"Hopeless" by Feral

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(Crossposted from Ao3 + Tumblr. Feat. A Dragon Age II Reference)
Genji watched his brother from across the training room. In spite of everything, Hanzo had hardly changed since their youth. It was a realization he’d had early on in their reconciliation, that though this older Hanzo bore a heavier heart, he was not without familiar idiosyncrasies. His sense of humor, how he took his tea.

How he failed miserably at functioning properly when it came to an object of his affections.

It was a little like watching a car wreck, he mused, as Hanzo once again failed to initiate any meaningful conversation with the pretty Overwatch agent he’d been dancing around for months. Said agent excused herself, politely and not unkindly, and he watched his brother mentally retreat, no doubt kicking himself for his failure to act. But as he watched her go, eyes soft and fond, with a start, Genji realized exactly how deep in his brother was.

Lovestricken was an odd expression on the usually stoic man, but somehow more fitting than his near-perpetual scowl. With a shake of his head, Genji approached his brother, yet unnoticed. At the cyborg’s soft chuckle, Hanzo’s shoulders stiffened. His expression immediately closed off, and he crossed his arms, eyes narrowed.


Genji gave another soft chuckle, his uncovered face freely showing the soft grin that spread on his lips. “You’re in love.”

Hanzo scoffed, but Genji could see his eyes flick subtly to the door the agent had left through. “I am not.”

“Yes, you are,” he teased good-naturedly, the intent apparent despite the robotic edge to his voice. “You keep looking at her with these sad puppy eyes every time her back is turned.”

Genji fluttered his eyelashes, putting a hand to his cheek for effect. Hanzo’s lips curled into half a snarl as he became more defensive, huffing angrily.

“There is no such thing.” He shoved at Genji’s face, disrupting the mocking expression. “There are no… puppy eyes.”

At this, Genji laughed outright, clapping a hand to his brother’s shoulder. “I think I should know you well enough to tell when you’re smitten. Still can’t handle a simple conversation to save your life.”

Hanzo huffed.“I am perfectly capable of handling my own endeavors.”

“Then why can’t you just talk to her like a normal person?”

The archer froze up, closing off again – always quick to retreat, always reluctant to show what he perceived as weakness.

“It is not my place to…” He shook his head. “I cannot. She is beyond me.”

The cyborg laughed, disbelieving. “You can’t seriously believe that. I’m more than certain –“

“It is nothing more than a passing fancy.” By the sound of Hanzo’s voice it seemed more as though he were trying to convince himself. “I am undeserving, besides.”

The last of the joking mood sputtered out at this statement, and Genji found himself feeling… lost. He had hoped, against the odds, that Hanzo had moved past that line of thinking; that in accepting his brother’s forgiveness he’d be more accepting of himself. Clearly, the wounds ran deeper than he feared and it pulled Genji’s face into a tight frown.

“This is not a matter of deserving, Hanzo. You cannot live your life in half-measures, afraid to take a step because you feel it’s a matter of penance.”

Genji watched his brother’s eyes grow wide then sharpen, and he knew that he had overstepped a tenuous boundary a moment too late.

“I will discuss this no longer!”

Hanzo stiffly crossed the room toward the exit. One step forward, two steps back. Just as hard to reason with as when they were boys, but Genji knew him, in spite of everything, knew how to get to the root of the matter; knew what it would take to get his brother to listen.

“She looks at you the same way.”

This stopped him, just at the edge of the room. He did not turn, but he did not move any further than he had. Genji sighed, secretly relieved. He approached him cautiously, observed his wary posture, the way his fists clenched at his sides.

“You either cannot see it because you aren’t looking, or because you don’t want to see it, but it’s there. Whatever your feelings, you are not alone in them.”

Hanzo said nothing, but allowed himself to face Genji, his features drawn and weary. Like Genji was getting his hopes up.

“…And what have you to gain from this insistence?”

“Is it so wrong for me to want to see my brother happy?”

Something cracked in Hanzo’s expression, exposing a moment of rawness to the younger Shimada that he wasn’t quite ready to face. Wordless, he caught his brother in a one armed embrace, where they remained quietly for several moments. Genji felt Hanzo shudder, then watched as the elder schooled himself back to stoicism. The younger sighed.

“It’s alright for you to seek happiness, Hanzo. It won’t kill you.” Genji’s face broke into a devious grin. “But your face might crack if you smile, so be careful.”

Hanzo breathed out a chuckle and shoved at his brother’s arm. They both looked up when the door to the training room opened.

“Oh! Hanzo! Good, you’re still here.”

Genji watched with barely concealed amusement as Hanzo immediately stood straighter, with the posture of a man ready to face the firing squad. She approached the pair, eyes immediately sliding to Genji, who looked a bit too much like the cat that ate the canary for Hanzo’s sake. She rocked back on your heels, stepped back away toward the door.

“Oh, um, I can come find you later, if now’s a bad time.”

“Oh no, now’s a great time,” Genji said before Hanzo could interject. “I was just heading out. I’ll see you later, Hanzo.”

He nodded toward her as well and she gave him a timid little wave. Hanzo glanced back toward him, likely not ready to be thrown right into things. Their eyes met, and Genji pinned his brother with a stare that said Remember what we talked about. The door closed behind him.

Alone, Hanzo cleared his throat, his full attention on her. He could do this.

“What, ah… what did you need?”

“Actually… I wanted to talk to you about something…”

Later, when Hanzo came to find Genji meditating, the younger sibling tried to keep quiet until spoken to. But one glance at the archer looking pleased and softer at the edges had a bright smile breaking across his features. Hanzo immediately closed off, returned to a more familiar expression.

“Say nothing.”

“What is there to say? That I was-”

“Say nothing.”

Hanzo assumed a meditative position beside him, and they enjoyed a companionable silence for several minutes.

“…I was right.”

One well placed shove and Genji was sprawled out on the floor, laughing. It was worth it.

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