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through the bookcase, imagining a scene

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“He’s back,” Karen says, making Foggy jump and drop his armful of books. She winces and drops down immediately to help him pick them up.

“Matt?” Foggy asks. It’s an optimistic guess—there are a lot of guys who could be back, like the guy who sits in a study carrel and eats peanut butter out of a jar with his hands and Uncomfortable Religious Missionary Guy, who is actually three different guys.

“Yep,” she replies, nodding and widening her eyes when she grins. “He’s flirting with the circulation ladies, which means you’ve got just enough time to steal my shift at the reference desk before he gets there.”

“I owe you,” Foggy says.

“No, no, you cleaned up the last drunken vomit fiasco,” Karen says, pushing him gently in the right direction. “Go, flirt, sow your wild oats.”

“At work?  Scandalous, Page,” he says, over his shoulder as he hurries out of the stacks just in time to slide behind the desk before Matt walks up.

“Hi,” Matt says, smiling hesitantly.

“Hey, man, it’s your usual,” Foggy says. “What obscure legal precedent can I help you with today?”

“My usual,” Matt repeats, polite smile slipping into a genuine grin when he realizes who he’s talking to. “How am I lucky enough to always get your undivided attention, Mr. Nelson?”

“I’ve told you, it’s Foggy,” Foggy says, “and fate’s just funny like that, I guess.”

“I think it’s more like divine intervention,” Matt says, and he’s not wrong— divine intervention at the hand of one benevolent blonde goddess. Foggy’s going to have to remind Karen that he worships her more regularly than he already does.

“If you keep flirting with me like this, you’ll make Ethel jealous,” Foggy says, “and I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side. She’ll frame me for dog-earing books.”

Matt laughs, sounding a little surprised. Ethel is approximately 80 years old, and she has been working at the checkout desk since the Hell’s Kitchen branch opened. Allegedly, she’s been doting on Matt since he was a kid coming in to read books that were way outside his grade level; Foggy presses her for stories about him in the breakroom whenever he gets the chance, because he’s devoted and also a creep.

“Ethel knows my heart truly belongs to her,” Matt says, seriously. “Now, are you interested in helping me track down some specific housing maintenance codes?”

“There’s nothing I’d love more,” Foggy says, already headed to the right database.

“Thanks for pretending,” Matt says. “I wish I had more interesting questions for you.”

“Buddy, I had to call the police on patrons twice yesterday,” Foggy says. “Amateur paralegaling for you is genuinely the highlight of my week.”

When he glances back up from his screen, Matt’s looking pleased, scrubbing a hand through his already messy hair. It’s a look he pulls off. Foggy’s pretty certain that there aren’t many looks that Matt couldn’t pull off, and he is also pretty certain that they will have orchids at their wedding.

“Well, then,” Matt says. “Let’s talk tenant rights.”


Foggy knows a few things about Matt Murdock.

He saved a guy from actual certain death when he was a kid and lost his eye sight as a result. He has his own law firm that’s just barely staying afloat because he can’t stop taking pro-bono cases. He comes to the library when the minutia that gets too difficult to parse through with a screen reader gets in the way of his cases, because he can’t afford help from a paralegal and because he’s been coming to the library since he was a kid.

(Foggy secretly likes to think that it also has something to do with the fact that Foggy’s the one who’s helping him, but that’s a dangerous thought that he only lets himself have once or twice a day, mostly at night when he’s alone and not wearing pants.)

He knows that Matt Murdock is sharp and funny and kind of a nerd, and he knows that he’s got an ass that Foggy would be genuinely honored to touch.

One thing he doesn’t know about Matt Murdock is where the hell all his weird injuries come from.

“Fight club,” Karen says, firmly, sitting on the counter in the breakroom while the coffee brews. “He’s got that look about him.”

“Fight clubs aren’t real,” Foggy says, leaning beside her and shaking his head. When he looks up, Karen’s got her eyebrows raised.

“If you say so,” she says.

