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“I will actually shoot you, you know.”

 

“You say that every time.” The Devil sighs, and he actually sounds fond. Foggy grits his teeth.

 

“That doesn’t mean I won’t do it.”

 

The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen does not look impressed.

 

“I’ll dodge.” He informs Foggy lightly, and Foggy snorts.

 

“I’ve got seven bullets left. You can’t dodge them all.” He replies, and the Devil grins. He’s got a very nice grin, Foggy thinks vaguely. Red mouth, white teeth, wickedness dancing around the edges. Gets prettier every time he sees it, which is far too often.

 

“You’d be surprised.” The Devil remarks casually, and Foggy rolls his eyes.

 

“Smug.” He accuses. “Hubris. Pride comes before a fall.”

 

“Hubris.” The Devil muses. “You’ve been reading a dictionary since the last time we met, haven’t you?” Foggy scoffs.

 

“Despite what you think, I do have a social life outside of chasing your sorry law-breaking ass.” He snaps. “I have better things to do than read dictionaries.”

 

“Mm-hmm.” The Devil agrees vaguely, and he doesn’t sound convinced. “Your girlfriend broke up with you, huh?” This thought seems to please the Devil immensely, because his grin widens. Sadistic bastard.

 

“I hate you.” Foggy says with feeling. “And she didn’t break up with me, we’re…it was a mutual decision. We’re taking a break.” The Devil gives an exaggerated frown, hissing in affected sympathy.

 

“Yikes.” He says. “Did she tell you she wants to stay friends, too?”

 

“Seriously, go to hell.” When the Devil opens his mouth, Foggy hurries to add, “Don’t you dare make a joke about Hell’s Kitchen, or I will shoot you.” He glares. And this seems to tickle the bastard pink. He actually bounces on the balls of his feet.

 

“You already said that part.” He teases.

 

“This time I mean it.” Foggy warns. “Seriously, hands up.” The Devil tucks them behind his back. “What are you, five? Stop being so immature.” The Devil sticks his tongue out. “Dick.” The Devil nods agreeably.

 

Foggy’s about to say something to the effect of ‘bang bang’, probably accompanied by a bullet because he’s going to do it this time, he is. He’s going to stop the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, and it only took him twelve tries. He doesn’t even have to shoot fatally, although he’s pretty sure everyone in his department would want him to. He can just aim for one of the Devil’s very toned arms, or maybe his long lithe legs. It will be fine, and the Devil really deserves it for all the trouble he’s put Foggy through.

 

He can’t make himself pull the trigger.

 

He hears the sirens, and watches as the Devil pulls his hands out slowly from behind his back. He’s already edging towards the ledge of the building and this is the shooting part, this is where Foggy mans up and does his job. Catches criminals.

 

“Catch you later.” He sighs instead.

 

The Devil laughs and jumps.

 


 

The thing is, Foggy’s a good cop. He is amazing at his job, and he’s one of the youngest ever to make detective in his department. He’s got dozens of successful arrests under his belt, some of them pretty high-profile stuff.

 

Foggy’s a good cop, but he’s a little slow on one case and everyone seems to forget it.

 

It’s mostly teasing, and Foggy can take it because the majority of it is good-natured. Friendly ribbing is just a part of being an officer, and he knows when it comes down to it these guys will have his back. It’s not the teasing that gets him.

 

It’s the sympathy. 

 

“Hey, maybe next time.” Someone tells him for the tenth time today. “You’ll get the bastard.”

 

And Foggy doesn’t say that he already did get the bastard. He’s had him completely cornered a dozen times, but the Devil’s always close enough to getting away that Foggy would have to shoot him to stop him. And he can’t do it. He can never do it.

 

And the Devil always laughs and he sounds so delighted. It’s like he thinks it’s a game. Maybe he does—the asshole’s obviously crazy.

 

“Yeah, sure.” He agrees tepidly, and goes home early.

 

Marci never officially moved in, and Foggy knows why. They like each other, and they love sex with each other, but other than that? Nothing. Friends-with-benefits, not life partners. And he’s okay with that, despite what the stupid Devil thinks. Marci’s still got a toothbrush at his place and a change of clothes, and she stayed over last weekend to talk about the hot new lawyer at work.

 

Foggy wasn’t even jealous. He knows Marci thinks Foggy’s hot too, and that’s pretty much all he needs to know. He does offer to break the guy’s kneecaps if he hurts Marci, but Marci just giggles and tells him in a syrupy voice that she can do that herself, Foggy Bear. She’s not joking. Foggy honestly thinks he might have to cover up a murder for Marci in the future.

 

He tosses his coat on a chair and checks his messages. One from his mom, one from his dad, and one from Marci. That is the extent of Foggy’s social life—his parents and his not-girlfriend who is just his not- right now.

 

“So, I talked to James.” Marci drawls from the machine. James, the hot new lawyer at work. “And he has got a brother that is an honest to god millionaire. Told him all about you. You call me, you get his number.” She laughs. “You can thank me properly later.” And she purrs it, because Marci is probably the biggest flirt on the planet even when sex is off the table.

 

“She sounds nice.”

 

“Holy mother of god.” Foggy yelps, going for the light switch.

 

The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is sitting in Foggy’s armchair, legs crossed and smug smile on his face.

 

“Hi.” The Devil waves, and Foggy reaches for the gun on his belt. “No, come on. I haven’t actually committed a crime this time!”

 

“You’re breaking and entering!” Foggy exclaims, maddened. “You are committing a crime right now, and you have been committing crimes for the past year too!”

 

“Your window was unlocked. I thought it was an invitation.” The Devil says easily. “Simple misunderstanding.”

 

“My window is triple-bolted.” Foggy grits out, and goes to check. “You—actually, how did you do that?” He can’t help but be a little curious, because all of the bolts are still in perfect condition, open, and they were on the inside of the window. He turns back to stare at the Devil accusingly, just in time to see him shrug.

 

“Secret of the trade.” He says cheerfully. “So, as long as I’m here, how has your day been?” Foggy gapes at him.

 

“Did you seriously pick three locks and wait in my dark apartment for who knows how long just to ask how my day has been?” The Devil nods easily. Foggy laughs a little hysterically. “Awful. My day has been awful, because no one can stop talking about what a failure I am for not bringing you in.”

 

And he’s still not reaching for his gun. He tells himself it’s just because he doesn’t want to get blood on his upholstery. It’s a lie.

 

“Hey, you’re not a failure.” The Devil tells him earnestly. “You’re a great detective.”

 

“How do you know that?” Foggy asks bitterly. “Your only contact with me has been when I’ve failed to capture you.”

 

“No, your arrest records are amazing.” The Devil argues sincerely. “Seriously, top notch. Very impressive.” Foggy takes a deep breath, closes his eyes for a moment and clenches his fists.

 

“Have you been cyberstalking me?” There is a long silence.

 

“No?” The Devil says unsurely. “Does Google count for that?”

 

“Just Google?” Foggy presses, suspicious. Another long silence.

 

“Maybe the police database too.” He admits, sounding a little sheepish. “Know thy enemy?”

 

“Right.” Foggy sighs. “Fantastic. I’ll just add cyberstalking to the list of crimes I’ll eventually need to arrest you for. It’s a pretty long list. You actually have your own drawer in my filing cabinet.”

 

“Thank you.” The Devil says, and he doesn’t even sound like he’s being facetious. He sounds honestly thrilled at the thought. “So, want to sit and talk?” He gestures grandly towards Foggy’s other chair like he’s doing Foggy a favor, allowing him to sit on his own furniture.

 

“I need food.” Foggy mutters, shuffling towards the fridge. “Cold pizza. I need cold, delicious pizza.” He glances over his shoulder at the Devil. “Do you want some cold, delicious pizza?”

 

For the first time since he’s arrived, the Devil actually looks a little surprised.

 

“Uh.” He says, shifting a little in his chair. “That sounds good. Thank you.”

 

“You’re not a vegetarian, are you?” Foggy asks distrustfully, grabbing the plate and making his way over to the free chair. “Because this has pepperoni on it, fair warning.”

