27 wins

Romantic Tropes I’m an absolute sucker for:

The slow burn where they both love each other but think the other person doesn’t feel the same way but literally everyone in the world knows how they feel about each other.

They absolutely loathe each other but everyone around them knows that they actually totally love each other.

Royalty/Commoner ESPECIALLY when the commoner didn’t know they were royalty and feel so betrayed when they find out.

I mean really, any version of the Person A is hiding something about their identity for decentish reasons and Person B eventually finds out and is just so betrayed and Person A has some version of the “I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did. I fell in love with you.” (Chasing Liberty is my favorite, okay?)

Also the “we’re from different worlds” version, too.

And of course Person A is trying to rescue/find/reunite with they significant other and Person B gets enlisted to help but then totally falls in love but thinks Person A really loves sigo, but when they finally are reunited they realize they really love Person B.


I just had this amazing dream where Damian got into a fight with some kid on the playground. And the kid was like “well my dad could beat up your dad!”

and the look of incredulousness on Damian’s face as he opened his mouth to set the truth STRAIGHT nearly woke me up.

And then before he could inform this peasant that, no, your puny little mechanic father who worked out once when he was 27 would NEVER win a fight against THE ACTUAL BATMAN, Dick threw his hand over Damian’s mouth and dragged him away

and that’s how I ended up laughing my ass off at 2 AM

anonymous asked:

Marichat "don't be fucking rude" prompt (your writing is great btw)

Thank you anon! I am glad you like my writing ^_^ (I should be writing more stories, but I am sniffly and finding doing long form hard so i am taking a break by doing drabbles. Hopefully it will clear my head enough to finish the chapter I wanted to get done today!) 

WARNING: Some strong language and suggestive themes! You have been warned.

“What are you staring at?” Marinette cried at last, whirling in her chair to face Chat Noir who was mere inches from her face. 

“hold still, I am trying to count your freckles,” he said completely unperturbed by either her close proximity or her glowering expression. 

“Have you ever heard of personal space?” she hissed, “Don’t be fucking rude!” 

Chat blinked but showed no other sign of being deterred by her wrath. “I can’t count your freckles accurately from across the room, now hold still.” 

Marinette groaned but did as he asked, figuring it was easier to just indulge his insanity and get him out of the way then try to argue with him. She had no idea what had lead to Chat Noir’s bizarre visit today, or his sudden unprecedented interest in her life, if his non-stop questions earlier were anything to go by. 

“Are you almost done,” she whined, trying not to think about why she was finding his closeness so unsettling. 

“Just about,” he grinned, and her heart gave a traitorous little thrill. He really was unfairly pretty. 

“You have 27 freckles across your nose,” Chat said leaning in even further until their noses bumped. “And just for the record princess,” he said his voice dropping to a sultry whisper, “I am not fucking rude. When I am fucking I am extremely accommodating,” and before she could move he darted forward, kissed the tip of her nose and hurriedly ran away, laughing. 

The next morning Marinette trudged blearily into class. Her night had been restless, in no small part to the flurry of daydreams brought on by Chat’s parting comment. Even her icy cold shower this morning had done little to stop her wandering mind or flushed skin. 

“Good morning my bestest best friend who I know far better than Adrien know’s Nino!” Alya crowed as she dropped down into her own seat. 

“Are you two still going on about that?” Marinette sighed, dropping her head against the desk and wondering if she could try sleeping through class, or if she ran the risk of subjecting herself to another Chat-infused dream session. 

“This is the last day of our epic battle,” Alya said with feigned shock at Marinette’s disinterest. “I am going to 50 Euro richer before class even starts. Where do you want to go for lunch?” 

“What if Adrien wins?” Marinette ask, cracking one eye open and looking up at her friend.

“Eh, he gets to pick my next 3 articles on the Ladyblog. But there is no way he is going to win. He would have to get my question right- doubtful- AND I would have to get his wrong, and there is no way Adrien knows anything about you that I don’t already know.”

“OK,” Marinette mumbled. Closing her eyes again. 

“Ah the man of the hour and his supposedly hertosexual life mate,” Alya cried. 

“We like to keep our love free from the tabloids thank you,” Marinette heard Nino say and Adrien let out a light laugh.  

“OK Agreste,” Alya said, “my final question, to see if you know my boyfriend as well as I do-”

“He does, you’re gonna lose babe.” 

“Shut up honey.” 

“Just giving you a head’s up.” 

“What,” Alya continued, “Is Nino’s favorite childhood ice cream flavor?” 

“Trick question- Nino didn’t have Ice cream till you took him to get some on your guys second date.” 

