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In Sickness and In Health

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When Matt doesn't show up to work, or answer his phone, Foggy gets worried. He suppresses the worry for a couple of hours, because Matt has been known to sleep in, or turn his phone off, but when it reaches mid-afternoon, and Matt still hasn't replied, Foggy's worrying reaches critical levels.

 

So he tells Karen she can go home earlier and heads over to Matt's apartment, hoping that he's just tired from a long night of Daredevil-ing, and not gravely injured or already dead.

(This has happened more than once since Foggy found out about Matt's nighttime activities, and every time so far, Matt has been fine. Foggy has no reason not to think that would be the case this time as well. But he still worries. It's all he can do.)

 

He knocks. Yells. Knocks again.

After ten minutes of Matt not answering, Foggy gives up and uses the key he has. (There's also the rooftop access, which apparently Matt leaves unlocked 24/7 because of his nightly excursions, but Foggy already walked up too many flights of stairs.)

 

“Matt, I'm here,” he calls out, just in case he'd managed to sleep through the knocking, but had gotten woken by Foggy's careful footsteps around the squeaky floorboards.

“Matt, it's nearly three, and you're still not answering my calls. I'd appreciate a text if you're going to sleep all day, cause you know how I worry.”

Matt's not on the couch, or anywhere on the floor in his main living area. Foggy thinks that's a good sign. If Matt was to collapse anywhere, it would probably be as soon as he got in.

 

It's at that moment that Foggy realizes Matt might not even be home, could be out somewhere parkouring across rooftops or whatever he does. And there's always Claire to call.

Before Foggy starts panicking about where Matt could be if not home, he spots the lump in Matt's bed.

Still sleeping then. Or bleeding out in bed. But Matt tended to not bleed on his sheets. Silk was apparently expensive.

 

“Matty,” Foggy repeats. “I know you're a lazy lump but this is ridiculous. Karen thinks I have an unhealthy amount of anxiety revolving around you and you're only proving her right. Come on, get up.”

Foggy gets one hand on Matt's arm to pull him over when he realizes what's wrong. Matt's burning up. It's not the blankets, since he's kicked them all off except for a sheet. Which means fever.

Matt's sick.

 

Jesus, Matt is awful when he's sick. He steadfastly denies it until he reaches utter exhaustion, and pretty much passes out and sleeps for days. That's why he hadn't answered the phone.

 

Foggy sighs. He rolls Matt over onto his back so he can get a better look at him. His face is pale and flushed, dark circles under his eyes. He doesn't show any signs of waking up, despite Foggy's manhandling.

He lays a hand to Matt's forehead in an attempt to determine his fever. The only thing he can determine is hot.

He's not sure if it's a mom thing, or if he's just missing something.

“Stay there,” he tells Matt, like he's going to wander off as soon as Foggy leaves his side. Like he hasn't been in that position for the last 18 hours or so.

 

For all the first aid supplies Matt has in his medicine cabinet, it's surprisingly hard to find a thermometer. Foggy finally locates it behind a bottle of cough syrup and a container of prescription painkillers.

 

He rinses it off, just in case, and wipes in on Matt's towel before heading back to the bedroom. He's not sure how well it will work, since it's one of the under the tongue ones, and Matt really isn't conscious enough to hold up his end of the deal, so Foggy figures he'll be stuck holding it under his best friend's tongue and waiting.

Which he does. At least Matt doesn't try to bite him. But that had only been once, and he was very drunk at the time, so Foggy forgave him.

 

He waits. The thermometer beeps, then announces the temperature out loud. Of course. Matt can't read a digital display, even with his super ninja powers.

“104.3.”

Shit. Foggy is pretty sure that's bad. Like, really bad. Like, brains melting, testicles trying to separate from your body bad.

 

He knows he has to cool Matt off. So he rips the sheet away. Matt whines a little as it's taken, but he doesn't seem to be waking up yet. He's wearing pants and a shirt, and Foggy sighs, and resigns himself to pulling them off. He's debating whether to move Matt before dousing him when he spots it.