 

“Pepperoni’s fine.” The Devil says, and he sounds a little bemused. Foggy nods and takes a slice before handing the plate over. “So, that’s it? We’re just going to sit and eat pizza?” He doesn’t sound disappointed, exactly—more confused, and little… no, that’s not hope. It’s not, because that would be crazy. Foggy nods.

 

“I’m not going to shoot you because I’m a wuss when it comes to you, apparently. I’ve seen the way you move, so I probably couldn’t even get to my gun without you breaking my hand, at least at this close a range.”

 

“I wouldn’t break your hand.” The Devil frowns. “I would never hurt you.” He actually sounds serious. Foggy considers. They’ve met each other twelve times before now, and the Devil hasn’t actually attacked him once, even when Foggy’s pulled a gun on him. He just dances out of the way, and laughs, and disappears.

 

And Foggy’s not sure why. He’s seen the damage the Devil’s done. Most of the people he hurts are criminals—no, all of them are. They’re all criminals, and they’re always left somewhere Foggy or another officer can find them, like presents on Christmas morning. The Devil doesn’t hurt people who haven’t committed a crime, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to start doing it in the future. Foggy would be a prime candidate, considering all the time they spend together.

 

“Fine, you would neutralize me effectively without causing extensive harm using your awesome ninja skills. Still doesn’t sound like a fun time. Besides, I don’t want my apartment to become a crime scene. The second I see you out on the streets though—bang bang, I swear.”

 

“I wouldn’t mind you banging me.” The Devil says cheerfully, and Foggy gapes at him for a second. He thinks his brain might actually have fried.

 

“You and Marci need to get together and talk. You’d get along great—you both love to torture me with overbearing innuendo.” The Devil hums thoughtfully, taking a generous bit of his pizza. Foggy wonders for a moment how he’s going to get the grease stains out of his gloves. He must have a really great dry cleaner, considering how much blood he must get on his outfit. Or does he just have a dozen of those at home? Can you order bandit masks in bulk?

 

“Marci. Is that the girlfriend who broke up with you?” Foggy rolls his eyes.

 

“You know it is. You probably stalked our relationship status on Facebook.” There is a guilty silence. “Seriously, you have problems.” Foggy tells him bluntly. “And it’s really not fair, because I can’t return the favor.”

 

“You’d cyberstalk me?” The Devil asks, tilting his head and looking entirely too flattered at the thought. Foggy snorts.

 

“Know thy enemy.” He parrots. The Devil laughs. He does that a lot, and oddly enough it’s never mean, never gloating. He actually sounds like he thinks Foggy’s funny.

 

“So, Marci?” The Devil prompts, and Foggy sighs, running a hand through his hair.

 

“I am not going to sit here and moan about my relationships like we’re having a sleepover.” He informs the man harshly, and then completely ruins it by adding before he can help himself, “And you’re wrong. It was mutual. We’re much better at the sex thing than the dating thing.” He can’t help but correct the Devil, because for some reason he doesn’t want the Devil to think he’s pathetic.

 

The Devil nods sagely.

 

“Waiting for the right person.” He guesses. “I can respect that. You should date someone you think you can love for the rest of your life. A connection is important.”

 

“Seriously?” Foggy asks incredulously. “You’re giving me love advice?” He considers for a moment. “Wait, are you actually happily married? Because that would be weird. For some reason I’ve been imagining you this whole time as some sort of emotionally stunted, lonely bachelor.”

 

Something about the idea of the Devil being married makes Foggy’s stomach hurt a little. It must be from pity for the poor soul who would marry this schmuck. Nothing else.

 

The Devil rears back a little, frowning.

 

“I’m not emotionally stunted!” He snaps, sounding genuinely offended. “And I’m not lonely. I have a full, rich life, and I don’t need a relationship to validate my self-worth.”

 

“I guess you do keep busy.” Foggy admits, thinking of how much he hears about the Devil’s work. “Do you have a day job, too?”

 

“Vigilantism doesn’t pay well.” The Devil confesses, sighing. “But I get by. I quite like my job.”

 

Foggy takes a moment to consider, taking a bite of his pizza and narrowing his eyes thoughtfully. What sort of day job could a crazy vigilante possibly like? Good work ethic, okay money, clearly intelligent, good with words, charming, obsession with stopping criminals, hero complex…

 

“You’re a lawyer, aren’t you?” He accuses. Judging by the way the Devil chokes on his bite of pizza, Foggy’s right on the money. “Well, that should be helpful. Thanks.”

 

“I am not a lawyer.” The Devil protests, rather weakly. Foggy snorts.

 

“For a lawyer, you’re a horrible liar. All I can see is your mouth, but I can still tell you have a awful poker face.” Foggy takes a cheerful bite of pizza. “Guess who’s going to start going through the phonebook tomorrow?”

 

“I’m not a lawyer.” The Devil repeats sullenly, but Foggy’s not buying it.

 

“Emotionally stunted, lonely bachelor lawyer with a fantastic body. Shouldn’t be too hard.” Foggy teases. He’s actually pretty excited about this. There are a ton of lawyers in Hell’s Kitchen, mostly defense attorneys. There’s a pretty good market for it, considering the crime rate. Still, how many of them look quite like the Devil? It’s not like he’s got a lot of skin showing, but honestly Foggy knows his body by heart. Because he’s a cop, and he notices details that might lead to IDing a perp. Obviously. “So, do you beat up your own clients?”

 

The Devil grimaces, and Foggy gets the distinct impression he’s glaring.

 

“If I was a lawyer—which I’m not—I wouldn’t represent criminals.” Which is a bit hypocritical, considering the Devil’s already committed at least one crime tonight. The Devil takes a vicious bite of his pizza to emphasize his words. Foggy grins.

 

“Okay, an honest, emotionally stunted, lonely bachelor lawyer with a great body. Even better. I’ll be knocking on your office door before lunch.”

 

“You won’t.” The Devil says, and he sounds certain. “Because then you’d have to arrest me, and you won’t do that.”

 

Bastard. Foggy glares, swallowing the last bite of his pizza and leaning forward in his seat, gripping the armrests tightly.

 

“I will arrest you. Just because I don’t want unnecessary bloodshed doesn’t mean I won’t do my job.” 

 

“Okay.” The Devil says easily, rising to his feet after placing the plate gently on the coffee table. The bastard ate three pieces, the glutton. “You can arrest me next time, okay? We’ve just had a lovely meal, and we shouldn’t ruin that with fighting.”

 

“Uh, no. I’m arresting you. Now.” He goes to stand up too but the Devil’s already at the window. Damn, he’s fast. Foggy doesn’t even bother pulling his gun, because the guy’s already halfway outside. “Seriously?”

 

“Seriously.” The Devil agrees, nodding. “Thanks for the pizza. I owe you dinner!”

 

And he’s gone. Foggy smacks his forehead once with his palm and picks up the plate to wash it. Next time he pulls his gun and pulls the trigger. No more talking.

 


 

“I just saw you last night! At my apartment, because you are a stalker.” He muses, gun trained on the Devil like it always is, right before the Devil gets away. The Devil shrugs.

 

“What can I say? I missed you.” Foggy rolls his eyes. Marci might seriously have some competition for the world’s biggest flirt. The Devil is constantly feeding him lines like that, like this whole thing is some cops and robbers porno.

 

“Don’t flirt like that. I know you’re just doing it to screw with me.” He snaps. The flirting started sometime around the fifth run-in with the guy, and it’s been going strong ever since. The Devil seems to have decided that messing with Foggy’s mind is his new favorite hobby. Foggy thinks it’s probably to distract him so that the Devil can escape faster.

 

The Devil is quiet for a moment.

 

“Mm.” He says, somewhat ambiguously. “So, I got you a gift.” He nods towards the alley behind him, where Foggy can hear a distinct groaning sound. He takes a deep, calming breath.

 

“Most people get flowers, you know. Maybe some jewelry if you’re into that. They do not get people maimed criminals.” The Devil cocks his head, frown actually bordering on a pout.

 

“You wouldn’t like jewelry, would you? You never wear it.”