“Damnit! Still, you haven’t proven that you are the most observant person in this little circle, you still haven’t given me my question. Despite your impressive line of questioning thus far, I defy you to come up with something about Marinette that you know and I don’t.” 

Marinette was glad her face was plastered against the side of her desk to hide her flaming face. 

“OK,” Adrien said mischievously, “how many freckles does Marinette have across her nose?” 

Marinette’s eye shot open. 

“You don’t know the answer to that,” Alya said warily. 

“Just answer the question,” Adrien said smugly, “or do you admit defeat?” 

“19,” Alya said nervously. 

“Wrong, 27. Looks like I win.” 

Whatever response Alya was about to give was cut off by Marinette’s loud, piercing scream. 

Four Sentence Prompts: 

Warning- I will NOT be taking repeat prompts! Only one drabble per prompt! (See the list here: http://baneismydragon.tumblr.com/post/159474846531/reposting-so-i-can-edit )

On Marc-Andre Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury is likely done as a Pittsburgh Penguin. 

I don’t exactly know why, but I feel like writing a little something about what I feel like he has meant to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If your first thought is “Yeah, but Matt Murray’s save percentage is…..” then this post isn’t for you. I’m not saying that Fleury is better than Matt Murray or that the Penguins should keep him instead of Murray. The league has a salary cap and an expansion draft coming up, so keeping the younger and cheaper goalie makes sense.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m happy to see Fleury go. It’s actually quite the opposite. Yes, sports are about winning (and the Penguins are certainly winning these days) so it probably makes logical sense to say “Well, statistically Marc-Andre Fleury is or isn’t something or other” and then dismiss him. It’s easy to mock people who are sad to see him go as sentimental fools who care more about a “nice guy” than winning and then mention Matt Murray’s save percentage again.

This post isn’t about statistics.

This post is about a feeling. Yes, sports are about winning and losing and numbers, but they’re also about how they make us feel. We cheer because of how we feel. We get dejected when a team loses because of how we feel.

I remember the day Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted. I was two years old when Mario Lemieux was drafted and eight years old when Jaromir Jagr was drafted. I grew up watching those players, but I didn’t have the excitement of paying close attention to their entire careers. 

I was 21 when Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted. I remember getting an email from the Penguins’ mailing list that said the team had traded up to pick first overall. I was ecstatic. It was the first thing to really be excited about as a Penguins fan in a while. The Penguins were not good. The “glory days” were gone. Yes, Mario Lemieux was still there, but the team had only 27 wins in the 2002-2003 season. That year they traded away Alexei Kovalev, and Martin Straka had one foot out the door. 

I had watched Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and Ron Francis lift the Stanley Cup. Now I was watching Rico Fata, Dan Focht, and Kris Beech. It was depressing.

When the Penguins drafted Marc-Andre Fleury, it was the first sign that there might be hope for the future.

And it wasn’t just hope. Marc-Andre Fleury brought consistency. Yes, it sounds weird to use the words “Marc-Andre Fleury” and “consistency” together, but it’s true.

Since Tom Barrasso left the Penguins, I had watched Ron Tugnutt, Johan Hedberg, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Garth Snow, Sebastien Caron, etc. in the Penguins’ net. Yes, some of those players were quite good and some had some success in Pittsburgh, but none of them were around for long. When Fleury was drafted I knew that the team would finally have a goalie who would be there for a while. 

He was there for over a decade. He won more than any Penguins goalie in history. And yes, a lot of that had to do with the team in front of him, but a lot of it had to do with him too.

There were certainly ups and downs. Yes, he sat on the puck and pushed it into the net with his butt, he slipped and fell running onto the ice, he bobbled the puck a million times behind the net, he “played” against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012, and he lost his starting job to Tomas Vokoun in the 2013 playoffs.

But he also stopped Alex Ovechkin on a breakaway in 2009 and dove to keep the puck out of the net to win the Penguins the Cup that same year. He made 46 saves in his very first game with the Penguins (and lost). And, just this year, he stepped in for the injured Matt Murray and was vital to eliminating Columbus and Washington.

Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t the greatest goalie in history. But he’s not the worst, either. The people who attack him over-exaggerate his flaws, which causes his supporters to over-exaggerate his strengths. But, again, that’s not what this post is about.

Before Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, there was Marc-Andre Fleury playing behind Konstantin Koltsov, Matt Murley, and Mike Eastwood. He gave people a reason to believe. Those bright yellow pads were a beacon of hope.

I’m glad he got to play during this playoff run. I’m glad he got to raise the Cup with pride, instead of sheepishly holding it for a few seconds like he did in 2016. I’m glad Pittsburgh got to say goodbye to him at the parade.

