Some days, the hardest thing for Matt was studying for his classes. Other days it was knowing that whatever path he was taking was never going to end well. With abilities and a need for justice like his, it was difficult to know what his future would look like, but he knew it wouldn't be an easy one.
No matter what kind of day it was, Matt knew that Foggy would be there for him. Sure, they'd only met their first year of college, but he honestly couldn't imagine the rest of his life without his best friend. There was much that they shared with one another, from Foggy's family to Matt's growing up in an orphanage. It was mostly because there wasn't much you could hide from someone living in the same room as you for years. Which was why it always came as a shock that Foggy never noticed when Matt did something he otherwise should not have been able to do. Half the time it was like Foggy just chalked it up to him being somehow more observant because he was blind or that it was just Matt being Matt.
Ever since they started going to parties just to stay wherever the alcohol was, they'd go for a walk around campus afterwards, so they'd be walking around intoxicated and not stuck in their room intoxicated. It helped with sobering up just a bit, and both of them would get hungry into the late hours of the night. A walk filled with weird conversations about anything at all led them to the food cart close to campus.
"I'll have the usual chicken over rice. He'll have the same," Matt said.
"Wow, ordering for me? How romantic," Foggy swooned. "Are you paying too?"
He cackled, and Matt smacked his arm, feeling a smile stretch across his face anyway. Being the petty little shit he was, he paid for his own food only and stepped to the side for Foggy to pay. Another man stepped up to the cart as the two huddled to the side, Foggy not quite sober yet and trying to stay close to Matt. They grabbed their bags of food and walked over to the bench that bordered one of the campus gates.
"Homos," said the man who ordered after them.
"Move along, buddy," Foggy said.
Matt feigned to put his cane beside him, and held it out to trip the man returning to the cart for his food. He sprawled across the pavement and Matt could hear Foggy just barely keeping it together.
"You did that on purpose!" the stranger seethed.
"Who, me?" Matt said, shocked. "I'm blind! How could you accuse me of something like that?"
"It's karma. Quit being a piece of shit," Foggy added.
He and the guy from the food cart (they should really ask his name considering the amount of times they've bothered him at 2 AM) were definitely giving him dirty looks, so the man brushed off his jeans and hurried away with his food. Matt laughed and set his cane aside.
"I'm so glad that people don't actually know how karma works."
By the time Matt noticed he had missed calls from Foggy and Karen, he had already reached the office. He was a bit later than the time they normally open, but that was the benefit of them owning their own law firm. They get to choose their hours, even if Matt's are erratic beyond belief. No one was there, which he'd already sensed before even getting up the stairs. It felt wrong, and then he pulled out his phone.
"You have four new messages."
He pressed the button to listen to them.
"Matt, where are you? We have to- oh, shit. Yeah, Nelson and Murdock!" Beep.
"Hey, Foggy is kind of freaking out, so if you could just- Foggy, no!" Beep.
"You are so lucky that they aren't letting us in for another hour. I swear, Matt, if you're late. I'm going to kick your ass and the asses of everyone you love."
"That includes you, Foggy."
"That's not stopping me. I'll kick my own ass." Beep.
He didn't get the chance to listen to the fourth message because he received a call from Foggy.
"Hey, Foggy, what's going on?"
"It's the 8th! We're supposed to be at the courthouse."
"I thought that was the 9th!"
"Get your ass here, Murdock. Get the fastest driving taxi you can find."
Foggy hung up first, probably to continue seething in anger at his best friend. Matt rushed out of the office, folding up his cane and putting it in his bag. He slung the bag over his head and onto his other shoulder. Public transportation wasn't fast enough in the distance he had to travel, especially not with this kind of traffic. Daredevil was faster.
He swung himself out of his office window. He took a deep breath as he heaved his body onto the rooftop, then started to run. The grid pattern made the city easy to navigate, and the problems of the gaps between streets was fixed easily by swinging his billy club onto a hold on the next building. At 8 AM, even the busy city could care less about a man in the air, considering Spider-Man swung low enough to run on the tops of cars.
