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First times

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The first time Foggy cooks for Matt it's a Saturday night and outside it's raining so much that Foggy wonders if they didn't miss a hurricane warning. Matt is still laughing at Foggy's retelling of how Anna Nelson taught her son to cook. Turns out Foggy's mom was convinced he would starve in college. She forgot to take into account the fact that he finds it easier to buy a pizza or eat in the cafeteria. But just because 90% of the time he can't be bothered to cook, it doesn't mean he doesn't know how.

Matt can make scrambled eggs, add milk to breakfast cereal and assemble a decent sandwich. Fry a burger if he pokes at it. Foggy has never shown culinary abilities beyond pancakes so Matt's complete disbelief when his roommate insists he can cook is understandable. Also a challenge Foggy can't ignore. He has no choice but to go all out.

It's obvious Foggy prowess in the kitchen has been established even before the food is ready. Matt has been curiously sniffing the air all morning, asking about ingredients and had almost moaned (seriously, that was a sound nearly pornographic) when he realized Foggy was making apple pie from scratch. That one comes easily since whenever there was something that needed to be kneaded (or lifted or if furniture had to be moved) at home, Foggy had been the one to do it. So Foggy is actually awesome at pies. Even ones made in toaster ovens.

Foggy opens the lid of the pot, letting the sweet smell of braised pork fill the tiny kitchen. It'll go well with the salad and the potatoes.

"Is it ready yet?" For a blind guy, Matt moves really quickly when he wants to.

"Yeah, just about. Weren't you going to finish reading that chapter?"

"The smell is distracting."

"Yeah, you say distracting but you meant 'proof that you are the best cook ever'. You'll regret the moment you dared doubt me. "

" I didn't say you couldn't cook." He fishes a cherry tomato from the salad before Foggy can stop him

"The laughing was enough, buddy. Stop picking at the food before it's served."

"Yes dear."

They move the food from the kitchen to the minuscule table and waste no time to start eating. Outside the weather is miserable but the kitchen is warm and the company excellent, even if Matt is a bit too busy making noises at the potatoes (lightly buttered and roasted to perfection, thank you very much) to give much of a conversation. It's only halfway through the meal when he finally slows down enough to talk.

"This is nice."

"Just nice? You think my food is a gift from the gods, Murdock. You would marry me just for my cooking."

Matt laughs. "Your food is great. You should cook more often." Which is not happening but Foggy might be tempted to cook for Matt again. Every once in a while. "No, I meant this. Dinner. It's been a long time since I've had a homecooked meal. Not since dad."

"Was he good at cooking?"

Matt smiles. "Terrible. Loved to use tons of salt. But he was always happy to cook dinner for me."

Matt looks just a bit nostalgic, which is the very least when talking about his father, but he also looks completely different from the Matt that kept to himself and only grudgingly accepted Foggy's invitation to go have dinner back in first year. He looks comfortable and content, two things Foggy thought Matt was already but it's like the difference between frozen pizza and the real deal. One looks like the other but it's a cheap imitation when you've had the good kind. Frozen pizza Matt Murdock is calm, sarcastic at points but polite. True pizza Matt Murdock is snarky, explosive and stubborn. In rare moments like these True Matt can be glorious, and Foggy feels lucky he gets to see this side of Matt.

Years from now they'll both point at this moment as the first time they started seeing each other as family.

*******

The first time they have a serious fight, it drags for way too long. And it's all Asshole Alan's fault.

Asshole Alan got his name out of insinuating that Matt had just gotten into Columbia to fill a quota. Also to differentiate him from regular Alan, one of the med students who shared their apartment and spent half of his time despairing about his classes and the other half drinking disgusting smoothies of varying caffeine content. Regular Alan is okay (most of the time) while Asshole Alan is the scum of the Earth and not worth even thinking about.

The thing about Asshole Alan is that he is smart. Foggy gives him that much. Excellent memory for detail and not a bit of common sense to go with it and prevent him from saying assholish things. Like commenting on other's people grades, or the statistical probabilities of a client getting convicted based on race and gender. It bugs Foggy because the guy is always technically correct even if wrong from a moral point of view, and yeah no surprise that he wants to go into politics in the future. Half of the people in their class have probably fantasized about punching him in the face.

