As Lena walked up to Dr. Zhou's lab she could hear that apparently it was more lively than usual given that a lot of voices were coming from said room and they were all clearly talking anything other than business given she could hear her name being dropped a few times.
"But since like when?" A voice that Lena knew to be Hanna's asked and Winston retorted what Lena had revealed to him almost word by word in a robotic-like manner.
"I'm pretty sure we can all be glad for her then! If she's been committed for such a long time to one person and-"Mei started to say but was interrupted by Zarya who only had one question.
"Was it my hair? I thought she liked it the way it was! She should've told me the truth! Now she's with some woman unworthy of her!"
"I do like your hair, love" Lena walked in and saw that for whatever reason McCree, Winston, Zarya and Hanna were all in Mei's Lab; making the otherwise spacious lab start to look a little cramped "The pink really suits you and I wish I could pull off a haircut like that"
"Then why did you never told me you liked women? I honestly thought my flirting was quite clear" Zarya said a little heartbroken and Lena looked to McCree and with a bewildered face asked the gunslinger "When did she ever flirted with me? I never found out until Big Boss told me just a few minutes ago"
McCree suppressed a chuckle and answered barely keeping it together "Like most of the time while out on missions"
"Give me one example of Zarya's flirting!" Lena dared the gunslinger from New Mexico with her heavy cockney accent "You'll see my point. I tell you!"
McCree just smiled to himself and tried to imitate Zarya's accent poorly "Am I dead or are angels falling from the heavens? I'm seeing an angel right now and don't know which"
"She never said that" Lena said dryly though she knew she was lying through her perfectly aligned teeth, recognizing that phrase as what Zarya said everytime Lena walked into the gym they kept in HQ.
"Wanna bet a thousand bucks on that one? I can get you the security feeds for that money" McCree said, his smile turning quite cocky "Easiest cash I've ever made"
"Mate, do I look like I have that much on me?" Lena said quite surprised she never got the hints from Zarya "And besides I'm pretty sure that was more a compliment than flirting"
"No, it wasn't" Zarya butted in and McCree just made a hand gesture to dignify what the Russian woman had just said.
"The woman said so herself. She flirted with you every chance she got and you ignored her, Lena" McCree said and then at the sight of the parka-wearing scientist he said "That was cold of you"
"No she didn't. Either that or I'm very daft" Lena said while Mei walked by, going around the room like a nut picking up diverse items from the several tables that were in her lab and placing them in a bag like she was on an Easter egg hunt.
"Going somewhere, Miss Fries? Lena asked as Mei packed up and noticed that it appeared so by the bunch of bags that were on the back of the lab and that Lena had failed to notice thanks to Winston and his enormous figure being in front of them, almost eclipsing them from sight.
"Yes! I'm getting sent to Russia! An Eco-Watchpoint has made some interesting discoveries that need my full and personal attention. This could be a latchkey breakthrough to understand the abrupt climate changes the planet is experiencing"
"Yeah, because Russia being at -70°C (-94°F) isn't normal" Lena said trying to joke about such an amazing thing as snow in the middle of summer.
"It is not, much less for mid April" Zarya said, not amused with the joke on her motherland's weather "The good people of Krasnoyarsk are going to have to do ration lines this year. Fortunately we're mostly an industrial Krai, so the damage won't be that bad. I still worry for my Uncle Vladimir and my Aunt Yelena in Norilsk; they're old and I fear even a normal winter might start to get to be too harsh on them"
"Wasn't your Uncle Vladimir the guy that took out a battalion's worth of Bastion Units back in the day?" McCree asked and Zarya just smiled and nodded energetically "He did. He always kept in mind he had the higher ground and the Rasputitsa on his side that time whenever he told that story."
"Well, any man that can take out those many turrets ain't gonna go down that easily if you ask me. With or without Rasputisty" McCree barely understood Zarya whenever she spoke in her native language and imitated to the best of his capabilities what isolated words the Russian woman dropped around from time to time.
"Rasputitsa" The pink haired woman corrected "The mud roads that come with the spring and autumn rains"
"Yeah, I've seen the movies of how them mud roads have helped your people every time there's a poor sucker dumb enough to make you fight in your own turf" McCree respected any person that could make such land as what he'd seen of movies about Russia their home and pitied the fools that looked for a fight in that kind of place.
"Trust me; those movies are far from the truth. But yes, the Rasputitsa has helped us again and again against enemies and it continues to do so against the omnics." Zarya responded as she went to help Mei lift a rather heavy-looking piece of equipment around.
