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There are brighter things than diamonds

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Foggy loves to propose a lot of things. It’s just coincidence that most of them involved napkins.

Nelson & Murdock Attorneys at Law that one night at Josie’s wasn’t the first time: as far as Matt’s concerned, that would be in law school, a couple months after they’ve known each other. The semester’s done: Matt’s tipsy, he’s happy, he knows there’s something (sticky yummy glaze from those wings? Hot sauce? Who cares?) on his face, but Foggy’s always been affectionate with his touches so he wants to see if Foggy would wipe it off his face for him.

He’s curious, and what better way to sate one’s curiosity than with the help of, and under the guise of mild inebriation? But Foggy simply tucks a napkin into Matt’s hand after he says, “Oh hey, you’ve got some sauce on your chin, buddy.”

“I do?” Matt asks, and he tries for cheeky nonchalance but something must show on his face because Foggy plucks that napkin back from Matt’s fingers.

“Here, let me,” Foggy murmurs as he leans forward slightly and gently does the job.

“Thanks,” Matt says, a little breathless, and he’s not exactly going for besotted but he’s not not going for that either.

“Anytime,” Foggy says, the light surety in his voice ringing like a promise to Matt. “Always here to make sure that mug is clean and ready for world domination.”

There’re more after that; like the one where Foggy writes check yourself before you wreck yourself and tells Matt what’s on it after he stops spending the better part of the day emptying the contents of his stomach into the toilet. Matt had put on his brave little soldier face and held Foggy’s hair the whole time, rubbing his back.

“Could you- would you mind helping me with that?” He asks, and something in that request makes Matt sit straighter, suddenly feeling more protective of Foggy.

The realization that he’d protect Foggy Nelson with his life if it ever came to that hits him out of nowhere, and he grips his knee, hard, willing his heart not to fly out of his mouth. He spends the rest of that night listening to Foggy snore.

There’s also his first Christmas dinner at the Nelson’s: some raucous nieces and nephews play catch around the house and accidentally spill juice on Matt’s sweater, they sheepishly apologize when Anna yells at them, and Foggy takes him to the bathroom to try and clean him up. It’s a lost cause. They’ll have to wash it, so Foggy tries to find him the softest, warmest sweater he can. He grabs a napkin to dab at a spot he missed on Matt’s neck just before he steps out.

“I’m really sorry, man. The house is always so crowded during the holidays, I should’ve done a better job looking out for you.”

Matt smiles, because he’s hiding out from the flurry of activity downstairs, even if it’s just for a little while, and he's right next to Foggy. It’s nice.

“No, it’s okay," he assures Foggy. "A little overwhelming, but— this feels nice. I’m happy being here.” With you.

Foggy lets out a breath and makes a pleased sound. “Hey. You know you're always welcome here, right? Always.”

Matt just smiles, at a loss for words, and reaches up to take the napkin from Foggy’s hand, still warm and still on his neck. He stands there with a dumb smile on his face until Foggy returns with a sweater that he keeps sneakily pulling up to his nose when no one’s watching.

Matt never lets himself pick a favorite because they’re all special in their own way.

The latest one sees Foggy scribbling Vegas? when they’re all at Josie’s, Karen and Foggy both insisting they celebrate the end of another tiring but fulfilling week, another successful case. Weekly team bonding, Foggy christens it, after Karen suggested they might as well come up with a professional name for their weekly excuse to go drinking.

Foggy gleefully waves it in front of Matt’s face until Matt grabs it and says “Why not?” after running his fingers over Foggy’s writing. The firm’s doing well and they could all do with a nice little getaway after all the work they’ve done. Karen claps her hands and laughs in delight, a bright clear sound, the audio equivalent of how Matt imagines crystals to be. Her joy is infectious and he’s laughing along before he knows it, affection for the two people that mean the world to him warming him from the inside out until he feels all lit up from the inside.

“Team avocado on holiday!” Foggy cheers, lifting his glass.

“Hear hear!” Karen follows.

Matt raises his glass and touches it to theirs, the sound a dancing echo. He only realizes he’s still smiling when he takes a sip from his drink. The last napkin proposal was in the back room of Nelson’s Meats surrounded by good food and a warmth that could only come from the Nelson clan.

It’s not too different now, he thinks, warmly embraced in the laughter and good cheer of his family.

