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All In The Dark

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He wakes with a hammering ache in his head and total disorientation and he sits up too fast – but why is he lying down in the first place? – and he almost pitches off the cot. The world swims around him and he calls out. It feels like his throat has been ripped to shreds and at first he supposes that the lack of sound is a side effect of this, that he is yelling and nothing is coming out, but his hand barks the wall and he hears nothing, his foot scuffs the edge of the cot and he hears nothing. With panic mounting in his chest, he brings his hands together in a sharp clap. His palms sting, and he hears nothing.

Breathing hard, Matt levers himself up into a sitting position, fingers scrambling frantically along the wall (rough concrete, cold and solid) and the edge of the cot (wood and some heavy-duty fabric, maybe Army-issue) and his own body (sound and still dressed in the Daredevil costume, though the cowl is gone and his face is fully exposed). He places an experimental foot on the ground and starts to stand when a large hand meets the center of his chest and shoves him back down.

He lashes out but his wrist is caught neatly, gripped tight, and he is gently forced back. His shoulders hit the wall and he forces himself to think through the rising fear and frustration that cloud his mind. Someone has done something to his hearing, rendering him effectively harmless. The Punisher has been known to use sonic grenades on him before, and the hand around his wrist is massive, rough with calluses. “Frank?” he says. The hand around his wrist tightens, but it is impossible to tell whether the squeeze is meant to be reassuring or threatening.

His hand is lifted, guided upwards and his fingertips encounter someone’s face. Gently, he traces the features before him. Broad forehead, deep-set eyes, strong nose, thin lips, scars. So many scars that he can’t tell where one ends and another begins and that’s how he knows that yes, it’s Frank Castle, and if nothing else, he is safe.

Reassured, he sinks back against the wall and closes his eyes.

***

It’s impossible to know how long he has been asleep when a touch on the cheek wakes him. He reaches up, grasps a familiar hand. Frank is back. Matt follows his movements as he sits, allows Frank to guide his hand to a cup. It is filled with some hot liquid and Matt smells it experimentally. “Tea?” he asks. He still cannot hear but the ringing has mostly stopped. Small blessings.

Frank lifts his hand, rests his fingers on thin lips and begins to talk. Matt is shocked at how intimate the action is, how warm Frank’s breath is, and he misses the first few words. …Kingpin’s men, I think. They’ve got some new tricks. I heard the grenade go off and thought it might have been meant for you. He moves his lips deliberately, exaggerating the movements so that Matt’s fingers can pick up the subtleties. He breathes out on the glottal sounds, speaks slowly and distinctly. Matt wonders if he has done this before, doesn’t want to ask.

“Thank you,” he says. It is deeply strange to speak and not hear his own voice, but he can feel the vibrations against his vocal cords, knows that sound is coming out because Frank responds.

No problem, he says, and Matt recoils a little, snatching his hand back a fraction of an inch. Frank’s lips slowly curve into a smile and he speaks again. Did I scare you?

“Startled,” Matt corrects. “Your tongue…” It had flicked out, caressed the tip of his finger and then darted back into Frank’s mouth, and had it been anyone else he would have thought it an elaborate tease.

Hard to speak without using ‘L’, comes the answer and, with it, a longer swipe of warmth as Frank’s tongue circles the tip of his finger entirely. Matt snatches his hand away and holds it against his chest until Frank reaches out, prying it away and pressing it against his throat. It takes Matt a second to realize that the tight vibration against his hand is laughter.

“You’re laughing at me?” he asks, incredulous. “You’re laughing?” Frank repositions his hand and speaks.

Worth it. Your face. Disgusted, Matt slaps him – but lightly, lightly; he’s not keen on losing the hand – and withdraws with his cup of tea.

“Go away,” he orders. He can’t tell if Frank obeys him, but there is no more touching and eventually, because there is nothing else to do and because his head still aches abominably, he drifts back to sleep.

***

The headache is gone when he wakes again. He snaps his fingers experimentally, but all he hears is a dull roar. Sighing, he pushes himself upright, waits for Frank to reach out and take his hand. He sits for a full minute before realizing that he is alone. His heart leaps in his chest, but he quells the helpless feeling that floods his chest and pushes himself off the cot. His costume is itchy and reeks of sweat and pain, and he peels it off carefully. It leaves him naked, but Frank is not here and he’s obviously in one of the many safe-houses that the man has scattered around the city, so there’s no risk of being spotted.

