Du Bist Mein Schild - Chapter 1: A Knight's Return
 
Author's Notes: First published on Archive of Our Own here. Translations of foreign phrases can be found at the bottom of the chapter. This chapter is available for free as it has already been published in a public forum.

Reinhardt had never been so happy to receive any kind of call, not even back when he was in the German Army or when Jack had called on him to help the founding of Overwatch itself. An old warrior he was, lost in vigilantism to keep the fire in his belly going strong. Retirement they’d told him. Take ease in the rest of his days! As if the knight could possibly be satisfied sitting on a rocking chair, sipping a cup of tea while the news holo ran reports of gangs, terrorist sects, and worse still. “You’ve served more than enough years.”  Wrong. As long as there were years left to him, he had not served enough. But legality meant that he could not be a part of the group he’d helped build and lead. And then the news holo had a different report for Overwatch. 

International bullies. Glorified terrorists. Corrupt.” Reinhardt’s heart broke again and again at these words. Nein… They were a force of good. He’d made sure of that, serving as the group’s moral compass for so long. But, of course, he wasn’t in Overwatch anymore. “Served more than enough years.” Clearly not, for as certain as Reinhardt was given his “retirement,” the base, the organization itself was in flames, in a ball of fire, with two more of his friends dead in the explosion. 

The call that now gave him such joy was from the genetically engineered gorilla, Winston, another close friend Winston. Overwatch needed to come together once more. Well, what was left of it, in any case. And that included Reinhardt. 

“Brigitte,” he called to his apprentice. She was working on a piece of his armor, a talent she’d picked up from her father, and a talent that kept him going. He only got one set of Crusader armor, of course, now that his title was basically vigilante. “I do believe that was the last mission we will run together for quite some time.”

Brigitte laughed, not looking up from the metal on the makeshift workbench. “Oh, yeah? Finally getting tired of lugging all this stuff around?” she joked. She doubted her mentor would ever give up the “good fight.” At least, not unless he fell in battle. That sort of mentality of his did worry her, but she’d seen him fight more than enough times to know that he knew exactly what he was doing. 

“No, Brigitte.” He pulled up the message on his holo for her to see, but she was still focused on her work. “Come and look.”

She turned now, approaching so she could see the video of Winston better. “Oh, shit.”

Achte auf deine Sprache,” he reminded her with a sigh, not for the first time today, “bitte. A knight does not use such foul language.” [1]

Bri chuckled at his admonishment, as she usually did. She could probably switch to some language he wasn’t as strong in, like her native Swedish, if she wanted to get away with it, but if this really was their last mission together, she was loathe to miss a chance for a little lesson, no matter how many times she had heard it before. “I guess that means pappa will need someone looking after the little ones, huh?”

Reinhardt nodded. “A little unfair to give up all this for taking care of siblings, but yes.”

“Nah, it’s alright. Could use a small break. So long as you promise that this is a break and not a ‘termination of squireship.’”

A warm smile crinkled his face. “Of course.”

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Being inside the Rock again was… definitely strange. He never thought he would come back here, after all. The metallic halls felt strange and unfamiliar. Lena, of course, had been the first to respond to the call and arrive and had been the first to greet him. It was good to see the zippy girl had not changed in the years since his forced retirement and the Petras Act. They talked for awhile, and Lena was more than happy to tell him all about her girlfriend of the past few years, Emily. They apparently had gotten an apartment together in King’s Row, which led down another reminiscing discussion of the Null Sector attack in that neighborhood. 

“Oh man! That was my first mission! God, it was so scary in the airlift. I kept worrying about what would happen if the accelerator glitched or somethin’ at just the wrong moment,” Lena remembered aloud.

An earthy chuckle left Reinhardt. “Yes, I remember all the questions,” he teased. “And I see that you still have not managed to tie your shoelaces.” 

This time, she didn’t even look down at her feet. Just gave Rein a stern look that said “Really, man?” He shrugged. “Was worth a shot. Have you told Emily about that mission?”

Lena lit up again at the mention of her beloved. “Oh yeah, she’s heard all about it; tuh-rust me. ‘Yes, Lele, I know that’s where you stuck a bomb on the Detonator and saved the payload.’” She shook her head.

“Is someone talking about the Null Sector bomb?” came a familiar, heavily accented voice. A small-but-broad man walked into the room, looking proud as you please. “You all thought it wouldn’t get going on the path, if I remember right.” They soon became lost in more tales of missions long past until evening when Lena noticed the time and said she had to face-call Emily, and Torbörn wanted to check in on the wife and kids.

Reinhardt, with no one to check in on, decided to stroll the halls. They couldn’t stay here long. Soon, someone would notice that old Overwatch members were mobilizing again, all converging at a base of operations. One could only use the “reunion for old time’s sake” excuse for so long. Soon they would all be fugitives of the law, fighting for good even if the world didn’t want it. 

He found himself standing in front of six portraits. There was Jack, shining that bright smile of his, his visor over one eye and standing proud. Next to his portrait was Gabriel. He’d refused to take off his beanie, saying it was lucky and to take it off meant to bring misfortune on all of Overwatch. Reinhardt was fairly certain he just didn’t want anyone to mess with his hair, but to each his own. Torbjörn’s portrait showed off the claw, of course. It was one of Torb’s proudest features. He also had that familiar scowl, wanting people to think he was tough on seeing his portrait and be totally blindsided once they met him. Liao’s was simple. They didn’t want much to stand out, preferring for the original article (i.e. themself) to say more than a painting. 

Reinhardt wished he still had his hair for his portrait. The flowing, golden river of joy was his pride of that Crusader poster. Instead, he looked much the same, but with less wrinkles. That deep scar was still over his left eye. When anyone asked, he made up a different, incredulous story every time. Fareeha had caught on early, calling him a liar and telling him that lying was wrong. Ana’s voice echoed in his head, “Oohoo, she told you, Reinhardt.

That brought his eyes to her portrait. The Eye of Horus tattoo always stood out first to him. “For protection,” she’d said when he asked about it on their first mission during the Crisis. “Don’t worry; it’ll keep you safe, too.” And she’d winked.

She wore the organization’s signature blue color well. Her arms were crossed in a confident stance that said “Just try to come at me.” He touched the canvas, not caring about the oils in his fingers. It was the closest he could get to touching his best friend again. After Amélie - no, Widowmaker - shot her in the attempt to rescue Gerard’s wife, there was no sign of her. She was presumed captured by Talon. She never resurfaced like Amélie did as Widowmaker. Presumed dead.

“We are coming back together, Ana,” he murmured softly to her, gazing in her rich, brown eyes. “We will do good. Like we used to. I will not leave and let it fall into disarray again.” 

He heard footsteps behind him but did not look away. He assumed it was Lena, given that Torbjörn and Winston both had pretty distinctive footfalls. Surprise hit him like an earthquake, low and rumbling before it felt as if everything was falling down around him, as he heard her familiar voice, “I do believe the artist was very specific about not touching the surface?”

[1] - "Watch your language, please."

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  All characters in Overwatch are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment. I did not create them.  
 I did, however, create this story. Du Bist Mein Schild is a copyright to LMichaela. All rights reserved.