There is pain.
Matt isn't sure exactly where it comes from, but there's pain. His legs hurt and his arms hurt and he feels like throwing up and for a second there, his nose feels a little clogged and he feels hungover or something.
He remembers the grenade. A gift from Vanessa Fisk for taking her husband away from her. Matt was disoriented and lost for what felt like forever and didn’t know how hurt he actually was. He felt someone take him in their arms and then… Nothing.
He flails as he tries to stand from the cot he's laid out on. His left hand is sticky and he smells dog everywhere. Once he's a little more focused, after what appear to be pain meds wear off a little, he can hear a familiar heartbeat nearby, a familiar voice talking in soft tones to the dog he smelled before, whistling and whispering at it.
“Here, Max. Good boy. Did you take care of Red? Yeah, you did.”
Matt hears the dog panting and tries to sit up again. This time he succeeds. It seems like there's a kitchenette to his right, where Frank is feeding the dog. A door to the left that leads to some stairs and another door right in front of him. Frank seems to have noticed he woke up, because his entire demeanor changes a little and he walks over to the cot. This place feels humid and cold, so it must be a basement of sorts.
“You awake there, Red?”
Matt still feels a little woozy from whatever drug Frank gave him. If he stands, he might fall on his face. He notices that his mask is gone and his suit has been replaced with some sweats and a too big t-shirt. He nods slightly.
“Where are we?” Matt asks carefully. He has no recollection of seeing Frank tonight, and a lot of time must have passed. There's stitches on his left side and his right wrist feels funny. Not broken, just funny.
“Safe house. Found you in a warehouse beaten up and bloodied. Wasn't about to let you bleed to death on my watch. Brought you here and stitched you up.”
“How very kind of you.”
“I can take the stitches off if you wanna, I meanー”
“No, I mean it!” Matt coughs and his whole body hurts again. “My hand…”
“Not broken. It'll heal in a few hours if you let it rest for a bit and don't go gallivanting around.”
“Yes, mother .” Matt is almost ready to stick his tongue out and all, but Frank has already walked away, Max trotting behind him. Matt sits on the edge of the cot, feet dangling just inches from the floor.
“You can go if you wanna.” Frank says casually, but Matt senses he's making dinner, enough for more than one person. “That door leads to the roof and the other floors, but I never use it.”
Matt stays and eats with Frank. When he isn't looking, Matt sneaks a bit of food for the dog, who sits patiently by Matt's side, tongue lolling out. His tail thumps against the floor every now and then.
Once dinner is eaten and the dishes are cleared and washed, Frank stretches and goes to a room Matt hadn't detected before. He says that there's more blankets if Matt gets cold; there’s a snowstorm outside so he may need them.
He sleeps wrapped in a scratchy cotton blanket and wakes up wrapped in two. There's not a lot of noise outside, save for a snowplow moving around and then leaving. Matt takes his suit, neatly folded and placed in a bag on a couch nearby, and debates whether he should put it on and leave through the roof. Anyone that looked up could be able to see him jumping roofs.
But he also didn't have any other shoes or a coat or anything. If he walked home with the suit in a bag or something he’d probably freeze to death.
The roof it is. He'll just put on the suit in one of the other floors. Matt goes to the door on the left, walking next to the sleeping Max who wakes up and trots behind him, poking his hand with a wet nose, asking for pets.
Matt tries to pull the door, he tries to push the door, he tries to use his entire body to open the door, but he can smell and kind of feel the rust on the door. It won't budge. It's locked. He's gonna have to wake Frank and ask for the key or some sort of tool to open it.
As if summoned by his thoughts, Frank emerges from the room, stretching and yawning. Max trots over to him, wagging his entire body and demanding attention. Matt could hear the big, bad Punisher speaking in a soft tone to the dog and felt warm for a moment.
“The door is locked.” he said by way of greeting. Frank hummed and went over to the door, doing the exact same things Matt had already done with exactly the same results.
“I don't have the tools to open it, it's rusted shut. You're gonna have to use the door that leads to the street. I can give you a ride after eating something so you don't gotta walk around carrying that stupid suit in a bag.”
“It's not stupid.” Matt muttered petulantly, but went to sit on a chair, Max placing his snout on his leg, expecting pets. “You're demanding.”
“Oh yeah, Max is a big slut. Pet him once and he'll want you to pet him forever.” Frank moved around the kitchenette. It didn't seem like he was going to cook anything fancy, but at least they would eat.
Matt entertained himself by petting Max, marveling at the little scars that littered the dog’s face. Max had been used for fights by the Irish, Frank said, but he didn't have it in him. Max was a puppy at heart and a big goofball, he got scared by a pomeranian at the park once.
After eating, Frank went to open the door that led to the street, and was greeted by a wall of snow.
“Oh shit…” he said, patting the snow with gloved hands.
“A snowplow passed by a while ago, but I didn't think it'd be this bad.” Matt also felt the snow, it was quite solid.
“I'm gonna get something to try and remove it.”
