your marriage of course! Oh don't worry, the UN understands /completely/ about keeping this discrete."
The rep keeps talking and Gabe's nearly got his jaw to the floor in confusion when he looks over the man's shoulder and sees Jack.

Jack's doing the little cutting hand wave across his neck which means don't-ask-just-play-along. Which doesn't help at all when the UN rep beams.
"Your husband Jack has been very helpful and we'll be in touch! The documents will be finalised soon and sent on the way - nothing to worry about!"

Husband?

Jack?

"Uh, yes of course." Gabe coughs into his hand. "Thank you. So much. Um. I hope you don't mind..."
He makes a vague aborted gesture for Jack to go to him and the UN rep catches on.

"Oh of course of course! I won't get in the way. Reunions must be so hard after being a part for so long - and on either sides of the battlefield no less!"

"Yeah...sure..." Gabe sputters.
Once they are around the corner and out of sight, Gabe's does a frantic 'what the fuck' gesture.

"It was the only thing that would keep you out of prison!" Jack whispers back.

"This isn't going to work!" Gabe snaps "What about the papers and the witness?"
"Burnt in Zurich and Torb handled the latter."

"They'll look for digital copies or archives." Gabe hisses.

"Sombra can handle that."

"They must've asked for /some/ sort of verification." More than anything Gabe just wants to know how Jack convinced a whole UN committee.
Jack goes red again. Gabe's almost sorry to have asked.

"Ok fine whatever, we can make this work. I just have to not kill you." Gabe mumbles.

"Thanks. Shouldn't be too hard."

"I take it you have to live with me, though."

Jack shrugs. "How about Spain?"
Gabe nearly gets whiplash from the change in subject. It takes a second before he recovers.

"I would've thought you'd want to go home to Indiana." Gabe replies.

"You're not much for farm life and I'm too old to be chasing chickens." Jack snorts. "Plus you'd get cold."
"I have hoodies. I can deal."

"Spain," Jack says again. "Near the sea."

"Just like home." Gabe muses. "You don't know how to swim though."

"We'll cross that bridge when it comes to it. What kind of house though?" Jack hums.
"A house?" Gabe smiles. "Already have an idea do you?"

"Just a thought, nothing concrete."

"Two-stories." Gabe says. "With a garden.

"Good for barbeques," Jack agrees. "Needs spare rooms though, I know you used to like having a personal work room."

"Still do," Gabe affirms.
They bicker for a bit more. It's the first time they've been civil near one another in a long time.

Ever since the later years of the original Overwatch, they had been on bad terms. They disagreed on many things back then; their way of handling threats too different.
It's good to find out that the person you thought hated you didn't actually /hate/ you - just disagreed with certain parts.

It was probably a good thing that they weren't managing any world-peace organisation anymore, then.

The only thing they had to manage now was breakfast.
---

As promised, the UN gets them the house in Spain and Gabe is fitted with one of those house arrest anklets. It cramps his style but at least he can cover it with long jeans.

The house, exactly per their instructions, has two stories, plenty of rooms, and a garden.
It comes fully furnished too.

Gabe and Jack spend their first hour looking through the facilities and their new 'home'. It takes a while but they soon notice that there aren't any spare beds in the other rooms or in the house for that matter.
That left the only working bed in the master room.

And for some reason it was covered in rose petals and a note that read 'Congratulations newlyweds!' from Sombra.
"I'll take the couch." They both say at the same time.

They exchange looks.

"/I'll/ take the couch." They both say again, at the same time.

"Rock paper scissors you for it." Gabe growls.

"Please, I've slept in worse as Soldier:76." Jack huffs.
"You on the other hand, can't sleep in anything other than a bed." Jack finishes.

"Sleeping in ditches is what got you your back pains." Gabe snaps. "Rock paper scissors."

Gabe loses the first round.

"Best of three." He declares.

They proceed to draw the next two.
"Guess I'm taking the couch." Jack smirks.

It's almost tempting to punch him but Gabe holds himself back, for now.

"We'll share the bed." Gabe finally says.

Jack quirks a brow and opens his mouth to argue...and blacks out.
When Jack next wakes up, he's lying on the bed on his front and Gabe is fast asleep next to him.

Turns out, the bed was big enough for the both of them, with ample space for 'privacy'. It doesn't stop Jack from jabbing Gabe in the side and waking him up.
It's satisfying to see Gabe almost fly out of his skin. The merc immediately rolls over to throw Jack one of his death glares.

It dissipates as Jack points to his head where a bump is visible from Gabe knocking him out.

"At least your back's not aching."

Jack's head throbs.
The idea of arguing gives him a headache too, so Jack decides to let it slide...for now.

He gets up and heads to the bathroom, making a point to slam the door in Gabe's face, and takes upwards of ten minutes to get ready.
Gabe's impatience soon gets the better of him and he could be heard grumbling all the way down the steps to the guest bathroom.

Jack decides to leave the master bathroom then and spitefully knocks on Gabe's bathroom door to let the ex-merc know he'll be waiting at the car.
If Gabe takes longer than usual to prepare(most likely to spite Jack back in return), Jack decides not to let it bother him.

It seems in the absence of their usual kill-each-other tendencies, they were now going to see who could be the most petty in this..."arrangement".
---

"You're both children!" Ana snaps when they finally (after an hour of back and forth) reach the restaurant for their (was breakfast) now lunch.

The obligatory 'he started it' was on both Jack and Gabe's tongue, but one withering look from Ana shuts them up.
There were probably worse things that could happen when two enemies-turned-fake-husbands start living together on such short notice. But Ana can't really care right now.

The point of this meeting was meant to be an undercover way to trade information.
Instead, Jack and Gabe were an hour late, acting like children, and-

"Gabe get your hand away from Jack's pancakes."

Gabe has the gall to look shocked. "I wasn't-"

"I know what I saw. You will sit there, quietly! And /you/ Jack, will finish your brunch." Ana scolds.
"I'm not hungry." Jack mumbles.

Ana's brows snap together and that's enough to get Jack to poke at his meal. He's not outright eating, but Ana will have her way by the end.

She sighs.

"This is a /mess/." It comes out like a moan and not even she knew what she was refering to.
Gabe snorts. "You're telling us." He takes a sip of his juice. "So, how /are/ things?"

Ana presses her eyes with the heel of her hands. "The papers are signed and filed away." She says vaguely, keeping her tone light - there was no telling if people were trying to eavesdrop.
"Also found some...'vids'. Might show you both the next time you visit the base." She places her phone on the table, right next to Jack's.

They talk for a little longer, before Jack picks up Ana's phone (for all intents and purposes, identical to his own) and pockets it.
Ana was about to do the same with Jack's phone, when the device in her hand pinged. A moment of panic ripples through the group as Ana quickly scans the phone.

"Everything alright?" Gabe asks. He's keeping his tone light but Jack can feel the way he stiffens beside him.
"Just a reminder for an appointment, 6 o'clock."Ana's smile was strained as she recited the code for 'we have company, on your six'.

This was the trouble with getting revealed; people always wanted to know what you were up to.
The UN would claim it was in the interest of security. The old trio wouldn't be surprised if that was 'code' for "we're actually sceptical about this situation and want to find evidence/an excuse to lock you guys away for good".

Which meant getting spied on.
They hadn't talked about this before hand; about what they would do in this situation. Ana's hand wraps around her teacup in an attempt to keep calm and Gabe leans back casually but the sudden jiggle of his leg under the table cues Jack to his nervousness.
Gabe always was one for plans and back up plans.

Jack on the other hand...

He picks up the plate of pancakes he had been poking at and cuts a small triangle of food with his fork.

"Say 'ah!' Gabe," Jack says.
Gabe's jaw drops - most likely from shock - but it's enough for Jack to press the syrup soaked piece of pancake to his lips and feed it to him.

It's so strange to do, and yet the people around them don't bat an eye. As if this was normal.
As if this was a thing people do.

/Couples/ do.

Gabe chews the pancake thoughtfully, before leaning forward.

His arm circles around Jack in a half-hug to reach for the honey pot on the other side and proceeds to pour the pot over the pancake.

"You're disgusting,"Jack chuckles
"You love it," Gabe replies.

