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Sunshine and Cupcakes

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Foggy was still waiting for the day where any of this would feel normal. The late night calls followed by dragging his sleep-deprived ass out of bed, the near-death (or at least near-hospitalization) experiences, the secrecy and innuendo and just overall covert Daredevil-ness of it all.

The part he hated most of all was the worrying. Ignorance really was bliss. What he would give to go back to ignorance.

“Hey Foggy?” Karen was standing in the doorway to his office. For the briefest of moments, he couldn’t help but notice how well the simple blue dress was hugging her slender figure.

“Present,” he confirmed.

“Have you heard from Matt?”

He drew a face. “Not since yesterday.”

“I mean, it’s almost 10:30, and he’s usually not this late...” She trailed off.

And bam! There was the worry snaking its way through Foggy’s insides. And a bit of guilt for not actually having noticed until now that his best friend was conspicuously absent from their workplace.

“You’re right. Let me give him a call.”

“I already tried. It’s just his voicemail. I left him two messages already, and I, uhm... I don’t wanna seem like a worrywart, you know?”

Yes, he knew. Too well. That line he wanted to draw between a healthy amount of laissez-faire and warranted concern, it kept undulating. And more often than not, he found himself on the wrong side of it.

“Okay,” he told Karen, “Let me see what I can do.”

He got out his cell phone and called Claire. She hadn’t heard from Matt in over a week, which jacked up the worry meter just a notch. He tried to tell himself that wasn’t such a bad sign in itself, because it meant Matt wasn’t being stitched up or resuscitated or otherwise being put back together into something resembling a physically functioning human being.

Claire asked if she should check Matt’s apartment, but Foggy told her he’d go and he’d call if he needed her.

Karen watched him with a worried frown on her forehead as he left the office to check up on his friend.

+-+-+-+-+

This time, he had the spare key ready rather than having to use the roof access. He’d been having it on his keychain ever since the Night of Revelation, as he liked to call it.

The repeated knocks on Matt’s door went unanswered. Reason enough for Foggy to let himself in.

“Matt?” he called tentatively into the apartment. The sound reverberated off the corridor walls. “Buddy, you here?”

A faint noise filtered to his ears, he was not quite sure what exactly. For a second he considered erring on the side of caution, but then dismissed the notion. This was ridiculous. What perils could possibly be lurking here in the middle of the day? He hurried into the living room.

What he found there was slightly bizarre, and at first he wasn’t sure what to make of it. Matt was standing by the window, his hands feeling along the window panes, muttering something unintelligible. What was the most bizarre yet, he was dressed only in a pair of boxers.

“Matt?” Foggy asked tentatively.

Matt whipped around, his eyes wild and wide open. “I need to get out. It’s so… Who are you?”

Foggy frowned. “I’ll try not to take that personally. Matt, what the hell is going on?”

“It’s so hot in here.”

Foggy stepped a few steps closer to his friend. “Okay, now you’re freaking me out.”

He inadvertently stepped on something soft. There was a squelching sound, a wet sponge sensation beneath his foot. He realized it was the Daredevil suit that lay crumpled on the floor—soaking wet—and something dawned on Foggy.

He quickly closed the gap between him and Matt, taking his friend by the upper arm. The second he touched it before Matt whipped Foggy’s hand away was enough to tell him it was cold and clammy to the touch.

Suddenly it all made sense. He’d heard of hypothermia victims who, paradoxically, would start to undress themselves to compensate for a false feeling of being overheated.

“Matt,” he said in a voice as stern as he could muster, “It’s Foggy. Come on, you’re hypothermic. We need to get you warmed up.”

“No,” Matt protested.

“Yes,” Foggy countered. “A very definite yes.”

It took Foggy a little detective work to find the woolen blanket in Matt’s bedroom, along with a pair of sweatpants and the thickest hoodie he could find. He cautiously approached Matt, who had made his way to the other window closer to the kitchen.

Blanket at the ready to be draped over his friend’s shoulders, his big brother instincts kicked into full force. But Matt had other ideas and skillfully evaded Foggy’s ministrations.

