The Armourer and the Living Weapon, Chapter 15: Some of it, I find I even like
This chapter is worksafe.
Lena's face lit up as Winston lumbered into the small conference room, carrying a box of Lena's clothes, some photos, and a small number of other personal items from her London apartment. "So here you are! I've been looking all over."
"Aw, brilliant! Thanks, luv!" she said, pulling out an orange and yellow tank top. "It's nice to have some things from home."
Her best friend grinned, and nodded. "Send Hana a thank you note, if you get a chance. She's the one who flew over and picked it up."
"She's not here?" she asked, picking out matching running shorts. "She was here when we left for Russia..."
"Afraid not - she got called back to Korea to lead some exercises. She'll be back as soon as she can, though."
The teleporter rummaged through more of her clothing and held a bundle of it up to her face, smelling at the pile. "Oasis isn't bad, but I miss London, it's been..." She put the pile back down. "...huh."
"Think I need t'give these another wash," she said, rubbing at her nose. "Hey, what's..." She reached into the box, and pulled out a small spherical object. "Oh, right, that bath bomb I bought!" she said, unwrapping it a little, then making a face. "Ugh! Well, there's the problem. This smells terrible! What was I thinking?"
The scientist chortled. "Smells fine to me, but..."
"Stinky or not, thanks again for bringing all this. Like I said - it's just... reminders of home," she said. Reminders of before, she thought. "Nice to have." She wrapped the bath boom back up in its plastic before placing it discreetly into the trash, then put the clothes back into the box to carry back to the neutral ground apartment once Dr. Ziegler was done looking over Widowmaker. So many scans. She shook her head, tired of lying on tables, surrounded by beeping equipment.
Winston sat on the large chair, the one Angela's brought in especially for him. "How're you doing, Lena? Really?"
"Not so bad," she replied, sitting down beside him. "I mean... everything's a little crazy - what we're doing, who we're doing it with - but..." She bit her lower lip. "S'funny, tho'... I like her."
"Moira?" the scientist asked, dubiously.
Lena snorted. "No."
She nodded. "Yeh. It's weird, luv. She's... really easy to get along with. She's, she's, nice. When she's not out to kill you, anyway. It doesn't even seem forced, it's just how she is."
"I find that very surprising, given who she is..."
"I guess I have a thing for murderous women in blue?" she tried to joke.
"...and that she helped kidnap you both," he continued, not letting himself be deterred. "I know we've talked about this already, but I'm still so sorry..."
"We don't have to talk about it again, luv," she said, reaching out and putting her hand on his. "It's not your fault, and I don't blame you. But..." She let out a frustrated sigh. "Ugh, how do I even say this? With her, with Em, it's like... it's like there's just no friction between us, right? Ever. We even fought in Russia like we'd been fightin' together for years, and it just happened. I don't even know how to describe it."
"Does she fight like Widowmaker?"
"Wish she did, that'd explain a lot." She poked around at one of her shirts, shaking it out a bit. "But it's not just fighting, yeh? After, in Latvia, we're eating together and laughing it up like best mates at th' pub, and it just feels so nice. And back here, we're..." - she decided to skip detailing their sleeping arrangements, and just ran her hands through her hair. "It's like there's no work to bein'... nnnnngh!" She stopped, and let out a big huff of breath. "I shouldn't like her. I know that. I really shouldn't. She's an entire stack of crazycakes covered in murdersauce. But... I do. I really do."
Winston chuffed, sympathetically. "And you wonder if that's Moira's work?"
Lena nodded, reluctantly. "Em's said the same things about me, and... kind of wondered that too. Only, y'know, the other 'way 'round."
"She expressed those doubts herself - in words?" I'm surprised about that even more than the rest, he thought, most of all that she'd share that suspicion with you...
"Yeh. She rang up her aunt about it this morning. O'Deorain denies she did anything, of course - says it's about how we got the same things done to our nervous systems, so all our little social movements match better now, so of course we get on, so blah blah blah algorithms, blah blah blah science."
Winston couldn't stop himself from a small bit of a chortle, but shook his head, negatively. "That strikes me as both something very much like she'd say - and complete bunk. There's more to friendship than that."
"Yeh," nodded Tracer. "I think so too."
"But you do move differently, now. You have since you came back the first time."
"Believe me, luv, I know."
"You seem used to it."
"Oh, it's worse than that, luv - I like it. It's fun. Here, watch this." She picked up a set of pens from the holder in the centre of the table, and spun them all, on their long axes, on her fingertips, adding speed with her thumbs, and then started juggling them, moving them from fingertip to fingertip, apparently without effort. "If this whole Overwatch thing doesn't work out, I could be a magician!"
