Izzy here, with my fanfic, “Prescription Strength,” my first attempt at genderswap in the MCU, pairing a female Foggy with Matt. Like most of my Daredevil fics, it’s a response to a kink meme prompt of five times Matt tried to help a girl!Foggy with her menstrual issues and one time he succeeded, with the with the time it worked involved oral sex, so yes, this fic will contain that; consider yourselves warned. Also warnings for references to Foggy’s emotionally abusive biomom and attempted rape, as well as a good deal of canon and canon-typical violence. Marvel owns them.

Prescription Strength

By Izzy

Later, after they had brought down Fisk, they got drunk one night just after Foggy had gotten through another period, and he told her a bit more. Such as how the nurse who had done a lot of the tending to him in the hospital after the accident had been on her period at the time, and he’d gotten hysterical and told her he could smell blood, someone was bleeding. “God only knows what the poor woman ultimately made of it,” he sighed. Within a few months he’d come to realize all the women were bleeding, which he’d found kind of terrifying, even though they’d seemed to all be continuing as normal. It wasn’t as if anyone around him had ever dreamed a prepubescent boy would need an explanation about menstruation.

At least until Stick had felt the need to explain to Matt why just because a female opponent smelled of blood didn’t mean she was injured. That had been a disturbing way for a little boy to find out, Foggy had thought, even before Matt then went into details of how Stick had then made him stalk menstruating women until he had the smell down. “He made me learn to detect other things too, then,” he said. “Stick said it was an advantage to know whether a woman was cramping, even when she was on painkillers. He taught me how to listen for the sound of her uterus.”

“So you did know,” said Foggy, “When we first met.” When her new fellow scholarship girl roommate had taken her to meet her brother and his fellow scholarship boy roommate, and she’d found herself backpedaling so clumsily from her remarks about his looks she hadn’t thought she’d fooled him even then. She still thought it a minor miracle they’d managed to get so tight after that the way they had, even taking the closeness of Pietro and Wanda into account. That he’d had anything else to know about her hadn’t even occurred to her for years.

“Yeah,” he said. “I could hear everything your uterus was doing, and I could tell it was capable of giving you a large amount of trouble. But I could smell on your breath you’d taken pills, and you didn’t seem to be in pain, so I figured they’d worked, so…”

“Yeah,” she said. “I’d finally gotten the doctor to give me the prescription strength motrin.” Which arguably meant they’d been lucky that time. It seemed for more of the important moments in her history with Matt than not, Foggy had been on her period. Very often because it had come early due to the stress. And it hadn’t always been something he hadn’t felt a need to do something about…


She hadn’t been due for nearly another week, but it wasn’t like it was that much of a surprise. She supposed she ought to count herself lucky it hadn’t hit while her biomom had actually been in town, before flying off to California or Chicago or wherever she was now. And when it had been a shitty week even before she’d shown up.

Though when she felt the pain start up, she still initially hoped it had been that mystery meat they’d served for lunch. It was the beginning of class, it was the kind of professor you did not want to interrupt for a bathroom break, and she didn’t even have a pad on her anyway, or her pills. Plus she had another class immediately after this one, and her dorm room was all the way on the other side of campus, while her next class was only a building away. Not a run she was up to making if her cramps got as bad as she was now dreading.

But fifteen minutes in, she could feel too much liquid gushing out of her-not as much as would be coming out in a few hours, but enough that it was a good thing she was wearing darker jeans, and she wasn’t looking forward to assessing the condition of her panties next time she got a chance to. Plus the pain was getting worse.

She officially started counting down the minutes with about ten of them to go. By then she could feel the mess between her legs, and she didn’t even care about that much when it felt like her stomach was twisting itself around a rusty knife, having already been burnt open by a flaming hot poker, which was still also stuck in there. It was all she could do to keep a straight face, and at around the six minute mark, her uterus spiked so badly she couldn’t keep back a couple of whimpers. When that momentarily subsided, she hastily ran her eyes around the room to see if anyone had heard them. No one gave any sign of it, not even Matt, who was sitting right next to her and she’d already noticed had somewhat better hearing than average. That was a little relief, at least.

Until finally, three long minutes after the clock should’ve declared the class over, they were dismissed. As she stumbled to her feet, looking anxiously at the chair even though she knew there hadn’t yet been enough blood for that, he stepped over to her, and asked quietly, “Foggy, are you all right? I thought I heard you whimpering. Are you in pain?”

There was no use telling him about this, Foggy knew. Doing so would either do nothing at all, or possibly hurt his masculine delicacy, and while usually when she was in this much pain Foggy was willing to tell any man with dumb masculine delicacy to go fuck himself, she was always stupid about Matt. She wished Wanda was in the class; she could’ve told her easily. Or even Pietro-he might not have reacted well, but again, she would’ve had no problem telling him to go fuck himself then.

But she didn’t know what to say instead, and even if she could probably get someone to lend her at least a tampon, there was no way she could get her pills, and that meant not only staying like this through her next class, but through the next hour before they kicked in, and at that moment, she felt like she absolutely could not stand another two hours of this.

But when she didn’t say anything, he leaned in and said, “Foggy, I, uh…I know you get bad cramps; I, uh….I accidentally knocked over your pills one time and Wanda explained to me.” Yeah, he was sounding as embarrassed as hell. “Is this a case of that?”

She nodded, which could’ve been excused as acting without thinking, though her quickly adding, “I just nodded,” couldn’t be. Somehow saying that caused the rest of pour out, “And I don’t have a pad on me, or my pills…”

“And you’re in no shape to get to your room and back in ten…but I think Wanda should be your room right now; she doesn’t have class, after all. Give me your keys. I’ll get over there and get her to get you a pad and your painkillers and run them over here.”

“WHAT?!” Foggy didn’t even know where to begin. “Matt, I know you’re capable of a lot of things stupid ableist people think blind people aren’t capable of, but that’s crazy, even ignoring that we can’t be sure Wanda’s in our room! Also, you’ve got a class of your own to get to, and it’s not in a convenient place for this.”

“I can do it, Foggy. I’ve got all the space I’ll be going through pretty well down by heart, so running won’t be a problem. And as for if Wanda’s not there…tell me where you usually keep your things and I’ll see if I can find them on my own. And it’s Water’s class; I can get away with being a few minutes late.

Please, Foggy, let me help.” And oh, when he talked to her like that, so anxious and caring, Foggy always felt even worse than she’d been feeling already. Greedy fool. Her biomom had said that to her two days ago, and she’d been right. Because she ought to be grateful he was such a good friend to her, not disappointed he had no interest in being more, in dating a fat girl who wasn’t nearly his equal in what they did.

Meanwhile, she wasn’t very good at saying no to him, and she was in too much pain to resist further. Her keys came out of her pack and were held out. “My pills at right hand-corner back corner of my desks. There are two bottles there, so make sure you grab the round one. I’ve got a bag of pads in the bottom drawer of my bedside table. I…uh…” It occurred to her that Matt had likely never seen a menstrual pad, since he’d never even known his mother. “If it’s the only thing in the drawer, do you know what to get out?”

“Yeah, I know. I got Elektra a pad once. Don’t worry. I’ll go. Get to your next class and wait there.” And he was running off before she could make any further protests, banging his cane hard enough against the floor that several students hastily backed out of his way. But surely, Foggy thought, he couldn’t get everyone who’d be in his way out of it like that And to make things for her at the moment even worse, she was stumbling down the stairs, trying to tell herself it wasn’t as painful when she was standing up, when one of her classmates caught up to her, and though Foggy hoped she wasn’t running down to her for the reason she thought she was running down to her, it was in vain. “Excuse me,” she said, breathlessly, “but, well, I heard…is it true your mother is Rosalind Sharpe? As in, the Rosalind Sharpe?”

