This is a semi-sequel to "I Could Murder a Chippie," inspired in part by the fact that my gym's colours are UW Huskies colours, which is to say, Talon purple, and Overwatch gold, and that had to show up somewhere. [AO3 link]
"Th' hell?" said Venom, as the treadmill she was on - black and purple, like so much Talon gear, like so much Talon corporate culture - suddenly gained gold highlights.
"Ha!" said Tracer, as the treadmill she was on - black and gold, like so much Overwatch gear, like so much Overwatch corporate culture - suddenly gained purple highlights.
Venom looked to her left, the previously unoccupied treadmill now occupied by her mirror image, almost, hair almost the same, eyes almost the same, accelerator stripes most definitely not the same, or even there at all.
Tracer looked to her right, the previously unoccupied treadmill now occupied by her mirror image, almost, hair almost the same, eyes almost the same, accelerator missing, but she has thin stripes showing on her shoulders and legs, faintly shining blue.
"Hiya!" said Tracer, beating Venom to the punch. "Somehow I just knew you'd have a gym on Filicudi."
"You again..." Venom's mind raced, as she thought back to the impossible luncheon she'd shared with the Manic Pixie Murder Machine. "...that was real?"
"Kinda!" chirped Tracer. "As real as interdimensional transits can be, anyway. Thought I'd see if I could set up the right conditions and meed up again. You remember me, so I guess it worked!"
Venom reached over and tried, and failed, to touch Tracer. Tracer did the same, in reverse. At least she's not really here, thought the assassin. That's a relief. "So... your Winston's somewhere off... in some impossible direction from here, I guess?"
"Yah! Well, yeah, I guess so, but not to me. He's been helpin' out, but it's by remote. We've had this set up a while - it's the first time it's actually worked!"
Venom looked crossly at her Overwatch alternate-dimension counterpart. "So. Your Overwatch doesn't work with your Talon, does it?"
"So what's this about, then? Intel gathering?"
"Won't matter, y'know. Apparently, our kind of Talon is pretty rare."
"Yeah, I've only seen a few of your lot. Tekhartha always dies, 'cept when it's you... which is..." she looked down at her treadmill, and let it coast to a stop. "...why I wanted to apologise."
Venom blinked, letting her treadmill slow to a stop as well. "...wot?"
"I'm sorry. For calling you evil. I've been thinkin' about that fight we had, and..." She let out a deep breath, and took another one. "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I mean, you're still assassins, and I still can't go with that, but..." She shook her head back and forth, slowly. "Bloody hell, love, you saved Tekhartha Mondatta. D'ya know how rare that is?"
"We've... kind of got that idea, yeah." Venom didn't say that mostly, worlds like theirs, they ended up without her, or with a Venom that didn't question the mission, with Widowmaker taking the shot. With atomic fire and ash. With the war that truly did end all wars.
But not here, she thought. Not us. Not now.
"So..." continued Tracer, "...I'm sorry."
Venom shook off the things that could've been, but weren't, and smirked, but with a little warmth to it. "You went to these lengths for an apology? Maybe you're not so bad as I thought, Tracer. I accept."
Tracer smiled her genuine smile, the soft one, the one she saved for people she really, truly liked. "Thanks."
"But you said you wanted intel. Sorta."
Tracer blushed furiously. "...yeah."
What's that blush? Venom wondered. "G'wan then..."
"Tell me..." she looked nervously off to the side, "...about Amélie."
"Wot." said Venom. This can't be what I think it is, she thought, or maybe it might. "I thought you and Emily were..."
"We are!" Tracer protested. "And we're happy! But..."
"...you've seen some of those universes where it's all three of us together, haven't you?"
"And y'want that."
Tracer looked down, and her voice became very quiet. "I'd... I don't know. I don't know what I want. But I know I'd given up on her, and I... I think that was wrong."
Must do, thought Venom, to poke at spacetime about it. She sympathised, of course. How could she not? But might as well have some fun with her opposite. "Well, first things first. You have another apology to make, luv."
"'Aggressively overstyled shitehawk' ring any bells?"
Tracer laughed. "Ah, c'mon, mate, that was a joke and you knew it."
Venom smirked. "Apologise anyway."
"Done," the Overwatch agent replied, laughing. "I'm sorry. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I'm sorry."
Venom grinned her famous half-grin, and looked off to the side, where Tracer could not see. "Amélie, Em, you think we should help her?"
Em?! thought Tracer. "What?! "
"What?! When?! "
Venom beamed, broadly. "We placed a discreet notice for a private top-class aircraft mechanic. Guess who showed up?"
"Wha... wha..." Tracer quite literally vibrated in place. Venom didn't think she could do that with her kind of accelerator, but, apparently, she could.
"Is that a question?"
Venom just laughed. "It's fate, Tracer. Get used to it, it's probably gonna happen! Mostly just a matter of when."
"But luv, where do I start? How do I get past the Widowmaker and free Amélie?"
Venom frowned. "Y'want a serious answer? Y'won't like it."
