Jessica had more strength than any other enhanced skill or ability; as such, she could hear moderately well. Better than the average person, certainly. She liked to tell Luke she could hear better than he could.
Unfortunately, her hearing wasn’t good enough to hear Daredevil when he decided to land softly beside her, thus scaring the absolute shit out of her.
“Relax, Jones,” he told her. His voice was deep, gruff, gravelly; there was also absolutely no way that it was his real voice. “If you’re always on edge, you’ll never get anything done.”
Jessica snorted. “Thanks for the tips. What are you, my teacher?”
“Thanks, Mr. Daredevil, but I think I’ve already graduated vigilante school,” Jessica continued, as Luke scaled the side of the building and settled next to Jessica on the roof. “Hey, big guy. Where’s Danny?”
“Please, no real names,” Daredevil growled. Jessica rolled her eyes.
“Jesus Christ, dude, lighten up,” she said. “I don’t even have a vigilante name.”
“Some of us have identities to protect,” Daredevil told her. Danny landed beside her.
“You’re the only one who won’t tell us who you are,” Danny reminded him. “And, you know, at the risk of sounding conceited, I can’t imagine you’re better-known than I am.”
“Unless he’s Tony Stark,” Luke suggested. Jessica eyed Daredevil.
“Don’t think so,” she stated. Daredevil frowned, as far as she could tell in the dark, and with his mask. “Oh, man, you gotta lighten up, Daredevil. You’ll never get anywhere like this.”
“Now who’s teaching at vigilante school?” Danny teased. He flexed his fingers, a glow starting to hum up around his wrist before he shook it off. “Anyways, I think we’re done ganging up on Daredevil. City seems like it’s good for tonight.”
“I’ll meet you tomorrow,” Daredevil said, the moment Danny was done talking.
“Same bat time, same bat channel,” Danny said, and Daredevil nodded and took off at a spring, leaping from the roof they were on to the next, eventually vanishing from sight down an alley. The three of them watched him disappear, in silence for a long moment.
“So,” Luke said. “Do you think he ever smiles?”
Danny laughed, dropping down to sit cross-legged on the ground. “I honestly, honestly don’t. I don’t even think I’ve ever heard him laugh. Do you think he has any friends?”
“Are we his only friends?” Luke added. Jessica sat down next to Danny, letting him comb his fingers through her hair. Luke paced to the edge of the roof, glancing down to the empty streets.
“We might be,” Jessica answered. “He’s always the first to suggest we meet earlier, stay later.”
“Extra training,” Danny added.
“Assigned defense sectors.”
“So, the guy’s a little weird,” Luke interrupted. “He’s not that bad.”
“He’s got a stick up his ass,” Jessica said. “God help anyone he knows in his real life.”
“I think this is his real life,” Danny suggested. The three of them were quiet for a moment.
“Well, I hope he’s happy,” Luke said, finally.
“Is there such a thing as a vigilante who’s too dark and broody?” Danny asked, letting Luke give him a hand up. Jessica hopped to her feet.
“If there is,” Jessica said, “the horns on his head don’t help me take him seriously.”
Luke laughed before launching Jessica to the ground, Danny after her, chattering about where they should get their incredibly late dinner/obscenely early breakfast. She glanced down the direction Daredevil disappeared, letting her mind drift for a moment, wondering about who he might be, before Luke caught her attention again, and she forgot all about him.
The next night was a golden opportunity at a glance into Daredevil’s personal life.
Unfortunately, it came at the price of Daredevil getting injured, and Jessica, Luke, and Danny all insisting* that he tell them where he lived so they could get him home safe (*read: essentially forcing). The mugger that had gotten in one good jab was already unconscious, and Danny had called the police to come pick him up. The hinge in Daredevil’s armor by his left hip had taken the blow, though Jessica had already yanked the knife free and was using her scarf to apply pressure to the wound.
“Dude, you have to tell us where to bring you, or else you’re just gonna bleed out in the street over a stupid little stab,” Jessica said, again. Luke had Daredevil hoisted up in a bridal carry, but the guy’s attention seemed hyper-focused on Jessica and her prodding.
“Just leave me, I’ll figure it out,” Daredevil insisted, for the thirtieth time. Danny groaned loudly, zip-tying the unconscious mugger to the dumpster.
