Matt lies to himself every morning, when he gets out of bed.
He tells himself this is the end of Daredevil, this is the beginning of his life.
He throws himself into work, he tries not to listen to the cries of the city.
He’s alright as long as he keeps his mind off things, he’s fine, he’s just got to keep himself from drowning in his loneliness.
When night falls and he tries to force his mind to rest, is when the senses come alive. He can hear every heart beat, every single breath, every drop of blood.
It’s a battle, then, between Matt Murdock and Daredevil, and it always ends too soon, always ends in the same way.
Matt Murdock is no fighter, he’s pathetic and weak and just so insignificant.
Matt Murdock can only fool himself into thinking he can make a change, but the Devil is the one people need.
And he can’t ignore what he hears, he can’t be indifferent. He has to help.
The weight of the days make it impossible to breathe, and he tries, he really does try to move on, to live again.
He’s just lost so much, he’s as alone as he’s ever been and he misses Foggy and Karen so much, he misses how it used to be.
So he can’t help but to dive right into the comfort of the night, which comes with a rush in his veins.
He needs to go out there, he needs to fight, to make a difference.
He knows listening to the sounds of death from afar will kill him, and he still somehow wants to survive.
(He tries to fight against it, he tries to resist the call, but when night falls, Daredevil always comes out winning.)
It’s Monday morning and Matt lies to himself once again.
He sips on his black coffee and he tries not to listen.
He’s lucky he’s got a case to work on, and as long as he has his job to keep him focused he’s gonna be fine.
Until he hears footsteps approaching, becoming louder and louder, stopping right before his door.
The heart beat he picks up on is not one he knows, but the man outside his apartment is not armed, and he most likely isn’t a threat.
Still, Matt lowers his mug on the table, and starts moving quietly toward the entrance.
He’s walking down the hall when he finally hears a knock on the door.
He unlocks it and opens it just enough to make himself visible.
“Good morning, I’m looking for Matt Murdock, is this the right place?”
“Yeah, this is me. How can I be helpful, sir?”
“Well, my name’s Tony Stark, I was hoping we could have a chat?”
It takes Matt a second longer to process.
Why on earth would Tony Stark turn to him?
He surely already has a whole squad of lawyers and even if he didn’t, there’s no way he would come to Matt personally. Hell, not even one of his employees would bother making their way to his apartment.
Not to mention this is the same man that blasted him off just last week.
He blinks once, then he mutely steps out of the way and invites the man in.
Stark nods at him and steps in.
He keeps walking towards the living room as Matt closes the door behind them.
“Nice place you’ve got here” he comments, turning on himself as he looks around.
“I’m guessing it is”
“Mind if I sit?” he asks, pointing at one of the couches.
“Of course not” he goes to stand at the kitchen bar where he left his glasses and he puts them on “So, what can I do for you, Mister Stark?”
“Well, you’re a lawyer, aren’t you? Heard you’re a pretty good one at that, too”
“That’s flattering to hear” he gives him a toothless smile “But I’m under the impression that you’re more than legally equipped, were you to find yourself once again in a court of law. Please correct me if I’m wrong”
“You’re not” he concedes, resting his back on the couch “But it never hurts to have someone else on the team, especially in times like these. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Sokovia Accords”
“Well, they need some revisiting, to say the least, and we need as much legal advice as we can muster”
“I’m sorry, but I believe I’m not qualified for that kind of job”
Stark sighs, exasperated, like this conversation is somehow draining all his energy.
“Alright, I see how this is” he straightens his back and runs a hand across his face.
Matt frowns at him curiously, trying to figure out what’s going on on Stark’s mind.
He rests a hand on his waist and leans in slightly, waiting.
“Listen, I’m not gonna dance around it, hope you don’t mind the bluntness” he makes a pause and Matt arches an eyebrow “You’re Daredevil, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, whatever you like calling yourself when you go out in the mask”
Matt stiffens suddenly, blood runs cold in his veins and every muscle in his body is readying itself for the fight.