 

Matt's left thigh, from about a third of the way from the top to just above the knee, is gashed open. Worse than that, the cut is angry, red and swollen and seeping something.

Jesus, this day just keeps getting better and better.

Foggy places a tentative hand against Matt's thigh. It's hot, even hotter than the rest of him.

Matt whimpers in his sleep, or rather, his fever induced semiconsciousness. His hand is wet when he pulls it away, and Foggy is disgusted for a minute before he remembers that his friend's brains are melting.

 

He scurries to the bathroom, soaking towels in cold water, and hurries back to the bedroom, wiping Matt down, placing damp washcloths on his head, anything to try and get his fever down.

While he does that, he dials Claire, because he knows he can't handle this on his own, no matter how many first aids classes he's taken. (Three. He's taken three. But they mostly taught him about CPR and checking to make sure you're safe, and calling an ambulance. They never taught him how to do this.)

 

“What is it?” she answers.

“Matt's sick.”

“Oh?”

“I think he's got an infected wound or something. It looks pretty bad, and his fever is really high,” Foggy admits. “I'm trying to cool him off, but I think I need help.”

“What's his temp?”

“104.3. But that was before I started to cool him down.”

“And what is it now?”

“Um, give me a sec. I'll take it again.”

With one hand, Foggy balances the thermometer in Matt's mouth, and holds his phone to his ear in the other.

“And the wound, where is it?”

“His thigh.”

“What makes you think it's infected?”

“Um, it looks awful. It's hotter than the rest of him, which is saying something, and it looks like it's mad.”

“Right. Does it hurt? How long has he had it?”

“I don't know, he's not awake. He's moaned a bit, but nothing comprehensible.” The thermometer beeps, and Foggy looks up. “Just a sec.”

“103.9,” the thermometer announces.

“Did you catch that?”

“Yeah. Listen, you need to take him to the hospital. Call an ambulance, drive him, whichever, but he needs to go. His fever is too high, and he needs antibiotics and fluids.”

“Really?” Foggy asks, his heart sinking.

“Yes, really. So what'll it be?”

Foggy sighs. “I'll call an ambulance. Thanks Claire.”

“Let me know how he's doing,” she orders before hanging up.

With one hand, Foggy dials 911. With the other, he wipes Matt's face again.

“Yes, I need an ambulance please.”

 


 

Surprisingly, it's Foggy's first ride in an ambulance.

 

The paramedics pack Matt up on a cooling blanket, before covering him with a blanket. It seems counterproductive, but they seem to know what they're doing.

Matt still doesn't wake up, despite them poking him with needles and sticking things to his chest.

Foggy knows his heart rate is a bit fast, because he checked it while waiting for the ambulance.

 

The paramedics sitting next to Matt is shining a light in his eyes and looking more and more alarmed when Foggy realizes he hasn't mentioned that Matt is blind.

“Oh, it's okay. He's totally blind. He doesn't have a head injury.”

The paramedic nods, seemingly relieved by this news.

 

Foggy wants to hold Matt's hand, but one is tucked under the blanket and straps, and the other one is near the paramedic, with tubing taped to it.

Plus, Foggy is afraid he'll only make Matt hotter by touching him. He's pretty sure his fever has gone down since Foggy found him in his apartment, but there's some part of his mind that keeps reminding him that Matt could have been like that for hours.

Foggy's going to be blaming himself for this for a long time.

 


 

Matt is whisked away once they arrive in emerg, and Foggy is stuck with a bunch of insurance forms he doesn't know how to fill out. He bullshits some of the stuff he doesn't know, and answers the rest honestly, but he mostly wants to know how his best friend is doing.

 

He knows that he's not family, but he knows he is listed as Matt's next of kin, so once he finishes the forms, he wanders around trying to find him.

One of the interns finally takes pity on him when he explains “I'm looking for my friend. He's blind, and will probably panic if he wakes up here alone.”

 

He's directed to a ward with a bunch of curtained off beds, Matt lying peacefully in one of them. He looks a bit better than before, not as red with fever, and Foggy sinks into the chair at his bedside.