*

It’s been a long time since Matt’s smiled like that, big and overwhelmed and full of boyish excitement. Foggy almost wants to take Matt’s glasses off- partly to see the way his whole face lights up, and partly because Foggy kinda needs them for himself because Matt’s smile? It’s like staring at the sun.

They spend the next week clearing schedules and planning for the trip, the excitement palpable in the air.

He even catches Matt smiling to himself several times, and his heart must do something at that sight because Matt always catches him for staring and smiles right back in return. Every single time.

Younger Foggy would’ve scoffed at current him’s life choices, and for being a masochistic sucker, but after a decade of challenges some the size of a literal building, and grieving until he feels scraped out from the inside, Foggy’s learned to be content in the simple bittersweet joys- working in close proximity with Matt, spending almost every waking hour feeling like he’s loving someone from afar.

*

Matt’s never been one to let his lack of sight stop him from doing anything he sets his mind to, but sometimes… he still harbors these whimsical daydreams, keeps them tucked tight in the corners of his heart, secret wants and wishes.

This upcoming trip brings one to the surface, where it’s just him and Foggy on a road trip, Matt at the wheel as they drive through somewhere sunny, bright blue sky overhead, warm sand stretching out for miles. Foggy singing along to something jaunty playing over the radio, hair up in bun, bare feet propped up on the dashboard.

Happiness evident in his voice, the curve of his lips, the thrum in his blood.

This isn’t close enough to that, not remotely, but he’ll take it. He’ll take every moment that allows him to be with Foggy and bask in his companionship, because he’s learned his lesson. He’s never shutting family out again.

Karen’s practically vibrating with excitement by the time they check into their hotel. He’s pretty thrilled himself, the thought of getting to relieve his roommate days with Foggy again but doing it in style this time, one queen sized bed each.

Karen’s room is just opposite the hallway from theirs, and her squeal as she slides her key card through the lock and steps through the doorway makes Matt grin, heart thumping brightly. Her glee is infectious because one moment he’s standing next to Foggy, who’s fishing the card out of his pocket and the next he’s gripping Foggy’s arm and grinning something fierce. “Hurry,” he says, bouncing on the balls of his feet. Not that he’d ever admit to that.

“Okay, okay,” Foggy says, laughing, shaking his head. “Geez, you’re just as bad as Karen.”

Turns out Foggy’s just as bad as the rest of them.

“Holy shit, this place is huge!” he exclaims, immediately doing a three-sixty before he flops onto his bed and moves his limbs like he's making a snow angel, letting out a contented sigh.

“Oh.” Foggy stills abruptly. His temperature spikes slightly and chuckles under his breath.

Matt turns at Foggy's soft exclamation. “Foggy?”

“Nothing, it’s just, the ceiling’s a mirror, Matt.”

It takes him a second to figure it out before he asks, “So that the guests can—”

“Yup. Or...whatever they want, really.”

“Oh.” Matt quickly turns and makes a show of unpacking his suitcase, hiding his face from Foggy because he knows color is flooding his cheeks.

“But in a room with two queen beds? Either sleepy selfies are a thing I didn’t know about, or voyeuristic orgies are really popular here.”

Matt nearly drops his armful of clothes.

They all meet at the bar after settling in and freshening up, Karen repeating their itinerary again before they set off. After that it’s a whirlwind of activity: they spend their first day doing cheesy touristy things, photos at landmarks from day tours, the works. They spend an hour on their second day at the slot machines— Matt refused to wear a tux and go all James Bond with the other casino offerings despite some serious begging from Karen and Foggy so slots it was— and they spend more hours on filling their bellies, where they discover that Karen is a beast with shrimp cocktails. In the evening they spend it in the hallowed presence of miss Celine Dion.

They’re all pleasantly buzzed by that point: Foggy sings along loudly and cries during almost every song, and Karen ends up becoming the designated documenter of their trip after Matt begs her to record all of Foggy’s performances.

They stumble out of the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and head to a bar because sleep is for the weak; they’re high on the power of love, pledging that their hearts will go on, and that’s when things start to really become a blur.

Matt’s vaguely aware that he’s clinging to Foggy like they’re glued together but doesn’t remember when that started. All he does remember are some tearful exchanges the contents of which his mind has conveniently blanked out on but that has Karen whipping her phone out and filming intensely, cooing and openly weeping in joy a little later at something that involves a distinguished older lady, more drinks, some dancing, and… maybe some confetti?

Whatever, the one thing Matt’s sure of as he collapses into bed is that he has never been happier.

