Lying in bed alone wasn't something Matt was accustomed to lately, but here he was.
He and Foggy hadn't been together together that long, but honestly, it hardly felt different. They worked together, got drinks with Karen at the end of the night, but when all was said and done, Foggy went home with Matt. ("Your bed is incredible, man, I'm still in that extra-long twin I got freshman year!") They felt like the same old Matt and Foggy... just with some added benefits.
But if Matt worried about Foggy before, it was nothing compared to now. It may have been awfully cliched for the "superhero" to be overprotective of his significant other, ,but that sure as hell didn't stop him.
Especially tonight, as Foggy hadn't called him yet. His phone read out the hour for about the hundredth time that night- 1:05 am. Foggy had been at Marci's apartment, going over some flies left over from Landman and Zack's tenement cases. He promised to call on his way home, trying to preempt Matt's increased anxiety.
That didn't work, because he wasn't calling.
He tried Foggy's cell (again). Hoping for a slightly tipsy answer with Marci's shrill laughter in the background, he was annoyed to reach his voicemail (again).
Fifteen minutes ticked by, which Matt used to compose a laundry list of worst-case scenarios. He called again. Voicemail.
Unable to sit still any longer, he threw his closet door open. He told himself he wasn't listening for anything in particular as he headed to the roof, suited up. He repeated that thought as he focused his senses out beyond his apartment, down one street and then another. After about ten minutes of this, he tried to convince himself he was being ridiculous- and that was when he heard a faint noise coming from several blocks away.
He leapt several rooftops without a second thought trying to identify it. This led him to a broken-down warehouse, where he stopped near the cracked skylight.
The voices became clearer-
"Give it up..."
"We can stop this right now if you just quit..."
"You know we're not enjoying this any more than you are..."
And then one more, strained and wavering, that made Matt's blood go cold: "No offense guys, but go fuck yourselves."
There was a sickening crack from down below, and then the next few minutes were a blur of broken glass and screaming.
The culprits, as it turned out, were Japanese mafia members, likely Nobu's stragglers. They weren't prepared for the sudden attack. The first one went down with just a couple of well-aimed punches, and the second followed shortly after that. The third had time to react, and blocked several of Matt's attempts before stumbling.
The blood pounded wildly in his ears. He frantically scanned the room for Foggy, but found himself too panicked to distinguish one heartbeat from another.
"Foggy," he tried desperately. No response.
"I don't think he can hear you." The voice came from the man on the ground. He laughed weakly. "We did... quite a number on him, after all. I'd say he won't be waking up for a long while."
Fear wiped Matt's mind. In an instant, he had pulled the man up by the collar. "Why did you do this," he snarled, close enough that their noes brushed. There was no response but a huff of nearly silent laughter. "Why," he demanded again, throwing the man back down onto the concrete. When the man refused to speak once more, Matt hit him in the face. Overwhelmed with fear and anger and guilt, he hit him again, over and over. From him slipped unintelligible curses, Foggy's name, and why.
Suddenly there were hands on his shoulders, trying and failing to pull him back. A voice cut through the fire and static: "Matt, Matt, Jesus, you're gonna kill him!"
Matt froze, and listened to Foggy's voice pull him back to reality.
"Foggy, F-Foggy..." he stammered. "I'm so sorry... I couldn't hear you and I thought they- I thought you-"
"I know, I know," Foggy soothed, resting his forehead on Matt's back. "But they didn't, and I'm not, so let's..." His voice broke. "Let's just go home."
"Okay," Matt began as soon as the two had helped each other gingerly onto the couch.
"Nope," Foggy interrupted. "We are getting you sewed up before we have this talk. I don't know if you're still hyped up on your weird ninja adrenaline, or what, but that gash on your forehead hasn't stopped bleeding. Where's your patch-up kit?"
"I don't care about my forehead!" Matt snapped. "And what talk are you talking about?"
