With Jack, the UN are willing to "let bygones be bygones" because of his political history.
Which finds Jack and the old Overwatch guard (except Gabe) in a meeting with the UN.
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!"
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.
"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,
"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."
"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?"
"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.
He speaks the last as a threat even though his face is probably burning hot.
The UN nod knowingly.
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?"
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,
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.
"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."
"We have ironed out the details about your next steps and there is nothing to worry about!
That's...considerably less severe than Gabe expected. To be honest, the former Merc had expected execution or prison-for-life.
"Oh and the UN are willing to provide you with the appropriate housing, seeing as your other assets were destroyed in Zurich or frozen.
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."
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.
"Uh, yes of course." Gabe coughs into his hand. "Thank you. So much. Um. I hope you don't mind..."
"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.
"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?"
"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.
"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?"
"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."
"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.
"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.
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 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.
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.
And for some reason it was covered in rose petals and a note that read 'Congratulations newlyweds!' from Sombra.
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.
"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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The point of this meeting was meant to be an undercover way to trade information.
"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.
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.
"This is a /mess/." It comes out like a moan and not even she knew what she was refering to.
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.
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.
"Everything alright?" Gabe asks. He's keeping his tone light but Jack can feel the way he stiffens beside him.
This was the trouble with getting revealed; people always wanted to know what you were up to.
Which meant getting spied on.
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.
It's so strange to do, and yet the people around them don't bat an eye. As if this was normal.
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
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.
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.
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,
"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.
"Ohohoh, let me guess," Gabe says. "Fareeha was the flower girl."
"Yup, with Brigitte." Jack scrolls through the list "Ana was my best man..."
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.
"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."
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
"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.
Jack flushes red, both in embarrassment and anger. "Fine, tell the others that /you/ proposed then!"
Couldn't be romantic his ass! Jack roughly browsed through the shop's shelves of clothes, muttering to himself.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
They were supposed to be chilling, but even then Gabe finds himself questioning what it meant to 'chill'.
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,
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 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.
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.
"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!"
He sighs though, shoulders sagging. "Soon Gabe, just a little longer alright? I just need to get a few more things for dinner."
A basket of jewel red catches his eyes and he looks back at the fruits on display.
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,
"What?" Jack asks
"It's p-probably nothing." Gabe stammers. He steps back, adjusting his pants as Jack goes back to his fruits.
"Jack maybe that's not a good idea...?"
"Hmm? I thought you liked chocolate strawberries." Jack points out.
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?"
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.
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.
He's cooked more than he can eat before he realises and Jack stares guiltily at the plate full of foods, slightly uneasy.
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.
The day after Jack made pancakes for Gabe,
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.
He goes about trying another way to confirm his suspicions in the meantime.
It's been a while since Gabe's handled cookware.
Gabe really needs to practice.
But that's for later, he takes the food to the living room
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.
"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.
Finally though, Jack looks up from the plate.
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
Gabe hums. He gets it, he does. If someone eats nothing but the bare essentials in a concentrated packet for years,
"You can still eat chocolate strawberries though," Gabe muses. He doesn't mean it as an accusation, just an observation.
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
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
Gabe folds his arms and cocks his hip. "Well I'm the master strategist here so-"
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.
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.
At first Jack just thought it was a brief spur-of-the-moment thing. Go out, feel the rain, come back.
Finally, Jack decides enough is enough. He grabs an umbrella and goes out to see what's with Gabe.
"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.
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 ."
"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 doesn't understand it, not really.
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.
The heater gets cranked up to the nines and Jack hands out towels once their inside.
Gabe still looked deep in thought.
"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."
He pushes Gabe through the threshold and slams the door closed.
There's a muffled 'Hey!' somewhere in there, but Jack ignores it.
He waits outside the door, determined to make sure Gabe was doing as he was told.
"Jack?" Gabe calls, voice soft.
"M' here Gabe. What do you need?"
There's a shuffle. Like Gabe was shrugging.
"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.
The warmth soaked in deep and soothed the cold from the rain before.
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."
Gabe was silent for a while, chopsticks picking at his food.
"Why do you care?" Gabe finally asked.
"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-"
"Safe?" Gabe cast a hand around them. "I don't-"
"Need a caretaker." Jack finished for him.
He asked the last quietly. Gabe watched him a moment longer before sitting down.
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.
"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."
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."
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."
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.
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?"
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.
"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."
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.
Yeah, Jack's pretty sure Gabe wants some /private/ free (or as free as can be) time.
Ingrid and Rein are watching him too and Jack feels mildly cornered.
"I didn't say hate..." Jack mumbles.
"You think he doesn't want you around."
"Well, if you were in his situation, wouldn't you?"
"Not the point lad," Torb sighs
"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.
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.
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.
"Jack," Ingrid begins "what do you think a break means to Gabriel?"
"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.
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," 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."
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.
Little things, that Jack had somehow begun to hold as dearly as a desert wanderer holds water.
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.
"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.
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."
"To visit Torb and family..."
"You idiot..." Jack can imagine the sigh as Gabe says it. "We'll talk again when you get here."
