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After Hours

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Matt has been working the bag for about half an hour when he hears the unexpected snick of the lights being flipped on in the gym, and he whirls around in a defensive crouch.

"Oh, sorry, I didn't realize anyone was here." From the air displacement Matt figures he's six feet tall, muscular; he smells like soap and shaving cream, and leather -- a jacket, which he's taking off. Just another fighter, coming to practice. Matt relaxes and turns back to the bag. The guy is wrapping his hands when he says, "Do you always work out with the lights off?"

Matt stops punching and laughs. He turns toward the guy, gestures to his eyes, and says, "Blind. Doesn't matter to me whether they're on or off. The guys let me practice after they lock up for the night." He wipes sweat off his forehead. "Didn't know anyone else had the same kind of arrangement."

"Yeah, I try to avoid crowds." The guy's voice sounds familiar, but Matt can't quite place it. Celebrity, maybe? He walks over to Matt and holds out a hand. "I'm Steve."

"Matt." Matt's careful to hold his hand out in Steve's general direction but not quite in the right place. Steve's hand finds his and his handshake is firm and warm where he can feel skin around the wrap.

Steve heads to his own heavy bag and starts doling out punches that make the chains holding the bag groan. Matt gets back to his own workout and focuses on his technique.

When he leaves for the night, careful to make a show of locating his cane, Steve is still swinging.


It becomes a thing. Matt doesn't go to Fogwell's Gym every night, not when he has work (or "work") to do, but often enough Steve is there too. They don't talk much, but it's kind of nice to have Steve's silent companionship.

It's a Tuesday when Matt comes to the gym an hour later than usual. Steve is already there, but Matt hardly notices because he's so angry. It's been a string of things, all day long -- the braille printer/copier breaking down; the client they're defending on a murder charge being refused bail; the DA delivering all the materials only in ink-on-paper format along with a really nasty quip about the Americans with Disabilities Act; his motion to dismiss the charges on their assault defense case being denied. And, after all that, when he'd gone out in his Daredevil suit looking for someone who deserved to have their face punched in, the city was quiet.

The heavy bag makes a sorry substitute for someone's face, but he hits it with all he's got.

"Bad day?" Matt startles at the sound of Steve's voice so close to him. He's been so absorbed in his own anger that he hasn't been paying attention to what Steve is doing, and that disturbs him probably more than it should. He gives the bag one more good punch and takes a step back, panting.

"Yeah, that's an understatement."

"Want to go a couple rounds? Sometimes the bag just isn't enough, right?"

"You're not afraid of hurting the blind guy?" Matt's aware that his tone of voice isn't exactly polite.

"How about I just block and let you throw all the punches?"

Matt shrugs. "Suit yourself."

"You, uh, need me to walk you to the ring?" It's a thoughtful question to ask, but Matt laughs at it anyway.

"No, I practically grew up in this gym. I don't need to see to know where the ring is." He heads for the ring and climbs in, adding, "Let me know when you're ready."

Steve ducks under the ropes and gets his arms up. "Ready."

It feels good to attack someone, even if all he's getting are glancing blows off of Steve's forearms and elbows. Steve is fast, and Matt thinks of a million ways he could try to bring Steve down if he wasn't trying to keep his cover, but he sticks to boxing. It takes a little while, but he lulls Steve into a pattern so that Steve is moving to block before Matt even starts throwing his punch, and then, when he knows the pattern is set, Matt changes it. He gets a solid shot in on Steve's right side, down in the bottom of his ribs, then another to his jaw.

Hitting Steve is like hitting a brick wall, but Steve still staggers back a step. Matt's considering whether he should apologize, but Steve lets out a pleased-sounding puff of air and says, "Tricked me with that one. Not gonna happen again."

Matt should stick to his script. He knows he should stick to his script, but he's feeling reckless and really wants a good fight, so he says, "You can fight back. I want you to fight back."

"I don't like an unfair fight." Steve is reaching out of the ring to grab something -- cloth, thin, an extra hand wrap. "How about I wear a blindfold?"

Matt chuckles. "I'm not sure that would make this fair. I've been fighting blind most of my life."

"Let's find out," Steve says, tying the cloth around his head.

He's good blind. He's good, but he's not as good as Matt is at sensing his opponent's position; Matt takes it easy on him and lets Steve land a few hits. There's something about the way Steve's muscles coil and tense that tells him that Steve is pulling his punches, but that's not really surprising. Few people are willing to straight out hit a blind man.

