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The Boxer-Puncher

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“Foggy, I really don’t think this block is the kind of place you want to live.”

“I know,” Foggy says cheerfully. “But I figure by the time you’ve cleaned it up, the rent’s gonna go up for everyone else who suddenly wants to move in, so it’ll be cheap and safe.”

Matt blinks. “That’s the most devious thing I’ve ever heard you say.”

“It’s really not,” Foggy reminds him. He sets the box down and watches Matt struggle between worry and laughter.

“I’m being taken advantage of,” Matt says to the room in general.

“It’s true, I only want you for your body,” Foggy agrees, and he’s so good at saying shit like that now, he bets his heartbeat doesn’t even speed up. Maybe Matt can tell, maybe he can’t; either way, the denial runs deep.

“I knew it,” is all Matt says, and if Foggy thinks he hears a shake in it, it’s gone by the time Matt’s on the phone finding a pizza place that’ll deliver.

 

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They argue some more about the neighbourhood over takeout Vietnamese - no pizza place will deliver yet, which is a point for Matt’s argument.

“This is better than anything we could get near my old place,” Foggy points out, gesturing to the empty takeout cartons. Matt frowns deeply, clearly trying - or pretending to try - to come up with a counter argument; he won’t, Foggy knows, because that was some damn good food.

“I’ll concede the point,” he says eventually, amused. “How many’s that?”

“I thought you were counting,” Foggy says, laughing. He won the argument the moment he decided to move, he knows; Matt will tidy up this little corner of Hell’s Kitchen in a couple of weeks, would have done it anyway, will do it faster now that Foggy’s living here. He can’t stop Matt doing that - hell, if he tried, Matt would look hurt and guilty, and they’d end up tripping over each other to apologise for days.

But the arguing is fun, after a day of dead ends and paperwork.

“Four three to you,” Matt says easily, stacking empty cartons and passing them over to Foggy. “But I still dispute that the rent makes up for the shitty neighbourhood.” He slips down to the floor, stretching out and settling down in one long line of muscle.

“You’re gonna have to accept that one, buddy, because I’m not moving again.” Foggy stops staring and stands, dumps the cartons in the trash and flicks the lights off. He settles back down on the couch in the dim light from the streets outside the window, content and tired.

“I worry,” Matt says simply. He’s half asleep, weeks of long days and longer nights catching up with him as soon as he lets himself have a moment to rest.

“I’m no less safe than anyone else around here,” Foggy says gently, “more safe, even, I have my very own vigilante sacked out on my floor.”

Matt hums in agreement, a soft, sleepy sound.

Foggy’s an affectionate person; he knows this, Matt knows this, hell, everyone who sticks around for more than five minutes knows this. But he’d bet good money that Matt doesn’t know how Foggy rations that affection around him. Not feeling it, he can’t help that, but showing it. If he let himself, he’d be touching Matt all the damn time. He long ago realised that to keep his sanity, and possibly their friendship, he’d have to limit himself.

This time, he lets himself lean down and card a hand through Matt’s hair, just the once. Matt shifts into the touch and smiles. Foggy swallows hard. “Want the couch?” He asks, the words coming out as a whisper in the almost-dark. Matt shakes his head, rubbing his scalp against the hand Foggy’s still got resting on his head. It’s almost too much.

“‘m good,” he says, slipping off the edge into sleep. Foggy watches him for a moment, thinking. If he was a better person, he’d go to bed now. He’d drop a blanket over Matt and leave him a pillow, the one Matt always steals when he stays over.

Instead Foggy shifts until he’s lying on the couch, settles in, and falls asleep with one hand still resting on Matt’s head.

 

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Matt insists on some self-defence training, in the end. This involves a lot of complaining on Foggy’s part, until Karen quietly asks to join in, and he shuts up pretty fast. They move the furniture to the edges of the office a couple times a week, and Matt shows them both how to do the most damage with what they’ve got; how to form a fist, where to hit, how to keep his fingers stiff to jab them into someone’s eyes - all the things Foggy’s never cared about before because he likes people, has never wanted to hurt someone.

But he sees Karen’s face as she concentrates, realises what this means to her, and he goes along with it.

It’s also one of the most frustrating things he’s ever done, because Matt is- he’s gorgeous when he’s standing still, for fuck’s sake, but when he’s fighting he’s something else entirely. And it’s not even real fighting, not the way Matt would do it at night. It’s just sometimes, he forgets he’s teaching two people who’ve never thrown a punch in their lives, and flows through a move with more grace than Foggy’s had in his whole life.

Karen stares until she remembers Matt can still kinda tell what’s she’s thinking, and blushes bright red. Foggy’s had more practice than she has, though; he shared a room with the guy, and even if he hasn’t seen Matt like this, exactly, he’s seen enough. He asks questions and cracks jokes and gets Matt to show them moves over and over, until Karen has calmed down and joins them again.

They practice until Karen can flip Foggy over her hip, onto the padding of old cushions and blankets she built up. Foggy can already do that, sort of; he’s got muscles, he just lacks the finesse of actual training, and he still balks at potentially hurting Karen. Matt lets him flip him instead, pretends to be weaker and slower than he is, looks gratifyingly surprised when Foggy sends him flying with some degree of ease.

None of them say it, but all three know they’re hoping it: that neither Karen nor Foggy ever has to actually use anything Matt’s teaching them.

“Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Matt asks suddenly one evening, halfway through his third beer and slouched on Foggy’s couch. Foggy tips his head over until he can see him.

“I’m going to assume you don’t mean this,” he says, shaking his own beer. He wonders how loud the slosh of liquid is to Matt.

“Teaching you,” Matt clarifies, “and Karen. It’s so obvious.”

Foggy takes another drink, stares at Matt’s profile as he thinks. He knows the answer Matt’s expecting, that they’re busy, they never asked, but that’s not it, not really. “We don’t want to be nighttime vigilantes?” He tries, not sure how serious the conversation is going to get.

“Good,” Matt says, fierce despite the fact that he’s almost-but-not-quite drunk. “You shouldn’t- you can’t, Foggy.”

“Really don’t think you have to worry about that,” Foggy tells him, only a little surprised by the vehemence in Matt’s voice. “Karen would look good in leather though,” he adds, more to see Matt choke a little on his beer than with any real seriousness.

“I still should have taught you sooner,” Matt says, voice gone quiet. He picks at the label on his beer, face angled away and down, so Foggy can’t see his expression any more. “You could get hurt. I’m still fixing things, and I won’t be done for a long time.”

Foggy sighs. “Matt, you can clean up Hell’s Kitchen until it sparkles, but someone’s always going to think mugging someone will fix their debt problem, or be so desperate for their next hit that they think holding up a liquor store is a good idea.”

Matt shifts, mouth twisting. “Then what’s the point? If I’m never going to fix things-”

“Fuck, no, that’s not what I meant.” Foggy moves before he’s really thought it through, sliding off the couch and kneeling in front of Matt. He pulls the empty bottle out of Matt’s hands, sets it to the side, and folds his own hands over Matt’s. They’re warm, three small stitches on the back of one scratching across Foggy’s palm. Matt goes still.

