After another long absence I have returned with a long and angsty dad76 fic as per request! If you squint you can still see some Mercy76 in there somewhere. This is an AU!
Anyways hope you enjoy and that it's not too bad!
Jack awoke with a sudden start, a cold sweat covering his body. His heart hammered in his chest so loudly he could feel it in his head. While his senses were poised for action, the his brain was still trying to process what was around him. The first thing he realized was that he was in:
He was in bed. His head throbbed almost painfully. Dark blue eyes swiveled around the room in search of answers or a hidden foe. Though the room was clear of any apparent threats his heart still hammered in his chest, adrenaline coursing through his body. He was just in a losing battle, a losing war, and now he was in bed? A bed that seemed familiar, in a room that held nostalgia to it. Something was off, something was missing but his mind couldn't quite place it-
With a creak the door opened startling the already startled soldier further. The once incessant beating of his heart seemed to come to a sudden halt in his chest as that missing piece walked into the room.
"Mercy, no, Angela-" He stammered holding the limp body closer. A shaking hand came up to brush away the bangs from her face, "I told you to get out of here. That it was dangerous." His voice was cracking, his whole body shaking, his heart feeling as though it had been torn in half because it's other half lay limp in his arms. There wasn't a light quite as bright as her, no smile could hope to compare to her smile, there was no one more generous, nor as beautiful. She was an angel who willingly flew into a hell like battlefield. All she wanted was to save lives, to live in peace yet she still fought this war alongside him. Despite being able to resurrect the dead, there was no one to resurrect her-
Yet there she stood before him, looming in the doorway almost as startled as he was. "Jack. Dear, are you okay?" Her voice was so sweet he was certain he was dreaming, "I was just coming to wake you. You slept in awfully late. Breakfast is waiting in the kitchen." All he could do was swallow thickly and try to decipher what had happened. He was so certain she had been dead, yet she stood before him alive and beautiful. "Jack." The bed dipped as she sat next to him, eyes narrowing into the cool concerned stare of any practicing doctor. "Did you have another one of those nightmares?" One of her hands came up to touch his cheek before slipping down to rest on top of one of his hands, a glittering gold ring on her delicate finger caught his eye, "You didn't take your medicine last night did you?" There was more than doctorly concern in her eyes, she gave him a small sigh deciding to drop the subject, "We can talk about this later, breakfast is getting cold-" She stood up and moved towards the doorway, his hand missing the feeling of hers but the matching gold ring adorning his finger somehow made him feel better.
"We're married." His mind was in disbelief but his heart didn't care, he was married to the woman of his dreams. She was alive and well. All she cared about was his well-being yet he was still brooding on what had to have been an awful nightmare. Still, the old soldier within him didn't want to accept this dream as reality just yet...
"Oh!" Angela turned on her heel, struck by a sudden thought causing Jack to snap out of his own musings. Her lovely pink lips created a near perfect "O", her countenance painted with such excitement that it had his utmost attention. "Gabriel called. He wanted to know if him and the kids can still come over?"
"Gabriel Reyes? The kids?"
His once most trusted friend, a man that Jack would have died for. Gabriel Reyes had tried to make Jack do just that: Die. All Gabe wanted was to be Commander of Overwatch and when that didn't happen…. They damn near killed each other. As far as the world was concerned they did. From the ashes and rubble of Overwatch came two monsters that were once heroes together. Yet now they were at each other's throats. Soldier 76 a lone super soldier, and a monstrosity simply known as Reaper. Neither could die, not without killing the other first-
"Yes. Do you know any other Gabriel's? You think you would remember the man who saved your life in the war." That comment alone was enough to have Jack's jaw drop but the next nearly had him choking, "Gabe was going to come visit with Jesse and Sombra since we haven't seen their family in a while." Jesse? Sombra? Jack was trying to wrap his head around that when suddenly Mercy, no Angela, or rather his wife had switched right back into concerned doctor mode.
"Are you feeling okay Jack? You're a little pale. They don't have to come over today if you're feeling unwell."
"...No, no! It's fine they can come over."
"Hmmmm…. If you say so. Go splash some water on your face dear."
That was a good idea. Maybe a bit of cold water would help him wake from this curiously pleasant dream, or at least help him understand just what reality he had stepped into. Getting out of bed Jack moved toward the bathroom, flipping the light on only to be taken aback a few moments later. Their bathroom was nice, nothing spectacular but like most there was a large mirror adorning the wall. The mirror itself was nothing to be concerned about but the man reflected was. Reflected in the mirror was Jack but also…. Not Jack….At least not the Jack he was used to seeing in the mirror.
He was an old worn down soldier. Most would describe him as grumpy and gruff. His hair had gone white, wrinkles forming on his forehead from years of scowling. Most prominent was the scars that littered his face. Remnants of his battle with Gabriel, the one that had almost killed him, not this strange Gabriel that had apparently saved his life. That was supposed to be what he looked like… But the man reflected in the mirror was not him… Yet it was him?
