Honestly, Foggy’s just kind of grateful that the unconscious dude in the alley by his apartment isn’t beat up as bad as Matt was when he found him that first time.
He also kind of thinks it says a lot about his life right now that those are his feelings on the subject, but it’s best not to analyze that.
He cautiously approaches the guy with the tent pole he found in the dumpster (which, he doesn’t really know what that’s doing there, but he’ll take it). The guy’s dressed all in purple and sprawled out. There’s a rat eyeing him thoughtfully from behind a trash can. Foggy waves the tent pole at it. The rat is unimpressed.
The guy doesn’t look that bad, actually. A little cut up and bruised, but mostly he just looks unconscious.
Foggy hasn’t really gotten close enough to check yet.
“Purple dude?” He tries hesitantly. No response. He reaches out and he pokes Purple Dude a couple times with the tent pole.
On the third poke, Purple Dude flails into awareness. He yanks the tent pole out of Foggy’s hand and tries to stagger to his feet, tent pole held vaguely like a weapon, but he groans and goes to his knees.
“Whoa!” Foggy yelps. “Whoa, whoa, dude, it’s all okay!” The guy definitely looks familiar and Foggy has a growing suspicion as to who this dude is, so he feels pretty confident in approaching him.
On seeing him, the guy swings a punch, eyes wild and desperate.
“Dude,” Foggy tries again, dodging the clumsy blow. “It’s fine, it’s cool, I couldn’t hurt you even if I tried.”
Foggy catches a glimpse of the hearing aid in the guy’s ear and yeah, there goes any doubt about who this dude is. He scrambles to remember his ASL- he knows roughly how to fingerspell and how to count to ten. He pinwheels his arms to get the guy’s attention.
Hawkeye, he spells slowly. The guy’s eyes focus on his hands and he stills. Is ok. Not hurt u. Want 2 help. Ok?
Hawkeye hesitates then weakly gives a thumbsup. Foggy gives a thumbsup back and drags him up. Hawkeye throws his arm around his shoulders and tries to support himself as much as he can, but he’s really not able to carry a whole lot of weight.
They don’t talk again until they’re in Foggy’s apartment when he sits across from Hawkeye who’s parked on the couch looking a little lost.
Hospital? He asks. Hawkeye vigorously shakes his head, then winces, hand going to his temple.
Foggy’s not surprised. The vigilante he knows doesn’t really dig medical places either.
Hawkeye gives a thumbsdown, evidently having learned the dangers of moving one’s head once one’s been knocked out.
Foggy hesitates. Have first aid kit. Ok?
OK, Hawkeye signs back.
Foggy pulls out the first aid kit and starts inspecting Hawkeye’s wounds. He took a basic first aid class after Fisk, and he asked Claire some stuff, so he’s okay here, but he’s not extremely confident.
Not great at this stuff, man. Sure no hospital?
Foggy shrugs and does his best.
Concussion, he signs slowly to Hawkeye when he’s done. Tiny. Don’t go out. Can sleep on couch. Foggy isn’t sacrificing his bed just cause some guy likes to jump off walls like an idiot. Guy’s not Matt, for Christ’s sake.
Hawkeye’s staring at him vaguely puzzled. Y?
Foggy awkwardly shrugs. Looked like need help.
Hawkeye looks at him for a long moment.
Clint, he finally signs.
Foggy, he answers. No blood on couch.
When Foggy wakes up, Clint is stumbling around his kitchen, peering in cabinets and the fridge.
Foggy taps him on the shoulder and then jumps back. He was correct to do so. Clint immediately spins around with his fists raised. He drops them when he sees Foggy. Sorry.
Clint shuffles. Thanks. He moves his hand from his mouth almost like he’s blowing a kiss and spells it out. Thanks.
Foggy tries it out and Clint gives him the thumbsup. He grins. Welcome.
Clint motions at his hearing aids. Fell off roof. Broke.
You or aids?
Clint laughs. It’s a little hoarse, but still warm. He makes a wiggly hand gesture with an either/or kind of face.
Foggy laughs, too. Fair.
B-fast? Clint looks hopeful.
What about Avengers? Worry?
Clint thinks about it for a minute. Yes. You me go eat there.
Foggy blinks. Me 2?
Clint rolls his eyes. Yes, u 2. Dum dum.
Foggy swallows and tries to pretend he’s cooler than he is. Ok.
Clint texts someone before they leave and then they’re pretty much silent on their way to the Tower. When they get there, Clint types in a key code and the door slides open with what Foggy is fairly sure is the Star Trek doors opening whoosh.
The Black Widow is standing there in a London Calling tee shirt and purple sweatpants. Foggy is proud of himself for the loud choking noise that doesn’t come out of his mouth. The Black Widow signs something too rapidly for Foggy to catch, and Clint signs back. She smiles a little, takes two small hearing aids, and chucks them to Clint.
“Natasha,” she says by way of introduction, holding her hand out to Foggy. Foggy tries to regulate his heartbeat. It’s been a thing he’s been experimenting with since the whole “I can sniff out your lies” thing Matt told him about, and he feels like if anyone else could do it, it would be the Black Widow.
“Foggy Nelson,” he says. “It’s a pleasure, ma’am.”
She quirks an eyebrow at the “ma’am” but doesn’t comment on it. “Thank you for fishing Clint out of wherever you fished him out of,” she says instead. “It was nice to have a night off.”
“I don’t do it every night,” Clint says, his voice rough from disuse, hearing aids apparently on. Natasha does a wiggly hand gesture and Clint rolls his eyes. He claps Foggy on the shoulder. “Seriously, thanks man. Last time I was unconscious in an alley for too long some dude picked my wallet.”
“He tried to use the official Avengers card at a beverage mart to get Bud Light,” Natasha informs Foggy. “We all showed up to confront him.”
“Good times,” Clint says fondly. “Anyway, I’m bringing my new bro up for breakfast. Did you send Steve my message?”
It’s Natasha’s turn to roll her eyes. “Yes, because he is the only other one who is awake so early in the morning and because you were so pathetic that you got knocked out in an alley, Steve is making blueberry pancakes.”
“That is worth getting called pathetic for. You like pancakes?” Clint asks Foggy, who is trying to get over the fact that he’s being asked to eat pancakes made by Captain America.
“Yeah, no, pancakes are great.”
“Good. Steve’s pancakes are the bomb.” They walk into an elevator.
“It’s not the 90s anymore, Clint.” Natasha hits the top button. “You don’t have to say the bomb anymore.”
“I mean. I don’t have to.” Clint lounges against the wall of the elevator with a shit eating smirk.
“I like the bomb,” Foggy volunteers.
“Yeeeeeah, buddy!” Clint fistbumps Foggy then turns to Natasha. “Who’s up?”
“You, me, Steve, Sam’s out on a run.”
“Wow, we should wake some losers up.” Clint grins at Foggy. “I nominate the new addition to our friend group to go do it.”
“We’re not offering up someone else as a lamb to the slaughter of cranky morning risers.”
The elevator doors open to reveal a nice living area with a kitchen island that Steve Rogers is cooking behind. Foggy tries to push his childhood crush on the guy into the back of his mind.
“You bring back all your brains or did they spill out, Clint?” Steve calls from where he’s mixing batter.
“Ha ha ha,” Clint says sarcastically. “I brought a friend back, you dick.”
Steve turns around and smiles full force at Foggy. Foggy tries to do the regulating heartbeat thing again and prays that his “oh my god I had posters of you on my wall I told Matt how much I loved your ass in college” heart attack isn’t showing on his face.
“Hi,” he says agreeably. “I’m Steve. I’d shake your hand, but, well-“ He holds up the whisk and bowl apologetically.
“Don’t worry about it,” Foggy says easily. “I’m Foggy.”
“Foggy dragged him out of an alley last night,” Natasha says, sitting at the island. Foggy sits next to Clint, who sits next to her.
“We should all be so lucky,” Steve answers seriously.
“You’re a little shit, Rogers, the history books never mentioned that.” Clint tries to steal a blueberry and Natasha steps on his foot.
“It wasn’t really dragging,” Foggy says, in an attempt to defend Clint. “It was more assisting Clint in becoming more vertical while I helped him to a position where it would be easiest for him to become upright on his own.”