He’s still happy even when a dull throbbing in his head pulls him into the land of the conscious several hours later, the good mood buzzing somewhere in the background. He tries to stretch and turn so he can on his back, but something’s obstructing his— oh.

He’s not in his own bed.

He’s in Foggy’s, and Foggy is right here, still sound asleep. It’s strange but not unfamiliar territory— definitely not unwelcome, a definite step up from their campus-issued single beds. It’s almost too easy to give in to his hedonistic instincts in that moment because Matt’s still a little hazy and sleepy, and everything around him smells so much like Foggy.

Matt spends long moments just laying there, listening to Foggy sleep, mapping him out with his senses, his body a warm calming glow. He reaches out towards Foggy to trace the outline of that glow— not quite touching, just hovering close enough.

It's then that Matt notices the ring on his finger. His left ring finger.

Confusion morphs into panic, churning fast and prickling his skin as he reaches for Foggy’s hand. Ice grips his heart when he finds a matching ring: same smell of silver, decent, not the costume jewellery type either.

“No,” Matt whispers in disbelief. What the fuck did they do last night?

Foggy chooses that moment to wake up because everything in Matt’s life has to be difficult. Foggy’s still bleary and sleep-warm, and his soft, fond “G’morning, sunshine” makes Matt’s heart stutter.

Matt freezes; he can’t respond, doesn’t know how to respond, and Foggy must notice the whatever that’s on his face— either that or he’s finally realized Matt’s not in his own bed, or maybe what he just said catches up with him, or maybe he notices the ring, because his spine goes ramrod straight.

*

This is bad. This is very bad. Not the waking up part, no that was perfect, Matt all cuddly and practically sprawled on top of him.

But Foggy would trade it all for Matt to stop looking so terrified, like he’s just made the biggest mistake of his life. There’s something off about the way he’s holding on to Foggy’s hand too— also, why the hell is Matt even holding his hand?— and Foggy can’t comprehend why until he looks down and alarms start going off in his head. Well fuck him sideways. Those are wedding rings.

Trying to remember what they got up to the night before is a bad idea— he feels like hurling once he recalls enough snippets to form a base conclusion of last night’s activities.

Suffice to say he’s never attending a Celine Dion concert with Matt ever again.

“I- uh” Matt starts, and his face says it all, torn between trying not to panic and seriously considering jumping off their balcony before he settles for “I’m gonna use the shower.” He leaps out of bed, hightailing it for the bathroom. Then he skids to a stop and makes a U-turn when he realizes he forgot his bathrobe.

It takes Foggy everything he’s got to tamp down on the hysterical laughter bubbling in his throat. “Sure,” he manages, flopping back into bed and pulling the covers completely over his head before allowing himself to groan quietly and resent the nonexistence of time travel.

He knows it’s a silly mistake they’ll have to rectify, but it had hurt to see Matt’s reaction and witness the extent of just how much mistakenly getting hitched had freaked him out. It hurt to see how much Matt didn’t want this, didn’t want him.

Foggy sighs. He’ll deal with it, he’ll manage the hurts just like how he’s managed every inconvenient emotion he’s ever felt for his best friend. But first he lets himself wallow in the pinprick-y twisting in his heart for the duration of Matt’s shower.

Sharing a room doesn’t feel so fun anymore, and disappointment hits him hard when he realizes he’s actually relieved they only have one more night before they have to head back.

It turns out that Karen has the entire thing on her phone, in video, and Foggy doesn’t know whether to cry or to cry even harder.

A good portion of the video’s shaky and out of focus because Karen was giggly and tipsy for a majority of the evening but she’d managed to capture it all somehow, starting midway through the moment they’d drunkenly confessed their feelings.

“I love you.”

“No, I love you!”

“Shut up, you both love each other,” Karen says, sniffling. “Oh my god, you love each— I knew it! Karen Page you absolute genius.” There’s a cut in the video before Foggy’s face comes into focus again.

“Matt, look, there’s a nice, very tasteful hotel chapel here. Should we get married? I mean, do you want to get married? To me? Will you marry me, Matt?”

Karen gasps. Matt gasps louder.

“D-did you just propose propose?” Matt says, voice quavering with emotion. “I’ve always loved your proposals, the napkins are just a cherry on top. Have I ever told you that, Foggy? Yes, yes I will. I’ll marry you, Fr-Foggy Nelson!” Matt bursts into tears then, and Foggy cries as well, and Karen’s crying so hard the video’s shaking until it cuts off and jumps to the next scene.