“Look, Daredevil,” Danny snapped. “If you don’t tell us where you live, I’m gonna take you to the hospital.”
“Which one?” he asked.
“Definitely the opposite of whichever one you want to go to,” Danny said. Luke readjusted his grip and motioned for them to leave the alley.
“We gotta go,” he told them. Daredevil’s hands twitched towards his hip, but he left Jessica’s hands alone.
“Fine,” Daredevil said. “Fine. Fine. It’s fine.” He rattled off an address deep in Hell’s Kitchen and flinched when Jessica released him.
“Run,” Jessica instructed Luke, and the three of them took off, Daredevil pushing Jessica’s scarf into his knife wound. He insisted, now and then, that he was fine, but now that Jessica had an address, she wasn’t stopping come hell or high water.
His apartment building - assuming it was his and not some empty apartment he was squatting in that he’d led them to - was an okay place. Not the nicest, but not the worst. He motioned for Luke to put him down on the doorstep and leaned in to press one of the call buttons next to the door.
“Yeah?” a man’s voice asked, and Daredevil leaned in.
“It’s me,” Daredevil said.
“Did you forget your key again?” the guy asked, and the door buzzed and opened. “You’re ridiculous. Get up here.”
“I’ve got company,” Daredevil said, softly, like the three superhumans behind him wouldn’t hear it. Luke already had the door open. There was a moment of silence.
“Good or bad?” the guy asked. Daredevil twitched.
“They’re the guys I work with,” he eventually settled on. The guy laughed.
“Great, come on up,” he said, and the line clicked off. Daredevil shuffled ahead of them, shimmied past Luke into the building, and led them to a rickety elevator. The four of them rode in silence, but Jessica could see that Danny was brimming with excitement at whatever this was going to reveal for them. The guy already sounded way too good for Daredevil.
“I’m in 407,” he told them, leading them without seeming to glance at any of the doors on the way there. He leaned to the left, limping, but otherwise made his way just fine. Jessica still kept an eye on him. The door to 407 opened just as Daredevil was about to knock on it, revealing a blonde guy on the other side, wearing matching pajamas, looking just as eager as Danny did.
“Well, well, well, what have we here?” the guy said. Daredevil leaned in the doorway, letting the guy lean in and kiss him on the cheek.
On the cheek.
Jessica glanced back at Danny, who had lit up like it was Christmas come early.
“I got hurt,” Daredevil told the guy, his voice already a little less gruff than it usually was with them. The guy frowned at him, already starting to look for a wound. “Left hip. I got a knife wound, but it’s really shallow, so I-”
“Don’t listen to him,” Jessica interrupted. “Luke carried him basically all the way here.”
“Oh, are we back to the lying, then?” the guy asked Daredevil, and Danny rubbed at his face with his hand to hide his smile. Luke’s lips twitched. “Get in. All of you. I started a pot of coffee when you got here so help yourselves.” He pointed at Daredevil. “You. On the couch.”
“Do you mean me?” Daredevil asked, and it was the closest thing to a joke or a tease that Jessica had ever heard from him.
“Yes, I’m pointing right at you,” the guy said. “Don’t act like you don’t already know that, you bat. Get inside, get on the couch, and take off the costume.”
Daredevil stopped in his tracks, turning back towards the guy a little bit. Danny was already at the coffee pot, pouring out five mugs, looking like this night was greater than any show on television.
“I can’t take off my costume, Fo- Uhm. I can’t,” he said. Jessica raised an eyebrow, accepting the coffee from Luke when he handed it to her.
“Coffee cream’s in the fridge, sugar’s in the blue jar on the counter,” the guy told them, shutting his front door. “You most certainly can take it off. Halloween is over and you got stabbed. Off.”
“But-” His head swiveled in the direction of Luke, Jessica, and Danny standing in the tiny kitchen. “I-”
“They’re your friends, aren’t they?” the guy asked him. “That’s what you told me.”
“Aw, you told him we’re your friends?” Danny said, clutching at his heart. “I’m touched.”
“We have secret identities,” Daredevil said meaningfully, ignoring Danny entirely.