“Foggy?”

He sounds so small, and for the life of him Foggy can’t understand why so many people think the Devil is fearless. Matt is scared of so many things - Foggy started a list, once, but it looked more like a list of things to confess, so he stopped. No one sees that when the Devil is at work, he supposes, but he can’t not see it.

“Listen to me,” he says, and Matt shifts under his hands, once, then goes still again. He nods, clearly waiting. Foggy takes a deep breath. “We didn’t ask you to teach us because Karen and me, we’re not the kind of people who think like that.” Matt makes a tiny, wounded sound; if Foggy wasn’t so intently focused on him, he wouldn’t have heard it. He swallows hard. “It’s a fact, Matt, not a judgement.”

“I know you hate it-”

“I’m not done,” Foggy interrupts, and Matt shuts up. “Maybe we should be, living where we do, doing what we do. But you didn’t think about it either, because you wanted to protect us.”

Matt frowns, leans forward, hands twisting to cling to Foggy’s wrists instead. “If I’d wanted to do that I should have taught you years ago,” he says, and there’s an edge of desperation in his voice. “I’d have shown you how to defend yourself, so that when I’m not there-”

“Matt,” Foggy snaps, and oh fuck, Matt shudders underneath him, hands going almost bruisingly tight on his wrists. It feels better than almost anything Foggy’s ever felt before. He takes another deep, shaky breath, because that- he can’t read anything into that, it’s probably a subconscious reaction, and he can’t. Besides, Matt’s grip loosens almost immediately. “You’ll always be there. That’s the whole point. You never offered to teach us because it never occurred to you that you might not be there to do the fighting for us.”

“For you,” Matt says, small and far too pathetic for a man who goes out at night and takes on the mob. Mobs. Foggy isn’t sure how many there are, but he’s pretty sure there’s more than one.

“I’m not looking to develop a narcissistic streak here,” Foggy says, keeping his voice light around the lump in his throat. Matt smiles weakly. He keeps talking, before the moment gets too heavy. “Look, all I meant before was that...I guess closing down a mob is different to stopping a mugger.”

“How?”

The way he asks, Foggy can tell he means it, it’s not just a rhetorical statement powered by guilt. He chooses his words carefully. “A mugging is- it’s normal, Matt. It’s shitty and it sucks, and yeah, people get hurt who don’t deserve it. But a mob, it’s not the same. It’s organised hurt, it’s hurting dozens of people at once when they bring in a crate of guns, or whatever. It’s-” He breaks off, because he can’t quite say what he means, for all it’s important that Matt sees the distinction.

“I know,” Matt says quietly, while Foggy’s still struggling for the right words to finish. “I get it, Foggy. There’s big crime and little crime, and sometimes I have to leave one to stop the other. I just-” He stops, frustration in his voice and a frown on his face. Foggy sighs.

“You just forget. I get that too, buddy. You think if you don’t stop everything, Hell’s Kitchen will slip back into being a cesspit and no one will ever be safe again.”

Matt opens his mouth, thinks better of it, and shrugs instead. “I’m working on it,” he says, and yeah, Foggy gets that too. They sit in silence for a moment, their hands still wrapped around each other’s wrists. Foggy can feel Matt’s pulse under his fingers, wonders how strongly Matt can feel his, if it’s too loud.

“I think that’s enough emotional talk for tonight,” Foggy says eventually, as brightly as he can manage. “Can I get off my knees now?”

Matt makes another tiny, choked-off noise, but he nods. “More beer?” He asks, and Foggy nods, pushes himself up using Matt’s legs as leverage because sometimes he’s a shit, so what, and heads to the kitchen. When he turns back, two beers in his hands, the back of Matt’s neck is flushed red and he’s rubbing softly over his thighs - right where Foggy’s hands pressed into him as he stood.

“Here,” Foggy says, handing Matt a beer.

They avoid all mention of crime, fighting, and/or crime fighting for the rest of the evening.

 

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Later that night, alone in his triple-bolted apartment, Foggy lies in bed and stares up at the ceiling for a long time before he falls asleep. Outside the city is as quiet as it gets, a low-level hum of humanity instead of a cacophony, but inside there’s silence, and Foggy replays a single moment over and over again.

He’s not stupid, and he’s not as inexperienced as some people assume. There were people before Marci, and during too; she wasn’t too fussed about that, as long as he came when she snapped her fingers. Literally, on one occasion. Some of those people had kinks, too, and Foggy likes to be accommodating. He developed a few of his own, along the way.

So he knows what it meant, when Matt shuddered. When he’d raised his voice, and Matt’s whole body shuddered, and his hands clamped down around Foggy’s wrists. They’re tender now, and he presses his fingers into the almost-bruises, holds his own wrists.

It’s too easy to imagine it, holding Matt down. There’s a whole thesis in that, the PhD Foggy was never tempted to get; the man who puts the fear of the Devil into the criminal half of Hell’s Kitchen, enjoying being held down in bed. Except he wouldn’t enjoy it, Foggy knows, he’d love it.

He rolls over, and tries to sleep.

 

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He won't ever understand why Matt does it - can’t understand, really, because he’s never, ever wanted to hurt someone the way he knows Matt does. But one evening, walking home after a long day, he saves a woman from a mugger because Matt taught him how to punch just-so to knock someone out, and well. It’s kinda cool, that he can do that. That he saved someone.

That part of what Matt does, he can understand.

 

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There’s a gym on his block, sort of. It’s a grungy room with a few weights and two old leather punch bags hanging from the wall. It looks like the kind of place that’s held together with string and spit, and it smells weird, but no one looks twice at Foggy when he walks in. Probably because there’s only three people in there, and one of them has no teeth.

Lou, he later learns, does in fact have teeth, but she takes them out when she boxes.

He could walk three blocks and go to a fancy gym, with lighting that works more than half the time and equipment from this decade, but he likes it there. It’s on his new route home from the office, which is a big plus, because Foggy is not committed to exercise the way some people, say Matt Murdock, are, and anything that makes it easier is cool by him.

He buys some cheap gym gloves to protect his hands, asks the owner - Frank, a skinny, older guy who Foggy thinks sleeps in the place - if he can use the punch bag, and starts going once a week. The first couple times he goes, he gets Marci’s voice stuck in his head, demanding to know why he’s trying to be like Matt.

Foggy’s got that sussed out though. He picks boxing because of the way Matt talks about it. He doesn’t want to be Matt, but he can’t help wanting to figure out the last few pieces.

So unlike the real Marci, the voice is easy to ignore. He can jab an elbow into someone’s solar plexus, knows how to blind someone with two well-placed fingers, but he’s got no idea how to actually defend himself. Hell’s Kitchen has a particular breed of criminal; Foggy’s betting he can fight off a mugger, maybe, but anyone else and he’s dead meat. All it would take was someone who knows how to fight a fraction better than Foggy knows how to defend himself, and he’s done.