And I’ll be cheering for him in Vegas or wherever he goes. Hopefully it’s not Winnipeg.

Y’all it’s looking like the Republican is going to win in KS-04 by single digits.

I want to make sure y’all understand what that means.

KS-04 is an R+31 district. It’s as solidly Republican as congressional districts come. Trump won it by something like 27 points.

They’re barely winning in it.

This is indicating a seriously massive swing towards the Democrats. This race was not supposed to be competitive. GA-06 is going to be fun.

spit fire - chapter nineteen

i saw you in the party, soft lips, soft spoken

“Normally, and you know this, I’m not on Farrah’s side.” Molly shudders, laughing. “But you haven’t been out once this semester and we’re almost halfway through it. Even if Harry is the dick of the century, you shouldn’t let him keep you in.”

“I don’t.” From Noa’s perspective, that isn’t the case. Not one bit.

“You do.” Farrah argues, picking up the dress Noa has since put on the chair by her desk, holding it back up towards her friend and adding, “It’s kind of sad, really.”

Molly takes what Farrah says and tacks on a pout. “Do you want to make us sad, Noa?”

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Former WR Santonio Holmes officially retired as a Steeler last week. Holmes had arguably one of the most exciting catches in Super Bowl history when he helped the Steelers to a 27-23 win over the Cardinals in SB XLIII. With 35 seconds left in the game, he made a sensational toe-dragging catch in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. And yes, it was a catch!

“Elian” documentary airing August 24 on CNN

CNN Films’ exploration of Cuban and American relations in the film “Elián” will air Thursday, Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. on CNN and CNN en Español, with encore presentations on Aug. 25-27. Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and direct Tim Golden, director Ross McDonnell, and producer Trevor Birney covers the international custody battle between U.S. and Cuba as America renews restrictions to its Cuba policy, and a pivotal moment in that relationship following the 1999 sea rescue of 5-year-old Elián González. The two-hour film is narrated by actor Raúl Esparza, and offers exclusive interviews with González, who is now 23.

Grill Master 76

An Overwatch 4th of July One-shot

To celebrate this past holiday weekend, I tossed together this. It’s not my best but I hope you enjoy regardless. Thanks for reading!

It was supposed to be simple. It was supposed to be fun. And yet, there he was, hunched over the grill like the poor bastard he was. He should have said no but those damn puppy-dog eyes of Angela’s got him every time. Right in the goddamn gut. So, despite his best attempts to reject aiding in the festivities, he got dragged in. Hook, line, and sinker.

Clasping her hands neatly before her chest, Mercy jumped forward. Leaning just a bit, she placed a quick kiss right on 76’s mask. “I knew you’d say yes,” she said with her charming grin in tow.

Thank god, he thought.

If he wasn’t wearing that mask, his face would exploded with red hot fireworks, much like the ones Junkrat claimed to have ‘legally’ purchased about two hours ago.

“Yeah, yeah,” he tried to shrug it off. Play the whole ordeal off like it wasn’t really that big a deal. But, naturally, she called his bluff. Her fist landed square on his pecks, which seemed to caused her to falter just enough to make him chuckle. “Something the matter, doc?” His brow quirked as he turned his back to her to resume the tedious task of getting the coals going.

“No,” she responded matter-of-factly. “Just realizing that I still haven’t had a chance to give you that full physical.”

“And I’d like to keep it that way,” he quipped.

“Something to hide?” Her brows wormed up her forehead. “Afraid I’ll figure out your deep, dark secret?”

He blamed the heat for the sweat the beaded up on his brows.

She leaned back in, close enough that he could smell her sweet perfume. “I know your secret, Soldier.” Her nose crinkled as a large smile graced her already angelic features. “You think you can hide it, but you can’t. I know.”

Setting down the charcoal-packed chimney, he littered the base of the metal object with loose papers. He had to collect himself. Make it look like he wasn’t trying to hide a big, ol’ secret. The best way to do that? Get the grill ready. Once the papers were shoved beneath the stack, he moved to get a match. A second later, he was lighting a fire and bridging the space between he and the hot blonde.

“And just what do you think you know?” He called her bluff. Kind of.

“That,” her finger strummed across his broad chest, “you have a crush on me.” Pulling back a finger, she flicked him. His taut pectorals didn’t move, which caused her to chew her lip lightly.

“Like what you see,” he fed into her playful banter. She was… what? Four glasses of wine into the afternoon? She wasn’t drunk, per se, but she definitely wasn’t as sharp as she could be. Helped that she was drinking on an empty stomach and semi-dehydrated due to the scorching heat.