My mother is Anna Nelson, she wanted to say. That woman who gave birth to me never acted as a mother to me, except possibly during my first few months, but probably not even then. She just came to see me for the first time since I was thirteen, and she said things about my best friends that made me seriously want to hurt her.

Rosalind Sharpe is nothing to me, she also wanted to say. She also wanted to be able to mean it.

If she tried, she’d probably burst into tears. Instead she managed a clumsy mutter that was more or less an affirmation.

Which of course got the girl gushing, “That’s amazing! I remember when I first read about her, about the Diwell case, and how she got that woman off. You are so lucky.”

Now Foggy was totally going to burst into tears. There was no longer any avoiding it. “Please,” she managed, “excuse me,” and ran the rest of the way down the stairs and out the side door, only looking afterwards to make sure it wasn’t an emergency exit. Thankfully it wasn’t and she was left alone to find the closest tree and collapse against it to muffle her wails.

She could hear her biomom’s words in her head now, “Well, Frances, this is a pitiful sight. Do you know how embarrassed this would make me, if anyone found out my daughter, who got into Columbia on my legacy, was doing this level of work?” Matt, who, after getting a taste of how her mother treated her, had made a point of being present when the two of them were together as much as he could, had made a protest, but of course his grades were still better, and when he’d been forced to admit it that it had become more ammunition against Foggy.

Don’t let her words get to you, all three of him, Wanda, and Pietro had said to her later. “You know she’d an evil piece of shit,” the normally more flower-mouthed Matt had added when he’d done so. “You even told her so.” Yeah, she had. It had been so easy when she’d made clear her horror of Foggy befriending three orphans, one blind and the other two from Eastern Europe, and Foggy had told her she ought to respect them for defying the odds like that.

The problem was, she still wanted to be like her. Not completely, of course; she didn’t want to be a heartless bitch who worked for the society’s elite and helped them keep the law from ever touching them. But every time she read a court transcript with her mother’s words in it, she dreamed of being in her place, of being so strong and badass and able to rule the courtroom. The belief, growing stronger with each passing week, that no, she would never be that good, had made her flinch at every criticism her biomom had made of her work, her appearance, her hair, her eating habits, her cleaning habits, and her less than concrete ambitions for exactly what she was going to do once she had her law degree.

So pathetic. Here she was, reduced by some physical pain to just weeping outside a building and not getting to class or stopping Matt from getting himself hurt or doing anything constructive.

She might have even stayed there and been late for class anyway, had not Wanda, who thankfully had been in the room, run up to the two buildings calling her name, and then hustled her into the bathroom and then to the nearest water fountain to get things fixed up. Luckily the blood hadn’t soaked through the denim enough for there to be anything anyone was likely to see. Also luckily by running she was able to slip into her seat moments before Professor Anders walked in. The class was still hell, of course.


Much as it hurt when Foggy woke up that morning, she was relieved when she realized she’d gotten her period on schedule. It wasn’t like even her uterus could hurt as much as her heart did now, and it gave her the perfect excuse, after putting a pad on and gulping down her painkiller in the bathroom, to crawl back under the covers in her sleeping shirt and let herself be totally miserable there. She didn’t even care about changing the bedclothes; it really could wait.

It was still kind of surprising it hadn’t hit early this time. After all, within the past week, first Ash Blarflood had tried to rape her, and he would’ve succeeded had Matt not heard him putting the pill in her drink, and then, when Matt had thrown the glass to the floor hard enough to smash it to pieces, he hadn’t even tried to deny it. And then, when he’d yelled at Foggy that a girl as ugly as her ought to be thankful anyone was willing to fuck her, Matt’s fist had found the square of his nose right on the first punch, and yeah, by the time that fight had been over, Ash Blarflood had been covered with cuts on his back because Matt had pushed him down and deliberately into the shards of glass, and she wasn’t sure if anyone else had been watching his movements close enough to realize that, but she knew there was no way any blind person could be able to do all of what he’d clearly done on purpose. At that point she’d been more scared of her best friend than of her would-be rapist.

And then when she’d dragged him out of the party(and she’d needed all her developing lawyering skills to keep Blarflood or his friends from saying anything to anyone), and back to his and Pietro’s room, he’d confessed he’d been lying to her the entire two and a half years they’d been best friends. There was a level on which Foggy kind of understood that, since it was true if he’d gone telling people he had senses so ridiculously heightened it had allowed him to foil and beat up Blarflood the way he had even without actually being able to see him, they probably wouldn’t have reacted well. But when he had always known whenever she’d lied to him, and not always needed the help she’d sometimes really gone out of her way to provide him with, and been the friend she would’ve told anything to, well, when she’d gotten him to admit he probably would have never told her if it hadn’t been for this, she didn’t even know what to say.

But she’d known what to say when she’d learned that not only had he had a pretty good idea about how she felt about him, but, contrary to all her assumptions, he’d been attracted back, but had apparently decided for her own good not only was he going to keep his distance from her, he was going to go to ridiculous lengths to keep her in the dark and make all the decisions about their relationship without her even knowing they were being made. Was anything ever real with us?! she’d yelled at him, as before her eyes he’d transformed into the worst kind of condescending man, the kind that thought she needed protecting and to be taken care of, and he hadn’t even asked.

After she’d finally stormed out of his dorm room, neither of them had made any attempt to contact the other. Matt had apparently told Pietro it was his fault, which he’d passed on to Wanda. Foggy had told her he was right, but refused to talk about it further.

Anyway, the twins had their own problems right now, had for months. They weren’t talking about them to their roommates either, but Matt had said he’d overheard talk about money(and now she was getting a much clearer idea of how he’d overheard it), and he was worried they might not be able to afford to stay at Columbia, even with their scholarships. Over the last two weeks they’d been having conversations just outside their dorm rooms in the middle of the night, been on the phone with who knew who a lot during the day, and Foggy was getting the feeling things were coming to a head.

So it wasn’t surprising when, fifteen minutes after she’d laid herself down as an aching, bleeding, heartbroken lump under the covers, Pietro came in with Matt and said, “Matt, Foggy, listen. Wanda and I have something to tell you, but I think this will be easier if you two are made up first.”

Foggy groaned for more than one reason, and then Matt was half-kneeling by her side, knees in such a weird position it could only be that he was struggling to hold himself back. “Are you okay, Foggy? Do you need anything?”

“Got it covered,” she managed. “You know, maybe you should tell me later, when my stomach’s not acting as if I had a bunch of knives for dinner last night.” And it hurt even more to be near Matt, to want to just throw her arms around him and beg to be allowed to forget everything she’d said to him, even though she knew she couldn’t do that.

“In half an hour then, both of you,” said Wanda. “We will be back.” Then the twins stepped out, and Foggy heard them lock the door behind them.

She could get her key, of course, to let Matt out. He also said, “I could get out through the window, actually. It’s early enough maybe no one will see.”

“You’re crazy,” said Foggy simply. “But then, I already knew that.” She reached out and pressed very gently on his arm, and he folded down to his knees easily. He looked far too dazed. “Do you know what the two of them…”

“They’re dropping out,” said Matt. “Returning home, probably. From what I heard Pietro say, it sounded like they think there’s something they can do there by which they’d accomplish more than they might by becoming lawyers, although he didn’t say what. Kind of weird, actually, because it sounded like he was avoiding saying what…”

Which meant the two of them were about to lose their best friends besides each other. Foggy wasn’t even sure Matt had any real friends outside the three of them. It made perfect sense the twins would want to be sure their roommates still had each other before they broke the news to them.