Jack hangs up the call and stares at the screen.
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.
"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."
It takes a few deep breaths for Petras to calm down. Jack was already deciding how best to leave when he spoke again.
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.
"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!"
Petras snorts again.
And then he was leaving, as suddenly as he had come.
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?
Gabe calls again though, just to make sure he was actually going home. Bastard even told Reinhardt and Torb.
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'.
And that's when Jack realises, he has it bad for Gabe.
He shuts his eyes tighter.
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.
Sombra hums acknowledgement, two churros in her cheeks.
"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.
"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.
"Is that Petras?" Ana asks in surprise.
"Funny thing." Sombra says. She swallows her churros.
"-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.
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.
"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
"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.
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?
"Give me that!" Gabe snatches the tickets from her.
Ana whacks her spoon at him before he can speak, following each word with another"Go. Have. Fun. /We/. Will. Deal. With. Petras!"
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."
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.
The little box is stuffed deep into Gabe's pocket and Ana gives it a pat for good measure.
Gabe grumbles but sees Ana's reasoning. "But isn't...y'know" he points to the box
"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!"
It's the first time in ages that he can focus on his own feelings,
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?"
Sombra returns her grin, teeth for teeth.
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.
"Wha? No!" Gabe adjusts his grip. "It's just a uh...surprise! And we gotta hurry because..." Because something. He had a reason.
They continue their walk at a slower pace. After a while Jack gives their arm a little experimental swing. Gabe barks a laugh,
"Heh...I thought you were mad at me." Jack says.
"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.
"Sorry. Should've talked to you about that." Gabe sighs
"Pretty sure our entire career has been us needing to communicate better." Jack chuckles.
"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
"N-nothing? It's my wallet!"
Jack quirks a brow. "You carry a wallet?
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!
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
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.
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.
"Ready to have your butt kicked?" He asks.
Ten minutes later and Gabe is nursing a bruised ego while Jack waves his novel-sized-stack of tickets in his face.
He's at the bar, trying to buy drinks for himself and Jack when he spots Jesse.
Jack's away redeeming his prize. So as Jesse and Genji leave the bar, Gabe follows.
Gabe quirks a brow. He's being followed? And who's 'she,'?
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.
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
"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 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.
"Oh." /Oh heck/
Gabe pulls Jack into a hug roughly, grumbling into the snow white hair.
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.
"And what are /you/ two doing here, ruining my /date/?" Gabe cracks his knuckles.
Sombra called in a favour and now Amé was going to run distraction because,
Jesse and Genji were going to provide Amé with tactical info such as where to move Petras without clashing with Jack and Gabe.
Jesse and Genji finish with twin smiles, sweat on their foreheads.
"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.
("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")
It ended with Jack (qualified in only tractor driving) driving into Gabe and causing him to miss first place.
"Did I mention I can't dance?" Jack points out.
"It's not that bad," Gabe teases
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.
He thinks he hears a muttered "no re" from Jack as they begin. Gabe grins, the soldier must've been talking to Hana.
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!" Jack snaps.
Blue eyes glare at teasing brown. They both narrow with the heat of challenge.
/Oh, it's on/.
Gabe's perfect score plummets. Jack's ok score drops even further but they're having too much fun to care.
They don't even have time to say her name. The screen fills with arrows.
"Take my top square!" Gabe yelped.
"You trust me with that?" Jack snapped.
"I'll cover your bottom. Shit my right--"
"I got it!"
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.
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.
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 two man flounder to no avail. Somehow in the confusion, Jack trips over Gabe and they go careening backwards and off the machine.
"Easy, he says." Jack laughs
"It would be if /someone/ didn't mess with the controls!"
By the time they do get up, their both red but neither can tell if it's from exertion or something else.
"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.
So maybe he's a little giddy, like a teenager with their first kiss
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.
Anything to spend time with Jack.
He's waiting for his orders when a pale hand slinks into his view
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?
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.
/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."
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.
"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."
Well, when she puts it that way...
"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!
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.
"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?"
Petras, escaped? Oh no...
Gabe scours the tables for a sign of Jack but finds no silver head with a cowlick.
"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!?
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.
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.
Jack did not turn to look at Gabe.
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.
"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.
As he spoke Gabe noticed Jack's shoulders hunch.
He's reminded of the first time he saw Jack out of his vigilante uniform. There was a hollowness in his body back then,
But scars never really fade.
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,"
Petras visibly swallowed but admirably held his composure. He reached into his suit and pulled out a card.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Jack was staring at him as if he'd grown two heads.
"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?"
Jack kissed him.
Except Jack was stepping back.
"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."
"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.
"Oh my god Gabe!" Jack flustered. "We've had /ONE/ date."
"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;
"/Yes/." He said.
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.
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?"
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.
Jack hums in contentment and circles Gabe with his arms.
"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?"
They visit their friends and Jack hosts barbeque nights,
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.
Everything goes off without a hitch. Mama Reyes is crying in the hall,
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
"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,
"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?"
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.
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.
"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.
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
"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.
Gabe twirled them across the floor and kissed his husband deeply.