They’re in a chapel now, standing before a white haired lady minister in a very classy suit (who does not look like Elvis in the slightest, thank god). She gives a short speech before asking if they’d like to say their own vows or repeat after her.

“Do you, Franklin Percy Nelson, take Matthew Michael Murdock to be your lawfully wedded husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others keep you only unto him as long as you both shall live?”

“I do.”

She asks Matt the same thing, and Matt’s “I do,” is soft but steady.

Foggy starts with his vows and waxes poetic about everything he loves about Matt for a good minute before he solemnly vows to love and cherish and care for Matt for as long as he lives, through thick and thin and buildings in between, a few Celine Dion lyrics peppered throughout.

Matt is a blubbering mess, nose red with tear tracks behind his glasses that go all the way down to his chin, but he gives as good as he gets, vowing that his commitment to Foggy will be like Fogwell’s Gym, standing the test of time and anything else that might come. Foggy’s also a blubbering mess by the end of Matt’s vows too.

They both turn to face the minister when they’re done.

“By the power vested in me by the state of Nevada I now pronounce you husbands. You may kiss each other,” the minister announces, and steps back just as Karen gives a very punchy but watery “hooray!” and throws handfuls confetti and petals over Matt and Foggy. Bits of shiny metallic paper and rose petals flutter in the air, occasionally obscuring their shaky and a tad too zoomed in first kiss as husbands.

But they’re both beaming, and they turn to wave at Karen before Matt says, with sudden urgency, “We have to have our dance!” and then the video ends.

Well, that was... quite something, with a side of hot mess.

A part of Foggy feels bad that he’s watching this without Matt, because judging by the look on his face it seemed like he had some blanks that needed filling as well, but a bigger part of him is relieved he’s here with Karen instead because he doesn’t think he could take it if they were both watching this together— everything he’s always wanted, with someone who clearly considers all this a horrible mistake.

“I’m not feeling too well,” Matt had said after he got out of the shower, smile apologetic. “I think I’ll stay in and take a nap, if that’s okay? Don’t let me hold you and Karen back, I’ll order room service when I wake later. You two go enjoy yourselves.”

“Um, sure,” Foggy had replied, and if his voice sounded small and hurt Matt didn’t let it show.

He gladly gives Matt the space he needs because Matt probably can’t stand to be around him, and also because whatever a broken heart sounds like, he doesn’t want Matt to hear it on him. Everything’s still too raw, and too embarrassing.

“I was really surprised when you texted asking to meet downstairs, saying it was urgent,” Karen says. “Thought the two of you would’ve liked to enjoy your first morning together, but…” she sighs. “Oh Foggy. I’m so sorry.” It guts him to see her looking so contrite because it kind of really makes him want to cry.

“It’s just— the way you two are around each other, I really thought— and this trip seemed like the perfect opportunity to help you guys take the final step,” she says, casting her gaze downward. “I am so, so sorry.”

“Hey, no,” Foggy says, and rests a hand on her arm. “Don’t— it was real. For me at least. Everything I said last night in that video to Matt. I meant every word.”

“Maybe— maybe it was real for Matt too,” Karen says and Foggy blinks back tears. He loves Karen for her hope, for being here right now with him, her eyes shining with unshed tears, because he hears the ‘you’re not alone’ so clearly he wants to hold her tight and weep. He knows she’d let him do that, too.

“Nah.” Foggy shakes his head sadly. “If it was...” He doesn’t have the strength to complete that sentence. A shuddering sigh leaves Foggy. Better than a sob, at least. He recalls the way Matt had reacted when they first met and Foggy had immediately called him hot thanks to his lack of a brain to mouth filter, the million other ways his heart and body have betrayed him since, and yet Matt continues to say nothing. It’s a polite let-down that Foggy understands all too well, loud and clear.

So, no. Matt loves him like family, but not like— not like that, not the way he wants. The alcohol merely misplaced some misguided feelings last night.

*

All attempts to meditate and ground himself are useless, but Matt stays seated on the carpet. He doesn’t deserve the soft bed, not after what he did to Foggy. It’s crushing, knowing that one of his secret dreams has been fulfilled in such a twisted way, a searing mistake that needs to be rectified.

He can’t do this to Foggy, not after everything he’s put him through. Foggy deserves the world, someone who’ll make him happy, and that person is definitely not Matt. He’s already hurt Foggy too many times. There’s been too many tears, too much disappointment.

