“As always, we couldn’t have done it without you, Dr. Ziegler.”
The mission went off without a hitch and Winston was singing praise to the support as usual.
“Of course! My pleasure.”
The only major injury was Hanzo taking a bullet to the shoulder, but the archer expressed more frustration over being unable to shoot properly than any pain or distress.
The regrouping of the Overwatch agents who answered Winston’s recall has been messy to say the least. The success of this mission has restored a lot of shaky faith in the organization for many of its heroes. Thus, the younger agents seemed eager to celebrate with a night on the town.
Jack disapproved, reasoning that Overwatch needed to keep a low profile and agents could be recognized in public, but Ana was quick to remind him of all the mischief he’d gotten up to when they were younger, living like stars in the original Overwatch.
“So, are you coming out with everyone tonight?” Mei asks when she catches Angela reorganizing her supplies for storage in the dropship after touchdown on Gibraltar.
Angela chuckles. “I don’t think so. Today has been eventful enough for me!”
“Aw, come on, doctor. Why don’t you let loose a little? It will be fun!”
Angela puts her hands on her hips and levels Mei an amused look.
“I would like you to be there,” Mei offers. “I find it hard to keep up with the others sometimes.”
“Okay, fine. I come for a bit.” Angela felt pleased to see Mei’s excitement. “What time is everyone leaving?”
The group took separate transportation to the bar downtown shortly after nightfall. Angela struggled with what was considered appropriate attire, but settled on a simple silk low cut blouse and a pair of form-fitting black pants. The others either decided on what would be most comfortable to dance in or wore their flashiest outfits, considering how infrequent these kinds of group outings were.
Lúcio was easy to spot in his lime green hoodie at the entrance to the bar where Angela and Mei stepped out of their cab.
“Angela! I’m so glad you made it!” Brigitte chimes, running up and grasping her hand.
Angela feels a little over dressed suddenly, eyeing Brigitte’s print tshirt and tight jeans. “It’s good to see you too! Have you been here before?” Her nerves steadily increase as she notices the thrumming bass music coming from the establishment.
“Yes, it’s awesome! I’ll show you where the bar is!” Brigitte guides Angela by the hand into the building, and Angela quickly grabs Mei’s hand to bring her along too.
They train together through the mass of people moving from bar the dance floor and back again. She spots some familiar faces and gratefully accepts a seat at the bar from Genji. Angela orders a beer for herself and watches Genji follow Lúcio and Hana onto the dance floor. The three of them stay close together and dance freely, Lúcio of course stealing the show. He even causes some people to circle around him and cheer at one point.
“Wow, I could never dance like that,” Mei says over her glass.
“Me neither!” Angela laughs. She can already feel the beer loosening her up and she relaxes listening to Tracer and Brigitte chat idly nearby about European “EDM”. (She assumes they’re talking about music and not some drug, based on the context of the conversation.)
Later, after hours of booming vibrations and countless interactions of varying degrees of intoxication, Mei excuses herself to the bathroom and Angela is left alone at the bar. She orders another beer and looks for others she recognizes to watch them dance in the crowd.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
Angela starts at the question directed to her, but relaxes seeing one of the newer agents smiling politely at her.
“Hey, Baptiste. I actually just ordered one.”
“Ah, well allow me to cover the charge.” He orders a drink for himself and settles in the seat next to her.
“I’m surprised to see you out! You never struck me as the nightlife kind of person,” Angela says to make conversation.
Baptiste pays the bartender who arrives with their drinks. “I’ve been known to party down every once and a while.” He holds eye contact as he smirks into his glass. “What of yourself? Is this your scene, Dr. Ziegler?”
Angela guffaws loudly, then slaps her fingers over her mouth in dainty embarrassment. “No, I got dragged out. All work and no play... so I’ve been told.” She smiles sheeply.
“Hi, Dr. Baptiste!” Mei chirps as she walks up.
Baptiste stands to offer her his seat. “Baptiste is just fine. How are you?”
“Oh, I’m good thanks. I think I might order a cab to head home soon, actually.” Mei glances at Angela when she says this, a question in her eyes.
Mercy suddenly felt a little reluctant to end the night so soon. “I think I’ll stay out a bit longer,” she responds. She blushes at Baptiste’s pleased smile.
Mei sees this exchange and slyly winks at her. “Okay, sounds good. Have fun!”
“Atta girl!” Baptiste commends Angela after Mei walks away. “We’ll make a party animal of you yet!”
Angela scoffs and takes another swig of her beer. It’s going down easier now and she starting to really enjoy the taste. “Do you dance?” She asks Baptiste while watching Tracer dance with Hana.
“I used to dance a lot when I was younger. Everyone dances where I come from.”
“Oh? Let’s see.”