Matt’s good at teaching, but Foggy can tell he somehow forgets that not everyone else has the same background he does. It’s why Karen still has mace in every purse and her desk drawer, and why Foggy starts going to a grimy gym because it advertises boxing lessons on a flyer outside.

Frank nods when Foggy explains things, sort of.

“The Devil can’t be there every time,” Frank says sagely, and fetches a roll of tape. Foggy watches him wrap his hands, copies until he can do it himself, and tries very hard not to think about how he left Matt in the office, tie off, hair scruffy at the end of the day, going over the statements for the Coler case. Not exactly the Devil Frank’s thinking about, he reckons.

Frank walks him through prepping for throwing a punch with the air of a man who could do this in his sleep. To be honest, at this point Foggy can probably do that too, but this time it’s different. He knows how to shift his weight, hold his hand loose until the moment of connection to protect the bones, but Frank starts at the very beginning.

“You need to connect your feet to your hands,” he says, which Foggy thinks is one of the most ridiculous things he’s ever heard. Frank moves away a few steps, takes up a stance. “Watch me.”

He moves around, jabbing at thin air, silent and focused. After a minute, Foggy gets it, he thinks. “It’s like dancing,” he says, half to himself, but Frank nods.

“Don’t matter who you’re dancing with, if it’s you and another guy in the ring, or you and that half-assed punch bag over there. You gotta keep moving.”

He teaches Foggy how to move like a boxer, more or less, how to stay on the balls of his feet and keep moving, to use his feet to hide the shift in weight that precedes a blow. Gradually, over the weeks, Foggy starts to see why Matt loves it. There’s a calmness to it, or at least there is to training; Foggy can’t see himself in the ring, for all Frank’s teaching him more and more. He likes the flow of it, the contrast between his day job and the simplicity of learning a perfect left hook.

 

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“Oh my god,” Karen says one afternoon, walking back in with coffee and lunch. “Someone’s been working out.” She says it gleefully, and follows it up with a wolf whistle that makes Matt’s head in the other office snap up. Foggy can feel himself starting to blush.

“Not really,” he hedges, reaching for the shirt he’d discarded in the stuffy air of their office. Karen snatches it away, leaving him stood in a t-shirt one size too small around the arms, and thus one size too tight. He thinks Marci bought it for him, but he only realised how tight it was once it was on and he was out the door. “Karen, what-”

“You’ve got some serious guns going on here,” Karen informs him. She squeezes a bicep as she does so, and why is this not the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to him.

“I feel left out,” Matt says from the doorway, grinning like the shit he is. “Can I have a go?”

“Oh my god yes,” Karen says, and reaches out to guide Matt to Foggy’s side. Matt lets her, and Foggy may have to kill them both. He could take Karen easily, he reckons, especially while she’s this distracted, but Matt might be more of a problem-

“Stop thinking of ways to kill us,” Matt says, laughing, but abruptly stops when Karen unnecessarily guides one of his hands to Foggy’s arm. Foggy’s hand automatically closes into a fist to stop himself reaching out to touch Matt back - he’s had his ration, a hug that morning when they arrived - and Matt makes a noise low in his throat.

It’s more like a rumble, because Foggy feels it where they’re touching.

The phone rings and Karen reluctantly lets go of his arm to answer it, which is good, great even, because Matt’s still holding tightly to his other bicep and oh god, there’s not enough denial in the world for them to ignore this. They don’t even say anything for a long moment, Matt’s hands hot through the fabric of Foggy’s t-shirt, and one of his thumbs rubbing little circles against his skin.

Eventually Foggy clears his throat. “Did Karen take my shirt with her?” He asks, and Matt jerks, like he was so lost in thought the question is a surprise.

“It’s on your chair,” he says, and Foggy knows there’s a reason he asked, but Matt’s voice is low and rough, and they’re still stood too close together. Foggy has almost worked up the courage to do- he’s not sure what, but to do something, when Karen sticks her head back round the door.

“Langton deposition has moved to three, Foggy.”

Matt lets go like he’s been yanked, makes it three steps away and tosses Foggy his shirt before Foggy can even miss the heat of his hands. “You’d better get moving,” Matt says, and oh yeah, back to the denial. Familiar territory.

Foggy sighs and shrugs back into his shirt.

 

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One of the things he likes about the Captain America gym, as he privately calls it, is that no one ever asks him if he’s going to lose weight. It’s such a small thing, but Foggy’s had enough of that. He’s a pretty confident guy, all round, but childhood bullying and a lifetime of being compared to Matt can take its toll on the most secure of guys.

He’s never blamed Matt for that, ever. Matt had looked at him like an awkward, adoring puppy when he’d said the guy as hot, for fuck’s sake, it’s not like he capitalises on it - much, anyway. And never at Foggy’s expense, whatever people have said. Frank and Lou don’t give a shit, or if they do, they never ask. They just teach him.

They teach, he learns, and as hard as he tries, he can’t get the memory of Matt’s face when he’d realised how strong Foggy’s getting out of his head. He knows it’s vanity to want to see that look on Matt’s face again, but he can’t help it. Frank talks him through moves until he’s sweating, and then Lou spars with him until he’s gasping for breath, and he gets tougher.

It’s something else too, the thrill of feeling like Matt might want him after all these years, the flash of what he thought was hunger making him practice harder, until the bag shakes on its chains and thirty years of dust comes pouring from the seams.

 

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“I’m telling you, man, Spock could take Obi-wan any day.”

“We’ve been arguing about this since college, Foggy, you’re never gonna win. Just because-”

“Unless Obi-wan attacks when Spock is in Pon Farr,” Foggy adds thoughtfully, grinning so wide his face hurts because Matt fucking inhales his beer, and it’s a beautiful thing. They’ve been having stupid non-arguments like this since the day Matt walked into their dorm room and Foggy’s world fell into place; it makes him happier than pretty much anything.

Foggy’s new place is just his place now, decorated and comfortable. The level of street crime on his block has mysteriously dropped since he moved in - and if Matt ever asks, he totally hasn’t stayed up until the early hours looking out the window, trying to catch a glimpse of his best friend being a blind, kickass ninja cleaning up the neighbourhood for him.

Nights like this are his favourite, just the two of them, full of food Foggy made and relaxed from a few beers. They don’t do it as much, and for a while they didn’t really do it at all, but now that he’s getting over Matt’s secret, he makes a point of offering a meal once a week or so. Matt always, always looks like he’s been offered the world on a plate, which if Foggy wasn’t already in love with the guy, that would’ve done it.

“Don’t be a dick,” Matt says with a laugh, and throws a mock punch at him. Foggy’s block is learnt from Frank, not Matt, and it’s obviously unexpected.

“When did you learn to do that,” Matt asks, startled. Foggy shrugs.