It’s a little after four when Foggy and Karen come back, and Matt doesn’t ask where they went. His heart sinks when he smells milkshakes and mac and cheese, because those are one of Foggy’s Sad Day Remedies.

Maybe, Matt thinks, his real superpower is the ability to keep a bad streak running.

“So, um,” Foggy says, awkwardly, cutting right to the chase. “I know our situation might not be ideal now, but the good news is that we aren’t the first to find ourselves in something like this.” His voice is steady, but his face is getting warmer the longer he speaks. “We could get—”

“Y-yeah, we’ll uh, get it fixed.” Matt nods quickly. He’d rip his ears off if he hears the word annulment in Foggy’s voice. “And I’m sorry. For—” for ruining the trip, for giving you the misfortune of ever knowing me, he wants to say. He settles for “I never meant to.”

“Yeah. I know you didn’t,” Foggy says, a quiet sadness in his voice that makes Matt want to reach out for Foggy and curl in on himself at the same time. “And it wasn’t your fault, Matt. I was the one who— I should be the one apologizing,” he finishes.

Karen’s throat clicks when she swallows. It’s deafening. “I’m sorry too,” she says. “For— enabling things.”

“But hey,” Foggy says, clapping his hands together, all faux lightness, “before we do anything— and feel free to say no I’d totally understand,” Foggy pauses, a shuddery exhale leaving him, “would you like to know the full extent of shenanigans we got up to last night? Karen’s time at the Bulletin really paid off. She got it all on video.”

“Sure,” Matt says, and dies a slow painful death on the inside ( Fogwell’s? Really? Also wow is he a weepy drunk) as Karen narrates whatever he can’t pick out from the video.

Foggy has mysteriously made himself scarce, holing up in the bathroom and Matt doesn’t blame him one bit.

It’s a small miracle that they all manage to have a nice, if somewhat subdued time during dinner that evening. It helps to soothe something in Matt and make the ache smart less. Things may never be how they were and they’re all dancing around each other, but the gentle good mood that blankets the evening lulls him into a state where he feels safe to savor every detail of his first dinner with his— his husband. Now that’s a term that’s going to take getting used to.

Neither of them get any sleep that night. Foggy tries to slow down his breathing and heart rate, and Matt just pretends he’s meditating horizontally.

Things are back in full force the moment they return, and Matt thinks he might not be the only one appreciating how busy their work keeps them.

Matt never takes his ring off and strangely neither does Foggy, but he’s not naive enough to hope that Foggy’s never going to bring up the annulment. So he makes the most of the limited time he has to live out another secret wish: making Foggy smile.

The idea’s nothing fancy or extraordinary in itself, but it’s the satisfying knowledge that everything Matt’s doing, he’s doing it for his spouse that makes each moment so precious. It’s a silly sentiment that keeps Matt warm when he’s not freaking out over how foreign yet natural being married still feels— something he wants to embrace but can’t quite do because the way it happened leaves a sour taste in his mouth.

He goes to get Foggy’s drink every time they’re out ‘team bonding’, brings dinner when they work late, buys him his favorite pastries— including that bacon and limburger cheesecake abomination— even though he almost gags several times on his way to the office. Foggy had laughed so hard at the sound Matt made when he dry heaved into the trash can he gave himself a stomachache, Karen took pity on Matt and opened all the windows to air out the place.

It’s all worth it though, just to hear the smile in his voice when he says “thanks Matty”, to bask in those fond touches to his arm and shoulder. He’s so grateful Foggy didn’t stop touching him when they got back.

He tries to walk Foggy home whenever he can: sometimes right next to him, other times along rooftops. It’s so easy to linger, to listen to Foggy puttering around in his apartment, unwinding after a long day. When it gets really bad some nights and falling apart at the seams feels only a second away Matt lets himself get lost in those sounds. He lets himself pretend he’s in the middle of all that, awash in everything Foggy and the life they share, warm and happy instead of crouching above in the cold.

Karen, sharp, smart, compassionate Karen, catches on pretty quickly.

“There isn’t anything you wouldn’t do for him, is there?” she asks one night as they’re closing up, Foggy out the door hours ago to help Aunt Sybil with her leaky kitchen tap. Her tone is light but weighted with a knowledge that makes it hard for Matt to breathe. He’s so used to getting a good read on people and catching them off guard it startles him to know he’s just as transparent. And vulnerable.

“Nothing, no,” Matt agrees, breathless in his confession but emboldened in its truth.