This was getting absurd, Foggy thought, trying to follow Matt like an escaped animal. “Matt. Come on. You’re being ridiculous. You need to get warm.”

“No!” Matt all but shouted. “Get away from me.”

Foggy didn’t know what to do, so he did the only thing he could think of. He jumped forward with the intent of wrapping Matt in the blanket, wrangle him to the ground if necessary. What he hadn’t really considered (stupid, he knew), was that this wasn’t the regular Matt Murdock. This was Daredevil, all muscle and sinew and pure power.

Matt’s fist clocked him square on the cheekbone, and the sheer force of the blow nearly knocked him on his ass. He thought he could feel the impact reverberating into even the smallest furrows of his brain. The involuntary sound his lungs made came out like an oof.

Foggy’s fingers came up to touch the side of his face. “What the hell…” He tried to shake it off. And failed spectacularly.

“Seriously, Matt? You’re hitting me now? Is this where we’re at?”

“You need to go,” Matt said, his voice dangerously low, his eyes searching the room wildly as if danger was lurking somewhere.

“I need to do no such thing, you idiot. In fact, I need to do the exact opposite. Except… you’re not exactly making it easy for me here, buddy.”

A change of tactic was in order. There was no way he could wrestle a combative Matt into submission, even if he had the upper hand where sheer body mass was concerned. Options like Taser gun and tranquilizer dart roamed through his brain—none viable, of course. Maybe playing along was the way to go.

“Okay, so work with me. What is it you’re looking for?”

“Out, I need to get out.”

“No can do, my friend. What is it you need to do outside?”

“The girl. I need to— I need to save her.”

Is that what he had been doing? “It’s okay, she’s safe. You saved her, remember?”

Of course he didn’t know if that was true, but, hey, he was Daredevil. Badass, red-suited, horned-masked Daredevil. He would have saved the girl if his life depended on it.

“No,” Matt let out, but it sounded a lot more feeble. “I didn’t… she was drowning, and I…”

Foggy knew he had to wing it from here. “You jumped in. You got her to safety. She’s okay, Matt.”

He scrunched up his face in a confused frown. “She is?”

“Yeah. Totally. Ambulance and hospital and everything.”

“No, that’s not— That’s not what happened.”

“Then tell me what did happen.”

“Can’t. Too hot. Too much. Just… too much,” his voice crumpled in on itself, and he staggered backwards. His hands groped lots of nothingness behind him.

The kitchen counter stopped him in his tracks, and then his knees gave out. Foggy watched helplessly as Matt sagged to the floor. His crouching against the counter was reminiscent of a caged animal.

“Jesus,” Foggy murmured, not sure what to do.

Slowly, he tried his next approach, the blanket still at the ready. This time, Matt didn’t protest and Foggy tentatively slid closer until he was sitting next to his friend.

“Okay,” he tried again, draping the blanket around Matt’s shoulders as best as he could. “Let’s get you warmed up. What do you say?”

“Why?”

Foggy almost had to chuckle. “Because I’m guessing you’ve spent God knows how long submerged in icy waters and your core temperature is barely above glacier level. Forgive me for stating the obvious.”

The blanket was starting to slip off Matt’s shoulders, and Foggy readjusted it. Beneath his palms, tremors shook his friend’s body, rapid and all-encompassing. Matt’s lips were a stark blueish purple against too ashen skin.

Shit. Matt’s nightly shenanigans had Foggy witness enough borderline medical emergency situations for a lifetime, but this… This had him out of his depth. Again. Seemed like these days, there was something new every week.

Keeping his eyes peeled on Matt, he fished his smartphone out of his pocket for a much needed expert opinion. Claire answered on the second ring, and he quickly explained the situation. Her instructions were very clear-cut.

Get him out of the wet clothes. Check. Well, almost. Keep him warm. Check. Okay, he could do better than this, he’d have to figure something out. Do not put him in the shower. Check. Give him something warm to drink, preferably with sugar in it, no caffeine or alcohol. That had to go on the to-do list. Find external heating sources. That one had him stumped.

