Is This How It Ends? (Don’t Let Me Go)
You know I can’t be there each time that you call
I swore not to come, but I’m here after all
I know by the look that I see in your eye
I won’t stand around and I won’t watch you die
-Because of You [Nickelback]
Soulmate AU Prompt 7 & Whumptober Alt Prompt: Trapped| Fandom: Overwatch (The Fall) | Angela / McCree | TW: Shooting, Death, Injury, Blood, Stitches
AO3 | FF.net | Works
Angela glanced over at her communicator and resisted the urge to call, like she did every day lately. She had given in exactly once, two days after Jesse had stormed out of her office. Angela doubted he had gotten it; knowing Jesse, he probably had left his communicator in Rome to keep Reyes from tracking him down.
The silence was killing her.
Angela knew he wouldn’t risk calling her, now that he’d defected. If Blackwatch wasn’t actively monitoring her communicator, she would be surprised - especially with how angry Reyes was about it.
Anytime she saw the Commander, he made at least one jab about her soulmate ‘jumping ship.’ Jack, bless him, did his best to keep Reyes’ ire on him - not like that was much of a challenge - but it was getting ridiculous. At least it reinforced her belief that Blackwatch hadn’t captured Jesse; Reyes would be far too smug if that had happened.
Generally, Angela was able to ignore him, but after three weeks, it was all starting to drag at her - because it wasn’t just Reyes. Jesse’s vague warning had her on edge, but it was impossible to stay on guard for so long. Jack had heard her out, but without concrete proof he wasn’t willing, or able, to take action.
Those first days, she had worn the Valkyrie breastplate under her clothes in expectation of something. Her blaster was on her hip, generally hidden under her medical jacket. Reyes had spotted it right away - of course he did - and that had created even more tension between the two of them.
But it had been three weeks since Jesse had left Blackwatch - left her. Angela trusted Jesse implicitly and believed there was a threat, but it was this looming cloud that just wasn’t going away. Her breastplate was on the desk behind her, where she’d left it over a week ago when she had last taken it off. Her only concession to the threat was the weapon on her belt; it had made some of her staff nervous when they had first noticed, but now it was the new normal.
Angela sighed and scooped the communicator up off the table. She was expected in the research labs in ten minutes, which would give her just enough time to get over there and settle in. Pocketing the communicator, Angela snatched up her keys and strode to the door. Even if she was drowning in stress, there was still work to be done - and Angela was never one to shirk her duty.
Before she could reach the door, everything rattled and shook. Angela frowned, hand reaching for her communicator, and then the lights went out. It was only for a moment - as the medical ward had emergency generators for their equipment - but everything was notably dimmer. Alarms began shrieking what they already knew: someone was attacking.
This was what Jesse had been warning about. This was it.
She grabbed her breastplate off the desk as the building shook again. Angela shrugged it on over her medical jacket; when she had a moment, if she had a moment, she would readjust - but right now, she needed to move. Angela locked the door out of habit, as if the measly door would stop any determined intruder, and bolted towards the elevators as she yanked out her communicator.
“Winston!” She shouted into the device, forgoing all pleasantries. “Where are you right now?” Angela scrambled to separate the elevator key from the rest of her keys; she wasn’t planning on leaving open access to everything out in the open - even if this was the basement.
“I’m in the labs. Do you know what’s happening?” He replied over the panicked noises around him. Those were her people, the noncombatants under her care that were suddenly thrust into a warzone. Angela slid the elevator key into its slot and twisted it all the way to the left, locking the elevators on whatever floor they were on. Usually, she would turn it to the right, which would bring an elevator to her so that she could rush a bed up to the carrier pad on the roof - but this was anything but a normal situation.
“I—No, I have not heard anything.” Jesse’s warning about Blackwatch could be completely circumstantial; since she hadn’t seen any of their attackers, she didn’t need to make this situation potentially worse by pointing fingers. “Can you get the others out?” There was an exit that led up to their parking garage, for the same reason she had keys to the elevator.
“I will try. Stay safe, doctor — Mercy.” Angela’s lips twisted into a grim smile as she tried to reach the command center and figure out what the hell was going on. It was probably a futile effort, but she wasn’t about to rush up the stairs to get a look when she had her own problems to deal with.
Fortunately, by the time she reached the infirmary, things were mostly in hand. Gloria and Remington had corralled the medical staff; one or two looked about ready to pass out, but at least they weren’t screaming.
At least, they weren’t until gunshots echoed down the hall.
Angela gave up the attempt to reach the command center in the face of this new threat. Her staff are panicking, and it takes all three of them to create some semblance of sanity. Despite having zero combat experience - outside of whatever action movies they may have seen - they quickly overcome their terror.