“How did you find out my identity?” his voice is hard, he can feel danger lingering in the air and his whole system is reacting to it.
“It wasn’t particularly easy, if that puts your mind at ease”
Stark decides to ignore him as he goes on “But I have a certain type of resources, also a rather high IQ. Don’t think anybody but me knows, unless you’ve told somebody else, of course”
“Are you threatening me?”
“What? No” he raises his hands defensively “I can keep a secret, and I will”
“Then what do you want?”
“I actually just want to have a few words”
Matt scoffs “You didn’t seem to feel the same way, last time we were in the same room”
He still doesn’t allow himself to relax, but he doesn’t feel particularly threatened anymore. Whatever the reason for that is.
“And I’m sorry for that, I really am” Stark stands up, but he doesn’t dare come any nearer to Matt “But hey, you seem fine now!”
If he’s being honest, the blast didn’t actually injure him. The force of it was enough to leave him breathless and make sure he wouldn’t move for a while, but in the end it was just a hit. A really hard one, but he’d be lying if he said he didn’t take far worse.
That’s when the kid comes to his mind.
It’s not the first time he’s wondered about the kid, telling himself he was fine because he had to be, because if he wasn’t it was all on him, because the bullet was meant for Matt.
“Is Spider Man alright?” he asks, hesitantly, a rush of anxiety taking over him.
Something in Stark seems to soften then, a small smile playing on his lips.
“Oh he’s okay, nearly gave me a heart attack, but his healing factor is crazy efficient. Sometimes I can’t help but get jealous of you people and your freaky powers”
Matt breathes out, relieved.
“Well I’m not one of the people with the healing factors”
“That’s interesting. Spidey told me about your enhanced senses, which I guess is how you’re doing this despite you, you know...”
Matt knows “Despite me being blind?”
“Yeah, that” he gestures with his hands “Do you have super strength? Some other freaky powers?”
Instead of answering he asks a question of his own:
“What do you want from me?”
“Right, forgot you like going straight to the point. Okay, I need a favor”
“I don’t exactly owe you one”
“You do have a point, but I’ll make it up to you, whatever you need”
“What is it?”
Stark breathes out, and Matt can feel the way he holds himself change, his confidence morphing into something different, something more earnest.
“I need you to keep an eye out for the kid”
“Spider Man, I need you to look after him”
“I got that, and it’s not going to happen. I’m not a baby sitter”
Stark rolls his eyes “You don’t actually have to be on his ass at all times, hell, I guess that’s kind of my job. Just, I don’t know, help him out if he gets in over his head”
“He’s already in over his head, he’s a child playing soldier and he’s just gonna get himself killed”
Stark flinches, shutting his eyes shut as if Matt’s words physically pained him.
He’s taken aback by his reaction, and he remembers the smile on Spider Man’s face when he heard the Iron Man suit approach, as if he knew he would be safe just then.
He starts to realize how much Stark must care about the kid.
“That’s why I’m asking you this, I need a little help making sure he doesn’t end up dead”
Matt laughs sarcastically, and it comes out awfully bitter.
“Yeah, cause I was of great help in that last time”
“I wasn’t your fault”
Matt doesn’t believe him.
“Listen” Stark sighs, running a hand through his hair “I get it if you don’t want to do this. But he’s a good kid, he just wants to help. And yeah, he has like zero sense of self preservation and makes a sport out of giving me heart attacks with the dumb dangerous situations he always seems to get stuck in. And I try to do my best, to keep him safe, but to know there’s someone else he can count on, when he’s out there, that’d be great. I just, I know he’s going to do wonderful things, one day. I really want to keep him alive until then”
Matt keeps quiet, the words running through his head as he considers it.
He’s never been good at turning his head away from the people who need his help, he can never ignore the sounds, the pleas.
“I’ll keep an eye on him. Or lend an ear, you know”
Stark scoffs at him, but his voice is sincere when he says “Thank you”
“I can’t believe you just made me responsible for a kid”
“Well, it happens to the best of us, I’m afraid”