He moves across the floor carefully, hands out in front of him, feet shuffling forward inch by inch. It is a torturous journey as his remaining senses try desperately to compensate, but touch and smell are only so useful and he scrapes his fingertips against a wall before almost overbalancing and falling into it. He takes a moment to quiet his heart, then feels along the wall, acutely aware that he is as helpless as a child. It is humbling, in a way, to realize that even he can be brought so low.

His fingers quest to the right and brush something cold and hard and smooth, and he wraps inquisitive fingers around it, stroking down its cylindrical length for a good few inches before realizing with a start that he is caressing the barrel of a gun. He snatches his hand away as though the thing bit him and rests his head against the wall, breathing hard. The reality of his situation is starting to sink in and as hard as he tries to center himself, tries to push away the negative emotion that wells up inside, it is practically impossible to face his fears and conquer them when he is this helpless.

The world feels huge, foreign, and as he stands pressed against the wall it seems to open up around him, an infinite space that he cannot sense, cannot navigate. He shoves harder against the wall, breath rasping in his throat. He shouldn’t have left the cot, should never have ventured out from the relatively safe confines of a space that he knew and had defined. He shudders once and cannot stop. A mewling, desperate noise begins in his throat and rises, growing louder and louder until he is screaming as loud as he can. Still, all he can hear is a tinny ringing and the only reason he knows he is making any noise is the raw, bloody feeling in his throat.

And then, suddenly, there is a warmth at his back, a human heaviness pressing him to the wall. Frank’s arms wrap tight around him and he starts to struggle, kicking his legs out. Lips move against the side of his face and he realizes Frank is talking to him. Calm down, it’s all right, I’m sorry I left. It feels like Frank is kissing him, gentle little movements against sensitive skin, and it soothes the panic. The world narrows again, closing in around him until it encompasses only Frank and him and he drops his head back against a shoulder like granite. His breathing slows. He nods, turns his head. Frank doesn’t move and there is a long, still moment when their breath mingles and Frank’s arms tighten almost imperceptibly around Matt. Then Matt speaks and his lips move against Frank’s, passing the words directly into his mouth.

“Don’t dare ever tell anyone about this,” he rasps. Frank’s lips twitch minutely and he nods. Promise. And he leads Matt back across the room to the cot and sits beside him, hand on Matt’s forehead until his breathing has slowed to normal and he has control of himself again.

***

Matt doesn’t sleep this time, but he withdraws into himself so far that he might as well be sleeping. He is ashamed of himself, ashamed that Frank found him naked and screaming like a child in the middle of a room. No matter that the room felt as vast and empty to him in that moment as the Sahara. No matter that anyone else would be forgiven a meltdown if they lost one sense, never mind two. He is the Man Without Fear. He is Daredevil. And he acted like such a child that the Punisher had to take him in hand, carry him to bed. Perhaps he will forgive himself one day, but for now Matt is locked in his own silent world and he hates himself.

Every so often, Frank smoothes his hair back. His huge hand is steady and surprisingly tender. Matt has asked himself many times why Frank is doing this, why he doesn’t just drop Matt off on Foggy’s doorstep and have done with it. Brooding, despising the new wellspring of weakness in him, he asks.

“Why did you bring me here? Why not leave me for someone to find?”

There is a long moment of hesitation, then Frank lifts Matt’s fingers to his mouth and speaks. Would you rather I did that? I can still take you somewhere else. Matt is stung by the reply, which doesn’t answer his question at all, but which opens up a new world of implications. Because the honest answer is no. There is no one else that he would rather be with right now than Frank. Not because Frank is kind, or because they are friends, or because Frank understands what he is going through. Not because Frank can keep him any safer than anyone else. None of those things are true, and Matt knows that he would be better off with Foggy, who is his closest friend in the world, or with Danny Rand, who has the resources and wherewithal to care for him. But he doesn’t want to be with them, doesn’t want them to see him this vulnerable, this frightened. Of all the people that he knows in this world, Frank Castle is the only one he trusts with that sight.

The realization is humbling.

“No,” he murmurs. “I want to stay here. I’m sorry.” Frank’s hand slides up his arm, presses his hand forward. No need. A moment, then, Can you hear anything yet? Matt shudders and shakes his head. He is beginning to worry that he will never hear again, that the men who did this to him did their job too well. Perhaps he will adjust, given time, but he doesn’t think so. He was already blessed once. It won’t happen again.