“We must remain quiet,” Angela urged in a soft voice, ushering them away from the doors that would lead to their escape - and, apparently, their deaths. Angela hoped Winston had managed to protect the researchers, but she didn’t have time to worry about them right now.
“Remington, Gloria, put together a kit,” Angela ordered grimly; with gunshots on this floor, they would probably need it. “The rest of you, head to the morgue.” Angela didn’t particularly like the unintended implication, but it was the best defensible position for so many people. It only had one entrance, which could be guarded by only a few people - but that meant there was only one exit.
Angela didn’t think they were in for a siege, but she asked Remington and Gloria to gather supplies from the small kitchen just in case.
“We must be quick and quiet,” Angela reminded them as uneasy murmurs filled the air. “I will keep you safe,” she reassured, pulling out her blaster, “just trust me.” The doors on the other side of the room, from where the gunshots had come, burst open - and suddenly, the morgue wasn’t such a bad idea. Her medical staff bolted in the opposite direction as Angela took in the newcomers.
“What happened?” Angela demanded, blaster still in hand as she crossed the room. A few people were bleeding, but overall it appeared that most of her research staff were accounted for. Winston had an unconscious man draped over one shoulder, and blood dotted the armor he always seemed to be wearing.
“They’ve cut off the exit. It won’t be long until they’re sweeping the floor,” Winston said grimly. “I managed to get my dome shield down before the worst of it, but…” Angela’s eyes swept the group again. There were a few missing, and many of those who remained appeared to be in horrified shock.
“We are moving to the morgue,” Angela told him, forcing down the grief for her lost staff. “Do you know how to get there?” Gloria and Remington moved among the injured, handling what they could now while excess supplies were available. Winston nodded. “Good; you lead the way, and I will cover us.” Angela had never been responsible for being the rearguard - as their medic, as Mercy, she was always in the middle.
But there was no time for ‘always’ when the world was going to Hell.
While Winston and the others got the stunned researchers moving, Angela quickly stripped off the breastplate and began readjusting her clothes so that it would sit properly. It wasn’t much, but it would provide some armor and pain relief should she need it. As Remington ushered the final person out of the door, Angela shrugged her coat back on and snatched up her gun.
The entire way, her thoughts raced in Jesse’s voice. How she should have just listened to him and left. That she had allowed herself to become careless, resulting in the deaths of her people. If she had only convinced Jack of the danger, had forced him to make plans, maybe things would be different.
They arrived at the morgue quickly and slipped inside to find her medical team tending to the researchers; it seemed that having a task made it easier to keep their calm. Angela let her eyes sweep the room, counting. She didn’t think anyone was missing - at least, none that weren’t already accounted for.
“Doctor,” Winston said, coming to her side at the front of the room. Angela glanced over at him briefly before turning to watch the others; Gloria was moving around the room, offering soft words of encouragement and generally keeping them quiet and calm.
“Yes, Winston?” Angela prompted, once the silence had dragged on a little too long. “What do you need?” Her eyes found Remington, who was rallying a few of the more able-bodied staff into helping him barricade the door. There wasn’t much in the room that would be effective, but at least it gave them something to focus on.
“I—About our attackers,” he began uncertainly, which was unusual for him. Angela turned, angling so that no one else could see her face.
“They are Blackwatch.” It wasn’t a question. She may have hesitated to point fingers earlier, but his reluctance made it easier for her to make the determination. If it were any of their known terrorist groups - such as Talon or Null Sector - he would have no problem naming them.
“It’s Blackwatch.” He replied firmly. “I saw the patch on at least two of them.” Angela nodded, crossing her arms as she glanced over her shoulder for a moment. The others were looking over at the two of them with curiosity, but Angela didn’t see any signs of the panic that had been present before.
“What are we going to do?” Winston voiced the question she knew was on everyone's mind. What could they do against a Blackwatch tactical team? Probably next to nothing, considering there were only three people trained in combat in the room - and one of them wasn’t armed.
“Whatever we can.” Angela turned, intent on helping Remington. “We do not have much time, considering what we are up against.” She looked over her shoulder as she walked away. “Get them out of the line of fire, please?” Winston nodded before turning to his own task.
Angela knew it was a futile effort, like bailing a sinking ship with a spoon, but it wasn’t in her to just give up. No matter the odds, she would do her best to protect her people - even if it was against those who were once their allies.
They were still shuffling a few of the injured to the side of the room when the first slam of a nearby door had them all jumping. One woman made a panicked noise and uneasy murmurs began filling the air, forcing Angela and the others to shush them once more.
