“Elitist fuckers! We’re gonna sue you for all your worth and then we’re gonna sue you for that just fucking watch!”
Matt woke to the sound of Foggy’s voice in his ears and the bass of the other man’s heartbeat thundering beneath his skin.
It wasn’t the first time he’d woken to Foggy arguing with someone, Matt was familiar with that but this was the first time that he couldn’t remember how he’d gotten to this point.
Inhaling slowly he tensed as the scent of gun oil and harsh cleaning products clogged his nose.
Turning his head to the side he focused on the sound of footsteps passing to and fro, each tread sending a wave of sound echoing through his head that ricocheted against the walls forming a black and white image behind his closed eyelids.
It was almost like he could actually see, something so different from the abilities that he’d developed and Matt was so focused on seeing more, on getting more of this thing that he’d lost that he didn’t even realize he was hyperventilating until there were hands on his face and a familiar voice that snapped his mind out of the fugue he’d fallen into.
“That’s it, man, just breathe.”
Foggy’s voice was calmer than his heart, which was beating up a staccato in Matt’s head, but he listened and focused on the gentle cadence of Foggy’s words instead of the world outside that was threatening to drown him in sensations.
“I’m okay,” he whispered as he tried to sit up and he bit back the whine that tried to rip its way out of his throat as Foggy stepped back…that was new but right now it wasn’t what Matt chose to focus on. “What happened?”
“You kind of got between our client and the guy trying to kill him. You flipped on him…the attacker, not our client. Freaked me the hell out, let me tell you, I almost thought you could see again…”
The words made Matt flinch but Foggy didn’t seem to notice because his heartbeat was still steady but the more he spoke, the more the waves of his voice shifted around him, bouncing against the walls of the place that they were in before flowing back towards them.
Matt turned his head as the sound washed over a chair? Yes, that was definitely a chair and the bed he was on before colliding with Foggy and Matt traced the lines of Foggy’s body with his mind as the grey scaled image solidified before fading as Foggy took a breath.
“Then you sort of attacked the cops who came to arrest the guy,” Foggy added and Matt’s head snapped towards him.
Foggy was silent but the air around him shifted like he’d moved and Matt could guess that he’d probably shrugged or something because despite their years together Foggy always forgot that he was blind…it was something that amused Matt as much as it annoyed him.
“Sorry, I shrugged,” Foggy muttered after a second and there was a scent on the air that Matt couldn’t place but before he could get lost in it Foggy was talking again. “You almost brained the first cop and you wouldn’t let the other one in, which wasn’t really a problem because I don’t think he actually wanted to come inside…you were sort of growling.”
Matt could feel his face doing something strange but whatever it was it made Foggy huff out a laugh so he guessed it couldn’t be too bad.
“They called for backup but these pricks got there first,” Foggy hissed and the anger in his voice was easily identifiable. “Apparently they’d been keeping an eye on you because your dad was a latent sentinel and so was his dad, it’s like your entire family had the gene and the aggression just not the senses and they figured that you wouldn’t be any different because…”
“Because I’m blind?” Matt guessed and something spicy filtered into his sense, burning the synapses as it went.
He knew enough about the centre to know that they’d probably have written him off the second that the accident happened. With Sentinels and Guides making up less than five per cent of the population the centre could afford to be specific and prejudiced because no one was going to complain and even if they did they could be bought off pretty damn easily.
“Fuck them!” Foggy spat and the bed dipped as he settled beside Matt. “You’re still awesome and if they couldn’t see that until you came online then you don’t have to listen to anything they say.”
Matt blinked slowly as Foggy’s words slammed up against the sensations that were still filtering into his system, like someone had amplified all of his previous abilities and set them on fast-forward.
Foggy shifted and the bed shifted with him. “Yeah, you’re a sentinel now which is cool and all but don’t think that means you get to leave me behind no matter what these idiots say.”
Matt held himself completely still as he tried to assimilate that information.
He didn’t know much about sentinels, well nothing other than what they were all taught in school and when his eighteenth birthday had come and gone he’d put the information out of his head because he didn’t think he’d have any use for it.
His grandfather had told him stories about his father who had apparently been a sentinel but Matt had lost the man to dementia before he was old enough for the stories to take root.