“How long have I been here?” he asks. It feels like a year.

Two days, Frank answers. A breath shudders its way out of Matt’s lungs. The sonic grenade treatment is not entirely new to him; twice, at least, Frank himself has employed one to temporarily remove Matt from the picture. His hearing always came back within hours, though, ringing and unsteady at first, but there. Frank squeezes his wrist, drawing his attention. This one was much louder than the ones I use. I heard it four blocks away and it hurt my ears. You’ll be fine soon.

Matt wants to believe him so he nods his head and sinks back on the cot. What if it doesn’t come back, though? What if he’s stuck this way for the rest of his life? It’s not that he can’t get on; of course he can, lots of people do. But after tasting the freedom and power of being Daredevil, Matt isn’t sure he can resign himself to being a regular person. It’s a responsibility, yes, and sometimes a heavy one, but he knows the truth about masks. At first, they might hid your face from the world, but at some point you realize that the mask is your identity, that the person people see every day is the cover for who you truly are. Matt doesn’t want to let that go. He’s not ready to take that step, especially when it isn’t of his own volition.

Frank gets up and leaves for a while and Matt stays firmly where he is, barely even daring to breathe until Frank returns. The warm scent of tomato soup fills the air and Matt realizes that he hasn’t had any food since Frank brought him here, just sips of water in between astonishing stretches of pain. His stomach cramps and he sits up, reaching out for the bowl. Frank guides his hand to the rim and places a spoon in the other, and Matt is pathetically grateful that Frank isn’t trying to feed him. He allows Frank to retain control of the bowl, resting his hand on the edge only as a guide. The soup is scalding but he doesn’t pause to let it cool, barely slows down enough to taste it. By the time he finishes, his tongue is scorched but he is full and he falls back against the wall with a soft, shuddering sigh.

“Thank you,” he murmurs, licking his lips to capture the lingering taste. It’s the condensed stuff, cheap and criminally easy to make, and it is the best thing he’s ever had to eat in his life. Frank leans forward and Matt reaches out, touching his forehead and sliding down to his lips.

Do you want a shower? Matt starts to shake his head, still not entirely recovered from his brief attempt to go it on his own. He doesn’t want to think about how it would feel in a shower, battered by spray, lost in a sea of cold tile and slick floors. Frank stops his train of thought short. I’ll be there. I need to get clean, too.

Again, Matt starts to refuse. He isn’t really in the habit of taking showers with other people, even the women he dates. The whole process is both disorienting and wonderful under normal circumstances, the spray of the shower creating a sonic picture that changes constantly. That little private intimacy is gone now, though, and he does feel somewhat scaly. “Fine,” he says. What the hell. Frank has already seen him naked. It isn’t as though he can fall any further.

Thankfully, Frank does not try to carry him or lead him or anything so humiliating. He simply holds out his arm and Matt rests a hand on his wrist and follows. Frank goes at a steady pace – yet another thing to be grateful for; Matt could not have born it if Frank had walked with deliberate slowness to accommodate him – and they reach what Matt supposes is the shower with no mishaps. There is tile under his feet and he stops, halted by a quick touch to the shoulder. Frank moves away and Matt is still, swaying slightly and trying not to let the world open up around him again.

A blast of steam rushes over his body and water droplets spatter his feet. Cautious, he takes a few steps forward. The water is almost too hot, but he steps under the spray gratefully, pleased to sluice away the sweat and grime of the past few days. He isn’t sure where Frank is anymore, but even being left alone is secondary to the pleasure of hot water against his skin. He stands for a long while, head tipped back, enjoying the drumming of the water on top of his head. It creates something like sound inside him, a tapping against sensitive skin that reverberates and envelopes. For the first time in two days, Matt smiles, broad and genuine.

A hand captures his wrist, fingers closing slowly so as not to startle. Matt stands still, waiting as Frank lifts his arm. He is expecting Frank to speak, but instead a bar of soap is dropped into his palm. He lifts it to his face and sniffs. There is no distinctive odor, nothing that he can pinpoint. It simply smells the way he has always supposed plain soap to smell, that archetypal odor of simple cleanliness. He rubs it between his palms building up the suds before scrubbing them down his arms and across his chest. It feels divine, better than it should, and as the water slices across his skin, rinsing the soap away and leaving only clean skin in its wake, he wonders if he can talk Frank into letting him just stay here in the shower.

