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Matt had one rule in the morning and that rule was no words before caffeine. Everyone who knew him even slightly deeper than surface level knew this rule. The admin staff at the courthouse knew this rule. Anyone who wanted Matthew Murdock to do anything remotely productive respected the rule.

His fucking teammates did not respect the rule.

Or maybe they did, in some roundabout way.

The three of them didn’t typically do morning jobs because hello, vigilantes. They ran with the cover of night. But sometimes, sometimes, exceptions had to be made. For example, to find a guy kidnapping kids in broad daylight.

Mr. Kidnapper did not run an ice cream van, to Wade’s enormous disappointment, but he was a fucking scumbag and he did like to wander around outside museums, where families liked to sit and have breakfast and lunch. Matt hated him like he hated all pedophiles, but he hated him especially because the fucker took the earliest shift imaginable. He was damn sure the sun had not yet broken across the horizon. The only families out were jetlagged tourists who hadn’t read the museum’s opening hours online.

Matt was fuming.

You have functional eyes, people. Fucking use them for the rest of us.

The sleep-deprived buzz at the back of Matt’s brain impeded only his ability to form complete sentences; it did nothing to staunch the flow of vivid fantasies of broken teeth. He kind of wanted to leave this one strung out on the pedestal of a fountain. Or a chain link fence. He hadn’t decided yet.

Peter plopped down next to him as a disgusting ball of sunshine, wearing what Matt could only presume to be the dorkiest baseball cap in existence. If it was a Yankees one, that would be it. Team Red was canceled. He glared at the kid sidelong until he noticed, then looked away. Peter hummed and swung his legs a little, waiting for Wade.

It sounded like the lead up to a terrible fucking joke.

So there’s a spider and a blind man on a bench in the park.

The blind man hates the world because of injustice and discrimination.  

The spider’s just chillin’.

“Double D, you’re having lots of thoughts today, huh?” the sunshine creature asked.

He did not dignify this with a response. What Peter meant by this was ‘your face is doing very complicated, unpleasant things and none of them look positive. Please stop scaring the children.’ Well, fuck the children. Wait, no, don’t fuck the children, that was what got them here in the first place. He was a living example of the consequences of that shit.

Oh. He’d forgotten about that pot of rage, good to know it was still as fucking scalding as all the others.

“Matt,” Peter said, “You’re uh, bleeding.”

It brought him back out of the spiral enough to touch his lip and realize that he had indeed broken the skin there. The kid popped up next to him and told him not to worry, he’d go get a napkin.

From where? What store was open at ass ‘o clock in the morning? He needed to know so he could burn it for its cruelty to its employees.

“Hey, is the kid here yet?” Wade’s voice interrupted, “Oh, dude. You got a little something on your, uh—”

“I know,” Matt snarled. He dug through his bag until he found the box of Kleenex he reserved for the people sobbing all over his desk at work. Pulling out one tissue was impossible because of capitalism or some damn thing, so he ended up with three wadded up, torn tissues smashed against his lip while he tried to block out the fucking birdsong in the park behind them.

Wade sat down next to him and slouched, now waiting for the kid to come back with unnecessary napkins. The peace only lasted maybe a minute because Matt’s brain suddenly wanted to know why the fuck Wade had joined them on this allegedly covert operation given that he was covert in exactly no way possible. He also wanted to know who on God’s earth had given Wade permission to spread his fucking legs so far all over the bench, all pressed up against his own knee. Sure, okay, they’d fucked a couple times, but not enough to warrant this level of social touching. He grimaced into the tissue so he didn’t slap the offending thigh.

Wade noticed his furious silence.

“You alright, man?” he asked casually.

“Peachy,” he snipped back.

Wade didn’t believe him, but also had at least two braincells rattling around that head of his because he opted not to poke that sleeping bear.

Correction. That conscious bear.

Peter rejoined them to report that he couldn’t find any places open with napkins, so he’d gotten Matt a few paper towels. Matt thanked him and stuffed them into the bag next to the Kleenex. Wade moved over so Peter could sit in between them, and so they would come off as the happiest, most dysfunctional gay family in the history of the fucking city. Matt had had no say in this. And that pissed him off. He didn’t have to pretend happy gay families. He had his very own happy gay family. It was him and Foggy and all the fucking houseplants he couldn’t kill in the living room.

Moreover, he wasn’t old enough to be Peter’s dad. Or if he was, he’d have to have been busy real fucking early, which was a part of his life he didn’t like to think about, thanks. Wade existed somewhere in that nebulous state of scarred, huge, and jacked that meant he could be either 25 or 50 and no one would ever know. Peter, on a good day, Wade assured Matt, looked approximately fourteen. Which was not a bad thing for Peter, although he resented this to his core.

