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It has been three weeks since you were hired at Nelson & Murdock. The paycheck is meager, but the social aspect of the job is more than you could ever have hoped for. Foggy is quirky and speaks mostly in humor, but when he can tell you’re down, he can be sweet and compassionate. Just a week after you started, Foggy found out about Matt’s nightly activities. Things were tense for the next week, but resolved themselves before too long. Karen has been out of the office more and more, giving you the opportunity to take more responsibility at the firm. But this doesn’t mean you don’t see her. In fact, Karen has become something of a “BFF” to you, which is something you have missed in New York. You two have been shopping together and even had a Girl’s Night In the other night. That evening, the two of you shared your dating history and interests, a bag (or two… maybe even three bags) of popcorn, and some white wine. You got close enough to share what happened between you and Victor, even. She sat with you and held you when you cried. It was girly, but you like that about it.

Then there’s Matt. Dark, brooding, smile-to-knock-you-on-your-ass Matt. You expected awkwardness around him since discovering his identity, but you were delightfully surprised to find it brought the two of you closer. His night job was like an inside joke between the two of you. There have been times in the office in which something about the vigilante came up and you would make a dig at his sexuality or his inability to socialize properly and Matt would nearly choke in laughter and secret indignation. He not only appreciates your jokes, because it brings the scent off of him, but he enjoys them. And, from what Karen and Foggy have both hinted, he seems to enjoy you even more.

“You know, Y/N, I haven’t seen Matt laugh like that since college,” Foggy muses just after Matt can be heard a safe distance away. He had left with his trademark plastered to his face, a soft chuckle making your insides turn to a disgusting, beautiful, wonderful mush. You don’t look up from the paperwork you are filing when Foggy speaks, but you do smile a little despite yourself, pleased that your boss is so candid with you. “Think so, Foggy?” You try to keep the smile from creeping into your voice, but he’s a sharp one that Nelson is, so he hears it anyway and continues in a mocking tone, “Don’t tell me you’re falling under his spell, Miss Y/L/N?!” Your smile falters a little and you sigh softly to yourself, “I don’t think I could date my boss, Mr. Nelson… I feel like it’d ruin things here, ya know?”

You hear him shuffling papers from in the other room, then his desk chair screeches back and his voice is just inside the conference room door, where you are sitting now, “Y/N, you don’t really think that do you?” You shake your head, defeated. “Then what is it?” You pause your filing here and look up at him, “What could he possibly see in me?— Don’t make a blind joke, you predictable fool…” But you’re too late and he says something mildly offensive regarding his blind best friend, bringing a guilty guffaw from your lips, “God, you are awful, sometimes you know that?” You can’t make yourself sound series and you fall into more guilty laughter. Foggy puts on a stern face, “Remember Matt’s a Catholic, Y/N, he wouldn’t approve of you taking the Lord’s name in vein.” You both laugh good-naturedly for a minute or two. It feels so good to laugh. “Yeah, yeah, and he’s also a crazy vigilante, so how much can he really judge me?” The laughing continues for another moment, then you both sober up reluctantly, wiping tears from your eyes.

“Y/N, I think you need to take a good look in the mirror and smell your perfume. Take all the good things about you and amplify them by ten, because that’s what Matt ‘sees’ in you. We both know he’s a super-sensing ninja, which means if he even slightly likes you, which he does, he’s going to really like you, because, let’s face it. You smell good and have a nice laugh. What else do you need to be convinced??” You shake your head, smiling a little, but he obviously isn’t satisfied, “Why don’t you take the rest of the night off? Maybe you can catch him before he goes Daredevilling people or whatever it is he does these days.” You smile gratefully and scoop your few belongings into your purse before speeding toward him, arms open, “Thanks, Foggy.” You plant an affectionate kiss on his cheek before scurrying out the door, laughing madly to yourself. Gotta catch me a vigilante.

————————————————————

Breathless, you do catch up with Matt, and you ask if he had been eavesdropping on you and Foggy. He laughs and shakes his head, “Knowing you both know is more than enough to keep me out of earshot. I don’t want to incur either of your wrath.” The two of you talk softly, arm in arm, on the way to Matt’s apartment. He protested at first, but you argued that he could follow you home in costume after you made sure that blind lawyer him was safely home. He relented with laughter at this and rubbed your small hand with his large one. He takes note of your quickened pulse and holds back a wide grin, knowing that you like him. Foggy has already told him that he should act on it, but he feels like it’s cheating to know how you feel because he can hear your heart pick up when he’s around. He wants to have somewhat of a normal relationship with you, even if that means waiting for things to happen on their own.