So maybe Jack goes a little red and Gabe's voice stutters a little - but they both ignore it. Jack continues to feed Gabe like a loving husband and Gabe basks in the attention.

It's definitely more than enough to fool their little unwanted follower.
On the other side of the table however, Ana watches them with a thoughtful expression.
--

They part ways with Ana soon after with the promise of meeting again soon. They still have the rest of the day so Jack and Gabe spend it clothes shopping.

As they now have a 'home', it was their hope that they could fill it with the comforts they could not afford before.
Sadly though, due to the anklet on Gabe, Jack can only go so far before the device starts calling for the authorities.

So instead, Jack finds himself waiting outside the dressing room as Gabe tries on new clothes.

He busies himself with Ana's phone in the meantime,
Scrolling through the documents and other items she had saved on the device prior to their brunch.

"Gonna fill me in?" Gabe asks from the other side of the screen.

Jack hums, there were a number of videos too, most likely creations of Sombra.
"We now have a copy of our uh...'wedding certificate'. Signed and stamped by yours truly." Jack mumbles. He still had to buy a thank you gift for Torbjorn for covering for him in the meeting. Who knew the engineer's officiating license would come in handy.
"And a list of witnesses to our small, off-the-grid wedding ceremony." Jack finishes.

"Ohohoh, let me guess," Gabe says. "Fareeha was the flower girl."

"Yup, with Brigitte." Jack scrolls through the list "Ana was my best man..."
Gabriel peeks through the changing screen with narrowed eyes. "If Ana was yours, who was mine?"

Jack muffles a laugh under his hand.

"If it's that ingrate-"

"It's Jesse," Jack confirms.

A string of curse words flowed out from behind the screen.
"Rein was wedding organiser,"Jack continues "and Angela, Genji, Lena, Emily and Ingrid were in the audience."

"Our families?"Gabe asks.

"Not there."Jack scrolls through the document."Sombra says we can play it off with expensive air tickets and neither family wanting to spend."
"Which is a lie," Gabe huffs "my ma would /never/ miss my wedding."

Jack shrugs but the smile on his face remains. The rest of the document contained an in-depth story that was agreed upon by the "participants" and that they would stick to if the UN tried to ask for more details
"Huh, apparently I proposed," Jack says.

"You?" Gabe guffaws behind the screen. "Golden boy supreme who's never been on a date?"

"Hey I had plenty of dates with Vincent back in the day."

"And you were awkward in all of them," Gabe states, pushing aside the screen.
"You didn't know the first thing about being romantic, how to woo your partner, or when the 'cues' were given for you to smooch him." Gabe ticks off his fingers.

Jack flushes red, both in embarrassment and anger. "Fine, tell the others that /you/ proposed then!"
With a huff, Jack stomped off. Not far away though, as Gabe's anklet wouldn't let him be away for more than a distance of 10meters.

Couldn't be romantic his ass! Jack roughly browsed through the shop's shelves of clothes, muttering to himself.
What did Gabe know about being in a relationship? As far as Jack knew, the ex-merc only had one night stands.

He shoved a bar full of clothes aside. And paused. On a hangar hung a woolly black beanie. There was a little white skull sewed on the hem and was paired with a hoodie.
The same kind Gabe used to wear back in the day.

Jack hesitates.

His anger was still there, but this was something Gabe would definitely like - want, even.

He could leave it hidden, walk away and maybe have a secret laugh when Gabe can't find 'his' hoodie.
It would serve Gabe right.

But..

Jack curses under his breath and pulls the hoodie and beanie pair off the bar and returns to Gabe. He makes a point of not meeting the other man's eyes as he throws the clothes into the basket and gives a brief "I'll wait outside" before leaving
---

Jack's been quiet ever since their little exchange at the shop.

It's not really a big deal, but for some reason the silence leaves Gabe feeling uncomfortable.

Maybe he should take off the beanie and hoodie. But how can he when the damn things were so comfortable?
And the little skull on the beanie too - It just fit his aesthetics to a T!

They're in the food corner of the mall now, looking to find some groceries to take home. Jack's been inspecting a basket of tomatoes for the better half of a minute.
Whether he was actually considering tomatoes to buy or just ignoring Gabe, it was hard to tell.

Either way, when Jack finally selects his tomatoes, the shopkeeper gives him the fakest grin Gabe's ever seen and shoots off in a burst of rapid fire Spanish.
The shopkeeper was also reaching for his calculator too.

Gabe's seen this tactic before. Entice a foreign tourist, make them uncomfortable by putting them on the spot, and then take more of their money because the tourist grew afraid and would rather just pay and leave.
Jack's pale features must have made him a prime target.

Gabe frowns, determined to give the shopkeeper a piece of his mind when Jack retorts back in perfect, but accented Spanish.

It's worth it to see the wide eyes of the shopkeeper and the white that spreads over his face.
"I didn't know you speak Spanish," Gabe admits as they leave with a bag full of tomatoes.

"Learnt from a little girl back in Dorado," Jack shrugs. "She's a really good teacher."

And just like that the silence was back.

Gabe shuffles uncomfortably after Jack.
Before, the awkwardness didn't use to bother him. Or rather, the awkwardness was always filled with hostility. But now there was nothing to be hostile about.

They were supposed to be chilling, but even then Gabe finds himself questioning what it meant to 'chill'.
He tries to copy what he did back in SEP, when he and Jack were just friends. Fake-marriage can't be too different, right?

Turns out, what they had in SEP was in the past. Gabe didn't know how to be /that/ Gabe anymore. Small talk was weird,
and it seems his tongue had gotten sharper if the exchange with Jack back at the shop was anything to go by.

Urgh! And he had to live with Jack now too! What could he do to make things "normal"?

Just then, Gabe's gaze flicks up and he spots the agent lounging against a pillar.
It's not obvious, the agent's definitely been trained to be undercover but he stands out like a sore thumb to the former Blackwatch Commander; what with his sunglasses and the there-but-not-there looks he was throwing them.
Probably another one of the UN's lackeys. Gabe quickly looks around and spots Jack a little ways ahead.

It's not immediately a problem, but if a spy looks too closely, they would probably find that their dynamic was on the cold, and maybe even hostile side.
It could threaten the pretense of a loving couple. Hells, it would threaten their "marriage"!

Gabe needs to remedy that and fast!

So he does the only thing he can think of and slides up behind Jack, wrapping his arms around the other man's front in a loose hug.
A loose hug that turns into a tight hug when Jack stiffens, barely suppressing years of hard-wired self defense.

"When can we go home?" Gabe whines, the picture perfect sight of a grown husband acting like a baby. "There's too many people around, it's claustrophobic!"
Jack catches on quickly, his blue eyes darting once to scan their surroundings before refocusing on the baskets of fruits he was perusing.

He sighs though, shoulders sagging. "Soon Gabe, just a little longer alright? I just need to get a few more things for dinner."
Gabe hooks his chin over Jack's shoulder. It allows him to keep an eye on the agent and also act the part of attached husband.

A basket of jewel red catches his eyes and he looks back at the fruits on display.
There's a small dish of strawberries, dipped in chocolate and put out as samples.

As stealthy as he can manage (while leaning on Jack), Gabe leans over to pick up a toothpick speared strawberry and pressed it to Jack's lips.

It takes a while for the old soldier to notice,
Each hand occupied by an apple as he inspected them. But when Jack does, he chomps down on the strawberry and makes a noise deep in his throat that has Gabe wondering if he should maybe not be so physically close.
It does the job apparently. Across from them the agent turns red and quickly walks away.

"What?" Jack asks

"It's p-probably nothing." Gabe stammers. He steps back, adjusting his pants as Jack goes back to his fruits.
To Gabe's dismay Jack puts down the apples and picks up the box of chocolate covered strawberries.

"Jack maybe that's not a good idea...?"

"Hmm? I thought you liked chocolate strawberries." Jack points out.
Well, Gabe loves all things sweet. But he doesn't know if he can focus on the strawberries if Jack was going to keep making those noises.

Too late,Jack was paying for the box.

"We'll have something savoury for dinner to balance it out,"Jack says "lasagna or curry do you think?"
"Curry...." Gabe says. The spicier the better so maybe he can scorch his mouth /and/ his brain out.

