Halfway through the night, after Foggy’s dragged Marci to Hell’s Kitchen to get cheap ass drunk on liquor that’s not even labeled, Matt’s the one who ends up wearing Foggy’s jacket—which is. . .okay. You know, it’s not like they’re dating, Foggy and her. They did, briefly, a weird spat of monogamy and dorm room domesticity that didn’t sit right with either of them. Now, they just mostly fuck each other and hang out and study, which is better. Feelings are messy and Marci’s not great at them—and, frankly, she doesn’t like not being great at things.
At this point, though, she really just wants to know when these small dumb children who keep following her around are finally going to get their own shit together. Matt’s hair is standing on end and he’s been grinning for the last hour, too drunk to save face, and the look that he gave Foggy when Foggy draped his jacket over Matt’s shoulders was really something. Marci’s not even able to grasp a good word; the functional nail polish remover they’ve been drinking is effective. Besotted, maybe.
They hit their apartment first on the way back, so Matt says good-night before Foggy escorts her to her building. He reaches out in Marci’s direction and she steps forward gamely to give him a hug so he’ll go inside, because casual touching is a surefire sign that Matt’s too drunk to be in public right now.
Later, when it’s just Foggy and her walking, she says, innocently, “You know, Murdock still has your jacket.”
“He gets cold,” Foggy says, sways a little in her direction. Marci doesn’t take the shameless cuddle bait, stepping faster.
“He can’t afford his own jacket?” she asks, over her shoulder.
“. . .Marci, are you jealous?” Foggy asks, stopping in the middle of the street with a huge ridiculous smile blooming on his face. He’s way too delighted at that concept.
“I’m just wondering when I’ll get the invite to your wedding,” she says.
“I can’t believe my beautiful fuck buddy is jealous of my heterosexual life partner,” Foggy says, shaking his head. Marci raises her eyebrows at him, and Foggy adds, before she can say anything, “I’m pretty sure we still count as heterosexual life partners if only half of us are actually heterosexual. Or—three-fourths, I guess.”
“I just watched Murdock smell your jacket and sigh not twenty minutes ago,” Marci says, grabbing his arm and pulling to get him walking again. “I question his heterosexuality.”
“He’s blind,” Foggy says, frowning. “It’s a weird senses thing, the smelling.”
“It was literally a moment straight out of Brokeback Mountain,” she says. “I don’t know what else to tell you.”
Foggy pulls his arm away just to slide it around her waist, pulling her closer as they walk.
“Don’t worry,” he says, voice sweet and very drunk. “I’ll keep you warm, too.”
“Oh my god,” she says, because she’s not jealous. Maybe she will be, just a little, when Foggy and Matt finally run away to Maine together and adopt a golden retriever, but it’s just because she likes hanging out with them. It’s the only time she gets to do dumb not-quite-adult stuff, and she’s not quite ready to give it up.
Foggy kisses her cheek at the door.
“I’m going to go home and make sure Matt didn’t die on his way up the stairs,” he says, in lieu of I’m not staying the night and having miserable hungover sex in the morning.
“It seems likely,” she says. “He hugged me earlier.”
“Freely given Matt hugs are directly connected to Matt passing out in stairwells,” Foggy agrees. He reaches out to brush his knuckles against her shoulder. “Drink lots of water.”
“Go save your boyfriend,” she replies, smiling sweetly when Foggy makes a face at her and shutting the door before he can respond.
“I need insider information,” Natalie, Marci’s roommate, says, thrusting a giant Starbucks cup at Marci as soon as she opens her bedroom door. “O’Neil saw Murdock and Nelson sitting suspiciously close in the library, and the betting pool on their sexual proclivities is getting real.”
“I thought it died out after I stole Foggy’s innocence,” Marci says, eyeing her suspiciously.
“We stopped it out of respect for you,” Natalie says, smiling charmingly. “Also, slight fear of you, to be honest. But, since you two aren’t official. . .”
“How much is riding on it right now?” Marci asks. Just. . .out of curiosity.
“Not enough to make a dent in our loans or anything, but maybe enough for, like, a really good night out,” Natalie replies. “Name brand booze. Real food. Shoes.”