Natasha raises an eyebrow. “Lawyer?”
Foggy grins. “Lawyer.”
“Well, however it happened, we’re grateful that you made sure Clint didn’t die.” Steve gives him that full blast genuinely grateful and kind smile again and Foggy considers melting into his stool as a career option.
“So this is what morning life is like,” Clint muses, looking around the area. “I don’t like it at all.”
“It’s exactly the same as it is during the rest of the day,” Steve points out.
“Nope. It’s got a morning feel to it. I don’t like it.”
“This is when I am up every morning to go to work,” Foggy tells Clint. He decides he feels comfortable enough around him to give him shit. “You know, like normal people.”
“Why were you up so early this particular morning?” Steve asks, flicking a few droplets of water onto the pan to test it. “It’s a Sunday.”
“There was a superhero on my couch, I thought I’d get up and make sure he wasn’t dead.” It’s not actually an unusual occurrence at this point. Foggy wakes up early every morning to check the couch and see if Matt’s there, clutching a pillow to his chest in one of Foggy’s sweatshirts and sweatpants that he’d stolen from Foggy’s hamper (Matt won’t give him a straight answer about why he goes for those ones and not the clean ones that Foggy leaves stacked on the kitchen counter every night), asleep with cuts and bruises on his face.
Matt doesn’t seem to be at a place where he can tell Foggy everything he does. But he does come when he needs a stable base, and Foggy will take what he can get.
Sam Wilson walks through the door, soaked with sweat in running clothes. “Oh man, are those Steve’s blueberry pancakes? Who died?”
“Clint’s dignity.” Natasha grins as Clint groans.
“I hate you all. I’m going back to the circus.”
“You were in the circus?” Foggy asks, intrigued.
“I could balance on horses while shooting arrows. It was pretty impressive.”
Sam holds out a hand. “I’m Sam.”
“Foggy.” Foggy shakes it.
“You’ve been recruited into the superhero sideshow, then?”
“I mean. I just met these guys.”
Sam nods grimly. “That’s how it starts. One minute, you’re just jogging in D.C. The next, Captain America is fucking with you even though he’s a complete stranger and people are shooting at you on top of a flying boat.”
“But then you wouldn’t have met us.” Natasha flicks a blueberry at Sam. It bounces off his forehead, and Foggy comes to an astonishing realization.
They’re not just superheroes.
They’re superheroes, but they’re also children.
And just like that, the slight unease Foggy was feeling dissipates. He has four cousins, the oldest of which is nine. He knows what he’s doing here.
“Don’t flick blueberries, dude. You just got his sweat all over that. You can’t eat it now.”
Bruce Banner trudges in, sits at the island, and thwumps his head down on it. “Nyuh,” he says eloquently into the marble.
Clint pokes him as he heads for the fridge to get orange juice. “You alive there, Jolly Green?”
Bruce raises his head and peers through his mop of curls. “Aren’t you bleeding out in an alley somewhere?” he rasps.
“Circus, guys. I could be doing tricks off elephants right now.”
“You got kicked out of no less than two circuses for letting the elephants free.”
Clint points the orange juice carton that has CLINT’S DON’T FUCKING TOUCH YOU DICKS scrawled on it in Sharpie at Natasha. “Exhibit A of why we don’t tell Nat shit.”
Bruce blinks blearily at Foggy. “You’re new.”
“Yeah. I’m Foggy.”
“Oh. Hi. I’ll introduce myself later. Not great at mornings.”
“He’s really not.” Tony Stark waltzes in, streaked with grease and hair wild. “He falls asleep around four in the morning. Weak.”
Bruce groans and drops his head back to the island. “I hate you.”
“Aw, no you don’t, buddy. I am the spice in your life.” Tony waves at Foggy. “Sup, Nelson.”
Foggy blinks. “Do I know you?”
“No, but when the Wonder Boy here texted to let us know he was crashing at some dude named Foggy’s I googled everything I could find about you. Nice job on the Fisk case, by the way.”
“Thank you. Also that is incredibly invasive.”
“Welcome to the age of the Internet, kiddo.”
“Did you sleep at all?” Steve asks, slapping Tony’s hand with the spatula when he reaches for a pancake.
“Ow, don’t be a dick, Rogers. And I think I dozed off once or twice? Lasted longer than Banner, that’s for sure.”
“Where’s Domi Arigato, Mr. Roboto? Lurking somewhere?”
Bucky Barnes drops seemingly out of the ceiling to land behind Tony. Clint falls off his stool. Foggy jumps. Steve snorts. Bruce doesn’t move, apparently too sleep addled. Natasha doesn’t react.
“Son of a bitch,” Tony yelps, flailing backwards. Bucky gives him a shark smile.
“Talking about me?”
Bucky looks at Steve. “Can I have a pancake?”
Steve silently hands him a pancake.
“How come that dick gets one and I don’t?”
“I like him better than you.”
“Fucking knew it.”
Bucky sits at the island and quietly munches on his pancake. He looks up at Foggy.
“Like your tie,” he mutters.
“Thanks.” It’s a nice burgundy color.
“Is Thor coming today?” Clint asks, righting himself on his stool.
“He called to say he’d be leaving Jane’s around noon.” Steve puts the large plate of pancakes in the middle. “Foggy gets first crack cause he’s the guest.”
“Hey, I got a mild concussion,” Clint objects.
“But I have major awesomeness,” Foggy points out. “Therefore it’s totally justified.”
Tony cracks up and claps Foggy on the shoulder. “You’ll fit around here just fine, kid.”
It’s kind of a crazy day, to be honest.
The Avengers, when they’re not busy Avenging, spend most of their time sitting around and giving each other shit. Today seems to be movie marathon day, so they spend their time flopped on couches in front of a giant television shit talking B movies. Thor shows up at twelve-thirty in sweatpants, compliments Foggy’s hair, and settles down next to him. Foggy leaves around midnight with each Avenger’s number in his phone. It’s pretty crazy. But also crazy awesome.
When he heads into work the next day, he’s whistling. He got a text from “caw caw motherfuckers” saying “sam is gng to try + convnce u that he is best bird bro IGNORE HIM HE IS LYING LIAR WHO LIES” and then another one from “better caw caw” saying “whatever clint told you he is a jackass”. There were no bleeding superheroes on his couch last night. It’s been a good weekend.
“Someone’s cheerful,” Karen observes with amusement.
“I had a delightful weekend,” he informs her. “I finally saw the wonder that is Sharktopus.”
“Sounds magical,” she says dryly.
“We very much enjoyed it.”
“I have a hard time believing Matt enjoyed anything called ‘Sharktopus’.”
“I didn’t watch it with Matt.”
Karen raises her eyebrows. “You have other friends?”
“Wow. Hurtful, Karen.”
“A legitimate question,” is softly spoken from right behind Foggy. He jumps about a foot in the air.
“Fuckin A, dude, one of these days I am going to get you a fucking bell.”
Karen laughs and Matt gives that tiny “I am amused but also criminals fear me so I’ll be cool” smile he hands out sometimes.
“Who were you hanging out with?” Matt asks because apparently justice in the eyes of Matthew Michael Murdock cannot be diverted for long.
“I made some bros on Saturday night, if you nosy nellies must know. Well, one bro. He introduced me to his other bros.”
Foggy’s learned the trick to lying around Matt. If he doesn’t tell the whole truth, Matt’s none the wiser.
“How’d you meet said bro?” Karen hops up on her desk and crosses her legs.
“Passed out in an alley.”
“Dude leads a wild life.”
His phone chirrups again. He checks it to see “SAM TOTES TEXTD U WHT N ASSHOLE.” Foggy snorts and texts him back “stop texting like a middle schooler”.
The Avengers are pretty great.
Foggy doesn’t really see much of Matt outside of work anymore. He’s busy parkouring off buildings, and Foggy kind of suspects he’s still feeling guilty and shitty about the whole lying to him thing, but every time Foggy tries to corner him to talk to him about it he slips away like the ninja he is.
So Foggy may be missing having bros right now.