Jack hums in acknowledgement and moves to choose spices.

Left to follow, Gabe rubs a thumb across his new hoodie and wonders just what this fake-marriage will cost him.
--

Gabe takes the spare room upstairs. A day after he stakes his claim, a delivery truck arrives bringing rolls of a variety of fabrics, sewing machines and one-too-many needles.

You'd think getting experimented on twice in one lifetime would make someone averse to needles.
Not Gabe apparently.

He takes everything up to his little room and shuts the door with a "let me know when it's dinner".

Jack shakes his head and resigns himself to the garden. With the delivery of the fabrics, his new grill had arrived too.
Jack busies himself familiarising how to handle the fire, how to cook on such a large grill.

He's cooked more than he can eat before he realises and Jack stares guiltily at the plate full of foods, slightly uneasy.
Whatever. He can play it off.

He adds a helping of salad, burger buns and an array of sauces and condiments to accompany the meat patties and grilled corn, and brings it all up to Gabe in his room.

He takes none for himself.
--

Gabe's not proud to admit it but it takes him two days to catch on to Jack's eating habits.

The barbeque dinner feast should have cued him to it, but he had been so busy occupying himself that he hadn't paused to look.
His suspicions were aroused the day after the grill feast. There was still leftovers, enough for lunch...and dinner too. Jack had a coffee for breakfast, disappeared for lunch, and slept early enough to miss dinner.

The day after Jack made pancakes for Gabe,
The ex-merc did not see him eat. They went out for lunch where Gabe bought takeaway at a little hole in the wall, and Jack claimed he would get something else (but never did). And for dinner...
Gabe's pretty sure a peanut butter sandwich and nibbles of chocolate strawberries do not count as dinner.

It's a surprise he or the other Overwatch members've never noticed it before. Jack must've been hiding for a while now.

Oh wait. Ana. So /that's/ why she had scolded him.
Unfortunately, Ana is hot available when Gabe tries to call her for more info. Leaving him to leave her a message and hope she gets back to him.

He goes about trying another way to confirm his suspicions in the meantime.

It's been a while since Gabe's handled cookware.
The quesadillas are a little wet; a result of him overestimating the amount of cheese he needed. But a spoon and some fancy handwork has them looking almost perfect.

Almost.

Gabe really needs to practice.

But that's for later, he takes the food to the living room
Where Jack is reading on a tablet with the TV turned low.

The old soldier was scowling. Or squinting, must've forgotten his glasses upstairs, Gabriel thinks. He creeps up behind Jack and wraps his free arm around his head, using his thumb to smooth the wrinkles on his forehead.
Jack startles out of his revery.

"Brought you dinner," Gabe says.

"Hmm? Oh." Jack mumbles. He looked like he wanted to reject the food. Gabe doesn't give him the chance and plops the plate on his lap.

"Quesadillas, made by yours truly." Gabe then retreats to the other sofa.
Jack sits there with the food in his lap looking undecided. It flits in a stream of other emotions; the bite in his jaw like a child refusing to eat, the bend in his brows as if he was berating himself not to be rude.

Finally though, Jack looks up from the plate.
"How long has this been going on?" Gabe asks, gesturing to the food.

Jack sighs, there's a little relief in there, and a little fear. "Started when I was 76." He shrugs "got worse from there."

"Wanna talk about it?" Gabe asks

"There's not much to talk about," Jack admits
"I got used to shitty nutrient paste and tasteless scraps I could get my hands on." Jack shrugs. "It takes its toll, now everything else feels...too much."

Gabe hums. He gets it, he does. If someone eats nothing but the bare essentials in a concentrated packet for years,
The body grows accostumed and can no longer tolerate other factors. Dairy becomes throat-clogging, powdered sugar is overwhelming...

"You can still eat chocolate strawberries though," Gabe muses. He doesn't mean it as an accusation, just an observation.
Jack shrugs. "Barely."

Gabe can't argue with that, not when the box in the fridge was still very full. He slaps his knees with both hands and stands.

"Alright, up you come." He picks up the plate on Jack's lap and pulls the soldier up as well.

"Gabe?" Jack asks
"We're going to work this out,"Gabe replies.

Jack doesn't look convinced but he follows anyway. Into the kitchen they go, Gabe leading the way. He has a whole plan set out, start small, build up Jack's tolerance and keep his strength up so he can recover.

There's just 1 problem
"You want /me/ to cook for /your/ plan...for /me/." Jack looks adorably confused and he's smiling like he's going to laugh.

Gabe folds his arms and cocks his hip. "Well I'm the master strategist here so-"
"Just admit you can't make anything other than churros and melted cheese." Jack laughs.

He's not wrong, even in their Overwatch days it was Jack doing all the cooking. Gabe makes the face where he knows someone else is right but it's probably going to kill him to say so.
Jack laughs again and sets his hands on the kitchen island. "Alright alright Gabe. I'll cook - so what's the plan?"

Gabe smiles and rubs his hands together.
--

Jack's not gonna lie. He expected 'things' to happen with this fake-marriage agreement.

After all, you don't put two super soldiers who were former enemies in the same house with limited entertainment and expected them to kiss.
It's just...Jack just didn't expect it to involve that 'thing' being Gabe lying flat on his back, in the middle of the garden, in the rain.

At first Jack just thought it was a brief spur-of-the-moment thing. Go out, feel the rain, come back.
Gabe's been on his back out there's for ten minutes. And he's awake too, from the way he rubs the water from his eyes now and again.

Finally, Jack decides enough is enough. He grabs an umbrella and goes out to see what's with Gabe.
"You'll catch a cold like that," Jack says, leaning over Gabe, the umbrella over their heads.

"Mm." Gabe grunts.

Jack cocks his head.

"M' dead. Don't get colds."

"Angela says otherwise, now what's up?" Jack kneels down, so that they're closer to each other.
"It's raining," Gabe grumbles "it doesn't get anymore 'up' than that."

Jack rolls his eyes; at least Gabe's sass hasn't left him.

"Go back inside old man, your bones will get cold." Gabe sighs.

Jack watches him. "I can leave you alone." He says "but you need to be inside ."
Jack moves to get up, but a wet hand on his arm holds him down.

"No wait-"Gabe hesitates, biting his lip.

Jack does as he's told. He waits. Even then, Gabe is silent. Jack can see him thinking; the way his jaw tensed, his eyes moved. But at the same time Gabe looked so far away
Jack folded his legs and sat down in the mud, keeping the umbrella over both their heads. He doesn't know what occupies Gabe's mind, but whatever it is, it has locked him in indecision.

Jack doesn't understand it, not really.
How a thought can grip so thoroughly that it stops a man from functioning. How it can walk someone in circles and trap them within.

Jack can only wait. And even then it takes another twenty minutes for Gabe to come back to himself.

"Fuck, we should get inside," he says.
Jack nods and pulls the both of them to their feet. Their both soaking wet, even with the umbrella supposedly shielding Gabe's head and Jack's body.

The heater gets cranked up to the nines and Jack hands out towels once their inside.

Gabe still looked deep in thought.
"Gabe?" Jack asks.

"Huh? Oh right, sorry. I uh..." Gabe looks uncomfortable and the down turn of his mouth grows when he sees Jack shiver. "I told you to go back inside."

"Yeah well, I wasn't going to leave you alone."

"You'll catch a cold."
Gabe puts both hands on Jack's shoulders and pushes him upstairs to the master bathroom. Jack stumbles along but flips them as they near the door.

He pushes Gabe through the threshold and slams the door closed.

There's a muffled 'Hey!' somewhere in there, but Jack ignores it.
"You don't come out if the bathroom until you've showered and gotten yourself warm!" Jack hollers. There's a bang on the door as if Gabe had tried to punch him and Jack chuckles.

He waits outside the door, determined to make sure Gabe was doing as he was told.
Oddly, there's no sound. No splash of water, no gentle whump of clothes being thrown in the hamper

Jack frowns.

"Jack?" Gabe calls, voice soft.

"M' here Gabe. What do you need?"

"Sorry."

"For what?"

There's a shuffle. Like Gabe was shrugging.
"I just..." Gabe hesitates. "Brain's being... shitty. Sorry you got roped in."