“. . .are—are you in a fight club? No, you know what, I don’t want to know,” he says, crossing his arms over his chest. “That’s not it. Do you think someone’s hurting him?”

“Yeah, I do,” she says, seriously. Foggy frowns up at her, and she continues, “That’s what they do in fight clubs.”

“Oh my god,” Foggy says. “I’m going to go talk to Ethel instead.”


“Nice shiner,” Foggy says, the next time Matt comes in with a list of weird legal questions and a fairly spectacular black eye. “Fight Brad Pitt recently?”

“Movie references don’t really work for me,” Matt says, smirking and pointedly adjusting his glasses.

Fight Club was based on a novel, I can get it in braille for you if you don’t mind waiting a couple of days for the interlibrary loan to go through,” Foggy says, then adds, casually, “I mean, if it’s relevant to your situation.”

“I walked into a lamp, Foggy,” Matt says, and his voice goes kind of shy when he says Foggy’s name, which makes Foggy’s heart genuinely flutter. “I’ll take you up on that book, though, if you think it’s worth reading.”

“Eh,” Foggy says, waving a hand in the air. “It’s okay. I can recommend better. How do you feel about erotic legal thrillers?”

“Why would I want to read a book about something I experience every day?” Matt asks, completely straight-faced. Foggy gapes at him for a full five seconds before he starts laughing so hard he has to gasp for air—it might be at least partially hysterical. It’s not fair that Matt’s funny, too, it’s just not.

“Shh,” Karen says, smirking at him from the other end of the desk where she’s helping someone download a book onto their Kindle. “This is a library.”

Matt looks smug.

“Okay, okay, caught me off guard there, but we’re back,” Foggy says, composing himself. “What do you have for me today?”

“I brought a list,” Matt says, brightly, sliding it across the desk to him. “How much time do you have?”

“As long as you need, buddy,” Foggy says.


“But does he ever say anything about me, Ethel?” Foggy asks, leaning up against the checkout desk and staring at her imploringly.

“Why are you so interested in Matty, kid?” she asks, narrowing her eyes at him, tapping a bright red nail on the counter.

“. . .pfft,” Foggy says. “No reason, just curious, maybe I want to be his friend.”

“Well, he could use a good friend,” she says, “and a nice girl to settle down with.”

“So, girls, then?” Foggy asks. “He’s into girls?”

“Well, I’ve never asked,” Ethel says, frowning at him.

“. . .could you?”


Things sort of piece themselves together when Foggy starts looking stuff up for Matt about very specific companies and people with connection to Hell’s Kitchen but also connections to some shifty underworld nonsense, if Foggy’s instincts tell him anything.

“You sure you don’t want an audiobook recommendation or something?” Foggy asks, leaning over the desk and lowering his voice. “Something that won’t implicate me in whatever crime you’re maybe committing?”

“I’m not asking for anything that isn’t public record,” Matt says, smiling a smile that’s mostly teeth.

“Very specific public records,” Foggy says, with a sigh. “I mean, my lips are sealed, patron-librarian confidentiality, but I’m concerned that we might dig a little too far and you’ll end up with shattered kneecaps.”

“Hey, I can take care of my own kneecaps,” Matt says. “Promise.”

Foggy looks at his face for a long moment. He sounded kind of serious there, smile softening, palms pressed down on the desk.

“Fuck,” Foggy says, under his breath. “Okay, let me dig through the incredible feats of bureaucracy that are publicly accessible city databases. I’m setting you up with an account to download audiobooks after this, though, I think you need some lighter fare for your free time.”

Matt beams. Foggy really hopes that he doesn’t end up swimming with the fishes, because it would really be a shame for the world to lose that smile.

Before Matt leaves, he laughs suddenly, lean heavily against the desk and says, “Oh, wait, did I tell you that Ethel tried to set me up with one of her granddaughters?”

Foggy goes still.

“No,” he says, slowly. “No, you did not.”


“You misinterpreted my intentions, Ethel.”