He turned up the radiators in the apartment to full force, but with the size of the room, he doubted that would be helping much. He was also thinking this out loud over the phone.

“Does he have any hot water bottles or hot packs?” Claire asked.

Foggy hesitated. “I don’t know. I’ve never seen him use any.”

“Ziploc bags with warm water will do the trick too. Put them under his armpits and in his groin, if possible.”

Ugh, weird, Foggy thought.

“Warm his trunk first, not the extremities. We don’t want him going into shock. And bring his temperature up slowly.”

“Got it,” Foggy confirmed.

“I’ll be there as quickly as I can,” she told him before she hung up.

Foggy felt immeasurably relieved. Moral support sidekick, sure, any time. First responder sidekick, not so much. It wasn’t the first time since the Night of Revelation that he figured he should really attend a first aid course.

He went back to where Matt was still sitting on the floor and crouched down next to him. “Matt? I need you to get up for me, can you do that?”

His friend’s eyes looked up at him, or at least his general direction. Foggy could practically feel the bewilderment radiating off of Matt, and he hoped for just a tiny bit of recognition. He touched him, hoped it would get the reaction he needed.

Matt wasn’t budging, and Foggy could feel the muscle tremors through the blanket intensifying into something a lot scarier.

“So cold.” The way he said it, utterly miserable and just shy of tearful, it clenched Foggy’s heart with a vengeance he wasn’t prepared for.

“Okay,” he whispered. “Finally you’re making sense. Come on, I wanna help you with that. Will you let me help you with that? Please?”

Matt nodded wordlessly, and Foggy wrapped his arm around Matt’s waist. It was awkward at best, but it did the trick. The couch was closer, so Foggy deposited Matt there for the time being. Like a child, he instructed him to lie down, making sure to drape the blanket snugly around his body. For good measure, he got the covers off the bed too.

Then he went back to the kitchen. Ziploc bags, Matt had to have them somewhere. Everyone had Ziploc bags, right? He finally found an open pack, neatly tucked away behind the saran wrap in one of the cupboards. With the help of the microwave, he soon had the heated liquid ready.

Matt was still shivering, more now than before, if that was even possible. Seeing his best friend like this, quite frankly, it was giving Foggy the willies, and any notion of this being weird was off the table in a heartbeat. Armed with four bags of warm water at the ready, he went to work.

There was no resistance from Matt as he peeled him out of the blankets. “You need to put these under your armpits, okay? They’re nice and warm.”

A faint nod from Matt and his cooperation was Foggy’s reward. Score one for team Caredevil. Directing his ministrations further down, Foggy realized that Matt’s boxers were still wet. This was surely not helping.

It was a good thing Foggy knew his way around Matt’s bedroom, although he figured that roaming around in his best friend’s underwear drawer was way beyond BFF appropriateness. He picked a pair of dark gray boxers, nice and soft, and most of all, dry.

The next obstacle was to get Matt to actually put them on. Awkwardly, he indicated in the general direction of his private parts. “Uh, these need to come off. And I swear I mean that in the most un-kinky way imaginable.”

He was only met with a blank stare.

“Come on, Matt, don’t make me undress you. Even in whatever brain function deprived state you’re in, I know you’re capable of changing into a fresh pair of panties by yourself.” He snapped his fingers in front of Matt’s face, then pressed the fresh pair of boxers into one of his hands. “Murdock. Stay with me. Underpants. Change. Now.

Geez, Matt Murdock had recessed to being a 5-year-old kid. It was unnerving. And more than slightly scary. But at least he was complying now. Not the first time he’d be seeing his former roommate naked, but it wasn’t like he was going out of his way to sneak a peek, so he turned around and went looking for the rest of the clothes he’d fetched earlier.

Getting Matt to put the sweats and hoodie on was a piece of cake in comparison, and Foggy helped rearrange the Ziploc bags in the pertinent places before burying Matt back under the heap of blankets. He carefully sat on the edge of the couch to tuck him in as best as he could.