Oh.

"It's not a problem Gabe. Just get yourself warm-"

"But what about-"

"Gabe," Jack interrupted "Get. yourself. Warm. And then we'll talk." He paused. "I'll wait for you, however long you need."
--

An hour later saw them both sitting around the coffee table, takeaway littered about.

Gabe was casting looks at Jack. And Jack can't tell if that 'look' meant Gabe was calculating how best to approach Jack...

Or how best to run away.
Jack tried not to let it get to him. He finished his serving of simple congee and reached for the soothing tea they had made to go with the takeaway.

The warmth soaked in deep and soothed the cold from the rain before.

Jack sighed.
"Gabe," he began.

Gabe looked up from his empty box, chopsticks held awkwardly in one hand.

"I meant it when I said I'll wait for you." Jack said. "If you want to talk, or if you want me to help, I'll be here."

Gabe grunted. "I don't need a mother hen."
Jack shrugged. "I can leave too, if you want. Just...tell me you'll be alright when I do?"

Gabe was silent for a while, chopsticks picking at his food.

"Why do you care?" Gabe finally asked.
"Huh?" Jack looked up from his tea.

"Why do you care?" Gabe repeated. Each word was short, as if he was fighting for control.

"Because I can?" Jack tried to keep his own temper in check. He didn't like this; it sounded like old fights and bad blood. He swallowed. "Gabe-"
"No. Don't Gabe me!" Gabe snapped. He stood suddenly, slamming his food down so that he can pace. "You don't just make an /arrangement/ to put the two of us in a house together. So what's the truth? What are you trying to get out of this?"
"I'm not getting anything out of this!" Jack replied. "Gabe, we went through this - the UN were going to lock you up behind bars for /life/. I'm just trying to keep you safe!"

"Safe?" Gabe cast a hand around them. "I don't-"

"Need a caretaker." Jack finished for him.
"But you needed help. And I'm not going to let the UN do whatever they want with you after all you did!" Jack said. He put his tea down. Eyes pinched in frustration. "Gabe. Do you want me to leave?"

He asked the last quietly. Gabe watched him a moment longer before sitting down.
"Why?" Gabe asked.

Jack sighed. "I know I never asked you about the fake marriage thing. I forced the both of us to stay together. So, if you want some alone time, I can do that - give you a few days to yourself."

Gabe's hand came to rest on Jack's arm.
"You'd still worry. Wouldn't you?" Gabe hummed.

"Hell yeah I would."

They both chuckled.

Gabe's hand was warm, his thumb sliding over Jack's arm back and forth softly.

"Jack, this..." He began. "This is fake."
Gabe said it as a statement, but Jack wondered if there wasn't a question in there. He shrugged in response.

Gabriel huffed. "So why do you care?"

"Because I can." This time Jack said it softly, hoping Gabe could hear the honesty. "We're friends."
"Just friends." Gabe repeated.

Again, that question-not-question.

Jack didn't know what to say, so he placed his free hand over Gabe's on his arm.

"We're going to be ok, Gabe."

"Yeah."

Gabe had that far away look again.
--

Gabe requests a "break" after that and Jack obliges. He makes sure the food deliveries are on time and leaves a note of where things are before he departs.

The excuse's that Reinhardt was sick and Jack was going to pay him and Torb a visit at their home in Sweden.
The UN doesn't pester them for details so Jack takes it as a good sign and meets Sombra at the airport.

She's got bags full of churros and the telltale sprinkle of sugar on a cheek when he finds her.

"For Gabe," the hacker explains. "You're sure you don't want a daily report?"
Jack waves a hand."He needs some personal time, leave him alone."

Sombra cocks her head. "I think he needs the /opposite/ of alone but-" she shrugs "-whatever."

Jack rolls his eyes. Sombra might know him and Gabe, but she didn't /know/ them. Not like 30ish years kind of know.
"You'll visit him?And-"

"Yeah yeah I know." Sombra flaps a hand. "Make sure he eats things other than cheese and sugar, make sure he doesn't catch a cold, and make sure he's ok." She ticks them off her fingers and then looks at Jack. "I give him a week before he calls you back."
Call him back? Not likely, Jack thinks.

Jack's pretty sure Gabe won't call him back at all. If there's anything he got from his last talk with Gabe, it was that he wasn't comfortable with Jack around.

Which, honestly speaking, Jack doesn't blame him.
You don't go from wanted mercenary to domestic home-man in two weeks just like that. Not to mention having to forcefully live with someone because of an arrangement to keep you out of prison?

Yeah, Jack's pretty sure Gabe wants some /private/ free (or as free as can be) time.
"You think he hates you that much?" Torb asks bluntly once Jack was sat in their home, a cup of chocolate in his hand.

Ingrid and Rein are watching him too and Jack feels mildly cornered.

"I didn't say hate..." Jack mumbles.
Torb looks at Jack like the soldier's one of his children that needs puzzling out, then he sets his own cup down and looks Jack straight in the eyes.

"You think he doesn't want you around."

"Well, if you were in his situation, wouldn't you?"

"Not the point lad," Torb sighs
"/You/ think he doesn't want you around." Torb points out.

"But-"

"Jack. Has Reyes ever /not/ spoken his mind?"

"Well, no. But it's just...he looked so uncertain. And I've never seen him just blank out like that." Jack says.
"That's the way /you/ see it lad." Torb replies. "He never told you he hates you and wants you gone."

Jack quirks a brow. "Torb, he said he wanted a break and I'm in Sweden."

"Herregud you two are worse that Sasha and that boy she calls a partner!" Ingrid cut in.
"I don't understand." Jack grumbles.

He swears he hears a "Of course you don't." Muttered under a breath but Ingrid quickly covers it with putting her cup down and turning to give Jack her full attention.
It's like he's eighteen again and having a discussion about responsible relationships with his mom, to which - Jack won't admit he only somewhat paid attention to.

"Jack," Ingrid begins "what do you think a break means to Gabriel?"
Jack shrugs. "Space? A stop to the thing that was going on? I don't know!"

"Exactly! You don't know."

Jack stares at her in confusion.

"You need to ask Gabriel what he means, because what you're doing is /assuming/," Ingrid explains.
"And assuming leads to misunderstandings and bad things happen," Torb nods sagely as he finishes his wife's thoughts.

Jack huffs, settling deeper into his chair. It wasn't as easy as they made it out to be, but he didn't have the words to explain.
Jack just knew he had this thought, and that talking to Gabe after that rainy day? He just...

"Jack," Reinhardt spoke up. "Are you afraid?"

"What? I'm not afraid of Gabriel." Jack replies, confused.

"That's not what I mean. Are you afraid to /speak/ to Gabriel."
"No." Yes. Maybe.

Rein doesn't look convinced and Jack knew he'd fucked up.

"If you aren't afraid, then talk to him. There's nothing to loose after all."

Jack's not sure if it's Torb that says it or Rein. Only that the statement sends a bolt of panic running up his spine.
Nothing to loose? What about their recent friendship? The calm days going clothes shopping? The evenings in the kitchen where Gabe tried to coax Jack into eating a little more?

Little things, that Jack had somehow begun to hold as dearly as a desert wanderer holds water.
"No. No thanks," Jack stammers. "We're not- can we talk about something else?"

The others look uncomfortable but acquiesce.

-

Jack takes solace in silence. In the grey area between unknown and half formed words. He deals with this new fear like a soldier.
In other words, he doesn't deal with it. He basks in the day baking with Ingrid, the afternoons playing DnD with Brigitte and Rein. He spends the night helping Torb in the workshop, the workout tiring enough for him that he falls asleep easy at night.
It lasts two days. And then he gets a call.

"Jack?" Gabe's voice is a dry crackle over the phone.

"Gabe? Is everything okay?"

"Can you come home?"

Jack stands there in the market looking a little lost, a little happy. He feels both and his mind walks the circle.
Gabe wanted Jack home. He had a home? A home he took from the UN with a lie. A lie he talked Gabe into. Gabe wanted him home.

And for the first time, Jack understood a little of what Gabe went through.

"Jack?" Gabe asks.

"Yeah. I'll take the next flight back."
"Next flight?" There's surprise in Gabe's voice. "Where did you go?"