"Stop thinkin' they're different."
Tracer blinked. "But they are, Widow's not even - well, fine, not yours, but mine, Talon..."
"Doesn't matter," interrupted the junior assassin. "Got news, mate. If you can't love the Widowmaker, you can't love Amélie."
From out of range of the interface field, but not out of range of the movement of air to carry sound, came the senior assassin's voice. "It's true. Even when they think they've built someone completely new, they have not. They have only forced changes, and even then, fewer than they think. The foundation remains. It must, for the process to work."
"Woah," breathed Tracer. She knew the elder assassin had to be there, somewhere, but hearing that voice sent tingles down her skin. "...Widowmaker?"
Amélie stepped into what she suspected - correctly - was the area of field effect. She put down the free weights, wiped her face with a towel, and turned to the tangerine-clad Overwatch agent. "Hello, Tracer."
Tracer's breath stopped and she blinked, her mouth half open for a moment before she was able to close it, and she shook her head. Venom and Widowmaker exchanged the briefest of meaningful glances - oh, she's got it bad, doesn't she? - before Tracer collected herself, with a "...nice to see you, luv." The teleporter swallowed. "Even though you're not..."
"...your Widowmaker?" interjected Amélie.
"Neither is she," said Tracer.
Widowmaker nodded her agreement. "She is a person, cherie, and she is not yours."
Tracer took the point, and, for once, knew when to shut up. Amélie picked up on the silence, and granted her a small smile. "Ah, you already begin to understand, yes? She is real - as real as I am. As we all are, every one of us. Just as every Tracer is a person - even the most dedicated members of the worst kinds of Talon - so is every Widowmaker, no matter what she may seem to you."
"So she's still in there..."
"No," Widowmaker said, frowning a little, and crossing her arms. "Understand this. She is there, right there, in front of you, as I am now. Perhaps under various kinds of influence, perhaps traumatised, perhaps parts of her are muted, perhaps parts of the old her are even lost, perhaps she is even a new person built from the old - but no matter what has happened, she is that person now."
Tracer's eyes widened, as her thoughts flashed to all the ways she'd tried to talk to her universe's Widowmaker, and how offers to help, to undo what they'd done, to bring back Amélie, always backfired.
"...telling her we'd do the same thing Talon did."
"Exactement," Widowmaker bowed, her arms now spread apart, as if on stage.
"Oh. Oh, oh, no," Tracer said, burying her face in her hands. "What've I done? "
"Hey, hey," said Venom, reaching forward uselessly, to comfort her opposite. "It's all right. She still talk t'you?"
Venom looked back up, towards the voice. "Yeh. Sometimes."
"Then," said Widowmaker, "I think it is not too late. I cannot imagine any version of myself that would talk to you if she had, how do you say, written you down?"
"Also, you are still alive, are you not?"
Tracer snorted. "Don't underestimate me, luv."
"Do not underestimate her, either." Widowmaker nodded towards Venom, whose accelerator stripes suddenly shined brightly, and then she grabbed Tracer off her treadmill, hand strong and oh so very solid. "Or me."
Tracer shrieked, and found herself unable to teleport away, as Widowmaker leaned forward, golden eyes bright, the spider bearing down on her terrified, halfway hypnotised prey. "Understand. I do this for her. Not for you. Can you love the spider? "
Tracer stared back into those gold eyes, and that cold blue face, overcome with fear... and then, suddenly, felt no longer afraid. She reached forward, pulled her arms around the Widowmaker, and kissed her, briefly but fiercely. Pulling back, she held the spider's gaze, and said, firmly, "...I can."
Amélie smiled coquettishly, and let Tracer go. "She does not taste like you, beloved," as Venom and Emily both laughed.
"They never do," said Emily, from outside the field.
"They never...?" replied Tracer, confused.
"You're not the first Tracer to come asking these questions, luv," Venom said, with something between a grin and a smirk. Her glow faded to normal, and Tracer returned to her insubstantial state, at least, for the Talon crew and gear. "All patched up. G'wan back home."
"And good luck!" she heard Emily call, from outside the field. "Most of us are pretty poly, but some of us aren't. Don't hurt your Emily, or I'll come after you myself!"
Tracer looked towards the direction of Emily's voice. "Not for anything, Em. Not for anything."
"I'll hold you to that," she shouted, as the field began to fade, and then collapsed.
Tracer dropped and sat on the treadmill's belt as the gateway failed, the last of the stored charge exhausted, patting the ground, the floor, the chairs, making sure she was still here, still home. She'd not expected to be grabbed completely into their reality like that, and she shivered at the thought of losing her Emily, her Overwatch, her world. That was... a lot riskier than I imagined! she thought. Winston'll want to know.
"So," she said, after a moment, looking over outside the field boundaries, to her Emily. "You still sure about this?"
Emily "Kestrel" Oxton raised an eyebrow. "After seeing you and her kiss?" The flying agent smiled a broad, bold smile. "I am. More than ever."