Letting his hand rest on Matt’s waist for a long moment, he felt for the muscle spasms beneath his palm. If there was a way to make them disappear through sheer willpower, that was the superpower that Foggy wanted to have right now.

Matt’s eyes were closed through all of this. Was it just Foggy’s impression, or was the shivering already becoming less intense? Matt’s lips were looking a lot more magenta than blue, too. Some color was returning to his cheeks.

“Good,” he muttered. “This is good. Now we’re getting somewhere.”

A knock on the door demanded Foggy’s attention. Claire. It had to be. He let her in. One too many times lately that they’d been doing this dance. Any more of this, and he might just as well put her on speed dial.

“How’s he doing?” she inquired as she put her medical bag on the floor next to the couch.

“He’s mostly just really out of it. I did the Ziploc thing, like you said. He’s still shivering like a leaf. I don’t think he knows who I am. Is this normal?”

Claire began to examine Matt. “Yes, moderate to severe hypothermia can cause disorientation. Has he told you what happened?”

“No, not in so many words. Just that a girl was drowning. So, you know, him doing what he does, I figure he jumped in and saved her. Maybe not the best idea in forty degrees weather, but, well, you know how his judgement goes flying out the window when he puts on that mask.”

Claire handed him a saline bag. “Can you warm this up? He has a microwave, right?”

“Yeah. Hold on.”

She turned his attention to Matt. “Hey Matt? It’s Claire.”

“Is she safe?” Matt asked, exhaustion now heavy in his voice.

Claire looked over to Foggy for help, and Foggy shrugged with his arms wide. “It’s okay, Matt. I’ll check the hospital later, find out how she’s doing. First we need to make sure you’re okay.”

The microwave dinged, and Foggy came back with the saline. “Is this warm enough?”

She put away the thermometer she’d be using to measure Matt’s body temperature and felt the saline bag. “It’s fine. His temp’s 92.4. He should be okay with one bag. We need to find something to hang it, it’ll have to infuse slowly. He’s probably been hypothermic all night. It’s a miracle he’s as coherent as this.”

It took some creative thinking, but in the end Foggy drew up one of the kitchen chairs and put the tallest lamp he could find on it. They affixed the bag to it with a piece of surgical tape and Claire connected it to the IV line she’d put in Matt’s arm.

Matt seemed to visibly relax by the minute. Claire felt his cheek with her hand, then measured his temperature again. “93.2. We’re getting there.”

Foggy hovered awkwardly near Matt’s feet. This feeling of déjà vu was starting to haunt him, but at least Matt’s breathing was evening out into something resembling sleep.

“So now what?” he asked.

“Now we wait.”

Foggy let out a shaky breath. Matt was going to be okay. He was taken care of, and shivering a lot less, and looking like a human being again. He was going to be frickin’ okay.

He looked at Claire. “You know what? He needs to stop giving me damn near heart attacks. Seriously, all this adrenaline, especially in the wee hours of the night, it’s messing with my… my… everything.”

Claire gave him an amused smile. “Yeah, he has a way of doing that.”

“And you think this is okay?”

“Okay? No, this is about as far from okay as it can be, but that’s Matt Murdock for you. I thought you of all people would know this.”

Foggy sat down in one of the armchairs. His voice took on a sarcastic edge. “You’d think, right? Four years we shared a bloody dorm room. Ever since we met, all these years, he basically lied to me, pretended to be someone he’s not. How do you just make that okay?”

“You don’t.”

She was right. He thought he was over this, thought he’d arranged himself around the fact that his best friend was frickin’ Daredevil—self-appointed protector of the city. But the truth was, deep down, it still hurt. Like a mother.

“But you know what the worst thing is? I can’t just not… He’s my friend, Claire. More than that. He’s family.”

She nodded ever so slightly. “Yeah. I know what you mean.”

“I don’t know what to do with it.”

She looked at him, drew her mouth into an encouraging half smile. “You do what you can do.”

