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Hugs Karen HUGS

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They were so drunk. Karen was pretty sure she should be grabbing water and a bottle of pills to stop the impending hangover but she just pours one glass of wine and plopped down next to Foggy.

They were going solo tonight, Matt was off on patrol and the decided they both rather have company than worry about his perky ass being stabbed in the early morning. So they grabbed take out and a bottle of wine and crashed on Foggy’s couch to enjoy some drama show.

She was actually glad she got some alone time with Foggy and outside of Matt’s hearing range. She loved spending time with her friend and she wanted information. So she enjoyed her night and made sure Foggy did too before pushing the subject. In between episode four and five she struck.

“So not to be rude or anything- I just wonder. How come Matt hugs you and cuddles and all that but it's really hard for everyone else? Like I’m a hugger too but it seems to be harder for everyone but you is all.”

Maybe she should have done this before they were this tipsy.

Foggy snorted, “Oh Kare, you nosey reporter gurl! Let me let you into the top secret project of heart-eyes against puppy dog eyes”

Yeah, definitely should have done it earlier, but at least it would be fun. Foggy lost all filters after drink four usually.

Karen had been watching for weeks- not in like a creepy way more like a I don’t understand and I want to understand way. She tried hugging Matt more when she saw Foggy go in so often for them. Matt just wasn’t as receptive and she got the awkward side hug or the quick light hug with a pat ninety percent of the time.

Foggy on the other hand easily swooped in for a morning hug, full arms and everything unless Matt was injured then it was a soft squeeze before handing him tea or coffee and starting the work day. It wasn’t a romantic thing as far as she could see; Foggy always came and gave her a hug after Matt’s. Maybe Matt didn’t like her hugs? Or it was just Foggy’s hugs? It wasn’t like she had a big pool of people who could get inside Matt personal bubble to test this theory.

She wished she could make Matt feel more loved and she was a physical gal. Matt and Foggy were her best friends and she wanted to hug, cuddle and generally be there. Foggy accepted her love easily, Matt not so much. So she looked to Foggy to see how to best show love to Matt. After all her love language might be touch but Matt might prefer gifts or acts of service, but what she ended up seeing was Foggy just kind of always got into Matt’s personal space.

On movie nights Matt would leave the love seat at her apartment for Karen and Foggy, sitting on the floor and Foggy would easily pull him to lean against Foggy’s legs and would play with his hair. Now she had been able to play with Matt’s hair once but to be fair he was high on painkillers and floppy with sleep.

She noted once that Matt’s shoulders where starting to permanently home near his ears and offered to massage them, but he declined. Next week Foggy wheeled Matt from his desk in the crappy office chair and just started massaging them down. Matt didn’t seem happy to be taken away from his work but grateful for the help. Even asked Foggy just press all his weight into them if he could. He was jell-o afterwards and evil Foggy and Karen appeared and took advantage. Got him tipsy and wrapped up on Foggy’s couch to listen to some nonsense podcast that night. It was nice.

But maybe now she could get some answers out of Foggy. It had to be a good story if there was a mission title after all!

Foggy pulled her in close, a bit rosy in the cheeks and grinning.

“Okay here is the thing,'' Foggy swallowed the last of his wine “People don’t always realize how long I’ve been working on my master plans okay? Yeah so no ruining it. You are now drafted for this mission and it is treason to let Matty shit that will make him feel bad.”

Karen smiled and nodded along and Foggy seemed satisfied, “So the mission, Heart Eyes against puppy dog eyes is basically how to get Matty to accept and know he is loved. I don’t know who the fuck thought it was okay to teach him he wasn’t the lovable muffin he is Kare but I’ll kill them I swear.”

She pulled on his hand to get him to focus, “Oh yeah- Hugs and other physical affections of Matthew Murdock 101. Surprisingly it isn’t that hard? I know I know like your going to say- he doesn’t let me hug or cuddle lots. It true Kare, but once you learn the system! AH!”

He threw his hands up in a lazy ‘AH!’ motion. She giggled but kept her gaze pointed. She need information Foggy!

