Matt hates taking the subway. The motion makes him nauseous, it's usually crowded, and the noise from the screeching train brakes at every stop is like being stabbed in the ear with an ice pick to his sensitive hearing.
But today he hates it even more than usual. They're heading uptown and Matt had been trying to focus on Foggy's voice over the pounding noise, when the train came to a sudden, jerking halt and stops dead. Everyone lurches, and one person who'd been standing falls over. Matt is thrown against Foggy's side by momentum, and rights himself hastily.
“This isn't thirty fourth street,” Matt says to Foggy.
“No, buddy, we stopped in the middle of the tunnel for some reason,” Foggy tells him. Everyone on the train is murmuring and shifting nervously. That's when Matt hears it.
“Something's happening,” he mutters to Foggy, focusing down the train several cars where there's raised voices.
“What?” Foggy whispers back, alarmed. “Are you using your super-hearing?”
Matt shushes him. There's some kind of bang and then shouts of surprise, coming from maybe a three train cars away to his right. Matt's contemplating jumping up to go help, secrets be damned, when he hears someone running pell-mell down the train toward them, shoving people aside throwing open the doors between the cars as they go. It's not the sound of people fleeing in terror. It's the sound of trouble coming their way.
“They're coming,” he has time to tell Foggy.
“What, who?!” Foggy asks.
A few seconds later even Foggy can hear the people in the next car shouting and scrambling out of the way as the man running, and the two people chasing him, barrel through. The chasers are gaining on him.
Foggy moves as if to get up—with what idea in mind Matt has no clue—but Matt grabs his arm and holds him in place. The running man bursts into their train car. People scramble to get out of his way.
“Hold it!” The words come from one of the people giving chase, who stop just inside the car doors.
“Fuck,” Foggy whispers, and Matt hears his heart rate go up even more as he sees the pursuers.
The running man stops, not far from where Matt and Foggy are sitting and turns to face off against his pursuers.
“You saw how easily I took care of your little friends, Captain,” comes the voice of the runner, a man wearing some kind of long coat with something strange on his head. He has odd accoutrements on him, some mechanical devices, some odd chemical smells that Matt can't identify but that could be weapons of some kind.
“No matter how many gadgets you have up your sleeve, Doctor, it won't be enough to take down all of us.” The voice is stern, male, and resonant, coming from the large man standing in a defensive pose. The small, stealthy figure of the woman behind him is silent, though Matt can hear her sliding some kind of weapon out of a holster. They slowly advance on the man in the long coat.
“Don't, Captain!” the man holds up one hand, where something small and made of glass dangles from his fingers. The figures on the other end of the train car stop in their tracks. “There's a very nasty paralyzing agent in this vial. What a pity it would be if it were to break and poison all these innocent civilians.” This is the moment Matt fully realizes they're dealing with a grandiose supervillain situation. This is exactly why he never takes the subway. He makes a mental note to remind Foggy of this the next time he suggests it.
“Fuck,” comes Foggy's heartfelt whisper again, low enough that only Matt can hear. He knows Foggy well enough to know that he's looking around, trying to work out the best escape route and how he can get the little old lady sitting on his other side out through it. Matt tightens his grip on Foggy's arm.
“You don't want to do that,” the pursuing man says, and Matt is just figuring out between the oddly slow heartbeat and the frankly weird resonances of the large round disc of metal that the man's carrying that it has to be...
“Oh,” the supervillain says sarcastically, “Captain American thinks I 'don't want to do that.' Well, forgive me, o capitán, but I think I do.”
The man pulls something off his head, some kind of goggles maybe, and settles them over his eyes. Then, before Matt or the Avengers or anyone else has time to do anything, he does...something with the thing in his hand.
Everyone else in the train car gasps suddenly, shocked, and babbling voices start coming from all around. Matt can't hear anything weird, can't smell anything. How could a gas hit the whole car simultaneously like that?
“Too bad you didn't think to bring your night-vision goggles!” the man says, with an over-rehearsed maniacal laugh, then he turns and starts running again.
Captain America and his compatriot are making their way down the aisle towards him to try and catch him, but they're stumbling, hesitating, and the other people on the train car are panicking, getting in their way.
It hadn't been any kind of gas; he'd lied. It had been something, magical or mechanical, that had put out all the lights. And now the entire train car is plunged into subterranean darkness.
Matt's instincts take over. There's no way the two Avengers will make it in time in the dark, but Matt? Matt inhabits the dark, and the dark inhabits him. This is Matt's world, and in that moment, decades of training and carefully disciplined preparation leap into action. Finely honed senses snap into focus, and the living weapon that is his body knows exactly what to do.
He sticks out one foot and trips the guy.