“I’m shrugging,” he says, because he knows Matt can probably tell, but he also never told Foggy to stop, so yeah. He downplays it, simply says, “I took a few lessons, at this gym on my block.”

Matt tilts his head. “Is that why you’re so…” he waves a hand, encompassing all of Foggy.

“So what?” Foggy asks, because yep, he’s still a shit, and this is- there’s only so much denial a guy can take, he’s realised.

“Muscley,” Matt says, with a grin that doesn’t reach his eyes. “I thought you didn’t want to be a nighttime vigilante,” he adds, voice gone soft and a little pained.

“I’m rolling my eyes at you,” Foggy informs him. “I really don’t want to run around in leather at night, although if you’ve got a spare suit-”

"Foggy.” It’s almost pleading, and Foggy swallows hard, suddenly aware of how worried Matt looks.

“Hey, no, I’m joking,” he says, grabbing Matt’s shoulders and giving him a gentle shake. “I just wanted to work out a bit, get my head out of the office sometimes.”

Matt tilts his head, mouth twisted up like he’s a sharp word away from crying. That’s the problem with Matt sometimes, Foggy’s found, especially now the big secret’s out; he wears his heart on his fucking sleeve, at least where Foggy’s concerned. There’s no filter, if Matt feels it, he expresses it, and Foggy- well, he has to deal with it. “You hate exercise.”

“Exactly,”Foggy says, triumphantly. “So you know I’m not even considering fighting crime, it’s too much effort. Physically, anyway, I’m still a lawyer. So I’m fighting crime that way still.”

Matt laughs, a little bit brokenly. He pulls away, and Foggy lets him, watches him pace, leans back against the kitchen counter and wonders if he should tell Matt about the couple close shaves he’s had. He can’t carry a bat with him all the time, as much as Matt would probably like him to, but he’s discovered that being able to box is almost as good a defense.

He got mugged a few weeks ago, or almost did; the guy’s body had signalled his moves so obviously that Foggy had blocked and thrown a punch before the moron knew what was happening.

Four days ago, he’d stopped a guy with a knife raping a girl no more than sixteen, had knocked the guy out and almost been tempted to beat him to a pulp. But he hadn’t. He’d walked the girl to a shelter, crying the whole way, clinging on to him like a lifeline, and then when she was safe he’d walked home and thrown up.

 

“It feels like I’ve failed,” Matt says eventually, shoulders hunched again, smaller and sadder than any blind crime-fighting ninja has any right to be.

“Because I did a few hours of boxing in a shitty gym with a guy so old I think he knew Captain America before the icebox?”

Matt’s mouth quirks up, almost into a smile. “Like I- like you don’t think I can protect you.” He makes a tiny noise of surprise when Foggy’s arms wrap around him, and he collapses into the hug like his strings have been cut, clinging on with what Foggy reckons is almost his full strength.

“Matt, you’re my best friend, but you’re a goddamn idiot sometimes. It’s not about you. I’m not training, I’m not looking to get in a ring or do what you do. I just wanted to know a little more.” He says it fiercely, strongly, right into Matt’s ear like that’ll get it through to him any easier. “It’s not like I’m any good at it,” he adds, which is probably a mistake.

His heartbeat definitely spikes on the lie, because Matt flinches. For a long, long moment they stand in silence; Foggy fills that silence with wondering what it’d be like if he pulled back far enough to kiss Matt right now. Because in the split second after him speaking, and Matt realising he was lying, Matt’s hips had twitched forward, pressing against Foggy.

Matt likes just the idea of Foggy being good at boxing.

That’s - that’s one of the hottest things Foggy can imagine, actually.

Matt pulls away, hands dropping away from Foggy and slipping up into the sleeves of the stupid old hoodie he’s wearing. Foggy knows that move. It’s the one Matt uses when he really wants to touch something, but doesn’t think he’s allowed; Foggy hasn’t seen it much lately. “I don’t-” he starts, but cuts himself off. “I don’t like the idea of you getting hurt.”

Foggy would bet any money that that’s not what Matt was going to say. “I haven’t been hurt since Lou got me with an uppercut two months ago,” he says calmly, and watches the blush hit Matt’s neck with a disturbing amount of glee. “Lou spars with me sometimes,” he adds, because this is- they’re on the edge of something, he knows, and Matt’s not moving away.

“Yeah?” Matt says, strangled and still blushing, mouth soft and tempting.

“She says I’m average,” Foggy says, still keeping it light, conversational, like Matt’s hands aren’t fists inside his hoodie sleeves, like Foggy isn’t fighting the urge to lick Matt’s neck and see how bad he can make the blush. “But she was backup for the Olympics in the seventies, so my fisticuffs are going to be pretty pathetic in comparison.”

“Never,” Matt tells him, trying to laugh but sounding more strangled and breathless. “I bet your fisticuffs are amazing.”

“I did stop two guys trying to mug this old lady last week,” Foggy says, because hey, strong and community minded, that’s gotta be hot, but it turns out to be a mistake.

“What the hell,” Matt demands, and that kicks off a whole new conversation about the risks of living where Foggy does, and the chances of Matt not being around to stop shit like that happening. They quit only when they’re going round in circles, and Matt grumpily sticks a movie on; they’re halfway into Sleepy Hollow when Foggy realises he’s been expertly and completely deflected from any further flirting.

He lets his head drop forward with a frustrated groan. Matt’s head turns, expression completely believable innocence and questioning. “Nothing,” Foggy says, before Matt can ask. “It’s nothing.”

 

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“That’s got to be the worst cross-examination I’ve ever done,” Foggy complains a few days later, walking out of Courtroom Three. Matt pats his arm, his own already linked through Foggy’s ready to leave and grab a drink at Josie’s.

“There’s always tomorrow,” he says soothingly. Foggy starts to complain about having to do it all over again, but stops, realises Matt’s frowning, head tilted to one side; listening.

“Something’s wrong,” he says sharply, turning back to look behind them, to the closed doors of the courtroom. “I think-”

The doors slam open and the cop on duty comes falling out, grappling with the perp they were just questioning, a nasty piece of work with a rap sheet longer than Foggy’s arm. How the fuck he got free, and what the hell happened before they fell out of the doors, Foggy couldn’t give a shit, because the perp is clearly trying to get a hold of the cop’s gun.

“Gun!” Someone yells, and the corridor starts to clear.

Matt’s head twists again, clearly figuring out what’s going on; down the hall another court cop radios for help, the burst of static audible even to Foggy’s hearing. Next to him Matt’s muscles shift, but he hesitates, and Foggy knows what he’s thinking; help, and let everyone see that he’s not exactly your typical blind guy. Stay out of the way, and keep his secrets safe, but potentially allow someone to get hurt.

Foggy backs them up, checking the area around them. He sees what he’s looking for and squeezes Matt’s hand, still wrapped around his arm.

“Two guys to your left,” he says quietly, giving it the intonation of a question, “both armed, waiting by the side exit.” Matt nods. “The corridor’s empty.”

