i'm the quick
there's not a lot jesse mccree remembers from before his time with the deadlock gang. he remembers a pain in his body from never having enough food and drinking whatever water he could find, even if it wasn't clean. his life before the deadlock gang was a lot of hardships and nights curled up on the streets trying to stay warm and dry. he knows he was lucky, stealing and never really being caught. at least until that day. the day when he was finally caught and he had happened to be stealing from some rather untrustworthy characters. turns out they were gang members and when they caught him stealing, they brought him back to be punished. yet the head of deadlock had a better idea for him. they could raise this kid in the gang life, teach him everything while he was growing up and maybe he'd be the best gunslinger around.
and that's exactly what happened.
he was taught how to assemble and break down guns - any type and any size, he could figure out how to put them together with ease. he was even taught how to shoot and rarely miss, his practice going throughout the entire day until he hit the bullseye and then later the bullseye on a moving target. whenever he did miss he wasn't given a meal until he made another 10 in a row. those first few months were torture, it was like he was back on the streets except this time he had a bed to sleep in. he thought life in a gang would be hard, but when said gang ruled the area, nothing was ever too hard.
stealing had already been a part of jesse's way of life, upgrading that to burglary wasn't that dramatic of a change. neither was kidnapping or whatever else the bosses wanted him to do. they named it, he did it. he'd already racked up quite the kill list by the time he was considered a legal adult and a part of him was ashamed of what he was doing, but the louder part of him knew it was his only way to survive out here.
of course, all "good" things have to come to an end. and it came to an end in a stand off between him and a few of the gang members and the police. the police finally turned the situation around and they were all caught, jesse hauled off to jail and put on trail for all the crimes he'd committed. at least they could only charge him for a few of his grievances, they only knew a third of the things he'd done. if they knew more, his sentence would've been much higher than it was now. even still, he was to be locked up for the unforeseeable future and it felt like he would never get out of there. only eighteen and in jail for nearly the rest of his life.
it seems luck is on his side in the form of gabriel reyes. the man approaches him in jail and offers him a deal. either rot away in here or join him. it didn't take long for the young man to give reyes his answer. of course he'd join, anything to get out of here and the gang. he hadn't enjoyed the things he'd done, had done them to survive and any chance to survive in a better way than before, he was going to take it.
however joining reyes meant joining the 'good' side and well, he didn't really like to take sides. he preferred to be a neutral if he could, but so far he's been on both ends of the deal. as it were, he wasn't really being assigned to overwatch, but instead their covert team - blackwatch. it'd been rough at first, he didn't make friends easily back then, was considered the outsider, the kid with an attitude and a sharp tongue. at least until he'd met ana amari and she'd taken him under her wing and treated him like the family he never remembered having. it didn't help that fareeha became like a little sister to him, constantly bringing her along with him and letting her play with his guns (safety on and unloaded of course). the amari's became his favorite thing about overwatch. sure, reyes was like a father in some way, always ready with criticism and a way to improve and jesse never really felt like he was worthy in his eyes. whenever he wanted to be comforted and have the company of another, it was always an amari that he turned to.
mission after mission and he slowly felt like he was gaining the trust of those around him. he could still feel the cold looks of some of him associates, but he was quick to prove himself a good shot and a worthy member of the team. he'd never really been a team player before, so it was always nice to try something new.
the most memorable blackwatch mission he'd been on had actually been quite different than the other ones. it wasn't a mission of data collection or assassination or anything like that, it was simply a mission to create a peace between the people of hanamura and overwatch. the two sons were of the utmost importance - they were the new line of shimadas that would be taking over hanamura and leading their world into a new peace. at east that's what jesse had been told and that's what he found.
he'd first met genji upon arrival in hanamura, reyes at his side - he'd been told he was brought along because he was a similar age to the sons and could possibly form a connection between the three of them and become friends. genji had greeted them with the widest smile and jesse had simply returned it with one of his own his smiles had been rather uncommon at the overwatch facility when he'd first arrived, but now it was a normal staple in his life. everyone would know it wasn't him or he wasn't feeling himself if he wasn't smiling. genji was a great companion, showed the older male around the hanamura residence and he enjoyed the scenic views. the temple and the cherry blossoms, it was a beautiful country to be in.
it was on this tour of hanamura that jesse was finally introduced to hanzo shimada, the older of the two. if he thought that genji had been a ray of sunshine, hanzo was a whole other creature. hanzo was like a tempest waiting to start it's destruction, he was constantly aloof and moody though mccree knew that a part of that had to be because of the duties enforced upon the eldest shimada brother. however as blackwatch's time in hanamura drew on, jesse thought that he was finally cracking through the older male's tough exterior. there were rare moments when they'd be enjoying tea and talking about things and he'd look over and see a glimmer of a smile on hanzo's face or he'd make a joke and see hanzo's lips quirk up in the hint of a laugh. it was probably his favorite thing about being in hanamura. not the political ties or messing around with his new friend genji, but the fact that he, a scoundrel who had a chance to do something good with his life, was making someone else's life just a little bit better. he made it a goal of his to be friends with hanzo as well.
somewhere along the way though, things went sideways. it wasn't just friendship he wanted to seek anymore, but something more. it started with stolen glances and thoughts of how nice hanzo looked beneath the setting sun and framed by the cherry trees. and it quickly became stolen kisses and hushed voices and quiet 'i love you's that only two young people who thought that nothing could stop them could achieve. he thought that he'd be able to continue this relationship with hanzo for a while, blackwatch had already been in hanamura several months and it seemed like they'd be there a while more too. however as things were getting more and more intense, reyes approached the younger member of blackwatch and ordered him on to a new mission.