Foggy’s walking home after Karen and him and a team of people from their branch eviscerated their rivals at bar trivia when somebody grabs him and shoves him up against the nearest building.

“Wallet,” the guys says, pressing what Foggy’s pretty sure is the barrel of a gun into Foggy’s stomach.

“Sure!” Foggy says, agreeably, rambling as adrenaline hits him and he tries to get to it. “I’ll warn you, though, I’m a public servant, all I’ve got is, like, seventeen discount cards and a breath mint and a folded up library card application—you should definitely take that, though, I mean, knowledge is power and—”

He’s just pulling out his wallet when the guy is suddenly yanked away from him and thrown down to the concrete by a guy in all black. It takes a second for Foggy to realize that it’s the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. It takes about fifteen seconds for him to send the guy staggering and running with just the threat of further violence.

“Wow,” Foggy says, watching him go. The Devil looks like he’s about to follow him then hesitates, looking back at Foggy.

“Are you okay?” he asks, stepping back to kind of weirdly lurk in the shadows.

“I’m good,” Foggy says, shakily. “I mean, I didn’t get to give that young criminal a library card application, which maybe could have turned his life around but I also didn’t get shot, so. Okay outcome.”

The Devil laughs. It’s a nice laugh, weirdly sweet for somebody who stalks the night.

“Get home safe,” he says, nodding at Foggy before he steps back towards the alley he came out of.

Foggy’s not exactly sure what compels him to say, “Wait,” but he does, and, a beat later, the Devil’s slowly turning back around, head tilted.

Foggy says, “Uh,” then he’s digging something out of his wallet and stepping close to press it into the man’s hand.

“What’s this?” the Devil asks, softly.

“New York Public Library card application?” Foggy says, weakly. “Consider it a thank you.”

The Devil smiles. Like his laugh, it’s surprisingly charming.

“I’ll use it wisely,” he says, then disappears into the darkness.

“Tell it again,” Karen says, for the third time.

“Stop making me relive my trauma,” Foggy says, smiling and shaking his head, not looking up from the books he’s scanning.

“Come on,” she says. “You were rescued by a dangerous vigilante and you gave him a library card application. You should—hey, you should tell Matt.”

“Matt?” Foggy asks, then looks up to see Matt walking up to the reference desk in a full suit and tie. His hair is standing on end like maybe he forgot to brush it or he’s been running his fingers through it, and he looks a little shaky.

“Tell me what?” he asks.

“Foggy almost died last night,” Karen says, brightly.

“Oh, yeah?” Matt asks, angling his head towards Foggy. “Sounds like a good story. How about you tell it to me over dinner?”

“. . .dinner?” Foggy asks.

“That was—a bad line, I’m nervous, I came down here just to do this,” Matt says, laughing softly. “Let me buy you dinner?”

Karen gasps, and Foggy’s brain—shuts down, just momentarily, just for long enough for him to inanely spout out, “I like dinner.”

Matt’s smile blooms.

“Good,” he says, then digs in his pocket and pulls out a card, sliding it across the desk. “Give me a call when you get off work?”

Foggy nods, then laughs and says, “Uhm, I nodded. I’ll call you.”

Matt reaches out until his fingers brush over Foggy’s hand before he starts to walk away, but then Foggy says, abruptly, “Wait,” and, when Matt turns back with his eyebrows raised, “Why now, Matt?”

Matt stops to think about it, and Foggy watches the way his smile falters and picks back up again, cheeks a little pink. Matt runs a hand through his hair before he says, firmly, “Life’s short. I’m just starting to realize that.”

Karen clutches Foggy’s arm and makes a squeaking noise.

“Good answer,” Foggy says, weakly, then sinks against Karen as soon as Matt walks away. “Oh my god.”

“Oh my god,” Karen agrees.

Oh my god.


“. . .what exactly inspired you to give him a library card application?” Matt asks, sitting back in his chair and grinning at Foggy over the table. They’re at a quiet Italian place a couple of blocks from the library, and, after a solid five minutes of awkward stuttering at each other, have been too busy talking to finish eating.