They separate for a break after Matt lands a few solid blows in a row on Steve's torso. They're both breathing hard, and Matt can taste the sweat and heat from Steve's body in the air. It feels good. "Hey," Matt says, "you do mixed martial arts?"

"I do a little bit of everything."

"Heads up," Matt says as he swings a kick toward Steve -- deliberately slowly, to give Steve time to dodge and give himself time to pull it if Steve doesn't move. Steve dodges just in time, and strikes back. His swing is a little wide of where Matt's head actually is, but that's okay. It's a slower pace since Steve's not quite as good at predicting where kicks are going to land just from sound, but still a good workout. Seems like it's a good workout for Steve too, since Matt can tell his skin is hot and his heartbeat is elevated.

Even at the slower pace, Steve still misses some key indicators, and that's how Matt kicks Steve's legs out from under him and tackles him to the mat. Steve reaches up and pulls off the blindfold, and his breath hitches. Matt's suddenly acutely aware of the space between them, Steve's legs between his thighs, Steve's chest under his arm and Steve's heart thudding rapidly against him.

Oh, he thinks. Oh.

Matt eases back and takes his arm off Steve's chest, instead planting his hands on either side of Steve's head. He came here looking for a fight tonight, but--

Matt leans down until he's close enough to Steve to feel Steve's breath on his lips. "Stop me if I'm reading you wrong," he says, and closes the distance.

Steve's lips are warm and soft, his mouth slightly open from the exertion of their fight. There's a surprised moment when he holds absolutely still and Matt wonders if he's made a mistake, but then Steve is pushing back against him, hot and eager, hands coming up to rest on Matt's hips and tongue probing into his mouth. He tastes like water from the gym's fountain, hints of chlorine and rusty pipes, and like sweat where it's dripped down his face to his mouth. He kisses like he's drowning, like he hasn't had this in far too long, and Matt is happy to give it to him.

Steve's hands slide up Matt's ribs, and Matt presses down against him, feeling the broad lines of Steve's chest against his own and the points of Steve's hips digging into his inner thighs. There's something about Steve's body that's different from the other men he's been with, beyond his proportions alone. His skin is a little too warm, his blood is pumping a little too strong, but Matt doesn't pay much attention because he's too occupied with the feel of Steve's lips and tongue moving against his own.

Steve is a big guy, broad-shouldered and muscular, and he flips them over easily so Matt's back is pressed to the mat. Matt gets his left hand up to the side of Steve's face, mapping out his features, fingers sliding into Steve's hair and pulling him in closer. He lets his right hand slip down Steve's back, feeling the muscles shifting under his fingers, down to the curve of Steve's ass. Matt thinks of Foggy saying, you always know when they're hot, and can't help chuckling a little.

Steve pulls back at that, and Matt says, "Sorry, sorry," and leans up to try to catch Steve's lips again, but Steve stays just out of reach.

"Matt, I'm not--" Steve hesitates, licking his lips, and the sound of his tongue swiping over his flesh sends prickles of anticipation down Matt's spine. "I'm not looking for a relationship."

Matt grins, the grin he knows is charming by the way people always react when he does it. It works on Steve, too. "Good," he replies, "neither am I." Steve lets out a relieved breath and lunges forward, hips pressing down against Matt's and lips working their way from Matt's mouth down his jaw to his neck. Matt hooks a leg around Steve's thigh and uses it for leverage to push back up against him, Steve's rapidly growing erection hot against his own even through his sweatpants.

Steve gets a hand under Matt's shirt and rucks it up a few inches, trying to get skin on skin. The wrapping on Steve's hands is rough against his skin and Matt squirms just a little. He grabs at Steve's hand and brings it up near his face, unwrapping the cloth. Steve watches, breathing heavily, and Matt guesses Steve's eyes are probably just a little bit out of focus. When the cloth is off he brings Steve's hand to his mouth and carefully sucks two fingers inside.

Steve doesn't quite moan but he makes an eager sound in the back of his throat and rocks his hips against Matt's. Matt slips his tongue between Steve's fingers and then swipes it back up, letting Steve's fingers out of his mouth with an audible pop. Steve takes a deep breath, then gets up on his knees to get the wrapping off his other hand while Matt does the same. When they come back together, Matt's hands are under Steve's shirt as well, sliding over the ripples of his abdomen, then down to the waistband of Steve's pants.