“I…I suppose,” Matt stammered. “I shouldn’t have…have…”

“You’ve done a lot of things you shouldn’t have done,” said Foggy.

“I know,” he said. “I know. I’ve been think…thinking about it since, and you were right. I shouldn’t have…have…I suppose it doesn’t matter now, though. With our roommates leaving at least you won’t have to deal at all with me once they’re gone.”

“I…” and now, on top of everything else, Foggy wanted to cry, and she needed to respond to that, and she didn’t know how to. “I don’t…I don’t want to not see you anymore,” finally came out.

“But you don’t want to see me either?”

“No…I mean, no, it’s not…” She couldn’t stand this, she just couldn’t. “I’m lying here in ten different kinds of pain, and you’re so close, and I both want and don’t want you to go away, and I’m hopelessly in love with you, and right now I’m close to hating you too, and also all I can think is how much I want to find a way back to where we were, and I don’t know if we can.”

“No, we can’t,” he said, and oh damn it, he still could break her heart harder. Until a moment later, when he said, sounding a little terrified, “And you don’t want that anyway, because you’re right; that’s not the way we should be. But maybe we can find a way to move forward, Foggy.”

It was an offer Foggy wasn’t going to refuse, not if she could help it.

“We need to have a lot of discussion, then,” she said. “When I’m in less pain. But for now, before we go any further, if we have any chance of having any kind of relationship, I want you to understand immediately: you don’t make my decisions for me behind my back. You think I should do this or that, you tell me so; maybe that’ll make me actually do it, you know.” In fact, she was aware it probably would more than it ought to. But still, she thought, it would be her making the choice to take his advice, and that was a crucial difference she hoped he could understand. “You think our relationship should be this or that, you tell me that too.

Of course if…” And she really couldn’t delay talking about it, not when the realization was starting to take hold and she couldn’t help but want, “If you really don’t want to date me for stupid self-sacrificing reasons, I guess I have to yell at you for being an idiot and then leave it at that. But…”

“Foggy,” and she didn’t expect that, the tension in his voice, as he said, “do you really still want to…shouldn’t you be too angry at me?”

“Yes, I should,” she replied, matter of factly. “And I would definitely want to take it slow. But…” Did she even have to say anything more? Surely he could figure plenty of it out from the way her heart was hammering so hard it was generating a burning in her chest that almost felt stronger than the cramps. She reached her hand out. What had he said about it earlier? That he could hear it moving through the air? Also sense the warmth radiating off it? She liked that second idea more.

His hand was not warm; it was sweaty as Brett’s had been when they’d been fourteen and had experimented with holding hands. But he laced their fingers together, and it felt like moving forward.

They were still holding hands, talking quietly, him distracting her from the cramps as best he could, when Wanda and Pietro came back in, which helped ease the pain for all four of them of the conversation that ensued.


It was perfectly on time again, but she’d forgotten it was coming for once. The previous night she’d fallen asleep just relaxed and ridiculously happy. Because while it wasn’t like she hadn’t really enjoyed sex in the past, at least when the guy had been decent, sex with the man she was in love with, who turned out to be just as good as the stories had claimed…well, that was something else. Plus the summer had only just begun, and she was still dwelling much on the luxury of sleeping in, especially when they’d managed to get themselves a proper apartment together. Then that morning, she woke up with the first pinch of cramps, and she could tell she was already bleeding.

All over Matt’s silk sheets.

“Oh,” she cried, waking him up if he hadn’t been already, as she scrambled up and into a sitting position before pulling the covers back to assess the damage. There was now a dark red stain in the silk, one that was not going to be easy to get out. “Oh, Matt, I’m so sorry, I’ve gotten blood on your sheets…”

“Painkillers?” he asked, pulling himself up. A pause, while he presumably took assessment. He could probably get a rough idea of both the size and location of the blood, but he dropped his head closer to her abdomen, and then confirmed. “Painkillers. Want me to get them for you? Or I could get you a heat pack; I’ve got one…”

He wasn’t going to complain about the blood. Even though she didn’t know how much it would take to keep his sensitive nose from continually smelling it, even post removal. So she started, “Stained it pretty badly…”

“You want me to change the sheets?” Oh God, he’d misunderstood. “I’m going to wash them right away anyway. I, uh, Elektra did buy me a second set. As a parting gift; she…she’d noticed how much better I slept in them-though…though she didn’t know anything else, of course.”

“Only if you want to,” said Foggy, and got up to stumble to the bathroom. She took in the condition of her legs and said, “I need to shower anyway.”

A second set…and it said everything that hearing about that made her heart clench with jealousy once again. She understood perfectly why Matt had both accepted the expensive gifts and then kept them, at least once he explained how since the accident he had always struggled to get enough sleep, until the first night he had turned down in them and discovered how much of a relief it had been to have sheets that didn’t feel like sandpaper against his skin, was how he described his old cotton ones. That was the kind of temptation even he hadn’t been able to resist. She certainly wasn’t going to ask him to give that up, especially given how broke they both were. And yet she wished so badly he wasn’t using such sheets given to him by another woman, an ambassador’s daughter who was richer than her as well as hotter, and so superior to Foggy she ought to thank her lucky stars that for whatever reason that relationship hadn’t worked out.

This wasn’t ideal, what had happened the previous night. Of course now that they were moved in together, they probably would’ve started having sex anyway. But she was never going to proud of the fact that their first time had basically happened because he’d confessed where his sheets had come from and she’d gotten so jealous she’d basically demanded they fuck on them. It had been ridiculously petty. She even kind of wished he’d called her on it. But he hadn’t even shown any reluctance, just given her what she wanted; seemed pretty happy to, actually.

Even though she was pretty sure he’d been able to tell her period was coming the previous night, and she herself had been aware it was due, even if, in the heat of jealousy and desperate want, she’d forgotten, and she was a little worried that subconsciously, she’d gone and gotten blood on those sheets on purpose.

He brought her crackers in the bathroom. “Remember what the nurse practitioner said-you really shouldn’t be taking these without food in the stomach.” Post-shower he was waiting, sitting on the bed with the heat pack, the sheets changed, and he said, “I don’t think we need to get up yet. Why don’t you lie back down and I’ll give you a backrub, at least until the painkillers kick in.”

“I’m not even in that much pain,” said Foggy. She wasn’t; lately her period had been starting more slowly, with a short time period of lighter flow and less pain, before the brunt of it hit. Made things a lot easier; no longer did she have that terrible hour while she waited for her medication to start working. Indeed, it seemed a lot of things in her life had improved since she and Matt had had that reckoning, and from there started building a stronger and more honest relationship which she thought was probably making them both happier than either of them had ever been, him especially.

But he coaxed her back under the sheets anyway, and oh God they felt so good on her back, even when she also added as she shifted onto the relief of the heat pack, “I’m probably going to get blood on these too, in this position.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he told her. “I got a huge lecture from Serena once about even with overnights no woman can completely keep her sheets clean.” Serena had been the next girlfriend he’d had after Elektra. “I’m not going to expect you to.” His hands were already on her back, and she knew those senses of his allowed him to know exactly where things were tight, exactly where she most needed relief. She’d joked more than once that he should’ve held off on the massages, because she’d started to think they were better than the sex would be. Although the sex had ultimately turned out to be better still, so she supposed she might have to retire that one.

“So she bled on them too?” she asked. That would make her feel better, maybe, if she wasn’t the first.

But he only said, after another moment, “Uh, no, she never spent the night like that. You know we didn’t date very long.”