“Foggy, what-”

“Go.” He says it in a voice that means he wants no arguing and drops Matt’s hand, moves away, doesn’t look back to see if Matt’s obeying or not. The fight is clearly taking its toll on the cop, an older guy obviously used to the easy routine of court and tiring fast. His gun has slid underneath a bench by the wall; Foggy sees it at the same moment the perp does, and acts.

Later, he’ll admit to Matt that he was shit scared the whole time, right from the moment the two guys came falling out of the courtroom. It’s not a hero moment, it’s just something he has to do; Matt will nod, looking sad and proud, the contrary fucker, and they’ll hug until they both feel less shattered.

In the here and now, Foggy takes three steps forward, light and fast, and intercepts the perp. The guy looks at him, vicious and edging on desperate - the cop has put up a good fight, leaving him tired and breathing heavily, cutting into the time he thought he had to grab the gun and get out. He looks at Foggy, Foggy looks back, and is sharply aware that he’s not cut out for this shit.

But he still blocks and dodges when the perp takes a swing at him, still forms his hands into fists and cracks two ribs, dents a cheekbone, and lays the guy out with an uppercut so clean Lou would be proud.

Foggy isn’t even breathing heavily when Matt rejoins him, one hand bloody and his tie askew. “Here,” Foggy says, because his brain can only process one thing at a time. “Let me fix your tie.”

“I heard you,” Matt says, sounding stunned. He lifts his chin obediently when Foggy taps it. “You hit him.”

“I did.”

“You- two ribs, Foggy. I heard them crack.”

“And a cheekbone,” Foggy agrees, because he felt the shift of bone under skin. He adjusts Matt’s collar too, settles it back down. When he starts to pull away, one of Matt’s hands darts up to close around his wrist.

“Are you hurt?” He demands.

Foggy shakes his head. “I’m shaking my head. I’m fine. Feel,” he adds, guides Matt’s other hand to feel his knuckles. The skin there is tender, but not broken; the leather punch bags have toughened the skin there, over time. Matt makes a noise that goes straight to Foggy’s cock, which, given they’re the middle of a corridor that’s about to be filled with cops, is terrible but also the hottest thing he’s ever experienced.

At least until Matt leans his head down and fucking kisses Foggy’s knuckles, presses his lips to them until Foggy’s whole world has narrowed down to that single point.

Matt jerks away like he’s been electrocuted seconds before a squad of cops comes rushing up the stairs to see the aftermath. “Matt-” Foggy starts, more turned on than a man stood next to an unconscious criminal really has any right to be, but Matt shakes his head, expression desperate.

“Don’t,” he says, pleading. “I can’t-” Same old shit, Foggy thinks, a split second before Matt’s bland courtroom expression flicks on and he realises the moment is gone. Just like all the others. Fuck Matt and his martyr complex. Foggy will hold him down with all his strength and make him scream, if that’s what Matt wants, he just needs him to admit that it’d be the best thing they ever did.

“Sirs?” One of the cops is approaching them, forcing Foggy to turn away from Matt. “Are you okay? We’ll need to take a statement, once you’ve been checked over.”

“Sure, officer,” he says, finding a calm smile from somewhere. Matt, the fucker, has already allowed himself to be led away by another cop. When he’s done giving his statement, Foggy isn’t surprised to learn that his partner - the nice cop on the door gives it a little upward inflection that he politely ignores - has already left.

Shit.

 

--------------------

 

There’s a light on in the gym when Foggy stops by that night. It’s only the dim bulb over the bag nearest the door though, and the rest of the place is in darkness. Foggy drops his briefcase by the wall and finds the ancient locker he uses mostly by touch and memory, grabs the worn sweatpants and old t-shirt he keeps there.

Suit discarded, hands taped and old gloves on, he starts to work the bag. Starting slow, he hits steadily until his shoulders are loose and the tension of the day has melted from his spine. This aspect of the boxing is something Foggy never expected, the way it allows him the space to examine each thought and problem, and then let it go with each blow.

It’s been a long day. Not even that, he thinks, acknowledging the thought as it floats up to the front of his mind. It’s been a long friendship, and he wouldn’t change any of it for the world - not even Matt’s side job as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, because the loveable shit wouldn’t be the same without it - but there’s only so much Foggy can take.

“Keep your shoulders down,” a voice suddenly says, and Foggy shrieks. Frank sits up from where he was lying flat on a bench, sniggering; in the darkness, Foggy hadn’t noticed him, the skinny fucker. “S’only me.”

“Who else would be in here at this time of night?” Foggy returns, one hand pressed over his heart. “Do you actually live here?”

Frank snorts, flicks on another light. “I’d rather stare at the ceiling in here than in bed,” he says, sitting back down on the bench. “‘cause that’s what I’d be doing anyway.”

“Oh.”

Frank gestures for him to carry on, so he obeys, falling back into the rhythm of hits again. He keeps his shoulders down, throws jabs and punches until his muscles ache. When he stops, breathing hard, Frank comes to stand behind the bag.

“Lemme ask you something,” the older guy says, holding the bag steady. “Keep going, c’mon, you can listen and work on those hooks at the same time.”

“You’re the boss,” Foggy says, grinning despite the ache in his shoulders and the sweat on his body. Frank snorts.

“Damn right I am.”

“So,” Foggy prompts, after another solid few minutes of hits, Frank stood silent, holding the bag. “I’m listening still. Multi-tasking, I’m great at it.”

“Don’t forget your footwork,” Frank says, which doesn’t mean much of anything, really. Foggy glances away from the bag and looks at him, sees the unusual hesitation on Frank’s face. He waits the guy out; he’s a lawyer, he’s good at that. Eventually; “why’re you doin’ this?”

Foggy lands two more solid hits, swaps to uppercuts and slows down to give himself the breath to talk. “I told you, I wanted to be able to protect myself.”

“There’s karate for that,” Frank points out bracing himself against the harder, sharper blows. Foggy’s put on some serious muscle in the last few months, whether it shows or not, and he can rock Frank back a step or two if he really tries. “Other stuff too, fancy shit. Not a lot of criminals are gonna be able to box.”

“You’d be surprised,” Foggy says dryly, tries not to think what sparring with Matt would be like. He pauses, grabs his water and gulps it down, catching his breath.

“You know what I mean,” Frank snaps. “Boxing ain’t exactly a typical defense.”

“It works though," Foggy reminds him. “I’d have been stabbed twice, if it hadn’t been for the boxing.” Matt still doesn’t know about that, Foggy knows, because if he did then Foggy would be hearing about it twenty times a day, with more guilt than a confessional box sees in a week.

“And tomorrow you might get hit by a bus,” Frank counters. He’s in a take-no-shit mood tonight, clearly- more than usual. “You ain’t the kind to do this for fun, and you’re not looking to be another Devil.”

