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Down To The River

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“Who let you in?”

The red sunglasses glitter like rubies in the dim light and Frank receives a shark’s smile from the doorway. “C’mon now, Captain,” Murdock purrs, pushing himself off the doorframe and sauntering over to Frank’s desk. His cane – not the folding version, Frank notices – taps the edge of the desk and Murdock leans a hip against it. “Take pity on a poor blind man. I simply asked for directions to the men’s room and must’ve gotten turned around.”

“Clear around to the other side of the building, sure,” Frank snorts, moving the box he’s packing to keep Murdock in his field of vision. “I see you lost your tail too.”

“Genya?” Murdock shrugs and runs his fingers along a picture frame before Frank snatches it away. “Had to let him go. Wasn’t down with the new vision, so to speak.”

Frank gently places the photograph in the box and puts the lid on it. He doesn’t have time for this, never has time for Murdock’s games, but something keeps drawing him to the scumbag again and again. “I thought his name was Viktor,” he mutters, stacking the box on top of the first and scanning the office quickly.

“Eh, something burly and Russian. I get ‘em all mixed up and their employment usually doesn’t last long. It’s a shame, really.”

“Why are you here?” Frank asks, exasperated. Not that he expects a straight answer out of Murdock, he never does, but he’s lucky he was even given time to pack his shit after the whole Internal Affairs investigation. “Ten words or less.”

Murdock makes a face and hops up on the now-bare desk. He lets his cane dangle between his legs, idly tapping it against the threadbare carpet. “I can’t wonder how you’re doing?”

“Four words left,” Frank growls, grabbing his suit jacket from the back of the chair and stuffing his arms into the sleeves. He stalks past Murdock to take his awards and medals down from the walls.

A leg blocks his path and Frank can feel his hackles start to rise. Murdock reaches out and slides Frank’s tie through his fingers, his leg hooking around Frank’s thigh. “I missed you,” he murmurs, tilting his head up to face Frank’s and counting out the words on his free hand. “Happy?”

Not even remotely. Frank’s brain protests even as his body sways helplessly into Murdock’s space, his mind flashing back to their last “encounter” – the last non-violent one, anyway. Sure, it was arguably the hottest sex of Frank Castle’s life, but even the best fuck in the world can’t erase the nausea that threatens to rise at the thought of being so close to the slimeball.

“Back off,” Frank snarls, his face contorting with barely controlled rage.

Murdock’s smile widens, a flash of stupidly white teeth that Frank has the urge to break. The hand sliding up Frank’s tie comes to rest just above his heart. He rises sinuously, his breath warm against Frank’s face, his mouth twisted in a crooked grin. “You first.”

Frank wants to shove him away, to shove him out the goddamned window, but this stupid attraction won’t let him. He knows it, and, even worse, Murdock knows it. A low growl rips through his throat and he lets his hands fall to Murdock’s narrow waist, his fingers digging in hard enough to bruise. He shoves Murdock back against the desk, a spark of arousal shooting through him at Murdock’s pleased gasp.

He sinks his teeth into Murdock’s neck, alternating between worrying the flesh with his teeth and sucking a bruise into it. The cane clatters to the floor and a hand fists itself into Frank’s too long hair almost painfully. He’s tugged closer, Murdock’s head tilting back with a sinful moan to give him better access.

Murdock’s already hard in his expensive suit pants as Frank grinds their hips together. The bastard may have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to knowing what Frank wants, but he’s stupidly easy to get revved up – thank God for small miracles.

Frank slides his hands down to Murdock’s ass and lifts him up onto the desk, stepping neatly in between his spread legs and pushing him down until he’s flat on the desk. Bracing one hand on the desk, Frank continues his assault on Murdock’s neck and palms the hard cock through the soft material of his pants.

“God, Frank,” Murdock breathes, arching up into Frank’s hand. His needy panting sends shivers along Frank’s spine just from the mere idea that he can make someone like Matt Murdock come apart so easily.

“Shut up,” Frank growls, moving a hand from Murdock’s hip to press against his throat. “Don’t wanna hear you speak.” The moans and cries are one thing, but he’s in no mood to listen to Murdock’s silver tongue.

Murdock’s cock twitches under Frank’s hand and he writhes on the desk, the picture of wanton sin. His grin widens as Frank’s fingers tighten around his throat and he lets his hand fall from Frank’s hair to brush slowly over Frank’s face, first his brow, then his nose, then ghosting over his lips. “Can only imagine what we must look like,” he manages to gasp. “Two sides of the same coin, you and I.”