“Instinct, I guess,” Foggy says. “Who doesn’t need the library in their life, you know? And, who knows, maybe he’ll find his way to the self-help books and discover a better method of taking out his anger issues than beating up criminals.”

Matt laughs, loud and sweet.

“You’re kind of a hero,” he says, kicking out so his foot brushes Foggy’s under the table.

“That’s me,” Foggy says, dryly. “I’m all about the heroism.”

“I’m being serious,” Matt continues. “What you do—you care, you know? You always go above and beyond when you’re helping me, and you don’t have to, but. . .you care about people.”

“Matt,” Foggy says, slowly. “Did you ever consider that I’m so helpful to you because I have a tremendously large crush on you?”

“I had an inclination,” Matt says, agreeably, “but don’t tell me you don’t treat all your patrons like they matter. I’m around, I know you’re great at your job.”

“You’ve been watching me, Murdock?” Foggy asks.

Matt smiles.

“Technically no,” he says. “I hear things, though.”

Foggy basks in the moment for a bit, taking a drink before he nudges Matt’s foot back and says, “We’re a couple of heroes, then. You defend the downtrodden with the power of law, I fight for literacy and accessible knowledge.”

“I’m not a hero,” Matt says, shaking his head.

“From what I’ve collected for you,” Foggy says, “I’m pretty sure you’re somehow taking on, like, three different criminal organizations at once. Seems heroic. Really stupid, but definitely heroic.”

“I’m just trying to help,” Matt says, smiling slow and careful when Foggy slides his foot a little higher up his ankle. “Why, Mr. Nelson.”

“Sorry,” Foggy says. “I’m just not convinced this isn’t an elaborate daydream, so I’m taking advantage.”

Matt bites his lip.

“How can I help convince you?” he asks, leaning forward and tapping his fingers on the table. Foggy glances up from his fingers up to Matt’s mouth, feeling light-headed. He reaches out to takes Matt’s hand and hold it on top of the table, gliding his thumb over it.

“I can think of a few things,” he says, choking on a laugh when Matt uses their linked hands to leverage him forward and into a kiss. Their first kiss, soft and careful, Matt’s fingers gently sliding into his hair.

“Something like that?” Matt asks, a little shyly, when they break apart.

“It’s a start,” Foggy says.


A couple of weeks and a few particularly notable nights later, Matt is in Foggy’s bed and Foggy’s kissing his way down Matt’s chest when he stops suddenly to glance up at him and asks, “You sure you don’t just have a librarian fetish?”

Matt sighs to cover a laugh, says, “No.”

“I’m just saying,” Foggy says, sprawling his fingers over Matt’s abs, which he’s seen several times already but still can’t completely believe. “You should probably know that I don’t have sexy glasses or wear pencil skirts and only occasionally put my hair in a bun.”

“How about cardigans?” Matt asks, reaching out until his fingers brush against Foggy’s face and he can cup his cheek. “That’s what really gets me.”

“I’ve been known to rock a cardigan,” he replies, letting his voice drop low.

“Yeah?” Matt breathes, thumb stroking Foggy’s skin. “How about the pencil behind the ear?”

“I’ve got one there right now,” Foggy says, and Matt grins then groans when Foggy sinks lower and settles between his legs, sliding fingers up Matt’s thighs to spread them further apart.

“Not a fetish,” Matt says, earnestly, dropping his head back against the pillows and sighing. “It’s just you.”

“Are you sure?” Foggy asks, “because from what I’ve seen, Ethel was a hot piece back in her heyday.”

Please don’t bring up Ethel when you’re about to suck my dick,” Matt says, pulling a face.



He’s helping Matt work out some information about the floorplans for a couple of warehouses downtown to link up to some evidence he says he has for one of his cases when Karen rushes up to the desk and says, “Quit flirting, boys, we’ve got a library emergency.”