Foggy snorts, more amused than bitter these days. “Don’t think he’d like the competition,” he says, can’t help the laugh that follows, because the idea of Matt letting him join the nightly fights is about as likely as him quitting law. Never gonna happen. Frank’s eyebrows inch up, but he doesn’t ask. Instead he braces himself and makes a come on gesture at Foggy, who starts to put some real weight behind his hits.

“So why you doin’ it?” Frank asks again.

“You’re not going to drop this, are you.”

“You gonna mouth off, or are you gonna think about it?”

“I’m busy here,” Foggy tells him, tastes salty sweat of his lips when he does so. But he can’t help it, starts to wonder what the answer is. The question is one he’s been avoiding, largely because it’s wrapped up in the denial thing he’s got going on, and that’s a load of shit he’s afraid of. But- too late. Frank is watching, and he’s thinking, and not even the familiar rhythm of his fists hitting the bag offers a distraction.

He doesn’t want to be skinny, Foggy dismisses that idea before it forms. Or to be more muscle than brains, like some guys he’s seen on the late-night infomercials. It’s good for tiring him out, that’s a good reason to do it. Being a lawyer is mentally exhausting, some days; the boxing wears him out physically too, makes it easier to sleep. It’s a release too; when he knows jerking off won’t be enough, he’ll shadowbox, thinking about Matt.

Only when his arms ache and he’s so hard it almost hurts will he allow himself to get off.

But that’s not it either, or not all of it. He wants- he wants, Foggy admits, to be strong enough and solid enough to be Matt’s lifeline. His punches slow as that sinks in, until he’s hardly connecting at all.

“I’m doing it for my best friend,” he says, slowly, testing the words. “He’s- he’s got issues,” and isn't that the understatement of the year, “and I want to be there for him.”

“What kinda issues he got that mean you need to learn this stuff?” Frank asks, like he’s asking if Foggy wants a beer after sparring. Foggy briefly considers what he’s going to say, then shrugs, earning him an admonishing smack on the bag from Frank.

“He goes out, beats up criminals, then climbs through my window and bleeds on my floor looking like a kicked puppy until I fix him up. And I think he’d really, really like it if I held him down in bed. Like, love it, in a very definitely kinky way.”

For several moments there’s dead silence in the room. Even the city outside is quiet. Foggy can feel the confession - hah - rolling round the empty spaces in the gym, in himself, reverberating until it fills his head with the truth of it all. Frank clears his throat.

“You like this guy? You think he likes you?”

Foggy snorts, lands a blow that makes the bag rattle on its chains, even in Frank’s grip. “I think we’re hotter for each other than anyone else we’ve ever met,” he says, and it’s only slightly bitter. “And I think we’re both so far in fucking denial that we’re in Tanzania. That’s the-”

“The source of the Nile, yeah, kid, you’re not the only one who can read around here,” Frank says, acerbic and looking only slightly shellshocked. Foggy drops his hands and straightens up. “Kid, you’re an idiot.”

“Feeling like you might be right, yeah.”

“I’m always right,” Frank says, and moves away from the bag, holding out his hands and gesturing for Foggy to lift his up. Frank pulls off his gloves and starts stripping the tape off his hands. “You need to go home and tell that guy of yours the shit you just told me, okay? And then you tell him that there’s a gang of no-good hustlers trying to start an armory for rent down on sixty-third, in the old mustard factory.” Frank balls the tape up and tosses it in the empty keg they use as a bin. “I don’t need to know what you do about the kinky stuff, I’m an old man, I can’t handle that kinda information.”

“The old- what? Is that a thing people actually say? That’s like, comic book stuff. Batman and Robin taking down the Joker in the old mustard factory!”

Frank gives him the stinkeye, which, yeah, he’s being a babbling idiot. “It was a factory,” Frank drawls, “where they used to make mustard. And your Devil needs to clean it up.”

Foggy blinks. “I never said anything about the Devil.”

“There’s only one idiot in this room, Foggy, and it ain’t me.”

 

--------------------

 

Foggy heads from the gym to Matt’s place, still in his old gym clothes; if he goes and changes, there’s a good chance he’ll talk himself out of this, and he can’t take the risk.

There are no lights visible, but when Foggy knocks Matt answers. He’s scruffy-haired, bare chest free of injuries, wearing sweatpants Foggy thinks he recognises from college, and he looks like every sex dream Foggy’s ever had. Which, barring the ones he’s had about Marci, he kind of is. That’s not really a disturbing revelation, all things considered.

“Foggy?”

“I’m going to assume the question is actually ‘what am I doing here’ rather than ‘is it me’, because you’re a creeper and you knew it was me from a block away,” Foggy says, walking past Matt and into the apartment.

“Two blocks,” Matt says a touch smugly, then ruins it by saying, “I’m not a creeper.”

“You’re a lying liar who lies,” Foggy tells him, briefly feels like crap because Matt flinches and that’s really not what he’s here for, but then remembers how goddamn true it is. “Stop it, I’m over that, we’re talking about another kind of lie right now.”

“What lie?” Matt asks warily. He’s stood still, but there’s a readiness to the way he’s standing now, like he might bolt at any point.

“The lie where we don’t talk about wanting each other’s hot bodies.”

Matt’s attempt at a laugh fails massively, Foggy doesn’t know why he even tries, because what comes out is instead desperate and aching. He tries to shrug, and fails again, because there’s a fine tremor running through him; Foggy thinks that if he touched Matt right now, he might shatter apart.

“What makes you think there’s a lie to tell?”

“Well, now you’ve revealed your big fat kink for being pinned down, and hopefully for being held down by me, it kinda feels like this whole sexual tension thing we’ve got going on is going to kill one of us, if the denial doesn’t, and I really need to know if you want to have sex as much as I do. Also possibly hold hands and live happily ever after together, I’m down for that. Really, definitely okay with that, actually.”

Hope and something like longing flickers across Matt’s face before he hunches into himself, looking small and pathetic and yet still so fucking hot, it’s unfair. Foggy spares a brief moment to wonder what he’s - hopefully - getting himself into, but whatever. They’ve been doing this for years, people have already started asking if they’re married, whatever. He just needs to know if Matt wants the rest of it as well.

“Why?”

“Because I want you, Matt. In every way it’s possible to want someone- well, maybe not every way, I haven’t made a list. Maybe I should do.” He’s babbling, but Matt knows him; he can read between the many lines. “And I want us to stop dancing round it like we’re in the ring and afraid of the first hit.” Matt’s mouth twists into another fractured little smile at the appropriate simile.

“Do you really? You might think you do, but friendship can be like this, we-”

Foggy sighs. “What does my heartbeat sound like?”

Matt hesitates, but he’s obviously as deep in this whole feelings thing as Foggy is, because he answers, and he doesn’t need prompting again. “Calm. Steady. Truthful.” He sounds reverent when he says it, and hey, that’s a new turn-on for Foggy; Matt Murdock looking and sounding worshipful, and it being directed at him.