He goes over to the Tower once a week or they come to his place. Natasha starts teaching him how to punch. Clint teaches him the art of shooting marshmallows. Thor carefully starts showing him to intricately braid his hair. Tony keeps trying to buy him nicer suits and when that fails nicer phones. Bruce and Sam teach him how to cook better. Steve shows him how to draw and tells him stories of New York back when he was a kid, the things that didn’t make it into history books. Bucky mostly likes to talk shit with Steve and eat all of Foggy’s yogurt, but Foggy’s teaching him how to knit and he feels there’s some real bonding going on there.
They like to try and include Foggy in their world, and he likes trying to include them in his. He teaches them Braille, and tells them about the people of Hell’s Kitchen that he and Matt have tried to help.
Usually, their work lives don’t intersect, but Foggy’s always sort of half expecting it. That’s why when Sam stumbles through his (always open, just in case) window and collapses on the floor, bruised and bloody and beat to hell, Foggy’s horrified but not surprised.
“Shit,” Foggy mutters, fluttering his hands over Sam while he tries to figure out what to do. “Shit, fuck, shit, fuck.”
Sam grabs at Foggy’s wrist and Foggy screams a little because he totally thought Sam was passed out what the shit Wilson.
“Gotta call the Avengers,” he mumbles. “Gotta tell ‘em I’m okay.”
“You’re not okay, there is a lot of fucking blood on you, holy shit.”
Sam’s grip tightens. “Call ‘Vengers, Foggy.”
Foggy hesitates then groans. “Yeah, okay, I’ll call the Avengers, we just have to get somewhere else first.”
Evidently appeased, Sam decides to actually pass out this time.
“Fuck,” Foggy mutters again.
He manages to shove Sam in oversized sweatpants and a sweatshirt to disguise his uniform, and shoves his folded up wings in a backpack. He hoists it onto his back and shakes Sam.
“Sam, dude, come on, I need you with me for this.”
“What’re we doin’?” Sam mutters.
“We’re going to see someone, come on.”
“Soon, buddy, I promise, I just want to get you more immediate help.”
It seems to be enough for Sam, and he and Foggy stumble a couple blocks. Nobody looks twice at them. This is Hell’s Kitchen. People are beat up pretty regular.
When Claire opens her door, she looks understandably surprised.
“I wanted to call first, but I didn’t know if there was time,” Foggy tells her desperately.
“Is that the Falcon?”
“Yes. Can you help him?”
Claire stares for another moment, then sighs. “Come in.”
Her first aid supplies are out already as Foggy gently lays Sam on her couch. “Was Matt here?” he asks.
“About forty-five minutes ago.” Claire starts inspecting Sam. “Jesus, what did he fight, a brick wall?”
“I don’t know, he just showed up.”
Sam’s eyes flutter. “Call Steve,” he slurs.
“Right, okay, I’m on it.”
Foggy fumbles with his phone. It takes a couple minutes cause his hands are sticky with Sam’s blood, Jesus Christ, but he manages it.
“Now’s not a good time, Foggy.” Steve sounds harried when he picks up the phone.
“I have a beat up superhero that fell into my apartment and is now being looked over at the place of my nurse friend,” Foggy says bluntly, trying to make his voice shake less. “I don’t really want to call back.”
There’s a pause.
“I’ve got Tony tracking your phone.” Steve’s voice is brisker now. “We’ll be there in ten. Don’t move.”
“He doesn’t look super up for moving right now.”
“Tell Rogers that if he makes me move I’m fucking beating him to death with a shoe,” Sam mumbles, apparently conscious.
“You get that?”
There’s a hint of a smile in Steve’s tone now. “Yeah, I got that.”
“Good. I’m hanging up now.” Foggy hits the end call button. Sam’s passed back out. He kneels back down by them. “Is he okay?”
“Yeah, he needs stitches, that’s it. Most of this blood isn’t even his.” Claire glances at Foggy. “You gonna be okay for this?”
Foggy takes a deep breath and clenches his teeth. “Show me how.”
She raises an eyebrow. “You sure?”
“I have friends who like to get punched a lot now. I should know how to do this.”
Claire gives a little shrug. “Okay. Watch me close.”
Foggy does. He watches every minute movement.
“This isn’t enough for you to be able to do it on your own next time, you know that right?”
Foggy likes Claire. She doesn’t fuck around. She knows there will be a next time.
Claire inspects her handiwork. “Matt know you’re palling around with Avengers?”
Claire shakes her head, presumably at her perception of his decision not to do so as folly. “Okay.”
There’s a loud and frantic rapping at the door. Foggy stands up to look through the peephole. Natasha, Steve, and Bucky are standing there looking anxious. Well, Steve looks anxious. Natasha and Bucky are doing their tight lipped assassin thing that means they’re anxious.
Foggy opens the door. “Over there.”
Steve rushes over to Sam. “Is he okay?” he demands as Claire puts away her supplies. Claire, to her credit, doesn’t even blink about Captain America suddenly standing over her.
“He’ll be fine,” she says. “Quit shouting. It’s three in the morning.” She stands up. “You look big enough to carry him. Do it gently, don’t pull his stitches.”
Steve carefully picks Sam up and directs his attention to Foggy. “Thank you, Foggy,” he says sincerely. Foggy gives him a weak thumbsup.
“Call me when he can stand up.” Foggy remembers and gently places the backpack with Sam’s wings in his lap. “Tell him I have a front door, too.”
Steve smiles warmly at him and leaves. To Foggy’s surprise, Bucky and Natasha approach him.
“Are you all right, dushachik?” Natasha asks gently. Foggy absently waves a hand that still has blood on it.
“Oh, yeah, you know, I’m great. Super great. Full of great.”
She smiles at him fondly, and then kisses him on the cheek. Foggy blinks. Natasha doesn’t strike him as the cheek-kiss type.
“You don’t always have to be strong, Foggy.”
Foggy sighs, shoulders sagging. “I kind of do, most of the time,” he says wearily.
Natasha pats him gently on the shoulder and walks up to Claire. “Thank you,” she says. “For taking care of our friend. You didn’t have to.”
Claire shrugs. “I’m a nurse,” she answers simply. “It’s my job. Thanks for saving the city.”
Natasha smiles. “It’s my job.”
Bucky lightly punches Foggy in the shoulder. Foggy knows it’s lightly cause his arm hasn’t fallen off. “Good instincts.”
“All this doesn’t mean you can be late for knitting on Tuesday.”
“You got it.”
Bucky nods once at Claire and then leaves. Natasha gives them both a little wave and follows him, closing the door behind her.
Claire and Foggy stand there awkwardly for a moment.
“Matt’s a really great guy,” Foggy blurts out. Claire gives him a strange look.
“He likes you. A lot.” He’s marketing the guy he feels… whatever for, Foggy’s not going to think about that right now, to the woman he knows said guy is attracted to. His life fucking sucks.
Claire stares at him. “Are you hitting on me for Matt?” she finally asks. Foggy shuffles a little.
“Maybe?” he offers.
“You’re hitting on me for Matt and not hitting on Matt for you?”
And whump, there it is. “Conceivably?” he answers weakly.
Claire rubs her forehead. “Men are idiots,” she says flatly. “It’s three in the morning. Go back to your bed.”
He’s at the door when Claire says quietly “If you ever have any medical questions, call me.”
He looks at her in surprise. “Really?”
She puts her hands in her sweatpants pockets. “If vigilantes are going to make late night appearances in your apartment, you might as well.” She’s smiling a little when she says it. Foggy tentatively smiles back.
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
Foggy comes into work the next day. He’s showered and in a new suit, but he can still feel the phantom warmth of Sam’s blood on his fingers. He comes in early. If he starts getting work done faster, he can forget about last night easier.
Karen texts him to let him know that she’s going to be late because of traffic. He goes to her desk to start inspecting the Perry files when Matt walks in the door.
“Karen’s going to be late,” he tells him distractedly. “Apparently the traffic is really awful today. Have you seen the Perry files, I don’t understand her filing system for the life of me-“
“Foggy.” Matt’s tone is odd enough to make Foggy look up. His face is white and stricken.
“Hey, you okay, buddy?” Foggy immediately starts sweeping his eyes over Matt, looking for injuries. “Did you fuck yourself up bad last night?”
“No, I.” Matt swallows. “You smell like blood.”
Fuck. That hadn’t occurred to him. “It’s not mine.”