“I'll try to find someone to talk to you,” the intern promises, and Foggy nods his thanks.

 

Matt's flat on his back, wires and tubes trailing to and from his body, laying on sheets that look terribly scratchy. Foggy's kind of glad Matt's unconscious for this bit. They're giving him fluids, and probably medications, because the monitors say his fever is down to 102.6, which is still hot, but not volcano levels. More like Hell's Kitchen in August levels of hot.

He wonders if Matt would appreciate his fever scales. Perhaps. He'll tell him when he wakes up.

 

He's just settled back into his chair, debating whether or not he should text Karen, when the curtain is pulled aside and a person in scrubs walks in. Foggy assumes she's the doctor the intern promised to find.

“Are you Mr Nelson, Mr Murdock's next of kin?” she asks, raising an eyebrow at him.

Foggy nods. “Yes.”

“Well, your friend is very sick. The wound on his leg is infected.” She tugs aside the sheet covering Matt so the wound on his thigh can be revealed. There's a piece of gauze loosely covering it, but she pulls it aside. It looks better. Sort of. He thinks so anyway.

“We've cleaned it out, and started him on antibiotics, but he might need surgery to implant a drain or remove damaged tissue. One of the nurses will be coming in shortly to clean it again and dress it. He's going to be admitted for at least a few days, so we can get his fever under control and replace the fluids he's lost. Do you know when he got this injury?”

Foggy shakes his head. “He didn't come in to work today, and I got worried about him. We talked yesterday, but he didn't mention anything. He wouldn't have though, because he's an idiot like that, so I don't know.”

She nods, replacing the gauze and pulling the sheet back over Matt. She pats it down with care and arranges Matt's hands into a comfortable position.

“Do you have any questions?”

Foggy's mind is blank for a minute.

“Is he gonna be okay? I mean... I don't know how long he had a high fever for. Is he gonna be okay, or will there be brain damage or...” he trails off, not sure what else could result from a fever besides generally bad things.

She hums. “We'll have to see when he wakes up. High fevers can cause brain damage, but I'm not sure his was high enough to reach those levels. We have managed to cool him down relatively quickly, which is a good sign.”

Foggy nods. “Thank you.”

She smiles at him. It's nice on her face, which otherwise looks exhausted. “Not a problem. Call one of the nurses if there are any issues, and they can get in contact with me if he needs something. We're working on finding a bed for him, so he shouldn't be here much longer. I'll check in later.”

She slips out before Foggy can reply.

 

Foggy sighs, slouching back into the chair. It's all good news, more or less. It's not bad, at least.

He thinks about texting Karen, but doesn't want to worry her. He does text Claire, because she wanted to know how he was.

 

Getting his fever down. They're admitting him. He's doing okay.

 

He sends it off and look back at Matt. He's still unconscious. Or sleeping. Foggy's still not sure on the delineation there.

He'll probably still be sleeping for a while as his body fights off whatever icky bug made it in through his leg wound. At least now with the antibiotics, it should be easier for him. And Foggy doesn't have to worry about Matt's brain melting any time soon.

 

His phone vibrates. It's Claire.

 

Good to hear. Keep me updated.

 

Of course he will. Foggy's not sure why she thinks she has to remind him.

 


 

A bunch of things happen right after that in a short time period. The nurse does indeed come in to clean Matt's wound and dress it. That part is awful, and it clearly hurts Matt, because his heart rate increases and he whimpers in his sleep/unconsciousness.

 

After the nurse leaves, the doctor returns to tell Foggy they've found Matt a bed on a ward, and he'll be moved shortly.

 

When she leaves, an orderly arrives and gathers Matt and his things to take upstairs. Foggy follows with his things, hoping the chairs there are more comfortable.

 

Matt still hasn't woken up.

 


 

Matt's put in a double room, but the other bed is empty. Foggy hopes it stays that way, although he doesn't get his hopes up. (Or he tries not to.)

 

By now it's getting late, and Foggy realizes he hasn't eaten anything since the muffin he got for lunch, which was... eight hours ago. He knows he won't be able to make it through the night (assuming they don't kick him out) without eating.