That's normal, Foggy fantasizes about winning the lottery, about training a parrot to yell 'objection!' and on very silly days about getting a mohawk. He is only really sorry about not getting the parrot.

This is why he is horrified to see Matt punch Asshole Alan in the face. It's like watching a movie in slow motion: Asshole Alan opens his mouth and words come out. Matt first freezes and then frowns as more words come out of a very drunk Alan. Matt arms moves backwards and then all the way to Asshole Alan face.

Foggy started running when he saw the frown but there's too many people at the party and by the time he gets there Alan is getting up. Foggy knows this will get out hand fast, so he decides to fuck it and loudly starts babbling and dragging Matt to the exit.

"Matt! You are so drunk! Someone help me with my BLIND friend. Hey Rick give Alan a napkin or something. Laura! Great party, you know I have to help Matt home, he gets lost so easily. Ha, Matt stop squeezing my arm so hard, you funny lucky drunk. No, really Pam I can manage by myself, bye!"

By the time they are walking on the frigid air ( Pamela had given him their coats but apparently the scarf is a loss) Matt frown has changed all the way from offended to pissed. He is only touching Foggy because his cane is back at the party and there's no way they are going back there. He stays chillingly quiet all the way home until the door closes behind them.

Then it's volcano Murdock in all his glory.

"I don't need your help getting home, I don't actually need anyone's help to move around. I don't need you stopping fights because you think I need help."

"You are lucky you didn't break his nose. And you will be even more lucky if Asshole Alan doesn't press charges." And won't the people overseeing his scholarship love that.

"And admit the poor blind guy got him? I don't think so."

"He might. Never underestimate assholes and the lengths they may go to continue being horrible people. And what were you going to do when he got back up? Hope he stays still?"

"I could have handled it."

"Or not. Will it kill you to admit you are wrong? Just once."

" I don't need help."

This. Foggy hates that phrase so much. " I actually think you do. Maybe actual professional help."

That, at least, stops Matt's angry tone for a moment. "...what? What are you even talking about? It was one punch to an idiot who deserved it."

"And that's just it. You tend to explode, Matt. You get these moods from time to time and you barely eat and stay up all night studying and then you always say you are fine." Which, so far, has been a codeword for anything from 'I dislocated my shoulder after falling on the ice' to 'I'm going to spend Christmas on my own and look like a sad puppy in the snow'

"I am fine!"

"People who are fine don't go around punching other people! You barely had one beer so I know your judgement was not impaired. Not by alcohol, at least." Unlike Foggy, who lost count after the fourth and is already regretting most of this conversation.

"You don't get to tell me what I can or can't do. You are not S-" Matt pauses. Takes a breath and frowns again. "Mind your own business, Foggy. Nobody asked you to be my babysitter. "

"Yeah. Sure, you are fine on your own."

Matt doesn't answer, just turns around and starts to angrily change for bed. And then goes to the bathroom and slams the door behind him.

" Yeah goodnight to you too!" Foggy yells at the door and doesn't bother changing. He just lies in the bed and hopes a night of sleep will cool both of them down.

*******

Sleeping solves nothing.

The next days are awkward as hell considering they share most of their classes and a room, so Foggy spends a lot of time outside studying in a cheap but decent cafe and Matt probably camps at the library. He is obviously not hanging around a new girlfriend because the girls most interested in Matt are constantly glaring at Foggy as if he had killed their puppy.

Foggy feels pretty bad already .

The first rule of the 'Your best friend has issues' club is 'Don't talk about your friend issues'. Also, yeah it would be great if Matt was more relaxed and happy, but angrily suggesting therapy in the middle of an argument is never, ever, going to be a good idea. Foggy is literally going to school on how to convince people with words and he is failing so hard at talking with his best friend. Not that there's much talking going on. There's been a few heys and a memorable 'class starts in fifteen minutes, wake up' but so far no one has actually talked.