“Yes yes, I am a criminal mastermind Kare! I- there is a system to how Matt likes physical affection. You see if you follow the little rules then he turns into a sweet little ball of syrup. He is such a tactile guy Kare. I know it doesn’t look like it but this dude wants to cuddle 24/7 if possible. Did I tell you about the time he was high on flu meds and end up sleep walking into Marci’s bed? She was living across the hall during law school you know-“

“FOGGY! Tell me HOW to make him DO the HUGS!” She might have shook him a little in her impatience.

“Yes! Hugs, Karen HUGS!” She leaned back and laughed.

“Okay okay! Look a lot of it is like trust issues. There is too much to unpack there and that is an including Matt talk if you can ever tangle him into that web of feelings talk. BUT never fear my dear sweet Karen I have the rules!”

Foggy pulled out his phone, “Here I’ll write them down- can’t read a screen and can’t turn on my screen reader because I have disabled Siri the bitch. One and this is important because you know about the ‘I am the night’ shit. HE IS BLIND. So you know he needs cues, he can read big movements pretty well but small things like slightly opening your arms or moving towards him? Yeah that is all he's got Kare. He can’t tell the difference between trying to move around you, grab him or hug him. So just kinda warn him- he can’t see hugs coming gurl. That is half the battle.”

He looked deep into her eyes for confirmation she understood. She nodded sagely, or she hoped it was sagely and not drunk as a duck.

“ Two: The boy may love to cuddle. He likes it sooooo much! But what is not good is the unknown emotional meanings. Like not enough hugs as a kid and also like in general he just gets nervous man. He might have all that fancy hearing for detecting lies and crap but it so unreliable for emotional meaning. You know how many times he has asked me if I was angry when I was just excited for ice cream? Okay it was only once but it was once too many.

“SO! Always good to like say ‘why the hug’. Like ‘oh your so funny’ or ‘thank you buddy’ or ‘I love yah pal’ and stuff. Got it? “

She tilted her head and hummed nodding. This did seem pretty easy. She wanted to try it now. Karen wondered if she could call for Daredevil outside her window to test her theory now or if that would just give Matt a heart attack and she should wait in the morning…but then she might have a hangover…

Foggy got really serious though and pulled her in so that their foreheads touched, “But number three is the most important rule Karen. Three: Don’t tease during physical affection like hugs. Like if it is teasing affection to start okay, but if you bring him in for like love and you betray that trust to tease even if it is just a little- you ruin it. If you make it so I can’t hug him because he is afraid you’ll tickle him or some shit I will… I will”

Sometimes Foggy didn’t mean to be scary but he was and Karen while didn’t fear knew how important that was. I was a sobering thought to think how important these hugs have to be for Foggy to be this protective.

“I will…hide you hairbrush for a week and always add sour cream to your potato orders!”

Karen scrunched up her face, Ew.

He chuckled, “Ha! I knew that would work!”

They were silent for a bit leaning into each other. Foggy had really put a lot of effort into learning how to be there for Matt. She wanted to do that too. They were a pair of co-dependant assholes but they were hers and if she could lift the burden and show these two she would be there for them that would make her happy.

Foggy broke the silence with a little sigh, “Oh Kare just wait- he’ll do this little push thing. Like he gets frustrated or idk he just wants the thing and he isn’t quite sure what it is, spoilers alert it’s a hug. He just leans randomly on your arm or if he is feeling a touch dramatic drop his head on your shoulder. It’s his way of asking for a hug- and it is so damn cute Kare. Just wait man. I bet he does it after court tomorrow- aww I’m gonna be hung over in court fuck.”

His voice had been getting softer at the end, like he was trying to describe this little part of love and give it to her before reality crashed in.

She gave him a pity pat and sent him to his bed and made up the couch for herself. She dreamed of a dramatic Matt leaning directly on Foggy with a little cloud bubble blinking the translated phrase of “I want a hug please”. It was cute.

The next day after court Foggy’s prediction came true, in the saddest way possible of course. Matt definitely shined in court, it was his element. He could show off and search for justice! Foggy was grateful that he could nurse his hangover. The second they were out of the courthouse? Matt seemed to take a deep breath and deflate. The case had gone well they didn’t even end up going to trail, prosecutor dropped the case right then and there. Karen didn’t know what could be bothering him, but he moped so hard that Karen was thinking about where she could buy a balloon on the way home just to take a break from the sad puppy dog eyes and smile for a second.