Matt’s eyes widen behind the glasses. God dammit. Wrong thing to say.
“I didn’t kill a dude,” Foggy says quickly. “This isn’t an out damned spot situation here.”
Matt’s across the room in seconds and grabbing Foggy’s hands, turning them over repeatedly. “What happened?” he asks quietly.
“I found a guy who’d been beaten up pretty badly,” he answers in a low voice. “I took him to Claire. It’s his blood, not mine.”
Matt’s still clutching Foggy’s hands. “You’re sure it’s not yours?”
“Pretty positive, dude.”
Matt’s grip tightens. “It could have been you.”
“Dude was in law enforcement. I really don’t think it could have.” Foggy shifts his hands slightly so he’s holding onto Matt’s, too. “I swear I’m okay. I wasn’t hurt. Just a little freaked. That’s it.”
“Don’t die on me.” Matt’s voice comes out as a hoarse whisper and Foggy squeezes his hands even tighter.
“I promise. You’re stuck with me.”
Matt takes a deep breath and nods. They stand like that for another few minutes until Matt jerks back. Seconds later, Karen comes through the door with coffees.
“The traffic was the worst thing ever,” she announces, putting them on her desk. “Even accounting for New York traffic, it was bad.” She glances up at them. “You two okay?”
“Just discussing the Perry case,” Matt answers smoothly. Foggy swallows and nods because okay, if that’s how they’re doing this, that’s how they’re doing this.
Karen finds out before Matt, which isn’t really that surprising. Matt might have the super senses, but Karen’s the observant one.
She shows up at his apartment on Sunday morning, smiling brightly with a box in her hands.
“I brought cake,” she says cheerfully.
She puts it on his table. It’s coconut cake with vanilla frosting. It’s his favorite. Something is up.
“Did I kill a dude and you saw it but I forgot about it?” he asks warily. “Are you sweetening me up before you blackmail me?”
Karen rolls her eyes. “If I wanted to blackmail you I’d cut straight to the chase.”
“Oh, well, that’s comforting.”
She gives him a piece of cake. “So I was going to drop by your apartment last night cause you forgot one of the files at the office.”
“It’s in my purse. But when I was in the hall, I saw something strange.” She pauses slightly while she takes a forkful of cake. Foggy’s positive that it’s solely for dramatic effect. “I saw Steve Rogers entering your apartment.”
Foggy chokes on his cake. “Huh,” he coughs.
“Mmm.” She leans forwards, face serious. “Foggy. Are you sleeping with Captain America?”
Foggy proceeds to then choke on the water he was drinking to clear his airways. “Wait until I don’t have shit in my mouth, Page,” he manages.
Karen folds her arms and waits.
“I am not sleeping with Captain America,” he says finally when he’s managed to clear his throat. “What you missed was the rest of the Avengers being in my apartment. Steve was late cause he stopped a mugging.”
Karen stares. “That makes me even more confused,” she says flatly.
“Okay, yeah, that’s fair.”
“How do you know the Avengers?”
Foggy blows all of the air out of his cheeks. “I sort of took care of Hawkeye after he got concussed and it snowballed from there.”
“Does Matt know?”
“He does not.”
Foggy shrugs awkwardly. “Honestly, it’s just a can of worms I don’t want to open.”
Karen gives him a look.
“That is exactly the same look that Claire gave me.”
“Claire knows?” Karen hasn’t met Claire yet but she knows who she is. “How does Claire know and not Matt?”
“Sam showed up in my apartment bleeding! I panicked.”
“The Falcon showed up in your apartment.” She shakes her head. “Shit.”
“I know. My life is pretty fucking crazy right now.”
Karen sighs. “Okay. Well, we’re gonna eat cake and watch trashy TV because this seems the easiest and most peaceful way to resolve this.”
Foggy nods vigorously. “That sounds awesome.”
Karen settles into the couch next to him. “Although if you were fucking Captain America, I wouldn’t blame you.”
“You haven’t even been up close, dude. His arms are like the size of my head.”
Karen smirks slyly up at Foggy. “Not worth switching out for Matt’s arms, though?”
Foggy turns up the TV. “I can’t hear you over 30 Day Fiancée.”
Foggy just kind of forgets that the Avengers don’t know he’s friends with Daredevil.
He doesn’t really ever mention it cause of his whole crossing the streams thing, but with the Avengers it’s not totally a conscious decision. He just forgets that he’s not talking about it, like it’s a natural part that just slips past notice.
They’re watching the news and the newscaster is talking about new Daredevil footage that they’ve found.
“This guy does better backflips than Clint,” Natasha observes while Foggy’s working on knitting Natasha’s Weasley sweater. He’s already finished Clint’s, dark purple with a lavender “C” on the front. Natasha’s is red and black. Steve, he’s sure, will probably break his bank with all the yarn he’ll need to buy.
Clint frowns. “Nobody backflips better than me.”
“He does,” Foggy mutters while inspecting the sweater. Something looks off.
“What happened to loyalty, bro?”
“I am being loyal,” he answers absently. Shit. He totally dropped a stitch. Only a row back, though. He can totally handle that. “I knew him first.”
There’s a sudden silence. Foggy blinks and looks up. Everyone’s staring at him. “What?”
“What do you mean, you knew him first?” Bruce asks slowly.
Foggy blinks and remembers what he just said. “Oh. I didn’t mention that?”
“You did not.”
“You know the fucking Daredevil?” Clint yelps. “Since when?”
“Um. A long time.”
“What fighting style does he use?” Natasha asks. “It seems to be a mix of various ones.”
“Punching people until they tell him things or pass out?”
Tony’s glaring at him funny. Foggy looks at him apprehensively. “What?”
“I don’t like this,” he announces.
“Don’t like what?”
Tony folds his arms. “You’re our friend. He can’t have you.”
Foggy furrows his brow. “I mean, that’s sweet, but you can kind of have more than one friend. That’s why you can add an ‘s’ onto the end of it.”
“Nope. Unacceptable. I don’t like it.”
Clint nods violently in agreement. Bucky nods once. Natasha, Bruce, and Steve have that tight lipped thing they do when they agree but want to appear to be sane. Sam is shaking his head at their ridiculousness, being the actually sane one.
“You guys are weirdoes,” Foggy tells them. “Please don’t hunt Daredevil down and beat him up on some weird revenge quest thing.”
Tony harrumphs which is not at all reassuring.
Funnily enough, Matt finds out not long after that too.
The battle against robots, maybe?- Foggy was too busy barricading himself in his apartment while brandishing a baseball bat against shiny chrome things hovering outside his window to really know exactly what they were- is relatively close to Hell’s Kitchen this time. Not long after the fighting stops, Foggy gets a call on his cell phone from “MERICA FUCK YEAH” which reminds him that he needs to tell Clint to stop getting into his contacts.
“Hey,” Steve says, sounding exhausted. “We’re closer to you than the Tower. Can we please regroup where you are?”
“Yeah, sure. Where are you?”
There’s a knock on the door and Foggy rolls his eyes. “Let me clean up my dirty clothes first!” he yells. He swipes up the dirty laundry, shoves them in the hamper, and opens the door. The Avengers are all standing there, looking dirty and tired. Bruce is clutching a robe.
“I thought you had magic stretchy pants,” is somehow the first thing Foggy says.
“Science stretchy pants,” Tony mutters.
“There was a fire,” Bruce says wearily. “Burned off the magic stretchy pants.”
“Whatever stretchy pants, it doesn’t matter. Come in.”
They all stumble in. The suit folds up from around Tony into a small briefcase, his tank top and sweatpants still immaculate.
“You wore sweatpants to a battle?”
“Don’t judge my life, Nelson.” Tony faceplants into the couch. Foggy sighs.
“I’ve got some spare clothes you guys can wear for everyone who doesn’t already have clothes.” Clint, Natasha, and Thor have taken to leaving clothes they can wear at his apartment. Thor because none of Foggy’s clothes would fit him in an emergency, and Clint and Natasha because they’re weirdly possessive and marking their territory.
Okay, they haven’t said as much, but he’s pretty sure.