The words are like a splash of ice water and Frank jerks backward like he’s been shot. He stumbles over one of the boxes but manages to stay upright, his chest heaving with a mix of horror and arousal. He brushes his hair out of his eyes with a trembling hand, nausea rising in his throat at the memory of Murdock’s hands – the hands of a cold-blooded killer – almost tenderly touching his face.

“Get out,” he rasps, readjusting his tie and fixing his rumpled suit jacket.

It’s only a small comfort that Murdock’s still lying on the desk, a baffled look on his handsome fucking face, his dick still tenting his pants. He tilts his head slightly and sits up, his brow furrowing. “Can’t exactly go back into public like this,” he says carefully, gesturing at his groin. “If you’re gonna get me all hot and bothered and leave me high and dry, the least you could do is let me hang out for a minute until I’m presentable again.”

“Tough shit.” Frank pulls his Glock – his own personal piece; IA confiscated his NYPD issued weapon – from his belt and watches Murdock’s eyebrows raise as he thumbs the safety. “I said get out. If I see you again, I’ll kill you.”

Murdock hops off the desk, tapping the floor with his shoe until he finds his cane. He adjusts himself in his pants and smooths the wrinkles out of his suit, the smug look never leaving his face despite his dishevelled appearance. Rolling his shoulders, he deliberately taps his cane against Frank’s shoe and leans in close, boldly ignoring the gun that presses into his chest.

“You can put your toy away, Captain,” Murdock purrs. “You don’t need to impress me and it’s going to take a lot more than threatening my life to get me to believe you. We’ll keep that between us though, shall we? Don’t want the NYPD adding more to your file.”

Frank bristles, his lip curling in a silent snarl as Murdock presses a kiss to his cheek.

“Don’t worry, sweetheart. Your secret is safe with me.”

~*~*~*~

“The files you requested on the Captain, Master Murdock.”

“Thank you, Otomo,” Matt says absently, taking the file and flipping it open. He skims his fingers along the Braille text and grunts. Nothing he doesn’t already know. “I trust you arranged for the lovely ex-Mrs. Castle and her dear children to be watched?”

“Satsuke is leading the guard. She also has her own protection detail after the Captain’s latest outburst.”

Matt snorts, his hands continuing to move over the documents. “Idiots. Frank would never do anything to harm Maria or his children,” he mutters. “He may be a wild card, but he’s no monster. There’s a method to his madness, Otomo.”

Otomo is still beside Matt’s desk, his heartbeat steady. “As you say, Master.”

Leaning back in his chair, Matt tilts his head toward Otomo and idly toys with his folded cane. “You don’t care for him,” he says, forcing himself to unclench his jaw. “Speak freely. What is it about our disgraced ex-Captain that makes you grind your teeth?”

There’s a long silence. To his credit, Otomo’s heartbeat only ticks up a notch for a mere second or two before he gets himself under control. “He’s a liability, Master. Every second you spend in his company, you endanger the Hand’s presence here and all we have worked to achieve.” Otomo hesitates, exhales quietly, his heart beating three times out of rhythm. “He’s changing you, Master Murdock. You have a weakness for him.”

Matt fights back to instinctive urge to eviscerate the man where he stands. Otomo’s an excellent aide, and such a reaction would probably just prove his point. “Just because I’m fucking someone doesn’t mean I’m going weak, Otomo,” he says, keeping his tone courtroom calm. “I don’t have to take a vow of chastity to be the Western Sun.”

Otomo takes several breaths before he starts speaking again, the tension in his voice evident. “With all due respect, Master, he is a danger. He knows you killed Wilson Fisk, he can connect you to at least ten other killings, he knows about Spider-Woman… When the Punisher gets hold of something he doesn’t let it go.”

His aide’s heartbeat is rising rapidly, his normally stoic demeanour cracking. “You wouldn’t have let anyone else live so long with the knowledge he has. You don’t think clearly around him. You-“

Otomo’s words are cut off with a howl of pain as Matt unsheathes his sword and stabs the tip through his foot.

“Let me be clear,” Matt hisses as he grabs Otomo by the front of his shirt and hauls him down over his desk. He twists the hilt of his sword, hearing the bones grind against steel. “Frank Castle is under my protection. His life is worth ten times that of anyone in this organization, including yours; do you understand?”

A small moan escapes Otomo and Matt shakes him like a rag doll. Yanking the sword out of Otomo’s foot, Matt flips it and presses the flat of the blade against the man’s neck.

“Yes!” Otomo gasps, trembling and reeking of fear. “I understand!”