He shoves Steve's pants down to his thighs, wrapping a hand around Steve's dick to free it. Steve buries his head in Matt's neck and groans, pushing back against Matt's palm. His dick is hot and smooth in Matt's hand, textured only by his circumcision scar. Matt can taste his arousal in the air; it makes his mouth water.

Matt's a little surprised when Steve shoves his hand into Matt's pants and easily lifts him off the ground by the ass so he can pull his sweats down. Then Steve's hand is pushing Matt's out of the way and Steve is taking both of their dicks into his hand -- god, he has big hands, big, calloused hands, and the drag on his skin is just right. Matt catches Steve's lips again, sucking his tongue, biting his lower lip, partly because it feels good and partly to muffle the sounds he can't really stop himself from making. Steve is leaking a steady stream of precum that provides more lubrication every time Steve's hand brushes over the heads of their cocks, mixing with their sweat to make them slide slickly together.

Matt drops his head back and jerks his hips involuntarily. "God, you look so--" Steve mutters, squeezing tighter and losing his rhythm a little. Matt gets one hand on Steve's shoulder and one on his ass, letting the heat of Steve's skin and the smell of sweat and arousal fill up his senses and push him to the edge. Steve is breathing heavily, letting out little puffs of air with just a hint of the vibration of his vocal cords behind them, ahh-ahh-ahh-, and Steve's dick gets impossibly bigger and harder against his own. Matt can't help imagining what it would be like to have Steve's cock deep inside his ass, held face down by the weight of Steve's massive body, with Steve making those little noises in his ear, and it's that thought that pushes him over the edge with a long, drawn-out moan.

"Jesus, Matt," Steve gasps, leaning down to kiss Matt again as he jerks his hand two more times, three, then comes, shuddering, exhaling onto Matt's mouth. Steve drops down to his elbow and rests his forehead against Matt's for a moment, then rolls off of him to the side.

They catch their breaths in exhausted silence, then Steve reaches out through the ropes and snags a towel to clean up with. "That was, uh," he says, handing the towel to Matt when he's done. "I don't really-- I have trouble finding people who don't have ulterior motives."

Matt chuckles a little at the suggestion given how many secrets he's hiding, but it's true that what's happened here between them is about as uncomplicated as it gets, and that's a bonus to Matt, too. "Probably helps that I'm blind so I don't recognize you." When Steve tenses up, Matt shrugs and adds, "I figure coming to the gym late at night alone means you're some kind of celebrity, especially with a body like that."

Steve relaxes then, laughing. "Something like that."

"Well, next time you have a bad day, you know where to find me. I'd be happy to return the favor."


"Come on, buddy, I know you too well. Spill, who's the new girl? How hot is she?" Foggy elbows Matt, who playfully shoves him back. Karen rolls her eyes at them and pours out another round. Josie's is crowded tonight, and the TVs are all on as well, adding to the din.

"It's not-- It's not like that, Foggy," Matt says, laughing.

"You only ever hook up with hotties, and you have been way too relaxed this week to not have gotten some action. What else would it be like?"

"How would you even know how hot they are?" Karen asks Matt. "Or do you just feel them up to find out?"

"I don't-- feel them up, Karen, I mean--"

"Of course you feel them up," Foggy exclaims. "That's the whole point of this conversation! You, and your feeling up of hotties. Or them feeling you up. Or whatever, but someone is doing some feeling and it sure isn't me."

"What, no more booty calls from Marci?" Karen asks. Foggy splutters, and Matt tunes them out for a second because he thought he heard a familiar voice. Yes, that's definitely Steve's voice, coming from the TV, saying something about national security.

"Who's on the TV?" Foggy and Karen stop and Matt is pretty sure they're giving him a puzzled look. "Being interviewed? He sounds familiar."

"Well yeah, it's Captain America. He's done enough press conferences I would think you'd recognize his voice by now."

"Captain America? Are you sure?"

"You know someone else with a big red, white, and blue shield and wings on his head? Are you okay, Matt?"

"Yeah, no, I mean, I'm fine." Matt takes a sip of his drink and covers up his surprise with a grin and a jab at Foggy about his relationship with Marci.

Captain America, huh? Well, that explains some things. Next time, maybe Matt won't pull his punches so much.