Pain, cold, alone.
Amélie had been on the hunt for the perpetrators of her torture under Talon for five weeks now, all but avoiding Lena to ensure her safety from the people who now sought to eliminate her. This meant regularly spending her nights wrapped in nothing more than a thin shawl in dripping, dark alleys and cramped alcoves. Watching, moving, slinking through the shadows like her very captors had taught her to do; now it could be used against them.
Despite how much she had to travel in order to pick off her targets one by one, she always managed to keep track of where Tracer was on any given day. It was an ingrained, primal thing, her urges to protect her driving her through the long days and the freezing nights.
On the rare occasion she caught glimpse of her little Brit, soft brown hair and freckled nose bringing sensations to her awareness that were almost too much for her to bear. She wanted her- needed her- but in order for her to keep the woman alive she had to stay behind the scenes, watching from a distance and always staying one step ahead of Talon.
This day in particular hadn't begun much differently. A new target, a new kill to be had, another step closer to justice.
Keenan Herman. He'd worked on the technology and development team that created her implant and worked on her reprogramming and brainwashing. Three children, an ex wife. She wondered how those same children would see their father if they knew of his exploits.
A low hum left her throat, her eyes focusing down the scope of her rifle as she watched the man making his way down a small street, lined with a few family run businesses including a bakery that always made fresh eclairs every morning, glad to serve them with their own special blend of Arabica coffee.
His shoulder length blonde hair flapped about in the breeze, forcing him to brush it out of his eyes every so often, a frown in his features visible from the irritation it caused him. For some reason, this brought the slightest bit of delight to Amélie.
It was as she was watching him take a coffee and newspaper to sit outside of the Cafe` that a flash of colour to her left caught her attention, her eyes changing focus and her rifle pushed in that direction.
It was Lena, ever oblivious, a thick grey coat with fur lining that reached her middle thigh wrapped tightly around her to keep out the cold. Her little nose just stuck out of its high collar, her pace was fast but casual, honestly no different to any other person who might be out and about doing their days chores.
It was just like her to find her way into her business- whether it was intentionally or not- forcing Amélie to put her plans on a hold now in case she let the girl know that she was there, watching her.
Chewing her bottom lip, she continued to trace her steps, following her through her scope and wondering just what it was that the girl was doing in this part of town anyway. Yet, perhaps she had just lucked out to be there in the first place, as Lena passed the Cafe` she watched Keenan abandon his coffee and newspaper and begin to skulk along behind Lena at some distance.
Instantaneously, a pit of fire ignited in Amélie's gut, and it took all of her self control in that moment to hold her trembling finger still and resist the urge to put a hole through his skull. Of course, she planned on doing that anyway, but she would not risk alerting Lena to her presence.
Brow lowering in contained fury, she watched as he followed Lena two blocks, passing a supermarket and several apartment buildings. A sensation of dread broiled in her gut, a lump slithering into her throat as her heart rate increased. Shadows, several of them, rushing out of the alleys just as Lena made it onto an empty street and deep charcoal clouds seeped across the sky and blotted out the sun.
In mere moments, they converged on Lena. Surprise was evident on the woman's face, and though the blue glow couldn't be seen through her thick coat, Amélie knew it was bursting with colour as Lena slipped through the time stream and dodged the men as they all rushed at her.
Guns were drawn in seconds, Lena being the unfortunate one who was left unarmed except for her extreme speed capabilities. She dodged one, then another, gun shells going flying but no bullets ever hitting. Still Amélie resisted the urge to shoot, knowing full well that Lena would still be able to handle herself against what she could only describe as amateurs.
That is until she noticed Keenan. He had not engaged, but rather sat back, pulling a small device out of his coat and beginning to fidget with buttons and dials on it's black, metallic case.
"What are you doing, I wonder?" Amélie mused, her intrigue piqued, zooming in further on the device but not entirely able to make out what its use was for, just some of the words and numbers on it.
Lena zipped around, landing a fly kick to one guys skull. He toppled over backwards, blood beginning to trickle in a steady stream out of his nose as he lay groaning and holding a hand to his face. Lena dodged a punch from another man, then another, blinking, then recalling so that she could grab them by both their coats at the same time and knock their heads together as hard as she possibly could.
There was one man left and Keenan. Lena was signalling the bruiser to take her on, her lips turning up into a cheeky smirk as she did. The man rushed her, but as she prepared to slip out of his way and let him smash into the wall behind her, the little device in Keenan's hand began to flash erratically. Lena froze.
Flashes of blue were now visible, sparking up past the collar of her coat. Amélie let out a small gasp, watching as a grimace of pain overtook Lena's face, her body going limp right as the brute rammed into her. Things had taken a sudden and unexpected turn, panic had overcome Amélie as she watched the bruiser get behind Tracer and hold her in place, hands behind her back.