"To visit Torb and family..."

"You idiot..." Jack can imagine the sigh as Gabe says it. "We'll talk again when you get here."

"Okay."

Jack hangs up the call and stares at the screen.
"Trouble at home?" A voice asks.

Jack looks up, a fake smile on his face. It's surprising how easy he falls back on old habits. "No, it's nothing. Just-" his eyes widen and jaw goes slack. "Petras?"

The old UN ambassador is in a shirt and jeans, looking like a man on holiday.
"Just?" Petras prodes. When Jack says nothing, he sighs. "Still don't trust me?"

"Pretty sure your 'oversight' blew up half of Zurich."The smile is gone, Jack has to resist from snarling.

"And I'm sure your charms managed to land the unsociable Blackwatch Commander as husband."
"Well at least I didn't have a partner who left me." Jack snaps back. There's a visceral satisfaction in seeing Petras' brows converge.

It takes a few deep breaths for Petras to calm down. Jack was already deciding how best to leave when he spoke again.
"Can he still have left you when you two were never together?" He asks.

It's Jack's turn to frown. "I'll have you know Gabe and I-"

"Oh come on Morrison!" Petras interrupts "You were a good liar, I give you that - what with your work with those other UNs.
"But just between us 'old friends'?" Petras snorts "Let's be honest, there's no way Reyes would ever love you."

"You don't know anything about Gabe." Jack retorts.

"Sure I don't. But I know he's just as good a liar, if not more so if he can make you believe he even likes you!"
For a moment, all Jack can do is stare. He can't explain why the words seem to...no, they /do/ hurt. They hurt in a way like poking hot needles on the skin over his chest. He opens his mouth to speak, but all that comes out is a weak,

"We're married."

Petras snorts again.
"You may have fooled the current board, but you don't fool me." Petras says. "We both know you did it to keep Reyes out of prison." He turns and does a half wave. "If it were up to me, you'd /both/ be in prison."

And then he was leaving, as suddenly as he had come.
Jack is quiet all the way back to the Lindholm's. He makes small talk with the others but his mind is elsewhere.

Petras doesn't bother him.

The man's an overall terrible person and he's had it out for Jack and Gabe since forever.

So, Petras doesn't bother Jack. Right?
Despite promising to get home on the next flight, Jack takes the one a day after. He's not delaying, why would he?

Gabe calls again though, just to make sure he was actually going home. Bastard even told Reinhardt and Torb.
Jack leaves laden with gifts.

When he arrives, Gabe and Sombra are at the gate waiting for him. Gabe actually looks concerned and pulls Jack into a hug once he's within reach. Sombra gives him a look of 'I told you he would call you back'.
Jack sinks into the hug and closes his eyes. Petras' words still ring in his head, but like this, he can pretend.

And that's when Jack realises, he has it bad for Gabe.

He shuts his eyes tighter.
It's a bad time to realise. But Jack's lived in lies before. He can do it again. If it means he can stay beside Gabe, he'll do it - he'll pretend.

He just hopes Gabe will be alright with it.
--

Jack's been...hesitant, since his return from the Lindholm's.

Sure he smiles, but it doesn't quite reaches the eyes. And when Gabe calls from across the room, he jumps like he's seen a ghost.

Which...there goes Gabe's idea of trying to get a...'talk', with Jack.
"You can still talk with him." Ana half grumbles into her tea. It's her turn on escort duty today, what with Gabe wanting to get out of the house to vent his woes.

Sombra hums acknowledgement, two churros in her cheeks.
Gabe growls and sinks further into his excruciatingly pink smoothie.

"It's not that simple!" He says. "Look, I want to ask Jack...well..."

"Just ask him out!" Ana sighs. "At worst he blows you off, and at best...he blows you."

Gabe's thankful for his dark complexion.
He slurps at his smoothie with all the mood of an angsting teen and Ana sighs again.

"Children." She grumbles under her breath.

"He's not the only one," Sombra interrupts. Somehow, she's fit another 2 churros in her cheek and is doing her tech wizardry with the other hand.
The purple screen she creates is flipped and pushed to Gabe and Ana. On it, the scene of a marketplace unfolds. Gabe recognises Jack instantly, but was that...?

"Is that Petras?" Ana asks in surprise.

"Funny thing." Sombra says. She swallows her churros.
"even though he's 'fired' from the UN, he still has sway over some members." She turns up the volume.

"-let's be honest, there's no way Reyes would ever love you." The on-screen Petras says.

Gabe watches in horror as Jack's anger turns quiet and his shoulders hunch.
His quiet "We're married." Was barely audible.

Gabe slams both hands down as soon as the video finishes. "That no-good, plotting, piece of-" he crushes his smoothie. "I'm going to-"

"Ey, there are /actual/ children here old man." Sombra tuts, gesturing to the cafe they were in.
"I'm still going to-"Gabe draws his thumb over his neck, slow and killer like.

"So dramatic." Ana grumbles into her tea, though she does tap him on the arm with her sugar spoon. "Leave Petras be for now, we have bigger fish to fry."

"What's bigger than frying Petras?" Gabe asks
"Jack." Ana says with a meaningful look. It turns into a grin. "I think he likes you."

"Wha? Nooo. I mean," Gabe stutters. He tries to wipe his hands from smoothie goo but can't find his own napkin. He steals Sombra's.

"I agree with Ana," Sombra says.
She slaps him lightly for taking her napkin but continues, "why else would Jack become so..." She makes a gesture at the paused image of Jack, not quite shrinking from Petras - but definitely hurt.
"I don't know," Gabe tries.

Ana and Sombra both roll their eyes in perfect sync.

"Gabriellito, look." Sombra began. "Leave Petras to us - FOR ONCE. And take your fake-husband somewhere nice, ok?

"But-"
"Are you saying you don't want to take him to that new arcade and dinner?" Sombra continues, two tickets to the afore mentioned arcade materialising in her hand.The place was built recently, a mix of cafe and old retro arcade.

"Give me that!" Gabe snatches the tickets from her.
It's been too long since he's gone anywhere nice, Jack too. But wait. Gabe stares at the tickets, flicks his gaze to his friends and opens his mouth-

Ana whacks her spoon at him before he can speak, following each word with another"Go. Have. Fun. /We/. Will. Deal. With. Petras!"
"But-" Gabe tries.

Ana swears in Arabic, throwing her hands up in frustration. Suddenly she reaches into her pocket and slams a small box on the table. "Reinhard sent me this, said he, Ingrid and Torb agree that you should have it - but left the 'when' to me."
She pushes the little box over. "If you have that many concerns, get Jack to wear it!"

Gabe takes the box hesitantly and peeks within like he's afraid it's a bomb that might blow.

He quickly slams the lid shut and his cheeks flush. "Ana!" He yelps.
She shushes him and pulls him up from the table. Briskly she turns him around and pushes him out of the cafe while Sombra tosses a stack of credit chips onto the table.

The little box is stuffed deep into Gabe's pocket and Ana gives it a pat for good measure.
"I know you two aren't even dating yet," she says. "But it's not too late to start." Her hands massage Gabe's shoulders as they walk. "The both of you deserve this and where's the harm in trying?"

Gabe grumbles but sees Ana's reasoning. "But isn't...y'know" he points to the box
"A little early?" Gabe asks.

"Gabe," Sombra sighs "You've been together for /30/ years."

"Well, when you put it that way..."

"If you keep complaining I'll tell your mama you're alive and married - so you WILL have to put a ring on it!"
Gabe wisely shuts up and let's the girl's guide him home. As much as he hates the idea of leaving Petras alone, he does understand that he needs to focus on the more important part of the picture.

It's the first time in ages that he can focus on his own feelings,
And Gabe wants this. He wants a date with his maybe-not-enemy and fake-husband. He wants it all with fast foods and a fun night.

Gabe's going to prove those words of Petras wrong the only way he knows how - with curly fries and skeeball.
---

As soon as they had made sure Gabe was safely home with Jack, Ana turned to Sombra.

"I want eyes on Petras," she said.

"Already on it," Sombra pops the bubble gum she had been chewing. "He's on a flight to Spain right now, should I stop him at immigrations?"
"No," Ana smiles. "Let him come. I'm sure we can arrange a suitable 'welcoming party' for him."