His thumbs were grinding into exactly the right pair of places above the small of her back, forcing a groan from Foggy’s mouth-and also more blood out of her cunt, although she was pretty sure the pad caught it all-this time. “Yeah, I know,” she said. “Although at least she was like you were at the time with the amount of guys she went through. I guess you can get away with that better when you’re hot.”

When that last sentence escaped her mouth, she hoped Matt would take it simply as a reflection on both himself and Serena, rather than of her as opposed to anybody else. She was pretty sure her heartbeat wasn’t articulate enough to tell him otherwise, after all. Or maybe it was, given how it spiked when she realized the full implications of saying that to him.

But he said, “Foggy…you’re not going to be scared of any conventionally attractive women talking to me, are you?”

“I’m not going to be ridiculously clingy like that,” she hastily replied.

“I’m not talking about that,” he said, and now he sounded truly dismayed. “I’m talking about you being unhappy. You really should not be afraid, you know. You know perfectly well you…you’ve been the…the most important woman there’s ever been in my life. Also the most important person at least after my father died.”

Oh God, she loved this man. And how could she possibly avoid the fact that she wasn’t supposed to be able to attract a boyfriend this wonderful? “Still,” she said, “I haven’t been the woman you’ve been fucking before. And even if you can’t see them, haven’t I made it pretty clear they’ve all of them been a lot hotter than me? I don’t know what it is about your supersenses that causes that, but, well, in any case, you now know exactly how fat I am.”

“Foggy,” he protested, “Do…do you realize how much I…I-I loved finally getting my hands on you last night? Surely…surely you noticed?”

“Well,” she said, “you were obviously enjoying it, um, but…it’s sex. Men usually do enjoy it, I find. And I do believe, you know, that you have, well, feelings for me here. I’m sure you’ve been happy to overlook a few things.” Now they were both turning red, of course, but his hands remained steady as they moved up and down her back. She was grateful for that. “You don’t have to flatter me, Murdock. Okay, maybe you liked the rack, especially since you don’t have to see how ridiculous it can make me look unless I’m very smart in what I wear-”

“I’m not flattering you,” he insisted. And then his hands did move, one to her breast, naturally, but the other down forward, resting itself over her belly button, and there was an intimacy in the way he stroked that made her shiver, even making her forget the pain for a split second or so. “I like your body. I love how soft it feels, how much of it there is, how warm you are.”

To make his point further, he started kissing his way down her spine, and even after only a single night together it seemed he’d already memorized where on her back to put his mouth as well. Although the arousal was mild, mostly she felt just warmth and a gentle pleasure that melted her down in his embrace, before he whispered, “I’d be loving this, too, except I don’t like that you’re in pain,” and Foggy was left to melt even further, even before he moved his hands back to her back and resumed the massage.

But by the time they were turning in on the bed at the end of the day, it having been a surprisingly exhausting one, too much so for any further sex, Foggy tried not to look at or rest on the spots where blood had indeed settled, and though she and Matt had worked together getting them out she could somehow see it all anyway, and she knew Matt could still smell it. Both his sets of sheets in one day; she’d been efficient. She thought she might just stay aware of where she’d stained them even after it finally faded from his senses.

She woke up briefly at one point in the night, and heard him murmur in his sleep, “Don’t leave me, Foggy.” Why he could possibly be dreaming she might was beyond her, but she felt like a horrible person for being a little glad for it.


It arrived a handful of days early, and Foggy was not at all surprised. Of course she was going to get her period on their first day at Landman and Zack. At least it had the decency to arrive before they left the apartment, so she was able to slip a pad on.

She should’ve taken the painkillers then too. She knew that. But the pain on the first day was nothing like what it had been, and also they were getting more pinched for money now that Matt had to be careful with what was left of his inheritance and there seemed to be more bills than there’d been. Plus there was that whole plan of them getting married at some point, although she suspected ultimately her parents would step in and insist they arrange and pay for everything, because her mother really wanted to see her married sometime within the next five years. So she’d started to feel the temptation to do without, and for the majority of the time they’d been getting ready before leaving to catch the bus, Foggy had been in almost no pain at all.

Naturally, that changed when they were on the bus, that was when the pain started becoming constant, and stronger. Foggy had at least put the pills in her purse, figuring she’d need them later in the day, but neither of them had any water on them, and they were too big to easily swallow dry, enough so to further deter her from trying.

In the crowded bus, Foggy had been pushed up against Matt, until her knees were slung over his. When, about five minutes into their bus ride, the pain got bad enough she had to concentrate on breathing and not making any sounds, he pulled her closer, and settled his fingers on her back. “I can’t do as much for you as I’d like here,” he whispered, “but I could try stroking your lower back?”

Anything that would be of help was welcome. “I assume you will be a gentleman and keep your fingers above my waistline.”

Keep them up there he did, mostly pressing at either side of her spine, and he slid her up and fully into his lap, then whispered, “Can we find a position where the casual observer would be less likely to notice?” and Foggy managed to maneuver herself into the best one she could figure out. It was one which had one of Matt’s hands pressed between her back and the seat, and relied on his other one having a grip on her to secure her through the buses stops and starts. Under other circumstances this would’ve been when Foggy snuggled into him. This meant he was working much more on one side of her than on the other, but at least he dug his fingers in deep on that side, even getting them under her suit jacket so they were separated from her skin only by her thin blouse, and that provided something for her to focus on best she could.

Most of the bus passengers weren’t even looking at them. They were focused on their phones, or talking to each other, or paging through a newspaper. And when Foggy’s eyes first fell on her, Marci was no exception. She was a little surprised she was on the bus, actually; it did not strike her as a particularly Marci place to be. But there she was, on the phone with what sounded like her brother, that jerk who thankfully lived all the way in San Francisco; it was a good thing when he’d said what he’d said when he’d first seen her it had been over Skype, so Matt hadn’t been able to do what Foggy had known he’d wanted to do.

In fact, Marci was definitely sounded exasperated with him, though she wasn’t quite loud enough for Foggy to pick up her exact words, and she huffed in irritation as she hung up. That was also when her eyes fell on the two of them. The same moment, unfortunately, that Matt got bold enough to press the fingers of his visible hand very close to Foggy’s butt. Foggy watched as Marci saw that, craned her eyes, presumably judged the likely location of his hidden hand, and smirked as Foggy turned red. Seriously, why did she have this woman as her best female friend, whom she possibly also had a bit of a girlcrush on?

The flush of heat to her face, of course, was something Matt could detect, and he leaned in whispered to her, “Am I doing too much? I suppose…”

“Yes, Murdock,” Marci said, getting up and taking the two steps over to them, “you are being watched.” Oh God, Foggy was going to die of embarrassment. “By the way, where’s her ring? You’ve been engaged for ages now, haven’t you?”

“We’ll probably buy that when we can actually afford it?” Foggy offered.

“Look,” said Matt, trying to speak softly, but there were still many strangers who could hear his, “She’s got cramps, and she can’t take the painkillers without water.” Yep, now everyone in this section of the very crowded bus was staring at them. This was totally not worth the minimal pain relief.

“Oh, for God’s sake,” sighed Marci, then looked at him as if daring him to chide her for taking the Lord’s name like that. Thankfully he had the sense not to, especially when she pulled a water bottle out of her purse. “You really should keep this on you, Foggy.”

“Thank you,” breathed a still mortified Foggy as she took the water. She nudged Matt, which got him to thank Marci too. He sounded hostile her, which was weird; hadn’t Foggy explained to him why she was really a much better person than she seemed at first glance?

It hadn’t kicked in yet when they reached their destination; Foggy was relieved to stand and walk as they got off the bus. Then, when they were off it, Matt said softly to her, “She’s attracted to you too, you know.”