“Hey,” DVa waddled up to the duo. “Break her heart and I break your face, got it?” Her coy grin a sure-fire sign that she wasn’t joking. “No one messes with my Merc.” She nodded firmly before leaning in for a quick hug. “Need another?”

Ang shook her head. “Heavens no, you’ve already given me enough.” She squinted her eyes. “What’s your angle…” Ang’s body wobbled forward just enough to cause DVa to laugh.

“Another glass coming right up~!” she purred before retreating to fetch the kind doctor another glass. The short brunette was definitely scheming.

“The little gremlin is looking to make me drunk,” she stated to no one in particular.

“You won’t hear me complaining,” S76 smirked.

He’d be lying if he said he didn’t deserve the smack that followed.

“Better watch it, Ang.” The sun illuminated his red tactical visor. “I might be into that.”

“Ha,” she scoffed. “If you were, that would make two of us.” She winked before trading her empty glass with the new one DVa brought. “Last one,” she tried to sound authoritative but DVa’s eye-roll confirmed that Mercy didn’t stand a chance.

“Hey,” McCree was now joining them. “Everything going okay?”

“Coals are almost ready,” the mask-wearing vigilante stated. His eyes moved to the coal that were just starting to heat up. Give it another ten minutes and he might be ready to cook. “I’ll need someone to bring me whatever the hell I’m cooking.”

“Corn, dogs, burgers, chicken, potatoes,” Lucio zipped past on his rollerblades. “I’ll go get the corn and potatoes. Reckon they’ll take the longest.”

Soldier huffed. “With this heat, we could probably fry an egg on the roof of the car. Doubt anything will need to cook for very long.”

“CANON BALL,” a voice boomed from not too far off. Seconds later, came the shrill of Tracer and DVa as Junkrat proceeded to 'canon ball’ into the pool.

Her hands danced across his back. “Promise to come give me CPR if I drown?” Her suggestive eyes were oh-so-tempting.

“Why would you drown? Can’t you swim?” He knew she could. There was literally nothing Angela couldn’t do.

Angela laughed. “Well,” she batted her lashes at him, “if you take my breath away, I’ll be needing a hero.”

God, Ang! Just how drunk are you? Horrible pickup lines have always been my thing!

He shook his head before racking a hand through his white hair. “I suppose I’d be willing to take this off if it meant I could save your life.”

Again, her fingers wrapped around his biceps. “Oh 76,” she brushed against him, causing a chill to run down his spine. She was getting too close and he liked that far too much. “I don’t think you’ll be saving my life so much as kissing me.” Her finger tapped the part of the mask where his nose would be. “Don’t think I don’t know your type.” Her dainty hands flew to stifle her laugh. “Believe it or not, men like you are just the kind of fellows I fall for.”

“Oh really?” He dared to be indulged.

McCree didn’t seem to phased by the flirting as he was busy getting the tray tables that 76 would use throughout his grilling.

“Yeah, those rough and tough softies who really just enjoy cuddling and spending hours holding me. Kissing me.” Climbing up onto the edge of the well where the grill sat. The well was purposely designed so, if a fire magically broke loose, nothing would get destroyed. Concrete surrounded the grill. Whether it was the 3-foot wall cut into the earth or the 5-feet between he and the building, it didn’t matter. If a fire took place, he would be able to douse it long before damage started.

She flashed him yet another one of those sexy, tipsy grins of hers. She started to tug off her short orange shorts. “The competition is fierce.”

“Hmmm?” He was a bit directed by those legs.

“It’ll take only the most impressive soldier to outrank my last.”

“And just who was that?”

Her eyes danced with passion. “Overwatch’s Strike-Commander, Jack Morrison.”

“Oh,” 76 grunted. “That guy.” He nervously poked the fire with the thongs he was given, really all for appearances. “Does sound like I’ll have quite the challenge.”

Now on the lawn, she wiggled a finger at him. “See,” she quipped, “I knew you liked me. I’m as smart as I look.” She teased before running toward the pool. Her hands reaching across her back to hike up that rather see-through white and orange tank.

“She’s drunk,” McCree mentioned before taking a drag on his cigar. He was finally done getting all the shit 76 needed. And he did a damn fine just lining it all up. “And frankly, I haven’t seen her like this in forever.” Tipping his hat down to further shade his face, he exhaled. “Damn kid,” he joked before wandering away.

“Here’s the veggies,” Lucio paused to drop off the potatoes and corn. He didn’t even bother stopping to take the stairs. Instead, he leaped down from the upper sidewalk. “Zarya and Mei said they’ll bring the meat down once they’re done 'shaping’ the patties.”