“They busted in like the men in black, then one of them freaking shot you…”
Foggy’s voice snapped Matt from his own thoughts and he could almost feel the tension radiating off of the other man.
“They fucking shot you with a tranq dart and we’re totally gonna sue their asses for that, you hear me?” Foggy shouted and Matt didn’t have to guess that he was aiming that at whoever was listening in on them. “They said you were feral or something, don’t know what the hell that meant but you sound fine now.”
Matt’s brows furrowed because he knew about feral sentinels and sending a civilian in with one wasn’t something that he’d expected the council that governed the centre to ever do.
“Why are you in here?”
The mattress jerked and Matt turned in the direction of Foggy’s voice, listening to the way that his heart stuttered before it resumed its steady beat.
“I might have mouthed off to the guard and he sort of tossed me in here…the fucker,” Foggy muttered.
There was something else there, something niggling at the edge of Matt’s consciousness but he couldn’t focus on it enough to pull the information to the fore of his mind.
“I’m not leaving you in here, alright?” Foggy whispered and Matt nodded because that much was a given…it was everything else that was up in the air.
“How long do you think they’re going to keep us in here?” Matt asked and Foggy shrugged, Matt knew that because at some point Foggy had gravitated closer to him, so close that their shoulders were pressed together on the narrow bed.
He also knew that because of the way that his voice flowed over Foggy, forming an image for a flicker of a second before fading away as the sound did.
“Dunno, I sort of implied that the guards were cretins so I’d say don’t hope for any time soon,” Foggy muttered and Matt sighed because that was just like Foggy, so quick to rush to Matt’s defense that he often put himself in danger without a second thought.
It made something sour curdle in Matt’s stomach because Foggy put himself on display, heart and soul for Matt while he hadn’t been doing the same for years.
Foggy had apparently taking his sighing as a reprimand because he huffed.
“What, you expected me to just stand there when he was badmouthing the two of us? He called you a cripple, Matt! He’s lucky that he’s like seven feet tall and built like a linebacker or I’d totally have decked him,” Foggy grumbled and Matt couldn’t help but snort as he turned towards Foggy’s voice and from the heat washing over his face he could guess that Foggy hadn’t exactly moved away. “I mean insult me all you want, I’m used to that but nobody calls Matt Murdock a cripple.”
“Foggy, calm down,” Matt whispered, partially because Foggy’s raised voice had been making his ears ring but partially because he hated it when Foggy was agitated. He always felt like there were ants under his skin when Foggy was upset and today was no exception. “Those guys don’t know me, it doesn’t matter what they say.”
“It matters to me,” Foggy shot back.
“Well the only words that matter to me are the ones you say!” Matt retorted before he realized what he was about to say.
Foggy’s heartbeat stuttered and Matt wished that he could take the words back and smother them in the darkness that was his home but he couldn’t.
They’d danced around this thing for years and the last thing Matt wanted was to make Foggy uncomfortable…to make Foggy want to leave.
“That doesn’t mean I can’t get pissed,” Foggy groused and Matt wanted to laugh or maybe he wanted to cry because Foggy’s heart was steady and sure like what Matt had all but just confessed didn’t matter. “You get mad when people say things about me and I know I’m not as smart as you are or half as good looking but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to sit back and…”
“Foggy…” Matt cut in, reaching for Foggy’s arm and sliding his hand down it until he could tangle their fingers together because Foggy was never supposed to talk about himself like that, not when Foggy was the only source of light in the shadows, that Matt lived with every day.
“…if you get to stand up for me, I get to stand up for you, Matt, that’s how it works. You can’t just tell me to shut up and let them say anything they want because I won’t.”
“Okay,” Matt whispered, listening as Foggy’s heart slowed from the thunderous cacophony to something softer and much more familiar. “Okay, I won’t tell you that,” he repeated and the image of Foggy, that his voice allowed him, nodded.
“We’re in this together,” Foggy muttered and Matt didn’t respond, he just squeezed Foggy’s fingers.
Matt woke the second that the footsteps hesitated in front of the door, his brain snapping online as he scented the newcomer and the absence of any smell had a growl riding his breath, the sound flowing as natural as breathing for him and by his side Foggy sniffed in his sleep.
Matt kept his hand in Foggy’s as he sat up, turning his face towards the sound of the new heartbeat that lingered on the edge of his space…his territory.