“Is there shampoo?” he asks. It’s hard to know whether he has asked loud enough, but when there is no answer he assumes he has. Just as he is about to speak again, Frank is beside him, appearing out of the spray so smoothly that it startles Matt, who only notes his presence when a slick hand grips his elbow. He cries out, startled by the sudden physical contact, and as he jerks away, he stumbles. Ordinarily, his balance is perfect, but the combination of being startled and a slick shower floor is fatal, and he loses his footing.

There is a moment of terrible vertigo; Matt knows he is falling but has no idea where he is in relation to the walls or the floor or the potentially dangerous shower knobs. All he knows is that he is falling and there is absolutely nothing to be done about it. His elbow cracks the wall and he curses under his breath, bracing the rest of his body for impact when Frank’s arms circle his waist and jerk him upright again. Gasping, Matt digs his nails into Frank’s biceps and attempts to strangle his adrenaline reaction.

“You scared me,” he breathes, planting his feet beneath him again, lifting his hand to press against Frank’s mouth in case Frank feels the need to berate him.

Didn’t mean to. No apology, just that he didn’t mean to. It’s tempting to be annoyed with him, but Matt knows it will serve no purpose, so he just lets it go. “Fine,” he says. “It doesn’t matter. You can let me go now.” And nothing happens. Matt squirms slightly, pushing at Frank’s shoulders, wondering if Frank simply didn’t hear him. Lips graze his cheek and he stills, waiting for Frank to speak.

Frank does say something, but it is halting, half pulled away from Matt’s skin and confused by the water. “What?” he asks, hand fumbling for Frank’s mouth. “Did you say something?” A tremor runs through Frank’s arms and they tighten around him briefly, forming a knot of nervous energy in the pit of Matt’s belly. Frank is an erratic person at best, but this is a little beyond the pale. “Are you all right? Frank?”

His hand is knocked away and Frank’s lips fasten around the side of his neck. Matt’s confusion lasts for only another few seconds; he has been with enough people to recognize desire when he feels it. Frank is surprisingly gentle, using tongue and teeth in concert as he tastes Matt’s skin, arms holding him firmly but not roughly. The breath hitches in Matt’s throat and, unsure, he turns to rub his face against Frank’s, not exactly encouraging the contact but certainly not pushing Frank away. There is a low vibration against his chest and he realizes that Frank must have moaned, a fact which unravels the nervousness in his gut and transforms it into something entirely other.

He gasps as Frank’s lips trail up along his jaw, teeth nipping his chin. His lips tingle in anticipation as Frank’s big hand tangles in the wet hair at the nape of his neck. He tugs, forcing Matt’s head back, and their lips clash, rough and needy. Frank’s tongue delves deep, sweeping into his mouth and possessing him, at least for this moment, and he gives over willingly, molding his body to Frank’s, fascinated by the way their slick skin grinds together. Frank is huge, hard and unyielding under Matt’s eager fingers. No matter where he touches, he cannot draw out another moan, as though having made that one slip, Frank is determined to keep his peace. It might have been disconcerting if not for the way Frank’s rough hands slip down Matt’s back, proprietary and sure, pressing Matt closer inch by inch until he feels the thick, heavy length of Frank’s prick pressing into the hollow of his hip and cries out in mingled shock and pleasure.

You like that? Lips against the hollow of his throat, hips rutting forward against him, hands holding him in one place. Matt makes a sobbing noise in his throat, need and confusion and assent all in one. He doesn’t really understand what’s happening, why Frank is doing this, but he wants it, more than he has wanted anything in so long. There’s something primal about it, wet skin and strong hands and the angular hardness of Frank’s body against his. The shower slashes around them, water like bullets against Matt’s sensitive skin and he nods frantically, worms a hand free and reaches down.

Frank’s body jerks like a live wire as Matt’s fingers wrap around his shaft and he wonders how long it has been for Frank, wonders at the identity of the last person who took Frank Castle in hand and brought him to a climax. He wonders if they can hold a candle to him.

Purring now, licking warm water from the line of Frank’s collarbone, Matt begins to stroke him, expert fingers curving and squeezing, seeking the rhythm that will make Frank clay in his hands. He cannot hear, but he can feel the heave of Frank’s chest, the sharp puffs of air against his ear as Frank bends forward. Matt reaches up, wrapping his free fingers in Frank’s hair. It is longer than Matt expected, thick and silky, and he holds tight as Frank ducks his head to nuzzle Matt’s shoulder, leaving a trail of love bites in his wake.