When you reach Matt’s place, he pauses, tense, listening, “There’s someone in my apartment. Go home. Lock your door.” You nod your head, trusting him to take care of himself and the intruder safely, then pout a little, “Stop by later, yeah? I’ll be up a while anyway, Netflix is calling my name.” He smiles and nods distractedly, forcing himself to look down at you, even though you both know he can’t really see you. He takes off his glasses and presses a kiss to your forehead, “It’s a promise. Keep your living room window unlocked for me.” You leave without another word. Forehead kiss?! Golly gee… I might be in love…

You walk home, thoughts filled with Matt and his warm lips on your head.

A strong hand takes your arm and for a split second, you think it’s Matt, having chased after you, maybe for more than just your forehead this time, but you realize the grip is too hard. Painfully so.

“Who the fuck was that,” Victor isn’t asking a question. It’s a demand.
You stutter and try to pull your aching arm away, panic fluttering in your chest and belly, “It-it’s none of y-your business, Victor.” He growls a little and brings his hand up to hit you. Hope for Matt’s superhuman hearing is crushed when the blow strikes your jaw with enough force to knock you back. Victors viselike grip on your arm is the only thing keeping you from falling. “Maybe you can describe what your face looks like when I’m done with you,” he murmurs, before striking again.

Twenty minutes later, you’re home, head swimming. How had the night gone from lovely and sweet to painful and terrifying? Because life’s not fair, sweetheart you think to yourself, bitterly. You clench your teeth in pain as you remove your work clothes and change into baggy pajamas. God damn it. You collapse on the couch and the pain and shame overcome you, bitter tears painting streaks on your bruised face.

————————————————————

Matt can sense there’s something wrong when he can’t open the window from the fire escape. He pushes down the fear in his chest and listens intently for movement in your apartment. The coil loosens when he hears your soft breathing from the couch. He smiles and scolds himself for being so paranoid, she fell asleep, calm down, Murdock. He leaves after listening to your calm heartbeats for a moment before heading toward the sound of a man in distress at the corner store.

————————————————————

You feel like hell itself. You fell asleep before grabbing the ice pack from the fridge, so the swelling had nothing to keep it from reaching ridiculous volumes. You couldn’t go to work like this, but you also couldn’t afford to miss a day… You decide to call in and ask Karen to bring you any paperwork that needed going over. You were okay with her seeing this, maybe you’d tell her about what happened and you could cry on her shoulder again. You like having a best friend. It’s so much less lonely.

You call, but Karen isn’t in. It’s Foggy. His bright hello makes you wince audibly, and his voice drops to concern, “Y/N, what’s wrong?” Matt tenses up at the sound of Foggy’s worry. He stands  and grabs his cane in one swift motion, already set on going to your apartment. He knew something was off last night. Why didn’t he trust his instinct? I hoped everything was okay… Matt ruminates, then the inner critic whispers, You should’ve went with her. Elektra is less important and you never caught the boyfriend. He shuts it out with a stiff shake of his head, They broke up. Ex-boyfriend… The bastard. Guilt overwhelms him suddenly and he can’t shake the feeling that Victor had hurt you somehow. He tunes back in to Foggy’s conversation and hears you shakily tell him you’re under the weather and need to work from home for the day. Foggy’s posture relaxes, but Matt’s does not. He won’t believe it until he sees you ill and unharmed himself. Foggy tells you he will have no such thing. He will bring you soup himself, but you will not work while sick, “What if your germs get on the case files, Y/N? Then I’ll get sick and you do not want to have to take care of me when I’m sick—“ Matt cuts him off impatiently, paying no attention to the humor in his voice, “I’ll take some paperwork over to her, Fog.” Foggy says a quick good-bye to you then hangs up before reeling on his partner, “What’s going on, Matt?” But Matt already left. Without the paperwork, Foggy notes bemusedly.

————————————————————

A short, but borderline aggressive knock on your door wakes you from your stupor. You’ve been icing your face on and off all morning, and as badly as the cold hurts, you know it’s going to help with the swelling. You sigh and put the icepack down. Damn it, Foggy… I really don’t need soup right now… You swing the door open to see Matt, panting a little. He must have run here. “Matt?” You grab his hand and pull him inside, wanting to shield your face, but knowing he can tell you’re injured. Something about heat around the swelling and other really cool little details that you’ve never wished away until now. You really don’t want him to ‘see’ you like this.
“What happened?” His voice is low, almost dangerously so, and you hesitate a little before recapping last night’s events. He begins pacing once you relay when Victor beat you and by the time you finish, his shoulders are so tense you could break bricks on them. You smile a little, “Matt, it’s fine, really. He doesn’t know where I live, he was passing through on his way home from work. I took the long way home and he drove in the other direction anyway. It’s fine — I’m fine really.”