 

“You creepy, creepy bastard.” Foggy breathes, a little incredulous. “Just because I don’t wear it on duty doesn’t mean I never wear it at all. And you should not be considering whether or not buying me jewelry is a good investment. You should be putting your hands up, or I should be shooting you. Which I will.”

 

“Every time.” The Devil grins, and he sounds even fonder than the last time. “It’s almost an inside joke at this point.”

 

“It is not a joke. I will shoot you. Five seconds, or I will shoot you.” He takes a breath. “One.”

 

The Devil, the dick, holds up his fingers to count along. Two. Three.

 

The Devil freezes.

 

“Uh-oh. Got to go.” He says, somewhat out of the blue. “Hey, get some sleep. You sound tired.” He says, like this makes any sense, and then he’s climbing up the wall like he’s a spider-man or something and disappearing just as Foggy hears the heavy footsteps of someone running towards him.

 

“Damn.” Detective Bullock curses. “You see anything?” Foggy glances at the man in the alley. Knocked out cold, didn’t hear a thing. He turns his gaze to the roof. It’s only been a few moments. Even if the Devil’s an Olympic sprinter, he can’t have gotten far, and Foggy knows what direction he’s moving in. They could cut him off, capture him before he got more than a block.

 

He still owes Foggy dinner.

 

“Nope.” He sighs, regretful. “Must have missed him.”

 


 

The ‘gift’ the Devil got him is a large-scale drug lord wanted in three states.

 

The next ‘gift’ the Devil gets him is a gun-toting thug. It’s not the only gift he gets him that night. When he gets to the scene, the Devil’s waiting, and he tosses something at Foggy before Foggy has a chance to talk. Foggy catches it, reflexes sharp even when he’s surprised, and he blinks down at it.

 

“What the hell is this?” He asks, because it looks like a very familiar kind of box and this cannot be what it looks like. He flips open the lid. “No. No.”

 

“It’s a Saint Michael medal!” The Devil tells him brightly. “He’s the patron saint of policemen.”

 

“Yes, thank you, I know who Saint Michael is.” Foggy grumbles. At least half the officers in his department wear them. “I’m not taking this.” The Devil frowns.

 

“It’s not like it’s evidence.” He points out. “I bought it with my own money.”

 

“It is a bribe.” Foggy snaps back. “It is a blatant bribe to keep me from arresting you.” The Devil shakes his head.

 

“No, it’s a gift. You said most people get jewelry. I’d have gotten flowers too, but those are harder to carry and I wasn’t sure what you’d like. This seemed more personal anyway.” Foggy closes his eyes for a second, rubbing at his temple.

 

“Look. There is a limit to how much you can push this, okay? I get that you think that it’s fun to mess with me, but buying me gifts is going too far.”

 

“I’m not messing with you.” The Devil mumbles, almost inaudibly. “I really would have brought flowers.”

 

“That’s not—thank you, that’s very thoughtful.” Foggy doesn’t sound as sarcastic as he wants to, because it actually is pretty thoughtful. “But you get flowers for your girlfriend. Boyfriend, whatever. Not for the cop who’s trying to nail your ass—no.” He says warningly when the Devil opens his mouth. “You know what I mean.”

 

“Freudian slip.” The Devil claims wisely. “I get it.” Foggy runs his hand through his hair in frustration. He can only use one hand because he’s still got the stupid box in the other, and for some reason he hasn’t tossed it on the ground and shot it yet.

 

He stuffs it in his pocket. He’ll check for fingerprints later.

 

“You do not get it. You get flowers for someone you like. Someone you want to go on a date with. You get jewelry for someone who you’ve gone on a lot of dates with, and who you already know you like a lot.” The Devil tilts his head again. He does that a lot. Smile, laugh, do that stupid little head-tilt like he’s a curious baby bird. They’re all annoying as hell.

 

Really.

 

“We’ve gone on fourteen dates.” The Devil says matter-of-factly. “That’s a lot.”

 

“No.” Foggy says slowly, more than a little disturbed. “No, I’ve been called in fourteen times to arrest you for breaking the law—one of those times being at my apartment. Those are not dates. Dates involve dinner, and dancing, and staring deeply into each other’s eyes.”

 

“Yeah, that one might be a problem.” The Devil mutters to himself, a little bitterly. Foggy blinks at him. Does Foggy not have pretty eyes? Is it that hard to consider staring into them? What an asshole. “We already did dinner, remember? Cold, delicious pizza—very romantic. And dancing…I can do dancing.” He takes a step forward.

 

“Whoa.” Foggy says, holding up his hands. “No, no dancing. I am not dancing with you at a crime scene next to an unconscious criminal.” And just because this whole situation is completely ridiculous, “We don’t even have music, and I have two left feet.”

 

The Devil beams at him.

 

“I bet you have songs on your iPhone.” How does he know Foggy has an iPhone? “You can pull something up. Don’t worry, I can teach you.” He takes another step forward.

 

“I am not pulling up a song for an impromptu crime scene dance!” Foggy exclaims a little hysterically. “And we are not—“

 

The Devil reaches out and touches his shoulder. Foggy jumps about ten feet—how did he not notice him getting so close? How could he have been that distracted—thinking about music? Idiot.

 

“Little dance.” The Devil coaxes. “Just a little one.” He reaches out again, and Foggy is too shocked to pull away immediately. The Devil moves them around a little, positioning Foggy’s arms and wrapping one dangerously low around his waist.

 

“I am not—“ Foggy snaps, about to shove the Devil away, before he realizes something. “What the hell? Why are we slow dancing?”

 

“It’s intimate.” The Devil tells him happily. “Good for a date.”

 

Definitely time to pull away, maybe punch the guy because that hand is way too low. And Foggy’s about to do it when a thought strikes him.

 

They’ve been here easily fifteen minutes. The backup couldn’t have been more than twenty minutes behind him. Five more minutes, and he’ll have the bastard. He won’t even have to arrest him. Which, he’d be fine with arresting him, but for some reason that never seems to work out. This will be easier.

 

Just five minutes.

 

He shifts carefully so that he can press one hand more firmly against the Devil’s shoulder, and also cup the back of his neck. The Devil makes a surprised sound, mouth ajar for a second, and then he gives what might actually be the brightest smile Foggy’s ever seen. He thinks he might go blind if he looks at it too long.

 

“I feel like I’m at my junior prom.” Foggy mutters. “Sam Wilkin’s hands were about as pervy as yours. We got kicked out of the auditorium.” The Devil makes a curious sound.

 

“Boy Sam or Girl Sam?” He asks curiously, and Foggy snorts.

 

“Does it matter?” When the Devil says nothing, he sighs. “Boy Sam. First boyfriend, we still talk on the phone once a week.” The Devil hums thoughtfully.

 

“You’re pretty good at amicable splits.” He points out. “You must be a very good friend to have.”

 

“Well, yeah.” Foggy admits easily, not at all humble. “Plus, they’ve usually got some pretty fond memories. I am incredibly good at—well, you know what, it doesn’t matter.” He finishes hastily. Now is not the time to brag about his bedroom skills. The Devil seems quite interested though, tugging him just a little bit closer so their chests brush.

 

“Really?” He drawls, sounding intrigued. “That good, huh?” Now he seems a little amused too. Foggy pinches the back of his neck.

 

“What, does that seem so unlikely?” He asks, offended. “For your information, I am pretty much a god in the bedroom.”

 

“Really?” Definitely interested. Not quite as amused now, but definitely interested. Foggy snorts.

 

“Yes, really. But that doesn’t matter, because even if this was a date—which it’s not—I would not be letting you get further than first base in a dirty back alley. Not romantic.”

 

“I can get to first base?” The Devil asks, sounding quite happily surprised. Foggy shakes his head.

 

“Nope. Nuh-uh. I only go to first base with people who have names. ‘Devil’ is not a name.” The man makes a considering sound. After a moment, he offers easily:

 

“Matt.”

 

For a moment, Foggy’s stunned. He stops swaying, and the Devil makes a disappointed sound and presses against his lower back until Foggy starts again. Foggy frowns.