As soon as he got about a block away, he dropped into an empty area and started running. He pulled out his cane, not yet extending it, and ran with it in hand. Most people just saw a man in red glasses sprinting down the street, but he was better at avoiding people with his senses. He reached the courthouse and took the steps two at a time at his sprinting speed. The cane was now extended, and he got to the top just as Foggy rushed out.
"Dude, did you just... run up the stairs? You're out of breath."
"No, of course not," Matt huffed. "I ran down the street from the taxi when it got stuck in traffic."
"You ran down the street?!"
"I'm blind, I can run."
"It's so busy right now, I think I would run into someone, and I can see!"
Matt left it at that and walked through the open doors. He could tell Foggy's mouth was wide open. Karen approached him and took his arm to lead him further into the building.
"You're very lucky that we still have about 20 minutes. That was a fast taxi."
"Sure was, Karen."
"Hey, you know those lawyers that helped you take down Fisk a while ago?"
Matt hummed as he pulled out his phone to call the pizza place for delivery.
"Do you think they'd let me hire them for something?"
Matt held up a hand for a pause to order a pizza. When he was done, he hung up and shuffled as much as he could to face the other man.
"Depends what it is," Matt replied. "Knowing your reputation as Hawkeye, I'm sure they'll find room to fit in their schedule."
"Well, that's the thing. I know they're good, but they're not really willing to take someone like me. They're helping the small people. Like Spider-Man."
Matt shrugged, knowing that he and Foggy would never turn down a case they knew they could win. He and Clint sat in silence for a few minutes as they waited for their food. He heard some disturbances close by, but nothing was too serious that needed his interference. Someone ran into the alleyway, seeming out of breath and running on adrenaline. They knocked on the side of the dumpster hesitantly.
"Uh, I was told to deliver this to the dumpster between these two addresses?"
Clint popped up, grabbing the pizza with a smile. The man in the alley startled and took a step back.
"Thanks! Here's a twenty. Keep the change."
Matt popped up as well, giving him a slightly better sense of the man.
"Hey, you work here?" he asked, knocking on the pizza box.
"Uh, yeah, I just do delivery."
"What's your name?"
"Peter? Uh, Parker. Why?"
Clint opened the box after Matt gave him some hand sanitiser. (He was NOT going to get an Avenger sick because that Avenger was too hungry to think about germs.)
"Dude, why is the cheese stuck on the top of the box?" Clint whined.
"Oh, sorry. It was just sw- uh, it was shaking a lot," Peter rushed out.
Matt craned his neck forward and tilted his head down as if he were studying Peter. Peter's heart rate didn't waver. It was strong and loud, and Matt gave him a grin. That made his heart skip a beat.
"See you around," he paused for dramatic effect, "Peter."
He sat back down in the dumpster. Peter scoffed in disbelief and left them. He heard Peter mumble to himself, "Daredevil smiles?!"
"You know where the place we usually order from is?" Matt asked.
"Uh, yeah. Joe's near Bryant Park, right?"
"Yeah. Kinda fast for a delivery, isn't it?"
Clint gave him a weird look.
"It's within walking distance."
"You just have no concept of time."
"Ha. I don't have a concept of anything."
"Just shut up and eat your pizza, Barton."
Deadpool did not have a better term to describe the people they were after except for "bad guys" and a string of curse words following it. Whenever he put himself into that group of "bad guys," Daredevil and Spider-Man were quick to shut him up. He was their friend, after all. Spider-Man had once said, "No one makes fun of our friends except for us. That includes you, Wade." Despite that, they were all incredibly self-deprecating (Spider-Man and Deadpool) or dark and brooding (Daredevil) and they still stopped each other when they were making those comments.