“See that you continue to,” Matt growls, releasing Otomo and flicking the blade down. He smirks as the sword slices cleanly through Otomo’s hand, severing his last two fingers on his right hand. “Let the others know. Get yourself cleaned up and out of my office, these rugs were just cleaned,” he says over Otomo’s whimpers.

Slumping back into his seat, he digs a rag out from one of his desk drawers and wipes the blood from his weapon. Fucking Otomo. He doesn’t like having to discipline his underlings – some of them, anyway – and Otomo’s long since been a loyal ally. If doubt has trickled this far up the chain of command, well… Matt may have to send a message to everyone under the Western Sun.

Grimacing, he sheathes his blade back into his folding cane and pages a janitor up to his office and a biohazard team. His fingers twitch and he mentally curses Otomo again and curses Frank while he’s at it. He’d been in a perfectly decent mood until Frank had decided to be a tease and Otomo question his judgement. A trip to Fogwell’s might be in order to let off some steam.

Christ, he hates feeling like this: edgy, out of control, hearing the blood pounding in his veins. A good fight or fuck usually does the trick, but he’s never been able to get a decent bout going at Fogwell’s – too many idiots thinking they need to go easy on the blind guy – and somehow he doesn’t think showing up at Frank’s apartment would be the best choice, despite Frank’s obvious lie about wanting to kill him.

The janitor and cleaning crew arrive, all of their heartbeats racing as they enter the room. Matt gets to his feet and pulls his jacket on, annoyed by their fear. He can’t think in this place anymore; normally fear is intoxicating, something to be relished, but right now it stinks, an acrid scent that lingers in the air and contaminates everything it touches.

“Get me a car,” Matt orders, brushing past the jittery cleaning crew with a sweep of his cane. He needs a different kind of break tonight, away from the Hand, away from his responsibilities as New York’s Kingpin, and, as much as he hates to admit it, away from Frank fucking Castle.

He taps out a number on his phone, one that comes automatically even though he rarely uses it these days, as he makes his way down to the front of the building and waits impatiently for his car.

“Y’know, there used to be a time where I didn’t dread your calls, Matt,” the voice on the other end of the line sighs.

“C’mon now, Foggy,” Matt says with a grin. “Old friends can’t just call to say hello?”

~*~*~*~

Sometimes Frank wishes he could just get out of his own skin.

He’s back in his shitty motel room – he can’t bear to go back to his own home, not with the ghosts of Maria and the kids still haunting the place – and he’s so restless that he just wants to claw at his skin, his hair, tear everything down until there’s nothing of Frank Castle left. He knows there’s no one to blame but himself, but he doesn’t know how to change, how to be the man Maria wanted him to be. Maybe being War Machine fucked him up, or maybe the Marines, or maybe he was already heading down this path even before then, but at least the NYPD gave him an outlet for his obsessions, for his... quirks.

He growls out his frustration and turns the hot water faucet up higher until he can barely stand the spray pounding like acid against his flesh.

Maybe he should have stayed with Murdock. The darkness the man represents is always tempting, the delicious blend of pleasure and pain that always comes with sex, something Frank never knew he craved and is still somewhat ashamed about. He can still feel the bite of Murdock’s nails raking down his back, the blunt force of his fingers at his hips, the bruises sucked into the insides of Frank’s thighs.

Frank’s cock twitches in interest despite the scalding water. Sighing, Frank stands under the spray for another minute before wrenching the tap off. His body’s fixated on Murdock today and isn’t going to let up.

He grabs the threadbare towel from the back of the toilet and dries himself off, the scratch of the rough fabric against his overheated skin only putting him more on edge. Towelling his too long hair, Frank pads out of the bathroom and collapses onto the bed.

Denying his baser urges usually isn’t this difficult. His sex drive has never been high and typically easy enough to ignore, even more so after Maria left that night. Ever since his night with Murdock though, it’s all he can think about.

Growling in frustration, he throws the towel into the corner of the room and glares at the ceiling. His fingers twitch at his side, looking for a trigger that isn’t there, and finally clench into the starched sheets.

Murdock was unlike any other lover he’d ever had, the whole male thing notwithstanding. He’d delighted in Frank’s dark side, equally as eager to fight him as he was to fuck him. Frank wasn’t used to that kind of raw enthusiasm and the emotions it’d brought out in him.

Passion. Something Frank hadn’t even been aware he’d missed.

Biting his lip, he palms his cock, surprised at how hard he is. His hand feels too big, too rough, and he tries to remember what Maria’s hand felt like. Slim fingers, soft skin; it’s not enough though, and the hand he’s picturing shifts, becoming larger, with calloused fingertips and scars along the knuckles. Fingers that have been broken as many times as Frank’s have, fingers that have been coated in as much blood.

