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Foggy came into the world with all intents and purposes, to be the best version of himself that he could be. He didn't always have the self confidence or unwavering faith in himself to take the risks that he needed to to get there. And in a way that was what Matt was to him. Inspiring, confident, boundless, almost flighty in how he always flew too close to the sun, always trusting that he could be near enough to never get burned. Always trusting that his wings would take him as high as he wanted and never thinking for a second about how much it would hurt to fall.

And he fell and it had hurt and Foggy hurt with him because why had he not tried harder to warn him? Why he he not tried harder to call him back? Why had he not tried harder to ground him when he saw the sun beginning to peak behind the clouds.

But Matt had fallen and even worse was that no one had caught him and Foggy had to watch him beat back at every helping hand that came to close and somehow that hurt worst because a grounded Matt was one Foggy had never known. Had never earned the apprehension to meet. And Foggy had tried his best to help him fly again. To help him from making decisions that would ground him for the rest of his life.

 


 

"Did you tell Brett that I was planning to kill Fisk?"

Foggy chokes on his beer, placing it back on the coffee table with his pizza slice and tries really hard not to look and feel guilty. "I may have hinted that a mutual friend might do something he would regret"

He waits for the outburst. The bridled anger behind curled fists and stiff shoulders. The indignation that Foggy had the audacity to meddle in his life, his choices, his integrity. As if Foggy hadn't thrown his chips in with the lot the second Matt had turned up to their dorm room and fate decided they would be best friends for the next half of a decade through all the bad career decisions, homicidal life choices and grief over assumed deaths. Foggy holds his breath in anticipation for the next tense argument that might have Matt be the one to storm out of the apartment this time. Because just because he was back or they had worked together again and were planning to in the future didn't mean that Matt would start to understand why Foggy felt the way he did about the Masked Man being his best friend. Even if Foggy himself had made it clear that he would try to understand why he did it in the first place.

In all honesty it wasn't that Foggy didn't understand his best friends motives or that Matt wasn't trying to understand his.

It's that Foggy still couldn't accept that Matt might get himself hurt. Would probably get himself caught or killed and that Hell's Kitchen didn't have a right to demand Matt take the risks he did to make it a better place. But instead he understood and accepted that Matt wanted to take the risks in the first place. That he wanted to be what the city needed and that it was already too much a part of him for Matt to let go without clamping his teeth down and keep on flying ever closer to the sun because that's where he truly felt alive. Where he truly felt like he was what he had been born to be.  

But was it really so hard to understand that it was difficult for Foggy to bear the fear or seeing his best friend fall again? To sleep nights where Matt visited him bloody and broken and possibly wake up mornings where Matt was six feet under and rotting. Was it so hard to understand that Foggy didn't want to lose Matt not only to deaths waiting hands but also to the abyss that was the mask should it swallow him with its rage and cynicism and utter lost of faith that the laws they've worked so hard to uphold truly mattered as little as flimsy wet parchment.

Was it so hard to understand that Foggy didn't want to lost his best friend?

So he waits with a thumping beat in his chest only to be surprised when Matt turns to him with a sigh instead of a huff.

"I'm not mad at you Foggy", he says. Swirling the almost empty content of his beer bottle in his hand in absent minded swirls. "To be honest I'm sort of grateful you did"

There's a beat of silence and..... "Jesus Christ Matt, the next time you wanna express your gratitude can you not make it look and sound like you're about to bite my head off?!"

That has Matt letting out a chuckle. It's easy, relaxed. In a way it hasn't been between them for a while now. "Well with all the head biting you've done on my part I figured you deserved a little bit of suspense"

"Ha.Ha. You're hilarious. I think stand up might be a calling for you", Foggy takes a swig from his beer, his own mildly frailed nerves starting to calm. "So what changed?" He prompts. The atmosphere between them familiar enough now that he knows this is territory he's allowed to walk on. That this was more of an invitation from Matt than he'll ever get.

Matt lets out an amused hum, "After what happened- with Electra, midland circle, Fisk, you and Karen coming back despite everything", the last part he adds in a gentle quiet tone, "I think it sort of hit me how much you've always grounded me. How you've Always sort of made sure I never went too far. I know I've always... I'm not...", He hesitates. Foggy wonders if Matt is trying to hold back the urge to look away. This is strange grounds he knows, for Matt to bring up his flaws unprompted and without prodding. It has nothing to do with ego but instead a sense of self preservation. Of being gaslighted your whole life into believing that showing weakness meant that you weren't worth being cared for. To be noticed and seen. It was bad enough that his blindness was something he could never hide and instead had to manoeuvre around in order to live his life. But it was worse when people tended to realise that the whole charming duckling and confident facade was in fact a facade. A way for him to feel like he has something over others that they could never take. A sense of assurance over who he is and what he was, stupid decisions be damned. He owns up to them. Doesn't let them tear him down. He can't.

But Foggy has never gawked at his flaws or treated him differently for it. Has never even seen his blindness as a handicap that made Matt difficult, just different. To him it was simply having a friend who had to live in the world a little differently but ultimately it didn't make him a hindrance, merely something to be understood and treated as a person undefined by it.

Foggy has always tried to see him for who he is. He realised in the past few weeks that he had never appreciated that enough.

So he looks Foggy straight in the eyes -or tries his best to- and takes a deep breath "I know I haven't been the most reliable friend lately. That I've been taking risks and decisions that i didn't think through about how it would effect you and the firm. Especially after you trusted me enough to be your partner and be daredevil at the same time. I just wanted you to know that I do appreciate it. That you trust me but you still hold out a net anyway because you still can't take the chance the I might get hurt. I get it. And I'm grateful"

The urge to duck his head after that speech somehow intensifies but the need melts away when he feels Foggy life his arm to clasp his shoulder in a reassuring grip. As if he could somehow tell Matt in that simple touch how much he did it not only because he cared - because Foggy always cared so much for his friends even if they didn't deserve it- but also how Matt was worth caring for regardless of what he thought.

"Thank's buddy. But no need to thank me. It's what family's for"

And that right there is what makes Foggy so dear. That even when he's angry or upset. Even when he disagrees with Mats decisions he's still there. Still willing to embrace Matt with all his might and reassure him that he still belonged. That he still had a home no matter what. Because if Matts a bird and the sun is what he chases, then Foggy is the air and wind that lifts him ever higher. Pushing him even when his wings tire and pulling him down when the flares burn to harshly and most importantly always pushing him forward.

And then Foggy dies and suddenly there's nothing left to keep him afloat.