Bruce gets Foggy’s fuzziest sweater and warmest sweatpants cause it looks like he needs it today. Steve barely fits in his “What, Like It’s Hard?” sweater and baggiest sweatpants. Sam’s curled up in his Ace Attorney sweater and Bucky’s in his Cookie Cat sweatshirt. Tony, because “if it’s a sweater and sweatpants party I want in”, switches out his clothes and into Foggy’s Bill Nye sweatshirt. Thor, Clint, and Natasha are in their own clothes, but Foggy’s noticed several of his hoodies go suspiciously missing, so he suspects Natasha might have some of his stuff squirreled away anyway.
He looks around at the tired Avengers, curled up in his chairs or on his couch or just slumped on his floor.
“Hot chocolate?” he asks.
“Whiskey?” Tony perks his head up hopefully.
“Hot chocolate,” Foggy counters firmly. “With little marshmallows.”
Foggy pulls out his industrial size saucepan and pours nearly a gallon of milk into it. These people eat a lot. He’s taking it off the burner when there’s a loud rapping noise. Everyone stiffens. Foggy looks up to see Daredevil crouching in front of his window.
Foggy walks forwards and opens it. “Hey,” he says. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to make sure you were okay.” His voice is pitched a little lower than normal. “The battle came close to your building.”
“I’m okay. Not a scratch.” He knows Matt can tell, can probably sniff it on him or something, but it’s good to keep up appearances.
“Good.” Matt’s entire body is taut. “You have company.”
Ah, shit. Matt can no doubt tell that his heart has just started slamming in his chest.
“They were in the neighborhood,” Foggy answers weakly.
“Are they often?”
There’s no hedging that one. “More often than not.”
“Ah.” His jaw is clenched and Foggy kind of wants to point out that he’s allowed to keep secrets too but that is not something he super wants to get into with the Avengers present. He leans past Foggy a bit. “Avengers.”
“Sup, Horns,” Clint says. “Tell Nelson you don’t backflip better than me.”
“Not a great time, Clint,” Foggy tells him wearily.
“I’m glad you’re all right.” Matt gives him a short, brisk nod and then jumps off Foggy’s fire escape.
“Yeah, I’m glad you’re okay too, you dick,” Foggy mutters, knowing full well he can hear it. “Great to know you’ll probably avoid talking about this for as long as possible.”
He shuts the window (but doesn’t lock it) and turns back to see Natasha watching him speculatively.
“You didn’t tell him you knew us, did you?”
“I didn’t want some bullshit superhero rivalry thing.” Foggy flops on his floor because right now it seems like the best course of action. “Also didn’t want to have the ‘you flipped out when I told you I was a vigilante but you’re okay with these guys’ talk.”
“Well,” Natasha tells him dryly. “It looks like that worked out well for you.”
Foggy groans into the floor.
They don’t talk about it for two days.
For those two days, they spend most of it skirting around each other and only speaking briefly and politely. Foggy’s pretty sure that this may just be the easiest course of action for the rest of time when on the third day Karen slams her coffee mug down in front of them during the quiet. Matt jumps and Foggy flails off his chair.
“Dude,” he says, righting himself. Karen has a take no shit face on.
“What happened?” she demands.
“What what happened?” Foggy rubs the back of his head.
“You two. You’re fighting about something and I’d appreciate it if you could both pull your heads out of your asses so we can get actual work done.” She folds her arms. “You gonna talk or am I going to have to beat you with a feather duster?”
“That doesn’t sound like it would hurt very much,” Foggy mutters.
“Not the places I put it,” she answers ominously. “Talk.”
Matt tosses his pencil down on the table, folds his arms, and glares at Foggy. Just because he’s got his glasses on doesn’t mean that Foggy doesn’t know that there is some full blown glare action going on.
“Ask Foggy to talk,” he mutters.
“Oh my god, are you twelve? Karen, I think we need to get the cops on the line, this is clearly a violation of child labor laws.”
Karen looks between the petulant Matt and the cranky Foggy and then shakes her head and turns to Foggy.
“You should have known this would bite you in the ass, the longer you kept it to yourself,” she tells him. Foggy can feel Matt’s glare intensifies. He can only feel however, and not tell by looking, because he has just dropped his head onto the table.
“Thank you, Karen,” he says, voice muffled by the wood. “For making my life that much easier.”
“You got it.”
“You told Karen and you didn’t tell me?” Matt demands.
Foggy raises a finger. “I did not tell Karen anything. Karen jumped to certain conclusions and then came to me to confirm them.”
“I thought he was banging Captain America.”
Matt makes a strange choking sound.
“I am not,” Foggy says weakly, wondering why the table hasn’t let him melt into it yet. “For the record. I am not.”
“He is not,” Karen confirms.
Foggy lifts his head to look at Matt, who’s gone a weird shade of red. “I’m really not. He’s not even my type.”
Matt gives him a strange scowl. “I know that’s not true. I remember college.”
Foggy groans. “Please do not mention that in front of Steve, he’ll get all weird and awkward and Clint’ll never let it go and Nat’ll slide it into random conversations and I’m not up for handling that.”
“Referencing the fact that you know them by first names and nicknames may not be your best bet here,” Karen points out.
“They were wearing my clothes, Karen, I think we’re past that.”
“I didn’t know that they were wearing your clothes.”
“You can’t like smell it or something?”
Matt actually pulls off his glasses to glare at him now. Well, he pulls his glasses off on the surface to clean them, but Foggy knows he’s doing it just to glare at him, Matt’s not subtle.
“So I’m going to go sit out in the office,” Karen says briskly. “So if you try to leave before fixing this, I’ll see you sneaking out, and you’ll be in trouble. And Matt, if you try to scale down the building or something, and you escape, I will know, and I will douse this office in as much strong smelling stuff as I can find. Mint or something.”
“I use mint shampoo,” Foggy says at the same time Matt says “I like mint.” Karen rolls her eyes.
“Fine, like really intense peppers or something, and it will torture your nose and make you cry and other bad things. So stay here and don’t make me do anything you will regret.”
She leaves, closing the door behind her. Matt and Foggy are silent for a minute.
“We made a mistake hiring such a frightening woman,” Matt says finally.
“We didn’t so much hire her as she just sort of burrowed her way in.”
Foggy sighs, folds his arms, and looks up at the ceiling. “I didn’t tell you because I knew you would flip out and we’ve still been a little weird and I didn’t want to deal with it,” he says flatly. “I knew you would get all ‘why did you flip out when I told you I liked to kick ass in tights but you’re okay with them doing it’ on me and I wasn’t up for it.”
Matt starts ticking his finger on the table. “So?”
“So why are you okay with it?”
Foggy blows all of the air out of his cheeks. “I wasn’t pissed that you’re going out and beating people up, Matt.” Matt snorts and Foggy amends. “I wasn’t entirely pissed that you’re going out and beating people up. I was pissed that you didn’t tell me. They didn’t have to tell me, everyone knows who the Avengers are. They didn’t lie to me, you did.”
Matt does the Guilty Matt Shift in his chair. “I didn’t want…”
Foggy gives him his best bored look. “Matt. Come on.”
“I didn’t. I didn’t want to lie to you. I just… I didn’t want you to know this. This…” he struggles. “They’re not wrong when they call me the Devil.”
Foggy rolls his eyes. “Bullshit. You’re not the Devil, Matt. Maybe you’ve got some devils, but you’re not Devil capital D. You’re you. You’re some noble jackass who thinks that beating up the scum of the earth in the corners of Hell’s Kitchen makes a dent.” Foggy shuffles papers in an attempt to feel less awkward. “And you might be kind of right.”
Matt looks hopeful. “Really?”
“I said might be kind of.” Foggy points at him. “That is neither confirming nor denying, counselor.”
“I can tell you that you’re lying.”
“And that is still creepy!”
“You’re really okay with it?”
“I’m not okay with it. You get beat up so bad that when Claire met you, she fished you out of a dumpster. I’m not okay with the possibility of you dying every week. But you’re doing it for good reasons. You want to help. And you do. That’s, well… that’s okay. That’s the part I’m okay with. I just wish you would work a little harder to avoid getting the shit kicked out of you.”
Matt smiles tentatively. “I could work on that a little.”
“Good. I’d be happier. Claire would probably be happier, too, if you didn’t stumble through her window half dead at three in the morning.”
