Stemless glasses half-filled with red wine. A merlot, perhaps. A bottle that was affordable, small pleasures often hard to come by. Light streams through the scuffed windows. Offensive neon shades of blue and red, and yet the apartment would cease to exist without them. There’s a soft crinkle of the leather couch. And you scoff at the audiobook that plays quietly in the corner.
“That’s what I hope to give you forever.” It says.
Matt tilts his head, chin rising in the air and an amused grin tugs at the corners of his lips. A streak of red light falls across his face, those warm brown eyes unseeing as always. But you find comfort in them. Home.
“You don’t believe in forever?”
Matt’s voice is a low rumble. Smooth but rough around the edges. Much like he is. You fix him with a steely glare, one he can’t see but can no doubt feel. And sure enough, he chuckles. A fond smile that’s a little lopsided but it makes your heart flutter all the same.
“No,” you answer. “I don’t believe in forever.”
Mornings roll into nights that roll into mornings. An endless circle of monotony and it’s as if you’re in a daze. A nightmare you’re trapped in. A silence that’s stifling save for an audiobook whose words seem to haunt you. A frigidity to the air, dust collected in fluffy grey blankets. Those blue and red rays of light are lifeless now. That billboard a cruel reminder of what disarray your life lies in.
You wear a white shirt. Matt’s white shirt. The crisp button up that fits him perfectly. How often you would smooth it down, straighten that burgundy tie and peck his cheek as he left in the morning. The hem dances over your bare thighs as you patter around the apartment in silence. You bury your nose in the collar even though his scent is long gone. And apparently, he is, too.
Weeks have passed since the catastrophe in Midtown Circle. Each day that passes dims your hope. Each day that reminds you existence is almost cruel. Each day, you say his name. Breathing it softly between the four walls of his apartment as if it will bring him back home. Karen and Foggy, they say little but truthfully you know it’s to protect his secret, a secret that’s most likely buried with him under piles of rubble and debris. And still, a small stubborn part of you calls his name. You’ll keep calling it until he comes back home.
The gush of a pipe. Coloured light that might be considered harsh but it complements Matt. The natural tousle of his floppy brown hair. A softly chiselled face peppered with a layer of dark stubble. The defined Cupid’s bow of his pink lips. He has an arm draped over the back of the couch, a finger tracing circles on your shoulder and it sends shivers of delight shooting down your spine.
“Tell me,” asks Matt, the husk of his voice smooth like dark chocolate. “Why don’t you believe in forever?”
A bite of your lip. Heart thumping erratically. Your honesty on the tip of your tongue but you can’t somehow bring yourself to say it. In truth, there’s no need to. Matt knows. Of course, he knows. There’s little you can hide from him. He hears your short breath and feels your warm skin and senses your racing heart. A pause, heavy with the secret he holds. And it’s a carefully choreographed dance. You’re both in perfect synch, carefully tip toeing around the subject as you always do.
“Forever doesn’t exist,” you offer, tilting to rest your head on his arm. “If you love someone right, and they love you back, you don’t need forever.”
Elektra Natchios. The love of his life. A woman he never compared you to but her shadow too great to ignore. Beautiful and smart, a dangerous combination. A force of nature. One you never could quite compete with. And it seems as if she’s won. The greatest irony is that now, she has Matt forever.
The forever you told him didn’t exist. The forever you told him you didn’t want, or need. The forever that haunts you.
Matt wears that lopsided grin. He scratches at his collarbone, chest teasingly bared from his unzipped grey hoodie. You had him out of his white button up the moment the apartment door snapped shut. Your skin lingers with his scent, eyes still awash with a blissful glow. An expression that’s mirrored on his handsome face. Unseeing eyes fixed at a spot over your shoulder and his tongue darts out, traces over the small scar at the corner of his mouth.
“And if you don’t believe in forever,” he muses, chin moving through the air. “What would you have me say if I wanted to tell you I loved you?”
You swear your heart stops. Eyes widening almost comically as the rest of the world melts away. Matt swallows, his Adam’s Apple bobbing. A warmth engulfs you. The realisation he isn’t talking in hypotheticals.
“I love you,” you answer, voice barely above a whisper. “Right now.”
“I love you,” he echoes, a small puff of relief escapes his lips. “Right now.”
An obvious shift in the air. Words that initially bore great weight now freeing and you feel light, as if you’re floating. And Matt stands, extending a hand out to you.
“Dance with me.”
The buzz of yellow. Harsh white amongst the dark blanket of sky. Hell’s Kitchen an inharmonius symphony of neon signs. A little cafe for those days you simply must have a cup of brown sludge that fares no better than the cheap granules in the kitchen cabinet. A Chinese restaurant that has your order penned to memory. A convenience store that’s seen you run in with wild hair, dishevelled clothes, and a shy smile.
Places that your patience. Resolve wanes. Heavy footsteps and prickles along the back of your neck. Matt’s face a reflection in glass windows, but you blink and he’s gone. A ghost. Reality blurs into fiction and you hate how attached you are. Hate how you have to live without him forever. Hate how his obsession with saving his city snatched him from you so cruelly. Hate how you reason with yourself, spinning a tale that you’ve dodged a bullet. Matt Murdock is a complicated man with a complicated life. One that a smart woman shouldn’t be caught up in. And now, you’re free of him forever.
The soft murmur of the audiobook, the narrator’s voice soothes you as you sway gently. Fingers entwine with yours, a spark of love and fire flies between your palms. Cheek pressed to his strong chest, you sigh dreamily, smile widening as Matt presses a kiss to your temple.
“I love you,” He murmurs into your hair. “Right now.”
Matt tucks a finger under your chin and although he will never look upon your face you know he sees more than you ever could. A wry smile, perhaps the most content you’ve ever seen him and then he dips his head. Chapped lips. It’s a messy, consuming kiss and intense. A fire burns deep within you, you’re dizzy and drunk from a mere kiss and yet you crave so much more. You crave him.
“Matt?” You gasp out his name in a shaky breath. “Matt, I…”
“I know, sweetheart,” he replies just as breathlessly. “I know.”
Clumsy fumbles, your desperation driving you delirious as Matt leads you to the bedroom with controlled ease. His lips chase yours as you cast his hoodie aside. A great haste to shed the unwanted barriers between you. He runs his tongue along the seam of your lips, begging for entrance that’s all too easily granted and it’s so sensual, the way he devours you with his kisses.
An urgency that has your bare back against silk sheets. Matt a welcome weight and you trace the faint pink scars that litter his chest, run your fingers down the defined muscles of his abdomen. And you’re so wet, aching for him and a gasp tumbles from your lips as he slowly stretches you with his cock. Fingers dance over your hot skin, run circles over your nipples and draw invisible shapes along your waist. Hot, needy kisses down the velvety column of your neck. A gentle nip at your ear.
Matt is so attuned to your body. He knows how to make every nerve sing with pleasure. And right now, it’s all that more intense because it’s out of love. And it’s in that moment you know that you love him right now. You don’t want to live forever. You only need right now.
A single tear. It escapes and you abhorre how weak you are. Frozen in time and betrayed by the memory of how you scoffed at the possibility of forever. You always knew this day would come. The day when the city became too much for Daredevil. Your thoughts race, a collision course of conflicting ideas. And there’s little you can do but flatten your cheek against the cracked leather of the couch. Matt’s name a whisper that bounces off the walls of his barren apartment.
“Matt,” you breathe. “Matt.”
As if calling his name will somehow bring him home to you.