She looked so small, so helpless, her eyes glistening and begging for whatever pain was coursing through her body to please stop. Her lower lip quivered and Amélie was sure she even heard the girl whimper, Keenan approaching her with a filthy grin of achievement on his face. The man holding Lena pulled his gun up and brought it to her temple, his face unreadable, a drone for Talon's bidding.
There was not a second to spare. It was stop this man from pulling the trigger, or destroy that god forsaken device before it could do any harm to the Brit. What if it sent her back into the time stream where she became lost forever in purgatory? What if it painfully ripped her apart atom by atom? Non, she would not have it.
Her rifle sang and the device in Keenan's hand shattered into a thousand pieces, clattering to the ground. This was quickly followed by another bullet, and Keenan's lifeless body collapsing onto the ground and twitching in a puddle of his own crimson blood.
In that moment, the pain on Lena's face slowly dissipated and was replaced with relief, that same relief felt by Amélie as she watched the woman return to normal.
Another shot rang out, just as Lena began to shift in the man's arms and prepare to blink out of his grasp.
Widowmaker's rifle wailed in rage as a bullet exploded from its chamber, hissing through the air until it passed through the Talon mercs skull with a sickening crunch. His grip on Lena finally relented as his body folded to the ground.
Amélie shouldered her rifle as quickly as she could, rappelling down from her nest on the building and booking it across the road, her heart racing and the vision of Lena dead on the ground being the only thing she would see when she arrived.
"Lena!" Amélie called out again as the massacre grew closer, just another few house lengths and she would be there.
Boots clashing against the concrete she rushed to the scene, leaping over the bodies of Keenan and the Talon mercs as though they were nothing more than mere obstacles, falling to her knees beside Lena who now sat against a brick wall with a heavy stream of blood running down her cheek.
"No, no, you stupid foolish girl!" Amélie choked out, so wrapped up in concern for the Brit that she did not notice the stinging warm tears rolling down her face.
Grasping hands pulled at her coat, tugging it open to reveal the Chronal Accelerator, glowing a vibrant and steady blue. Relieved that it was still intact, she pressed her hands into Lena's cheeks and lifted the girl's head up to meet her gaze, slender fingers fluttering down to seek a pulse.
A throaty cough and a strained, gasping breath was sucked into Lena's lungs as her eyes struggled to open, her pupils searching to find Amélie's.
It was almost too much to watch, her hand now sliding up through silken brunette locks until they found a large, gaping wound that was steadily oozing blood onto her pale skin.
"Ame... Amélie..." Tracer struggled to speak, her eyes glazed and unable to focus on the French woman, the scene tearing holes in Amélie's heart as she had to witness it.
"Shhhh, hush mon amour. Save your strength."
There was the smallest of pouts, even as she knocked at death's door, still as stubborn and insolent as ever; she finally gave in and closed her eyes, leaning her head back against the wall.
Amélie began to search her coat, peeling back the left hand side and sliding her hand up the padding until she found it. A small inner pocket with Lena's cellphone, glad that the girl had it on her and retrieving it quickly. She could only hope that the girl had at least one of the Overwatch contacts in it and, after a quick search through her contacts, found Angela's emergency contact number and dialled it.
It rang. And rang. And rang. Amélie was about ready to give up in frustration when there was finally a click and a rather breathless Angela answered on the other side of the line.
"It's Lena. You must hurry."
Angela would have recognised the French accent immediately, and the tone of her voice following was one of pure concern. There was only one reason why Amélie would be calling from Lena's phone in a situation like this.
"Where are you?"
Of course she knew, it was her job to know her locations like the back of her hand, and she gave it to Angela as quickly as she could without rambling it off so fast as to sound like a madwoman. Angela promised they would make it there as fast as they possibly could, fortunate enough to have their medical drop ship on standby and not out at a job at that time.
As she hung up the call, she placed the phone carefully back inside of Lena's pocket where it belonged, closing the jacket back up and sliding herself next to the smaller girl until she was able to put one arm around her and the other on her wound. It wasn't much, but applying any pressure to stem the bleeding was better than none.
"Y-you came back," Lena muttered, her voice scratchy and just above a whisper. Amélie drew in a sharp breath, feeling a smaller hand reach around and weakly enclose her own.
It was all she could do to suppress a sob that was struggling to make it's way from her chest, but she would be strong for her. Leaning in, she pressed a long kiss to Lena's cheek, the metallic sting of blood present as it slipped over her lips.
"But you see, I never left you, chéri."
