Matt wakes up, groggy and disoriented with a dull but nagging headache, to a few immediate realizations. He’s being carried damsel style, for one. For another, Frank Castle’s heartbeat is practically right in his ear. Thirdly, he’s surrounded by Frank’s scent. Lastly, he’s pretty sure he’s in his Daredevil costume. Something must’ve happened while he was out patrolling, but he couldn’t think of what so…that plus the headache probably meant he managed to get knocked out and probably has a slight concussion despite the armored helmet.
“You awake there, Sunshine?” Frank’s entirely too amused voice.
“Ugh. Honey, not tonight, I’ve got such a headache,” Matt supposed he wasn’t too hurt if he was managing to tease and flirt with Frank. Not that he was going to outright admit to flirting. But, the things that went on in the privacy of his own mind were between him and God.
Which reminded him that he probably needed to go to Confession tomorrow. Or was it tomorrow already? He didn’t think so, it still felt and smelled like nighttime.
Frank snorted at Matt’s response, causing Matt to grin at the sound.
“So why are you carrying me?” Matt asked, when Frank didn’t seem inclined to tease back.
“Well, you had an attack of the vapors and fainted so I figured I’d better see you home like a proper gentleman,” Frank said, sounding entirely stone-faced as if that weren’t the strangest thing he’d ever said.
“I did not!!” Matt was affronted at the very suggestion, even though he knew they were both aware it wasn’t true.
“Right into my arms,” was Frank’s only reply, though this time Matt could hear a grin.
“That didn’t happen, Frank! Put me down!”
“Sorry, can’t do that. You might swoon again.“
“I did not ‘swoon’ in the first place!”
“Ask the four thugs I left in the Dumpster. They’ll tell you.”
“Tell me that you’re a liar?”
“You really want me to put you down, Red?”
“…” Matt considered it for a moment, before leaning into Frank’s hold and relaxing against him. Practically cuddling into his chest. “Well…maybe not. I wouldn’t want you to feel responsible if I fainted again and hit my head.”
“So you’re admitting that you fainted?” Frank asked, after taking a moment to scoff and, Matt was pretty sure, to roll his eyes.
“Where are you taking me?” Matt asked, instead of admitting to anything.
“A safehouse I got. Pretty close now, don’t worry. Max’ll be happy to see you.”
“Max is there?” Matt asked.
“Yeah, of course. I been at that one a few days and I can’t just leave Max for too long. He gets sad.”
“Awww…” Matt didn’t even try to fight the grin crossing his features.
“Shut up,” Frank huffed.
“No, no! It’s alright, really! You’re too cute, Frank. Who knew the Punisher’s weakness was a literal set of sad puppy eyes?”
“I think I liked it better when you were unconscious,” Frank insisted, but Matt could hear the warm smile in his voice.