Frank left and came back later with a shovel. He claimed he could try to push the snow out of the way with it. Matt knew that would probably not work that well so he climbed on the cot and wrapped himself and Max with the blankets as Frank worked.
Frank had been at it for at least forty minutes when Matt heard him curse and shut the door again.
“It's snowing again.” he said, annoyance dripping out of his voice. “And it’s getting windy out so it's gonna be a nasty snowstorm again. You got anyone to call? Let them know you're alive?”
Matt was about to reply when his phone started screaming Foggy's name. Matt patted around trying to find it. It was between the folds of his suit and Matt answered quickly, gently assuring Foggy that he was alive and well and in a safe place, but he was snowed in and it'd be a while before he could go back home. He promised to call as soon as he was safely home, and asked Foggy to also assure Karen he was safe and had enough food.
“The food thing is debatable.” Frank said, and set the shovel aside. “Well, guess you're stuck with me, Red.”
“Oh joy…” Matt patted the dog's soft back, Max slept peacefully in the blind lawyer’s lap.
“Don't sound so happy.” Frank grumbled and went to the other room, then came back. “Those are all the blankets I have, and you'll freeze to death if I let you sleep there. Get off, I'm moving your cot to the room.”
The day went on very slowly for Matt’s liking. He could hear the wind howling outside and he hoped none of his friends got caught in the snow storm. At night, Frank arranged the blankets so they’d both be at least a little warm. There was a bed that creaked in the room, every time Frank shifted it made noise. Matt tried to focus on the snow falling outside and slept.
In the middle of the night, he woke with a start. Someone was crawling under his covers. They felt… heavier. he tried to turn and attack whoever was there until he heard the steady heartbeat. Frank.
“Easy, Red.” he said, voice barely a whisper. “You were shivering, two blankets isn’t enough. Move over.”
Frank wrapped his arms around Matt and pressed Matt’s back against his chest. Matt wanted to laugh. Spooning. They were spooning. This was his life now.
“You better not kick me in your sleep or anythin’, Red.” Frank grumbled, let out a small sigh and went right to sleep, as if spooning Matt was the most normal thing in the world.
His steady heartbeat lulled Matt to sleep.
In the morning, Matt woke warm. The pain on his ribs was still present because Frank’s arm was pressing onto his waist as he held Matt.
Frank’s arm. On his waist.
Matt tried to squirm out of Frank’s embrace. This was embarrassing and he didn’t need to remain in this cot any longer than necessary. He needed to get up, get out of there and forget he ever slept in the same cot with The Punisher.
He froze, feeling a completely new and different part of Frank rub against him. Matt lay very still, trying to figure out what was going on. Frank groaned in his sleep, holding on to Matt’s waist a little tighter and pressing that against Matt even more. Matt was mortified.
But also, that was probably Frank’s cock and it felt… kinda nice. Matt hadn’t slept with another man in a very long time. He’d had one boyfriend in college and that didn’t last long, and he’d had the occasional one-night-stand here and there after college, but it had been too long since the last time he shared a bed with another man.
He couldn’t say he missed it, but also couldn’t deny that Frank’s dick felt nice against him. And the little noise he made when Matt rubbed against his crotch sent a little shiver down Matt’s spine.
Tentatively, Matt pressed against Frank’s crotch again, and could clearly feel Frank’s lips brushing his neck. He made that little noise again, but didn’t wake. Matt lay very still for a moment, waiting for an indication that Frank was pretending to sleep, but his heartbeat was steady and apart from the soft groans and sighs he exhaled, Frank was still pretty much asleep.
Feeling bold, Matt rotated his hips a little, pressing harder this time. A very soft moan escaped from the sleeping man next to him, and Matt felt his own cock start waking up, suddenly very interested. Matt let out a small moan.
And that’s what breaks the spell, because as soon as Matt let out that one noise, Frank decided he’s had enough sleep and wakes with a start, and a variety of things registered at the same time.
One, he’s in a cot with Matt. Two, they’re spooning. Three, he’s got the most uncomfortable boner he’s had in a very long time. And four, Matt is rubbing against his boner like it’s no big deal.
“What are you doing?” he mumbled, staring dumbly at Matt’s nape, and Matt stops moving completely, frozen like a statue, like he’s finally realized what he’s doing.
“You were hard…” Matt replied sheepishly. “I thought…”
Frank sighs, he is mortified. This is Matt, he’s small and full of catholic guilt and as far as Frank can tell, is probably depressed and feels lonely. Of course he would think this is a healthy way to cope, he tried to kill himself by fighting people in a blended cotton thermal and pants. He shouldn’t have put them both in this situation, he should have given Matt all the covers and slept on his own. He put Matt of all people in a sexual situation, he didn’t even ask him if he wanted Frank to be there in the cot with him.
He should have known better. Frank feels like shit now. He should have realized this could happen, and Matt wouldn’t even say no to it even if he wasn’t being asked. He did Matt wrong and now here they were.