“Oh, Jesus Christ, you and your secret identity,” the guy said. He turned to the kitchen. “Hi, I’m Foggy Nelson-”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Foggy Nelson continued, like Daredevil hadn’t even spoken. He held out a hand, and Danny leaned forward, grasping it firmly and shaking just as well.
“I’m Danny Rand,” he said. “Yeah, the same Rand that you’re probably thinking of.”
“Okay, he’s definitely more important than you, buddy,” Foggy said over his shoulder to Daredevil. He returned his attention to Danny. “Pleasure.”
“Same here,” Danny said, releasing him. Foggy turned to Luke, who took his hand gently.
“Luke Cage,” he said, and Foggy laughed.
“Oh, yeah, I know you,” Foggy said. “I’ve seen you on TV. You’re a good man, Luke Cage.”
“Thanks,” Luke said, letting Foggy turn to Jessica.
“So, you must be Jessica Jones,” Foggy said, and Jessica grinned, grabbing his hand.
“Does Daredevil talk about me off the clock?” Jessica asked, and Foggy laughed.
“You kidding? He loves you guys,” Foggy said, and Daredevil groaned behind him. Danny beamed. “Do they even know your real name, man?”
“No,” Daredevil snapped. “Can I have some help, please?”
“Is your dumbass costume off?” Foggy asked, turning back to him as he collapsed on the sofa. Foggy tsked at him. “Dude. Take it off. I won’t help until you do, and you know Claire’s been teaching me first aid.”
“Claire?” Danny asked.
“Claire Temple?” Luke asked. Foggy turned around in surprise.
“Yeah, do you know her?”
“She’s our team nurse,” Jessica told him. Foggy laughed.
“They know Claire but they don’t know your fuckin’ name,” Foggy said, leaning over and starting to undo Daredevil’s armor for him. “You’re ridiculous.”
“You’re ridiculous,” Daredevil grumbled. He let Foggy undress him down to his tight fitness pants and undershirt, his mask and helmet coming off last. Jessica grinned.
“Aw, he’s cute,” Danny commented. “Look at him.”
“Leave the guy alone,” Luke said, smiling. “He wants to be scary.”
“See, Matt? They like you,” Foggy said, fishing a first aid kit out from under his coffee table. Daredevil - Matt - groaned, as Danny laughed.
“Oh, his name’s Matt?” Jessica said, as Danny exclaimed, “He’s a frat boy!”
“I am not,” Matt grumbled. He stared absently up at the ceiling as Foggy separated his pants and shirt to examine his wound.
“It’s not that deep,” Foggy announced, “but I’m gonna clean it out and do a butterfly on it. How’s that?”
“Sounds good,” Matt said, still staring. Foggy didn’t seem too bothered by his unwillingness to meet anyone’s eyes. Jessica approached slowly, leaning over the back of the couch to meet Matt’s eye. He refused to. She frowned, tilting closer.
“Does it look worse than I thought?” Foggy asked. She glanced at him.
“Oh, no, sorry, not you.” She leaned back, and Matt smiled, just a little. It was the first time she had ever seen him smile.
“She doesn’t know,” Matt said, unnecessarily cryptic. Foggy’s brow furrowed, looking confused for a moment, before he apparently caught on and laughed.
“You’re an asshole,” Foggy said. “Is this another dumb secret you’re trying to keep?”
“I plead the fifth,” Matt replied, and Foggy grinned.
“That’ll never hold up in the Nelson and Murdock Home Court,” Foggy teased. He returned his attention to Jessica. “He’s blind.”
“He’s what?” Danny blurted - before he could stop himself, apparently. Luke thumped him on the back of the head. Jessica waved a hand in front of Matt’s eyes.
“Talk about a well-kept secret,” Luke commented. Matt smiled again.
“You can stop doing that, Jessica,” Matt said. Jessica snatched her hand back.
“You’re blind,” she repeated, and he raised an eyebrow.
“Yes,” he said. “And?”
“How’d you know what I was doing?” she clarified.
“He’s basically a bat,” Foggy offered. “He’s got sonar or something.”
“It’s a world on fire-”
“Okay, yeah, if you wanna be a drama queen about it,” Foggy interrupted. “Hold still, this is gonna hurt.”