"Well, "Foggy called, already digging through Matt's closet. "You're probably about to try and break up with me 'for my own good', so that's one option. Meanwhile, I'm a little freaked out that, A, I got kidnapped, and B, I'm pretty sure I just had to stop you from beating a guy to death with your fists. So we've got a couple of options here: I haul us both to the hospital covered in someone else's blood and watch you try and smooth-talk your way out of that story; or you sit down, shut up, and give me a few minutes to process what the fuck went down in the past couple hours."
Matt stayed silent. Foggy's hands were shaky, but there was a strange comfort in the careful way he stitched. He was reminded of doing the same thing for his dad, of how badly seeing him injured scared him. He hated putting Foggy in the same situation.
"Glad I took that home ec class now, huh?" Foggy commented as he finished. He patted Matt's cheek and left his hand there, stroking it softly with his thumb.
Matt leaned into the touch. "I don't want to end this," Matt began.
"But you're gonna try," Foggy countered, pulling away. "It took weeks of convincing to get you to admit you had feelings for me in the first place, and God knows you've felt guilty about it the whole time."
"I didn't want to drag you into-"
"News flash!" Foggy snapped. "I'm already in it! Because I chose to be. Everywhere I've gone with you, everything I've done, it's because it's what I wanted. Not because you clubbed me over the head and dragged me there." He grabbed Matt's hand. "Feel my heartbeat, or.... whatever," he demanded. "Am I lying? Am I?"
"...No," Matt conceded.
"That settles it, then."
"It doesn't settle anything. You got hurt, Foggy. I thought- I thought-" He paused and took a deep, shaky breath. "How bad is it?"
"Not as bad as it looks."
"Let me see."
"Uh, Matt, hate to be the one to tell you, but: blind."
Matt ignored him and held up his hands. "I'm rolling my eyes," Foggy warned, but guided them the rest of the way to his face. Fingertips traced his left cheek (swelled up to what felt like the size of a softball), his forehead (still lazily trickling blood), and right cheekbone (with a gash that made Foggy wince).
His throat shut tight. "Oh, God, Foggy." His voice cracked. "This happened because of me. Because of what I do." He made no effort to stop the tears that sprang up.
"Matt, Matt." Foggy rested his hand carefully on the back of Matt's neck. "The guys who did this. You know why they came after me? It was because of the tenement case. Because they're pissed off that they're losing the blocks Fisk gave them." He paused to let the revelation sink in. "You've gotta stop thinking all my problems are your fault. This didn't happen because you run around in a fancy leotard at night. It happened because we- and I am gesturing wildly to the both of us right now- are Nelson and Murdock. So you wanna take some blame? Fine! I'll give you half, if it'll ease your weird Catholic guilt. But no way in hell am I letting you shoulder this alone."
"I'm... I'm just scared, Foggy," Matt admitted softly. "And I don't know how you aren't."
"I'm scared all the time," Foggy replied. "I think I use humor to deflect my real feelings, or something. That's what Marci told me, anyway." He laughed shortly, then turned serious. "We're always gonna be in trouble. But we're tough. I'm a kickass lawyer, you're a superhero-slash... pretty good lawyer. Whatever crazy crap this city throws at us, we'll handle it. And we'll handle it together."
Silence. And then: "...Just a 'pretty good' lawyer?"
Matt didn't need to see to know that Foggy was grinning from ear to ear. "Hey, you've got superpowers. Can't have you showing me up completely." He kissed Matt's forehead, careful to avoid the stitches, and stood up. "Now, we're gonna pour ourselves a couple of really, really strong drinks and soak off this whole godawful night in the bathtub." He paused. "I'm, uh, holding out my hand. Sorry."
Matt's heart surged with fondness for the man standing in front of him. He knew that both of them would have nightmares about this night for weeks, even months. But Foggy was right. They were in this together. He hoped it would be enough.
He took Foggy's hand.
It was for tonight.