“It’s not fine. I should've done more to keep him away from you…”

“What ever happened that night? When you went to his apartment?”

Matt describes that night, almost four weeks ago now, hurriedly, pacing in agitation. He arrived, ready to strike the fear of God into Victor, but Victor wasn’t home. In fact, his apartment was empty, as though it had been packed up knowing that someone would come looking for him. He had listened from the rooftop, but couldn’t find the name ‘Victor’ spoken anywhere within his hearing. He went back a few times, but new tenants moved in, a family of four, and the trail went cold.

“I never found him and now he’s hurt you again, and—” His fists curl and uncurl, similar to how Victor’s had the night he first hit you, but you aren’t nervous. Matt doesn’t scare you, he would never do anything to hurt you intentionally. The only way you could ever see him hurting you was emotionally, and that was not something you’re about to bring about right now.

“Matt, it’s okay. You couldn’t have done anything different.” He doesn’t stop curling his fists, and you approach him, taking his hands in both of yours, “Matt. Don’t beat yourself up over this. If you’re going to blame anyone, blame me for ever letting that creep into my life.” He freezes at your touch or your words, you aren’t sure which. When he speaks, it becomes clear which he took offense to, “Y/N. Don’t you ever blame yourself for something that has happened to you. You didn’t ask for this. You don’t deserve it, you are the victim here.”

You look down and a sob catches in your throat, “I know… It’s just easier to blame myself, you know? Admitting th-that he… That he’s done this to me and there’s nothing I can d-do about it is s-so fucking scary…” He uncoils the tension in his lean build and pulls you into his embrace, tucking your head just below his chin, “It’s going to be okay, Y/N. I promise you, he is never going to hurt you again. Not if I have anything to say about it.” You cry in his arms for a little while, before pulling away to stop in your bathroom to blow your nose.

“Jesus, I’m a mess…”

“You’re fine.”

“Are you?”

“I will be.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Of course.”

“Can we try suing him before you go all vigilante on him? He’s got some pretty intense body guards and I’ll rather go through a legal battle than watch you get hurt. And maybe the bad publicity will scare him off. You handing him his ass might just piss him off more.”

He looks in your general direction and smiles, “I think that can be arranged.”
F/S - your favorite soap

——————————————

The next few days come and go uneventfully. You don’t have a new job yet, and you know you need to get one soon, but you highly doubt anyone will be overly eager to hire someone looking the way you do. When Monday rolls around, you get up and make yourself look as presentable as you’re able. Some coverup and foundation make the marks on your skin look less angry, but not enough to draw any attention away. Plus, it makes you look like a clown. You wash everything off and start from scratch, this time only applying enough foundation and such to make your face look less sickly. You dab on a little eyeshadow, some mascara, and a light lipgloss. You throw on your favorite business casual outfit, one you had considered wearing for your last job interview, and pull a sweater over it to cover the marks on your arms. You then you turn your attention to your hair. You had showered last night, so it’s fluffier than usual, and it takes some time for you to get it to cooperate. Eventually, when you are able to style your hair the way you like it, you take one last look in the mirror before walking out the door. What you see brings a heaviness to your belly that you really could have gone through your day without.

Your eyes have dark, almost indigo, circles underneath them. The bruise on your cheek is still has that dark, sick looking, maroon color to it and there are bruises peaking out from under your hair line. Finger marks on your neck just above the collar on your shirt, scuffs on your hands from when you hit the pavement… The list of injuries goes on. You feel insecure and battered, but you lift your chin and remember what the vigilante had told you the night before: You are safe now. Victor is never, ever going to touch you or come near you again.

You had been leafing through the classified in the Daily Bulletin and found a few promising leads. The convenience store around the corner was hiring, a hardware store was always looking for new recruits, and a law firm needed someone to manage the front desk part time. The part time job interested you least, but you figured if that’s the only listing that works out today, you can at least find another part time job to cover the rest of your financial needs. There were about fifteen other jobs available and each had given you a flicker of hope. With how you look today, you don’t feel that the mortuary is too far off of a job opportunity, and maybe the flower shop manager will liken your coloring to some exotic flower. Your sister had always told you to think more positively; it was a struggle growing up, but you figured that today was as good as any to try a crack at positive thinking again. There’s nowhere to go but up, right?