Groaning, Frank tilts his head back against the pillow and squeezes his dick, letting fluid collect at the tip before using it to ease his strokes. Murdock’s scent comes to mind immediately, surprisingly not drowned in expensive cologne, but clean and masculine under a faint sheen of sweat. He craves that scent, especially now, craves the taste of Murdock’s skin.

He remembers being surprised at the amount of scars on Murdock’s body, remembers tracing hard muscle with his lips, leaving his own bruises and marks on pale flesh. The cries and curses haunt Frank’s dreams, but right now it’s Murdock’s laughter that spurs him on, Murdock’s delight as Frank fucked into him harder, rougher, faster.

Frank’s legs fall open, his toes curling into the sheets, bucking into his fist. His free hand drifts down his abdomen, tracing over his inner thigh, over the bruises that’ve since faded, and cups his balls, keeping up constant light pressure. His eyes drift shut, his hair damp over his forehead just as it had been that night.

If he pretends, he can almost feel Murdock’s weight settled over his hips. He thrusts up erratically, keening out his frustration as he fucks into his hand. His imagination’s good, but it’s not enough, he’s not enough, he needs…

“That’s it, Frank. Let me see who you really are.”

Murdock’s mocking tone echoes in Frank’s head and his dick twitches in response, fluid dripping down the shaft. His harsh pants sound hollow alone in the motel room and he lets himself drift further into the memory.

“I’m not afraid of your demons, Frank. Let them come out and play.”

Frank rolls over onto his stomach, getting his knees underneath him and bracing with one hand on the headboard that’s seen better days. His hand speeds up on his cock, his hips moving in quick, rough thrusts.

Murdock hadn’t had too many coherent words after Frank had flipped them and pinned both of his wrists above his head. He’d thrown his head back in ecstasy, those vacant blue eyes squeezing shut as he came untouched over his stomach while Frank pounded into him.

The memory of Murdock’s cries was enough, of Frank’s name being bitten out as both a prayer and a curse. Frank’s orgasm hits him like a punch to the gut, leaving him gasping and reeling as his hips jerk spasmodically and his legs tremble with exertion. The headboard creaks dangerously under his hand and he lets go, collapsing face first into the damp pillow, his hand automatically moving lightly over his dick through the aftershocks.

He gives himself one last squeeze that’s almost painful before he lets go and falls onto his side, his chest heaving. He’s sticky with sweat and semen and he really should have waited to shower but he’s too tired to move. Sighing, he wipes his hand on a corner of the bed and grimaces down at the wet spot. His pillow’s probably a lost cause too, soaked through from his hair.

God, he’s pathetic.

Rising on still unsteady legs, Frank strips the covers off the bed and balls them up into a heap in the corner. There’s still a wet spot in the centre of the bed, but at least it’s smaller now and honestly Frank’s slept in worse. He grabs a spare pillow from the closet and flops back down with a groan.

He has to do something about Murdock. The evil sonofabitch has tainted everything, gotten too deep into Frank’s head, and Frank knows how scumbags like Murdock work and yet here he is, ignoring every red flag in the fuckin’ book. He should arrest him – or, better yet, kill him – and be done with it.

A headache teases behind his eyes, a familiar sensation whenever he thinks too hard about Matt Murdock. The man’s rich laughter ghosts through his mind as his memory drifts back to the aftermath of that night, when they’d both finished and Frank’d ran his hands through the long red hair without thinking. He remembers pressing a soft kiss over each of Murdock’s sightless eyes, the peace he’d felt in that moment.

Murdock’s voice had been soft, almost reverential, a hint of surprise colouring his words, as if he’d somehow expected a far different outcome.

The afterglow hadn’t lasted long. Frank had taken one look at the welts and bruises he’d left on Murdock’s body, felt the burn of the ones mottling his own, and raced for the bathroom, the horror of what he’d just done coming to fruition.

And now, here he was, jacking off in some skeezy motel room to the memory of night spent with a psychopath.

How far the once decorated Lieutenant Frank Castle had fallen.

Fuck. He’ll deal with it in the morning. The entire day he’ll just chalk up to a lapse in judgement and blue balls, maybe a side effect of the new sleeping pills or some shit.

He punches the pillow until it’s only mildly uncomfortable and pulls the sheet up to his waist. As his eyes close and exhaustion sinks its claws into him, he tries his best not to think about how, for the first time in a long time, he felt like he belonged somewhere when he was in the Kingpin’s arms.