Frank tried to move away, to give Matt some space to figure out the situation and escape if he wanted to, only Matt held his left arm in place, the one on top of him, and instead pulled Frank closer, rotating his hips against his erection again.
“I’m a grown man, Frank.” Matt says firmly. “You’re freaking out because you think I can’t decide what I want in this situation, you think you’re taking advantage of me somehow. You’re not.”
“I know what I want, Frank, I’m not a child. You don’t need to coddle me.”
Frank wants to say something else, but Matt turns around in his arms, and he has the biggest eyes Frank has ever seen. They look without looking, just staring unblinking at some point in Frank’s chest, and Matt raised a trembling hand to touch Frank’s face. His touch is gentle, like he’s afraid he’ll scare Frank off by touching his face.
It’s only awkward because now Frank can feel Matt’s own erection rubbing against his. Matt keeps touching his face and lets out a soft gasp as his crotch rubs against Frank’s.
Frank hasn’t done this for a long time, not since Maria, and it’s been even longer since he was last with a man, and he figures Matt is the same. They both rub against each other like teens who just discovered sex. Fumbling hands take Matt by the waist. Trembling lips press against Frank’s. Oh God, Matt’s kisses are sweet and almost chaste.
In a swift movement, Matt straddles him, making the kiss dirtier as he starts moving his hips faster against Frank’s crotch. Frank grabs a hold of his hips. Matt only breaks the kiss to sit up and take his shirt off. There’s so many scars on Matt’s skin, but the parts he can find that aren’t scarred are soft and smooth and Frank wants to kiss him all over.
For a moment, Frank wonders what he’ll look like really riding him, really sitting on Frank’s cock. Will he make the same little noises he’s making right now, as Frank teases Matt’s nipples with his fingers that now map his entire body? Frank brings his thumb to stroke Matt’s cheek and Matt turns, taking the digit in his mouth and sucking on it eagerly.
“Frank…” Matt moans as soon as the finger leaves his lips, and Frank takes his wrists and changes their position, rolling them over so now he’s on top, Matt’s smaller body under his own. He starts rutting against him, fast and hard and primal. Matt moans harder and the cot creaks each time.
Matt closes his eyes and turns his head, exposing his neck for Frank to kiss and lick and mark to his heart’s content.
“Oh! OH! Frank!” Matt grips the cot first, then his hands move to Frank’s back. He pulls on Frank’s shirt desperately, digs his nails into Frank’s back. “Don’t stop! Ooohhhmygodrightthere!”
Frank only stops marking his neck to take his lips in a long, deep kiss. Moves faster like the Devil demands, because he’s not one to say no to the Devil.
“Frank! Please! I’m gonna―”
“Shhh… Not yet baby…” Frank stops rutting against him and Matt lets out a small whine as Frank pulls Matt’s pants down and squeezes his cock gently, then goes to town with it. He licks the tip, tasting it tentatively before taking it all in his mouth.
Matt tries to pull his hair but can’t grab a hold of it. He instead pushes Frank’s head down, and Frank smacks Matt’s ass in retaliation, making him moan harder and cum in Frank’s mouth, his whole body shaking as he does.
It’s been a long time since Frank has sucked off a guy, but it still feels as thrilling as the first time he tried. But nobody had ever sounded like Matt just did.
He wants to hear those sounds forever.
Matt is exhausted, and Frank trails kisses from his belly up to his stomach, his chest, his neck. Until he reaches Matt’s lips and holds him close as they kiss again, Matt moaning against Frank’s lips.
They stay in the cot for a while, until Max trots into the room and whines for attention. Frank makes them breakfast and they eat together. Frank tries to remove the snow much later, and manages to make a hole through it big enough for them to crawl out of there and take Matt home. Frank’s van is covered in snow but works just fine.
Frank follows Matt into his apartment, and realizes this is the first time he’s ever been there. Matt stands shyly in the middle of the living room and extends his hand, beckoning Frank to come closer.
When they are face to face, Matt kisses him, chaste and sweet again.
“Come by tonight.” Matt says, it's not a question. He's not asking him to. It's a command and even if he wanted to, Frank can't bring himself to say no. “We'll talk about... whatever this is.”
“There's anything to talk about?” Frank raises a brow, squeezing Matt's hand gently. “Unless there's anything you regret.”
“No! No, nothing at all. I just…” Matt bites his lip. He looks worried and suddenly feels Frank's arms around him. He can hear Frank's heartbeat clearer than ever. “I just want to know what all this was, what it means.”
“You wanna know if it's a one-time thing, I get it.” Frank nods slowly. His hands roam all over Matt's back. It's soothing. “We have plenty of time to figure it out. I'll be back tonight and we'll talk about it if you want to. But you gotta tell your friends you're alive.”
“Oh.” Matt doesn't move just yet. He's comfortable. Foggy and Karen a far away thought in his head. “I'll do that.”
“I have to go.” Frank takes Matt by the shoulders, then by his face. His thumb gently caressing Matt's cheek. “See you around, Red.”
Matt nods with a smile. He can wait until tonight.