She squeezes his arm. “It’s sweet,” she says, and there’s a shift in the air, a new sense of conviction on her shoulders. “Don’t give up.” She hugs him and shrugs on her coat.

There’s a certain confidence and surety to the way she says all that that lingers, haunting his bones. Matt finds himself desperately wanting to believe her.

An unsettling thought begins to twist its way in when another month passes and Foggy still hasn’t brought up anything about their marriage, one that questions if Foggy’s making himself stay in a marriage he doesn’t want because he thinks he’s protecting Matt’s little catholic heart, or worse, because he’s afraid Matt will leave.

Matt would never forgive himself if that were true. As much as he wants to be Foggy’s husband, this isn’t right. He can’t let Foggy do that to himself. So, Matt thinks, taking a deep breath, he’s going to give Foggy an out.

It’ll be an out that will hurt like a motherfucker but it’ll also be tragic and romantic in a going-out-in-a-blaze kinda way, which he’s well aware is classic Murdock to a T: not only is he going to be honest, he’ll take it a step further by taking the initiative in that honesty.

He’ll tell Foggy exactly how he feels about all of this, but most importantly how he feels about Foggy. Because if they’re going to make it like this marriage never happened in the first place, he wants to confess it all. It’ll be the final push to get Foggy to go ahead with the annulment and set him free, and it’ll be the final thing he does as Foggy’s husband.

*

Matt’s been acting weirder than usual all morning, restless and nervous and also...melancholic, an air of resignation about him. There’s a sad little downturn at the corner of his mouth that twists in Foggy’s heart because he wants to kiss it better but he can’t.

He regrets that thought immediately because thinking about kissing Matt, and about the only kiss they’ve ever shared— on their wedding night, captured forever on a video that he sheepishly asked Karen to send to him— is a bad, bad idea.

“You okay, buddy?” he asks, during lunch, and Matt just presses his lips together in a firm line, the poor imitation of a smile he always uses when he doesn’t want to talk about things, and nods.

“Yeah, Foggy.” He waves a hand. “Don’t worry ‘bout it.”

“Okay,” Foggy says, and no one comments on how weak it sounds, Karen suddenly super interested in her grilled chicken club, taking another bite while Matt just goes back to poking at his fried noodles.

That vague sadness stays on Matt’s face for the rest of the day, through client meetings and polite exchanges with Brett at the precinct. Foggy, at a loss as to how to help Matt, tucks his thumb in and rubs it against his wedding band, an action he picked up after the trip that came as naturally as breathing.

He happens to look at Matt in that moment, just to catch him sigh and run a jittery hand down his face.

Karen leaves on the dot at five, something about dinner with Ellison and family. She hugs them both tight before she leaves, her eyes searching for something in Foggy’s face as she leans back and lets go. Foggy frowns at her in question, but all she does is smile that familiar determined smile and nod. If smiles could speak her’s would probably say it’ll be okay. He has no idea if he’s right, but it’s what he desperately wants to hear. Foggy swallows around a lump in his throat.

“Hey Foggy?” Matt calls out, a while later. “You uh, got a minute?”

Foggy doesn’t jump out of his seat. He doesn’t. “Sure. What’s up?” He wipes his hands on his trousers and makes his way to Matt’s office.

Matt’s schooled his face into something unreadable, but Foggy sees the way his lips wobble. Foggy’s thumb goes to his ring again.

“It’s been—quite a few weeks since our trip, but I uh, I still think about it, a lot. I had a good time.” Matt tilts his head, a fragile smile on his face.

“Yeah?” Foggy says, and when Matt nods, “Me too, buddy.”

“But,” Matt begins, and that smile is gone, replaced with the look he’s been wearing all day, only much heavier this time. Matt takes a deep breath, and Foggy braces himself.

“You shouldn’t put it off any longer. Don’t— don’t tie yourself down to something you don’t— I can’t let you do that to yourself.” Matt’s taken his glasses off at some point, and he looks so lost. Foggy doesn’t ask Matt what he’s referring to by ‘it’, because he’s got all the wind knocked out of him. Tears prick his eyes.

Matt thinks that he’s— how could Matt not know how he feels? Or is Matt just twisting it all and projecting his own feelings on Foggy? Matt wouldn’t be that cruel, would he?

Foggy shakes his head. “Matt, what—”

“But.” Matt puts up a hand. His eyes are red rimmed. “Before you do, I— I need to be honest with you. We’ve never really talked about our feelings before, maybe because my senses— but I want to do things differently. With you.”

