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Love, Pride, Deep-Fried Chicken

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Son of a bitch.

Son. Of. A

No, it’s fine. It’s okay, it really is, Matt tells himself after he’s released the grip on his bed sheets and forced himself to calm down. It’s not like there’s no solution to undo this... this mistake that’s embedded in pigments beneath his skin. It’s just going to hurt like hell.

Oh god— ah screw it, if there’s a one off for using the Lord’s name in vain, waking up to a sore spot on your ankle and then realizing it’s a tattoo the size of your large toe nail is definitely it.

And what the hell is it supposed to be of anyway? He’s been tracing his fingers over the sensitive, slightly raised skin but not getting any clear ideas of what it might be save for the fact that it’s shaped oddly, like a weird oval.

Ugh. Why the hell would he get that tattooed into his ankle anyway? A weird oval with something funny in the middle

No .  

Matt sighs and runs a frustrated hand through his hair before flopping backwards onto his pillow.

It’s an avocado .

How did he let this happen? How could Foggy , his voice of reason, have let this happen? How could he just— Foggy.

Matt cringes when memories from the previous night slide back into memory. Winning the Grimaldi case- the one they’ve been spending every waking hour on for the past three months, getting shitfaced with Foggy and Karen, sending Karen home, and then…

And then.

Matt groans.

They had passed a tattoo shop. Foggy’s heart sped up in excitement and when Matt poked him in the side, too drunk to properly articulate his question, Foggy had suggested “let’s get matching avocado tattoos!” and Matt had stupidly agreed with that stupid sloppy smile Foggy always laughed at.

Ugh. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

He schleps to work, every step uncomfortable as hell, and doesn’t bother to shift his features into anything remotely socially acceptable because the world deserves to know how he feels. Foggy deserves to know how pissed he is. He fully intends to barge in then sulk his way to his desk, but Foggy is singing , and Karen is laughing.

Matt hesitates for a moment before going in. Okay, maybe he’ll do without the barging— it does seem a little too dramatic for his tastes anyway, but he’s definitely sulking his way to his chair.

He’s barely got his cane against the corner behind their coat rack when Foggy strides over, an extra pep in his step. “And how is this fair morning after our grand victory treating thee, mi amigo?” Matt can hear the grin in his voice. Argh, screw sulking.

“You,” Matt hisses, pointedly poking his finger at Foggy’s shoulder and injecting all the affront he can muster into his glare.

“What?” Foggy squeaks and sounds so puzzled and panicked, Matt almost wants to backtrack a little, but then Foggy swallows. Oh, he knows what Matt’s talking about, all right. Matt is going to kill him. In a non-fatal way, but still.

“I...ah, I forgot I have to run some errands,” Karen says lightly, hopping off the chair and grabbing her purse in one fluid movement. Her “play nice, boys” is, however, laced with something a little sharper, a vague warning. Foggy’s feeble request for her to rescue him trails off into a soft “ nooo ” as she whisks out the door.

“How could you?” Matt doesn’t know why he’s still doing that angry-hiss thing when there’s no one else around. Hell, this is his ‘I suck at making good choices but let's also blame Foggy because...argh I’ll think of something later’ party and he can throw a fit if he wants to. Within reason, of course. He's already overheard heard Jan from next door complain about Foggy’s singing and Karen’s copy machine induced swearing several times over the past month.

Foggy wrings his hands and gulps again. “Does it still hurt?”

“Not as much as the sting of a bad decision,” he grumbles, slightly calmer now that Foggy’s guilt is almost palpable. “I can’t decide which is worse: plunging headfirst into a dumb idea that came from my designated filter against stupid decisions, or knowing that Daredevil now has an identifiable mark.”

Foggy makes a guilty little sound, its effects on Matt something he’ll never admit to. Ever. Foggy already knows what his equivalent of Matt’s ‘sad puppy eyes’ (Foggy’s words, not his) is, he’s not going to hand over any more ammunition.

Matt sighs and leans against Karen’s desk. He never could stay mad at Foggy for too long, anyway.

“At least tell me it doesn’t look like a disaster,” he huffs, pulling his sock down.

A hitched breath and silence are all he gets from Foggy. “Well?” he probes, a little impatiently.

“It’s perfect,” Foggy whispers, the truth in his statement throwing Matt for a loop.