 

“This is not your real name.” The Devil shrugs, and Foggy can feel the movement in the muscles of the man’s back, under his fingers. Foggy rolls his eyes. Fine, the guy will be caught in a minute and then he’ll find out his real name. Matt, honestly. The guy’s not even trying. “Fine. Matt. Nice to meet you. I’m Foggy.”

 

“Mm-hmm.” The Devil—Matt, like that’s really his name—says absently. “I know.” Foggy narrows his eyes.

 

“Cyberstalker. Seriously.” The Devil-Matt-Man winces.

 

 “It’s a very nice name.” He tries weakly. “I like it. Much more interesting than ‘Matt’.”

 

“Matt is not your real name.” Foggy points out. Matt smiles vaguely at him. “Come on, I bet your real name is something ridiculous. Let’s see…Diablo. Dante. Damien. Lucifer.” Matt’s grin widens.  “Oh god, it’s not actually Lucifer, is it? Because that would have been hell, growing up.” Matt shakes his head.

 

“It’s not Lucifer.” He assures him. “Actually—“ He stops, turning his head slightly. He’s stopped moving too, arms tightening around Foggy briefly. “Damn.” He curses, and then turns back towards Foggy. Foggy wants to look at his face, see what he’s so upset about, but he can’t see through the black fabric of the guy’s mask. Which—wait. Why hasn’t he ripped the mask off? How the hell did he miss that? “I’ll talk to you later, okay? Get home safe.”

 

And the ballsy bastard actually leans forward and kisses Foggy’s cheek.

 

Foggy stares into space, shocked, as Matt-Devil-Matt pulls away and scales the wall again. Seriously, it’s like he’s got suction cups on his hands.

 

“Man, Nelson, tough break.” Detective Nolan says, strolling into the alley about five minutes too late. “You keep missing him by a second, huh?” Foggy’s still staring into space. Kiss. That was—kiss.

 

“Uh-huh.”

 


  

Bombs. Fucking bombs.

 

Everyone’s going crazy, mayhem in the streets. Every cop’s on duty and outnumbered by the sheer chaos.

 

Foggy's stuck on desk duty, taking the distress calls and redirecting the resources. It’s not the most glamorous job, but it’s got to be done. He’s just ordered an ambulance for 32nd Street when Detective Sampson ducks his head in.

 

“Nelson. Your boy’s on the news.” Sampson calls. Foggy looks up, putting the phone back in the cradle and leaning back to rub at his face.

 

Of course Matt-Devil-Matt’s in the news. He’s probably off taking down the criminals responsible for the bombs, and then he’s going to tie them up with a silk bow and leave them at Foggy’s apartment. Matt-Devil—okay, just Matt—keeps getting him bigger and bigger presents. It’s like he’s a cat, bringing Foggy dead mice. Slightly endearing, but also incredibly morbid. A little creepy.

 

Kind of sweet.

 

“Tonight of all nights. Okay. What, did he take down some psychotic kingpin now?”

 

Sampson shakes his head, and he looks—wow, he looks pissed. Pissed and grim.

 

“Hostages.” He says darkly, and ducks away, leaving Foggy staring blankly at the cheap plastic of the phone for a second.

 

Hostages.

 

He pushes himself to his feet, grabbing his jacket and hurrying out after Sampson after ordering the first newbie he can find to handle the phones.

 

“Hitching a ride.” He says shortly, piling into the back of the car. Sampson shrugs, climbing in behind the wheel and turning on the radio.

 

Hostages. Abandoned building. Bombs.

 

No.

 

Not Matt, he keeps telling himself on the way there. Not Matt. Not the idiot who buys him jewelry and slow dances without music. Yeah, he’s annoying (and just ever-so-slightly charming) as hell, but he’s not—he hates criminals. He told Foggy so. There’s no way he’d be taking hostages.

 

The radio keeps going. Not just hostages. Bombs. They’re saying Matt set the bombs. An hour of frantic phone calls, people screaming and bleeding and dying, and they’re saying Matt set the bombs.

 

Foggy doesn’t believe them.

 

He hears the dispatch on the radio. They’re pulling people away from the help efforts, just to run Matt down. And Foggy gets it, there’s a personal vendetta to get the bastard that did this, but do they really need ten cop cars tracking down one guy who didn’t do it? Who isn’t keeping hostages, because Matt wouldn’t, not Matt. There’s a misunderstanding here, a disconnect.

 

They get to the scene. It’s not just cars—someone’s tipped off reporters, at least three vans of them. There’s a girl anchorwoman in particular who’s taking the lead. She looks pretty in a washed-out way, the one people get when they’ve put a lot of time and effort into looking pretty in the first place.

 

There’s a man too, and Hoffman’s treating him like he’s a leper. He thinks he might actually be going for a punch, so Foggy steps in, tapping him on the shoulder.

 

“I’ve got this. You just go do your thing. You don’t want to deal with a guy like this.” He says calmly. Hoffman’s surprisingly unwilling, but eventually the excitement of finally taking down the bomber seems to pull him away. He gives Foggy a strange, too-intense look, but he slinks away towards his partner and starts whispering to him.

 

Foggy turns back to the man, old in a rough way that means he’s seen a lot of battles.

 

“You really shouldn’t be here, man.” He tells him, and the man gives him a surprisingly sly smile.

 

“Got to do my job, officer. It’s in the blood.” He holds out a gnarled hand. “Ben Urich. Care to make a statement?” Foggy laughs, a little incredulously.

 

“Seriously?” When Urich nods, he snorts. “Yeah, sure, later. Once this whole fiasco is under wraps. Just—stay away from Hoffman, okay?” There’s something off about the man. Foggy’s not sure what it is, if Hoffman’s just a little unstable or if there’s something darker, but he doesn’t want this guy getting mixed up in it. He seems nice. Crazy, but nice.

 

“I won’t dig any more than I need to.” Urich reassures him, which isn’t reassuring at all. “You part of the SWAT?”

 

“No, I just sit here and look pretty.” Foggy says back a little sharply. “Look, I mean it. Get out of here. Just stay by the vans with the others, okay? Until it’s over, and then I will personally escort you home and give you a newspaper’s worth of quotes.” When Urich hesitates, Foggy puts a gentle arm on his shoulder. “Here, let me just—“

 

There is a crack like lightning, and people start screaming. Urich, Foggy thinks. An inch away from Urich, but they just missed.

 

They hit Foggy instead.

 


 

When he wakes up, they tell him about the Devil. Foggy sighs and groans and says something about how he’s going to give the bastard ten bullet holes for the one he gave Foggy. But now he’s tired, so he’s going to sleep, wake up, eat applesauce and then flirt with nurses.

 

He closes his eyes and pretends to sleep until they go away, and then he falls asleep for real. When he wakes up, the Devil is standing over him.

 

“I didn’t do it.” Devil-Matt says, and he sounds desperate. “Please, I swear I didn’t do it. Not any of it, but especially not—“ He swallows hard. “Please.”

 

Foggy rolls his eyes and tries to sit up a little, hissing in pain and giving up a moment later.

 

“Duh.” He says, not unkindly. The Devil freezes. “You’re not a sniper, Matt, or a bomber. I know you. You like to use your fists—you’re kind of a caveman, actually.”

 

“Oh.” Matt stays perfectly tense for a moment, and then he stumbles down to sit at the end of Foggy’s bed. “Okay. Thank you. I don’t know what I’d do if—thank you.”

 

“Sure.” Foggy tells him carelessly. “But you look sort of like death warmed over, so I’m guessing you weren’t completely uninvolved.”

 

Matt bites his lip.

 

“No.” He admits. “I was…I was at the building, but I didn’t…he wasn’t a hostage.” Foggy eyes him warily.



Who wasn’t a hostage?”

 

“Neither.” Matt assures him, rather badly. “The officer—I just did enough to keep him from attacking me, nothing more. And Vladmir… I was going to let him go when I got what I wanted.” Foggy blinks at him for a moment.

 

“That’s pretty much the definition of a hostage, Matt.” He points out gently. Matt flinches. “And I’m guessing you had a reason, but that doesn’t make it okay.” He hesitates. “Did you let him go?”