“Frank,” he moans, and Frank’s hands spasm against his back, clutching tighter. Frank may be bigger than he is, but the balance of power is tipped firmly in his favor. Matt smiles and rises up on his toes, his hand stilling on Frank’s cock. The cessation of motion sends a tremor of need through Frank’s body and Matt moans softly in response. “Lift me up.”

Frank does not hesitate, wrapping an arm around Matt’s waist and lifting him off his feet until their hips are level. Matt stretches his fingers out, capturing his own aching prick and pressing it tight against Frank’s. There is a hitch, another tight growl against Matt’s chest that signals a moan, and he begins to stroke them together, arm thrown around Frank’s neck, head tilted back in ecstasy. “Frank,” he breathes again, smiling at the way Frank twitches when he says his name. He leans closer, tongues Frank’s earlobe. His thumb sweeps first across the head of his prick, then across Frank’s. He can’t hear, but he can feel Frank’s pleasure, every twitch of his muscles, every hitching gasp that tears free from his throat. His hand moves faster, twisting and stroking and then Frank is setting him down, pushing him away, and Matt stumbles slightly in shock.

“What--?” He is alone in the spray for less than a second, then Frank is pressed against him again, huge hands roaming down Matt’s back. His lips meet the shell of Matt’s ear, moving rapidly. Get on your knees. Matt obeys immediately, nails dragging down Frank’s belly. Frank guides him, holding his head steady as he presses the head of his cock to Matt’s lips. Matt opens his mouth and takes him in, warm tongue swirling, cheeks hollowing as he sucks Frank deeper. Already, his jaw is stretched almost to its limit and he’s barely halfway down the shaft, water running down his face like tears as Frank moves silently above him. His hips roll gently, fucking his prick further into Matt’s mouth an inch at a time. He chokes a little and Frank backs off; having found Matt’s upper limit, the two of them settle into a rhythm, Matt sucking and teasing with his tongue, Frank thrusting gently, fingers scrabbling along Matt’s scalp.

It is steady, comfortable, and Matt allows himself to be lulled by the repetitive motions. The heaviness of Frank’s prick against his tongue is strangely soothing, the act of sex itself familiar enough that it is almost easy to pretend that nothing is wrong, that he is perfectly healthy. It would be easy to scoff at the notion that, were he completely sound, he would not be on his knees in Frank Castle’s shower, but Matt isn’t so sure about that. There has always been an edge to their interactions, a tension that he could never parse until now. He moans around Frank’s cock and is rewarded by the tightening of Frank’s fingers in his hair, a sudden surge of his hips.

He pulls out and Matt moans in protest, opening his mouth and tilting his head back for more. There are long seconds of absence and then warm come splashes across his face and into his mouth. Humiliation and pleasure war for dominance, eventually melting together to make something much stranger and stronger. He licks come off of his face, gathering it with his fingers. It is the first time anyone has done something remotely like that to him, and he is not certain at all of his reaction to it.

Frank gives him a moment, then pulls him gently to his feet, presses a surprisingly tender kiss to the corner of his mouth. Matt smiles, considers asking whether Frank is going to return the favor, and then he is being spun on his heels, arms lifted to brace against the wall. Frank kisses a wet trail down Matt’s spine and ending crouched behind him, hands on his ass. Matt makes a mewling sound in his throat, realizing what Frank intends mere seconds before his tongue swipes across Matt’s tender opening.

He bites down on his lips, knowing perfectly well that no one will hear him but refusing to scream out of a sense of misplaced pride. It’s good though, amazing; Frank is shockingly talented with his tongue, flicking and teasing as his hand circles Matt’s prick. He holds to his resolution up until the point when Frank’s tongue presses inside him, fucking in and out in time with the stroking of his huge hand. Matt hangs his head and whines, rolling his hips eagerly, straining for the trembling climax that is just out of his reach. “Please,” he whimpers. “More…”

A finger presses into him, long and thick and rough, crooking just so to send fiery pleasure flooding through his hips and belly. His legs go weak as Frank’s finger slips in and out, slow and deliberate at first, picking up speed as Matt’s voice rises. Pleading words fall from his lips, faster and louder until he is simply screaming Frank’s name over and over, begging with each breath to be allowed to come, to be given some sort of relief. There is sharp pain that melts into pleasure, two fingers inside him now, fucking him so hard that he is barely keeping his feet. Frank’s hand tightens around his cock, his thumb flicking across the head, and Matt comes. Explosively, perfectly, clenching around Frank’s fingers, collapsing forward against the arm that slides up to cross his chest and pull him protectively back. He moans softly, rolls his head back against Frank’s shoulder, and accepts a last, soft kiss.