He sighs, looking at Matt. He really doesn't want to leave him, just in case he wakes up in the ten minutes or so it'll take Foggy to head to the cafeteria and grab some food. It's not like he can even leave him a note or anything.

Foggy crosses his fingers and dashes out in search of the cafeteria, and some edible food before Matt awakens.

 


 

Thankfully, Matt hasn't moved since Foggy left.

Foggy settles himself down with his questionable sandwich, cookie, and cup of coffee that can't be any worse than Karen's. He hijacks Matt's bedside table, since the guy certainly isn't using it, and sets the coffee to cool.

 

The sandwich turns out to be not bad, and the cookie is even good. The coffee is better than Karen's, which isn't saying much.

 

It's just after Foggy throws out his garbage that Matt begins to stir. By now it's nearing midnight, and Foggy is exhausted, but no one has tried to kick him out yet, and even if they did, he doubts they would succeed.

 

Foggy sits in the chair, which is slightly better than the one in the ER, and watches the slight twitches and movements of Matt. He could just be dreaming, but Foggy's hopeful. Matt's fever has gone down even further, and he's looking better, which could be because he's hydrated again, less sunken dark circles around his eyes. He's always been the optimist. Fever? Sure! But so much lower than before.

 

So Foggy waits and waits and waits until Matt finally opens his eyes. They're glassy with fever, but they're open of their own accord, which is more than Foggy can say for most of the past day.

“Hey Matty,” he greets. “You're in the hospital. You're okay. Everything's fine. Please don't panic.” He moves closer to the bed just in case Matt doesn't listen, and starts to freak out. He knows that Matt doesn't have the best history in hospitals. In fact, the last time he woke up in one might have been when he was blinded. So yeah, probably having some flashbacks.

“Foggy?” Matt mumbles. His eyes are darting around the room, and Foggy wonders if it's something to do with his 'world on fire' senses (which actually sound more like echolocation than anything else) or if it's just part of the image. What image, Foggy's not sure. Whatever.

“Yeah buddy, it's me. You're okay, nothing related to your nighttime activities.”

“Oh. Really?”

“Yep. Just normal, boring, human stuff.”

Matt considers that. Tilts his head. “What happened?” He sounds exhausted, despite having barely been conscious in the last couple of days.

“Your leg,” Foggy says simply. “It got infected. I found you with a fever upwards of 104.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah,” Foggy agrees.

“I thought it was fine,” he sighs. “Not very deep. I cleaned it out, wrapped it up...” he trails off, his eyes closing. “By the time I figured out what was happening, it was too late. I was so tired...”

He cracks his eyes open again to perpetuate the illusion. “Thank you for coming to check on me.”

Foggy shrugs, unsure if Matt can tell in the state he's in. “What are friends for?”

“Probably not that, necessarily.”

Foggy rolls his eyes. “Go back to sleep. You have a lot of recovering to do. They're keeping you on IV antibiotics for another day or so, then they'll see about springing you. You don't sound like you have brain damage, but hey, maybe you've always had brain damage. They'll probably want to check and see the fever didn't boil you. Otherwise, you seem pretty okay. But just so you know, we will be learning about proper wound care techniques together.”

“Together?” Matt asks. His eyes are closed again.

“Um, yeah. So when you're incapacitated, I can do it. I've been taking first aid courses for you, you know. Haven't learned much useful stuff yet, but I figure that requires med school or something, and let's be real, I don't have time for that. So the internet is my best friend. Remember how we're pretty much married? Sickness and health bro.”

Matt hums, a smile crossing his face.

“Thanks buddy,” he murmurs.

“Yeah, yeah,” Foggy dismisses, complete with a wave of his hand and everything. “I probably won't be here when you wake up again, because I feel like the nurses might kick me out. And it's not like I can come back in the morning, because some of us have jobs to do. Or something.” He grins at Matt.

Matt smiles again, but doesn't stir.

 

They both know that Foggy will most likely be there when Matt wakes up again, no matter when that may be.