 

“He…” Matt stops, swallows. “He died.” Oh. Oh, no. “But I didn’t do it! It was the police, when they came in to get us. Foggy, they didn’t even give a warning, they just opened fire.”

 

This time Foggy does force himself to sit up, despite the pain in his shoulder. Matt shakes his head, puts a firm hand on Foggy’s other shoulder to try and keep him still, but Foggy pushes against it.

 

“They shot at you?” He asks, alarmed. “Jesus, Matt. Are you okay? Did any of them hit you?”

 

“No, no.” Matt promises. “This is all pretty much from the bombs, don’t worry.” He gestures to himself widely, like getting seriously wounded by a detonating bomb is something totally mundane. For Matt, maybe it is. “I’ll be okay.” He bites his lip. “And so will you.” He doesn’t sound sure, so Foggy nods.

 

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Not even any permanent movement problems—clean shot, through and through.” He says optimistically. “They said I should be out of here in a couple of days.” Matt relaxes, reaching out to touch his hand.

 

“Good.” He sighs. Foggy nods absently, staring down at the tentative brush of Matt’s index finger against the back of his hand. It’s nothing like the Matt who pulled him into a slow dance just a few days ago. It’s careful, hesitant. Foggy thinks it must be because even though Foggy says they’re okay, Matt’s still got this whole bomb-sniper thing going on and he’s not sure that it’s the same anymore.

 

And it shouldn’t be. There shouldn’t be a ‘same’ for it to be, because Matt is a criminal and ‘Matt’ is not even his real name. Foggy doesn’t even know what he looks like. Matt doesn’t trust him enough to give Foggy his name, or to show him his face. There’s nothing Foggy owes him.

 

Foggy turns his hand carefully to catch Matt’s fingers, tugging until he can thread their fingers together and squeezing gently.

 

“We’re okay, Matt.” He promises, and Matt swallows and nods, squeezing back. Foggy shifts and feels the slide of cool metal against his skin. He laughs. “I have this theory, about why I’m okay. And it’s silly, but I like it.” Matt hums, questioning. “I was wearing the medal. Looks like I had someone watching out for me.”

 

Matt goes very still.

 

“You were wearing it?” He asks, and his voice is a little hoarse. “You’re still—you’re still wearing it?” Foggy nods, using his free hand to reach up to his neck, pull the medal out from under his hospital gown. It catches the weak light of the vital monitors and shines for a moment.

 

“Yeah, see? Hell of a lucky charm. Thanks, Matt.” Matt nods, throat working.

 

“I didn’t think…I didn’t know if you’d wear it.” He admits softly. “I wanted you to, but I didn’t know.” Foggy laughs.

 

“Are you kidding me? I’ve got bling now. All the other guys are jealous.” He lets his smile soften, squeezes Matt’s hand again. “It’s amazing, seriously. I held it the whole ride in the ambulance. Might have threatened a paramedic’s ability to bear children when he tried to get it off me.” Matt smiles weakly.

 

“I’m so glad you like it.” He says, and there’s too much in his voice, it’s too thick, too heavy. It’s one thing when it’s lighthearted flirting, Matt smirking and dancing around him. It’s another for Matt to be sitting here next to him in the hospital, holding his hand and talking in that voice. Foggy should call for the nurse, call for security, call for someone. He should let go.

 

Foggy doesn’t let go.

 

“I love it.” He tells Matt honestly, because he hasn’t taken it off since the night Matt gave it to him and he might as well own up to that. It’s a nice necklace, and Matt’s a nice guy. Foggy likes them both far more than is healthy.

 

“I was actually thinking about getting you a bracelet too.” Matt tells him eagerly. “Something nice, with charms on it. Lots of charms.” Foggy stares at him.

 

“A charm bracelet?” He asks incredulously. “Matt, I’m not a ten-year-old girl.” Matt shakes his head.

 

“No, nothing tacky.” He promises. “Just… something nice. Something special.” Foggy sighs.

 

“Matt, you really shouldn’t be buying me jewelry. I love the medal!” He assures him when Matt looks crushed, frowning and hunching in a little on himself. “I adore it, really. I just—You’re not my sugar daddy, you know?” Matt hunches further.

 

“I like buying you things.” He mumbles, somewhat morosely. “And it’s not a transaction. I’m not expecting something from you as a thank you. I just like giving you things.”

 

“Like comatose criminals?” Foggy asks wryly, and Matt nods miserably. “Okay, and those are surprisingly thoughtful gifts, considering my career, and the medal sort of fits with the theme, but a charm bracelet. Matt, that’s…”

 

Too personal. Too close. Not something Foggy can explain away as just some part of the their cat-and-mouse chase.

 

“You’d wear it, wouldn’t you?” Matt asks, sounding a little unsure. “If I got something you liked?” Foggy has the disturbing premonition that he’ll like anything Matt gets him, and that’s dangerous. He’s about to shrug coolly and ambivalently when Matt goes tense, head tilting just slightly to the side.

 

A moment later, he relaxes.

 

“Nurse.” He sighs, relieved. “She won’t come in.”

 

Foggy stares at him for a second. The room is completely silent, except for the beeps of the heart monitor and the sound of their breathing. Well, to him it is.

 

“You can hear that, can’t you?” He asks, curious. Matt tenses again. “I remember you doing that before too, when other officers were getting to the scene. You knew they were there way before I did, and I’m trained to pay attention.” He thinks. “How well can you hear, Matt?”

 

After a long silence, where Foggy can tell Matt’s considering a lie, he shrugs.

 

“Pretty well.” He hesitates. “Really well.”

 

“Right.” Foggy drawls. “Thank you for that comprehensive example, but I was looking for a little more detail.” And wow, he can’t see the upper part of Matt’s face, but he can sense how shifty the guy’s looking right now. Seriously shady, probably thinking about whether to lie again. Finally, Matt sighs.

 

“I can hear your heart.” Well. Foggy snorts.

 

“Uh, duh. So can I. It’s giving us some cool mood music from the monitors. You got anything a little more impressive?”

 

“No, I...” Matt shakes his head, swallowing. “I heard it the first night we met.”

 

No monitors.

 

“You’re telling me you can hear my heartbeat?” Foggy asks, incredulous. “And you can, what, hear the nurse’s too?” Matt shrugs.

 

“Well, yeah. I mostly can tell because she’s wearing this really strong perfume though, it’s awful.” Foggy gapes at him, blindsided.

 

“You have super smell too?” He asks, stunned. Matt nods cautiously. “Jesus, what the hell, Matt? Did you get dunked in toxic waste when you were a kid?”

 

“Uh…”

 

“No.” Matt shrugs apologetically. “Seriously?” Matt nods again. “Great, okay.” Foggy says a little hysterically. “So you can hear my heartbeat and smell my shampoo, not creepy at all.”

 

“Don’t worry!” Matt tells him quickly. “You smell really nice.” Foggy clenches his fists, taking a deep breath.

 

“That is not the point, Matt—although, thanks. I guess.” He considers for a second. “Wait. If you can do all that, you must have been able to tell I was there, all those times I almost caught you. Why didn’t you—Matt. No.”

 

“I liked talking to you!” Matt says, a little desperately. “You were nice, and your heartbeat was always so steady, even that first time. You weren’t afraid of me.” Foggy laughs, and it’s definitely hysterical this time.

 

“Not being actively terrified of someone is not a solid basis for a relationship—a friendship, I mean. Obviously.” Matt’s getting a slow, satisfied smile on his face, so Foggy hurries on. “And of course I wasn’t scared of you. There’s nothing to be scared of. You’re just…I don’t know. Not scary.”

 

“Most people wouldn’t agree with that statement.” Matt points out, not entirely inaccurately. There have been a lot of people who, after a meeting with Matt, decided to give up their dastardly ways once and for all and join a charity. He must be pretty scary, but Foggy’s never thought so. Infuriating? Sure. Not scary. “Which is why I liked you.” He shrugs. “And then I started talking to you, and I really liked you.”

