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America's Suitehearts

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As usual, Matt hears and feels the footsteps before there’s even anyone at the door; business slightly different than usual, drunk-on-Christmas Karen notices the shift in his focus soon enough to rush - or rather, stumble over to - the door herself.

“You must be Claire! Hi!” she says jubilantly.

“That would be me. I’m guessing you’re Karen.”

“Indeed!”

“Oh, here we go,” murmurs Foggy - not roughly, but his displeasure with the increase in the fawning level in Matt’s direction due to the blindness has always been fair. Matt’s only ever taken issue with it jokingly, but of course the issue still remains.

“Oh, and who’s this?” continues Karen, and it confuses Matt until he hears a small yip. Claire hadn’t said anything about bringing Santino - he had actual family to be with for the holidays.

“This fluffball is Ginger.”

“Another cat?” Matt asks with a chuckle. The door closes a second later.

“Oh, no, a dog. Thank God,” says Claire, and a moment later explains to Karen that she’s allergic to cats.

“Who names a black dog Ginger?” asks Foggy, and Karen and Claire start walking closer to the kitchen.

“Someone who can’t see their dog,” answers Matt.

“Well, she’s old, and probably senile, but not blind. Yet, at least. She does confuse her granddaughter and I sometimes, though. Her granddaughter usually takes care of Ginger, but she is with her boyfriend’s family this Christmas, so some neighborly help was needed.”

“So you brought the dog here?” Foggy questions; Matt can tell that someone’s reaching across the table to pet the dog, though, and he’s pretty Karen’s still next to Claire - so it’s not like Foggy (or anyone, for that matter) was complaining. That is, at least, until Claire’s demeanor changes.

“She didn’t want to let me leave.”

“Oh, poor thing,” realizes Karen, adding more weight to the situation.

“The smaller the dog, the more high maintenance,” declares Foggy, and there’s a bit of laughter, so Matt jumps in with the next necessary introduction.

“Claire, this is Foggy. Foggy, Claire.”

“Ah, yes, the partner in stopping crime,” Claire surmises with a nice lift in her voice, and he can hear a bracelet jingle as the two shake hands.

“And the partner in crime.”

“Make that the woman to be credited with keeping him alive, for your information.”

“Ooh,” Karen hums with a guttural touch, almost like Claire’s tone spelled a potential fight - but Matt and Karen both know Foggy’s a bigger man than that.

“And we thank you,” adds Foggy.

“Where would Nelson and Murdock be if it were just Nelson?” he starts, and Karen interrupts.

“Nelson and Page!”

“You’re not a lawyer, Karen.”

“No, but I’m the only other person in the office, and I do work for you.”

“True. Not the point, and messing up my monologue, but true.”

“Oops.”

“Eh, you didn’t know,” says Matt. “You’ll be able to see them coming a mile away by the time summer comes around.”

“Like the butcher story.”

“What’s the butcher story?” asks Claire curiously, and both Matt and Karen jump to hush the request; neither needs nor wants to hear it again.

“I’ll tell you later,” Foggy declares, then circles back. “But Nelson and Murdock only sounds better than Murdock and Nelson! The whole team is here and it’s Murdock’s. The law partner, the secretary, the personal nurse…”

“Don’t forget the dog. You’re always wanting me to get a dog,” Matt teases.