“Okay,” Foggy says, doing his utmost to stand firm despite the tremble going all through him.

“For a while there I think we were both waiting for the other to get the ball rolling with the whole process, but you should know I was never going to make the first move.” Matt’s Adam’s apple bobs. “I can’t, because I— and it wouldn’t be fair to you, if you kept waiting, if you stayed in this marriage just because you’re being nice.”

“Matt,” Foggy whispers. His cheeks are wet and his heartbeat’s in his skull.

“I love you, Foggy,” Matt blurts out. “I’ve been in love with you since we met, and I don’t think I can stop. Don’t want to. I’ve always— I’ll always love you. It’s always been you. But you can’t stay. It’s not fair to y—”

Foggy hides his face in his hand and lets out a strangled, frustrated noise, still shocked and overwhelmed by everything Matt's saying before he does the only thing he can think to do in that moment. He shuts Matt up with a kiss.

Matt’s too stunned to do anything for a few seconds but he quickly gets with the program and kisses back, slowly and softly like Foggy is something precious, gentle hands coming up to frame his face, gliding one hand down to rest against his throat while the other moves to the small of his back.

“You idiot,” Foggy says, panting, when they stop to breathe, foreheads touching. “I stuck my foot in my mouth the day I met you. Head over heels stupid in love with my best friend, my heart practically giving my feelings away every single time and...you really didn’t know?”

Matt shakes his head, smiling shyly when Foggy swears.

"I thought you didn't want me," Foggy admits, and Matt makes a pained sound, tightening his arms around him. “Turns out all this time we’ve been in our own little circles of hell for nothing.”

“Guess so,” Matt says, morosely, but he ducks back in for a quick kiss.

"But hey, at least my hell came with a good view."

"Foggy," Matt protests, frowning slightly and blushing. It’s adorable, and it’s also entirely possible that Foggy’s already planning how he’s going to kiss all future frowns away.

“And you were being all sweet and fatalistic, weren’t you?” Foggy asks.

“Um,” Matt says, shifting his weight uncomfortably.

Foggy laughs.

“Oh god,” Matt says, suddenly. “Karen. She knew. This whole time. No wonder she kept trying to...” Foggy hides his face in Matt’s shoulder and laughs, relishing the way Matt’s shaking with laughter too.

“She kept trying with me as well,” Foggy says. “I thought she was just pushing for something that wasn’t there. Ugh. She’s going to have the smuggest look on her face on Monday.” Foggy hooks his fingers under Matt’s collar and looks up at him. “You’ll have to protect me from her barrage of I-told-you-so’s. Perform your civic duty and keep me safe, Mr Daredevil.”

Matt chuckles. “Wh— Mr Daredevil?”

“Well, yeah. Mr big, strong, sexy Daredevil…” Foggy runs a finger down Matt’s chest. He’s going for joking but the rest of him doesn’t get with the program, face heating up when Matt notices and smirks. Matt tuts and circles his fingers around Foggy’s wrist when he tries to cover his face.

“Well since you put it like that, I can’t say no, can I?” Oh no— or maybe it should be oh yes, because Matt’s using the Daredevil voice. He’s only wanted to be on the receiving end of that voice for the longest time. Foggy totally swoons.

“Uhhuh,” is all Foggy manages in a high pitched voice before Matt backs Foggy up against the wall. Foggy melts into it, savoring the way Matt’s touching him everywhere with his lips and hands, his own hands going on their own exploration over the broad expanse of Matt’s back, taking in the way his muscles flex and move under his shirt. He’s making steady progress down to that sweet, sweet Murdock ass when he notices that Matt’s hands are on the back of his thighs in a firm grip. Matt lifts him up before he even registers what’s going on, but his body moves on its own, wrapping his legs around Matt.

Fuck,” Foggy gasps, because Matt is carrying him holy shit.

“Yeah?” Matt pants against Foggy’s mouth. “We could do that too. Later.”

“Later,” Foggy repeats, more breathy exhale than words, too high on the way Matt’s lips are moving against his skin to do anything but let Matt have his way. “I like the sound of that.”

Anything else Foggy wants to say gets cut off with a moan as Matt rolls his hips against Foggy’s, slowly grinding up in a way that makes him curl his toes and throw his head back. Matt immediately takes advantage of that, pressing a smile there that quickly becomes all teeth before sucking a mark that Foggy knows is going to show just right above his collar, for all the world to see. That he’s taken, that he’s Matt’s. He’s— kind of okay with that, actually.