***

Matt wakes in the morning – at least, he supposes it is the morning – tucked up under a blanket, head pillowed on Frank’s arm. He remembers the end of their shower, Frank rubbing the rest of the soap off of his skin and then tossing a towel at him. He remembers allowing Frank to essentially carry him back out of the bathroom, as at that point he was so flushed with afterglow and exhaustion that he could barely keep his feet. He doesn’t remember Frank climbing into bed with him, though he isn’t disputing how pleasant it is to wake up with a warm body pressed to his back. He sits up slowly, trying not to wake Frank, and discovers that he is clothed. He laughs softly, fingers plucking at a shirt that is entirely too large for him. Behind him, Frank stirs.

“This shirt better not have a skull on it,” he teases, leaning down and pressing soft kisses to Frank’s jaw. He is unceremoniously pushed away and utterly fails to be surprised by that. It’s shocking that Frank deigned to stay around long enough for them to both wake up. Matt is perfectly content to let it lie at that. Frank rolls out of the cot on the opposite side and stands.

“So what if it does?” Frank answers. Matt gives a strangled cry and reaches for him. The words are indistinct, tinny, but they are there, and for the first time since he was attacked, he can make out individual noises. Nothing so soft as the rustle of fabric or the hiss of air through a vent, but Frank’s low voice is perfectly distinguishable. It is almost enough to make Matt cry.

“I can hear you,” he says, laughing, holding out a hand. There is a long silence, in which Frank does not take his hand, and Matt shrinks back slightly, wondering if he has misinterpreted the Punisher yet again. “Frank?”

“I’ll call your buddy,” Frank says. “He can come get you.” Matt sits for a moment in stunned silence. That’s it? He’s not helpless anymore and suddenly Frank has no use for him? He knows he should have seen it coming, knows that he and Frank will never be anything other than wary semi-enemies, but he thought…

It doesn’t matter what he thought. The reality of the situation is a rude intrusion, but Matt is an adult and he is practiced at compartmentalizing pain. He stands, levels his voice and wipes all hint of emotion from his voice. “Tell him to bring me some clothes,” he says. “All I have is my costume.”

He can make out the heavy footfalls as Frank starts to walk away when he belatedly realizes that Frank spoke to him. He didn’t take Matt’s hand, talk against his fingers. He spoke normally, as though fully cognizant of the fact that Matt would hear him. “You knew?” Matt asks, unable to keep the accusation from his voice. Frank’s footsteps halt. “You knew that I could hear you.”

“And?” It is difficult to hear him now but Matt will not allow himself to step forward, to acknowledge any more weakness.

“How?”

“You talked to me earlier,” he says. “You woke up and asked me something and I answered you. And you heard.”

“I don’t remember,” Matt snaps. There is a horrible suspicion rising in him, a fear that it had not been Kingpin’s men at all, that this has all been an elaborate trick of Frank’s. Even fueled by righteous anger at the prospect, Matt cannot make the suspicion dovetail with what he knows of Frank Castle. It is too vile, too disturbing.

“You were half asleep,” Frank answers. There is a coldness in his voice, a distance that Matt has never heard before and which he cannot make sense of. Instead, he sits in silence on the cot until he hears a door open, hears rushing feet across the concrete floor. Foggy grips him by the arms and hauls him upright, tripping over his own words as he tells Matt how worried he’s been, how worried everyone has been. He has clothes, which he thrusts into Matt’s hands and, in between reassuring Foggy that he will be fine and insisting that he not track down whoever it was that phoned him, Matt manages to get dressed.

He wonders, as Foggy leads him out, where Frank went when he vanished. He wonders about the gun that he felt hanging on the wall, whether it was the only one or if Frank cleared the rest out sometime between Matt finding them and Foggy arriving. He would have to have known that this safehouse would be useless in the future. Likely, he’s already moved on to a secondary location. Matt pauses outside, alarmed by the sudden influx of sound; traffic, people shouting, horns blowing, music playing. He flinches back a little, overwhelmed.

“Matt?” Foggy murmurs, taking his arm. “Are you all right?”

“Fine,” he says after a moment’s silence. “I’m fine. Let’s just go home.”