with less than a week to prepare for the new mission, jesse was busy with tactical practices and reading up on what he needed to know to be successful while he was gone. he'd later find out that his secret relationship with the eldest shimada hadn't actually been that secret and that was why he was being sent away for fear that they might compromise the current mission. with barely more than a quick 'goodbye' and a promise to keep in touch, the young cowboy was sent off nearly all the way across the world to help out with one of the more recent omnic attacks that were becoming more and more common as the weeks went by.
one omnic attack quickly ran into another and before mccree knew it, the whole world was in a crisis. omnics were rising all across the world and the only people equipped to handle it were overwatch. so despite his promise to keep in touch with the shimada family, he was way too busy to even think about it even though he wanted to. the omnic crisis was huge, overwatch was spread out and there just weren't enough members to go around and help everyone out. cities and towns got destroyed, even with overwatch members being there to fight the omnics. most of the time it felt like fighting a losing battle and jesse was disheartened every time he stepped out to fight. what good was a gun to a robot?
it didn't help that public opinion was turning on overwatch. the public was quickly deciding that overwatch wasn't the saviors that they needed anymore, it wasn't overwatch who was helping them, they were making it worse! with public disapproval at an all time high, mccree could feel his spirits growing weaker and weaker about their fights. he was becoming sloppy, missing shots that he knew he could easily make if he was in the mood. it wasn't good for one of the sharpest shooters to be off their game. it turns out that his disinterest in helping people that didn't want their help would nearly cost him his life.
it was one particularly nasty fight with some omnics, jesse had gotten separated from the team and was left surrounded by omnics with very little ways out, many of them involving running headfirst into the es6 units, hoping to catch them before they transfigured into sentry mode. as always it would seem that luck wasn't on the cowboy's side as some of the bastion units were able to finish transfiguring and immediately began to fire at the unprotected man. thankfully he was able to find enough coverage to protect himself from the es6 units, but not before they'd riddled his arm and side with bullets, blood pouring from the wounds and he couldn't feel his fingers. there was far too much blood for him to figure out what was wrong with it, the loss making his head dizzy and spin and he thinks he briefly sees an angel. he sees the golden wings and the halo, the soft, comforting voice saying that he's safe, but it's not long before he loses consciousness altogether.
it feels like mere moments when he awakens, but he feels the stubble on his face and he knows it's been days. he hears that comforting voice once more and he feels like he's in a dream. he's not. it's only mercy, the doctor of overwatch and a genius at solving difficult issues. it's not long before he feels the weightlessness where he knows it shouldn't be so light. angela's soft and reassuring words help him to not freak out as he feels around for an arm that doesn't exist anymore. yes, he still struggles, still grieves over the loss of a limb, but he knows what she has done for others - for herself. it's not long before she's giving him the offer of a new arm, a new weapon. he's not surprised, of course overwatch would still want him to be a viable asset and missing an arm wasn't beneficial to them. at least she coated it in a way that it seemed like it was in his best interest.
it takes awhile to get used to the heavier weight, the press of cool metal against warm skin. the way he has to adjust his walk to counter the additional weight or when he's not wearing the prosthetic. he's not sure if he'll ever get used to it, but with the help of the technology that overwatch has access to and dr. angela's watchful eye, he's up and at 'em in no time. jesse can now shoot with a nearly precise aim, his prosthetic providing a stabilizing mechanism to help him hit his marks easier. it's weird to adjust his self-taught aim to be something different, but it makes a world of difference.
another thing overwatch gave him was his dead eye ability. a way for him to hone in on the targets in his field of vision and instantly headshot them - something that would come in handy during later fights with omnics. though he doesn't have long before the world is changing it's tune about overwatch. they aren't the saviors they'd been described to be for so long, now they were the problem. people with special abilities trying to control the world the way they wanted it to be controlled. the governments had no choice but to shut down operations, sending the members of overwatch fleeing - either in to safety, hiding, or something else all together. it was the last jesse saw of his 'family'.
since then he'd returned to america, began living as a vigilante, not quite able to give up the good work that he'd been trying to accomplish with overwatch. of course, now justice was up to him to decide. however, it wasn't always easy trying to do the right thing now, his past still haunted him, reward signs with his face plastered upon them still hung up in the more populated towns and he didn't dare return back to where the deadlock gang was. he likely wouldn't make it back out alive if that happened and he wasn't that dumb. he'd almost gotten caught one, on a train after helping a woman out, he heard his name shouted and before he knew it, he was running across the top of the cars.
it was nerve wracking, the idea that he was still a wanted man for crimes he'd served time for and also worked to get rid of. that's why he ran though, he didn't want to spend more time working off the crimes that he'd committed when he'd already done all he could to make it right and he was still working to make it right. everything he did was for a better reason, he rarely even took a payout unless he absolutely needed it. but the train hopping event had given him a big enough scare to lay low for a while. a couple of months actually, he kept his head down and waited. waited for what, he wasn't really sure, but he knew he needed to wait. so that's what he did and he worked small jobs here and there to make a small living. it was a gritty job and yet he did it because he needed to do it and something told him that some thing better was coming along.
it was a day he was taking to himself, being a little more reckless with his money, enjoying a good meal when he heard the broadcast. well, more like he heard a repeat of the broadcast since what drew his attention in the first place was the familiar voice. winston. he was calling for overwatch members to rejoin, to form a new overwatch since the world needed them more now than ever. but did they really though? that was evident as a man stood up from his table and turned the television off with a huff and mumbling about what good overwatch did for the world. it wasn't true, there was a lot that they had done that the public didn't know about, that jesse wished they could tell everyone about, but he couldn't.
focusing on his bowl of noodles, he took care to keep attention away from him as he finished his meal and walked out. he didn't want to argue with the man over the good that overwatch had done, he'd go somewhere else, finish listening to the message and see what he could do to help the world once more - anything to help erase the pain of his past.
you're the dead