The first time he flirts with Matt, Foggy has known him for all of thirty seconds.
Apparently "good looking and hot, go for it" is faster to reach his brain than "roommate, bad idea" and "statistically due to be straight". Several weeks after that Foggy adds "catholic, almost surely straight" to his Ever Growing List of Matt Murdock Facts. The evidence is all there and the jury reaches a verdict easily: "Not happening."
Foggy is pretty okay with that decision. Matt is a really good looking guy but also a good roommate (once he stopped complaining about Foggy's snoring which A) Not his fault B) Not possibly stronger than a boat horn, stop being so dramatic Murdock). He is funny once you get past the initial shyness and hilarious once they get really used to each other. Matt acts a bit guarded at first but Foggy is persistent (once, he convinced his parents to let him dye his hair blue through the annoying but effective method of asking them every day for a month).
Matt can be charming and yet a complete dork. Plus he is smart and idealistic and really, how can you not like a guy who reads inspiring speeches out loud with a smile on his face? He genuinely cares about right and wrong, about fighting for a better world. Even his faith is honest, Matt openly despises people that use catholicism as an excuse to hate others. By the end of that first year Foggy is more than happy to have Matt as just his friend. Matt's awesome and Foggy is pretty sure he wants to keep him near forever. There are other hot guys but no other friend like Matt.
The first time Matt flirts with Foggy, it's halfway through their second year.
They're sharing an apartment with two other people from medical. They are nice enough guys, if maybe a bit weird (so far, this seems to be the case with most med school students). In any case, Matt and Foggy have nearly the same schedule so they see each other much more than anyone else. Matt no longer complains about Foggy snoring or his snack choices ( almost) and Foggy has grown so used to keep things in their designated spots that being ordered is now second nature. He is pretty sure his parents could adore Matt on that fact alone.
They've got a nice thing going on and it's easy and comfortable.
Then, one week during early summer, Matt starts walking from the shower to their room in different states of undress. On several occasions (and always when he and Foggy are alone) Matt walks into their room rubbing a towel on his hair and wearing nothing else. By that point Foggy has become an expert at not looking. Matt being hot is just a fact, he is harder not to stare at when he smiles. Also Foggy's sister has drilled him over the years that staring at other people is rude (The actual words were 'please never act like the assholes in my school').
Foggy stares at his textbook. There's no spike in his heart beat, not even a furtive look at his ass.
Matt gives up eventually.
Foggy won't know this is an actual attempt at flirting until years later, when Matt is high on painkillers and committed to be honest with Foggy. He'll regret that particular bout of sincerity several times over the years because Foggy will love the story and repeat it to anyone who asks: "That time Matt failed spectacularly at flirting."
The first time they hug (sober that is, Foggy is pretty sure holding each other for stability doesn't count) it's over some silly thing. Foggy thinks it was about acing an exam on first year but it could have been over any kind of good news, he's always been a pretty tactile guy.
Matt is not. Foggy has no way of knowing this the first hug Matt has received in years. Matt freezes and after several seconds he awkwardly puts his hands around Foggy, but it's painfully obvious he is not used to it. Which is just the saddest thing ever. Maybe another person would conclude that he should avoid touching Matt, but Foggy has always prided himself on thinking about creative solutions. So he hugs Matt all the time, one armed hugs and hands on shoulders. He announces it every time and waits until Matt gives him a confused "What?" to say "Buddy, that was completely awesome. If you're okay I'm totally hugging you." Matt always says it's okay and smiles after each hug as if it was a surprise.
Matt dates often (always ridiculously good looking women) but he is not big on public displays of affection. So, more often than not the girl Matt is dating will give him a quick peck on the lips and congratulate him on doing a great job on that debate/assignment/whatever before Foggy shows up and hugs him for nearly half a minute.
On retrospect, this is probably how the betting pool about the two of them started.
They have just finished their second year at Columbia when the Incident happens. Or, as Foggy has dubbed it: Oh Fuck, Aliens Are Invading Why The Hell Did I Go For Pizza.
The worst part is that he lost his pizza. Okay, maybe not the worst part at all, but this is what Foggy is choosing to fixate on. It's easier to think about a pizza box left on a counter than the fact he has seen people die. It certainly easier than to think about Matt, how they were supposed to meet over two hours ago. God, if something happens to Matt. What if he lost his cane? What if no one has explained that whooshing sound is horrible aliens firing guns? What if he is out there in the open, looking for Foggy?
Think about pizza.
Because, yeah Paolo & Gino's is the best ever and fuck Brooklyn. Best pizza in all New York. And not filled with tourists. Matt loves their pizza. Matt always compliments Paolo on the crust. Gino just jokes that it's just that his husband is a clean freak and keeps the kitchen cleaner than an operating room.
The subway station he is in is packed but everyone is holding it together. There's no more cell phone signal here than it had been on the street, probably too many destroyed antennas. Foggy is about to randomly ask the huge guy to his left about his favorite pizza place just to stop worrying for a second when they get the news that the alien invasion is over.
Hell's Kitchen is a mess. Worse than a mess, it looks like a war zone. In the distance, huge clouds of black smoke cover the sky. There's rubble everywhere, blocking several streets, but they have already started evacuating the wounded. Foggy thinks he sees Brett helping an old man get out of a broken window shop. Too busy to ask him for help finding Matt so Foggy decides to leave him alone.
Everybody is busy and Foggy is just standing in the middle of the street even more lost than he was when all this started. Which is why is such a surprise when he hears a voice behind him call " Foggy?" and sees Matt standing next to a mail box and holding a golf club. Foggy is too busy staring at Matt, at the small trail of blood on his forehead, at the various stains on his shirt, to notice when his friend more or less jumps him and wraps himself around Foggy.
This is the first time Matt has initiated a hug and it's one of the bests hugs ever.
Foggy just smiles like an insane person while Matt buries his face in his neck muttering " Thank god" over and over. Maybe their eyes are a bit wet and they both squeeze the other a bit too much, but they stay in the middle of that street until a passing fireman asks them if they need help getting home.
Matt thanks him and says that they are okay now that they found each other.
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."
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.
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."
"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." 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? "
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.