Matt gives Foggy the wide grin that slams into Foggy like a sucker punch every time. “I use the front door sometimes now.”
“So it’s just me that you enjoy using the window for. Great.”
“Your window is nice. It’s very clean.”
“Can you hear the dirt on it?”
Matt laughs. “You bet.”
Karen pokes her head in. “I’m guessing I don’t need to bust out the feather duster by the sound of that laugh.”
“Please don’t,” Foggy says. “I have no desire to become intimately acquainted with a feather duster. It would tickle.”
Matt snorts. “Everything’s back to normal, Karen.”
And it is, but it’s not.
Because the weirdness since the whole Matt bleeding out on his apartment floor thing, that’s gone. There’s a different kind of weirdness in its place, though. There’s something still slightly stilted about the way Matt approaches him, something hesitant and weird.
“So he’s not taking it well, huh?” Natasha asks when she’s braiding his hair at the Tower. Natasha’s got a thing about braiding other people’s hair. Foggy’s pretty sure that if all of the Avengers had longer hair, it would have been braided at some point.
Natasha nods at the news. “Your mouth got all tight when they mentioned Daredevil. He’s not taking it well?”
“No. Yes. Maybe? I don’t know. We talked about it, and he was okay, but he’s still not okay, and I don’t really know what’s going on with him.”
Natasha pulls another tiny, sparkly flower barrette out of her hoodie pocket to finish off one of her braids. This one’s blue. “I’m gonna take a wild stab in the dark here.”
“I feel like you don’t make wild stabs in the dark, you make practical and well calculated stabs in the dark.”
“See, I knew it.”
“Are you in love with the Daredevil?”
Foggy wishes people would stop making observations like that. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Let’s talk about something else. Like the weather. How about that weather, huh?”
“It’s okay, I get it.” She sticks a barrette in between her teeth while she works on another braid. “He’s got a pretty great butt,” she says around it.
“I mean, it’s not… he’s a good man. He’s smart, and he’s kind, and he’s sweet, and he’s funny when he’s not being a dick and he’s just. He’s a good man.”
Natasha hums. It’s not a disinterested hum or a humoring hum. It’s a sympathy hum. “I’m guessing he doesn’t know?”
“He doesn’t really do…” he thinks of all the girls and boys Matt dated in college, and how “all” isn’t a number, it’s more of a vague word because of the amount. “Steady relationships.”
“Well. Maybe not with other people. Maybe with you?”
Foggy shakes his head. “I don’t want to fuck this up.”
Natasha makes another hum, which he knows is a disapproving hum, and he prepares for her to give him a lecture about throwing caution to the wind.
“The butt’s definitely part of it though, right?”
Foggy snorts. “Yes. The butt is part of it.”
“Okay good.” Natasha fastens another barrette. “Brother, wanna thank your mother for a butt like that.”
As Foggy’s walking down the sidewalk towards Matt’s to drop off some case files in an attempt to alleviate the weirdness, he sees something fall in an alley out of the corner of his eye and hears the crash of trash cans being hit with something heavy, and he really hopes that it’s not what he thinks it is, but he’s pretty positive that it’s what he thinks it is.
He sighs, pulls the small thing of pepper spray he’s taken to carrying, grabs a trash can lid for a shield, and voyages into the alley.
It’s exactly what he thinks it is, “it” being Matt sprawled out groaning on top of some trash cans.
“Hi,” he mumbles. Foggy lowers the trash can lid.
“You’re exhausting, Murdock,” he tells him. “You couldn’t aim for a nice soft dumpster?”
“Forgive me for missing the dumpster from the fire escape,” he mutters sardonically.
Foggy looks. The fire escape is pretty high up there.
“Fun night?” he asks, pocketing the pepper spray. He’s pretty impressed with how calm he is. He’s also had to patch up Clint, Natasha, and Sam several times in the past month though, so that might be desensitizing him a little.
Also he’s seen Matt worse.
“Oodles of it.”
“Looks like.” Foggy crouches down. “Were you pushed or did you fall?”
“Chased a mugger through a building. Took a sharp corner I didn’t anticipate.”
“So you crashed over a fire escape?” Christ, what does it say about Foggy’s life that he’s a little amused by the notion of his whatever Matt is to him launching over a fire escape because some guy took a turn he didn’t expect?
“Shut up.” He struggles to get up.
“If you’re getting up to go try and chase that mugger down some more, I will actually take this opportunity of you being groggy to beat you into submission with this trash can lid,” Foggy informs him. “Dude’s probably far away by now. You can’t win them all.”
“So you’re not going to do that, right? Cause every second you don’t answer me is every second you’re getting the wind back in your sails and it’s more likely that you’d be able to beat me up if I tried to subdue you.”
“I’d never hurt you,” Matt answers, wiping his lip of blood. There’s something so startlingly, painfully honest in the simple way he says it that it kind of makes Foggy want to kiss him, bloody lips or no.
He holds out his hand to help Matt up instead. It seems like the safer option all the way around. “Come on. My apartment’s closer than yours. I can patch you up there.”
“M’fine. Don’t want to bother you.”
Foggy gapes at him for a couple seconds because did he actually just say that?
“Matthew Michael Murdock,” he says in his best authoritative lawyer voice. “Take my hand. Get up. Come back to my apartment. Let me patch you up. Sleep on my couch. And then maybe I will not beat you around the face with something heavy for those words actually just leaving your mouth.”
Matt takes his hand. Foggy is satisfied.
“Can’t walk on the sidewalk,” Matt says, wincing as he stands. “Too conspicuous.”
“Yeah, the horns and the red really scream inconspicuous.”
Matt gives him Foggy the smirk that has been known to keep him warm on certain nights. “How would I know the color, Foggy? I can’t see.”
“Don’t be a shit. Run on the rooftops like you’re Batman or whatever it is you do and you can do the creeper thing of sliding in through my windows.”
“I’m not Batman,” Matt mutters.
“My parents are deeeeeead,” Foggy intones.
Matt groans a little. “I’ll meet you there.”
Somewhat to his surprise, Matt actually does sidle through his window a few minutes after Foggy gets home.
“I thought for sure you’d skip out and do the sad wounded duck thing somewhere else,” Foggy tells him as Matt tugs off his mask. Foggy resolutely does not look at Matt’s helmet hair.
“You implied there would be beatings if I didn’t. It didn’t sound fun.” Matt grins a little. “Why do you always go back to the wounded duck thing?”
Foggy chooses to ignore the last question. “Take off your fetish wear so I can look you over.”
He thinks Matt might actually go a little pink. “It’s not fetish wear, it’s body armor.”
“Take off your fetish armor then, so I can see how bad you’re dinged up.”
Matt starts tugging off his armor and of fucking course he doesn’t wear a shirt underneath it.
“Please tell me you’re at least wearing underwear,” he says in what he knows is a vain attempt to cover up his heartbeat. “Otherwise that’s gotta chafe.”
Matt snorts. Even his snorts are endearing. Foggy hates his life. “I’m wearing underwear.”
He is of course wearing only boxers but he’ll take small miracles.
“Sit on the couch while I get the first aid kit.”
Matt obeys and Foggy drags the first aid kit out from the shabby ottoman that he picked up at a thrift store for this specific purpose.
“Seriously?” Matt asks in vague surprise. Foggy can’t blame him. His first aid kit is less of a kit and more of a suitcase these days.
“Yeah, well, my friends keep insisting on getting their asses kicked, so it’s good to take precautions.”
Matt takes what he probably thinks is an unnoticeable sniff. “Is all of that stuff legal for you to have?”
“Claire and I are under a strict pact of plausible deniability, in that she gives me stuff she thinks I might need and I don’t ask questions.”
Matt’s eyebrows shoot up to his hairline while Foggy opens up the kit. “You talk to Claire?”
“We have a jackass in common. Also I may have brought the Falcon to her once cause I panicked.”
“Oh.” Matt’s gone all tense and weird. Foggy opens his mouth but before he can say anything, Matt changes the subject. “So it looks pretty bad, huh? Your heartbeat was twitchy when you saw it.”
“It’s not the best I’ve ever seen, no.” Not a lie, nice cover, Nelson. Mental self-five. “But it’s not that bad.” Foggy starts cleaning up some of the cuts. “More than one mugger?”