“Oh, god, is it the flasher again?” Foggy asks. “I’ve seen way too much of him, in every possible way.”

“No, but the children’s staff all got that stomach flu that’s been going around,” Karen says, “and the children are asking for you.”

Foggy sighs.

“Storytime?” he asks.

Storytime?” Matt repeats, grinning.

“I was covering their desk and got three specific requests for Mr. Foggy,” Karen says. “Your adoring public awaits.”

Mr. Foggy,” Matt says.

You stay here,” Foggy says, rounding the desk and glancing fingers against Matt’s shoulder as he passes. “I’m going to go briefly make a fool of myself in the name of early literacy.”

“Have fun!” Karen calls.

Foggy’s not even remotely surprised when, halfway through a dramatic rendition of a Mo Willems book, he glances up to see Matt and Karen lurking in the doorway. Matt’s smiling softly, hip leaning against the frame, and he looks so fond that it makes Foggy stumble over the next line. They’ve been going out for about two months, and Foggy still can’t even look at Matt without losing his breath.

Once he finishes the book to rapturous child applause, he says, “And now, with her stunning rendition of If You’re Happy and You Know It, Ms. Karen Page!”

Karen mouths, “You son of a bitch,” at him but gamely switches places so Foggy can step out into the hallway with Matt.

“You’re good with them,” Matt says, warmly, wrapping fingers around Foggy’s forearm.

“What can I say?” Foggy says. “I’m universally adored.”

“It’s true,” Matt agrees, crowding into his space a little. “Can anybody see us?”

“You can’t ravish me right outside the storytime room, Murdock,” Foggy says, and Matt shakes his head, stepping forward to press a soft chaste kiss to Foggy’s mouth.

“I think they’re almost done clapping their hands,” he says. “You might want to go back in and save Karen.”

“Probably,” Foggy says. “You should get out of here. You shouldn’t be exposed to my singing voice before you’re too enamored with me for it to matter.”

“Too late,” Matt says. “Pretty sure I’m already there.”

Foggy full-on blushes and glances around to make sure there are no errant children before he kisses Matt one more time, in lieu of a reply. He goes back inside to do the last verse with Karen feeling light and pleased.


“How do you people know everything?” Matt asks, on the walk to Karen’s place after Foggy makes him come along to bar trivia.

“’s in the job description,” Karen says, swinging her arms at her sides.

“We win every week,” Foggy says. “Everybody hates us, but we have so many gift certificates that I can now provide for you, as long as you’ll settle for wings and cheap beer.”

“If you hadn’t asked Foggy out first—like a champ, by the way, good job—I was going to recommend that we bring you along to trivia so he could seduce you with his extensive knowledge of pop cultural minutia,” Karen says, nudging Matt before she sways ahead of them, cheeks pink and pushed up with a wide, drunk grin.

“Well,” Matt says, pulling Foggy a little closer. “Consider me further seduced.”

“I’ll expect proof of that later,” Foggy says, and Karen makes a gagging noise.

“Keep it in your pants,” she says, without any heat, shooting them a smirk over her shoulder.


“. . .am I helping you learn how to make a bomb, Matt?” Foggy asks, glancing between the tabs he has open.

“I, erm. . .” Matt says. “It’s for a case, I can’t—discuss details.”

“Sure,” Foggy says, gamely, watching Matt’s face intently, “but is that what I’m doing?”

“Not how to make them,” Matt says, “just. . .what they’re made from. How to recognize the materials. I can’t tell you anything else.”

“Not sure the city will see the distinction if somebody catches onto my search history,” Foggy says, faintly, “but let’s do it.”

“I can do it myself,” Matt says. “I shouldn’t have—I don’t want to get you in trouble, Foggy.”

“Hey, the library’s for everybody,” Foggy says, covering Matt’s hand with his own for a moment, the most PDA they’ll try to pull in full sight of other patrons. “Even people who need potentially incriminating information. Speaking of incriminating, maybe we should start with books—no paper trail.”