For some reason, the "bad guys" that Wade said they needed to find was all the information he provided. He didn't get a location, which meant they had to find out exactly where these people were meeting. Lucky for them, one of Wade's informants was willing to give directions. They met up with the guy, who was driving a taxi.
"Guys, this is Dopinder. Be nice, or he'll kidnap you," Wade said.
"That was one time! And you suggested it."
"Excuse me," Matt said, stepping between the taxi and the other two. "Wade, what?"
"Is it really my fault that I just say anything that comes to mind?"
"Sometimes," Spider-Man mumbled.
They both bickered behind Matt as he turned around to Dopinder.
"Okay, do you have the information?"
"Yes, it's very close to the Hudson River on West 61st street. This has the address, as well as the only entry points. Everything else is guarded."
He handed Matt a piece of paper folded a few times.
"Dopinder, can I ask you how you got into any of this? You don't seem like the kind of person to... know Deadpool?"
"Mr. Deadpool is like a friend to me, Mr. Daredevil. He's been very helpful for my business, especially since he's always calling me to get a ride. All this information was found by accident. I was in the right place at the right time. But I did get shot at."
Dopinder's easy conversation concerned Matt a little, but not enough to divert from the task at hand. He waved off the taxi driver, who drove off after saying goodbye.
"Daredevil, lead the way!" Spider-Man exclaimed, making a grand gesture towards the rooftops.
Matt hesitated. If he gave someone else the paper, they'd suspect that he couldn't read. But if he didn't get the information right, they'd never find the group or the correct entrance. And it's not like it was in Braille anyway, so taking his gloves off made no sense. Dopinder said 61st street, so Matt would just have to do his best with that information.
"Okay, let's go," he said.
He put the paper into a pocket and scaled the fire escape beside them. Once they got to the rooftops, he swung out his stick to jump to the next building.
Since they were already in Hell's Kitchen (as per Matt's usual hangout spot), it was a short trip. Matt was close to freaking out as he had no idea where this place was or what to look out for other than the water. They all stopped on a building facing the water on 61st.
"God, I really hope I'm guessing this right," he muttered.
"What?" Wade asked, distracted.
"Did you say something?" Spider-Man said, suspicious.
"Nothing!" Matt rushed out. "Uh, this way."
He kept walking along the buildings back inland and kept his attention on any people or traps. Once he noticed multiple people standing at specific areas around a building who were clearly not just loitering or drunk, he signalled the others and pointed down. He really, really hoped he was guessing right. Luckily for him, he could tell which openings were traps, as they had some sort of explosive. He led them through the only option he could find, a trapdoor hidden on the roof.
"Okay, let's go," Matt said, opening the door and heading inside.
"Wait!" Deadpool exclaimed. "If you have the paper on you and someone sees it, they might know that we had someone help us who doesn't have high clearance. Otherwise they would have entered where the guards are."
"Good point," Matt muttered.
He pulled out the paper from his belt and ripped it in half. He threw it to the two and hopped into the trapdoor. Spider-Man just barely caught the papers with his fingers, and held them together to make the paper a whole.
"Why is this a takeout menu for a Chinese place in Forest Hills?"
They were dubbed the "Red Team." Wade said that it was some fan-made term, but Matt hadn't heard of it before. Wade said it was another universe. Matt had given up on trying to understand him.
"I've gotta go early today. I have to eat dinner," Spider-Man said.
"Does that maybe have anything to do with the fact that it's a... Jewish holiday?" Matt said.
"What, I can't just eat dinner at a normal time?" Spider-Man defended.
"Every time is dinner time. You can eat whenever you want, and if I wake up at 10 at night for a meal, no one's going to stop me," Wade said.
"Nothing, it's just so convenient that it's on a Jewish holiday, isn't it?" asked Matt nonchalantly. "I'm not judging you. I'm Catholic myself."
"And I'm not religious, but I'm pretty sure I have the power of God and anime on my side. Do you know anyone else who can play their own soundtrack in the background of their fights? I don't think so. That's some God-anime shit," Wade proclaimed.
