When he was fourteen he thought himself immune. That was when the nuns talked about lust as something girls provoked in boys if they didn’t watch themselves, and they’d made it sound so much like you had to see them for it to work. But by the time he was fifteen, he knew the nuns had told it wrong. Boys and girls both to him were masses of heat and the rush of air and blood, and he soon discovered when he heard a girl’s chest rise and fall when she got excited, or brushed up against another boy’s hard side, or felt the whish of air as a girl’s hair flew through it, flames would run through his blood, and he’d be overcome with the thought of what it would be like to touch.
It only got worse as he got older, and also discovered that girls weren’t the only people who could provoke lust even in people who couldn’t hear and feel what he could. Also, they were as capable of it as boys were. There were days when he feared running into any of his female peers, hearing their breaths catch and their hearts jump and their blood thrum and thrum and thrum; their desires for him made his for them far, far worse. Fewer boys reacted like that, thankfully, but the ones who did brought the possibility of grave sin indeed, and Matt spent half his nights in prayer and the other half in what he told himself was the only sin he would allow himself, the sin that stained none but him, no matter how his mind strayed to Else Hardy or Tom Gorgson or Mary Sue Poots.
But then came the day the last sidled up to him, her blood so hot and wild, her smell overpowering, her hair brushing his skin and nearly driving him to distraction, and she whispered to him, in that voice that always made his stomach flip, whether it was sharp and angry while defying a nun or warm but sad while comforting a younger orphan, “I have a secret to tell you. I’ve decided my name is Skye. And I want to hear you scream it in ecstasy.”
He should have refused her then. But he couldn’t bring himself to, not when he was already hard and practically faint with how much he wanted her.
Two nights later, when she snuck out of her bed after lights out and came for his virginity, he didn’t refuse either. He took hers too, and the aftermath found them in a surprisingly similar state, holding onto each other as she was collapsed on top of him, warmer than any blanket, somewhere between dazed and overwhelmed, and she spoke for both of them when she said, “Wow. I mean, that was kind of a mess, but still. Wow.”
They’re more used to this now, a month later. Getting used to it did lead to the nuns getting suspicious, but now it’s early Saturday afternoon and they won’t be missed for hours more, time enough to get out of St. Agnes for those who have someplace they can go. Skye’s good at finding places. Today she’s broken them into a newly constructed office building, where the smell of the paint and fresh metal is none too pleasant, but she’s learned already fresh paint can irritate him, so she finds a room it hasn’t been applied to yet, and there pushes him down onto the floor, pulling off their coats; he lifts himself up so she can shove them under him; it’s still a bit uncomfortable, but he can manage.
“Huge windows in this room,” she says. “I think this is meant to be the personal office of someone important.” He knows that makes her all the happier to defile the place. “I wish you could see the view from up here; it’s breathtaking.”
“You’re breathtaking,” he says, and he means it. Her body is singing to him already, the scent of her arousal intoxicating; she’s calling him home. He pulls her down and kisses her while grinding his hips up against her; she moans and deliberately shifts over his erection, making hungry little noises come from them both.
“You’re the breathtaking one,” she whispers, and he can feel her eyes on him as she pulled his shift off. Her hands on his bare chest and back leave him desperate already, straining against her even though he doesn’t mean to, and she murmurs, “Going to come in your pants again?”
“Maybe,” he gasps, then groans as she pulls his pants and briefs down fast as she can, and then there’s her mouth, and he doesn’t even last long enough to warn her. At his stammered apology she just moves forward enough to pat him on the cheek.
She turns and spits onto the bare floor; it’s not impossible she decided to suck him off just so she could. Matt doesn’t mind. He’ll be hard again in a minute or so, but right now he’s relaxed and pleased, and filled with other desires. “What are you wearing?” he asks. “And can you stop wearing it?”
“Gimme a second,” she chuckles, and he endures too long a minute of them not touching; her clothes rustle and fall. She pulls his pants off the rest of the way before saying, “There. Now we’re both completely naked.” She loses her breath again as he pushes himself up before coming at her with both hands and mouth; everything around them quivers in anticipation.
He still remembers how on that first night, her moans when he touched her carried a bit of shock to them, as if she honestly hadn’t expected to love what he was doing to her as much as she did. Now she happily welcomes his hands on her body, stroking the places that made her shiver, mouth on her neck, her breasts; he’s also learned a way to tongue her nipples that kind of makes her shake all over and squeeze herself hard; he loves doing it when he’s inside her, but also even when he’s not.
He dips a hand between her legs; even when she’s so aroused the taste of it permeates the air, he’s never fully prepared for the heat and slickness of her down there. He flicks his thumb over her clit and she bucks against it. “Want me to…?” he pulls away to ask, hoping she’ll say yes; so far he’s still figuring out what to do with his mouth, but just having his face against that, feeling it when he floods her body with sweetness, makes him want to spend days going down on her.
But she says, “Not today; I’m too impatient today.” She reaches under him to their coats, letting out a weird moan-laugh when he responds by latching his mouth onto her shoulderblade to suck. “Let me find my pocket, you impatient boy!” she squeals, the hypocrite, then a moment later, “Okay, found it; I’ve got the condom.”
