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Time Can Do So Much

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I.

Foggy’s not drunk, really, but he thinks Matt might be, because he’s leaning heavily into Foggy’s side and gripping his arm too tightly. “We should—let’s get some food. Let’s get some food,” Matt says, jarring his glasses when he whips his head around to look at his roommate.

“We did,” Foggy says, shaking the take-out box in his hand. “Here,” he says, waving a fry in front of Matt’s face. Matt snaps at it like a Hungry Hungry Hippo, misses twice, and then finally manages to get it in his mouth. Foggy laughs as they round a corner on the way back to their dorm room.

“Oh, man,” Matt says, “I think—I think I might’ve had too much to drink, Foggy. Because. My eyes can’t focus.”

It takes Foggy a second and then he jabs an elbow into Matt’s side. “Man, shut up,” he says, grinning as Matt, a grown-ass man, giggles at his own joke. Well. Foggy can be funny, too. “Hey, wait up,” he says as he stops walking. Matt keeps moving forward until his grip on Foggy’s arm yanks him back. “Matt. Listen, I’ve been meaning to ask you something,” he says, fishing an onion ring out of the take-out box, and then he moves Matt’s hand up to his shoulder so that Matt can feel him getting down on one knee. “Matthew… Middle Name Murdock-”

“You don’t know my middle name?”

“Will you marry me?”

“It’s Michael. My middle name is Michael, Foggy.”

“Make me the happiest man in the world,” Foggy says, sweeping his arm out theatrically and struggling to get the words out while he’s laughing his ass off.

“Yes, Franklin, a million times yes,” Matt says, and giggles again as he takes the onion ring out of Foggy’s hand.

“Hey, don’t fucking call me Franklin.” Foggy stands up and then there’s this moment, this long-ass second where he really thinks they might kiss, because it’s funny, because it’s a joke, and Matt honestly looks like he’s about to go for it but then he changes his mind and crams the entire onion ring in his mouth.

“We should have an autumn wedding,” he says with his mouth full.

II.

Another night, another few rounds of drinks, and Foggy’s stuffing the Nelson & Murdock napkin in his pocket as Josie sets down two more glasses. Matt holds his up and revisits Foggy’s “for better or worse” comment from earlier. “To Nelson and Murdock,” he grins, “‘til debt do us part.”

“Debt,” Foggy laughs, and clinks his glass against Matt’s. “You take me to be your lawful husband? Get it? ‘Lawful’?”

“Sure do, buddy,” Matt says, and they drink. “Can you…” Matt’s laughing. “Can you imagine if we did get married?”

“Would you take my last name?”

“No, I think we would hyphenate,” Matt says. “Both of us. And then the law firm would be Nelson-Murdock and Murdock-Nelson.”

“Nelson-Murdock and Murdock-Nelson,” Foggy repeats, setting his glass down on the bar. “I gotta make another napkin.”

III.

One day Matt drags him out of the office, his only explanation, “I need a pair of eyes.”

“You have eyes,” Foggy scowls once they’re out on the street.

“I need a pair of working eyes.” And yet he doesn’t need help maneuvering them around the construction workers and the stroller on the sidewalk as he leads them forward.

Foggy doesn’t really have a choice but to stick with him. “What about your freaky spatial awareness thing?”

Matt sighs—he’s already, evidently, had this argument with himself. “I need to know detail, color. So. Field trip.” He brightens, waiting a second for the crosswalk to chirp and let them across.

Foggy just figures Matt needs to pick out some new bathroom tiles—but he can never be sure. “Now,” he says as they walk, “is this a Matt Murdock problem, or a… double-D problem?”

“Double-D?” Matt scoffs, raising an eyebrow. “Yeah, it’s a… double-D problem.”

“Then why am I here?” Foggy says, veering dangerously close to whining and not even caring. He has work to do. “What happened to all that stuff about-” he attempts to mimic Matt’s voice- “‘You can’t get involved, Foggy. It’s dangerous.’”

“Hey, are we jumping over buildings?” Matt points out. “This isn’t dangerous. Just a little… detective work.”

“You’re not a detective.”

“I could be a detective.”

As they continue, Matt gives him the vaguest of vague explanations. “Someone died. Somebody else killed them.”

“And we are…?”

“Going to check out the place where they got the murder weapon,” Matt says.

“Oh, ok,” Foggy says, sarcastically, “that sounds like something you needed me to walk ten blocks for.”

“I told you, detail and color.”

“Wait, so what was the murder weapon?” asks Foggy. “Like, a knife? Rope?” He racks his brains, trying to remember the components of the board game Clue.