“What?” Okay, that was...not what he was bracing for.

Foggy clears his throat. “It is,” he nods and almost reaches out to touch Matt’s ankle before stopping himself. His face runs a little warm after that. “Sorry,” Foggy mutters sheepishly.

Matt shakes his head. “Describe it to me?”

“It’s a nice shade of green, the kind I imagine during a perfect spring day, the pastel shade a little lighter on the inside where the brown pit is. It’s really nice,” Foggy emphasizes again. He nods, and only manages to feel a little bad at Foggy’s quiet sigh of relief.

Maybe he should keep it since it makes Foggy so happy. It’s been such a long time since Foggy's sounded so thrilled at anything, he almost forgot how much missing it hurt until he heard it in Foggy’s voice again. Plus, it sounds like a nice tattoo; what’s half a fruit on his ankle in the grand scheme of things?

“Tell me about yours,” Matt requests, more so to distract himself from that sudden tug in his chest than to satisfy his curiosity about Foggy’s tattoo.

This time Matt can’t help matching his grin to Foggy’s as he pulls his sock a little lower and lets Matt trace his fingers over it. “It’s the other half of the avocado, so it’s almost identical, except my half doesn’t have the pit.”

“How did we decide that I should be the one getting the pit on my half?”

“You don’t remember?”

Matt shakes his head. The small puff of air that precedes the beam on Foggy’s face makes Matt lean closer towards Foggy’s warmth.

“The tattoo artist said only one of us could have the pit if we really wanted them to be matching tattoos, so, no brainer. It’s only fitting that you get the pit- we all know you’re the heart of the Avocados at Law, anyways: your unwavering sense of justice, your courage, your good looks— oof!”

Matt lunges for Foggy and pulls him in tight, burying his face in Foggy’s shoulders. He wants to shake his head and tell Foggy he’s wrong, that Foggy’s the heart and soul of this partnership, of everything , but his throat’s not working yet— it’s too tight, and so is his chest, so he hides in the comfort of the one person who knows him better than anyone else, and who, miraculously, stuck by him in spite of that.

He’s never getting rid of the tattoo. Ever.

“Yeah, you did that too last night,” Foggy chuckles, rubbing soothing circles into Matt’s back. They stay like that, two grown men clinging to each other like koalas, Matt losing himself in Foggy’s smell and heartbeat and breathing, until Karen’s standing in the doorway with— No way.

“Are those…?” Matt sniffs once, nose twitching.

“Yup,” Karen pops the ‘p’ at the end, the cheerful lilt in her voice matching his mood now. “I’m so glad these peacekeeping hot wings are now celebratory hot wings.” She jiggles the bag in her hand. They’re from that swanky shop that’s three blocks out of the way, and Karen’s in heels today— another reminder of just how overdue she is for a raise.

Foggy cheers and pulls out the table they used for their first victory meal together, when Karen cooked her Caserole à la Virtue for them. Buoyed by their good moods, they finish the wings in record time.

Matt licks his fingers, goofy smile in tow. “You’re the real heart of this firm, you know,” he says to Foggy, now that his throat’s not so constricted. “You make all this hard work worth it. Plus, you’ve got nicer hair. Pretty hair trumps everything, it's probably stated in an important document somewhere I’m sure.”

Foggy laughs. “Please. Like that was ever up for debate.”

“Ahem.”

“Oh! After you of course, Karen. Your hair’s the prettiest of all. So pretty it’s in a whole other league.” Foggy grins and mock-bows.

“So if pretty hair trumps everything, does that mean I’m the boss of the both of you?”

“Duh,” Foggy waves a hand while Matt nods. “This firm would be in shambles without the great Karen Page.” Karen hums in approval, then doesn’t quite manage to stifle her giggle.

Afterwards, she makes them pose for a picture with their tattoos, which ends up taking quite awhile because the two of them can’t stop goofing around until Karen threatens to terminate Milkshake Mondays.

Matt pipes in with a “me three” when Foggy asks Karen to print an extra copy for him, then quickly shuffles back to his office. He trails a hand along the edge of his desk, rearranges his files and stationery, and smiles when he’s done.

Finally, a small corner for photos. Photos he’ll never see, but fond reminders nonetheless, of moments captured, feelings preserved.

Reminders that they’ll always remain Avocados at law, for better or worse.