The drop ship arrived in a little over five minutes, a dishevelled Mercy jumping from the rear deck before the craft had even touched the ground below it. There were other people there too that Amélie did not recognise, but that were dressed in medical outfits and carrying equipment, as well as wheeling along a stretcher that was pushed down to ground height and allowed Lena to be loaded onto it with a quick lift.
Amélie followed along behind them as they loaded her up onto the aircraft, about to follow them on when one of the medical staff held up a stern hand to her.
"Sorry ma'am, we can't allow you on-board."
Her eyes lowered, brimming with fury and her fingers curling into fists. She took a step forward until she knew her breath would be touching the other person's skin.
"Do you truly think you could stop me from boarding?" she mocked, her voice laced with venom. The medical assistant swallowed, taking a small step back.
"I'm sorry, it's just protocol, we can't-"
"Ange... please." The hoarse request came from Lena's lips, everyone's eyes on her.
It only took a moment, and a small nod from Angela to her staff, with them moving out of Amélie's way and allowing her to make her way into the bay where she found a spot just above Lena's bed. It was rather cramped, but she made the most of it, both staying out of the way and able to tell Lena soft reassurements as the nurses and Angela began to work on her.
There was only so much they could do on the flight to the medical facility, but the main concern on the way there was making sure she was on fluids and was given something for the pain, a thick gauze applied to try and stop the bleeding. At least the trip was only short, and they soon arrived on site where she watched as they carefully but quickly began wheeling Lena inside of the hospital.
Angela kept the staff busy as they wheeled her down a brightly lit hallway, painted in a light cream colour with glossy white tiles. A sign on the wall to the right read 'Surgery', the wheels of the bed clacking loudly and echoing down the long, stretching halls.
They reached a pair of double doors and Lena was wheeled on through, Angela turning to stop Amélie before she could follow through.
"I'm sorry, we have to operate immediately. You will need to remain in the waiting room." Her voice was firm, but her eyes were soft and apologetic.
Bile rose in Amélie's throat as she realised the severity of what had happened, barely able to form words, merely nodding her head in compliance and watching Angela make her way through the doors to the surgery room.
She didn't know what to do with herself, pacing aimlessly, looking down through the doors but unable to make anything out through the frosted glass. Her body was on edge and her brain full of frustration and confusion, finally resigning herself to sit on an uncomfortable chair in a dimly lit waiting room with a rather poor selection of reading material.
Everything in her brain had told her that staying away was the right decision to make, that if she kept her distance from Lena, then Talon would have no reason to go after her and would leave her alone; that the only reason they wanted Lena was because she was in their way of getting to Amélie.
But it had become abundantly clear that that wasn't the fact. If Amélie had not been there today, then undoubtedly Lena would not have survived, whatever that device was... it messed with her temporal hinging. Talon had obviously been working on this technology for some time, and now it seemed they were determined to get to Lena regardless of whether or not Amélie was there.
Of course, it was so clear to her now. She was foolish to think otherwise, to think differently of such a bloodthirsty, vile corporation. Perhaps they thought that if Lena was out of the picture that Amélie would lose any hope of life and happiness, and that she would run back to Talon where they would control her all over again. Or maybe they even had plans of turning Lena into a weapon as well, it was never an impossibility after all.
In any case, there was only one answer. She must never leave Lena's side again. No matter the protests she might receive, despite how the other members of Overwatch might feel about it, the only way for the Brit to be safe was with the assassin watching over her 24/7.
"Amélie?" a soft voice filtered through to her ears, her head turning quickly to see Angela standing just a few feet away from her, her hair a mess and bags under her eyes but a hopeful smile on her face.
Amélie stood immediately, ready to hear the news.
"Lena? Is she alright?"
Angela nodded slowly, her eyes warm with reassurance and her hands clasped neatly before her. Amélie could feel a long breath escape her lungs that she must have been holding for a good while, the tension in her shoulders loosening just a tad.
"Surgery went well. Whatever you did, it appears her gunshot wound did not penetrate the brain membrane and she should recover quickly," a small pause as Angela stepped forwards, resting a hand gently against Amélie's arm. "You saved her life, we cannot thank you enough for doing so."
The warmth radiated through her body from the simple touch, one of care and concern that she had not felt from someone before without something being expected of her in return. At least, not in many years. Friendship was not something she had experienced in Talon; emotional attachments of any form were nothing more than distractions from her missions and training. If anything, they were friendships of convenience, useful only as long as information was needed.
To be thanked for saving Lena's life was... different. It felt strange inside of her, but it somehow felt right. She however did not know how to respond, choosing instead to break eye contact and continue her train of thought.
"May I see her?"
