"Alejandra!" a mother calls up the stairs.

"In a minute!" the girl yells back. She sits in her bed, half-cocooned in her sheets, wide brown eyes latched onto the ancient holo-vid display balanced precariously on her dresser, surrounded by books and stuffed animals and random knickknacks.

"Still no word on the location of Dr. Angela Ziegler," the man on the news continues. The holo-vid scrambles for a moment, flickering in and out of existence, and the girl hastens out of her bed, nearly tripping on her tangled sheets as she anxiously smacks the side of the projector and the image sputters back.

She grips the dresser, eyes so close to the hologram that the watery light makes her irises shine.

"The doctor was last seen leaving her hospital in Switzerland on Tuesday," the anchorman drones on. "There has been no word from her since, and she has missed four days of work. Something her coworkers say she has not done in the fifteen years she has worked there."

"Alejandra!" Her mother's voice has risen to a shout.

"¡Ya voy!" she flings back, voice slightly shrill as she yanks on a tank top and throws her thick hair into a ponytail. The holographic news continues playing even as she darts from the room, but the only one listening is a poster bearing an image of a group of heroes titled Los Protectores—a woman armed with luminous angel wings identical to the one shown on-screen.

-0-

"…Dr. Ziegler is of course famous for her work in the medical field, and somewhat infamous for her role as Mercy in the organization Overwatch."

"Athena, pull up that news station," Winston orders, frowning as he looks up from his tinkering. He'd been listening off and on, mostly absorbed in his work, but the last line finally grabs his attention. He pushes his tools aside, adjusting his glasses as he spins around in his chair, frowning expectantly as his screen is filled with the image of an elegant blonde woman.

"Winston?" the AI asks as the great ape continues to stare at the screen, his eyes wide behind his spectacles.

Winston doesn't answer. He just stares at the screen, unease and panic uncurling in the pit of his stomach as fear and concern kick his heart rate up.

"Dial Tracer," he orders, suddenly typing furiously as he pulls up a map of Switzerland, eyes narrowing. "And get me any contact we have on Mercy."

-0-

"…There are no leads to her whereabouts at this time, and given Dr. Ziegler's dedication to Overwatch, it is possible she was targeted by some of the organization's old enemies, such as Talon."

The man's arm glints metallically in the noonday sun as he lifts a tumbler to his lips, sneering as he listens to the report at a bar.

The bartend glances at him as she continues wiping out glasses, quirking a brow.

"You knew her, didn't you?" she asks, jerking her chin at the television playing on the wall. More images of the doctor are being shown, and the man just grunts noncommittally.

"I knew a lot of people," McCree grinds out, downing his drink. He chuckles humorlessly. "Not so much now."

-0-

"…Dr. Ziegler lives alone, and is reportedly a very private person. Her house has been searched by authorities and has been untouched since she went missing."

"Oi, ya gonna buy one of 'em?" a surly shopkeep asks, boldly staring down a large man who is standing before a shelf crammed full with old, poorly-repaired holo-vid displays all projecting the same news station.

The man doesn't turn.

The shopkeep gnaws angrily on a toothpick.

"I said," he drawls, reaching out to slap the man's shoulder and get his attention. "Are you gonna buy one of 'em?"

The man turns his head just enough to regard the shopkeep over his shoulder. The shopkeep sees his own terrified reflection in the man's visor before his large, calloused hand is shooting up to curl around the smaller man's fist, crushing the bones in his hand as the man shrieks.

After a few second of crunching bones and horrified wails, the man releases the shopkeep and calmly turns to walk away.

The shopkeep stares after him, clutching his ruined hand to his chest, wide eyes taking in the 76 printed across his back.

-0-

"I know, Winston, I'm watching it right now!"

The young woman paces the floor of her flat, gritting her teeth as she holds the phone to her ear, the news playing in the background.

"Anyone with any information is implored to come forward…" the anchorman reports as the woman stalks past the hologram again, chewing her lip as the person on the other end of the line talks back.

"Of course I've already called Lúcio!" she cries, throwing one hand out in a gesture of exasperation. "I've called everyone who answers their phones! Which, in case you didn't know, is about four people! Including us!"

"Dr. Ziegler is still regarded as one of the greatest champions of medicine of her generation, and even following Overwatch's fallout, continued to be a paragon of aid and healing."

"How would Mei know?" Lena demands, scowling at the floor. Her chronal accelerator pulses softly where it's strapped to her chest as she continues to rant. "She's in Antarctica! She probably talks to penguins more than people!"

She stills her movements, chewing moodily on her lip as she glares at the holo-vid, half-listening to Winston, half to the news report.

"There is still no word on whether this is a misunderstanding, or a planned attack on one of the world's most recognizable heroes. So far, there has been no ransom demands or threats of any kind. It seems no one—good or bad—knows where Dr. Ziegler is."

"D'ya reckon it was her?" she asks lowly, eyebrows slanting down as she thinks of her most hated Talon agent. She scoffs at Winston's response. "She killed a pacifist leader in cold blood with a smile on her face. I really don't think she'd lose much sleep over taking out Mercy."

She sighs, finally tapping a command into the control panel in the wall and switching the holo-vid off.

"Fine," she replies, a determined glint in her eye. "I'll get my guns."

-0-

"I found something that might pique your interest."