Sombra returns her grin, teeth for teeth.

---
Gabe wonders if he's holding Jack's hand too tightly.

"Gabe."

Screw that. He's definitely holding on too tightly. He tries to loosen his grip but Jack tightens his - as if he's afraid to let go. The soldier pulls them to a stop, concern deep on his brow.
"Gabe, is something wrong?" Jack's looks worried, lip between his teeth and shoulders hunched as if he were afraid of doing something wrong.

"Wha? No!" Gabe adjusts his grip. "It's just a uh...surprise! And we gotta hurry because..." Because something. He had a reason.
Somewhere. Something along the lines of having lots of fun and that he wasn't supposed to tell Jack yet because it was a surprise!

"Oh ok."

They continue their walk at a slower pace. After a while Jack gives their arm a little experimental swing. Gabe barks a laugh,
And swings their arms harder.

"Heh...I thought you were mad at me." Jack says.

"For what?"

"For going to Torb's."

Ah right. They had yet to talk about that.

"I'm not angry, not at you." Gabe starts slowly, parsing his thoughts. "I needed some time to think.
"And yeah, I needed a break - space - but that didn't mean i wanted you to leave the country!"

"Oh."

"Sorry. Should've talked to you about that." Gabe sighs

"Pretty sure our entire career has been us needing to communicate better." Jack chuckles.
Gabe laughs his agreement, pulling Jack closer to his side. He wasn't going to let his fake-husband think he didn't want him.

"Ow! Hey Gabe, is there something in your pocket?"

"Huh?" It takes a moment but with a shock Gabe realises Jack must've bumped into the box Ana gave him
He's been carrying it around. Unable to decide what to do with it, Gabe had just resorted to bringing it everywhere 'just in case'. /Shit/.

"N-nothing? It's my wallet!"

Jack quirks a brow. "You carry a wallet?
Last I checked you were still using those secret pockets of yours to keep all your money!"

Darn Blackwatch habits working against him! Wallets were information hubs in his old line of work so Gabe never carried them. Now he needed to pretend!
Gabe puts on his hautiest voice "It's the newest trend right now alright?"

Jack can't help the smile that stretches across his face. "Alright."

Gabe barely makes it to the arcade with a straight face. A young teen greets them at the door and gives them a quick rundown
Of the cafe, highlighting the machines they had and the quieter areas that could be used for board games or to relax and have food.

It's Gabe's turn to smile when he sees Jack visibly brighten at the mention of skeeball, not quite supressing his little clap of joy.
Jack quickly goes red when he notices Gabe's look. He hides it behind a cough.

Gabe doesn't mind. They've spent their whole lives hiding their emotions, hopefully that can end. Officially.

He waves aside Jack's offer to buy drinks and directs him to the closest skeebal machine.
They've wasted too much time as is. Gabe tosses a ball in his hand and eyes the holes.

"Ready to have your butt kicked?" He asks.

Jack snorts.

Ten minutes later and Gabe is nursing a bruised ego while Jack waves his novel-sized-stack of tickets in his face.
So maybe he wasn't prepared, whatever. Gabe will have his revenge; he's sure one of the other machines - maybe the racing ones or the shooting ones will be more his speed.

He's at the bar, trying to buy drinks for himself and Jack when he spots Jesse.
The gunslinger is in hoodie and ballcap. The combo is so surprising that Gabe has to look twice to be sure it was Jesse. But then the man talking to him turns and oh yeah.

It's Genji.

Jack's away redeeming his prize. So as Jesse and Genji leave the bar, Gabe follows.
He stays a ways behind his two agents. The cafe is too noisy for eavesdropping but Gabe's enhanced ears pick up the words "she's got it handled" And just "keep an eye on the boss and J".

Gabe quirks a brow. He's being followed? And who's 'she,'?
There are ways to tell when someone is where they shouldn't be and Gabe quickly glances over the cafe.

And proceeds to choke on his tongue.

Amélie is locked in an animated conversation with Petras in one of the quieter sitting booths. Or well, one-sided animated conversation.
She's got the former UN man quite literally wrapped around her finger, despite the other's obvious discomfort.

Petras looks like he wants to run. He's constantly tugging at his collar and trying to look around the cafe. But a smooth line from Amé has the man turning at attention
"Gabe, is something wrong?" Jack's voice nearly scares the heck out of Gabe. He chuckles to hide the shock and coughs.

"Uh. Nothing! Just-" that's when Gabe spots the clutch bag in Jack's hand. "Is that?"

"Well I asked for a wallet but this thing fits you more." Jack says.
The little bag has printed miniature reapers on them, each carrying a scythe

"The receptionist called it a reap-bean." Jack laughs. He pushes the clutch bag to Gabe who prays that he's not blushing enough to have steam coming out of his ears.

"But your tickets!" Gabe protests.
"I can get more," Jack promises. Then his voice softens, his shoulders hunch as if he's afraid. "Wanted to uh...get you something."

"Oh." /Oh heck/

Gabe pulls Jack into a hug roughly, grumbling into the snow white hair.
He's not going to cry or anything. Probably. So maybe Gabe gently brushes his lips against Jack's head. Maybe. He tries his best to ignore the very obvious and quite adorable flush on Jack's cheek as they part and shoos the ex-soldier in the direction of the game machines.
Gabe'll be right there with Jack...after he deals with the two pairs of eyes he knows are currently watching him.

He turns, sudden and sure, glaring right into Jesse's and Genji's eyes and the two agents are sure they hear the damning soundtrack of their doom.
It's like those movies where the shark erupts from nowhere, jaws open with the surety of death. Genji nearly ninja dashes out, only Jesse's tight hold on his arm keeping him in place.

"And what are /you/ two doing here, ruining my /date/?" Gabe cracks his knuckles.
"It was Ana's idea!" Genji and Jesse chorus. From there the two agents blubber confessions at the same time. It takes Gabe's stern eye to get them to make sense and it goes like this...
Petras had arrived earlier than they anticipated and had taken particular pains to make sure he wouldn't be stopped on the way to the arcade that he somehow knew Gabe and Jack were going to go to.

Sombra called in a favour and now Amé was going to run distraction because,
At the end of the day it would be /VERY/ rude (with a cherry on top) to deny such a forceful and dangerous woman.

Jesse and Genji were going to provide Amé with tactical info such as where to move Petras without clashing with Jack and Gabe.
So no, they weren't supposed to be spotted. But yes, they had this all handled and Gabe should go back to having a nice night!

Jesse and Genji finish with twin smiles, sweat on their foreheads.
Gabe points at them.

"Keep him away from me and /far/ away from Jack. Or else."

"Sir yes sir!" They both squeak.

It may have been close to ten years but a superior's 'don't fuck with me' voice will always be obeyed.
Gabe turns away without a second look back and rejoins Jack who's found an old Time Crisis machine. Like easing into a warm bath, Gabe goes back to hanging out with the old soldier as if the conversation with Jesse and Genji never happened.
They're trading jabs on who can get the higher score,

("Yeah but I'm better with a shotgun"

"Gabe, it's time crisis, they're ALL point blank"

"Well...this plastic thing is a handgun tho. Also if they were that close wouldn't you punch them?"

"Headbutt, but I get your point")
Discussing the realism of shooting games brings them on a tangent and they end up at a racing game discussing on what worked and what didn't.

It ended with Jack (qualified in only tractor driving) driving into Gabe and causing him to miss first place.
Arcade goers will be puzzled as to why there's a huge handsome man lifting an equally huge but paler man in the arcade and swinging him around by the waist as the latter laughs and tries to scramble away with his life.
They end up at a DDR machine after Gabe handily thrashes Jack at a basketball machine (and after Jack complains his arms are tired -- "see Jack, if you had trained in double shotgun you won't get tired this easily!")

"Did I mention I can't dance?" Jack points out.
He eyes the machine with something close to trepidation and Gabe resists giggling. He can recall all the previous times Jack's tried dancing and ended with a fumbling rendition of kicking feet and swinging hands

"It's not that bad," Gabe teases
"Says the guy trained in salsa," Jack grumbles.