“What?” That made no sense at all. She’d never even shown an indication of being anything but straight, let alone attracted to someone of Foggy’s looks.

“Her heart and breathing made it very obvious. And she sounded pretty tense too. I think she might have been a little aroused, though it was difficult to be sure in the crowded bus.”

This was crazy. Especially because he actually sounded anxious. “Matt,” Foggy said carefully, “you do realize I’m not going anywhere, don’t you?”

He didn’t get a chance to respond, because they were passing through the revolving glass doors, and into the stone and glass foyer which was spectacular enough a sight she actually gasped at it. “Pretty place?” he quipped, but it didn’t sound like his heart was entirely in it. Nonetheless she described it to him, because there were also too many people in this foyer she did not want to overhear the alternative conversation, and he took her arm as she led them up to the front desk.

But she was thinking of that second night together, in the apartment, and what she’d heard him murmur in his sleep. “Don’t leave me, Foggy.” At the time she’d figured it was just a subconscious fear; no one expected those to be rational. Now, for the first time, she wondered if it had just been that.

After that they didn’t get a chance to talk alone together again until the long first day was over, and they stood waiting for the bus. “First day of Nelson and Murdock taking on the world,” she declared. He’d insisted that night he’d proposed on the steps she should keep her name, and they should even order them that way. “Sounds better,” he’d said. “You know how good my ears are. Besides, given how long it’s probably going to be before we can afford a proper wedding, you’ll likely get yourself established professionally as Nelson first.” Now she found herself thinking about how it would also make it all too easy for her to break from him if she ever wished to. So she added, “First of many to come.”

“I hope so,” he said, and well, that was final confirmation of her fears.

“Matt,” she sighed, “remember when you said I shouldn’t get anxious every time someone attractive spoke to you? Even though most of them do find you hot, and there are plenty of them where I can tell too?”

“And you shouldn’t,” he said. “You still have no idea, do you, Foggy? Even though a woman as attractive as you’ve repeatedly told me Marci is wants you-shouldn’t that tell you something? And you could, you know. If I didn’t exist-”

“But you do,” she cut him off, almost angrily. “And no occasional crush is going to stop me from thanking my lucky stars every day that you’re here and you want me, so will you please just…”

She really hoped he wouldn’t call her out for hypocrisy, though. Because that very day, she’d seen him attract the eye of multiple lawyers, including a male one, and her heart still clenched at it, unable to stop being just a little scared. She would have laughed now, if it hadn’t been so pathetic.

The bus was pulling up, and she all but bumped him with her arm to encourage him to take it. “I’m not leaving you ever,” she insisted, as a closing argument. “Not for another man, not for another woman, not for another job, not for anything.”

He let her lead him onto the bus without responding. It wasn’t as crowded as it had been that morning, but when they seated themselves in the back corner, with her by the window, he learned against her and wrapped an arm around her as he whispered, “Maybe we can figure out a way to buy that ring.” She didn’t protest then, just let her head fall on his shoulder, and let him hold her as they rode home.


It was exactly on time, just like it had been the last time they’d come to a reckoning like this. Foggy supposed she should probably take her painkillers in time to be sure she’d be in order for the final fitting into her wedding dress scheduled to take place that afternoon. If the wedding was still on at that point.

It had been about a month since the day(she’d had her period then too) she’d come home to find Matt’s face pressed against the window, as if he could see that stupid billboard they put up with for reduced rent, and he’d told her, his voice almost dead, what he had heard in one of the apartments down the block, and what had happened when Child Services had come in. Three weeks since he’d admitted to her what he wanted to do, although then she hadn’t believed he’d actually do it. A week and a half since he’d come in, his hands covered in blood, and just had a complete breakdown, and while she wasn’t sure how much she could blame him for the deed itself, his confessions of how it had felt had truly horrified her.

Six days since she’d caught him ordering things online, and he’d admitted he was going to do it again. That this was going to become a regular thing.

Since she’d finished screaming at him, they hadn’t talked to each other much. They’d slept on opposite sides of the bed, her saying nothing as he’d walked out and then walked back in hours later riddled with cuts and bruises, but every night she’d heard him begging her in his sleep not to leave him. Something which a month ago she’d never thought she’d even consider.

He’d had to have trained all those years for this. That was among the things she’d screamed at him. That’d he’d had to have known, within him, that he’d do something like this. He’d probably known, too, how she was going to react. Now, at least, she had a better idea of why he’d always dreaded her leaving him, that it hadn’t been just because everyone before her had.

She’d spent the week putting off a decision. She hadn’t even breathed a word of any of this to her family; even though it made her cringe with guilt to think about how much money they were sinking into a wedding that might now be called off.

She didn’t take the painkillers. The pain wasn’t as bad as it was going to get later, and for now it was just enough to ground her, steel her, make her feel, somehow, that this needed to be done this morning. He’d been gone when she’d woken up, but she had a pretty good idea where he was.

Sure enough, she stepped into Fogwell’s Gym and there he was, dancing around the punching bag like it was a real live opponent. The disturbing thought hit her that it might be easier to him to forget it wasn’t when he couldn’t see it, and it was probably absorbing heat from his fists. This was the uglier, nastier side of Matthew Murdock, which she’d seen a glimpse of once, when a college boy had tried to rape her and Matt had unleashed that dangerous temper all over him, but for the most part, she’d been as blind as he was when it came to seeing it-except now her eyes were working perfectly.

He slowed and stopped, and asked, “How’d you know I was here?”

“Known about your outlet for a while,” she said simply. “I didn’t say anything because I thought it had something to do with your dad. Now I know better.”

“Know better about a lot of things, I guess,” he said, and went back to punching, hitting out his pain, she feared.

“Yeah, like you have some anger issues,” she said. “Wanna to talk about it?”

He looked like a man glaring at her when he stopped again. Then he stopped, sniffed, and said, “Why haven’t you taken your painkillers? You need water? I’ve got it in my bag.”

“Didn’t bring my pills.”

“I’ve got some. You can have them.” The pain in his voice was almost more than she could bear.

But she had to bear it, and worse, because she had to ask the next question. “What happens when you come home still angry?”

“You think I’ll hit you?” He asked it mostly matter-of-factly, but a little appalled. That was a good sign, she supposed. “You think I’d want to?”

“It would make my decision easier if you did,” she sighed.

He stepped back and folded his arms. “I am not going to help you justify leaving me, Foggy. I remember hearing Marci preach about how a woman doesn’t need justification to leave a man and you agreeing with her. And even if you did, well, I guess I’ve provided you with more than enough anyway.” Then he turned and went back to punching the bag.

But he stopped again when Foggy said, “You know, I have spent the last six days thinking of every reason that I should. Thinking about what it would be like staying with you, night after night, not knowing where you are, knowing if you keep this up, you’re going to get yourself killed-you know that, right?”

“I can take care of myself,” he said, and started upwrapping his hands, then stepped towards her, but stopped, as if he dared not come any closer.

“And what about me? Do you know what I’ve really been thinking, Matt? That this is going to end with me as a widow if I’m lucky. If I’m not, well…you ever stop to think what would happen if you went to jail? Or worse? They’d come after me too, you know. Even if I got off with a light sentence I’d still probably be disbarred…”

Tears were in his eyes now, and she could hear the grief in his voice as he said, “This city needs me in that mask, Foggy.”

Foggy had a couple of times over the week fantasized she could get him to stop for her. Although the truth was, the idea of having that type of power over a fellow human being made her sick. Looked like she didn’t, anyway, which was relieving. Even if it hurt, beyond what she’d even anticipated, hearing it confirmed he was going to choose this madness over her, even though he clearly thought now he couldn’t have both.