“More than one.”
“Quiet night for Hell’s Kitchen, huh?”
They’re quiet for a minute.
“Do you have to stitch up the Avengers very often?”
“Clint more than anyone else cause he’s an idiot. Sam sometimes, cause he goes out on the streets more than most of them. Nat pops in a fair amount with a couple cuts, but I think it’s mostly so she has an excuse to curl up on my couch and watch Drunk History.”
Foggy sighs. “Okay dude, what?”
“You’re being weird.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Foggy scowls as he puts a bandage over one of Matt’s cuts. “Just cause I can’t smell your heartbeat doesn’t mean I don’t know you’re lying.”
“That’s not how it-“
Matt shifts a little. “It’s nothing.”
“No, it’s nothing, cause you’re upset about something. You’ve been off with me for a few weeks and every time someone mentions the Avengers you get-“
Foggy stops. Matt shifts some more.
He can’t help a soft, quiet chuckle.
“You are the biggest idiot I have ever had the pleasure of knowing,” he tells Matt.
Foggy struggles to figure out if he can phrase this without totally giving everything about himself away. “First off,” he says. “I would like to abolish this notion that you and the Avengers seem to have that I cannot have more than one set of friends at a time. Seriously. You’re all weirdoes. Secondly, the Avengers are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. They’re crazy and they’re strange and they’re fun and they care. I love them.” Matt looks like he’s holding a lot of emotions in so Foggy presses on. “But you are the most important person in my life. You just are. So whatever weird feelings you’re having that I’m going to abandon you for them or whatever, it’s just not going to happen, okay? You’re stuck with me.”
Matt looks like he’s just seen a miracle. Or heard. Whatever. Foggy clears his throat.
“So you’re going to sleep on my couch and you’re going to eat breakfast here tomorrow and not slink away like some doofus of a cat and then you’re going to stop being so fucking distant all the time. And I will not punch you in your dumb face for being dumb. Deal?”
Matt grins. “Deal.”
“Good.” Foggy puts away the first aid kit. “Now sleep. Poorly rested crimefighters apparently vault off fire escapes.”
“I didn’t vault.”
“Just because I didn’t see it doesn’t mean that I don’t know there was vaulting.”
Matt looks so fond that it makes Foggy’s chest ache, so he stands up. “I’ll go get some pillow and a blanket. And some clothes. Can’t have you running around in your underwear in my apartment, Murdock, people will talk.”
“And we wouldn’t want that,” Foggy hears him murmur as he leaves the room. He returns with sweatpants and a sweatshirt that he tosses at Matt. “Clothe thyself.” Matt tugs them on while Foggy lays out the blanket and pillow. “All right, there you go.”
“Could, uh-“ Matt looks awkward, all held in on himself. “Could we just fall asleep with the TV? Like we used to in college?”
Foggy blinks. It’s been longer than Foggy can remember since they asked to do that.
“Yeah, buddy. Sure thing.”
Foggy flips on the TV and sits on the couch next to Matt. Matt curls into the couch, tugging the blanket around him. “What do you want to watch?”
“I don’t care,” he murmurs. “Pick something.” He puts the pillow up against where Foggy and the couch meet and leans his head against it.
Foggy flips through the channels until he finds The Princess Bride. “Here, we can watch this, you can commiserate with your kindred spirit the Dread Pirate Roberts.”
Matt smiles a little. “He is not.”
“Your costumes were exactly the same for a while, dude. I’m surprised Rob Reiner hasn’t tried to sue Daredevil yet.”
“I’d be okay. I’ve got it on good authority that he’s got a very good lawyer.” Matt’s eyelids are already drooping.
“Tooting your own horn there, Mr. Murdock?”
He half shakes his head. “Wasn’t talkin’ bout me,” he mutters into the pillow. Foggy swallows.
“Damn right he’s got a very good lawyer,” he manages. “Best damn lawyer he knows.”
Matt nods sleepily and Foggy turns his attention to the movie. “All right, you’re lucky, we’re still at the beginning. You probably watched this before you became blind, didn’t you?”
“I bet you memorized it, you nerd.”
“That day,” Matt mumbles, voice still muffled by the pillow. “She was amazed to discover that when he was saying as you wish, what he meant was I love you. And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.”
“There you go,” Foggy says a little thickly. “Knew it. Nerd.”
“M’not a nerd. You’re a nerd.”
“Shut up and let me narrate this movie for you.”
Matt shoves his face a little deeper into the pillow. Foggy almost almost thinks he hears him say “as you wish”, but knows that it can only be wishful thinking.
Foggy falls asleep pressed into the arm of the couch, having lengthened out a little further in the night. When he wakes up for just a moment, so early in the morning that it’s grey, Matt is asleep, face for once at peace. One of his arms is curled around Foggy’s legs. His body is solid and warm against Foggy’s, and Foggy lets his eyes flutter shut once more.
And finally then everything is the way it should be.
Matt is lighter around the office, cracking more jokes. Karen teases him mercilessly about being Daredevil, and Foggy throws things at his head when he’s being annoying cause he knows he can catch them. Some nights Matt shows up bloody and Foggy patches him up. But more often than not Matt holds himself a little less stiffly at the office, has a few less cuts and bandages on his face. Things are calmer, and peaceful, and there’s a rhythm.
One afternoon after Matt and Foggy take lunch and they return to the office, one of Foggy’s sweatshirts is on the desk. Karen’s eating a croissant while reading something on her iPad.
“When did one of my sweaters get here?” Foggy asks, putting the hot chocolate he got for Karen down on the desk next to her.
Karen grins at him, face a little pink. “Captain America dropped it off for you. He says you forgot it at the Tower when you went over there to watch Blade Runner with everybody.”
“Oh, that’s nice of him. Wait, he knows where I work?”
“Apparently Tony told him. He said Tony says to tell you to enjoy the invasiveness.”
“I bet he did.”
“Does he always have the thing where he’s radiating honesty and charm and just all around niceness?”
“Yeah, it pretty much only ever turns off when he’s playing any game of any kind.” Watching him play Donkey Kong with Bucky is one of Foggy’s more energetic but treasured memories.
Karen grins a little slyly. “You were right about his arms. Very nice.”
Foggy thinks he hears a pencil snap from Matt’s office.
“Your arms are nice too, Matt!” Karen calls.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Karen, I’m in the other room!” Matt yells, evidently in an attempt to preserve some sense of dignity.
Karen turns to Foggy. “I understand the appreciative tone you used to describe them, too. Definitely worthy.”
It sounds like another pencil snap.
“Why you gotta antagonize him, Page?” Foggy asks, shaking his head. “You know he gets weird about me being friends with them sometimes.”
“Right. That’s what he gets weird about.”
Foggy starts to notice a suspicious trend, and that is that there are a lot more team-ups between Daredevil and the Avengers these days.
Which normally would please Foggy. Matt having more friends who do what he does would be good. They could talk shop or whatever.
No, what’s suspicious is how suddenly elaborate their moves seem to have gotten from the footage he’s been seeing from the fights.
Natasha’s fighting looks even closer to dancing than normal. Bucky is crushing things with his metal arm more than he needs to. Clint is leaping over everything he possibly can. Tony is doing what almost looks like pirouettes in midair and Steve seems to be throwing his shield with far more showmanship than normal. Thor’s lightning strikes come bigger and louder. Matt seems to be doing more flipping than fighting. Even the Hulk seems to be smashing harder and more. Sam, it doesn’t look like, has changed, but Foggy guesses that’s because he’s the sane one.
Karen and Foggy are sitting on Foggy’s couch watching the news footage from a fight earlier in the day with popcorn when Clint and Matt literally do backflips side by side in wide arcs and Foggy officially decides he needs to investigate this because it’s getting ridiculous.
First he calls Sam.
“Are the Avengers purposefully having fights closer to Hell’s Kitchen so they can show off to Daredevil in some weird territorial bullshit about whose friend I am?” Foggy ask without preamble. Sam must have been anticipating this, because he answers right off the bat.
“I don’t know for sure, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised.”
“No offense, but I kind of want smack literally everyone that you hang out with.”
“I’ll hold them down for you.”