“Listen to me,” Angela said, crouching in the middle of the room where everyone could see her. “They know we are here and that we have nowhere else to go.” Not the most comforting of words, but there wasn’t much comfort to be had, huddled on the linoleum floor of a morgue.
“But we must stay quiet and hold on,” Angela urged as another door banged open; the footsteps were now barely audible as they drew closer. “Overwatch knows we are down here, too. They will send us help.” They just had to survive long enough for them to arrive.
“You must stay down and do not move.” Angela put as much command into that order as possible, because it was probably the most important one she had ever issued. “Winston and I will keep you safe; trust in us.” With that, she quietly moved herself to the wall nearest the door.
Their barricade was flimsy, made of rollaway beds whose wheels were locked and a single, small table that someone had found in a corner. It would not hold up against any kind of assault, but hopefully, Reyes hadn’t ordered the deaths of the noncombatants.
Angela didn’t put much stock in that hope, considering her injured and dead researchers.
Winston reached her side as another door - the last one between them and Blackwatch, if she remembered correctly - burst open. They had already cobbled together a semblance of a plan; all they could hope now was that it would keep them alive just long enough.
“Clear,” a man said in the hallway before footsteps approached their room. Angela took a steadying breath, preparing herself for the fight to come. Something - probably a booted foot - slammed against the morgue door; a bed shifted, but the barricade held. That lulled the others into a false sense of security, but Angela knew better. Another slam, briefly pushing the door open a crack before it slid shut again.
“Here they are,” someone muttered on the other side of the door; as Angela had thought, Blackwatch knew they were here because they weren’t idiots. “You may as well open up,” the same voice said, but louder. “We’re coming in, one way or another.” Someone to Angela’s left whimpered.
“We are unarmed,” Angela called back after a moment to consider. “Doctors and scientists.” Hopefully, Reyes wanted them - or, at least, her - as hostages; there was no need to break the door down to achieve that. Posting agents to guard the door would have the same result.
“Break it down,” the voice ordered. Angela supposed that they wanted to confirm that they really were noncombatants, even if it was wholly unnecessary. This was the medical division - unluckily, there wasn't even an agent, injured or not, on this floor.
“Make ready.” The voice ordered, sending a chill down Angela's spine. Faintly, Angela could hear bullets racking into place as the Blackwatch agents prepared their weapons. That was a bad sign; she had been counting on the hostage angle, even though it had been a slim hope. Angela lifted her weapon in preparation as she met Winston’s level gaze with her own.
It didn’t take long for them to force the doors open.
Winston watched the breached door with careful eyes, but he was not fast enough to stop the first bullet. Fortunately, it buried itself in the far wall harmlessly, but that didn’t keep the others from screaming in fear. It was an effort, but she forced herself to tune them out - what mattered was the hallway and their enemies.
He dropped his dome shield down and stepped into the doorway, Tesla Cannon at the ready. She could see blood on his armor from where he was hit, but there wasn’t much she could do about that without her staff. Instead, she leaned just enough to get her blaster into the doorway and fired a few rounds off blindly.
The enemy retreated a few steps, cursing, but they would be back. Angela knew the second engagement would truly determine their survival; surprise had been on their side for the first, but now the enemy knew they had teeth.
Winston tensed as the barest whisper of footsteps approached. Angela reached out once more to fire a few more shots. She didn’t think they hit, but hopefully they’d keep the agents at bay. Winston’s Tesla Cannon didn’t have enough juice for a prolonged engagement - and it was only suitable for close range.
He was the last line of defense, and she was the first. The role reversal was not lost on either of them - but when in a crisis, they both knew you just had to work with the tools you had.
Angela was firing off rounds intermittently, doing her best to hold them back when they charged.
“Move!” Winston cried, eyes wide as he lunged from his side of the door towards her. Angela attempted to pull back into the morgue when a hand clamped down on her wrist and yanked her forward.
With a sharp twist of his wrist, the man disarmed her. The blaster fell to the floor before being kicked back into the hallway. Angela writhed in his grip, one leg raising to kick at his knee or groin. With an annoyed sound, her captor forced her around until her back was to his chest. He twisted her arm up against her back; it didn’t hurt because of the Valkyrie suit, but she knew that her body was straining against the hold.
“Lay down your weapons,” the man barked over her head before the barrel of a gun dug cruelly into her temple, “or the doctor dies.” Angela’s wide eyes met Winston’s as she went still. Vaguely, Angela heard the plaintive sounds of her staff, who were still cowering somewhere to her left.