And her next words were, “Maybe you’re right. Maybe it does. But I don’t.”

Tears were coming from both of them now; down below her innards clenched hard and for a moment she thought she was going to jackknife. She knew what the sensible thing to do now was, to protect her heart, her career, maybe everything she had in life, or possibly even her life itself. It was to finish it, walk out, deliver the news to her family.

But no, she knew, she wasn’t going to, because she’d spent six days trying to decide to do that, and hadn’t. Her decision had only been left still unmade.

But as she paused, he turned towards his bag and said, “Foggy, let me at least give you the painkillers, please.” And that was it. That was the Matt Murdock she knew, the one who did things like that, and that meant she wasn’t going to save herself; she was going to give him this one, crazy option.

“That’s all I need.” It broke from her involuntarily. “I’ve only ever needed the man I love. The man I love so much that even after six days of telling myself all the reasons I need to call off this engagement, I still don’t want to give him up. The man I still desperately want to share everything with. Our home, our hearts, our careers, our thoughts, our dreams, bills, crushing debt…but in a year’s time, Matt, is he still going to be the man who comes home to me? Or will this man in the mask who goes out and hits people and enjoys it consume him?”

And then finally he came to her, pill, water bottle, and even crackers in hand, and say, “I can still give you him, Foggy; I swear it. Honestly, even if being married to me is too much for you to handle, I still want to go into practice with you; I want everything you’re willing to give me.” His voice was still shaking, though the tears had momentarily stopped. “But if you are, I promise I will be your loyal partner both in the office and at home, I will never raise my hands to you, and I will always love you.”

As she took the pill from his hand, she laid a finger on his wrist, and felt his pulse, hammering, of course, and she didn’t have his ability to read people, but she believed him completely. She took hold of that wrist as she took the water bottle in her other hand and swallowed the pill, and by the time she had swallowed a second cracker she was sure of everything. “I can do this,” she realized it out loud. “I can be there, I can endure you going out, and keep the first aid kit stocked. And I’ll keep your secret-I’ve already kept one, right, so what’s another? And I’ll keep the firm going on the days when you’ve gotten yourself injured, and I’ll be there to help on those nights when you can’t live with yourself, because really, baby, those are definitely happening, and there’ll be times I hate you, but even then, I promise, Matt, I will always love you.”

And then they were kissing, hard and desperate, him nearly lifting her up off the floor as he pressed her against the boxing pen. There was blood on his hands from where he’d punched the bag too hard, and she could tell he had a bad cut on his back that was still bleeding a little too. When she thought about it, and the blood between her legs really starting to come out now, it almost felt appropriate, as did the pain steadily getting worse in her stomach, as well as in her heart, but that was pain she had chosen, because having this man in her arms for as long as he lasted was still worth all of it.

She would think of this moment two weeks later, when they again made promises to each other and kissed, this time in front of Father Lantom and her family, and so were united in the eyes of the world, the law, and the God Matt believed in. And Foggy understood and appreciated the significance of all that, she really did. But even then, on what she had once believed would be the biggest day of her life, all she could think was it was impossible to feel any more utterly and irrevocably committed to Matthew Murdock than she had already felt, that no words or gestures could bind her, heart and soul, to him more than the ones they’d shared in that empty gym that morning.


Foggy was pretty sure it was the arrival of Stick that triggered it to show up three days early. At least it hit after she and Karen had left Ben’s office for the latter’s apartment, and Karen had given her a pad, but she hadn’t had any pills that could hope to deal with Foggy’s cramps, so she hadn’t been able to stay with Karen as long as she might have liked, given the other woman clearly wasn’t fully recovered emotionally from having been attacked. At least she’d left her the bat.

Foggy actually wouldn’t have been surprised by a delay for once, given how badly she’d been injured in the explosions. Perhaps that was why the stress of her husband’s secret vigilante identity being framed for them and for mass murder hadn’t triggered anything. But she’d woken up earlier that night to the sound of a strange scornful voice in their apartment and walked out to find an old blind man, which just confirmed what she’d already figured out about his identity by then, and, in retrospect, Foggy thought that at the sight of him her uterus had promptly contracted in warning.

Even as she headed home, she thought of Stick’s taunts, his telling her she ought to leave or Matt would be dead, even asking her if she knew another woman had been in the apartment, possibly two, he’d added. At least she’d gotten some satisfaction out of explaining Karen and Claire to him.

Claire, who in the hospital had delivered her updates on Matt’s status whenever Karen had stepped out of the ward. Including that on a night he’d been cornered, and framed, and had been lucky to escape arrest multiple times, he had gotten most upset upon learning she was injured. Who had said frankly near the end of it that while she had initially been disappointed to learn her “Mike” was married, she was now thinking it was just as well. “I don’t think I could ever have allowed myself to fall in love with a man who…well, who does what he does,” she’d said, and Foggy wondered just what she’d witnessed; she knew, in a very general sense, what Matt did and what it was like for him on the streets, but it was easier if she didn’t know the gorier details. “I admire you. I don’t envy you.”

From that night on, Foggy had known she would never be jealous over Matt again. Not when she now understood both his devotion to her and that most of the people who went starry-eyed over him could never have handled him.

Besides, it wasn’t like her biggest rival for his heart could ever be another person. She knew what that rival was, and what it always would be.

She actually would’ve liked to have brought Karen back with her, especially since she was pretty sure she’d feel a lot safer with her and Matt. But of course she couldn’t so long as they weren’t telling Karen about Matt being the mysterious man in black she and Ben were looking for. She already was hating having to fake ignorance around them about that, having answers they needed and she couldn’t tell them. Really, Foggy thought both her office mates officially desperately needed to sit down and have a frank exchange of secrets. She was pretty sure they weren’t going to be able to keep Karen’s from Matt anyway. He might have already been wondering. It had partly been a comment from him earlier that day which had sent Foggy, on impulse, out of the apartment and after her after he and Stick had departed on their little joint mission. She was lucky she’d found her in time.

In fact, as she unlocked the door of the apartment, she was seriously considering just telling him everything. If he detected she’d been in Ben’s company she’d probably have to. Her mind was even forming words: Anyone finds out about both your and Karen’s activities, and no one will believe she didn’t know about you either. That means she’s a part of this too now, and she didn’t even get a say in that. She deserves to know.

But when she stepped in, she was brought up short by the sight before her. The living room looked like there’d been a stampede; the furniture lay broken and overturned everywhere. And sitting in the middle of it was Matt, mask off, black suit on, running his fingers over what looked like some cheap wristband.

She was drawing breath for the questions when he answered the first of them: “He lied to me when he said he wouldn’t kill anyone. The Black Sky he talked about…it was a child, Foggy; I could hear his heartbeat. They were unloading him at the docks out of a crate, like he was just a package or something. And Stick intended to kill him. And I stopped him at the docks, but then he tracked him down and killed him anyway when I wasn’t there to stop him. And when…when he came back and to-told me that…”

He wouldn’t ask why she’d left the apartment. He wasn’t happy about the fact that when he went roaming the streets at night sometimes she did too, but he understood that sometimes she could sleep and sometimes she couldn’t, and when she couldn’t, it was torture for her to just wait there, so she often didn’t; half her evenings out with Karen had come out of that. Though she did usually try to get back first; obviously tonight there had been highly unusual circumstances.

She still wasn’t sure what she was going to say to him about those, but all that, she decided, could wait until morning. First there were more questions to ask him. “Where is he now?”

“Gone. I told him to get out of the city. After…” He waved his hand around at the wreckage of their living room; she’d already guessed as much. “Sorry about…”

She should be angry. Maybe she would be later, when she was less worried, and she got around to doing a proper survey of the damage. For now, though she walked over to him, leaned down, and took a good look at what he was holding in his hands.