Foggy snorts. “Thanks. Okay, I have to go call my asshole of a friend. You tell our assholes of friends to stop showing off like they’re trying to woo me or I swear to God, I’m going to move to Brooklyn and become a butcher.”
Sam laughs. “You got it.”
“Thanks, Sane Friend.”
“No problem, Sane Friend.”
Foggy hangs up and dials Matt, ignoring Karen’s amused grin.
“Are you showing off when you and the Avengers fight in some passive-aggressive attempt to show them up because of some possessive bullcrap?”
There’s a pause.
“I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.”
“Your phone says my name when I call, you dick!” Foggy yells and he knows that sound is the sound of Matt covering a laugh.
“Oh, Foggy! Sorry, the reception is really crappy here, you’re going in and out.”
“Really, cause I can hear you fine.”
“That’s really strange, huh.”
“You dipshit, are you engaged in a pissing contest with the Avengers right now?”
“Sorry buddy, I’m- crrk- going through a tunnel-crrk- talk-crrk-later-“
“If you use that lame excuse on me Murdock I swear to God-“
Matt makes some more static noises and hangs up, but not before Foggy hears him laugh. Foggy stares at his phone and wishes that he could slowly close his hand and crush it into tiny pieces.
“You two are adorable,” Karen says. Foggy presses his phone against his forehead. Maybe he can crush it against it like a soda can. “Look at it this way. You have like ten people fighting over you. It’s a rom-com’s wet dream.”
“I don’t want to be a rom-com’s wet dream,” Foggy tells her. A little pathetically, he has to admit.
“I know.” She pats Foggy’s arm. “You just want to be Matt’s.”
“I need better friends.”
The very next day Foggy is walking down a side street to a bakery he likes when the road and sidewalk before him literally ripples and flings everybody on it back, including Foggy. Foggy finds himself by a fruit market, landing in a carton of melons and strawberries. A wooden awning falls so part of it’s just barely over his head and some of it’s in front of him.
Someone moves the awning that’s in front of him and kneels down.
“Hey, stranger,” Daredevil says.
“You managed to get out of that tunnel, I see,” Foggy says sourly because it’s really not his day and also Matt’s a dick.
Matt smirks a little. “Took me a while, but I got there.”
“Is this a supervillain thing? I hate supervillain things.”
“More of a supernuisance than anything, looks like. You should probably get off the streets, though.”
“Golly gee, that hadn’t occurred to me.”
Matt’s smirk widens. He pushes the awning off Foggy so he can stand up. “Looks like you ruined your suit.”
“Yay.” Foggy claps Matt on the shoulder. “Go do your thing. I’m going to go hide in here until there’s no chance of being squished or something.”
Matt gives him a real smile this time. “You got it.”
So Foggy goes in the building and pulls out his phone to play Angry Birds while the skirmish goes on outside. Which, to be fair, is pretty much how everyone else is dealing with it. New Yorkers are pretty used to this shit by now.
After about fifteen minutes, one of the teens peers through the window. “Hey, looks like they’re done,” he says. There’s various grumbles along the lines “finally” and “aw man I missed lunch” as everyone files out. Foggy pulls off his suit jacket cause that’s pretty much done for and rolls up his sleeps. The Avengers are facing Daredevil while a SHIELD van’s doors close, presumably to cart away whatever villain they just faced. Everyone’s stance is decidedly passive-aggressive in nature.
Foggy walks up to stand next to Matt, rolling up his sleeves. “Hey guys,” he says. “So that looked like fun.”
“Hey, Nelson,” Clint says. “You’ve got melon juice on your ass.”
“Thanks, Clint. It escaped my notice.”
“Sure thing, buddy.”
The Avengers and Matt go back to glaring at each other. Foggy looks at Sam and they share a do you believe that we have to put up with this shit look.
“Is there any way that I can convince you people that I can have more than one friend?” he asks wearily. “Normal people don’t have to be talked into that, you know.”
“You might as well just whip them out and measure them, guys,” Sam agrees.
“All right, fine, we’ll settle this at the source,” Tony says abruptly. “Nelson, who do you like more, us or Lucifer?”
Foggy groans, running his hand over his face. “That’s not the point I’m trying to make here.”
“If you don’t answer it, it’s a point in our favor.”
“It’s not a point in anyone’s favor,” Matt says through gritted teeth. “Foggy doesn’t have to do anything if he doesn’t want to.”
Foggy looks at Tony. “If I answer your damn question, will you stop with this passive aggressive bullshit that’s going to get all of you killed?”
“Sure,” Tony answers easily.
Foggy looks at Matt and recognizes his stance immediately. He’s holding himself stiffly and his jaw is tight, but his lips are pursed slightly. He’s feeling vulnerable.
He honestly thinks there’s a chance that Foggy won’t choose him.
Foggy’s thought process takes approximately a second and a half. It starts with you could fuck it all up, rapidly transitions into eh, fuck it, and pretty much ends there.
Foggy puts a hand on the back of Matt’s neck and pulls him down slightly to press their lips together.
And it is the worst eight seconds of Foggy’s life because Matt is just standing there completely frozen, and he’s not responding at all, and this is the worst decision Foggy has ever made.
Foggy pulls away and swallows past the lump in his throat. He starts to turn towards the Avengers. “I think that answer-“
Which is of course when Matt seizes his face in both of his hands and drags him in. If Foggy had the brainpower, he would say that Matt doesn’t so much kiss him as slam both of their mouths together, but he’s really not complaining, especially when Matt draws him right up against his body and whoa, there’s Matt’s tongue in his mouth, he is really not complaining.
When Matt finally pulls away, one of Foggy’s hands has moved to awkwardly hold the back of his mask helmet thing which is pretty smooth and hard to get any traction from. Matt is staring at him with his mouth slightly open in what Foggy thinks is surprise.
“Huh,” Matt says, voice a little strangled.
“Yeah, huh, you idiot,” Foggy answers, because he’s possibly the most romantic person to ever grace the face of the planet. He lets go of Matt (which causes Matt to frown and Foggy to feel some butterflies in addition to the balloon of joy continuingly expanding in his chest) and turns to the Avengers. Bucky and Natasha are smirking a little. Sam gives him a thumbsup. Bruce gives him a tired smile, all shrunk down back to normal. Thor is beaming. Steve is grinning. Tony and Clint are both giving him open mouthed stares.
“You fucker,” Clint says accusatorily. “The deck was stacked, he had an advantage all along.”
“Yeah, I call foul,” Tony agrees. “We want a rematch.”
“I’m not kissing any of you,” Foggy says flatly.
“He’s really not,” Matt mutters.
“That’s enough, boys,” Natasha murmurs, looking at Foggy with undisguised fondness, which is an unusual but not unpleasant look on her. “He answered your question. Let the man go.”
“Which is exactly what I’m doing, as a matter of fact.” Foggy picks up his suit jacket and hauls it over his shoulder. “I’ll call you guys for a movie night later.” He gives Matt a little grin, who’s still gaping at him a little. “I’m guessing I’ll probably see you sooner than that.”
Foggy turns around as Clint yells “GET IT, NELSON!” He shakes his head.
He’s walked away a fair amount but evidently not enough for him to not hear Matt stammer (and that’s pretty crazy, Foggy doesn’t think he’s ever heard Matt stammer in his life) “I’m, uh, I’m gonna, gonna go… that way.”
“YEAH I BET YOU ARE!” Clint bellows and Foggy shakes his head. Someday he’ll be able to properly educate Clint about boundaries and their lines.
Foggy knows that Matt is darting across rooftops and through side alleys, and is sure he can hear him, so he says “Ignore Clint, he’s kind of a doofus. You’d get along well.”
There’s a peal of laughter that echoes from one of the roofs and Foggy can’t help but grin.
(Not too much later, when Foggy gets in his apartment and Matt is already there, pressing gentle kisses all over his face, hands running through his hair and over his shoulders like he doesn’t know where to rest them, Foggy will laugh softly and say “you idiot, how did you ever think I wouldn’t choose you?”, and Matt will kiss him on the lips this time and all those times Foggy said things were normal he was still wrong, because this is what’s right, what normal should be, and his balloon of joy engulfs him completely as he smiles into Matt’s mouth, feeling Matt trying not to smile back)