“Nope.” Matt has a smile that never fails to make Foggy apprehensive, and he’s using it now.

They finally stop in front of a store, and Foggy just about turns around and walks away. “So,” he says, turning to Matt. “I’m guessing you know what that sign says?”

“Yep.” Matt’s still smiling that smile.

The sign on the store reads Good Vibrations- Adult Toys & Videos.

Foggy wants to be pissed, but he can’t help his morbid curiosity. “Somebody got whacked with a dildo?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Matt says. “It was a vibrator.”

“How would that even—no. I don’t want to know.”

“It was red. Keep an eye out,” Matt says, and pushes the door open. The place is, fortunately, empty except for the owner. “Hello,” Matt says, keeping his hand on Foggy’s arm. “My fiancé here and I are looking for something for our wedding night. Do you think you could help us?” And Foggy’s not sure how you might go about murdering someone with a sex toy, but at that second he’s willing to try.

Anyway, that undercover mission goes about as well as could be expected. Matt gets all the information he can out of the owner before they leave, Foggy gritting his teeth and clenching his fists and counting down the seconds the entire time.

And then Matt doubles back and comes back out carrying a plastic bag. And Foggy so doesn’t need to know what’s in the bag, but Matt shows him anyway. “What?” he shrugs. “I’m a superhero. I could use a pair of handcuffs.”  

Foggy’s going to kill him.

IV.

Foggy doesn’t kill him.

Foggy actually ends up dating him, not long after that. (And yes, as he finds out, Matt can use a pair of handcuffs.) It was always building up to this, he thinks, ever since college, but then he ends up getting kidnapped and beaten and his knight in bloody Kevlar shows up to save him and it all kind of comes to a head.

They’re professionals, of course. Utterly business-oriented. Foggy has only slipped up and called Matt “babe” in court twice. Maybe three times. Definitely fewer than five times.

And then one night, they’re out celebrating a case with Karen and they have a little too much to drink. A lot too much to drink, actually.

Actually, they keep drinking even after she’s gone home, which is why she’s mildly concerned when they knock on her door at two in the morning and say they need her to come with them. “What’s going on?” she says, looking between Foggy and Matt, who are both leaning on opposite sides of the doorframe.

“Shhh,” Matt says, with a finger to his lips. “It’s a secret.” She jumps when he starts running a hand down her sleeve before she realizes what he’s trying to do. “Foggy, what is she wearing? Does she look fancy enough?”

“Karen always looks fancy enough,” Foggy asserts, pulling her in for a sloppy hug that was probably orchestrated to get her out the door. As they pile into a cab, Karen’s torn between how much she might regret this and how hilarious it might be. And concern for her friends, of course.

“Now, guys, this thing we’re doing that’s a secret,” Karen says, sandwiched between them in the backseat. “It’s not illegal, correct?”

“Not in the state of New York,” Matt grins. “Thanks, Obama.”

“City Hall,” Foggy says to the taxi driver. “Take us to City Hall.”

“Foggy?” starts Karen. “City Hall is-”

“City Hall is the best,” he says, leaning his head back. “Their water fountains are always clean. I can see myself in them.”

“I can’t,” Matt says mournfully, and then snickers before reaching across Karen to intertwine his and Foggy’s hands.

“Wow,” Karen comments, “how drunk are you two?”

At the same time Matt says, “Not that drunk,” Foggy warbles out “Drunk in loOoOoOoOoOoOoOve.”

When the taxi passes a twenty-four hour market, Foggy hops out and the driver’s forced to wait at the curb while he runs in. A minute later, he returns with a box of Uncle Ben instant rice. “We’re gonna need this,” he announces, sliding back into the taxi. “People throw rice at weddings.”

“Oh my God,” Karen says, and Foggy slaps a hand over his mouth.

“No, it was supposed to be a secret,” he groans, slumping back against the seat. “Oh well. Now you know. Matt and I are getting married. Tonight. And you’re… you’re our best maid. Best maid?”

“Maid of honor,” Matt says, patting her clumsily on the knee. “And,” he says, dropping his voice and leaning towards her, “don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to throw the bouquet in your direction.” He pauses, sits up. “Hey, I need to get a bouquet. Wait, do I? Do men carry the bouquets?”

“Do you want a bouquet?” Foggy asks.

“I like flowers,” Matt says, with all the solemnity and seriousness he uses in front of a jury.

