The idea had hit him while listening to a conversation Karen and Trish were having. Certain comments the latter especially had made about being discouraged from reporting about it had made Foggy suspect any public exposure of the Hand could potentially take down even more people than anyone realized. Including some people very high in an NYPD still recovering from what had happened with Fisk.
Foggy’s finding it hard to comprehend, that it’s been only a year and a half since that whole thing happened.
So from the explosion onward, his mind went busy, forming ways to make clear that any investigations into or charging of his clients would necessitate their making the whole story public, and really, it might be a good idea to just not file a report on anything besides the building collapse. Before the other three superheroes walked through the door, Foggy told himself he couldn’t react if Matt didn’t, not yet. It was his turn to save them; everything else could wait. Instead he just hugged Karen, and went to work.
Karen herself let herself have half an hour of crying, Trish, Malcolm, and Claire comforting her when Foggy had needed to go off and start talking to people. But after that she too got busy. From what Foggy understands, she and Trish spent a lot of time closeted up together, probably talking about how they were going to report this or whatever. They were both available to join Foggy in his meeting with Strieber, where they were kind of brilliant. They’ll deserve a huge piece of the credit if this current maneuver is successful. Karen’s been on the phone with a lot of people too.
Stepping out of the precinct feels a bit like stepping off the battlefield. The air feels surprisingly fresh, despite the smell, the sun hot after so long spent indoors, even though the temperature isn’t too high yet. The morning traffic is far from its thickest, though it’s definitely on the street.
Before Foggy can stop it, the thought hits him, This is it. Day One of life post-Matt.
It’s not even the first time he’s started his day with that thought. But, well, that wasn’t this day, the one he’s spent preparing himself for ever since *that* night, except that he’s always known, ultimately, that he’d never, ever be ready for it.
He’ll never see Matt’s face again. He’ll never hear that soft voice. He’ll never feel his grip secure upon his arm.
No. The tears are flooding up behind his eyes; it’ll be a deluge if he lets them out, and he can’t do that, not here, not now. Not out in the street, when he hasn’t gotten the superheroes off the hook yet. I have to get back to my office. It’s hard to think over the sudden roar of pain in his chest. I have to find out where Detective Knight is and when she’ll be fit to talk. I need to-
“I can’t even be angry at him.” His thoughts are brought up short by Karen’s desolated words.
“Literally the only person in the world who could’ve kept her from doing who knows what.” She’s repeated the words Danny Rand said to them, when he explained what had happened. “He was probably right.” She spoke as if the existence of Elektra Natchios and her and Matt’s actions hadn’t caused her in particular any pain. “So he saved the city. And now I’m left wondering if it was right of us, to treat what he was doing the way we did, if maybe we should’ve…oh, God, there’s so much we should’ve done…”
“I just wanted him to not die.” Foggy’s voice comes out weak, feeble; it doesn’t feel easy to even breathe, let alone speak. “And I brought him…” He stops himself from saying something incriminating out on the street, but barely. He’s dangerously close to not caring about any of that. It’s not like they can do anything to Matt anymore.
“I don’t think that made much of a practical different to things, in the end,” says Karen dully, and somehow it’s that, and the utter helplessness of it, that breaks him.
He sees Karen jump at the first sob he lets out. He can’t blame her; it’s an ugly sound, one he never thought himself capable of making. More rip themselves out of him, and the tears blur his vision. He struggles not to fall to his knees. Some distant part of him is still yelling you can’t do this, but the rest of him is lost, because it just hurts too much, and Matt is *gone* and he’ll never get him back, never make it right, never forgive himself, and he’s lost and broken and left alone…
Except not alone, he’s reminded, as Karen’s arms wrap themselves around him, and her soothing whispers fill his ears, and she lets him collapse against her breast and cry and cry and cry. At some point he thinks she’s nudging them forward and waving her arm, and then they’re in the back of a cab, and she’s still holding him close, giving the driver her address and saying something about breakfast. He clings to her even after the tears start to dry up, because he’s not sure how he’ll cope when he has to let go.
“Stay with me, Foggy,” she says, before he can beg the same of her. “At least until you have to go out to meet with someone. They won’t expect me at the office today, and I don’t want to be alone.” He can hear how she’s starting to cry again herself.
He can probably stay with her at least an hour, he thinks, more if he pauses completely for breakfast. Which is a very good idea; they both need to eat. He’s going to try to persuade her to sleep, too, if she thinks she can afford to, while he goes out to do the remaining meetings and get the job done. And then go meet with everyone to tell them it’s done. Even if he brings them the best possible news, it won’t be at all easy to talk to Claire.
“I keep thinking about something Malcolm said.” Karen only sounds a little cracked, though he feels tears trickle down into his hair. “Trish and I rehearsed that double act you saw us do, and he stood in for Strieber and gave us feedback, and let us bounce ideas off him. And he said to us that it’s not an easy task, being the person who cares about the hero. But it makes both you and them better people, even if there are a lot of days when it doesn’t seem like it’s doing so. Of course there are a lot of times Matt brought out the worst in each of us, but even so, I think he’s right.
It doesn’t make me feel any better right now.” She lets out a laugh laced with pain. “But…”
Maybe it will, in a few days, or a month, or a year. Right now, that seems far away, though.