He pointed at himself. “See me sitting here, watching the lifeblood slowly returning to the most boneheaded person in the whole of New York who is also my business partner and my best friend. That’s about as much can-do as I’ve got.”

“And that’s more than he can ask for. He knows that. And he’s grateful. He probably wouldn’t ever tell you this, but he can’t do this without you, Foggy.”

His head perked up. “He tell you this?”

“No,” she said softly. “But he didn’t have to.”

A wave of something unexpectedly profound washed over him, and he didn’t stifle the emotion that drew his forehead into a brief frown. He swallowed down the tears that threatened to form. Then he shook his head. “Look at us. How the hell did we get here?”

“By being good friends?” she offered, then pointed at Foggy’s cheekbone. “Did he do this?”

Foggy’s fingers came up to gingerly probe his own face. He’d forgotten all about it, but now it started throbbing slightly. “Yeah. He, uh… he didn’t exactly agree with the whole I-need-to-wrap-you-in-a-blanket-so-you-don’t-freeze-to-death plan.”

“Want me to take a look at it?”

He drew a face, then acquiesced. She was already here, what could it hurt? “Knock yourself out.”

Claire gently felt his face, squeezing the zygomatic bone this and that way. “I don’t think it’s broken, but you’re gonna have a nice shiner tomorrow. You should put some ice on it. Hold on.”

If there was one thing Murdock had his freezer stocked with, it was ice packs. Claire handed it to him, a dish towel wrapped around it and sat down in the other armchair. He reveled in the relief it brought, and muttered, “Well, at least that should give him a nice reminder of how not okay this whole,” he waved his free arm around, “saving-the-world thing is.”

“Really? You think he needs more reminders of that?”

Crap. That had been a shitty thing to say. “Shit, I’m sorry,” he quickly backpedalled. “Can we chalk it up to my brain being knocked sideways by Mr. Coastguard here?”

Claire smiled a small smile. “You know he can’t even see it, right?”

“Oh, but you know he can. I mean, not, like, see-see, but… however he does it.”

“Air vibrations and temperature blankets?”

Foggy raised his eyebrows. “So he told you that, too.”

“You mean the world on fire part?”

“Yep. I mean, isn’t it, like, super weird? Can you even imagine what that’s like?”

She shook her head. “Not really. I have a vague idea, but who knows if that’s even remotely accurate.”

“Are you sure he can’t hear us right now?”

“He should be asleep, but with Matt Murdock, you never know.”

+-+-+-+-+

The next hour passed in relative silence. While Claire got some sandwiches from a deli downstairs, Foggy talked to Karen on the phone for a bit, conjured up yet another bogus tale he hoped she would believe. They were slowly running out of plausible cover stories, and it was a small miracle that Karen hadn’t gotten suspicious yet.

Foggy’s black eye would be a telltale sign, but maybe for once it was a good thing that it was Foggy and not Matt sporting the battered face.

When the saline infusion bag was empty, Claire started packing away her medical equipment. She was happy with Matt’s progress, his temperature now back to just below normal. They had rewarmed the liquid heating bags, and there was a nice warmth radiating from the heap of human lying on the couch.

“I need to go,” she told Foggy. “My shift starts in an hour.”

He nodded. “Thanks for all of this.”

Her mouth curved into a brief smile. “Any time.”

“Less often would be good. You know, nothing against you as a person.”

“Can’t argue with that. Try to make him drink something warm when he wakes up. If he’s still disoriented after he wakes, give me a call.”

“You got it.”

Claire closed the door behind her when she left, and Foggy started pacing around the apartment. There was still the wet Daredevil suit crumpled on the floor, and he wasn’t sure what to do with it. What was this special material? Was it washable? The best he could do was to hang it over the rim of the bathtub to dry.

He was quickly starting to get bored. Matt didn’t have a TV. And what was that? What household didn’t have a TV these days? There was audio description now for most prime time shows. Not like in their college days, when Foggy had to narrate whole movies back to Matt.