Reflected in the mirror was Jack Morrison, the golden boy. The strike-commander of Overwatch rather than the worn Soldier 76. His hair was still blonde and had not yet started receding though there were some gray hairs beginning to show. His face had no scars and only the faint beginning of wrinkles. Instinctively he knew he wasn't quite as young as he was when he took over Overwatch but he wasn't exactly old either… At least late thirties...? Maybe early forties but that was pushing it... Splashing the cool water on his face did little to help with his muddled head. "Damnit…" He couldn't wrap his head around the situation at hand, everything was so perfect it had to have been a dream. Deciding that hiding in the bathroom and staring at his reflection wasn't going to get him answers, nor would it help stop the growling of his stomach Jack had no choice but to leave.
With the scent of breakfast to guide him, Jack left his room and entered the hallway. Pictures adorned the wall. They immediately caught his attention. A wedding photo of him and Angela? A few photos over was them cradling a newborn. Memories captured by camera adorned the walls and they helped piece together a perfect life that he couldn't quite remember. There were so many of them on the wall he wanted to look at each and every photo and cherish it but he couldn't. Someone else was demanding his attention:
"Dad!" Came a chipper voice, that immediately had him turning his head. Before he could react arms were thrown about him and he was wrapped in a tight embrace. For a moment all he saw was a head of spiky brown hair but he didn't have to see her face to know who she was. That still didn't stop him from being in shock when he saw the face of Tracer… No, Lena staring up at him. "What's that look for dad? Surprised I'm home so early? I wanted to surprise you and mum after my last track competition." She laughed releasing him from her embrace, "It was a tough one but I'm sure I'll qualify for the Olympics this time around." His mind flickered back to the photos, to a young girl holding up gold medals for track and field competitions… Lena was going to the olympics?
"I'm back… I-I don't know for how long." Her voice was panicked, body faint and already slipping to another timeline. She was too young, they never should have sent her in that plane. She was the best pilot they had, she had a bright future ahead of her… Would she be cursed to always slip through time? "C-Commander please tell Emily that I love her… And I'm sorry if I can't make it back home…" Lena Oxton their chipper pilot, was crying… It broke his heart to see her this way, and their best scientists were trying to fix her problem but what could their solution possibly be?
There was no chronal accelerator visible upon this Lena, she seemed to be healthy, more than just healthy. His mind tried to wrap around how and why but he supposed he didn't need one. He almost wanted to warn her against being a pilot but at the moment she seemed to have her heart set on the olympics, which she told him chipperly as she lead him to the dining room. "I was thinking about what you were saying dad." Solider 76 had once yelled at Tracer for jokingly calling him dad, but right now all Jack felt was warmth swell in his chest, "I think that the training with the weights might be to excessive, I don't want to strain any muscles especially right now before the next big competition." All Jack could do was nod unsure of what conversation she was referencing but her logic seemed fine, "Thanks Dad! Thanks for always pushing my so hard, I don't think I would have made it here without you pushing me so much. Although cool it on coming to every meet. It's embarrassing when you're cheering the loudest at practice dad!" As they turned to enter the kitchen, the smell of breakfast making him salivate, another familiar voice chimed in.
"Aw C'mon Sonic! Dad just wants to be supportive!" Warm, happy, and charismatic he knew who's voice that was as well. Sitting in their dining room, one arm curled over his chair and shooting his sister a smile was… Lucio? Headphones were looped around his neck, and he was dressed in soccer gear. He wasn't wearing his roller blades or any of the stolen gear from Viskhar. Nor did he seem like he was international superstar but judging from the music that pumped through his headphones, Jack would't doubt it if this Lucio was destined for fame as well.
"Listen! Aw c'mon Soldier!" He laughed holding up his headphones towards the gruff old man, "It is the sound of my country, of my people. Of the struggles and hardships we faced. I want you to hear it." With a sigh Soldier 76 took the headphones. "You asked me why a popstar would fight?" Lucio began, eyes staring out in the distance, "I don't want to be just a popstar. I want to make a change. I don't want others to suffer anymore." He was hopeful, more of a hero than Soldier 76 ever was. He knew hardships and pushed through them...
Jack watched as Lena and Lucio playfully bickered, taking his seat at the head of the table out of instinct. He heard Angela laugh, finally taking notice of her at the stove, but his attention was once more drawn to the two bickering siblings. Somehow he found himself smiling.
"Don't be silly Dad comes to all your games and cheers just as loud. You totally get embarrassed."
"Only when he's hassling me to be better than Sombra." Lucio laughed before playfully giving his father a kick under the table, "I mean c'mon dad we're not even in the same division. She plays women's soccer. Can't she be the best at women's soccer, and I'll be the best at men's?"
"Your father just gets to be a little competitive with Uncle Gabe." Angela chimed in as she neared the table with a hefty plate of scrambled eggs, "But-" She gave him a teasing glare, "Last I checked someone promised me that he'd stop being so competitive with our children…" Jack scratched at the back of his head in response to her words. He didn't need to have memories to know that he was probably being too competitive with Gabe… The two were always butting heads in Overwatch…"But I'm sure he'll stop now right?" Again she gave him a smile that hinted at the world of pain he'd be receiving if he didn't… Her features eventually softened as a sudden thought struck her, "Dear, could you go wake up Hana?"
