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The Good Side of You

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day 2 > I don’t know where to begin

The room feels softer while bathed in warm sunlight. Matt lets his arm fall away from himself to feel the dance of light coming in from the windows.

His head is clear, now, totally free of the cloud of last night. He’s able to fully take in the space.

They’re in a tiny, single floor home with no close neighbours. There’s a small kitchen with rusting pipes and a ticking gas line. The whole place smells of dust and wood.

He tries, and fails, to move. He should get out of here, he knows, but he’s in no condition to be out and about in the show. He has no idea where he is... He doesn’t even have shoes with him

He can hear Frank’s heartbeat, a low thrum one room over.

He lies and waits for him to wake up.

 

{+}

Max wakes him about an hour later.

Thankfully, she doesn’t jump on him, but she does shove her nose into Matt’s face, leaving a wet kiss on his forehead as she sniffs him.

“Max, dammit,” Frank grumbles, standing at the door. “Let’s go, c’mon.”

With one last loud sniff, Max leaves him be. She hogs off to meet with her owner, who lets out a breathy “sorry, Red,” before letting them both out into the cold morning air.

They come in a couple minutes later, both smelling of snow. Matt doesn’t do much but lie there, not wanting to cause trouble.

“I gotta’ run out later to get some junk. I ain’t got any real food left.” Frank says, digging around in the cabinets. “Got oatmeal. You hungry?”

The back of the couch faces the kitchen, so Frank can’t even see if Matt responds. He just keeps talking, filling the air. “How do ya’ feel?”

Matt coughs. “Not great.”

“You don’t look great,” Frank adds.

Matt says nothing.

“You know,” he continues, “when I saw your face, I thought maybe you’d been faking the whole Blind Lawyer thing... until I saw your eyes,” Frank says, stirring honey into his already sweet smelling tea.

Max is at his feet, her tail thumping the ground. She’s covered in snow from being outside, and sounds like a healthy, happy girl, but Matt isn’t overly surprised.

Matt hides the urge to draw the blankets up, cover his eyes. Dead, still, cold eyes. He wishes for nothing more than his glasses.

“How do you do it, then? You got some kinda’ superpower? Like them’ boys in the Tower?”

Stark Tower, he means. Matt shakes his head. “I was in an accident when I was a kid. My other senses are heightened.”

Frank chuckles. “So, pretty much a superpower.”

Matt wouldn’t say being blind is a fucking superpower. He’d give it all up just to see his friends faces. “Sure.”

Frank brings a plate and cup around for him, placing them on the coffee table. “Wanna’ sit up?”

Really, he’s gotta piss. And his wounds are aching to be cleaned again, rewrapped and smoothed over with an ice pack. But he’ll take what he can get.

Frank lifts him from behind the shoulders, turning him so he’s somewhat upright, not enough to crunch in on his wounds, but enough to eat. Matt gets a strong whiff of his scent with him being this close. He smells like fabric softener, and dog, the stench of blood and gun oil hidden underneath.

Matt gets a cup in one hand, and a bowl of oatmeal in the other. They eat in silence.

After breakfast, Matt gets what he wants without asking. Frank helps him to the bathroom and waits patiently outside for when he needs help with the wounds on his back. Matt takes in the shape of the window, the lock, and screen. Wonders if he could fit.

After a moment, Matt opens the door slowly, letting Frank in. He stands with his back to the mirror, hands braced on the counter as Frank patches him up again, and helps him to the couch, again, and pulls the blankets up to his chin.

“Comfy?”

Matt closes his eyes.

“You can take my bed tonight. If you wanna stay.”

That makes Matt’s eyes shoot open. Stay? What? He has an option to leave? “What?”

“I just mean, it’s bigger and softer. Not sure if I could keep Max off it all night, though... She seems to think it’s her bed.”

“No, I mean,” Matt wishes he could sit up by himself and have this conversation like a normal person. “I can leave?”

Frank stares at him so hard it makes Matt’s skin prickle. “Yeah? I’m not keeping you here against your will.”

Matt leans up on an elbow, ignoring the pain in his ribs. “It sure seems like that?”

“What? No? I didn’t hand-cuff you to the radiator.”

“Then why did you bring me here?!”

Frank scoffs. “I saved your life!? You were basically dead! I couldn’t have just left you there!”

“Yes, you could have.” Matt bites.

“No.” Frank insists. “I couldn’t have.”

Matt’s eyebrows raise. “Why?”

Stepping forward, Frank distracts himself by cleaning up the dishes from breakfast. “Cuz’ you woulda’ died.”

The rock that has been lifted when Frank told him he was still a free man has settled again. He’s confused.

He doesn’t ask about it anymore, but he also doesn’t leave. So that’s something.

{+}

He sleeps pretty much the rest of the day. Doesn’t even notice when Frank slips out of the house. He does notice when he comes home, with a mere two bags of groceries. Someone’s gotta teach this man how to shop. He has a short meeting with Max while he’s gone, where he brushes his fingers over her face, down her back. She loves the attention, and now Matt has an idea of what she looks like.

He wonders what Frank looks like. Thinks about asking to touch him as he helps Matt up, helps him walk, makes him food, puts him in his bed, sleeps on the couch. It all feels too intimate to ask now. Maybe later.

He knows Frank is strong. He’s wide and tall, and sturdy. Solid.

He wonders what his skin feels like.

He’s losing it, Matt realizes with a slap of insight. He’s gone mad.