The flower shop turned out to have already filled the position, and the rest took one look at your resumé (and face) and said they didn’t feel this was quite the right fit. You are discouraged to say the least. You make your way to your last stop, hopes lower than when you had started out. This is my last chance for today… Please… Please. Let this one work out…

You arrive outside a modest looking building with a placard reading, “Nelson & Murdock: Attorneys at Law”. The address and name both match up with the listing in the paper, which you ruefully tell yourself is a good start. Positive thinking, Y/N.

You make the short trek up the concrete stairs and find yourself standing before a door with an iced glass window with a sign matching the one out front. You smooth your hair and tug at your clothes one last time before taking a deep breath in. You exhale as you knock softly, but assertively. Your heart is pounding in your chest.

Matt is sitting at his desk, working through the Braille copy of a case when he notices footsteps and a (very familiar) heartbeat making their way to the office door. He pauses his reading and concentrates on the figure outside. The smell of F/S and anxiety, combined with the racing flutter of her heart nearly stops his. Y/N?!

You try to control your breathing, thinking about how the masked man had done so while doing up your stitches. The door is opened by a pretty blonde woman, whose eyes widen slightly when she sees your face, but she welcomes you in with a warm smile, saying nothing about your brutalized appearance.

“Hello and welcome to Nelson & Murdock, Attorneys at Law. I’m Karen Page.”

“Hello. I’m Y/N. Y/N Y/L/N.” You smile timidly, brushing a hair back from your face. This woman makes you feel safe. She isn't judging you or turning you away. She doesn’t even seem uncomfortable when looking at you. You decide you like Karen very much already.

Matt’s heartbeat quickens and his jaw clenches. He showed you his face. He should have known it would come to this. How could he have been so stupid?

“How can I help you, Y/N?”

“I’m here for the job listing from the paper. I was wondering if you’re still hiring,”

The tension in the lawyer’s posture uncoils. The job listing… She couldn’t have known.

Karen opens her mouth to answer when a voice booms from another room, “Why, yes! Yes we are still hiring!” A man with longer blonde hair steps out of what you assume is his office, a broad smile on his face, “This one is doing some work with the Bulletin, super-sleuthing and such. We need somebody here when she’s busy kicking names and taking a—”

“What my partner here is trying to say is we would be delighted to interview you, Miss Y/L/N.”

You freeze. You recognize that voice. You can’t help but feel a little excited. You turn to the man who had spoken and your eyes are drawn to the bandage on his temple, the rounded nose, the kind smile… You barely suppress a sharp intake of breath. This is your hero. He recognizes you too, but he gives no indication that you can tell, but the blonde man seems to, “I take it you know each other?”

You almost laugh, but hold it back and intone, with a soft smile, “He gave me some directions the other night. I’m a bit knew here and the city can really get to you sometimes. He got me out of a real pinch.” He returns your smile, appreciating your discretion, and steps forward, offering his hand just to the left of where you would normally offer a handshake. Oh, he’s good…

Several minutes later, Matt and Foggy tell you that you’re perfect for the job. Foggy even adds in that you’ll fit in perfectly at the office. Apparently, you are just quirky enough to keep things interesting, but bring enough professionalism to make the rest of them look good. You all laugh cheerily and you thank Karen and your new bosses for their kindness and generosity, “I know I’m kind of a mess right now, but I promise, I really don’t usually look like I’ve been through the meat-grinder.” Matt’s jaw tenses a little and his head tilts downward imperceptibly, but remains silent. Karen smiles kindly and nods in understanding. Foggy shoots a mischievous look at Matt, then Karen, and stands, moving around the conference table to stand next to where you sit, “Y/N, when I was growing up, my mom always wanted me to be a butcher…”

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GirlOffKilter
MACK
Artist | Student | Varied
United States
Just a quirky human being doing humanish stuff. Based in the central valley. Happy cat-mother. Producer of A&A Coffeehouse Podcast. Friend, lover, and mental health facility patient by day, masked vigilante by night.
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:iconashleyxbrooke:
AshleyxBrooke Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Hey there!  :icondawelcomewagon:

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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey GirlOffKilter! Welcome to DeviantArt :la:
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GirlOffKilter Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2016  Student General Artist
Thank you!!! Love 
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