Her heart stopped. It was made out of paper, woven into a bracelet, and bore a cheery colorful pattern, like one would find on… “The ice cream wrapper,” she breathed. “The bracelet you made him.”

“It must have fallen off while we were fighting,” he said. “He kept it, Foggy. He kept it.”

He spoke like that little boy, reaching out desperately for affection from the father figure who was doing nothing but hit him, and Foggy felt a new feeling rise in her. An ugly, angry possessiveness, completely unlike the jealousy and fear she had spent years feeling before finally leaving it behind only days ago. “Put it away,” she said through gritted teeth.

He made a confused noise, and she spat out, “Get it out of my sight. I never want to look at that thing again.”

“Foggy…” he started to protest, rising to his feet.

“Please!” she cried. “Do you know how badly I want to rip that thing to shreds? If you want to keep it, get it away from me!”

He darted away, into the bedroom, which thankfully hadn’t been too affected by his and Stick’s fight. She watched as he put the bracelet in the bottom drawer by the bed, where he kept a Bible-related braille reader. Then he said, “You need your painkillers, don’t you? Although Karen gave you a pad?”

“Yeah,” said Foggy, and her cramps were definitely getting worse now. He went to get them. Of course he did. Got water and crackers, the whole lot.

She, meanwhile, went to the bathroom and got a pair of towels and a washcloth, and filled a bowl with water. He came back to find her, now jacketless and barefoot, carefully laying the towels out on the bed, one on top of the other in case she bled through it, which made clear what she wanted, even before she said, “Yes, that fat co-ed who was foolish enough to marry you to going to require you between her legs tonight, Mr. Murdock,” because yes, she’d woken up in time to hear Stick’s remark about where Matt was burying his sorrows. As well as Matt’s angry hiss of “You leave me wife out of this,” which she’d loved him for.

“Foggy,” Matt said anxiously, when she’d taken the pill and crackers, “what Stick was trying to get me to do, you’re not at all afraid…”

“No,” she said, because she wasn’t; this one wasn’t about fear. “But he had no right, saying to you what he said. You know, I also woke up in time to hear him say he was proud of you for your accomplishments. What right did he have to be proud of you, that arrogant, abusive, child-killing monster who walked out on you?

And what’s more, where does he think he gets off, calling everything in your life a distraction? Except the whole vigilante thing, and I wonder…he always talked about preparing you for a war. I doubt he was talking about the one you’re fighting now on behalf of Hell’s Kitchen. What would he care about this place? He’s probably more like the Avengers, off fighting aliens and gods and who knows what else and who cares if a little girl gets raped or a little boy gets kidnapped or some poor people get bullied out of their apartments? He knew better than to say that to you, I’ll bet, but you know that’s what he was thinking about you.”

Matt was shaking his head in denial. “What war would he want me for?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care,” she snapped; she was in too much pain at the moment for that one. “All I know is if we ever see him again, then I can’t be held responsible for my actions. I’ll look into suing if you forbid me to punch him. I’m already letting you fight in one war every night, and you know, the only reason I can stand doing that is because it’s your war, for our home. You should fight your war, not his. He doesn’t get to have you. He has no right. You belong to Hell’s Kitchen and you belong to Nelson and Murdock and you belong to me.”

She kissed him then, fiercely, angrily, and he just let her claim him, and the noise he made when she pretty much ripped his shirt off of him wasn’t one of protest, nor were the sounds he made when she grasped at him. Her hands were frantic-not reckless, they never were any more, but demanding. When her mouth started moving across his jaw, his stubble rough on her tongue, she had to keep herself from biting.

Then he pushed, and a moment latter Foggy was on her back on their bed, and he was getting eager for this too now, pulling at her shirt, its buttons just a little too small for him to find easily. Foggy reached down, undid the fly of her slacks, and then said, “You get those off, I’ll get this off?” As he obediently reached down, she took in the pants of his costume, how they clung to that beautiful ass, and how she kind of wanted to make him come in them. She supposed he’d find the smell too distracting, though, even after washing.

His work was faster, and she had barely gotten the last button undone and pushed her shirt open for him to hear when he was all over her collarbone, pressing kisses just above her breasts before just shoving her bra down so he could get his mouth on those. That luscious, hot, skilled mouth which teased at her nipples until she was panting, her body starting to clench with want, which actually made the pain worse for a moment but she didn’t even care. His hands had been doing crazy things on her back, now she reached for them to move them down; she wanted those long fingers in her bad.

But to her shock, he moved his head down further, and though he paused to lick at places on her belly which were more sensitive, she recognized this pattern of kissing his way down. “Matt,” she gasped, “you’re not going to…”

“Please, I want to,” he said. “Not the first time I’ve tasted blood down there.”

That was true, but before that night, when he’d gone down on her during her period, it had been during the tail end of it, when there’d been relatively little blood on her. “Matt,” she said, “I’m absolutely gushing right now. Your face will smell of it for days, at least to your crazy nose.”

“I know,” he said, “but please” His voice was hoarse with desire.

Well, if he really wanted to…and Foggy was going to find a hard satisfaction, tonight, in fulfilling his desire, whatever of her it was for. She let her legs fall open.

He teased her a little more, running his tongue up and down her thighs until she was squirming, the heat between her legs starting to get stronger than even the pain. Everything was more sensitive; when he finally brought his tongue between her labia she was moaning even before he got to her clit, and when his lips closed around it and sucked, it felt so good she couldn’t even think of anything else.

His fingers dug into her, and Foggy was pushing herself down hard, just wanting more, please more-she didn’t even realize she was saying it out loud until he groaned in response, so turned on just by that, which just made her crazier, oh please please please please please. Her body was squeezing itself around his fingers, the way she knew he absolutely loved, everything getting tighter and tighter, pleasure and pain mixing until she could barely tell one from the other-until finally everything dissolved and burst, the force of it sending spasms up her spine and down to her toes. She lost herself in the hard throb of her loins, and Matt just kept going, her helpless moans of ecstasy causing him to go harder until it was nearly unbearable, the orgasm going on and on, until when he finally withdrew she was gasping for breath, her muscles reduced to goo, all the tension in her body gone, and the pain gone with it.

He’d gotten the washcloth off the nightstand; her blood was all over his lower face. When Foggy barely gave him time to wipe it off before she pulled him down for a kiss, he still tasted of it, but at the moment she was beyond caring. She pulled him up, smearing blood on his pants but that didn’t really matter, and when she felt he was still hard she started wrestling with the top of them, finally getting that down, and whispered, “Condom. Now,” because he was probably already pretty far gone, and she was determined to have him inside her before this was over.

He took his sweet time getting it on, probably trying to keep himself from coming before he got in. She knew by the time he slid home he wasn’t going to last long at all, but this by itself was worth it, especially when her cunt was still pulsing and she knew he could feel that. He was whimpering even before she clamped her legs around him and squeezed, and that finished him; he came gasping and groaning into her neck, and she savored how he shuddered in her arms, the way he just went limp and let her hold him, let her be tender with her hands on his back and in his hair, and with her kisses, which he returned weakly, the way she knew he did when his feelings overwhelmed him after sex. “It’s all right,” she whispered between their mouths, even as the rest of her words got tangled in her throat.

She was still pain-free, surprisingly, after they were both showered, she’d changed her previous pad for an overnight, the towels had been dealt with(they’d done their job; the sheets were unstained), and they’d settled back into bed. “Please say you’ll sleep tonight,” she whispered, because on nights when he got the way he’d been when she’d come in, she knew he often didn’t, which was especially bad considering what they were going to have to deal with in the morning.