“Shaping the patties?”

“Trust me, you don’t want to ask.”

“Oh hell,” 76 held his hand over his mask as if to pinch his nose. “Don’t tell me-”

“Yup. Stars. Or at least blobs that look kinda like stars.”

“Those will be a bi-”

“That’s not my problem,” he managed to rattled off before taking the stairs two at a time with those wheels on. Ducking around the corner, he’d seek out the guys out front. Genji, Hanzo, Zenyatta, Winston, and Bastion were all playing basketball in the driveway. Attempting to play basketball. Bastion spent most of the time tripping Genji-who happened to be on his team-and Winston kept throwing banana peels in the hoop. Hanzo and Zenyatta (on Winston’s team) seemed to be doing all the work. Now that Lucio was finally back, team Gen-Lu-Bast stood a chance.


As shared, Mei and Zarya were upstairs shaping patties. Symmetra was preparing a salad and trying to get everything in order. McCree happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and was voluntold (yes, voluntold-volunteered/told) he had to help. He, like before, was in charge of setting everything up. Only instead of prepping the grill, he was getting folks, knives, spoons, and the whatnot.

Torbjorn and Reinhardt were having a mini-tour around the ground. They were talking about the trees and where the best spot to setup the picnic table would be. They didn’t want it too far away but they also wanted it in the shade. Neither were enjoying the heat.

Tracer, DVa, Junkrat, Roadhog, Pharah, and now Mercy were all enjoying the crystal clear pool water. Junkrat and Roadhog were having a contest as to who could make the biggest waves. DVa and Tracer were the judges and, purely out of spite, Pharah decided to compete against the boys. As it stood, she was winning, 27 to 9. Tracer and Dva felt so bad for the boys that they kindly lumped their scores together. Not that it helped them any.

Now that Mercy was with them, they had to change up the game. It was now going to be a game of chicken. The one where you put someone on your shoulders and the person on said shoulders has to fight the other. The teams were split, as expected, Mercy/DVa vs Roadhog/Junkrat.

“No kissing allowed,” Junkrat teased.

“I would never,” DVa crossed her hand over her heart before winking down at the blonde who she sat upon. She and Junkrat were kind of a thing. She would most definitely kiss him just to ensure she won.

Tracer looked to Pharah and quivered her lip. “I think we should fight them. We’d win.”

“You’d cheat!” DVa was quick to point her finger. “You’d flash away and I’d go tumbling head-first into the water!”

At that statement, Tracer poked out her tongue. “Perhaps.”

Coals finally ready, Soldier 76 pulled his gaze off Mercy. She looked breathtaking as always and there was no way that image would leave his mind. Her deep orange bikini wrapped neatly around her figure. It tied twice in the back-once around the neck and once around her lower back. The top was a twist; one half that deep orange and the other half a soft, creamy white. Her bottom was that same deep orange but with creamy white ties off on each hip. Centered just off the top edge of her bikini sat a gold cross that kept flashing him.

“Damn you, Angel,” he chided beneath his breath. “Wearing something like that and not inviting me to swim…” Though it was probably a good thing. There was no way he could hide those emotions.

Dumping out the coals, he fanned them lightly with the grill lid before putting the cover on. He would let them heat just a bit more while he looked for the missing-and most important-grill piece. Once he found it, he took the lid off and laid the metal piece above the burning coals.

It was time to start cooking.

“These done?” McCree pointed to the covered plate of burgers. He’d already taken the vegetables away so it was just the burgers and dogs left.

“Yeah, you can take them to the table. Just got to finish up here.” He tilted his head toward the grill where the last 10 hotdogs sat. “Shouldn’t take much longer,” he mentioned while beginning to turn one over with the thongs. “Yeah, they’ll be done by the time you get back.”

McCree carried the plate away, which left Mercy sitting on the bench behind 76. “Did you cook mine the way I asked?” She pressed the chilled glass in her hand against her red forehead. She was wearing sunscreen but the heat was really taking its toil on everyone.

“Of course,” he glanced over at her. She was fanning herself now. “Medium, as requested.”

She smirked. “It better be. Or it’ll be a strike against you.”


“Jack was a grill master. He could cook any order flawlessly.”

McCree returned. “The kids say hurry up or they’ll eat without you.”

“Grab that plate,” he gestured to the last one. Once in McCree’s hand, he started to drop the dogs on it.

McCree headed back to the table as Soldier 76 started to close up shop. Mercy didn’t offer to help, as she was still too busy trying to cool herself. “I have no idea how you did this,” she stated. “Grilling. In this heat.”