Matt’s books, of course, were all in Braille. There were no magazines casually lying around, no newspapers. Foggy hadn’t brought his laptop. His smartphone battery was already bordering on dead.

Claire had said something about hot beverages. No caffeine, that meant no coffee or black tea. Did Matt even have anything else? He started roaming through the kitchen cupboards again until he found a cardboard box buried behind spices and packets of rice and noodles. It looked years old.

It was peppermint tea, sure enough. Foggy tentatively smelled at it. Yeah, that’d have to do. He got a teabag out of the box and found a mug to go with it. He liked to be prepared.

It was the rustling noises he heard that focused his attention back to the couch, and Foggy went over there to check. Matt was shifting beneath the covers, his eyes fluttering open.

“Reports of your death have been greatly exaggerated, it seems,” Foggy quipped.

“Foggy?”

Relief flooded him. “So you haven’t forgotten my ugly mug after all, huh?”

“It’s mostly your aftershave.”

“Great. Remind me to never wear that again.”

Matt started to peel himself out of the blankets. One of the water-filled Ziploc bags fell to the floor and Foggy bent down to pick it up. “I hope you remember what happened. Cause I’d really like to know what I did the borderline humiliating you-have-to-be-a-really-great-friend-to-put-warming-bags-in-your-best-bud’s-groin for.”

Matt blinked. “I may have spent an extended period of time submerged in the Hudson last night.”

“Yeah, no kidding.”

“How did I get here?”

Foggy raised his eyebrows. “Beats me.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, this is where I found you. Half dead. Again.” He couldn’t help hide the bitterness from his voice.

Matt fingered the band aid in the crook of his arm, drawing a face. “Claire was here?”

“Yeah. Saving your hypothermic ass. Also again.”

Matt heaved himself into a sitting position. “What time is it?”

Foggy let out a huffed breath. “That’s the question you wanna ask?” He looked at his watch. “It’s almost 2. PM. So, yeah, you’ve been doing God-knows-what frozen half to death for hours last night before I found you this morning.”

“Foggy...”

“But, you know, it’s all cool. A bit of warm saline, and Matt Murdock bounces right back. Sunshine and cupcakes. High five. Which reminds me. I’m supposed to feed you warm tea with sugar. You want me to get you one now, or would you rather wait until I left, now that I know everything’s hunky-dory?”

Matt raised his voice. “Are you done?”

“Am I done? No, I’m not remotely done. There’s, like, a giant, asteroid-sized crater between this here and done.”

Matt stayed quiet, and Foggy wasn’t sure what to do with the silence. He shook his head, then turned his gaze back to Matt’s face.

The man might be blind, but his eyes still said a world of unspoken words, and Foggy already regretted his outburst. His tone softened. “You are okay, right?”

Matt pressed his mouth together for a brief moment. His voice was carefully neutral. “Sunshine and cupcakes.”

“I’m sorry. That was...”

“No, don’t be. You have every right.”

“But you’re still not going to stop doing this, right?”

“You know I can’t.”

“Yeah. And that’s the part that’s slowly gonna kill me. That, or the stomach ulcer your clandestine nightly activities are giving me. Did you know that dying from a perforated stomach ulcer is extremely painful?”

“Why, do you have previous experience?”

“Not funny, Murdock.” Foggy went to the kitchen and put on the kettle. He needed something to anchor himself to a semblance of normalcy, and there wasn’t much that was more normal than making a cup of tea.

“Talk,” he instructed his friend.

“Not much to tell. A girl was drowning and I went to save her.”

“You kept asking if she was safe. Is she?”

“I called 911, she was alive when I left her. There were people approaching. Police, I think. I had to get out of there. Unfortunately, the only way to do that undetected was to go back in the water. Things get a little hazy after that.”

“Well, looks like your super senses somehow got you back here. Like what those abandoned cats with a homing beacon do. By the way, Claire said he was gonna check the hospital if your girl was all right.”

“Good.”