“Don’t!” Angela ordered Winston, trying to erase any fear from her face. It didn’t matter if he disarmed: she was going to die. She accepted that fact and forced the terror of it to the back of her mind; she didn’t have the time to process it right now. Now, her only fear was for those under her care.
“Protect them!” The words were met with a punch to the gut, leaving her gasping for air, but she no longer cared about herself. If Winston laid down his weapon, everyone in that room would die. At least if he kept it, there was the possibility of their survival.
“I don’t think Commander Reyes wants her dead,” Winston said slowly, clearly trying to defuse the situation. “That’s Dr. Ziegler.” He had a point: while she and Reyes weren’t friends by any means, she was a valuable hostage at the very least. The man holding her huffed out a laugh.
“You think I give a damn who she is?” The gun slid down her cheek until the barrel was nestled firmly under her chin. “Our orders were to secure this floor. I'm securing it.” The man used the gun to force her to tilt her head back uncomfortably. Angela could barely see the room before her from this angle.
“I’ll only say this one more time: put your goddamned weapons down, or I’m gonna blow her brains all over this room.” Angela gritted her teeth as she tried to catch Winston’s gaze - but his eyes were on her captor and the gun. Angela watched his shoulders slump in defeat, and she knew he was going to give in.
“No!” She managed to force the word out, but it didn’t matter; the Tesla Cannon was on the ground. Angela knew Winston was only choosing what he thought was right, but that didn’t make it any easier.
Without warning, her captor knocked her legs out from underneath her as he forced her to kneel. Angela tried to move away, to get to the relative safety of the morgue, but stilled once more when she felt the gun press to the back of her head.
“I did what you asked!” Winston yelled. “Let her go!” Angela met his terrified gaze with as much calm as she could manage.
“It’s alright,” Angela whispered, forcing her voice to remain steady. “Everything will be okay.” Angela kept her shoulders thrown back, forcing a proud front even in her last moments. She was terrified, but that emotion wouldn’t help anyone here.
Angela closed her eyes as she heard her captor rack the bullet into place. They didn’t need to watch the life drain from her eyes; that was the only mercy she could provide them now.
The gunshot echoed through the room, and then she was face down on the ground.
Screams and gunshots echoed around her as pain, greater than what the Valkyrie could block, seared through her. Angela struggled to breathe past the crushing weight of her body giving out - because of course she couldn’t be granted a quick, clean death. She would be forced to suffer listening to her people dying all around her as she struggled to breathe until finally - finally - her heart stopped.
After what felt like an eternity, the weight lifted off of her.
“Angela?” A familiar voice cries out, panicked - but that can’t be right. “Fuck, is she hit?” Hands slide impersonally over her body, frantic fingers searching for the wound, before pressing heavily against her upper back.
“Did it pass through?” A different voice asks. Her brain struggled to accept this new reality, the one where she wasn’t going to die, as rough hands pulled her off the floor and turned her over. Angela blinked to clear her blurry vision - and then blinked again, just to be sure.
“Get pressure on that!” Remington ordered, and then suddenly there was a hand on her chest. Her lungs struggled to work against the pressure, on her back and now her front, as she stared dumbly up at the man cradling her.
“You—You came back,” Angela croaked out quietly. She’d reach up and touch his face, to make sure this was real, but her body felt so heavy. Remington was barking out orders somewhere to her right, but she could only focus on the man hovering above her.
“‘Course I came back,” Jesse replied, voice thick with emotion as he looked down at her with fierce desperation. He glanced down at the mess that is her chest, regret and horror filling his gaze. “I never shoulda left your side. If I’da been here, this wouldn’ve happened.” He exhales roughly. “Fuck, Ange, darlin’, I’m sorry.” Angela tried to give him a comforting smile, but she was pretty sure she failed.
“I will be… okay, liebling,” she stammers out between her desperate pants. Jesse's face twists, as if he'd just sucked on a lemon, and opens his mouth to argue when Remington cuts in.
“I need to get this shit off of you, doc. We’re doing this old school.” Angela frowned; why hadn’t they grabbed one of her portable healing streams on the way out? It didn’t matter now, not when she was bleeding out in Jesse’s arms on the floor of a morgue, but they should have thought of it before.
This wasn’t the first time Remington had stripped her of the Valkyrie suit, so he made quick work of the buckles. While the pain definitely increased, making her hiss as it registered, it was nowhere near the normal mind-numbing agony that a bullet wound usually resulted in. Remington must have given her something for the pain while she was speaking to Jesse.
Remington started to work without preamble, completely ignoring Jesse as he cleans the wound and begins stitching. Angela barely registered the burning tug of the thread through her flesh, the pulsing ache of the gunshot overcoming anything he would do to her.