“Well,” the back of his hand ran across his sweaty brow, “someone asked. Couldn’t say no to those puppy-dog eyes.”

Her smile made him thankful he endure the torturous heat. “Ready?”

“After you,” he gestured toward the stairs that would ultimately lead them to the back deck and then to the shady spot off to the left where everyone sat.

“You just want to watch my ass.”

“I would never,” he recalled hearing DVa use on Junkrat once.

“Ha,” she stepped up and moved toward the group. Soldier 76 followed.

“Time to put you to the test,” quipped Tracer before sinking her pearly whites into the fresh burger.

“Test me for what?” Soldier 76 was beginning to regret wearing a mask. Even in the shade it was still in the 90s.

“To see if you can out-grill Jack. During my first year with Overwatch, he did a grill off with his friend Gabriel Reyes. Oh man, it was funny. Reyes lost. Big time. But Jack? He was crowned the Grill King. He could master any order. Rare and red or burnt and flat. Really, there was nothing he couldn’t grill.”

76 looked over at Mercy, who was sitting to his left. “So that’s what you had started talking about.”

“Yup.” She nodded. “But what they don’t know is that every year thereafter, I would get invited to his hometown. The year Tracer joined, his parents were on vacation so he didn’t go home. The following year, he invited me to join him. Said it would be fun.

"And oh was it ever fun. He and his dad had a grill off. I swear half the town was there. They were serving 30 people each. The grill off was to see who not only cooked the order to perfection, but who could also do it faster.”

She smiled before shaking his head. “He and his father would get into yelling arguments. His mom and I would then go get the hose and shut them up right then and there. Oh it was so much fun. I’m not American but I absolutely came to love this holiday because of him.”

Then she frowned. “This was his favorite holiday. Or rather, all of them like this. Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day. He loved those holidays. Loved showing off his American pride. Grilling right beside his father. Enjoying a local beer. Laughing. Just… being my Jack.” Ghosts tormented her eyes as she vividly recalled laughing beside her other half.

DVa nuzzled Mercy’s shoulder. “He sounds like a hell of a guy.” Her fingers wrapped around the blonde’s. Giving her a light squeeze, DVa looked up at the woman. “So sorry for your loss.”

“Thanks,” her nose rubbed lightly against DVa’s hair. “But that’s in the past.” Her head snapped to Soldier 76. “We now have to pass judgement on this masked man. Is he worthy of the title… Grill Master?”

“I wasn’t around for Jack’s burgers,” Lucio began, “but mine is delicioso!”

Reinhardt burst into his jolly laughter. “I tried to trip him up by requesting two. One hard as a brick and the other as red as a flesh wound. Both fair exceeded my expectations.”

“Can’t complain about the corn either,” Symmetra stated. “Even the last minute zucchini slices came out perfect.” She was spending more team eating her veggies, loving how crispy yet juicy they were.

“Mine didn’t have enough-” Junkrat teased before DVa smacked him. “Kidding, kidding. The barbie on mine is ace!” He flashed 76 a quick thumb’s up. Yes, some even requested special spices or seasoning, all of which he followed to the t!

The consensus seemed the same. Everyone was a huge fan of Soldier 76’s mad grilling skills.

“I think it’s unanimous,” Winston commented.

“Grill Master 76,” DVa shouted before pumping a fist. Though the lack of enthusiasm off to her side caused her brows to furrow. Why wasn’t Mercy joining in on the cheering. “Merc?” She was quick to seek out Tracer’s eyes. She needed help. Mercy only got like this when something was gravely wrong.

Tracer zipped around and was soon standing behind the blonde. “Love,” she gently set her hands on Mercy’s shoulders. “What’s the matter?”

Mercy didn’t move. Her blonde fringe masked her face; the fact that she was staring with a dumbstruck look on her face. There, in her hands, sat a half-eaten burger. She hadn’t moved since she made it to the middle. She was… frozen.

“Merc?” DVa’s worrying lip was starting to bring concern to the others.

“It… it all makes sense.” Her voice was barely above a whisper.

“Hmmm?” Tracer stepped back, hoping that it would give Mercy some air. “What’s that, love?”

“Everything. The way you dodge me to avoid a full physical. The way you carry yourself on the field. The way you know how to use my medical devices despite never having proper training.” Her head slowly pulled back to reveal a haughty expression, so unlike anything Mercy would wear. The twinkle in her eyes sharp enough to kill. She was onto something.

Blue orbs sliding to 76, she punched him square on the shoulder.

“The way you know that I like the avocado wrapped inside the cheese inside my burger.”

Her eyes stared down the eyes on the other side of his tactical visor. She knew exactly who she was talking to. He couldn’t hide now. Not even his mask could save him.