Matt clenched his jaw as the alcohol hit his open wound. He turned his head in Jessica’s direction. “So, now you know.”
“Nelson and Murdock,” Luke said, interrupting whatever Matt was leading up to. Jessica frowned in his direction. “You’re Matt Murdock.”
“I am,” Matt said, tense.
“You two have saved half the asses in the city,” Luke continued. Matt relaxed, and Foggy laughed. “Thank you guys.”
“No thanks needed,” Foggy insisted. “But, please, leave us a review on Yelp. A comment like that from Luke Cage can only help business.” He withdrew his alcohol swabs from Matt’s side and pinched a butterfly bandage over his clean skin. “There you go, buddy.”
“Thanks, Fog,” Matt said, shifting to sit up. Foggy brushed his hand over Matt’s side as he tugged his shirt down, and Matt actually laughed. Out loud. Jessica glanced over her shoulder at the twin incredulous looks on Luke’s and Danny’s faces, an expression she was sure was mirrored on her own.
“Oh, Jesus, they look shocked,” Foggy said. “What did you do to them?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile before,” Danny offered. Foggy laughed; it honestly seemed like this guy felt joy a thousand times more often than Matt did.
“He’s the biggest softie I know,” Foggy told them. “He cried watching The Fox and the Hound last night.”
“Foggy,” Matt growled, but Foggy just brushed Matt’s mess of hair away from his eyes and grinned.
“As much as you can watch something, anyway,” Foggy continued, and Matt laughed again, despite himself.
“Fuck you, Foggy,” Matt said, leaning gingerly against the back of the couch. He groaned, shifting, and settled. Foggy grabbed a blanket off the arm of the chair behind him and draped it over Matt.
“Well, fellas, I hate to cut this party short, but even Daredevil needs his rest,” Foggy said. Jessica finally snapped out of her trance, feeling more like an audience to the world’s most confusing magic show than anything else.
“No problem,” Luke said, while Danny and Jessica attempted to recover.
“Why don’t you guys come over before you head out tomorrow night?” Foggy offered. Matt groaned, covering his face with his hands. “Oh, chill out, Murdock. I can make enough for everyone.”
“That’s why you never want to get dinner with us,” Danny exclaimed. Luke smiled.
“Oh, you’ve never even offered?” Foggy said to Matt. “You dick.”
“They didn’t even know my name before you ruined my mystique,” Matt grumbled, smiling. Foggy smacked his knee.
“You don’t have any mystique,” Foggy told him. “You’re about as mysterious as I am.” He turned to Jessica. “Come by tomorrow around seven, I’ll have food for all of you. Any allergies?”
“I can’t have tree nuts,” Danny offered, and Foggy grabbed a pen off his coffee table and scribbled tree nuts on his arm.
“Got it.” He stood, offering a handshake to each of the other three Defenders again before showing them to the door. Once they were in the hall, he leaned out, sliding the door shut slightly behind him. “Thank you for bringing him back. And for working with him at night. It makes me feel better to know he’s not out there alone.”
“Hey, anytime,” Luke said. Jessica grinned and clapped a hand on Foggy’s shoulder.
“We love working with Matt,” she told him, and Danny leaned in closer.
“And we’ll love it even more now,” Danny said. “Please start preparing any and all embarrassing stories about Matt to tell us tomorrow.”
“I’ll break out his diary,” Foggy joked, and Matt yelled something indecipherable from inside their apartment. Foggy grinned. “See you tomorrow.”
“See you,” they said, leaving Foggy to vanish back into his apartment, the door clicking shut behind him. Danny immediately punched the air.
“He’s so cute!” Danny exclaimed softly. “He’s a normal guy!”
“He has the ability to smile,” Jessica commented.
“He’s a nice person,” Luke added.
“His boyfriend is cute,” Danny continued. “And their coffee cream is so nice!”
“None of their furniture matches,” Luke said.
“Well, he is blind,” Jessica replied.
“I can still hear you!” Matt called from inside the apartment, sending Danny into hysterics. Luke dragged him down the hall to the elevator, Jessica trailing them both, hands in her pockets, grinning away. She was already planning the training sessions her and Matt were going to have once he was all better and could show her exactly how that sonar thing worked.