“You gonna come dance with me?”
“No!” Angela laughs. “But I want to see you dance.” She hides behind her bottle playfully.
“Are you sure?” Baptiste sets his glass down and starts swinging to the music playing. “I could show you some moves.” He bumps his hip against Angela’s and she laughs again. “Come on!”
She finally sets her beer down and allows Baptiste to take her hands and lead her to the dance floor. Tracer cheers and gives them some space. Baptiste alternates pushing and pulling her hands between them one by one and moves his feet around expertly. Angela feels her inhibitions slipping away as she basks in his glowing expression and flows with the sound of the music without thinking.
She had a couple (or maybe a few) beers after that and danced more than she has in a long time. Baptiste stayed near the rest of the night and Angela found herself really enjoying his company. Their conversations flow easily and their personalities seem to click. Angela can’t remember the last time she found the company of another so electrifying and comfortable at the same time.
After she poorly conceals another yawn, however, Baptiste finally convinces her to let him take her home. They talk and laugh the whole cab ride and she holds his arm as he guides her to her quarters like a gentleman.”
“Thang you. Y’are very sweet,” Angela slurs.
“You’re welcome, doctor. And you are very drunk.”
Baptiste laughs, but if Angela’s wits were sharper at the moment she’d see a vulnerable softness in his eyes as they stand before her door.
“Can I get you some water?”
Angela nods, suddenly noticing the parchness of her throat. She doesn’t bother trying to stifle another yawn and turns to unlock her door as Baptiste leaves to fetch a glass from the nearby commons.
When Baptiste returns a moment later, he knocks on the open door, expecting to see the doctor sprawled on her bed. “Angela?” he calls quietly, closing the door behind him and setting the glass of water on the bedside shelf. He moves past the empty room to peer into the next, a small study of sorts. He sees Angela standing by a book shelf facing away from him in the dim lamplight. The curve of her shoulders indicate she’s inspecting something closely in her hands.
“Hey, you should have some water and get some sleep,” he reminds her gently. He doesn’t want to leave her alone until he can make sure she falls asleep in a safe recovery position, just in case.
Angela sniffles and nods.
“Oh, so you’re that kind of drunk.” Baptiste scratches the back of his head awkwardly before approaching to sooth her. He places a hand delicately on her shoulder. “Everything is gonna be alright. Come here.”
Angela presses her wet cheek into Baptiste’s shoulder as he wraps his arms around her.
“What’s this all about, love?”
“I just... miss’m.” Angela pulls away slightly to show him the picture in her hands. A young toothy-grinned girl stands beside what Baptiste assumes to be Angela’s parents based on their likeness to her.
“Your mum and dad, huh?” Baptiste feels a gnawing awkwardness, unsure how to comfort Angela.
Seemingly sensing this tension, Angela rubs her cheeks and sniffs again, placing the photo back on the shelf in its hard light frame. She rubs her arms, suddenly self conscious being seen in this state. “Ja... the Omnic’risis...” She rubs her tears away again.
“Come have some water,” Baptiste offers gently.
In the bedroom, Angela sits on the edge of the bed and Baptiste perches next to her. She drinks from the glass on the shelf and sniffles again.
Baptiste rubs his hands together between his knees. He deliberates carefully over his words. “I lost my parents in the Crisis too... I know what it’s like... to have your whole world ripped away from you.”
Angela sets the glass down and frowns sympathetically at him.
Baptiste stares into nothing, thinking back to the uncertainty and chaos of that time in his life. He never thought he’d live this long alone, without their support, without his community. He’d have taken just about any offer of life given to him. Unfortunately the life Talon offered was not what it was made out to be.
He clenches his fists, feeling the old frustration and guilt rise up in him again. The weight of Angela’s head settling onto his shoulder snaps him out of his reverie.
Overwatch has given him the opportunity to make up for all his past mistakes. It’s given him people to protect and fight for, too.
“Alright, bedtime.” He holds Angela’s shoulders and gently reclines her onto her pillow. The he stands to lift her feet up onto the bed as well and remove her shoes. Lastly, he clicks off all the lights, sets the window tint to full for the morning, and pulls Angela’s shoulder until she’s laying on her side.
Baptiste hesitates before moving away, taking a selfish moment to brush a stray hair out of her face.
Angela suddenly grabs his hand as he straightens. “Stay... f’r a lil while.” she requests softly, eyes squinting at him in the dark. “Bitte.”
“Okay.” Baptiste lays down on top of the covers stiffly.
“M’sorry ‘bout your parents...” Angela whispers. Her hand comes to rest on his shoulder as she drifts off.
Baptiste turns his head to the side to watch her breaths even out and all remaining distress melt from her features. He smiles softly, expressing gratitude privately in his head, among other emotions.