Unfortunately there were no places that sold balloons or at least any she could spot from the courthouse to the office. She took her normal spot at her desk and moved things around just to busy her hands. Foggy shut the door and asked what she had been dreading and yet needed to know.

“Hey buddy, What’s up with the sad face? You did great!”

Matt just shrugged, hands staying in his pocket, “I’m fine Foggy just tired.”

“Matty…How are you really?” If Foggy hadn’t told her about it last night Karen was sure she would have missed it. Matt swallowed moved his head like he was trying to track Foggy before dipping it down and rocking forward just enough to lightly bump his shoulder into Foggy’s chest and lean back. It took less than a second but then Foggy smiled all sweet and soft and pulled Matt into one of their long hugs.

She kept her ‘awww’ internal. Matt’s whole body seemed to lose tension she didn’t even realize he was holding.

“It was a bad night…A girl- she safe now but she got really hurt before I got there. I just don’t…It’s really sad.” Matt was mumbling most of it but Karen felt something click in her brain.

The hugs, they weren’t just ‘love’ for Matt. They were a sign of safety for him. That someone cared and wanted to be there and he could open up. He never opened up unless forced or when someone, well when Foggy hugged him. Oh now she wanted to cry.

Foggy was rubbing up and down Matt’s back and gentle scraping sound that filled the office and distracted Karen from bawling her eyes out.

“Why don’t we have an early movie night, huh? Or hell lets have two movie nights this week, yeah? I’ll make some of Mom’s homemade bread that you like, get some of that watered down shit you call soup and if we are sweet enough I bet we can talk Karen into making those beautiful pumpkin pies. It will help to take a night to focus on the good things yeah?”

She was definitely making two pies and force feeding Matt happiness.

Matt gave a little laugh that sounded a little sad still but nodded. Foggy didn’t let go for another minute and when Karen took her break that afternoon she bought a balloon for the office as well as supplies for the pie. It gave Matt a smile for more than just a second- almost five blissful minutes.

That night she tried to teach them how to make pie crust from scratch and got flour everywhere.

“Matty, come here. You have flour all over you, Foggy had taken wet dish towel and cleaned Matt’s face. That was probably the longest she had seen Matt smile without bouncing around a room.

Then she got to watch as Matt too full and warm feel asleep between her and Foggy on the couch. Foggy had pulled Matt’s head to rest on his shoulder as Karen and him staying up to finish their drama show episode.

She never stopped seeing deep physical affection between them. It made the world a brighter place for her. Weeks later when a Frank Sinatra song came on to the radio she even got to see them dance.

Foggy was grabbing Matt before he could escape, “Sorry man you know the rules!”

Matt pouted but didn’t fight Foggy instead let his hand and waist be grabbed and laid his hand perfectly poised on Foggy’s shoulder, “Where are these rules Foggy? Just because I like the song does not entitle you to make me dance! In fact I think this song entitles the exact opposite.”

Karen swore they both just loved to argue, even when they were perfectly happy.

“Oh come on Matty! You love slow dancing and I am a great leader! Plus you are totally not understanding this song if you think you’re not supposed to dance bud.”

Matt let his head dip onto Foggy’s shoulder, “Fogs, why don’t you dance with Karen?”

Foggy sniffed and carried on moving them in a slow easy dance for Karen’s amusement, “One she loves when we dance, grinning as we speak and two this is your song not hers- she gets the pride and prejudice dance thing remember?”

“Oh, Okay I guess.”

She might have taken a video of her cute boys and watch it when she needs a pick me up.

Overtime she was able to get Matt to trust her affection a bit more. She knew when she succeeded when on the way home he automatically grabbed her elbow instead of Foggy’s. Foggy noticed and let his gaze slide up and down the pair of them as they walked home.

She smiled smugly back.

The next day Matt started his ritual of bumping her shoulder every morning. It seems like morning hugs would be a tradition in this firm. Karen loved it.