 

“In a friendly way, right?” Foggy asks, strangled. That does not sound like a just-friendly voice. And they’ve slow danced, and Matt’s bought him jewelry—wants to buy him more jewelry.

 

Matt shakes his head, bites his lip.

 

“Not just a friendly way.” He shifts a little, obviously nervous. “Is that okay?” No, no it’s not. None of this is okay.

 

“Yeah.” Foggy sighs. “Yeah, it’s okay, Matt.” Matt beams at him, and Foggy hears his own heartbeat spike on the monitors, beat going crazy. Matt’s smile widens. “Oh, shut up.”

 

“Make me.” Matt dares him, and he’s leaning closer, closer—yes.

 

Matt’s soft at first, a little unsure, but Foggy wants this—god, he had no idea how much he wanted this—so he reaches out, pulls Matt a little closer. Matt sighs, happy, and wraps an arm around his waist, careful of the bandages on his shoulder.

 

It’s a lazy thing, slow and comfortable. Foggy had sort of been expecting—not that he’d thought about it before—fierce passion and lots of sharp little nips and bites, but this is much gentler, warm and sweet. It feels a little like they’ve done it before, so many times that it’s just become natural. Odd, for a first kiss. Odd, but a little bit wonderful.

 

“God damn it!” Matt hisses, and pulls away sharply. Foggy blinks after him, strangely bereft. “I’ve got to go. Just—think about it, alright? I’d be so good to you, you’d never regret it, I swear. Just… think.”

 

And the bastard sprints out of the room. Tease.

 

“Hey, you need anything else before we change shifts, dear?” A kindly older woman asks from the doorway, wearing sky-blue scrubs and looking a little exhausted. Tough night, Foggy supposes. Lots of people to take care of. Foggy leans a little to try and get a look behind her, but there’s nothing there anymore.

 

“No, no. I’m fine.” He smiles at her, a little weakly. “Just a weird dream.”

 


 

There’s a gentle hand on his shoulder, and Foggy leans into it, the twilight of dreams still heavy in his mind. He smiles.

 

“Mm. Matt? You came back?”

 

“Matt?” A woman asks, and she sounds startled. Foggy’s eyes snap open. Not Matt. A pretty, slim nurse with a clipboard in her hands, eyes wide.

 

“Uh, yeah.” Foggy says, awkward. The vestiges of his dreams are still clinging to him, and he remembers Matt in it. Matt grinning and kissing him, hands reaching up and slowly untying the mask. And he’d been handsome, Foggy can remember that, but he can’t remember for the life of him what Matt looked like. Not that it matters—none of it was real. None of it. “He’s a friend of mine. I thought he might be visiting again. Sorry, didn’t mean to freak you out.”

 

The nurse blinks at him, and she doesn’t look reassured at all. If anything, she looks a little panicked now.

 

“Matt was here?” She asks, worriedly. “It’s not visiting hours, and it hasn’t been all night. There was someone here with you? Named Matt?”

 

“No, no!” Foggy assures her hastily, and now he’s a little panicked too. He can’t tell anyone about Matt, or else they might start asking questions. Questions he can’t answer. “No, I must have been dreaming. Sorry, I’m sorry. No Matt.”

 

The woman’s eyes narrow.

 

“No Matt.” She repeats, voice low. “Right. Of course. Because someone sneaking into a hospital crawling with cops to break into a sick patient’s room would be insane.”

 

Foggy blinks at her. She seems really invested in this hypothetical scenario. She must really take her job seriously.

 

“Yeah.” He agrees with a nervous little laugh. “But no Matt, so it’s fine. Don’t even worry about it.” The woman’s eyes narrow further.

 

“Why would I worry?” She agrees, voice still low. Then she blinks, and the storminess fades abruptly from her face. She smiles brightly at him, a little too brightly. “No problem. Sorry, lost in my own thoughts. You seem better. Can you rate your pain on a scale of one to ten?”

 

The woman is brisk and friendly for the rest of the examination, and as she’s leaving she assures him that a doctor will check on him soon.

 

“Hey.” Foggy calls out after her. “I never got your name.” The woman tenses for a moment, then turns back to face him. Her smile seems a little menacing.

 

“Claire.  Let me know if your Matt drops by—I’d love to meet him. During proper visiting hours, of course.”

 

“Uh, sure.” Foggy says, but Claire’s already gone. “Huh.” He stares off towards the empty hallway. “That happens a lot around here. Why are people so dramatic?”

 


 

Matt doesn’t visit him again at the hospital, in or out of the mask, and after Day 3 of gazing longingly out into the empty hallway, Foggy’s starting to get a little annoyed.

 

You do not kiss people, tell them you want to be more than friends, and then just leave. You do not kiss-and-run without getting your victim’s insurance information—or their phone number. Matt is a horrible human being and Foggy hates him.

 

“I know he sounds hot, Foggy Bear, but there’s no need to moon just yet.”

 

Foggy blinks, turning to look at Marci.

 

“I’m not mooning. God, that would be stupid. He’s clearly an idiot.” Marci looks at him, lips pursed a little bemusedly.

 

“He went to Yale, Foggy Bear.”

 

“What?” Matt didn’t go to Yale, did he? How would Marci know that?

 

“I’ve mentioned it six times.” Marci points out, eyes narrowing. “Were you not paying attention to me?”

 

“No, I totally was.” Foggy assures her quickly, because Marci might actually stab him with his own IV if he doesn’t cater to her ego. “He sounds great.” Who the hell is ‘he’?

 

“Alex.” Marci sighs, sounding exasperated. “James’s brother? The one I’ve been ever-so-gently ordering you to ask out for the past month?” Right, the model millionaire who apparently went to Yale.

 

Foggy considers. Matt doesn’t seem like an ‘Alex’. It’s possible he went to Yale, because he sounds incredibly intelligent and they have a good law program (Matt is obviously a lawyer, no matter what he says). He doesn’t seem like a model though. Matt’s not self-conscious about his body, from the way he moves, but he’s not a show-off. He never poses or anything, and everything he does is to get the quickest result, not the prettiest aesthetics.

 

Alex almost certainly isn’t Matt, and that’s all Foggy needs to know, right there.

 

“Sorry, Marci. I sort of have a…thing.” He has no idea how to classify his relationship with Matt. “I’m off the market, at least for now.”

 

Marci raises an eyebrow, unimpressed.

 

“You’re seriously passing up a millionaire model with a PhD?” Foggy nods. “Wow. Who is this person?”

 

A person who kisses Foggy and runs away. A person whose face Foggy has never seen, whose name Foggy doesn’t even know. A criminal.

 

Foggy reaches up to play with the medal around his throat.

 

“Total asshole.” He says honestly. “But I sort of like him.”

 


 

“You’re late.” Foggy informs Matt lightly, looking up from his book. “I thought you’d be here to welcome me back home.”

 

Matt groans, trying to push himself up. Foggy helps him because Matt’s stubborn enough to do it anyway, and Foggy wants to make sure he doesn’t make things even worse than they already are. The man looks like a mummy, cut up to hell and back, and Foggy had about had a heart attack when he found him passed out on Foggy’s sofa.

 

And Claire had been great, quick and clean in her treatment, and she’d been kind too. She’d talked to Foggy the whole way through, told him what she was doing and how it was going to help. She’d left quickly afterwards, stating that Matt was going to wake up soon and he’d want to talk to Foggy alone.

 

Which sounds a little ominous.

 

“I wanted to.” Matt assures him, voice rough like sandpaper. “But there was something I had to do. To keep people safe—to keep you safe.”

 

“Well, that’s cryptic.” Foggy mutters. “Thanks for clearing that up.” Matt winces.

 

“I am sorry.” He tells Foggy, earnest. “You’re feeling okay?” Matt asks, frowning worriedly. Foggy snorts and nods.

 

“Fine, unlike you. Can’t you tell that just by looking at me? I’m assuming you have super special vision too. You can probably X-ray me, even when you're wearing the mask." Which, wow. Wearing that mask is another crime he's going to have to eventually arrest Matt for. Hiding a face like that cannot be legal. 

 

Beautiful.