“The way you know that I can’t stand raw onions so you grilled some just for me.”

She set her burger on her plate. Cleaning off her fingers, she leaned forward. As her fingers curled around the edges of 76’s mask, a flicker of hope grew within her sapphire eyes.

“There are only three people in the entire world that know these things. Two of them are volunteering at their a church to grill burgers for the homeless. The other? I buried a few years ago.”

Slowly, she disengaged that mask.

Prematurely.” She added, though her expression didn’t change.

With the mask pulling away, everyone else leaned forward just a little bit more. Just what on earth was Angela talking about? Who knew what she liked? Why did it mater how she ate her burger? What homeless folk?

“Soldier 76.” His face fell into shadows as he tilted it down so his chin rested against his chest. “Or should I call you by your real name,” she questioned.

Uncurling his tucked head, his soft blue eyes rolled up to meet her hopeful stare.

Jack Morrison,” she whispered while taking in his features. That same handsome face. Those same devious blue eyes. Those sweet, sweet lips. That butterflies-in-your-stomach smile.

His small grin sat on his face as he looked at the woman beside him.

“Hey,” his voice was just as light an airy as hers.

Reinhardt nearly fell from his chair. Tracer was dumbfounded on the grass, gawking up at Jack’s new scars yet familiar face. Torbjorn was wondering if he needed to get his eyes checked out. Winston kept taking his glasses on and off, trying to figure out if he was hallucinating due to the heat. And McCree was setting down his seventh beer and questioning if he was as drunk as Mercy was about an hour ago.

She punched him. Again. Again and again. And again, until she flopped softly against his chest.

Little tears dried in seconds after meeting the warm black fabric of his shirt. Arm wrapping around her backside, he patted her lightly. He had nothing to say. What could he say?

“How are…?” Tracer’s lip trembled. “We… we all…”

“I know,” he whispered. “I was there.”

“Then why?”

“I had to die. Jack Morrison had to die. Overwatch was destroyed. He had to die with it. Die the hero the world believed he was. Blinded by justice and unable to see that corruption lied within the cor-”

Mercy’s fingertip shushed him. It rested lightly against his lips.

“Not now,” she unfolded her head and looked longingly up at him. She was both overjoyed and broken. Happy yet sad. In love yet torn.

His brows fell, lightening his features. Jack nodded, understanding that now wasn’t the time to explain his rationale. Now was supposed to be a celebration of freedom. Of friendship. Of life.


His head snapped to Reinhardt.

“Here I was, getting ready to tell the world about how great Soldier 76 is and he’s just a rip-off.”

Jack’s expression flattened.

“Cheater,” Tracer pulled his attention off the old German. “Cheater, cheater! That’s how you knew exactly how to make our burgers.” Her eyes narrowed. “Cheater!”

“It’s official,” DVa joined in. “You cannot be dubbed Grill Master.” Her smile grew across her face. “Because apparently you never lost that title.” She smiled over at him. “But!” She held her hand up. “I think we can all agree. That because he lied he is on cleanup.” She had heard stories about him and knew from the look in Mercy’s eyes that this was the man she spoke oh-so-highly love. The one she loved.

“What?!” Jack’s eyes jerked about the group. “That’s not how that works. I grilled. I’m free from cleanup duty. You,” he pointed at DVa, Junkrat, Pharah, Tracer, “you all get cleanup since you didn’t help. Only Mei, Zarya, McCree, Sym, Rein, and Torb are free from cleanup.”

“Nope,” DVa shook her head. “Liars who hide who they really are get cleanup. All. By. Themselves.”

His head swiveled down to look at Mercy. He was hoping she’d back him up. It was the rule. Those who cook don’t have to clean!

“Trash Master 76,” she teased.

His face deflated. “Fine.”

All returned to the table, still eager to eat. They wanted to pry and ask how he lived, why he took on the name 76, etc. But Mercy said now wasn’t the time. They could ask later.

“So those fireworks,” Tracer returned to her seat.

“What about them?” Junkrat asked.

“Did you get the one I had asked for?”

“You’ll just have to wait and see.”

She puffed out her cheeks before diving into Mercy’s homemade potato salad. “Merf, miss muff mis mewmy mud.”

“Sorry, love,” she stifled a laugh. “What was that? I can’t understand you when you speak with your mouth full,” she teased. Seeing Mercy smile, brought another smile on Jack’s face. One that would remain until the meal finally ended.

With the meal done and everyone stuffed, Jack began his less-than-desired job of cleaning up. It was nearly dark, which made his job even less enjoyable. He grumbled every now and again but knew it was completely justified. They cleaned up after him. It was only fair he attempt to match their sacrifices.