Angela nodded, turning so that she was beside her and using her soft hand to guide her in the direction of the patient recovery rooms. As they passed underneath the glow of white fluorescent tube lights, memories flooded back to Amélie, and she suddenly remembered this place as the same hospital where she had recovered after Angela successfully removed the Talon technology from her body.
She shivered. Something about those memories now, thinking back to what had been done to her, unnerved her to her very core. She would never truly be the same again, but she would fight like hell for the right to keep what she had gained.
They made their way past a nurses reception desk and towards a room where a tall, dark woman was standing vigilant guard outside of a room numbered simply with '12'. Amélie recognised Fareeha Amari instantly, followed shortly by the glare of seething anger and resentment that flashed behind her eyes upon spotting the French woman.
"What is she doing here?" Fareeha demanded, taking a solid step forwards and throwing Angela an accusatory glare. As though in reprimand, Angela clicked her tongue.
"Fareeha, she saved her life. She is here because she cares for our Lena, just as much as we do," pausing in her sentence, she reached over and gave Fareeha's hand a small squeeze. "Perhaps even more, Schätzli."
This seemed to rein in the soldier somewhat, her eyes softening and a colour just touching her cheeks as she looked down at where Angela had taken her hand. Amélie could only laugh internally. It seems the Amari had taken a shining to Angela in more than one way.
"That does not mean that I have to like it."
Angela chuckled softly letting go of the other woman's hand and pulling open Lena's hospital room door.
"Of course not, dearest."
With a small nod and a soft smile, Angela motioned for Amélie to enter the room.
"She will still be drowsy from the anaesthesia, do not be surprised if she is a little more... silly, than usual." Angela told her, trying to find the kindest way possible to refer to Lena's boisterous personality.
Amélie quirked a brow, before stepping into the dim room and allowing the door to gently close behind her. There before her, was her little Lena, laying propped up in her bed with a pastel pink blanket pulled all the way up to her chest. There were still a few marks of dried blood on her face but other than that she was mostly cleaned up, her mess of brown hair only slightly more erratic than what it usually was.
Still, in the soft warm glow of the bedside lamp, Amélie decided that as vulnerable and lonely as she looked right then, she had also never looked quite so beautiful.
Taking her time to step closer, not wanting to disturb the girl from her slumber, she pulled a chair up beside her and began to sit. At first she just watched her, examining every little spot on her gorgeous face, just watching as her chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm. Eventually she found herself unable to stay leaning back in her chair, scooting closer and allowing one of her hands to reach in and brush against the girl's cheek.
Cupping it momentarily, she moved her hand down her neck and allowed it to come to rest just beneath her collarbone so she could feel Lena's chest with every breath she took. It was in that moment that she felt something oddly shaped under her hospital gown, something sharp that shouldn't have belonged there.
Noticing there was a very fine golden chain just under the collar of the gown, she slipped her fingers underneath it until she was able to fish out the attached object; it was a bullet casing.
Perplexed, she rolled it over in her hands for a moment before her eyebrows lifted in recognition. It was one of her own bullets. She looked up at Lena.
Had she... kept it as a memento? Something to remember her by?
Amélie returned her gaze to the bullet, her breath catching in her throat as she quickly tucked the necklace back under the shirt. The corner of her lips turned up.
"Ah chéri, constantly surprising me."
"Yer would, ya fat toad."
The insult caught her off guard, looking up to see Lena staring at her through glazed eyes and a groggy disposition, a ridiculous grin spreading onto the Brit's face.
"Couldn't keep away, could ya'?"
Amélie's smile grew a little more, her head turning down to look at her own lap as she replied. "I suppose not."
"Pffffttt," Lena blew a raspberry, followed by one of her infamous giggles. "Ya lucky you're bloody gorgeous or I'da dropped you the second you went tickin' off on me."
"Is that so?" a slight huff left Amélie's lips.
A long pause.
The room went quiet again, Lena drifting off momentarily before making a few choice adorable sounds and stretching out under the blankets.
"Hm?" Amélie watched as Lena wriggled her arm free of the blanket wrapping her up, swinging her hand in the French woman's direction. Amélie paused briefly, watching a flash of desperation cross Lena's face.
Reaching out, she took the hand between both of hers, rubbing circles against Lena's palm with one of her thumbs. A soft breath of relief left Lena's throat.
"Ya' not gonna' leave me again, are you?"
Amélie's dark hair fell over her eyes as she shook her head, giving the Brit's hand a firm squeeze.
"I am not going anywhere, chéri."
This answer seemed to satisfy the brunette woman, her eyes softly closing and her cheek nuzzling into the pillow beneath her head. Amélie watched over her for quite some time, the sound of Lena's heavy breaths as she fell asleep again drifting through the room. Eventually this sound was interrupted as the hospital door clicked open, Amélie turning to see the tall, lanky form of Fareeha cautiously enter the room.