Reaper glances up at the voice—soft and smooth and layered with an almost intoxicating accent that he's always had a healthy tolerance for—to find a newspaper being offered to him by lilac fingers.

"It's in French," is his only response, dull and unimpressed as he drops his gaze again, deftly reassembling his gun where its guts are spread around him.

Widowmaker scoffs under her breath, ocher eyes rolling at his incompetence.

"You are as uncultured as you are intolerable," she tells him tartly.

He just grunts noncommittally at that. They both know Reaper's far more intelligent than he cares to advertise.

"You remember the French word for doctor, yes?" she asks, a coy lilt to her voice that snags his attention immediately. She tosses the paper on the table, watching as it spins across the smooth surface until he stretches out a gloved hand to still it.

Docteur Célèbre est Toujours Manquant the headline blares. Below is a huge, front-page sized image of a woman sporting a halo-shaped headpiece and smiling faintly while holding a staff in her slender fingers. Widowmaker smirks as she watches Reaper quietly push his weapon aside and reach for the paper.

"I thought so," she remarks smugly. "Men are so predictable."

"Must've been why killing Gérard was so easy," Reaper fires back, masked gaze never leaving the paper as he tries to translate what he can.

Widowmaker just makes a noise of disgust and turns on her heel to stalk off. "I will kill you someday, Reaper," she calls over her shoulder.

"You can try," he mutters back, too low for her to hear, fully engrossed in the article.

There's no sound in their underground hideout save for clicks and snaps as Widowmaker examines her equipment. They aren't partners by any stretch, but as long as their goals align, they can be trusted to not kill the other in their sleep.

For now.

"Was this Talon?" he asks lowly.

Widowmaker shrugs, calmly checking over her rifle. "Doubtful, but not impossible," she answers, unruffled by his dark and deadly tone. "The good doctor has never been a threat, and even if she somehow became one, she's hardly going to put up a fight." She glances over her shoulder to grace Reaper with a vampire smile. "She may wear armor, but angels are not soldiers."

He looks up, skeptical. "Wouldn't you know?" he demands. "Talon's favorite pet and all."

She snorts elegantly under her breath. "I do not control Talon, despite your best efforts to blame me as if I do." She turns the rifle over in her slim fingers. "Eliminating Mercy would be a low-ranking mission—they wouldn't waste my time with something so simple."

Her lips twitch in amusement as she hears his chair screech against the concert floor as she forces himself to his feet. She loves riling him—loves reminding him that as much as he might like to think of himself as an unfeeling ghost, he still has very visceral reactions.

Emotions are a weakness she is not plagued with, but thrills instilling in others.

He towers over her, all tall, dark, and foreboding.

"Bold words for someone who was knocked on her ass by a ten year-old," he tells her lowly.

She smiles up at him, utterly undaunted. "Bold reaction for someone who allegedly wants to kill the good doctor," she murmurs.

Reaper just shifts his weight, bleeding into her personal space—the smoky shadows that swirl out from his footfalls curl around her legs. She doesn't even spare a glance.

"You are not nearly as frightening as you think you are," Widowmaker tells him softly. Her words are a caress—disarmingly sweet and honeyed. Reaper just stares her down from behind his mask.

"Talon wiped your memories," he states bluntly. "You don't remember the reputation I carried when I ran with your husband." Her eyes flash like lightning the way they always do when he brings up Gérard. She pulls back from him, gaze deadly. "That's fine," he goes on, turning his back on her. "I don't mind reminding you."

"Je vais te détruire, fantôme," she hisses after him.

"Go fuck yourself, Amélie," he replies, reaching out to collect his weapon and the newspaper, tucking it away in the folds of his coat.

Widowmaker sneers. "Perhaps I'll kill that angel of yours," she snarls, switching to English so she knows he understands her threat.

"I'm a faster draw than you and we both know it," Reaper retorts. He strides out, trench cloak swirling at his heels. "I'll kill her myself."


HERE WE FUCKIN GO

So this is a thing. I want to make it multiple chapters (obviously I mean it's about Reaper and Mercy and like one half of that mess is missing so clearly I have more planned) but I'm only going to continue it if you guys are digging it. I'll probably put up one more chapter later this week and then kind of gauge the response and decide whether I should keep it or kill it.

Anyway, I made it pretty clear in the tags, but this ain't shippy. Not even like vague Purgatory shippy. It's just literally about /them/ and only /them/ so I'd feel like I'm misleading people if I didn't pair Mercy and Reaper off. There will be no hot and heavy makeout scenes. Reaper's wearing a mask how the fuck would that even work you know he sleeps in that fuckin thing.

Also, shoutout to anyone who's been reading and commenting and leaving kudos. Y'all are the real MVPs. If it weren't for your kickass feedback, I'd have slunk back to the Fire Emblem fandom by now with my tail between my legs. (I love you FE I'm just super into Overwatch rn I'll come back for you someday I swear)

The point is: you guys are the reason I'm still hanging around, so thank you. I've gotten so many touching messages from people saying my fics have made them want to get back into drawing, or inspired them to try writing fic and that shit just melts my lil heart.

Okay enough sap I suck at it time for the #spon

Main Tumblr: midwestern-duchess

Writing Tumblr: dominodebt

Have a good one, team! As always, feel free to drop me a line if you've got something on your mind!