Gabe rolls his eyes and takes Jack's hand. With a smooth motion he twirls the old soldier onto the machine and takes the next one over.

Flicking through the screen, he selects the 2-player mode.
"We'll start simple, feet only. Just put your foot on the arrow it tells you to at the right time - easy." Gabe hums.

He thinks he hears a muttered "no re" from Jack as they begin. Gabe grins, the soldier must've been talking to Hana.
They go for a few songs like this, Jack working out his clumsy foot and Gabe getting used to the feel of the music.

It's fun. They're both loose from the previous games with nothing to worry about and nowhere they need to be after.

They could go on and on like this. Or...
Gabe snickers to himself and puts his foot on Jack's back arrow, effectively tripping him up.

"Gabe!" Jack snaps.

"Yeeeeeees?"

Blue eyes glare at teasing brown. They both narrow with the heat of challenge.

/Oh, it's on/.
Jack stuffs his shoulder into Gabe's space and takes his top square, Gabe retaliates by poking him in the side and doing a near split to reach Jack's furthest arrow.

Gabe's perfect score plummets. Jack's ok score drops even further but they're having too much fun to care.
Their near-wrestling when the screen glitches. Both men look up just in time to see the purple sugar skull before the screen flicks on autopilot to a new song.

"Somb--!"

They don't even have time to say her name. The screen fills with arrows.
That little-! Sombra had chosen the hardest songs and suddenly both were scrambling to salvage what was left of their score.

"Take my top square!" Gabe yelped.

"You trust me with that?" Jack snapped.

"I'll cover your bottom. Shit my right--"

"I got it!"
They (kind of) make it work.

Jack ends up dancing in front of Gabe, taking the closest squares in front and inside while Gabe covers his back and the outermost arrows.

It's not optimal but the game isn't giving them time to reset and breathe.
Surprisingly, their score actually saves itself.

Something something about the two of them working best when they were together. Jack tries not to think about it. Gabe's a little too focused.

And then the screen glitches again.
The song goes faster, Gabe nearly loses his balance but Jack catches him and puts his hands on his waist.

They're dancing a little too close, Gabe's breath over Jack's shoulder. Jack gets a little redder, Gabe gulps a little.

And then the screen glitches one final time.
The arrows on the screen swap positions. If Gabe's down was on the far left, it was now somewhere else, as was Jack's up and so forth.

The two man flounder to no avail. Somehow in the confusion, Jack trips over Gabe and they go careening backwards and off the machine.
Jack lands on top of Gabe with the latters arms wrapped around him in a bear hug. They're laughing and swearing vengeance against Sombra while staff come to check that there were no injuries.

"Easy, he says." Jack laughs

"It would be if /someone/ didn't mess with the controls!"
They get up with difficulty, partially because Gabe won't let Jack out of the bear hug and partially because Jack keeps slipping and falling back against Gabe.

By the time they do get up, their both red but neither can tell if it's from exertion or something else.
"I'll uh... I'll get us something cool to drink," Gabe stammers.

"Ok I'll uh...grab us a table." Jack's face goes a tad bit redder and Gabe...

Gabe stops resisting and pecks Jack on the cheek before making an escape.
Gabe doesn't look back as he makes a beeline for the bar and demands the strongest shot they have. He downs the alcohol in one gulp and tries to breathe through the anxiety and ohmygodifinally(sortof)kissedjack.

So maybe he's a little giddy, like a teenager with their first kiss
But liquid courage can only soothe him so far and the dopey smile is definitely permanently stuck to his face.

He kissed Jack. /He kissed Jack/!

It takes a minute but Gabe gathers himself and puts aside the shotglass to order something more reasonable for himself and Jack.
Milkshakes and curly fries ought to give them enough energy for a few more rounds at the machines. And if not, Gabe was open to a night playing board games.

Anything to spend time with Jack.

He's waiting for his orders when a pale hand slinks into his view
And slams down another shot glass.

Gabe half turns to quirk his brow at Amélie who looks like she was going to order another shot.

"Shouldn't you uh..." Gabe begins

"Petras went to the toilet." She growls. "How did you and Jack put up with him in the golden age?
"He's as dry as shriveled sticks waiting for a forest fire."

Gabe chuckles. That was one way to put it. "I got lucky, Jack dealt with him most of the time," he explained.

"Well after this, tell him he has my respects." Another shot is served and Amélie downs it in one go.
"Where is your boyfriend anyway?" She asks.

/Boyfriend/. Gabe can feel his cheeks grow hotter and he fidgets against the counter. "He's uh...getting us a table"

"Cherie, you should blush more - it's a good look on you." Amé tuts. "You two look like you're having fun."
Fun was an understatement. Gabe scratched the back of his head.

Amé didn't wait for him to figure himself out. "Have you told him yet?" She asked.

"Told him what?"

"That you want to be his real husband." She says it in such a deadpan manner that Gabe chokes on his tongue.
"Amé!" Gabe yelps.

"What?" She orders a wine and sips at the velveteen drink. "It's what the both of you want."

"Yeah but...what if-"

"Gabe, if you do not see the way he treats you and looks at you, you're blind."

"Still..."
Amélie finally throws her hands in the air. "Just get together Reyes. Everyone can see that you two love each other. Think of it this way, if you two could just admit your feelings it would save the rest of us a lot of trouble."

Well, when she puts it that way...
"Ok fine." Gabe relents "But how do I...y'know."

"Just talk to him?" Amélie shrugs. "Gabe, you're thinking too much. Not everything has a plan, just go with the flow."

Yeah. Flow. Right.

"Ok yeah. I can do this." Gabe takes a deep breath. He can admit his feelings. Easy!
All Gabe had to do was just 'talk'! How hard could it be? (Ignoring the fact he's been avoiding this talking business for 30 odd years).

Just then Amélie narrows her eyes and leans into her ear, a finger to her earring.

"What do you mean he's not in the toilet?" She asks.
Gabe quirks a brow and opens his mouth. Immediately Amélie puts a finger over his lips.

"You were supposed to keep an eye on him! Where is he now?"She snaps, still to her ear. "Fine I'll keep an eye out but he better be found quickly!"

Gabe pulls away her finger "What's wrong?"
The look on Amélie's face is not at all comforting. "It's Petras," she says. "Somehow he's escaped his tail. The boys think he might have gone out the back exit."

Petras, escaped? Oh no...

Gabe scours the tables for a sign of Jack but finds no silver head with a cowlick.
A waiter comes to the bar.

"Sir your milksh-"

"Hold it for me Amé!" And Gabe was gone, ploughing through the crowds. He didn't even stay to hear Amé's cussing, so focused was he on finding Jack.

Of all the times where he needs to find Jack easily- where was the soldier!?
Gabe does a quick round of the machines and tables in record time, ignoring the people's glares and yells at him to watch where he's going.

It's only when he looks to the glass front of the shop where he sees Jack. The soldier is standing sideways to the shop, face in shadow.
Gabe had a bad idea as to why he was out there.

He threw open the front door to find Jack glaring down Petras, arms crossed over his chest and fists balled under his armpits.

It was hard to tell if the soldier was doing so from nerves or holding back a punch.
"... he's a /specialist/." Petras was saying. "And here he comes now, the man of the hour! Reyes, why don't you tell your friend how you really feel and we can get this unhappy farce out of the way."

Jack did not turn to look at Gabe.
Instead, Jack was breathing hard, heart beat racing. Gabe could hear its harsh and speedy beats even from behind the soldier.

When Gabe put a hand on his shoulder, it felt like Jack would jump out of his skin, although he just barely controlled it - minus the goosebumps.
"I don't know what farce you're on about but you're ruining our date night," Gabe growled. "Get lost Petras."

"Your /marriage/." Petras interrupted, the man obviously had no intention to leave. "Look, you might have to pretend for the UN but you don't have to pretend for me.
"I know you had no say in this one-sided arrangement of Morrison's. I'll even pull some old strings of mine and get you your own house and a lighter sentence, there's no need to pretend to marry someone you don't even like."

As he spoke Gabe noticed Jack's shoulders hunch.
Not all at once, but slowly, like he was closing off bit by bit. Even under Gabe's hand, he could feel the wall building.