The two made eye contact, but Amélie made no move to have a threatening disposition. The Amari woman was here to visit her friend, she would not be the one to cause a bother.
Though Fareeha shifted uncomfortably, she stood straight and made her way over to the other side of Lena's bed, looking down at the girl and pressing a hand firmly against her shoulder in comfort.
"She has been through so much, I admire the strength that I see in her."
Amélie was surprised that Fareeha had been the first to initiate conversation, and as such was not prepared, looking momentarily lost before her brain kicked in and she was able to formulate a reply.
"Yes, she is... the most stubborn woman I have ever met."
The corner of Fareeha's lips turned up into a small smile as the two made eye contact, and she could see just a flutter of warmth behind her chocolate irises. Perhaps the two might never quite see eye to eye, but for the woman to see her as an ally and not as a threat would be a good first step.
"Is that why you fell for her?"
She was taken aback by the statement, not so much by it's abruptness, but more so because it was less of an accusation and more so soft and full of genuine intrigue.
"Yes," she was flustered. "No- I-"
Taking a deep breath, she looked down at the small hand still in her own, brushing her fingers across Lena's knuckles.
"Despite Talon's programming, Lena was the only one that ever defied it. Defied me," pausing briefly, she shifted in her seat. "I cannot say if it was her willingness in pursuing me that caused the technology to break down, but... she made me feel things. Things I had not felt in such a long time, it was... difficult to process them."
Fareeha nodded, not wanting to interrupt her.
"I am not the person I once was, I never can be. The urges to hunt, to kill, they are always there," she peered over at Fareeha, watching to see if this admission would cause a change in the woman's disposition but she merely continued to watch her as she had before. Amélie shook her head. "Now I must use my training to keep her safe, and to seek revenge against the ones who did this to me... to her."
The two made eye contact again, this time Amélie could see something else behind the woman's gaze that reminded her almost of herself. Though Fareeha was a woman of justice, there existed a primal urge inside of her that would protect the ones she loved at all costs. Amélie thought back to Angela from earlier, and she realised that Fareeha existed in that same position of being completely devoted to another person.
Fareeha cleared her throat, standing up a little taller than she already was.
"Angela believes you would make an excellent asset to Overwatch and its cause. I'm sure Lena would agree."
Of course she would, is that not something the woman had wanted all along?
A small sound of amusement sung from Amélie's lips, not quite a laugh, but it was almost there. As if on cue, a small giggle came from Lena's direction as she shuffled underneath her bedsheets.
"Fareeha's banging Doctor Zieeeggggler!" she announced, in a sing song tune, giggling once more with such self satisfaction that this time, Amélie laughed. It was a bright, musical sound, and she felt her cheeks burn with the smile that was now plastered on her face.
Fareeha's face went bright red.
"Wot? It's true innit?" she replied, seemingly nonplussed by Amari's pure embarrassment. Fareeha shifted uncomfortably, playing with her fingers like a child who had just been caught stealing from the cookie jar.
"It is not necessary to just blurt it out like that! I wouldn't ask such a thing about you and Amélie!"
Lena snorted, cracking open one eye to fix Fareeha with a glazed look.
"Pfft, if we were bangin' too right everyone would know 'bout it."
Amélie felt her cheeks rise with heat and knew they were becoming pink with a soft flush of embarrassment, the smile dropping from her face immediately. Fareeha looked across at her, a rather smug grin now spreading across her cheeks.
The Brit rolled her head over, now fixing Amélie with her eyes, shimmering with amusement and her little nose crinkling up as she attempted to wink at her.
"Wot? You think I 'aven't thought about it at night when I'm tou-"
"-Lena!" Amélie's blush increased twofold, her face now burning while Fareeha just sat back, apparently incredibly amused by the French woman's discomfort in this situation. Not only was Lena being absolutely impossible, but now she also had to deal with the implied thought of Lena laying awake in bed of a night, pleasuring herself as she thought about Amélie.
"Mon dieu, Lena you are going to give me a heart attack." Reaching up, Amélie rubbed at the crease forming between her eyes, her hand also doubling as a shield until her blush began to subside.
Lena appeared overly pleased with herself, a wicked shit-eating grin on her face, and Fareeha not being much better in her reaction, stifling a laugh behind her hand. It was like dealing with children; two adult children. She decided she had had enough for the time being, and excused herself from the room to go and get herself a coffee. Lena shouted out that she wouldn't kiss her with 'coffee breath'. Amélie ignored her.