“So, I’m gonna do this, and if it goes well, then we’ll go from here,” Foggy says, and steps in, gets a hand on the back of Matt’s neck and kisses him before either one of them can start denying the whole conversation has happened. It’s terrifying and amazing.

Matt kisses him back like he needs it to keep breathing, slick and hot and pressing his entire body against Foggy’s. It’s everything Foggy’s been thinking about since Matt knocked on his door in college, and it’s so good, down to the needy little noise Matt makes when Foggy’s hand threads into his hair. But he doesn’t want just this, he wants it all, and Matt- he kinda needs things spelling out, sometimes.

“So I really think we need to talk about it,” Foggy says, pulling back so he can see all of Matt’s face. He looks elated, for a split second, until it crumbles and he looks guilty as all hell.

“Foggy, you can’t-” Matt is across the room and halfway out of the window before Foggy’s brain catches on to what he’s going, because Matt is a fucking idiot. Foggy might not be built like Matt, but he’s got enough muscle now to haul him back in, press him back against the wall with an arm across his chest and keep him there. Matt goes absolutely still underneath his arm, expression guilty and something else too.

“Leaving by the window is only acceptable when wearing red leather,” Foggy tells him, mock-seriously but completely pissed-off, “and definitely not when we’re talking.”

“Foggy,” Matt starts, cuts himself off and shifts, trying to push away from the wall. Foggy just presses him back, leaning in enough to put some weight behind it as well, and Matt groans. “Please-”

“Please what?”

Don’t.” Matt sounds- he sounds desperate, like he’d give anything to be saying something else but can’t let himself. It’s disturbingly familiar, once Foggy thinks about it, if not the situation then the tone.

“Enough with the lying, Matt,” Foggy says mildly, and presses down a little harder. The noise Matt makes is broken, his hips jerking up once, twice, before he presses them back against the wall. His hands clench as well, and then he opens them out, rests flat palms onto the wall as well. “You can tell me you don’t want this all you want, but I can see- Matt, do you have any idea what you look like right now?”

Matt hesitates, then shakes his head, biting down on his lower lip. “Foggy-”

“I’m going to tell you.” He has to take a deep breath, because Matt shudders again, lip blooming red as he bites down even harder. “You’re all spread out for me, Matt, letting me hold you down like this-”

“I’m not letting you,” Matt grits out, and oh, oh, fuck everything that isn’t this moment. “Foggy, if you mean it- if you want-”

“I don’t want anything else except you. I never have,” Foggy says, more turned on and in love than he’s ever been before and startled into stark honesty. Matt shudders, reddened mouth curving up into a grin, and he pushes forwards; Foggy lets him for a second, then slams him back against the wall before Matt can reach him, leans in and kisses him until neither of them can breathe.

“Bed,” Matt says, biting the word into Foggy’s lips. “Bed and sex, now.”

“Pushy,” Foggy tells him, letting Matt yank his shirt off.

“That too,” Matt agrees, earnest and grinning. “Lots of pushing, fuck, Foggy, do you know how hot it is that you can do that?”

“Do what,” Foggy says, and pushes Matt against the wall again, keeps him there with one hand. “That?”

Fuck.” Matt’s breathing heavily now, one hand reaching up to grip Foggy’s wrist with such strength he knows it’s going to bruise- wants it to, even. His other hand slips down, works his sweatpants down over his hips until they slip off and he can kick them to one side. “You’re so- christ, Foggy.”

“Language,” Foggy chokes out, and if he thought he was turned on before, that was nothing compared to the jolt of lust that goes through him at the sight of a naked, gorgeous Matt. His free hand slides down his body until he can wrap it around his cock, and for a long, long moment Foggy just watches Matt jerk himself off, slow and steady.

When his brain comes back online, Foggy presses down on Matt’s chest slightly, just to hear the moan he knows it’ll earn him, and then he breaks Matt’s hold on his wrist with a gentle hand. “C’mon,” he says roughly, and gets a hand in Matt’s hair instead. Matt comes willingly, makes a protesting noise when Foggy drags his hand away from his cock.

“Was enjoying myself there,” he tells Foggy, his grin belying the petulant tone. He licks a hot stripe up Foggy’s neck and gets slammed into the bedroom wall for it; Foggy swallows the obscene moan in a kiss and grins against Matt’s mouth.

“Didn’t catch that,” he says, and Matt fucking retaliates, slams him backwards with a growl Foggy is going to give him such shit over, when it stops being scorchingly hot. He follows it up with another kiss, biting into Foggy’s mouth, knocking him back until his knees hit the bed and they go down still grappling.

It’s not really Foggy’s skill at boxing that Matt’s interested in right now, he reckons, catching Matt’s wrist when he reaches for his pants, it’s the strength thing. Foggy arches, laughing at Matt’s disgruntled noise, and shoves his sweatpants off himself, Matt’s free hand helping with his boxers and definitely copping a feel at the same time.

Foggy catches both hands in one of his own, pins them to Matt’s chest, watches Matt’s chest heave and hears his breathing deepen when he can’t break the grip immediately. His lips twist into a smirk and he does some ninja move with his legs, what the fuck, and Foggy goes down onto his back, Matt straddling him.

“That’s seriously fucking hot,” Foggy says, because it is, and Matt grins down at him, cock hard and practically begging to be touched. “How fucking flexible are you, Matt, christ, so many possibilities.”

Matt’s grin gets wider, turns wicked and filthy. “Very,” he says, leaning down to suck a mark into Foggy’s neck, trails kisses up from the spot to slip his tongue into Foggy’s mouth again. “How do you want me?”

“Every way,” Foggy tells him, sincere and rough. He’s still got Matt’s wrists trapped in his grip, and he uses it as leverage, pushes them up and over until Matt is on his back. They’re already kissing again before Matt’s fully down, Foggy drinking in Matt’s needy little noises and feeling a sharp smile against his lips. He pulls back and lets go of Matt’s wrists, but exerts some strength and keeps him down with one hand.

“Pushy enough,” he asks, and Matt snorts, hips thrusting up, his cock sliding alongside Foggy’s in a bright burst of sensation. Matt’s whole body is a long, lean pull of muscle underneath him, solid and hot when Foggy presses him harder down onto the bed. Matt groans and arches up.

“More, please, Foggy.”

He’s never going to get used to the way Matt says his name like that, desperate and loving all in one go, like if he doesn’t get more of Foggy right now he’s going to break apart. Foggy leans down and thrusts against Matt, who arches up, over and over, one hand reaching between them to curl around Foggy’s cock.

“Better idea,” Foggy gasps out, and after a moment of struggle, gets both Matt’s wrists in one hand again and pins them above Matt’s head.

Fucking Christ.” Matt swears, rough and wrecked already.

“You sound fucking gorgeous,” Foggy tells him, gets a thrill from the little sob Matt makes when he can’t break Foggy’s hold, and a bigger thrill from the shudder and jerk of Matt’s hips that immediately follows his attempts to get free. “Say something else.” He lets his hips move lazily against Matt’s, uses his free hand to ghost touches along Matt’s side, gets harder and hotter when it makes Matt shudder even more.