“Seriously, it’s not that important,” Matt says, turning his hand to lace their fingers together. “I don’t want you to worry about paper trails.”

Should I be worried?” Foggy asks, looking down at their linked hands before looking at Matt’s face again.

“No,” Matt says, shaking his head and squeezing Foggy’s hand before he lets go. “Definitely not. Let’s call it quits for today, okay? I’ll see you for dinner tonight?”

“I get off at six,” Foggy agrees, frowning at Matt’s back as he walks away.


It’s got to be a coincidence that Hell’s Kitchen blows up a few days later.

It’s—got to be.

That’s what Foggy tells himself when he sees the footage of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen on the news, when they link him to the explosions, when Matt doesn’t answer his phone. Anything short of coincidence seems—insane.

Matt can’t have anything to do with this.

When Matt continues to not answer his phone or come to the door when Foggy knocks and knocks, Foggy calls Karen and says, “Want to come over and call hospitals with me?”

“Still no word?” she asks.

“Not one,” Foggy replies, as calmly as he can.

“I’ll be there in a few.”

Foggy doesn’t tell her that he thinks Matt might have something to do with it, because he can’t think about it for too long without freaking out. He doesn’t need to worry Karen if he’s just jumping to conclusions.

They call every hospital in the area to no avail, and Foggy’s hands shake the whole time. He tells Karen that he doesn’t need her to stay, which is probably a lie, but about an hour after she’s gone and he leaves his tenth voicemail on Matt’s phone, Matt shows up at his front door looking fucked up. But alive.

“You asshole,” Foggy says, pulling him into a hug. Matt’s wince is audible but he hugs back fiercely, burying his face in Foggy’s neck.

“Sorry,” he breathes. “Sorry, I’m so sorry.”

“Are you hurt?” Foggy asks, stepping back to look at him—Matt’s always got some injury that he keeps passing off as accidents, and Foggy almost always believes him, but these go further.

“I was with a client,” Matt says. “We were—close to where one of the bombs went off.”

“You didn’t go to a hospital?” Foggy asks. “I ask because I know you didn’t, because I called them all to make sure you weren’t dead.”

“I patched myself up,” Matt says. “I’m fine.”

Foggy runs his fingers over one of the bandages on his head.

“You sure seem fine,” he says.

Matt takes off his glasses, tucks them in his pocket before he leans in to kiss Foggy—Foggy turns his face on instinct, so Matt’s lips press against his cheek and Matt says his name, softly, startled.

“Matt, come sit down so we can have a really weird conversation,” Foggy says. Matt hesitates but eventually follows him to the couch, sitting close, his hand on Foggy’s knee.

“I promise I’m fine,” Matt starts.

“We can discuss the actual definition of the word fine,” Foggy says, “right after you assure me that it’s completely crazy for me to think that maybe you had something to do with those bombs.”

Matt hesitates. That’s the thing—he hesitates, and Foggy’s been working with the public for so long that he’s pretty damn good at reading people. A guy who had nothing to do with a terrorist attack doesn’t hesitate before he stumbles out with the weakest, “No, of course I didn’t,” that Foggy’s ever heard.

“Matt,” Foggy says, softly. “I can keep a secret, I promise, just tell me what you’ve gotten yourself wrapped up in.”

Matt doesn’t say anything, ducking his head. Foggy lets out a shaky sigh.

“Why would you ask me to help you research it?” he asks. “Did you think I couldn’t put it together?”

“I thought I could stop it,” Matt says, soft and fierce, pulling his hand away to curl it into a fist in his lap, “and you wouldn’t know, because nobody would have gotten hurt—but I couldn’t.”

“Stop it? You didn’t. . .”

“No, no, the police are wrong, I didn’t do any of this,” Matt continues, raising his face towards Foggy imploring. “I was trying to fix it. You have to believe me.”

Foggy probably should have realized it before, with the weird injuries, with Matt’s laugh so shockingly sweet, the way the Devil almost looked like he wanted to touch him that night. Even though it doesn’t make sense for his boyfriend to be a violent vigilante, Foggy still should have realized.