Angela had spoken to her that evening, told her that Winston had requested she stay on site and attend their next intel briefing, as well as assigning her a room next to Lena's. They had offered to arrange her access to the armoury, but she declined. All she needed was her rifle, and Lena could always stop by the armoury to pick up ammunition stock if she needed it.
Being among the people that made their home on base was... a little strange, at first. Mostly because of the looks and stares she got as she made her way around the facilities, checking on Lena, getting her meals and hiding away in the Tech Lab to gather intel on priority Talon targets.
In the cafeteria Angela had enthusiastically waved her over to sit at her little table, seemingly the only person in the room genuinely happy to see her, apart from Lena- who was still in recovery- and Fareeha, who was still just warming up to her. Amélie had been reluctant at first, but at seeing the glowing smile on Angela's face, had relented and taken a seat across from her to eat her dinner.
Angela had begun with the normal pleasantries; how was your day? Have you seen Lena? Are you feeling well? Eventually Angela and Fareeha shared a story from a week ago on a mission that involved an unfortunate Talon merc and how he somehow managed to fall on the wrong end of Torbjorn's wrench. Apparently, Torbjorn had seemed even more violated than that mercenary had felt, even as the panicking Swede had run circles while Angela had to carefully remove the offending object.
How bizarre. And yet, the images of the story playing out in her head brought the slightest of smiles to her face.
She had excused herself after her meal and a little longer of indulging in the stories the two shared, putting away her tray and deciding to make her way down to the hospital to visit Lena for an hour or two before she went to the training range.
On the way there, she turned down a hall, just about a two minute walk from Lena's room when she watched as a young Overwatch recruit walked towards her from the other end. At first she thought nothing of it, moving over to the other side so as not to be in his way, when he also switched sides.
Strange. She changed sides again, thinking perhaps it was just a coincidence, and it happened again. As he drew closer, she saw the glint in his eyes and the way his fingers were white knuckled and balled into fists. Something wasn't right, her body tensed up as it prepared to go into fight mode.
As soon as he was a few feet away, he lunged at her, pinning her against the wall with such a force that it momentarily took her breath away and rattled her brain inside her skull. When she was able to push her eyes open, she saw the anger and rage staring back at her.
"Talon filth! My family died because of your people!" he spat, the globule of hot liquid splashing down on her nose and dribbling down until it slid over her lips. Her eyes closed, a wave of anger stirring within her.
Snapping them open, she shifted an arm until she had a firm grip on his collar, pulling him closer.
"I am not one of them! Do not dare speak their name around me, little boy."
He seemed to take serious issue with this insult, his lips turning into a snarl and revealing his teeth, anger seething behind his eyes.
"You lying wench!"
With a sudden strength the man swung upwards, his knuckles dusting her across the mouth and nose. Surprise was the first thing she felt, then a trickle of blood as it made its way from her nostril and touched her lip. Turning back, her eyes alight with fire, she took his arm as it swung for her again and used the momentum to her advantage.
She swung out of the way and allowed the man to fall face first into the wall, where she grabbed his wrist and quickly twisted it behind his back until he started grunting in agony.
It was Lena's voice, and it surprised both her and the man struggling in her grips. She turned to see the woman hurrying down the hall, dressed in track pants and a sweater with a fresh square bandage on her head. Lena eventually reached them, only somewhat out of breath, a light pink shade creeping onto her cheeks.
"What in the hell is going on 'ere?" she demanded, looking between the two.
Amélie stared at the back of the man's head, then turned back to Lena.
"This salaud attacked me in the hall. I was merely defending myself." She stated matter of factly, noticing the way Lena's nose turned up in disgust as she stared down the recruit.
"You got some right nerve coming in 'ere and attacking her! I wouldn't even be here if she 'adn't have saved my life."
The man squirmed, Amélie finally let go of his arm and allowed him to turn around, his face now falling to the ground as shame washed over his features.
"You're lucky I don't report you to Winston for assaultin' another officer!"
The man looked up, fear in his eyes as he begged the Brit.
"Please, Miss Oxton! It won't happen again! It's just what the other fellas said-"
Lena stood up straighter, her presence downright commanding despite the fact that she was still recovering from an injury and dressed in what were essentially pyjamas.
"-And just what do the other fellas say, lad?"
He visibly gulped, wiping his clammy palms against the thighs of his pants and looking around for an escape route.
"Just that she's a Talon wench, and that she's using you to get access to Overwatch and send all the intel back to Talon. That they overheard her talkin' about offing you."
Despite the fact that it was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard, and it was clear Lena also thought the exact same thing, she could see a flash of anger behind the usually bubbly woman's features.
Lena took a few steps forward until she was almost in his face, despite being at least eight inches shorter than him, he was visibly uncomfortable with her proximity.