“I love you,” Foggy says and Matt hums, licking at his handiwork before moving up to kiss Foggy slow and filthy. Foggy moans into the kiss.

“I love you,” Matt says, and Foggy shivers at the feel of Matt’s words against his lips. They sound like a benediction. They feel like they contain a whole universe.

Foggy loses track of how much time passes after that. All he knows is that they’ve both been divested of their ties and possibly a few buttons when Matt asks, low and content, “Your place or mine, husband?” lips quirking up at that last word before they spread into a real smile when Foggy’s heart dances and heat curls out from his chest, hot tendrils that make him bite his lips.

“Yours, dear.”

It feels like the first night of the rest of their lives.

*

It’s only the second time since getting married that Matt gets to wake up next to Foggy. He doesn’t waste a moment this time around, taking in all the little details while Foggy still sleeps. The quiet snuffles, the way his breath fans out across the pillow from every exhale, the slow rise and fall of his chest, the way he turns towards Matt and curls fingers in his shirt.

It thrills him that even now Foggy still seeks him out, an action borne out of pure instinct, because maybe it means they’re meant to be, that they’ll always find their way back to each other. That he can let himself finally have this.

It’s a kind of bliss Matt thinks will sing sweetly in his veins forever, a permanent fixture, just like how Foggy’s always been.

Matt brushes the hair away from Foggy’s forehead and kisses him there, unable to keep the sappy smile off his face. He’s so happy .

“I love you,” he whispers, and Foggy makes a contented noise, still asleep.

It’s only when Matt moves to get out of bed that Foggy begins to stir. “Shhh, it’s okay, go back to sleep, Foggy,” Matt says, voice so warm and soft he surprises himself.

“Mmm. ‘kay,”  Foggy mumbles sleepily, and Matt can’t help but brush another kiss against his temple before slipping out to go make breakfast.

Foggy shuffles out a while later, yawning. Matt smiles in his direction.

“Hi,” Foggy says, a little shy, leaning against the counter to kiss Matt before settling into a chair.

“Sleep well?” Matt asks as he fills two mugs with coffee and places one in front of Foggy.

“Mm. You?” Foggy makes a pleased sound as he takes a sip.

Matt nods. He stacks the pancakes in a plate, scrambled eggs and bacon in another. There’s a bowl of sliced strawberries and syrup on the table already. “Eat up, dear.”

“Matt,” Foggy says, impressed, and but it’s the happiness in his voice that makes Matt beam. “I could get used to this.”

“Only the best for you,” Matt says. “But I like to sleep in sometimes, so maybe don’t always expect them to be ready by the time you get up.”

“Isn’t sloth like a cardinal sin or something? My, Matthew. What would your mother say?”

“Probably that she’s proud of me for getting more rest,” Matt replies, smirking.

Foggy laughs and pops a strawberry slice in his mouth. Matt leans forward for a kiss, chasing the taste of strawberries and grinning as fresh sweetness blooms across his tongue. Foggy doesn’t say anything about how Matt’s been chewing his food with a smile like a dork because he knows Foggy’s doing the same.

When Matt gives in to whimsy and feeds Foggy with his hand— curious to see how romantic it'd be; one in a long list of things he's itching to try with Foggy— Foggy happily accepts with warm lips around his fingers, tongue and teeth showing their appreciation as he licks Matt’s fingers clean, teeth grazing against the pad of his thumb.

Foggy chuckles low when Matt just sits there with his mouth slightly agape, too lost in the sensations of Foggy’s mouth. Okay, that was romantic and then some. They’re definitely going to try that again.

He’s pretty sure they won’t be leaving the apartment all weekend.

Matt waits until they’re both done with breakfast before he aims for casual and says, “Oh hey, you’ve got something on your face. Here, let me,” and proceeds to take out a napkin from the pocket of his sweats. He holds it up and waits until Foggy gasps at the Will you marry me again? written on the front, chest going impossibly tight. He wants to do it right this time.

“Yes,” Foggy says without a beat, tearing up but laughing. He kisses Matt quick and light on the mouth before taking Matt’s hand in his to kiss his knuckles, lingering as he brushes his lips over Matt’s ring. “I will, Matt. I do.” Matt’s breath hitches.

It’s the most beautiful thing Matt’s ever heard.