The scientist laughed. "The dice trick is more impressive, if you want an honest review. At least, to me. But I'll reconsider if you add fire to the routine."
"Is ink flammable? Might be fun!" Lena bounced all the pens onto the tabletop, where they formed a large letter T and an exclamation point. "T-racer the Magnificent!" she said, before leaning back and looking up at the ceiling, spinning back and forth a little in her chair. "Maybe I'm overthinkin' it. Maybe we'd've just got on like this anyway, if we'd just met, and she wasn't with Talon, and what's goin' on just balances that out. Maybe it's just that simple."
"I wish I knew," said her best friend.
"I wish I did too, luv. I wish I did too."
"Damn," Widowmaker said, looking through her bag, having settled in to the small chartered flyer's second row of seats, between Tracer and Oilliphéist.
Tracer fiddled with the windowshade, wanting to open it, but knowing not to until they were off the ground and out of camera range. "What's wrong, love?"
"Nothing important. I forgot my novel, that's all."
"That French thing you started last night?" asked Oilliphéist. "I thought that was an ebook."
"I bought a physical copy to bring along. I've been... revisiting some of Amélie's choices in literature, as of late."
"Really?" asked Emily. "That's new."
The senior assassin shrugged. "I find I react differently than she did - but not always. Not completely. Some of it... I even find I like."
"Expandin' your horizons, a bit?" Lena asked.
"I like the violent ones," she said, pointedly.
"But not much. Gotcha."
Emily hummed, sympathetically. "I've just started something myself - it's in English, but you can read it with me, if you'd like."
"New Alloys in Firearms Production Monthly?" asked Lena. "Latest issue?"
"Quite probably," Danielle smirked.
"Oh, no, we're not starting that," Emily insisted. "No," she smirked, "I'm saving that for my alone time."
"...there's actually a...?"
"She is joking, cherie."
"If there were, I'd subscribe to it."
"Quiet, the lot of you," came Moira's voice, from the row ahead. "Honestly, you're like children. I've got a lot of work to do before we reach São Paulo, and I'd like not to be distracted."
"Okay, mom," Tracer snarked, rolling her eyes. But she did quiet down, as the craft took off and she could open the shades, looking out into the not-so-dark night.
I wish I was in the pilot's seat, she thought, as the craft gained elevation. View's even better when you can see where you're goin'.
Hey, Chica, long time no see|
The words appeared on Widowmaker's PADD, next to the novel she'd been reading, a French classic from the previous century, spelling themselves out slowly, but at an exactingly specific rate, as if being played back, rather than typed.
Sorry I didn't just put something in one of your usual drops, but I wanted to make sure you'd see this whether you checked or not. I'm wheedling this in through some _very_ obscure side-channel bullshit, so good luck tracing it, Oasis secret police.
Anyway, something's going on, and I don't know what, but I do know Edgelord has gone about six more kinds of silent and brooding in the last couple of days, and I'm pretty sure it has to have something to do with you, Two-Tone, and your girlfriend. Girlfriends. Whatever. It's not so much what he's saying, but who he's killing, you know?
(Are your girlfriends girlfriends with each other, too? You have to tell me, later. Also, how do you find the time?)
So yeah, things are getting pretty scary around the home town. I don't know what you're planning, I don't know what Grumpy's planning, none of my usual sources are talking to me, I'm freaking out because it feels like something big is about to happen and I don't know what, and that shit is never, ever good. The most relevant thing I've found is that Two-Tone had some serious side-project in progress until her funding started getting yanked around about a year or so ago, and right about then, she started getting super extra paranoid in new ways.
Whatever it was, though - not all of it got flatlined. Consider yourself warned about that. She's been getting orders from some of the same suppliers, and money is still moving too, just... less. Don't know what it is, she knows about me and keeps absolutely nothing online - at least, nothing I can reach, and believe me, I've tried - I just know it's some sort of really major project. I'll put what I have in the usual drop.
But that's all I got. After this, I'm doing what I do best - surviving. So I'm laying low, getting the fuck out of dodge, going to ground, pick one, or maybe several, not sure. I'll try to keep an ear out if you need help, but can't make any promises... I just wanted to let you know what was happening first.
Be careful, chica. I like you, okay? You're weird, but I like you. I always have. I hope you survive... whatever this is. If you do, look me up in the aftermath, okay?
Your favourite chupacabra
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