“The police are saying it was the Devil, Matt,” he says.

Matt’s face breaks his heart, exhausted and resigned, but he digs in his pocket for his wallet and pulls out a folded up piece of paper. Foggy’s breath catches.

“It’s a long story,” Matt says.

“I like stories,” Foggy says.


Matt’s story is some classic archetypical hero shit. If Foggy was reading it, he’d probably think it was a little too derivative, but he’s not reading it—Matt’s holding his hand like he thinks Foggy might run away and telling him it all carefully and steadily.

“Why did you ask me out, Matt?” he asks. “You had to know that I would get too close, that I’d find out.”  

“Someone pulled a gun on you, Foggy,” Matt says. “The idea of losing you before I even got to love you—I had to take a chance. Even if I lose you now.”

“Life’s short,” Foggy says, and Matt nods and kisses his hand, just once.

“Am I?” he asks, hoarsely, almost a whisper. “Losing you?”

“I have a lot to think about,” Foggy says, “but. . .Matt, I thought you were dead and also a terrorist about an hour ago. Right now, I just want you to come to bed with me.”

Matt’s grateful smile breaks through the tension that’s been sitting on his face.

Please,” he says, collapses into the kiss when Foggy pulls him to his feet and steps in close. Foggy kisses him intently, licking into Matt’s mouth while he slowly trails a hand from his shoulder to hip.

“Come on, sweetheart,” Foggy says, kissing him as he walks them backwards towards Foggy’s tiny bedroom until the back of Matt’s knees are pressed up against the bed. Matt falls backwards with a hoarse pained noise but pulls Foggy down on top of him, arches up to kiss him harder, fingers tugging urgently at Foggy’s hair.

“Please,” he murmurs, again, against Foggy’s mouth. “Foggy, please.”

“No more lies, okay, Matt?” Foggy says, sitting up to look at Matt’s flushed face.

“No more lies,” Matt repeats, nodding. “I promise.”

Foggy doesn’t know if he believes him, but Matt looks so earnest underneath him that he wants to. He wants to believe him so much that it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t, not right now.

“That’s a start,” he says, before he stops resisting the urge to pin Matt down against his mattress and show him just how worried he was about him, pressing kisses to every bruise.


The next time Matt comes to the reference desk while Foggy’s working, he says, “Excuse me, sir, I heard that you give really excellent audiobook recommendations.”

Foggy smiles at him.

“You know what,” he says. “I really do.”

“Something light,” Matt says. “Maybe romantic. I thought I might invite somebody over to listen to it with me, so it would be nice to set the mood.”

“50 Shades of Gray it is, then,” Foggy says, and Matt laughs.

“Sounds good,” he says. “You coming over tonight?”

“If you’ll bring food, I’ll bring a book that’s not horrifying,” Foggy says. “Maybe I’ll even read it to you.”

“I’d like that,” Matt says. "I like listening to you."

“Flattery will get you most places, Murdock. Now,” Foggy says. “Do you need me to look up home remedies to—bullet wounds or something? Or is this just a social call?”

Matt shakes his head.

“I haven’t been shot in months,” he says.

“That’s so comforting,” Foggy replies, dryly, and Matt smiles again.

“Anybody watching?” he asks, leaning over the desk a little.

“You gonna try to ravish me on the desk this time?” Foggy asks. “Because I’ve had dreams like that, but I’m afraid I like my job too much to lose it.”

Matt just leans over enough to kiss Foggy’s cheek and ruffle his hair a little.

“See you later,” he says.

“Don’t do anything dumb in the next six hours,” Foggy says, and Matt shoots him a finger gun before he leaves, because he’s a liar and a criminal but he’s also a dork. And he’s Foggy’s. That’s also important.

He looks up when he hears a cough. From the end of the stacks, Karen calls, “Unprofessional conduct, far too cute for the workplace.”

“Shh,” Foggy calls back. “This is a library.”