 

“No.” Matt says slowly. “No, I can’t. My vision isn’t advanced at all.”

 

“Really?” Foggy asks, blinking at him. “But everything else is.” Matt clears his throat.

 

“Yes.” He agrees. “But my vision is…I’m actually. Uh.” He swallows. “Blind.” He whispers it, like it’s some great secret to be embarrassed about.

 

Foggy considers him for a moment. Matt’s never given the impression of being blind. Even now, his eyes are only a little unfocused, easily explained away by sleepiness and disorientation. They’re so close to meeting Foggy’s that Foggy might be convinced, if Matt hadn’t told him. Matt moves quickly and confidently, and he’s jumped off buildings before. Apparently, he literally does not look before he leaps.

 

Claire hadn’t told him about that. Claire hadn’t told him about anything, except that she knew how to get to his apartment because Matt told her how. Matt did. Matt is Matt’s real name. The trusting idiot.

 

Matt’s trying to look at him. He can’t, but he’s trying anyway.

 

“Okay.” Foggy finally offers, shrugging. “At least I know you’re not shallow.”

 

Matt gapes at him for a second.

 

“I’m—“ Matt smiles tentatively. “Not shallow at all, I promise.”

 

“You told Claire how to find me.” Foggy says quietly. “She said I was your emergency contact.” Matt winces, and even though he can’t meet Foggy’s eyes in the first place he still attempts to avoid them, ducking his head.

 

“Yes.” He admits softly. “There was a note too. Just…just in case. She was supposed to give you a note.”

 

“Yeah.” Foggy agrees, slowly, taking the papers out from where he’d tucked it into his book. “Two, actually. The one she wrote out for you, and the one you wrote.” Matt flinches, pastes a rather pained smile on his face.

 

“They’re the same, sorry. I just wanted to write out my thoughts before I read them out loud for her.” Foggy runs his fingers carefully over the little bumps on the oddly textured paper.

 

“Exactly the same, huh?” He asks softly. Matt nods.

 

“Sorry, mine was just scrap paper. She should have thrown that out.” Foggy watches him carefully for a moment, quiet. Matt is still smiling, and it looks a little too wide, a little too desperate. Let it go, the smile begs. Just believe me and let it go.

 

“…Okay.” Foggy says gently. “Okay, Matt. Exactly the same.” Matt nods eagerly. “So, ‘Matt’, huh? Not Diablo?”

 

Matt laughs.

 

“Matt is a perfectly good name. Just because it’s not as dramatic as ‘Foggy’…”

 

And Matt’s so happy, so relieved, that Foggy leaves it alone for now. Let Matt have this night. He’s bloody and bruised and he needs this, so Foggy laughs and teases and lets Matt know it’s okay, and then he helps Matt get settled in bed and holds his hand until he falls asleep.

 

Foggy opens his book again, leaving the note from Claire tucked in the pages and taking out Matt’s instead. He runs his fingers over the letters and watches the slow, even rise and fall of Matt’s chest as he breathes. Sleeping. Smile on his face. Good dreams.

 

Foggy had almost taken Punjabi in school. There had been a girl there, hot as all hell, and she’d actually seemed interested. It had been the day before class, and he’d just—he couldn’t explain it. He’d just run to the guidance office, told them he needed to change classes. They’d been pissed, but it wasn’t like the class he was transferring into was popular, and they might as well fill the seats.

 

Foggy had almost taken Punjabi, but he’d taken Braille instead.

 

There are three pages to both letters. Claire’s is crisp and clean-cut, general ‘I’m sorry it’s come to this’ and ‘You were a good friend and a noble rival’. Bland, boring. Simple. Matt’s letter is also three pages, but it’s not bland. It’s not boring. It’s not simple. It's the same sentence, over and over again, covering every inch of the paper.

 

Three pages. Three words.

 

Three pages of ‘I love you’.

 


 

The look on Matt’s face when he opens the door is worth bribing Claire with a year’s supply of chocolate.

 

“You totally are a lawyer.” He accuses. “Liar.”

 

“I…” Matt blinks, the motion almost indecipherable behind dark red glasses. They’re very nice glasses, but Foggy finds he doesn’t like them much. He doesn’t like the mask either. He likes seeing Matt’s eyes, the way he did that one night when Matt slept in his bed.

 

Lovely eyes. Big and dark, always finding him, Laughing eyes.

 

“So, can I come in?” Foggy asks, bouncing back and forth on his heels. “It’s not like you can say you’re busy. You just crippled crime in Hell’s Kitchen for the foreseeable future. Which, the new costume is ridiculous, by the way. Red horns?”

 

“I like it.” Matt frowns, but he steps aside to let Foggy in. Foggy snorts.

 

“That’s because you’re blind.” He points out bluntly. “Trust me, it’s awful.” He looks around, whistles. “Not bad, Murdock.” Matt blinks again. Foggy’s done his research.

 

Matt Murdock, attorney at law. Top of his class at Columbia. Quit an internship with Landman and Zack, completely destroying his career in the process, and started his own tiny firm with just him and a lovely secretary named Karen Paige. At least a dozen cases in the police database with his name in the fine print, getting people out of impossible situations.

 

Exactly how Foggy imagined him, only a million times better.

 

“Uh, thank you.” Matt says, shifting a little awkwardly and shutting the door. “It’s a little plain, I suppose, but there didn’t seem to be much point…”

 

“Huh. Nice billboard.” Foggy muses, watching the light of the bright sign washing the apartment in color. “Handy little nightlight.” Matt rubs the back of his neck, awkward.

 

“Oh. Yes. It made the apartment significantly cheaper, but it can be…sorry.” Foggy shakes his head.

 

“Nah, I like it.” He reassures him. “It’s pretty, actually. Good mood lighting, very intimate.” He laughs when Matt freezes. “So, you took your sweet time saying hi, after I cleaned up that creepy kingpin for you. I had to track you down myself.”

 

Matt had looked completely ridiculous in that red-leather getup, but unfortunately he’d also looked just hot enough that it’s hard to completely despise the thing. He’d run off into the night before Foggy had a chance to tease him properly, probably to go stand on a building and look noble. The flake had left Foggy to do all the fun paperwork and processing for Fisk. Terrifying man, from what Foggy’s heard. Much better off behind bars.

 

“Thank you for that.” Matt tells him, smiling gratefully. Foggy sighs, pulling off his coat and tossing it on a chair. If all goes well, he’s going to be staying here for a while. Might as well get comfortable.

 

“Yeah, yeah. I’m officially your pet cop, according to the station.” When Matt winces and opens his mouth, Foggy waves him off. “It’s not like it’s a lie.”

 

“Oh.” Matt stops dead for a moment. Then he gets a slow, somewhat silly grin on his face. “Oh, I got you a present! Hold on.” He hurries off towards what Foggy assumes is his bedroom.

 

“Please tell me it’s not another criminal.” Foggy calls out after him, and grins when he hears Matt give a sharp little bark of laughter. He settles himself down on Matt’s couch and waits for the man to come back.

 

Matt practically tumbles into the living room, almost tripping once or twice in his haste—which considering the cleanliness of the apartment and his super senses is actually fairly impressive.

 

Matt stops in front of him for a second, taking a deep breath, and then completely freaks Foggy out by dropping to his knees. Foggy wonders for a horrible moment if Matt’s hurt. Then he sees Matt holding out his hand and—oh, god, another jewelry box. He’s kneeling and he’s got a jewelry box in his hand.

 

The connotations of this are not nearly as terrifying as Foggy thought they would be. He takes the box, Matt’s fingers brushing against his, warm and trembling a little, and opens it. He laughs.

 

“Charm bracelet.” He murmurs. “I told you not to get me jewelry.” He means it as a reprimand, but it comes out far too fond. Matt grins at him, leaning forward to rest his elbows on Foggy’s thighs.

 

“Come on, you like it. I heard your heart speed up.”

 

“It’s completely tacky.” Foggy complains, running a reverent finger over the charms. “A gun charm? Handcuffs?” Matt’s grin widens.