“Mr Murdock, I know you can hear me and I mean you no harm but I must assess the condition of your guide.”
Matt’s brows furrowed, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he responded, guessing that the person on the other side of the door was a sentinel and his guess was confirmed when the woman didn’t miss a beat.
“The young man that the guards brought with you, our team tells me that they detected a developing bond between the two of you,” the woman responded and Matt opened his mouth to tell her she was wrong before he snapped it shut.
That was what he’d been trying to remember. They’d taught them that the only person who should approach a feral sentinel was his or her guide…no one else.
“Foggy?” he whispered and even in his sleep Foggy shifted closer at the sound of his name.
“You’re a’ight, Matty,” he slurred and Matt shivered at the sensation that followed the words, like a cool balm being placed over his head and heart.
“I believe that we need to have a little chat, Mr Murdock,” the woman sighed.
“A guide?” Foggy spluttered, “Okay, you’re wrong, like you’re so wrong that you need your brain checked…no offense. Matt, tell her she’s wrong!”
Matt shook his head to clear it as the ebbs and swells of Foggy’s voice pulled him in like the tide.
“You might not be wrong,” he responded and Foggy made a sound like a scalded cat.
“That’s not what I told you to say,” he hissed but Matt just grinned at him because Foggy’s anger was what he’d smelt before because it crackled along the edge of his sense now, spicy and tingly in his nose even as it slithered beneath his skin peppered with another scent that Matt took as discomfort. It was like every one of Foggy’s emotions came with a unique smell and Matt couldn’t wait to explore them all.
“I’m just being honest,” he responded, flinching away when Foggy poked him in the side. “I don’t think she’s wrong, Foggy.”
“You were the only one able to bring Mr Murdock out of a zone out,” the woman pointed out and Foggy snorted.
“You call that a zone out? Matt’s always doing that, so again I’m telling you you’re…”
“What do you mean he’s always doing that?” the woman interrupted and Matt rubbed his hand against the back of his neck when Foggy huffed out a breath.
“Matt gets distracted when he’s concentrating, that’s been happening for years,” he explained.
The woman didn’t say anything else and Matt shifted uncomfortably.
“She’s sort of staring at you, Matt. I think we broke her,” Foggy faux-whispered.
“How long is ‘for years’?” the woman asked and Foggy hummed as he thought while Matt racked his brain to figure out the first time that Foggy had had to touch him or talk to him to recapture his attention when he’d gotten lost in his senses, too afraid to say anything about it in case he got labelled an even bigger freak.
“Pretty much ever since I’ve known you, right, Matt?” Foggy inquired and Matt nodded because hiding that wasn’t worth the hassle now.
“Before or after….”
“Before or after he went blind? That’s what you want to ask right because God fucking forbid one of your sentinels have a disability like a normal fucking person!” Foggy snarled and Matt’s hand found his in an instant, curling around Foggy’s wrist where his pulse was racing even as he slumped back against Matt.
“I meant no insult, Mr Nelson,” the woman whispered but Foggy just snorted even as he twisted his wrist so that his fingers were brushing against Matt’s skin in turn. “For a sentinel to have displayed signs of coming online for so long, it is…promising.”
“What do you mean by promising?” Matt inquired, giving Foggy the chance to calm himself.
The woman moved, the air around her wavering in a minute way that Matt’s brains translated into a flicker of motion.
“It’s been years since we have had a potential Prime on our hands and from what our team has told me that added to this information sounds like you could be what we’ve been searching for.”
“And I’m supposed to be his guide?” Foggy choked out.
“He wouldn’t have bonded with anyone else,” the sentinel responded and Matt bit his lip as Foggy’s heart stuttered.
“Does that mean I’m going to have to sleep with him?”
“Foggy!” Matt hissed even as the woman choked out a surprised laugh.
“It’s a legitimate question, Matthew! I need to know if you’re going to need all of this to keep you sane,” Foggy protested and Matt pressed both of his hands to his face because this was the idiot who he’d chosen to fall in love with.
“Please tell me that you didn’t just do the hand gesture thing again,” he laughed.
“I totally did the hand gesture thing. If we’re going to do this you’re going to have to take me as I am, luscious hair, hand gestures and all.”
Turning towards Foggy, Matt let his smile soften. “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”