Glad to see you're open, boo. Can I get some Reaper76 with sleepwalking?
You absolutely can! :D Any excuse to write some angsty, fluffy, snuggly R76 I will absolutely take, so here you go!
Also I tried playing around with this idea that Gabriel kinda has two modes now (courtesy of Talon reconditioning maybe???): Gabriel and Reaper. Gonna write a big ol’ masterpost one day about some of my Reaper/Gabriel ideas. Maybe.
Setting: New Overwatch (Post-Canon)
Jack had never been a deep sleeper at the best of times, but ever since the HQ explosion, he’d been even worse. It wasn’t unusual, in the years that he wondered alone as the vigilante Soldier: 76, for him to find himself in places he was certain he hadn’t fallen asleep in: quiet suburban parks, alleyways, paddocks, even once or twice in someone’s backyard. If he wasn’t in the habit of waking up shortly after having slept walked, there was a fairly good chance he’d have gotten himself either caught or killed. Then there were times when he didn’t just walk; he’d once woken up in the middle of trying to break in to someone’s house. Recognising that he was gradually becoming a danger to himself, he had started going as far as tying up his feet before sleeping, as long as he was reasonably sure that no one would try to get the jump on him during the night.
From what he could remember, Jack suspected that the sleep walking had really started during his years in the SEP. He had shared a room with Gabriel back then – an assigned living situation that neither of them had been thrilled about to begin with, but that Jack later came to consider a blessing. He remembered Gabriel telling him about the first time it had happened.
“I didn’t know what the fuck you were doing, man! You just, got up out of bed and started trying to open the door. I told you to get the fuck back to sleep but you were like a zombie. It creeped me out!”
Thankfully, Gabriel knew that you couldn’t just wake someone up while they were walking. It became almost a routine for Gabriel to hear Jack opening the door, get up and go after him, and gently coax him back to bed. Sometimes Jack remembered Gabriel’s voice through the haze of his dreaming, soft and fuzzy and warm. “C’mon, Jackie, let’s get you back to bed now. You’re tired, right? Better get some sleep, hey? There you go…”
Once he’d started crying in his sleep, and Gabriel had sat with him for hours until he’d woken up, throat raw and eyes burning, Gabriel’s arms wrapped tightly around him, rocking him back and forth. “You’re ok, Jackie, I got you… I got you…”
He’d tried to apologise later for being such a nuisance, for keeping Gabriel up at night, for having to have someone look out for him… It had made him feel weak at the time, especially when Gabriel seemed so assured, so solid, so steady. But Gabriel had laughed, ruffled his hair, told him to stop being so worried about everything all the time, he didn’t mind.
His influence had soothed Jack, a lullaby to placate his rapid-fire nerves, and when they eventually fore-went separate beds in favour of sharing on, Jack’s sleep walking stopped almost entirely. It started again after Overwatch’s formation, his promotion to Strike Commander, Gabriel’s assignment to Blackwatch, and the growing rift between them as forces greater than them tried to pull them apart. More often than not, his sleep walking during those years had brought him straight to Gabriel’s room, knocking on his door to stand there mumbling apologies and ‘I love you’s’ until Gabriel led him back to his quarters with a huff and a scowl and a ‘goddammit Jack…’