Foggy put some sugar in the tea and stirred it before he set it down on the couch table in front of Matt. “By order of Hottie McBurnerphone, you’re supposed to drink this.” He sat down across from him.

“Come on, don’t call her that.” Matt took a careful sip from the tea, then narrowed his eyes. He pointed at Foggy’s face. “What happened there?”

“Yeah, I figured you wouldn’t remember.”

“Wait, I did this?”

“Can I exercise my right to remain silent?”

“Tell me what happened.”

Foggy shrugged. “What can I say? You were still in Daredevil mode, and your supercooled brain apparently figured I was the enemy. You know that my defensive reflexes suck, so score Murdock 1, Nelson 0.”

“Geez, Foggy, I’m sorry.”

“It’s cool. It’ll make me look all wicked and manly. I should probably thank you.”

He could see the emotion playing on Matt’s face, the guilt reflecting in his expression. “It’s not broken, is it?”

“Nah. Played in my favor that you were half-delirious and off your game.”

“Still shouldn’t have happened. I should know better than to hit you of all people.”

“Apparently Daredevil and I aren’t friends.”

Even as a half-joke, that was an interesting concept. Because, really, they weren’t friends, were they? Daredevil was kind of a non-entity, a demystified myth that existed in Foggy’s imagination more than in actuality. Even with what he knew now, when he looked at the suit, he still saw Matt Murdock wearing it, and not the fierce, ruthless vigilante that the media were talking about.

“I’m really sorry, Foggy.”

“Yeah, you already said that. No hard feelings. Let’s leave it at that, okay?”

Matt’s face was saying ‘not okay’, but he let it lie. Just another thing to add to the list of ‘not okays’ in the wake of the Night of Revelation. It was getting longer, maybe too long. Awkward silences pregnant with ‘not okays’ was on that list too, and Foggy watched Matt having another go at the tea.

His face briefly drew into an unpleasant grimace. “Have I never mentioned that I hate peppermint tea?”

“Only one I found in your kitchen, buddy.”

“Leftover from Maya, I think.”

“Who was she again? The deaf one with the daddy issues?”

“Yeah,” Matt said, and it came out more like a sigh.

“Explain to me again how that even worked. That’s like… trying to cross a werewolf with an ogre and expecting them to have super cute fairy babies. Even with your world on fire thing, that still doesn’t quite compute.”

“I hope I’m not the ogre in this scenario.”

“No, come to think of it, you’re more like Josh from Being Human. You’ve even got the doe eyes and self-loathing, reluctant hero thing going. Oh my God, I can’t believe I’ve never seen the parallels until now.”

“Okay, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You, my friend, need some serious pop culture education. I can’t believe I’ve let that slip. You need to come over, I’ll supply the werewolves, vampires, ghosts and tequila.”

Matt groaned. “You know I hate tequila.”

“You see me giving a shit? Alcohol is alcohol.”

“Yeah, that’s kind of my point.”

“Seriously, Matt, when have you become such a slowpoke. Besides, you owe me.”

“That I do. Probably enough for all 25 seasons of The Simpsons.”

“There’s 26 now, actually.”

“That’d take, what? A week?”

“Probably three, if you value sleep.”

“Is there room for negotiation on my balance of debt?”

Foggy grinned. “Maybe. But I’m not budging on the tequila.”

Matt let out something that was half groan, half sigh. “Fine. But I’m not gonna be held responsible for the repercussions.”

“Seriously, when were you ever?”

“Well, maybe there was that one time, with the twins and the thong...” Matt lifted his arms apologetically. “That’s all I’m sayin’.”

Foggy laughed, and it felt good. Normal. Like maybe they were going to make it through all this without the friction constantly scratching at the surface, the secrecy and pretense and just overall out-of-whackness that had been the defining point of their relationship of late.

“Okay, Murdock,” Foggy clapped his hands together, “Now that we have you up and running and coherent again, let’s get some food into you. What do you say?”

“Anything but the shitty kebab place across the street.”

Yes, Foggy was totally down with that. “Deal.”

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THE END.