"You tell them 'lads' that if they got somethin' to say about Amélie Lacroix, they can come an' say it to my face, unless they want to be kicked off base for insolence."
Amélie's lip twitched, her body tingling with satisfaction. She had never seen Lena so... bold. And commanding. It was incredibly attractive, and it was making a ball of tightness and heat boil within her abdomen that was growing hard to ignore.
The man nodded his understanding, picking up his feet and taking off down the hall as quickly as he could. Amélie stared at him as he left, almost completely having forgotten the throbbing in her face and the blood trickling down her lip until a warm palm cupped her cheek and turned her until she was looking down at Lena. A thumb brushed over her lips, wiping away the blood.
"Sorry about the twat."
A pause, allowing Lena to continue wiping, all the while gazing down at her and wondering how such a woman could even exist, let alone want a murderous assassin like herself.
"You should be resting." Amélie shook off the thoughts, taking Lena's hands off her face and using her jacket sleeve to wipe the remaining blood away.
"I'll 'ave you know the nurse said I could take a walk," Lena replied indignantly, crossing her arms over her chest. "Besides, I'm gettin' released tomorrow."
A lifted eyebrow. "Cleared for duty?"
"Once me stitches are out."
Lena took Amélie's hand, tugging it gently as she began to walk backwards, chewing on her lower lip.
"Goin' to the garden. Walk with me?" it wasn't really a question, it was a demand, but not one she would ever refuse anyway.
The garden was quiet, sunset having just been and gone, the crickets now out in the lawns and chirping excitedly as they tried to draw in their mates. The sky was a dark shade of navy with splashes of grey and black clouds that obscured the moon. It was cold, but Lena seemed comfortable in what she was wearing, and although it bothered her more than it used to, Amélie wasn't cold enough yet to complain.
Lena was unusually quiet. By now she would have probably talked for the entire walk, except for as long as it took for her to take a breath or let Amélie reply with a short answer. Normally Amélie would have taken the silence as a blessing from the woman's rambling, but she felt like there was something bothering her today. It seems over time, she was becoming more and more in tune with emotions, both her own and those of other people.
"Lena? You have not spoken much, have I done something to upset you?" she asked softly, watching as Lena shook her head in reply.
"Sorry luv, I'm just... thinkin'. Y'know?"
"No, sorry. By now you normally would have given several spoken word expositions with barely a breath in-between."
Lena stared at her for a moment, looking a little surprised.
"Was that a joke? Cos it was pretty funny," Lena replied, finally looking away and letting out a long sigh. "Just I been thinkin' lately. About... you an' me."
Amélie stopped mid walk, her eyes lowering as she tried to gauge what exactly it was Lena meant about 'them'. It was difficult to read Lena though, the woman looking smaller than she did usually and a blush of colour rising onto her cheekbones.
"I am happy, are you not happy to be with me?" Amélie asked, watching as Lena's eyes flicked back and forth in panic as she realised the French woman had mistaken what she had meant.
"What? No- I mean yes, I mean... course I'm happy to be with you ya' bloody twit," Lena chewed her lower lip, rubbing her palms up and down her arms as the cold began to get to her just a bit. "Was just thinkin' about if something happened to you or to me, like Talon. We know they're after us now, probably even more ticked off than they were before."
Amélie flinched, turning away as she remembered the attack, watching Lena lay helpless on the ground as Talon took control of her Chronal Accelerator.
She felt warm arms enclose around her neck then, the smaller woman's body pressing up against her and snuggling in close. Lena's breath was warm on her neck, and she could feel her soft lips caressing her skin. A shiver made it's way down her spine, her arms encircling Lena's waist and pulling her closer.
"When I saw them pull the trigger on you, watched you dying on the ground," Amélie paused briefly, feeling Lena squeeze her tighter. "I felt things I do not understand. I am broken Lena, I fear I cannot give you what it is that you want. I can only give you what I have."
Amélie feared that Lena would pull away, that she would be angry at her, or upset, but Lena simply continued to hold her for a few moments before finally speaking.
"D'you remember before Slipstream 'appened? Y'know, when I was normal?"
The memories were fragmented, barely there, only flashes of people and faces, moments in time were there. Part of her knew that her and Lena had been friends at one point before any of these horrific things had happened to them, but these memories evaded her thanks to the brainwashing Talon had employed on her.
"Non, I am sorry."
Lips pressed a series of kisses to her neck in a slow, careful manner, each one somehow meant to convey an emotion.
"You said I was the bravest woman you knew," another kiss. "Said 'you better come back to me in one piece'." Lena tried her very best to impersonate the thick French accent.
A streak of lightning like energy rushed through Amélie's body, her hair standing on end and her skin prickling with goosebumps.