"Wade, what the hell are you talking about?"
Spider-Man stood up, ready to move.
"I hear something. Come on," he said.
They followed him to a bank robbery going very badly. The three walked in through the doors without much trouble, as the robbers were just shouting empty threats. Their guns probably weren't even loaded.
"Get out or I shoot! And don't think I won't shoot you stupid heroes!"
"Jeremy? Is that you?"
A man from behind one of the desks stood up, hands behind his head.
"Ezekiel?" Jeremy sounded breathless as he took off his mask. "What are you doing here?"
"We both work here? Sweetheart, what are you doing?"
"Look I just- I know you were having trouble recently and I just wanted to help. And we were talking about getting married I- Zeke," Jeremy blabbered.
Wade shot the three robbers in the kneecaps. Almost everyone currently held hostage shouted in terror, and the three screamed in agony.
"Wade!" protested the other two.
"I hate to break up this adorable moment, but you're gonna have to wrap it up," Wade sighed. "We got things to do, food to eat, people to get rid of. Shit, did I say kill? I meant arrest. What?"
They dealt with the three people currently on the floor. Spider-Man webbed up their legs to stop the blood flow ("Dammit Wade, you need to stop doing this!" "At least I didn't get rid of them the easy way!"), and they helped get the rest of the people in the bank out.
"Thank god. Thought I'd die in here with those stupid gays causing all that trouble," one of the hostages muttered to another person they were with.
"It's like the asshole count in New York never stops growing," Matt whispered, just loud enough for Spider-Man to hear a few feet away.
The same person shouted and they both whipped their heads around to look. Wade stood over them with a gun in one hand and his finger pointing straight at their face.
"And that's from the gays!"
"Holy shit, Wade!" exclaimed Matt.
The former hostage was clearly going to be sporting a black eye. They held a hand to their face as they scrambled up and ran out the door, their buddy following close behind. The rest of the group followed quickly. Matt felt like he was scolding a child as he turned to face Deadpool with his hands on his hips.
"Wade Wilson," he said.
"Matthew Murdock," Wade responded.
Matt froze for just a second, relaxing almost instantly once he noticed how suspicious that was.
"The lawyer?" he squeaked. Not at all suspicious.
"No, you," Wade said. "Come on, it's so obvious."
"Yeah, you're never in the same room. You're always involved in the same problems," Spider-Man added. "And then you had that information from Dopinder which was just a takeout menu."
"Sounds like someone I know, Peter Parker," Matt shot back. "Taking photos of yourself is gonna get you in trouble if you're not careful."
"Oh, that is a low blow!"
"Okay, so are you Matt Murdock, the lawyer?" Wade asked.
"No," lied Matt, badly.
"Yeah, and I'm not Deadpool," Wade said, waving his gun around.
"Let's just go," Peter muttered quietly.
They walked out of the bank, the authorities now entering as soon as Spider-Man had given them a thumbs up, and the three men found their way on the top of a building as their usual hangouts tended to go.
"How's that for an identity reveal?" Wade piped up. "I didn't even have to do anything."
"Wade, you said Daredevil's name aloud."
"He found out your identity first! That's not my problem."
"You did what?!" Peter shouted, turning on Matt.
"In my defense, the pizza was messed up and you got to the dumpster too fast."
"You guys are getting dumpster pizza? Not fair," Wade complained.
"Wait, how did you know I figured it out?" Matt asked.
"Sometime before the last time skip or something. I don't know. Do I look like I keep track of these things?"
"Wade, if I'm gonna be honest, you don't really look like anything."
For a few uncomfortable minutes, Peter awkwardly fiddled with his web shooters and Wade whistled a tune, which somehow made the situation even more uncomfortable.
"Okay, well, I gotta go. You know, Jewish holiday. We've been doing this... vigilante thing for years, so I guess it was about time," Peter said. "Wade, I'll bring you some... dumpster pizza. Bring Murdock."