God, Marci wants all of that.
“I don’t have any insider information,” she says, coolly.
Natalie squints at her.
“You liar,” she says. “You’re just saving it for yourself.”
Marci smiles at her.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says, taking a sip from the latte in her hand. It burns the hell out of her tongue, and she absolutely ruins her cool by whispering, “Shit.”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s what you get for being greedy,” Natalie says, turning on her heel and storming away. Marci pries off the lid and blows on the coffee, contemplatively. She’d been a little concerned, for awhile, that she was going to have to do something about Foggy and Matt. Because, as smart as they are, they’re essentially idiots, and Matt’s face is stupidly expressive—it gets pretty obnoxious to watch his reactions to Foggy’s general existence and not say anything about it.
She’s going to start saying things about it.
Just as soon as she finds out who the hell is running this pool, because shoes.
Matt looks confused when Marci shows up at his door.
“Foggy’s in class,” he says, raising his eyebrows. He’s wearing sweatpants and. . .yep, that’s Foggy’s hoodie, a little big on him. Without his glasses, the whole thing makes him look small and vulnerable. Marci almost feels bad that she’s about to metaphorically pounce on him.
“I know,” she says, carefully breezing past him to perch on the arm of their terrible couch. “I’m here for you. Want to guess why?”
“. . .you want my notes from Sayer’s class?” Matt asks, hopefully, running a hand over his hair.
“That’s cute,” Marci says, crossing her legs. “Guess again.”
Matt makes a face at her. It’s a little crumpled, just this side of sad. Marci actually does feel bad this time, and she almost makes up a different excuse about why she’s there, but then Matt sighs.
“I’m not going to come between you two, I promise,” he says, quietly, moving slowly to sit on their thrift store armchair in the corner.
“Wow,” Marci says, a little taken aback. “You just folded instantly, Murdock. How are you so good in mock trials?”
“They don’t matter,” Matt mumbles, curled a little bit in on himself. He pulls his glasses out of his pocket and puts them on like he can hide behind them. Marci gets to her feet to go stand in front of him, gently kicking at his ankle with the toe of her flat.
“There’s nothing serious going on between Foggy and me,” she says. “We’re having good, dirty fun. Fun which I’m absolutely willing to seek elsewhere if you’ll stop making sad faces and talk about your ridiculous emotions.”
Matt looks surprised.
“You are?” he asks.
“Yes, obviously,” she says. “I mean, I love Foggy, but we’re not in love. And I’m about one hundred and fifty percent sure that I can’t say the same about either of you.”
Matt’s silent for a long time.
“Has he ever—” he starts to ask, then stops, frowning.
“Said anything about you?” Marci offers. She sits back down on the couch, stretching her legs out, then says, in her best Foggy voice, “Matt’s so funny, Matt’s so smart, Matt’s so manly and handsome and heterosexual.”
“He does not say that,” Matt murmurs, but he’s smiling.
“We talk about how straight you are a lot,” Marci says.
“I’m not. . .that straight,” Matt says.
“Trust me,” she says. “I know. You might consider telling other people, like the guy you live with. Plus, now someone will finally win the pool on when you two will succumb to your urges and you’ll end the vicious gossip.”
Matt raises his head in her direction before he breaks out in a grin, which—okay, charming, Marci kind of gets it. The floppy-haired puppy dog thing doesn’t work for her, but she gets it.
“You’re going to win the pool, aren’t you?” he asks.
“Hmm,” Marci says, sweetly, getting to her feet. “Someone has to, don’t they?”
Matt shakes his head.
“This all makes a little more sense now,” he says, smirking a little.
“Excuse me? I’ll have you know, this is mostly out of the good of my heart,” she says, with practiced faux-outrage. She adds, as she’s walking out of the door, “If you were to happen to get this little task off your to-do list by the end of the week, I’d really appreciate it.”
Matt laughs, and Marci smiles to herself as she shuts the door behind her.
That Friday, Murdock kisses Foggy in front of God and everyone at the coffee shop on campus. Marci cashes in and buys a new pair of Louboutins. Foggy calls her to say thank you, presumably before ascending into their new den of sexual iniquity, never to be seen again.
Things work out.