"-Well I came back. For you. An' I'm always gonna' come back for you, no matter what any other git says or does," Lena pulled back, a stubborn expression on her face. "Cos that's just what you do when you love someone, yeah?"
Amélie felt her knees grow weak, taken aback by the sudden but round-about admission. She didn't know how to react, but she knew she couldn't just leave the girl standing there after just pouring her heart out. At the same time, Amélie was just barely starting to understand her emotions. It was one-step-at-a-time, and she did not know if she could even say the same thing about Lena. Though, she knew she felt something.
Instead of speaking, she cupped Lena's cheeks and pulled her in, pressing their lips together. Lena whimpered into the kiss, Amélie parted her lips and gently brushed against Lena's. The smaller woman tilted her head, their mouths moving together in a slow, passionate rhythm.
Her tongue caressed Lena's, feeling the sensation of the girls warmth and her desire as she pushed herself up against Amélie's body more firmly. A hand slid underneath her shirt and fingers dragged against her lower back, stroking her skin and making her body tense with anticipation.
If it had have been her choice she would have continued kissing Lena right there in the garden until she could no longer stay awake. She deepened the kiss, Lena's small pair of hands wandered down until they both cupped Amélie's butt cheeks and gave it a series of little squeezes.
A moan, soft and heady, erupted from her throat as though she had no control over her own voice box. The sensations were becoming too much, her desire burning in her stomach with such a ferocity that she was afraid of herself and her own emotions. She pulled away.
They gazed into each others' eyes for just a bit, and Amélie could see that the smaller woman was trying to hold back and reign in her arousal. Amélie let out a shuddering breath, her forehead falling forwards to rest on Lena's, the two quietly holding each other.
"I am sorry-"
"-Don't be." Lena replied before Amélie had any chance to argue.
The sound of crickets drifted around them, soft and gentle music that joined along the breaths of wind as it blew through the trees and bushes surrounding them.
"I want you, but it has been such a long time. I do not know if I am ready." Amélie admitted, a little embarrassed at herself and for having such a conversation in the first place.
Lena leant up and kissed her forehead.
"You'll know when you're ready. And when ya are, I'll be 'ere," Lena lifted Amélie's face by the chin until she met her gaze, and gave her a cheeky wink. "Besides, I can take care of myself in the mean time."
Amélie chewed her lower lip, remembering the conversation earlier in the week after Lena's surgery. She allowed her hands to run along the curves of Lena's waist, her thumbs just barely brushing against the outer bulge of her breasts.
"Will you tonight?" she felt bold for a moment, even asking such a lewd question making her cheeks heat. Lena put both her hands on either side of Amélie, resting them on her curved hips.
Licking her lips, she leant into the touch, Lena's palms pressing into her hips and pulling her closer so that their thighs were touching.
"And... you will think of me?"
"Mmmhmmm." Lena gave her a playful bump with her pelvis, before slowly separating their bodies. Amélie instantly missed the warmth.
"Better get back though, nurse'll be wondering why I'm takin' so long." Lena seemed just a bit disappointed by the fact, but if she wanted to stay on Angela's good side, it was a smart idea not to piss off her nurses.
"I suppose." Amélie pondered, beginning to follow Lena back down the foot path the way they came.
Amélie escorted Lena to her hospital room, glad that once she was discharged, she would be able to keep a much closer eye on her. Lena leaned up and kissed her goodnight, making sure Amélie promised to come get her in the morning when Angela discharged her.
The walk back to her own room was a fair distance, and rather quiet. Most people were winding down for the day, in their rooms reading or watching TV, making phone calls to their loved ones. Amélie had no interest in these things for the most part; she spent a good hour taking apart her rifle and meticulously cleaning it before putting it back together. Then she showered and got herself into bed. It's what she was used to, early to bed, early to rise.
Even though it normally only took her a short while to get to sleep, tonight she was kept awake, thinking back to Lena and what she'd said. Her mind kept swimming, repeating to her over and over again that one little sentence before it just finally clicked with her.
She loves me. Lena loves me.
It was one little sentence that awoke something inside of her, something that she started to realise only by the time that her body was finally starting to deliver her to the dream realm.
She was beginning to remember this sensation, from long, long ago. Recognition struck her, and she knew.
She loved Lena, too.
AN: I'm sorry it's been so long since I've updated this story. Life has a way of getting in the way of things, and as some of you might already know my partner and I have been trying to have a baby. I've been trying to keep my stress in check, but it seems that not writing was making it worse by not giving me an outlet. Anyway, this chapter is a little longer than usual as a thank you to everyone that is still reading and following this story. You guys are the best and always keep me motivated to keep going 3