“Please, Foggy, please, I’ll say anything, just please touch me, I’ll do whatever you-”

Foggy cuts him off with a kiss, can’t hear any more because it’s too much, he’s close already and he’s not even touching himself. He deepens the kiss, gets their cocks in his free hand and starts jerking them both off. It’s awkward and messy, but Matt’s moans turn into groans, and he bucks up, pulls away to beg and then lunges back up, as if he can’t stand to stop kissing Foggy for longer than it takes to say “please, so good, you’re so good, harder, please.”

“Who knew,” Foggy says, finding some breath from somewhere to tease. “Matt Murdock begs shamelessly in bed.”

“For you,” Matt fires back, voice gone low and cracked, “I’ll beg, I’ll do anything-” and that’s it, Foggy has to drop his head to Matt’s shoulder and bite, hard, because that’s not his kink, except in the way that he knows it’ll make Matt howl and come hot and hard over Foggy’s hand, shaking. His grip loosens as he pulls back to see, because Matt is stunning, laid out underneath him, body stretched out in a long line of gorgeous skin and taut muscle.

Matt shakes a little, grinning and breathless, and slips a hand from Foggy’s grip before he knows what’s happening, awareness blurred by lust and love and the sheer fucking happiness of being able to watch Matt come. Matt’s hand knocks his aside and slides around his cock, tight and just the right side of too much, until Foggy gasps and groans and comes harder than he has in his life.

They lie in silence until Foggy can breathe again. It takes a while, because Matt’s hands are everywhere, roaming over his body, covering him in gentle, shivering touches until Foggy is over-sensitised and puts a stop to it.

“Spoilsport,” Matt says, aiming for grumpy but ending up smug instead. Foggy just chuckles, settles Matt more firmly where he’s draped over him. He laces his fingers with Matt’s, feels Matt’s other hand settle in his hair and start stroking gently.  

“Next time that’s gonna last a whole lot longer.”

“Next time,” Matt counters, sleepily, “can you tie me down?”

Foggy thinks about that for half a second. “Sure. I’ve got some silk ties we can use.”

Matt moves faster than Foggy can see, somehow, tired as he obviously is, and kisses Foggy with such heat and passion that Foggy’s half-hard again in moments. It’s borderline painful and fuck, now he’s getting a pain kink, because Matt’s hand slides down and fuck yes it hurts, and Foggy never wants Matt to stop. “Perfect, so perfect, all mine,” Matt mutters against his mouth, hand working until he breaks away and slides his mouth down instead.

“Next time is going to kill me,” Foggy tells the top of Matt’s head. Matt sniggers and holy god, that does incredible things to Foggy’s cock. He slides off with an obscene wet pop.

“You’ll love it,” he says, smile wicked.

“Well, yes, obviously,” Foggy says, and absolutely does not smile smugly when he gets a hand in Matt’s hair and Matt’s eyes flutter shut. “I love you, so obviously I’ll love next time. All the times.”

He’s never had a blowjob before when the person giving it is trying to say love you love you too so much I love you the whole time, but fuck, he needs like a thousand more, because it’s spectacular.

 

--------------------

 

A couple weeks later, Foggy lets them both into the gym after hours, finding the place entirely dark for once. Matt stands in the doorway and listens for a moment, Foggy waiting next to him. “Empty,” he says, with a tiny smirk. Foggy claps a hand on his shoulder and beams.

“Always useful to have you around,” he says, just to see the adorable pout Matt does.

“You’re using me again.”

“Would you rather I used you for something else?” Foggy says, making sure his exaggerated leer is in his voice; Matt laughs, allowing Foggy to lead him to the side of the ring and dropping their bag next to it.

“Yes,” Matt says, and fuck, Foggy’s not going to get used to that for a while, the little grin on Matt’s face, the easy tilt of his hips as he slides into Foggy’s space to steal a hot kiss. “But afterwards.”

“Duly noted,” Foggy says, only slightly breathless.

“I’m not going to go easy on you,” Matt adds, starting to tape his hands, and Foggy’s eyes narrow when he sees the sly little smile.

“You think you’re joking,” he says, and kisses the corner of that smile, loves the way it quirks, turns into something joyful and surprised. “We’ll see.”

He tapes his own hands, slips them into the worn gloves he uses, passes Matt a spare pair. Matt practices with just the tape, he knows, fights with less sometimes when he’s on the streets at night. But they’re not here to do any actual damage; Matt might beg for a little pain when Foggy’s got him pinned down, but this is different. This is separate.

They warm up together, not using the bags, just moving and letting their muscles relax. This is second nature to Foggy now, and if anyone had told him in college, or even a few months ago, that he’d be warming up to spar with Matt Murdock, he’d have laughed until he pulled a muscle. He glances over now and then to look at Matt, sees the laughter on his face gradually fade away into concentration.

“Come on,” Matt says after a few minutes. “Let’s see how good you are.” He says it jokingly, but underneath it there’s a sharpness, his attention obviously fully on the boxing now.

“Bring it, Murdock.” Foggy’s grinning when they climb into the ring, body singing with the knowledge that he’s good at this now, that Matt’s attention is on him- has always been on him, really, but now he’s going to surprise the guy.

They start sparring, and Foggy lets Matt go easy on him for a while. He’ll never be Matt’s level - doesn’t want to be, given what it cost Matt to be the fighter he is today - but he’s better than Matt has obviously realised. Matt predicts his footwork pretty accurately, must’ve been listening to his footfalls when they warmed up, but his blows are soft, easy to block and return.

Foggy ducks a pathetically choreographed move and considers asking Matt to hit harder, but figures he’ll just get one of Matt’s guilty looks. So he changes his stance, dodges to the left, lands a blow to Matt’s ribs that makes him stop, mouth dropping open in shock.

He’s healed; Foggy had been adamant about that. No sparring until Matt had no other injuries, that was the deal. Matt has pouted, and tried his absolutely best to persuade Foggy to change his mind, but he’s a lawyer, and he’s had years of resisting Matt’s best pleading face. The spectacular blowjob hadn’t worked, even, although Foggy had given Matt a thorough fucking as a reward for trying.

So the shock isn’t pain, despite Foggy knowing that the hit had to hurt at least a little - he’d only pulled it a little, not wanting to bruise until Matt was on board. “Fuck,” Matt says, voice gone breathless and something Foggy realises is lust only when Matt has lunged forward to kiss him, mouth sliding a little over Foggy’s cheek until he corrects, the kiss hot and hard.

“You’re a weirdo,” Foggy says when Matt pulls away, and yanks him back in before Matt can make offended noises. “Can we actually spar now?”

Yes,” Matt says emphatically, biting a last kiss into Foggy’s lips before he moves back and takes up a stance again.

Okay, so maybe it’s not that different from being in bed after all.

Frank’s gonna kill them.