“I’ll try,” he said, and shifted closer until his head rested in her bosom. “At least I can’t smell him anymore when we’re like this.”

She laughed, although she didn’t feel that much mirth. “Guess my being covered in blood right now is good for something? But you’d really rather smell that rather than Stick? Not that I’m objecting, mind-in favor of all things being preferred to Stick here…”

He let out a similar laugh, then said, “Foggy, your menstrual blood smells nothing like blood out on the street.”

“Yeah,” she said, “but didn’t you just tell Claire when we were hiding her here you could taste copper in the air when one of her wounds opened? Surely you’ve still got to taste the copper now, even if there’s stuff besides blood coming out of me.”

“It’s not…I smell menstrual blood somewhere or other most days; been doing so before I even knew what it was. It’s just another smell to me now. Well…except…" He shook his head. "I’m about to creep you out.”

“Creep away,” Foggy told him. She was disturbingly used to it.

“It’s just…for me, a woman’s menstrual flow is like her heartbeat; I…I spend enough time around her and I get to recognizing it automatically. And this is what I’ve been smelling for a week out of the month and usually more for all the years I’ve known you, Foggy. This is what you smelled like when we first met, when you took me back-both times, when I proposed to you on the steps…I even caught a whiff of it approaching when I went down on you the first time we made love. It…it may not entirely be a happy smell, since it can also mean you’re in pain, but even so…it’s you. It’s…it’s home, Foggy. You should stop fretting about getting it on my face. I…I like smelling of you, any smell related to you.”

The feelings still thrumming through Foggy, the need to keep him by her side, were way too strong for her to object to that, to the idea of leaving him marked as hers the next time he went out onto the streets, even if this was a weird way to do it. Instead she timidly asked, “Home?”

“Home,” he said, more firmly. “You’re my home, Foggy.” Saying it for her sake, but she knew he meant it.

“Good,” she whispered to him. “Because this is where you belong. In our city, between our sheets, with me. Next person who tries to tell me otherwise, I’ll leave him wishing it was the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen who’d dealt with him.” A bit melodramatic, but she’d say the situation called for it.

“Seriously,” she added, “I think I never loved these sheets as much as when Stick denounced them.” That got a breathless chuckle out of him.


When they first heard on the news about Wanda and Pietro’s involvement in the great robot battle that had happened in their country, and about the latter’s death, they started looking into ways to get in touch. They finally sent a letter to a general Avengers-related address, and about a week and a half later she emailed them. By then, however, she had decided she was going to live in their new headquarters upstate, at least for the time being, which meant they had to do some planning to see each other.

Or so Foggy thought until one evening, late in the summer, when she was woken up from fitful sleep by the sound of a knock on the door, and opened it to find Wanda standing there. “We are in the city right now,” she explained, just before Foggy pulled her into a hug. “Where is Matt?”

“Had some late-night stuff to do,” said Foggy, which was technically true. “And I don’t think he’ll be fit company when he’s finally done either. If you’re still here tomorrow you should drop by the office. But meanwhile, if I throw something on you want to go out for a drink?”

So off they went to Josie’s, with Foggy texting an invitation to Karen, but she turned them down. Instead it was just the two of them in the corner, Wanda in one of Matt’s hoodies to make herself less recognizable. A couple of drinks in, she considered all the questions she could ask her old roommate, about which ones of the wild stories flying about were true, but just asked, “How are you holding up?”

There was a pause, and then Wanda shook her head. “I don’t know,” she said. “All I know is I am still here, and he is not, and I must…” She trailed off, and took another swig of alcohol before blatantly fleeing the question with “I heard you lost people too? People you worked with?”

“Nothing to compare to the loss you’ve suffered,” said Foggy, although she did take a moment to think of Elena and Ben. “I mean…that would be like if I’d lost Matt.”

And would Wanda ever know just how much she lived in dread of just that? How right now, she could see them having this conversation again, later, when they had both become women bereft of the men that had been the center of their world? She certainly wasn’t telling Wanda Matt’s secret tonight. She honestly didn’t know whether or not she ever would; Wanda’s being an Avenger made her learning it both a distinct possibility and a much more dangerous prospect.

But right now, Wanda was saying, “We did hear, you know, of you two marrying. Only very shortly before…we were…cut off from the world for a long time, and we didn’t hear about such things. But we found time at one point to look you two up, and we saw your wedding announcement. Even photos, on Candace’s facebook. Pietro…he said he had never seen Matt look so happy.”

“How much would those two have loved to see each other again,” said Foggy. “I think Matt will always regret that. I’ll tell him he knew, though, about the wedding, before…that’ll make him glad.”

There was a minute’s silence; they both drank. Then Wanda said, “You’re very different. You’re sad now. It’s strange for me to see.”

“I went out into the world and found out how horrible a place it can be sometimes?” Foggy offered, since that was another thing that was true; she’d even said something similar to Marci already, now that the two of them were friends again. “I mean, I didn’t know it before. Not the way all three of you did. I’d had nothing worse in my life than an evil biomom, and she wasn’t even around much. While you three…”

“Please,” said Wanda. “You shouldn’t be sad. Not you. Matt even talked it over with Pietro and I once, and we all agreed on that. He especially needs you not to be, I think.”

Of course she had no idea of the complications there, but Foggy found she didn’t mind the remark; she was even deeply moved by the sincerity of the sentiment. So she just said, “I’ll see what I can do.”

She’d known her period was upcoming, but it was a bit of a surprise when not long after she started to feel the telltale pain in her abdomen. Luckily by then it was late enough she could easily say she needed to go home, and could even truthfully tell Wanda they had an important meeting with a client the next day. “One who even has enough money we can charge him full rate,” she said to her as Wanda accompanied her home.

“Ah, money!” laughed Wanda. “Maybe you should be glad Pietro and me didn’t join you as lawyers. You’d have even less money then.”

Foggy thought about that possibility, about if Nelson and Murdock had been Nelson, Murdock, & the Maximoffs, or whatever Matt would’ve deemed best for them to call themselves. Pietro would still be alive then, of course, but she wasn’t sure what would’ve happened in Sokovia if the twins hadn’t been there, and if it might not have been very, very bad, so maybe she shouldn’t think about those details and just focus on the image of the four of them, in the office, at Josie’s, out here on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. Probably with messy lives, but maybe still happy, more or less.

Except it wasn’t actually what Foggy would’ve expected to happen anyway. “Would you have done that, maybe? I thought your plan was always to go home.”

She shrugged. “We had all sorts of plans. Not all of which we could do.” And now it definitely sounded like there was something Wanda wasn’t telling her. Foggy had become an expert in spotting that. But it was late at night, and she didn’t want to push her now, and she hoped to see her again, and not too far into the future, when they were be maybe even in more a place with each other where she could really probe.

So for now, she hugged her at the entrance to her building, and said, “I’m sure you’ll be a kick-ass Avenger, though. One who your brother would have been proud of. We’ll be keeping our eyes on the news-well, Matt’ll just be keeping his ears, obviously. And do stop by tomorrow if you can.”

Matt still wasn’t back, though at this point in the evening Foggy wouldn’t expect him to be. Her flow hadn’t started in earnest yet; she took her painkiller with the reasonable confidence it would kick in before her cramps started getting serious. In the meantime, she drew the sheets up when she lay back down, and let herself enjoy being covered in silk. She’d probably doze off, she thought, and when Matt was back in and it was time to give him whatever first aid he needed(although that suit he had now was godsend) she ought to be perfectly fine, at least physically.

She was managing things well. Foggy Nelson had gotten very good at that.