“Just so you know,” Mercy took a seat beside the grill. “You’re not escaping that physical.”

“Angel,” he looked up at her, “I think you know my body better than everyone else here.”

“It’s been seven years, Jack.” She narrowed her eyes. “And I see some new scars. Who knows what else is new.”

He rolled his eyes. “I grew a second spleen.” His voice was as dry as the brown grass.

She smacked him across the back of his head. “You know what I mean.”

As he cleaned up, she would tag along with him. Never actually helping him, but rather watching him. Getting familiar with who he was. Truthfully, she was baffled that she hadn’t figured it out sooner. They acted so alike. Walked the same. Reached the same way. The fact that he hid his face as 76 should have been the most obvious hint at them all. You only hide your face when you know someone would recognize it.

“You could have told me.”

“I couldn’t.” He paused to pat the sweat on his face. He wanted to peel off his shirt but didn’t dare start something with Angela. She would notice all the scars even in this dimming light and demand that physical sooner rather than later.

“And why not? Afraid we’d hate you?”

“Afraid you’d hit me.” He teased.

Her serious grimace caused him to reevaluate his position.

“Like I wanted to share, Jack had to die with Overwatch. What he stood for. What happened. He had to die.”

“I get that. But he didn’t have to lie to his friends. He could have told us. Told me.”

Jack sighed before stopping for a moment. Hoping up on the ledge beside her, he took her hand into his own. “Angel,” he squeezed her hand lightly, “if they knew I was alive, they would come for me. They would want me. Dead or alive. It doesn’t matter. I have too many enemies. Too many people know I know the truth about what happened. They’d hire assassins to kill me. Or worse.” He fell silent.


Releasing her hand, his thumb moved to lightly rub her jawline. “I can’t lose you. I’d die a thousand times and lie a thousand more to keep you safe.” Pushing her head against his, Jack wore a small, broken smile. “I can’t… I can’t lose you.” He loved the way her breath tickled his neck. They were so close and yet, from the distance in her eyes, so far apart at the same time.

Only time could really repair what he did.

Her hand brushed through his hair. “Jack,” she rested her forehead against his. “You won’t. Keep me close and I can protect you. I can save you.”

Maybe he didn’t need time. Maybe everything was okay. Daring to test his luck, he cupped her chin in his hand. Tilting it toward his lips, he smiled over at his girl. They’d shared a kiss like this so many times before. Would she remember? Would she fall into it? Push away?

“FIRE IN THE HOLE,” caused the couple to flinch.

“Fire in the ho-” Jack’s brows furrowed, really confused as to if someone was making a sexual innuendo as they sat ready to kiss in the fading dusk light.

Not second later, the boom of a firework pierced the air. Moments later came the cackle-like roar of a few more. It was deafening but glorious. Absolutely stunning, just like Mercy.

It was starting. The fireworks show presented by Roadhog and Junkrat.

“Oh let’s get a beat going,” Lucio grabbed his boombox. He didn’t have his equipment so the stereo would have to suffice.

Zipping up to Mercy, Tracer took the blonde’s hands into her own. “C'mon, love! We have to get the best seats in the house!” She pointed to the roof. Then her gaze narrowed on Jack. “If you want to sit with her, you’ll have to figure out how to get up on your own.”

They left, leaving Jack sitting by the grill. “Just because I have white hair doesn’t make me old,” he chided before hopping off the ledge.

Wandering around the house, he found the best angle to get on the house. There was a full lattice on one side of the house. He could climb up it and join the girls-Tracer, DVa, Mercy, Pharah-on the roof.

And climb he did.

None of them even heard him over the roar of the fireworks, though Tracer did jump when he tapped lightly on her shoulder.

“How the?!” She blinked before looking around to see that he did indeed magically make it on the roof. Genji and Hanzo were also on the roof, but she knew the would be able to get up. But Jack? “How!?”

He winked before she made space for him to sit beside Angela. Ang was quick to snatch his hand up and wrap around his arm, completely changing her position. There, right across her face, sat her happy grin. And the colors of the fireworks reflected perfectly in her eyes.

Blue. Green. Circular. Star-shaped. Heart-shaped.

She nuzzled him just a bit more. She didn’t want to admit that perhaps they shouldn’t pick up where they last left off but she had been flirting with his alter-ego, Soldier 76, all day. So, in her mind, she had already moved on.

A boom rumbled the house before the magic of fireworks exploded all around them.

“I’m glad you could join us,” she whispered in between the flashing lights.

“Me too,” he whispered right back. “Me too.”