Wade cheered and Peter swung away.
"Yay! Dumpster pizza!"
"It's regular pizza, Wade."
It was, in fact, rooftop pizza. Wade called the place Peter worked at and asked him to deliver it to the rooftop of a building on 40th. Peter did exactly that, climbing up with the bag of pizza boxes on his back. Matt just made disappointed noises the whole time.
"I get off my shift in a bit, just take these pizzas and don't bother me," Peter said, hopping back down into the alleyway next to the building.
"I love you too!" shouted Wade over the rooftop ledge.
By the time Peter came back, one full pizza was gone and he took two of the boxes to eat for himself. Wade had clearly accounted for his metabolism. Matt had already eaten, his head turned to listen for anything.
"You know, I feel like we should talk about this. Should we talk about this? People do that so I'm just copying them," Wade said.
"Finish chewing before you speak, Wade," Peter mumbled.
"What is there to talk about? We know each other's names, and everything is as it usually is," Matt said.
"And we're not gonna talk about how you figured out my identity? How did Wade even know?"
"Because it's Wade," Matt said, to which Wade agreed through yet another mouthful of pizza. "I recognise people from their heartbeats. Yours is strong and, frankly, really loud. It's probably your powers, but that thing is like a gong right next to my ear."
"Hey! I can't control my heartbeat," Peter whined.
"If he could, I know his heart would beat only for me," Wade gushed.
Peter shoved him, showing no remorse when Wade yelped and nearly fell over. He paused to take a bite of his pizza, swallowing before speaking.
"We're just the typical vigilantes doing our thing. We're doing what we always do, and that's helping people. Now we just know that Daredevil is a blind lawyer who definitely plays up the blind card, Spider-Man sells pizzas and photos of himself for a living, and Deadpool is Wade Wilson."
"What's that supposed to mean?!"
"It means you're our friend, and, no matter how much work it is to deal with you, we're stuck with you," Matt said.
"Aww. How sweet. Maybe I should have been flirting with you the whole time. Sorry, Spidey, but I've found somebody else."
"Please don't," Matt sighed.
They finished their pizzas, once in a while engaging in useless banter (better known as old couple fighting) that was so Red Team of them. They went their separate ways when either Spider-Man or Daredevil senses something nearby, and met back up after an hour. Spider-Man seemed a bit more in a rush.
"I found something, and I think you'll want to see it."
It had been a hideout for the "bad guys" Dopinder had given them information for a while ago. To be more specific, they were selling drugs. Nothing new, just something a bit bigger than they normally dealt with. They followed Peter to a desk with a few papers.
"I think there's supposed to be a message on these, but there's nothing on them. Since this place is secured, very few people would know about it. They'd leave behind these messages for their next buyers. But, seeing as they're occupied..."
They all looked to the far corner, where people were either knocked out or struggling, sitting on the ground and webbed to the floor.
"I just can't figure it out. Why would they have these empty pages for them? It doesn't make any sense."
Peter picked up the paper to inspect it. The war it bent and shifted in the air confused Matt.
"Let me see that?"
Matt took off his glove and took the paper from Peter, smiling just slightly as he felt the tiniest grooves on it.
"It's Braille. We have the next place. Give me a second with the rest of the papers."
Once he got the location of the next place and the time they were supposed to meet, Peter, being the responsible one in the group, dealt with the people in the corner. Matt called the only safe line of police he knew ("Fuck the cops," Wade had once said, before he backflipped off a building) who would handle the situation quietly.
"I don't know how we didn't figure out you were blind faster," Peter said.
"You thought the takeout menu was just a joke. And we're all so oblivious that neither of us noticed Spidey here is a scientist who qualifies to work for the best of the best. Who knew?"
"I did," Spider-Man replied.
"Shut up," Matt said. "Wait. Wade, how did you know?"
Wade just backflipped out the window.