He's reminded of the first time he saw Jack out of his vigilante uniform. There was a hollowness in his body back then,
A wall made of wariness and hopelessness. Dark thoughts ran rampant behind those blue eyes, and even though Gabe hadn't been with Jack during his recovery first hand, he knew the struggle it had taken for the team to get Jack back to functional.

But scars never really fade.
They're always there ready to pounce. Gabe knows what that's like.

He shifted his arm to pull Jack into a one-armed hug.

"You can fuck off with your deal." Gabe said. "I'm happy where I am and that's a fact."

Petras frowned. "Reyes-"

"No. I don't care what you have to say,"
Gabe's voice dropped. "If I see you near Jack again, you'd better hope I'm feeling as nice as I am today or I'll risk my sentence and do something we'll both regret."

Petras visibly swallowed but admirably held his composure. He reached into his suit and pulled out a card.
"My number, if you change your min-" Petras began.

Gabe didn't let him finish. He touched the card with a finger and his nanites swarmed the thick paper with their blistering smoke. The card was swallowed up as if he had set fire to it, ash drifting to the floor.
"Let's go, Jack." Ignoring Petras' look of astonishment, Gabe guided Jack away from the arcade.

As they moved, Gabe didn't let go of Jack, keeping his arm around him and grounded. It wasn't until they were a few blocks away that Jack stopped dead.
"Why didn't you take Petras' offer?" Jack asked.

Gabe sighed. He did promise everyone else he would talk. He took a deep breath, remember what Amé said; don't think too much, go with the flow.

"I didn't want, nor need it." Gabe answered.
"It could've given you an out," Jack murmured.

"I don't want an out," Gabe points out "I like what we have and I was hoping we could uh...we could...fuck."

Now Jack was looking at him with wide blue eyes. "You want us to fuck?"

"What? No! I mean yes, eventually.
"But I meant that as a cuss, not like actual fuck. Like 'fuck it' kind of fuck. But I mean the other fuck kind of works - not really." Gabe covered his face. "and this is why I avoided talking."

Jack was staring at him as if he'd grown two heads.
And then, the old soldier smiled and took Gabe's hands away from his face.

"I wouldn't be...opposed to that, later I mean, after a few more uh..."

"Yes," Gabe intercepted. "After a few more dates."

Jack swallowed. "You really mean that?"

"What fucking or going on dates?"
Gabe groaned. "Because I'm pretty sure I've liked you for like 30 years but didn't really have time to think on it or realise it was like like until we started living together and I do hope we can become more and I'm rambling now so if you want to stop me -"

Jack kissed him.
/That was one way to do it/ Gabe thought. Jack really was trying to suck his life out through his lips for a mostly chaste kiss - but hey, Gabe's not complaining. In fact, he would kind of rather it not stop.

Except Jack was stepping back.

Gabe pouted.
A laugh broke from Jack and he reached forward to hold Gabe's head between his pale hands.

"I always thought me arranging this was trapping you some how," he said. "Or some elaborate plot my subconscious mind had planed because...I like like you too."
"Oh." Gabe leaned into Jack's hands. "But I thought you said you did it to keep me away from the UN and safe."

"I mean that /is/ my intention but," Jack shrugged"The brain..."

"Is shitty."Gabe finished.

They both smiled, a little secret shared. And that's when Gabe remembered.
He reached into his pocket much to the confusion of Jack and pulled out the clutch bag the soldier had recently given him. Within it, Gabe pulled out the box Ana had given him and knelt on one knee.

"Oh my god Gabe!" Jack flustered. "We've had /ONE/ date."
"I know, just bear with me." Gabe chuckled.

"So you wanna fuck after a few more dates but propose on the first?"

"I said bear with me Jackie - just, just shh!" Gabe took a deep breath. "Cause I just wanna say;
"I don't regret agreeing to fake-marry you(even if you could've told me beforehand so I didn't get blindsided). Our little house with a garden by the sea is the best retirement plan ever and I'm really happy to be spending it with you so...will you be my not-really-fake-husband?"
Jack was smiling so hard it was almost impossible to get the words out.

"/Yes/." He said.

---
{Epilogue}

Amé: Reyes?

Amé: Helloooooo

Amé: your milkshake is now watery milk, I hope you're happy.

Amé: <04.img> I gave your milkshakes to Jesse. He drank both sludge cups and ate all your fries.

Amé: **** I'm going to have some fun since you're OBVIOUSLY not coming back.
"What's wrong Gabe?" Jack asked.

The morning sun is shining through the window and catching on Jack's silver hair...and ring. And it takes a minute for Gabe to fully realise he's been asked a question?

"Hm?" He says.

Jack chuckles. "Your phone. Something wrong?"
Gabe smiles and turns the screen over, revealing a picture of Amé thrashing Jesse in a shooting game with Genji doing the peace sign out the corner.

It's sweet. And awfully normal as crazy as their life is. Jack laughs and serves up coffee, with a quick brush to Gabe's arm.
It makes Gabe's guts do summersaults and he grabs the soldiers hand to reel him in. He places a kiss on those old brows (just because he can) and nuzzles up in Jack's shoulder (because he definitely can).

Jack hums in contentment and circles Gabe with his arms.
They sway like that in their little kitchen, the sound of waves beating outside their window.

"Any plans for today?" Jack asks.

"I was thinking of cuddling." Gabe says. "And cookies."

Jack kissed him on the temple. "Come grocery shopping with me?"

"Hell yeah."
And they do that most days, alternating flour battles in between and dates when they don't bake. They spend time relearning each other and realise they've always fit together like pieces in a puzzle.

They visit their friends and Jack hosts barbeque nights,
While Gabe hosts masquerades and costume parties.

Everyone from Ana to Torbjorn heave a sigh of relief at Jack and Gabe finally getting their shit together. A restraining order is passed against Petras that the UN (especially it's younger members) support. And life goes on.
Two years later they're having a private ceremony to "re-wed" the husbands. To the authorities it would be a renewal of vows, to Jack and Gabe's closest friends it's an actual wedding.

Everything goes off without a hitch. Mama Reyes is crying in the hall,
Telling everyone about how proud she is while a puppy runs around everyone's feet (a wedding present from Jack's sister).

Everything was perfect.

And then a UN official came to shake Gabe's hand. Gabe recognised him as the young man who had broken the news of Gabe's
fake marriage two years ago. The man was still as sparky as that day Gabe remembered and he shook Gabe's hands warmly.

"Congratulations dear man, congratulations indeed!" He said. "I say it's a long time past for this renewal. What a wonderful day!"

Gabe let's him prattle on,
Taking the congratulations with smiles and nods. And then...

"You know, I must say it was so weird, how Jack proved that the two of you were married two years ago!"

Gabe quirks a brow. He never did get to hear that story from Jack. "Oh? What did my sunshine say?"
"Well he didn't have any papers or anything," the UN man pointed out. "So he..." He flourished his hand.

Gabe was so confused. "He what?"

"Well, Jack always did have some scars...and to quote your friend Mr. Lindholm; 'we don't ask about what goes on in the bedroom'." He said.
The underlying implied "kinky shit" is there.

Gabe flushes as deep a red he can go and excuses himself from the UN man to find his husband. When he finds Jack, he hugs him from behind and leans into his ear.

"Something up dear?" Jack asks, interlacing their fingers.
Gabe nibbles at his ear.

"Y'know, I just talked with an old friend. And apparently we're into some pretty kinky stuff." Gabe whispers.

Jack goes so red it's a wonder he didn't turn into a full tomato. He remembers, he definitely remembes.
"Uh....surprise?" Jack says.

Surprise indeed. Gabe wasn't angry, in fact, there was fun to be had. It wasn't every day you found out your fake marriage was first proved by an implied sex life that then turned into a real marriage.

"I was thinking," Gabe hummed
Drawing it out to watch Jack squirm. "How bout we have a little fun tonight?"

"Fun?" Jack asked.

"Yeah you know...kinky shit?" Gabe grinned, all teeth and wiggling brows. It would be sexy if it wasn't so funny.

Jack bursts out laughing and turns in the circle of Gabe's arms.
"Okay, yes, fine." Jack laughs. "Anything for you dear husband."

Gabe twirled them across the floor and kissed his husband deeply.
-End-
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