 

“You always say you’re going to shoot me, and I definitely would not mind playing with your handcuffs.” He flirts, because he is an incorrigible tease and Foggy knows it well by this point. “And there’s one more…” Foggy runs his finger again along the last one, smooth silver, delicate and perfectly formed.

 

A heart.

 

“Ridiculous.” He mutters, but he can’t keep the grin off his face. He doesn’t try too hard, because apparently Matt can’t see him trying to hide it anyway. Although he can probably sense it somehow, the super-freak. “I love it.”

 

Matt beams, resting his chin on his hands.

 

“Yeah?” He asks softly. “So you’re going to wear it?” Foggy rolls his eyes, but he’s already pulling the silly thing out of the box. Matt pulls it gently from his hand before he can open the clasp. “Can I?”

 

It’s even worse this way. Far too intimate, like sliding a ring on his finger. But Foggy holds out his wrist and lets Matt put it on anyway. The little snap of the clasp closing sounds loud in the quiet room. The bracelet feels a little heavy on his wrist, weighty with more than metal.

 

“It looks good.” He admits, filling in the blanks for Matt. Matt smiles at him, running a finger along the links of the chain.

 

“It feels nice too.” He tells Foggy honestly. “And I like the sound. Like bells.”

 

Foggy blinks, eyes straying back to the bracelet again. He shakes his wrist lightly, and yeah, there’s just a little sound of the tiny charms brushing against the chain. It’s just the slightest noise to him, undetectable unless he’s listening, but to Matt it must sound like a symphony.

 

“Is that why you wanted charms?” He asks, curious. “So you could hear them?” Matt nods, a little abashed. “That’s actually pretty cool. I thought you were just being an over-sentimental dork.”

 

“That too.” Matt agrees easily, smile soft. Foggy shakes the bracelet again, and he sighs. “Lovely.”

 

“Oh, hold on.” Foggy says, the charms jogging his memory, reaching into his pocket. “I didn’t want to be caught empty-handed in case you got soppy again.”  

 

“What?” Matt asks, curious, and Foggy pushes the box into Matt hand. Matt's eyes widen. “You—“

 

Matt sort of rips the thing open. Foggy thinks he might have broken the lid.

 

“I figured we could be each other’s sugar daddies.” Foggy explains cheerfully. Matt ignores the joke, running careful, eager fingers over the charms.

 

“Balanced scales—justice.” He says, and he sounds a little hoarse. Foggy laughs.

 

“I was going to get you a Saint Thomas More medal, since I totally knew you were a lawyer, but I figured this one suited you more. What with your moonlighting career and all.” Matt grins and nods.

 

“Lucky clover—“

 

“For a lucky devil.” Foggy supplies. Matt’s grin widens, but then it slips right off his face when he moves on to the last charm.

 

“Heart.” He says quietly. Foggy clears his throat, uncomfortable and a little nervous.

 

“Well, that one’s pretty self-explanatory.” He says, unsure. Matt swallows, tracing the little silver shape again. And again. And again.

 

“Really?” He asks softly. Foggy shrugs, trying for casual but missing by a mile.

 

“Sort of, yeah. A lot.” Matt’s very quiet for a long time, and then he carefully lifts the bracelet out of the box. He holds it out to Foggy, who unclasps it with shaking fingers and wraps it carefully around Matt’s wrist. As soon as it’s on, Matt’s pulling away to twist his wrist this way and that.

 

“It sounds amazing.” He whispers, sounding awed. Foggy shakes his bracelet gently at the same time Matt shakes his, and Matt gives a startled, happy laugh. “Beautiful.”

 

“Good.” Foggy says firmly. “Because that thing was expensive as hell.”

 

“So was yours.” Matt murmurs back. “Good investment, definitely.”

 

“I think so.” Foggy agrees, smiling thoughtfully. “Hey, Matt?”

 

“Yeah?” Matt asks absently, still shaking his bracelet with a happy little smile.

 

“I love you.” Matt freezes, and Foggy hurries on. “I mean, you probably got that from the bracelet, but I figured I should make it clear, just in case, you know, it wasn’t already obvious. Which I’m pretty sure it was, but—“

 

Matt pulls him down into a kiss.

 


 

Foggy can’t hear the charms, not the way Matt can. He can’t hear the charms, but he can hear the way Matt’s breath catches, every time the bracelet moves.

 

Foggy keeps his hand moving the whole time, running it through Matt’s hair, sliding it languidly down Matt’s chest, twisting it just enough to make Matt cry out and arch into his hand.

 

Matt does the same, stroking soothingly down Foggy’s side the whole time he’s preparing him, wrapping a hand around Foggy neck to pull him into a kiss when he’s finally all the way inside. Foggy copies the motion, and the noise Matt makes when he hears both sets of charms at once is almost enough to send Foggy over the edge right then.

 

And Matt’s maybe a little rougher than Foggy had expected. He’s soft and sweet as spun-sugar when he starts out, but every time he hears the light sound of Foggy’s bracelet jingling, he shudders and moves a little harder, a little faster. Every time he hears it he gives Foggy a little more.

 

Foggy may or may not ruthlessly abuse this blessing. At one point he just holds his fingers up in the air, moving them lazily like he’s conducting an orchestra and slanting his wrist to shake the charms. Matt gasps and shivers and presses closer, biting at Foggy’s shoulder and whimpering, lovely but muffled by Foggy’s skin.

 

“No, come on.” He murmurs, tugging at Matt’s hair until he can see Matt’s face. Matt looks dazed and a little desperate. “You get to hear pretty things. I want to hear them too.”

 

He shakes the bracelet gently, and Matt sobs and kisses him and comes.

 

They’re lying together afterwards, tired an sticky in a rather pleasant way, when Foggy shifts to get a little closer and hears Matt whimper. He also feels something hardening against his leg.

 

“No.” He says wonderingly, reaching down. Matt gasps, and yeah, hard as a rock. It’s only been fifteen minutes. “Really?” Matt’s got his eyes shut, and he’s trembling.

 

“It’s okay, just don’t—“ He gasps again when Foggy moves his hand experimentally.

 

“Well now, that’s a nice party trick.” Foggy muses, and Matt shakes his head, whining when Foggy trails one finger down the length delicately, flicking his wrist just a little in the movement to make the charms move. “I am never taking this thing off.”

 

Matt swallows.

 

“Well, maybe when we’re out in public.” He hedges, and Foggy shakes his head, smirking.

 

“Nah.” He says easily. “I want to show it off. People will be so jealous.” He jingles it again, and Matt gasps. “Oh, yeah. Very jealous. Too bad it’s mine, and I don’t share.”

 

“Uh-huh.” Matt agrees eagerly. “Okay, whatever you want. Can you just—“ He pushes his hips upwards, frustrated. Foggy nods.

 

“Whatever you want.” He returns happily. “Love you.”

 

And the sound Matt makes when he hears the charms and the ‘I love you’ together? Now that is a nice party trick.

 

“This should be fun at crime scenes.” Foggy muses contentedly, some time afterwards when Matt’s lying next to him, wrung out and looking a little shell-shocked. “It’ll make it much easier to catch you.”

 

“No more crime scenes.” Matt argues sleepily, pressing a kiss to his hair. “I can just come find you at home now.”

 

“Well yeah, obviously.” Foggy replies easily. “Every night. But I still have to respond when someone calls in one of your gifts, which seems to happen a lot.” Matt goes very still. Foggy’s eyes narrow. “Matt. You wouldn’t know anything about the many, many anonymous witnesses who called the station, then fled the scene before I could arrive, do you?” Matt swallows.

 

“Now, I want to point out that they were all very valid phone calls.” He starts weakly. “And someone would have found them eventually and called it in. I was just skipping a step.”

 

“Are you telling me...” Foggy says slowly, deadly low. “That you called in your own crimes, just so that I’d come and talk to you?” Matt winces.

 

“Well, it just sounds pathetic when you put it like that.” He complains, and then smiles hesitantly. “It was romantic though, right? A little?”

 

“I will actually shoot you, you know.” Foggy mutters, pressing the little silver gun charm against Matt’s chest menacingly. Matt laughs and kisses him.

 

“You say that every time.”