“Okay,” Karen says, “not that this doesn’t sound like a magical evening, but you guys do realize that City Hall isn’t-”At that moment, the driver pulls up in front of a definitely unilluminated City Hall and Matt and Foggy sprint out of the car. Karen hands a wad of bills to the driver and asks if he might hang around so they don’t have to call another cab in five minutes. He obliges, apparently amused by the whole escapade.

When Karen reaches Matt and Foggy at the door to City Hall, they’re both slumping against the outer wall, looking disappointed. “City Hall is closed right now,” Foggy says with a deep sigh. “You’d think we would’ve known that.”

“Yep,” Karen says, glancing at Matt, who might actually have fallen asleep. His glasses are too dark for her to tell. “Okay, kids. Let’s go home. You can try again tomorrow.” She ropes an arm around each of them and guides them back to the cab, knowing full well that they’re going to spend tomorrow under a pile of Advil.

V.

Foggy’s beginning to really, really wish that they had chosen someplace besides Matt’s church to do this.

Not that the same-sex marriage thing is a problem—Matt’s priest is surprisingly cool with it. It’s just that the walls are so high and air is too stuffy, the room is too damn hot and his family is staring at him from the pews and Matt’s not there.

Matt’s not there. It’s been a full five minutes now—five, he’s pretty sure, he’s been counting—that Matt’s been not there, but the more time that passes, the more uneasy he feels, rather than the other way around. He’s not getting used to it, he’s just feeling something in his chest wind tighter and tighter with every second that passes, and Matt’s still not there.

“Probably couldn’t decide which tie to wear,” Foggy quips to Father Lantom, but he’s sweating.

Six minutes. Matt’s not there. Seven minutes. Matt’s still not there. They should be going through their vows right now. He can see Karen, standing at the end of the aisle, her face flickering between pitying and pissed off. Nine minutes. Matt should’ve been sliding a ring onto his finger by now. Ten minutes. Eleven minutes. Matt’s not there.

And Foggy starts to think it’s not traffic, or an accident, or Matt mistaking the time. He starts to think Matt meant for this to happen. Matt changed his mind, Matt backed out, Matt left.

He starts to think Matt meant for him to stand up there at the altar, for fifteen minutes now, to stand up there and stare down the aisle and know that no one was coming for him.

And the worst part? The really fucked up part? Foggy never even kind of saw it coming.

VI.

Matt comes crashing through the church doors twenty minutes late to his own wedding, waving his cane around like a madman—and dressed like Daredevil.

“Matt, what the hell?” Karen hisses, whirling on him. They’re in the atrium, and not the main body of the church, so at least the secret of Matt’s alter ego is safe from the guests. “Where were you?”

“Across town. Kid got snatched by her stepdad,” he explains in a hurry, yanking his tux on over his costume. “How’s Foggy?”

“Well, he looks like he’s about to cry.”

“Shit.” Matt buttons up his jacket with a speed he’s never before possessed, kicks off his boots, pulls on dress shoes. “I’m so sorry.”

“Hey, I’m not the one you need to apologize to.”

“You’re right,” he says, smoothing his hands over his lapels. “How do I look?”

Karen stares at him, arms folded. “You might want to take the mask off.”

“Got it,” Matt says, pulling off the horned mask and leaving it behind him on the floor. He runs a hand through his hair and then proceeds.

“You’re late,” Foggy hisses when Matt reaches the altar, but he’s too relieved and happy to be angry. (Apparently, their maid of honor is angry enough for him, because she steps on Matt’s toes when she hands him the rings.)

“Something came up,” Matt whispers back, threading their fingers together. “You know. With my second job.”

“Oh,” Foggy says. “I just thought-”

“What?” Matt says, a little too loudly. “Wait, did you—you thought I wasn’t coming?”

“Well, you weren’t here.”

“Oh,” breathes Matt, turning to face him. “Foggy, no. Of course not. I—there is no place I would rather be than right here. With you. Rest of my life.”

“Really?”

“What do you mean, ‘really’?” Matt whispers, sounding almost annoyed, and then he jerks Foggy towards him and kisses him, hard, like he needs to prove something, crushing their mouths together and breathing him in.

Foggy’s family titters. “Usually,” Father Lantom says with a cough, “couples wait until after the ceremony for that.”

“Sorry,” Matt says, breaking away and looking mildly embarrassed.

“I’m not the one you should apologize to,” the priest reminds him, gently, echoing Karen’s words, and Matt turns back to Foggy.

“I am sorry, Foggy,” he says, tangling their hands together. “I’m sorry that I took so long.” He doesn’t add anything, but Foggy knows what he means. Not just today.

Father Lantom begins to speak.