"I take it you've already put good word around for our pun-loving Doctor, love" Lena said, grateful the subject that had been the big news just a few minutes ago hadn't been brought up as much as she expected it to be; Lena had already gone through her alibi enough like to feel confident since it was a half-truth but she still worried of slip ups or something that could put her in an impossible situation.
"Believe it or not, Mei will be replacing my cousin, Nikolai, as head of the St. Petersburg Eco-Watchpoint" Zarya said as she glanced behind Lena to see Angela entering the room with two hair dye colors, each in one hand; Angela in her habitual white attire that seemed to be all the clothing the Suisse doctor owned.
"Found you this brunette dye that I think is as close to what your natural is. I also got you this pink one for after the parade though I'd recommend you to stick with brunette for a while. You don't want to be too harsh on your hair and end up bald later on" Angela said and then took in how many people were in the room and had to ask "Has something happened to Reinhardt's daughter? No, please, not again" she said in fear and sadness of loosing another person dear to her.
Everyone else in the room looked down for a minute in remembrance of the person why Angela had said 'again' and Winston said with a serious voice "No. I came here to help Dr. Zhou in her preparations for departure as they are being made rather hastily for my taste as well as I am here to say my momentary goodbyes to Zarya before she leaves with Dr. Zhou. Aleksandra, Jesse, Lena, Hanna and you are here for reasons I don't yet fathom"
"I'm here because you science types always need heavy lifting done with your equipments and to convince Mei to let my cousin show her around St. Petersburg on their downtime. Kolya is a good man and he'll be glad to tour her around the city" Zarya then said to Mei sternly with her heavy Russian accent "You need to get out more"
"I need to continue my research" Mei retorted pulling up her glasses "It is vital that we fix the weather before the world turns too hostile for us to live in it"
"Don't fix it before we kill all the omnics. Maybe that'll help you do a better job. Would hate it if you fixed it and then turn out it's not a good calibration because of the omnics being destroyed and turning out to be part of the problem" Zarya said with a smirk on her face as she thought about what her friends in the front were up to.
"I'm pretty sure omnics are not part of the problem. Ever since the end of the Omnic Crisis the weather has rather stopped its rapid, increasing and worrying changes and taken a rather slow growth that is finally starting to become worrying. I believe I'll have a better idea of everything once I see what they've got up there with your cousin, Zarya" Mei said enthusiastically and everyone could tell she was exited to leave as soon as possible.
"What they've got there is a brand of Vodka so mighty that's illegal to export to other countries. That and camaraderie" Jesse mockingly said but Zarya didn't took offense to it.
"That is quite true. Our best Vodka brands are known for blinding people that don't know what they're drinking, and our hearts are as warm to our friends as the summer" Zarya said proudly and Angela just sighed in annoyance as she feared they were in for an hour speech of 'Why Russia is the best country to ever exist' from the former athlete. Then she noticed the dark spot in Lena's neck, reached out and tugged at the collar of the fly girl's bomber jacket, revealing a rather big bruise there that could only be taken as one thing only.
"So, I take it you had fun remembering high school last night with-Now that I mention it, Winston never got her name" Jesse said with a sly grin and everyone suddenly stared at Lena's neck like if they were seeing a once in a lifetime thing.
"Yeah" Lena said between giggles as she rubbed her neck on the side of the massive hickey Amélie gave her as a parting gift along with her unmentionables, which were in the inner pocket of her jacket "It was fun last night, alright"
"That woman doesn't deserve you" Zarya said quite sure of herself "You need someone strong, someone that can protect you and satisfy you in every way"
"I wouldn't know, Zarya" McCree said, his voice cracking with laughter "I'd say that bruise is a hint she enjoyed her night"
"She's walking" Zarya looked Jesse dead serious "Any good night finishes with neither being able to walk"
"Wow" Hanna said as she finally spoke after all this time "Now, I just gotta say: Who ever she is. If you went back to her has to know her stuff. And I wouldn't mind finding out what she's taught you"
Lena's face of bewilderment was all the answer Hanna needed and chuckled "JK! I'm just messing with you. I'm rather curious to know your story with her"
"Well, if you must know" Lena said "She's an engineer but doesn't life off of that" Lena said, her mind adding 'Because she kills people for this dark agency to make a living'
"Her dad made her study that and still graduated top of the class. She's an uh-" Lena hesitated for a second, trying to come up with something convincing "A singer. Yeah, she's Edith Piaf reincarnated, so Winston, Angela: You people are gonna love her if you ever meet her as will Reinhardt"
"And what's her name?" McCree asked as he moved to allow Mei to get some stuff that was just behind him "The girl's gotta have a name"
"Victoire" Lena said, cringing inwardly since she knew Amélie hated her middle name "Her name's Victorie or Victoria. The name is Victoire in the records but she goes by Victoria in stages and her brother calls her Vicky but she'll kick your teeth in if you call her that"
"Is everything alright? You seem nervous" Mei said noticing Lena was running her mouth while the climatologist went over a mental list of what she would need to take with her "Don't be embarrassed about the hickey. We'll all just have to get used to the idea that cute little, bubbly rear has an owner. What kind of name is Victoire?"