Fourteen, coincidentally, was the age their scumbag was into. And Peter’s excitement for life and his incessant chatter to Wade about some damn science thing which had absolutely no bearing on real life and which Wade was far too stupid to comprehend had to have been a beacon for the shithead and others of his kind.

They’d only been parked on the bench for fifteen minutes when Matt pinpointed the pounding of the heart about sixty meters yards away by the fountain. Convenient. Guy didn’t seem to have been jogging. He nudged Wade and jerked his chin that way subtly. Wade scanned the park, as bored as could be.

“’Bout 27 to 34, 5’11”, a buck eighty, dressed like a jogger,” Wade noted. “Looks like a fucking camp counselor, who the fuck wears white socks that high.”

Matt wouldn’t know, he didn’t own anything white anymore because he was too good at getting blood all over it.

Peter, who’d gotten bored sitting like a normal person on the bench and had opted for hanging his feet over the back of the bench so he could sit upside-down (something was off with this kid’s brain chemistry, Matt was pretty damn certain, no one liked to be upside-down that much), perked up (down?) and glanced around the park. Matt wondered how he could see anything with Wade’s giant log in the way.

“Baseball cap?” he asked, even though he, too, fit that description.

“Yeah, Yankees looks like,” Wade said.

Matt smiled to himself. At least there was some justice in the world if he was allowed to beat the snot out of a Yankees sympathizer. He noticed the awkward silence.

“What?” he groused.

“Dude, you’re like giggling to yourself over there,” Wade pointed out. “Rein in the evil, sugar. Pete, why don’t you go get your dad a cup of coffee before he commits homicide in broad daylight.”

Matt hissed at the epithet.

“I am no one’s father,” he growled.

“Yeah, thank fuck,” Wade quipped back. “Although you could be, you never know. Condoms are only 99% effective.”

“What do you want in your coffee, Double D?” Peter asked over him.

“Nothing except boiling water,” Matt told him; he dug through his pocket and gave the kid a ten, “Thank you, Peter. And please talk to that lumbering piece of shit about being shortchanged on the way back so I can drown him, then sleep sixteen hours.”

Peter snickered because someone appreciated Matt’s sense of humor and went off to do the deed. Once he was gone, Matt shoved Wade’s knee over and glared at him. Wade simply moved his ass and its long ass logs over a few inches to begin the nonsense all over again.

“You drink your coffee black, Red?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“God, who hurt you?”

“Alphabetically or chronologically?”

“Let’s forget I asked.”

Peter acquired burnt coffee from the tiny little pop-up café directly across the courtyard, which, Matt was fairly certain, burned every pot of coffee they made and also deserved to go bankrupt for torturing their employees. Peter bumped into the shithead pedophile by the fountain on the way back, and ‘accidently’ splashed him with half the cup of scalding, burnt, bean juice. Peter was very apologetic, and the guy immediately started soothing him. It put Matt’s teeth on edge, which did nothing but reopen his split lip. Wade threw a lazy hand behind the bench so that he could get a firm grip on the nape of Matt’s neck to keep him from sprinting across the field and breaking the guy’s nose in front of God and everyone.

The man was asking Peter if he liked coffee. Peter did not. The man offered to buy Peter a hot chocolate. Matt wanted to kick him in the balls. Peter’s heart said he wanted to do the same. But he did played dumb and said he’d have to ask his dads.

The man glanced their way and made a calculated decision that the blind guy and his burn victim husband were an easy, sympathetic mark, as they were totally too disabled to give chase should it come to that.

Oh, you stupid, stupid fucker. Matt could not wait to get his hands on him.

“Remember the evil, honey? We’re keeping it inside,” Wade reminded, clenching his hand at the back of Matt’s neck. Matt shook out the anticipation squirms and irritably leaned back against Wade’s arm.

“I think I want to leave him in a fountain,” he confided.

“I think that can be arranged,” Wade replied thoughtfully.

Peter returned to ask permission. Matt gave him the name of a café not too far from there with a deep alley behind it. They got his story straight and then Matt and Wade got up to do some ‘shopping’ and then meet him there.

 

 

Matt had a great time dragging the guy out back to the fountain, despite the severe lack of caffeine. He didn’t even care how many camera phones came out to greet him on the way. Once the fucker was done screaming his way to the center, Matt dropped his leg and grabbed his fucking hat to throw into the outer pool first. Then he caught the escaping leg and hauled the guy up, wailing, over his shoulder to drop his ass right into the center pedestal, with the main jet just inches away from his newly aching balls. The feature went off, just on time, and Matt stood back to admire a job well done, before stalking off back to the alley from whence he came. Peter had already called the police. And Wade had promised a decent coffee would be waiting for him when he got back.

Some pretty great footage made the news that night, and he cackled while Foggy just sighed and barred him from daylight missions for the foreseeable future.