The entire time, Jesse hovered over her. Angela tried, and failed, to keep the agony off of her face; every wince and hiss of pain was met with whispered apologies.
A bandage was taped to her chest, and then she was flipped again, Remington’s hands going to work on the much smaller entry wound there. After what felt like a small eternity, Remington wrapped her in gauze and gave Angela orders she half-listened to - as if this were her first injury.
“Help me put the Valkyrie back on,” she whispered when he was finally finished. It would give her the pain relief she needed to function during this crisis.
“Absolutely not,” Remington snapped back, whirling to hold one finger up at her. “That damned thing will let you tear your stitches. It's going to get you killed.” He had a point, but that didn’t mean she was going to let him stop her.
“Blackwatch is attacking,” Angela replied, voice as firm as she could make it. “I need the suit if I am going to survive.” She just needed to last long enough to get back to the infirmary and get her hands on her staff or one of the portable healing streams.
“She’s gettin’ the damn suit,” Jesse grumbled as he helped her sit up. Angela winced, one hand raising to press against the covered wound. She had known Jesse would be unable to tell her no, not when the alternative was her agony.
Grumbling, Remington helped her slide the suit over her bandages. Angela sighed with relief as it engaged, the suit bringing the pain down to something far more manageable. As soon as she was on her feet, Jesse yanked her into a fierce embrace.
“That was too damn close,” he whispered hoarsley, burying his face into her hair as he took great, heaving breaths. “Don’ you ever scare me like that again, you hear me?” Angela’s arms rise to hold him just as tightly, ignoring the small twinge in her chest so that she could press her face into his shoulder.
“I hear you,” Angela agrees, voice trembling. She had faced her mortality on several occasions, but this one was probably the worst for how drawn out it had been - and because it was in her home. “Thank you, Jesse,” she murmured, the words not nearly enough for what he had done, but they were all she had.
“I’d say anytime, but I never want to see you like that again.” Angela nodded. She allowed herself one last moment of weakness, to be Angela instead of Mercy, and then she straightened and pulled away. There would be time enough for that later, when they were all out of this mess. Angela turned and looked at the rest of the room.
They were all carefully not staring at the two of them, which was better than screaming, she supposed.
“We need to—” Before she can finish the thought, footsteps echo down the hallway again. Jesse reacts instantly, all the worry and love melting away into something cold and deadly. He moves to stand between her and the doorway, Peacekeeper raised and ready to eliminate the next threat. Angela would protest, but she knows he is far more suited to defending them all than she ever would be.
The doorway fills with people, guns up and ready, but Jesse lets Peacekeeper go slack in his hand. After a moment, Angela registers what he had already realized: these were Overwatch agents, here to get them out. The three in the doorway don’t relax, though; in fact, all of them train their guns on Jesse.
“Step away from the doctor,” the one in the middle ordered. Angela’s hackles rise as Jesse tenses. Ever her shield, she knew that Jesse would never step aside until the guns were lowered - especially after she was just stitched up.
“Stand down,” Angela orders instead, leaning just enough so that she can look at them. “He's on our side.” More like her side - but she was aligned with Overwatch, so it really was the same thing, wasn’t it? The agents don’t relax their stance, but the one in the middle looks past Jesse to address her.
“Our orders are to detain or suppress all Blackwatch insurrectionists.” The words are firm, and then her eyes are back on Jesse. “You will step away from the doctor. Now.” Fury filled Angela; before he could react, Angela slipped around him to stand between him and the agents. To their credit, they lower their weapons immediately, but they are clearly unhappy about it.
“Jesse is ex-Blackwatch,” Angela snarls as Jesse steps closer to her; it is an effort not to lean into his comforting heat. “He is mine, and you will not threaten him.” She glared at all three agents, who are a mixed bag of confusion and distaste - but she doesn’t care what they think, as long as they obey.
“Jesse saved all of our lives,” her hand flings out to gesture at her staff, who are still pressed tightly together against the wall. “If not for him, you would be walking into a room of corpses.” They blanch at that, eyes darting from her to the others in the room. After a prolonged, strained silence, Angela takes pity on them and speaks again.
“Now, how are we getting them out of here?”
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four
I gotta find more lyrics to pull from.
Anyways, I hope you like this! Confrontation was supposed to be posted with this, similar to the way Recovery and Connection were posted, but I got too excited.
I chose today to post it because, although I chose an alternate prompt, the Whumptober prompts today are about bleeding (pressure / through bandages / etc). This piece isn't really focused around the bleeding, which is why I ended up using the alternate prompt instead.
Thanks to @ausforsoulmates for the prompt list and @creativepromptsforwriting for the title.