"French. She's from Paris but we met in Marseille and-Hey, what's the brunette dye for?" Lena suddenly remembered what Angela had on her and decided to try and change the conversation topic before she got into a corner she couldn't escape.
"I've been given the honor to carry the Victory Banner in the incoming Victory Parade in May. I am to return to Russia and present myself to President Reznov as soon as possible. I'm leaving in the same flight as Mei. I've asked permission to go to St. Petersburg first to see my cousin, then I'll take a train to Moscow" Zarya said and all of the sudden Lena felt really left out of her friend's lives.
"Why didn't you tell me you were leaving?" Lena asked but it wasn't really clear to whom she spoke as she glanced quickly to both Mei and Zarya "I leave for a night and suddenly people are skipping ship left and right! Next thing you're gonna tell me is that we're gonna get disbanded or something"
"Now, now Lena" Winston said as he did a hand gesture that was meant to symbolize his desire for Lena's thoughts to slow down in the fatalist thoughts "It's temporal. Zarya will be back in a few weeks and Mei will be in contact with us. It's not like she's gonna get trapped under a mountain of snow and we'll never hear from her again"
"Mankey is right, Teacup" McCree took a turn to speak while grinning from ear to ear "Nothing's gonna happen. People might be going away but that doesn't mean they're leaving forever. Now, let's get back to the business at hand that you so gracefully tried to take us away from"
At this Mccree spun the British teleporting girl around so her back would face most of the group then tugged the bomber's jacket neck downwards as much as he could, given the harness of the accelerator being on the way of him just making Lena leave the jacket entirely, to reveal the birth of nail marks going down Lena's back; the motive of their existence quite clear to all the entire group.
"Why am I not surprised" McCree said with a shit eating grin while everyone in the room either chuckled or blushed and in some cases both and Lena suddenly remembered what she had as her morning appetizer.
"Shite!" Lena jumped and covered the back of her neck once more "Mate, what the bloody hell?"
"I better leave" Winston said as he hastingly made for the exit, not looking forward to being flustered again "Aleksandra, Dr. Zhou: have a lovely trip"
"Thank you, Winston" Both women said trying to regain their composure, the scientist after being flustered and the Russian after holding a chuckle in her throat.
"So, details my dear Union Jack" McCree told Lena as she fought her desire to break Jesse's jaw "The salacious, explicit details, if you don't mind"
"Well, I do bloody mind, laddie!" Lena started to voice the offense she felt in the gunslingers actions "I bloody well mind that you go around embarrassing me in front of the team"
"On the contrary; I think it's a compliment to your skill in the sack" McCree affirmed, a trace of laughter in his voice "I would be more embarrassed if I came from a night with a lady without a single mark on me"
"He's right you know" Hanna joined McCree's argument "And besides we're all grownups here. You don't have to be shy about it"
Lena snorted at Hanna's very liberal use of 'we' "Hanna, you can't have a watered-down pint served to you in a pub, much less talk stuff like this"
"Try me. You'll see I'm more mature than you'd think" Hanna said and Lena's had to nod off her head out of the gutter.
"I'm leaving. I ain't talking about my lass with you perverts" Lena pointed that comment more specifically towards McCree but also saw and dignified the interest in Zarya and Mercy's eyes with a rotund 'No'
"Ah come on!" Zarya pleaded "We have to know!"
"No you don't and it's final!" Lena said as she literally slipped out of the room, using her teleporting skills ignoring McCree's chant of 'Every party needs a pooper and that's why they invited you! Party pooper, party pooper'
A/N: Sorry for the late delivery, I'm still busy with College and I had to write through a writer's block, reason for which I have to apologize if this chapter isn't up to par with its predecessors. As I've said previously I only have a few points of the story clear in my head and the rest is me trying to get us to those points. Thank you so much for reading this one and please let me know what you thought of it. Also, let me know if you'd like to have me writing special chapters that are meant to give a background for the world in which this story will take place or if you'd rather have me expose it through plot and long dialogues. Either way, hope you enjoyed this chapter.