"She was up late playing games again." Lucio groaned, "I could hear her from my room."
"Like you're one to talk! I could hear your music in my sleep."
"All I'm hearing is a bunch of children up way past their bedtimes."
"Sooooorrrry Mum." Both Lucio and Lena apologized together lest the incur the fabled wrath of their mother. Their dad could be scary when angry, but he was always a little scary anyways. Having their sweet, patient mother get angry? It was like watching an angel turn into a devil. Their mother gave them a smile, and turned that same smile to Jack as if telling him to get on with it.
Slowly he stood up, taking one last look at the trio before him. Half afraid that if he left this room his make-believe dream family would be torn away from him. That he'd be thrown back to the real world where he had lost so many, where they all had suffered more than they deserved. With his last look at them he turned and went back down the hallway. He didn't truly know where he was going but his body lead him in the right direction. Now that Lena wasn't there he took his time to look at every picture on the wall. Of the day Lena was born, of her first day of school, her first competition she won, her prom date with Emily, and of her graduation. He looked at the day they brought Lucio home, of his first time rollerblading, of his first goal in soccer, of his face on christmas when they bought him his first pair of headphones. Then there was the pictures of little Hana, of her as a baby, her chasing after young Lucio and Lena, her with her favorite stuffed animal, and of her getting her first video game system. The family pictures of all of them together brought a tear to his eye, even the ones with Gabe, Jesse and Sombra included in the pictures.
Eventually, pictures gave way to bedroom doors that told just as much of a story as the photographs had. The first door had Lena's name on it and a variety of pictures, and of places she wanted to visit. The next was Lucio's, band stickers plastered all over the door, cute stickers of frogs, and music could be faintly heard coming from within the room. The last door at the end was Hana's decorated in pink and purple stickers, cute rabbits adorning the door. Carefully, he entered, the inside of the room dark compared to the rest of the house. Hana liked to keep her room dark because the sun bothered her eyes after a long night of gaming, the Hana in Overwatch was the same way. From his spot in the doorway he could barely make out her sleeping form. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness he could clearly see her features. Slowly so as not to disturb her sleep, he knelt next to the bed to tuck a stray strand of hair behind her ear.
"Are you sure life isn't a game Soldier 76?" She infuriated him more than any other recruit ever had before. She was cocky and young, just like how he used to be. Barely eighteen she had no business fighting in a war. She should be going to school and making friends, not piloting a mech and getting shot at. It didn't help that she was reckless… Just like him. Headstrong just like him. He tried to look out for her, to teach her so that she didn't end up like him. He looked at all of the young heroes as children, wanting to guide them so they didn't make the same mistakes as him but… Hana was… the daughter he never had or would have. She was like him and not like him. Which made it all the more heart-wrenching to see her get hurt. To hold her hand as she struggled not to cry. To lie to her and tell her that she'd be fine, that they'd get help. In that painful moment he watched his little hero turn back into a little girl that had no business fighting a war, his war, his fault-
"Dad what are you doing?" Her voice was groggy and sleep filled, dark eyes just barely starting to open, "Are you crying?" Sleep gave way to concern as she sat up. When the tears had started falling Jack couldn't say for sure but it was embarrassing. Furiously he rubbed at his eyes to hide the evidence of his weakness. "Dad did you not take your pills?" Her voice was barely above a whisper, "Geez you should take better care of yourself. You always tell me to stop gaming so much and you can't even remember to take your medicine!" Before he could stop her she pulled him into a hug, "Don't worry Dad, the war's over. You don't have to fight anymore. No one else wants to say anything Mom, Lena, Luce but… You're home now Dad. I don't know what you saw in the war but you're with us now, you're home…." She repeated again, and suddenly she was rubbing at her eyes too. Like Father like daughter.
She released him from her embrace rather quickly, before slipping out of bed. "Don't even dream about telling mom or the others about that. I'll never hear the end of it." She huffed, pushing him out of her room, "I'll come to breakfast in a minute." She was embarrassed, not usually one to express such emotions. She preferred to tease and joke, and to infuriate others. Consoling, comforting, and crying wasn't exactly a Hana thing. In that aspect Jack was the same, he wasn't one for sensitive emotions. Sparing him one last glance, Hana rushed off already yelling at the others to save her some food.
Jack stayed still for a moment contemplating her words. Memories of a war and memories of this perfect life crashed in his head. Which was real? No it wasn't a matter of which was real. He knew which one to be true. Those other memories, they were stressed induced hallucinations of a war that never happened, his worst fears come to life because he couldn't handle the actual war he fought in. It was time he come to face reality:
So a little bit of PTSD Jack (who has hallucinations of his time in overwatch/losing his teammates but none of that happened) I actually surprisingly like this AU (I spent a lot of time thinking about the family mechanics and even like Gabe's family lol).
Sorry for poofing but I'm sorta back maybe! I'm really getting into the writing scene! (Although I'm also totally addicted to FFXIV and with stormblood dropping who knows what will happen to my muse!)
Please be gentle with my writing I am rusty! Reviews, follows, and favorites are always loved! Constructive criticism is also nice!
Feel free to send me requests!
Lots of love- MMG