The worse thing is that Matt has gradually progressed from distant to uncomfortable to miserable. Foggy is worse than Asshole Alan because anyone who makes Matt look like that is truly the scum of the Earth. It's driving Foggy insane and it's becoming increasingly obvious that if someone has to take a first step it's going to be him. You can't accuse someone of having unhealthy coping mechanisms and then expect them to cope with an argument better than you. Matt is awesome and all but they are both going to be old men if he waits for Matt to voluntarily discuss feelings.

He waits until that night and after several false starts just walks to Matt's bed and sits next to the Matt-shaped lump. Usually just touching the bed is enough to wake him up but there's no reaction at all, not even a small jump. He is awake then, good.

"I'm sorry." Okay, first part done. "I was way out of line. I..." This was way easier when he imagined having this conversation. " ...I am sorry I implied you were less than capable of making the right choice and defending yourself in a fight. I am not sorry about intervening because whatever the fuck that asshole told you, he was not worth getting in trouble."

"It was about you." Says the lump on the bed.

"What?"

Under the moving covers, Matt head emerged with hair hilariously sticking in all directions. "He made a comment about you, he insulted you and was expecting me to find him funny."

"Seriously? Totally not worth it. If he was insulting my weight or my looks, I've heard it all before. Stopped caring way back in highschool." Turns out hot people really dig the confidence. Particularly shy football players who find him -and his relaxed mood in bed delightful.

"It was more about your motivation for dragging me to that party and-" Matt sighs. "Nevermind. Just trust me when I say he deserved it."

"He probably deserves a daily punch in the face, but assaulting another student is still a bad idea." Foggy rather wait for karma to bite Alan in the ass.

Matt is silent for a few seconds "I wasn't thinking that far. But I didn't want you to see me like that."

"Being reckless?"

"Violent."

"Well, it happened. Asshole didn't press charges and even gets to keep his perfect nose that way. Everyone's happy." Happier still if Asshole Alan fell into a vat of both poison ivy and jellyfish, but life's not fair.

"I'm sorry I was.. I know I'm not the easiest person to live with. "Oh no. Matt is making the kicked puppy face again.

"You are okay. You make my life interesting."

"Foggy, the whole 'not lasting more than a few months' thing? This is why."

Foggy already suspected it was something like that. Not what Matt needs to hear right now though. "Really? I thought you were just lousy in bed."

"W-I'm not lousy- " Matt makes a really great outraged faced and it's far better than the kicked puppy one. Score. "I'm being serious, Foggy."

"Matt, you are my best friend. I might complain and think you are a dork or the single most stubborn person on the planet, but I like all that makes you you. I really do."

"Everything?"

"Everything." And it's true. It shouldn't be a surprise but it kind of is. He worries about Matt and hates seeing him less than happy but Foggy really adores him. Issues and moods and unhealthy habits included.

Matt nudges his head against Foggy's tight. "So you don't mind when I eat the last piece of pizza?"

"I hate when you do that! You knew I was saving that piece." Matt laughs softly and it's been a few days since Foggy has heard that sound. He missed it. "I'm never going to stop complaining about that, but I've accepted your food stealing ways, buddy."

"You should buy more of those chocolate covered strawberries then."

They both stay quiet after that, except that now it's comfortable. At some point Foggy's hand migrates to Matt's head, in a vague attempt to control the hair disaster. He ends up more or less petting Matt and, since Matt makes sleepy pleased sounds, Foggy figures it's okay "Not sleeping much lately, uh? "

"Not really."

Maybe he should have started the entire conversation with the petting. "Me neither." Which is why now that they've talked about things Foggy is feeling really tired and extremely unwilling to walk back to his bed right this instant.

"I know. There was no loud snoring."

" You and your bat ears."

That's the last thing Foggy remembers saying. The next morning he has about five seconds to nearly freak out because Matt is doing his best to imitate an overly friendly octopus. Then, actually freak out because that noisy thing he threw against the other noisy thing was actually Matt's alarm clock being used as a projectile against his decrepit but sturdy alarm clock (actually kind of impressive). By the time they make their excuses to the professor, the awkwardness of falling asleep together is all but forgotten.

Foggy buys Matt a new alarm clock. Matt buys him an extremely soft scarf. Asshole Alan gets dumped by his girlfriend. Everyone's happy.