At a slight push from her, he lays himself back down and listens to her tear the packet open. He’s fully hard again; he hears her lick her lips, and twitches. “Patience,” she whispers as she rolls it on him, but that hypocrisy at least doesn’t last for long, she leans down to kiss him and they both moan as she takes him in.
He initially keeps on touching her as she rides him, teasing her skin, reveling in the heat his touch brings to the surface, running his fingers over the top of her breasts until he could feel as well as hear her rapid heart. But then she whispers, “Stretch out,” and he obediently sticks his arms out behind his head. There’s only so much of his body she can get her mouth on while keeping him in her, but her tongue does wicked things to her collarbone, and her hands are doing wickeder things on his chest. He groans and thrusts into her harder, and his name from her sweet lips mixes with the sounds of their bodies moving and clenching in pleasure to make a chorus that hits him almost as much, as does her, “Oh, Matt, yes.”
This is what he loves, what makes him come back for more every time, far more than gratifying his own lust, although having her soft, supple body entwined with his certainly does that. In the past month, he’s found it harder and harder to still believe it could be wrong to make this girl feel so good. He knows how many of the nuns would condemn her as a temptress, but when he considers her compassion, and her ideals, for she does have them, and she sticks to them better than most people he knows, he wonders if, rather than to tempt him, her body has been formed by God as a gift to her, and to those, like him, lucky enough to share it with her. If she views his body the same way, well, he knows it’s not a gift he deserves, but he’s glad for her to enjoy it.
“Close,” he hisses to her; he can feel himself seizing up. “Let me…” She sits up just enough so his fingers can get to her clit. He loves how swollen it is with her blood, the inferno that rushes just below his fingertips. It doesn’t take much; he twists it in a way they learned last time she likes, and the pulses of her orgasm travel through his entire hand, her shudders and cries making the air vibrate until they caress his whole body, and that’s all nothing to the feeling of her sweetest flesh clutching and spasming around his dick, until Matt too is sent over, body shaking with pleasure almost too intense to be bourn, and he doesn’t scream her name but it comes from his lips, as the world around him shuts off and he knows nothing but the air above him and the coats soaked with sweat below him and his Skye…
It’s sometimes a bit of a crash when he comes down, when the world invades his senses again, when their sweat runs cold. But Skye, even if she doesn’t know how great the problem truly is, has figured out he needs to be soothed, and she’s oh so careful, whispering his name and taking his hands to anchor him, and he focuses on her as she shifts to lay next to him, her heart and breath steadying itself out until they both speak reassurance to him, breaking through the cacophony of the rest of the world. He thinks it helps being so high up, too, above the deluge of the sounds and smells and tastes and feelings of the city. He shifts back until their arms are around each other, because they both love to cuddle, and daydreams that they could stay up here forever, just him and her and this feeling of peace and love-he doesn’t know if he’s in love with her, exactly, but he can’t not love her, and he knows she cares for him very much.
When she’s sure he’s good, she whispers, “I’m eighteen in three more months.”
“You won’t stay,” he says. That’s not a secret, not to anyone who knows her at all.
“There so much in the world,” she says. “I mean, I always knew that, but now I see and hear so much more about it, exploring its cyber side. There’s so much I want to see and do and learn, one thing especially, of course. My destiny isn’t here in Hell’s Kitchen.”
“I know,” he says. “I…”
“You shouldn’t come with me,” she says. “You’ve got your future you’ve been working so hard to get to. I shouldn’t take that away from you. Besides,” and she tucks her head into his neck so he can feel her smile, “given what some of my plans are, I might need a lawyer’s help someday.”
“That statement was vague enough to give me plausible deniability,” he informs her, and they can both laugh quietly and snuggle closer into each other.
In an hour or so, they’ll have to return to St. Agnes, try to sneak into their rooms to try to make themselves look less well-fucked. But they may well seek each other’s company again in the evening, sitting together at dinner and getting up with their arms linked together because Matt can always get away with that, and every time someone calls her Mary Sue he’ll tap her real name out against her arm in morse code, the name other hackers over the internet know, but no one at St. Agnes knows but him.
But for now, they’re here. The air is getting cold, and she whispers, “I’ll get one of our coats and cover us; I feel like a nap, how about you?”
“Maybe,” he says, though he’s not sure whether he’ll drop off, because two orgasms does mean he’s pretty tired, or just lie there with his arms around his lover, high above New York City.
Matt doesn’t know why, exactly. It seems since Elektra’s death the organization has been ruptured, turned against itself. Some members are just fleeing and trying to be their own organizations. He’s finding it harder and harder to care. He just wants to not have them in Hell’s Kitchen anymore, to not have to deal with them. To be done with everything’s that’s ever happened to him, because there’s no part of it anymore that doesn’t hurt.
But they’re here, and they’re trying to kill him, and though it gets hard on occasion to think of reasons why he shouldn’t let them, still he fights, kicking one, hitting two more with the club, barely swerving aside from the blade of another, then grabbing and flipping him over, letting that blade instead slice into the leg of one of his companions. But when they found him he was already battered from a fight earlier that night with two other men-linked to Madame Gao, he thinks. And there are too many of them. And he is so tired, and it is so tempting to just give up.
His club is knocked away from him; he hears the swishes in the air and doesn’t respond in time; four of the ninjas are pinning him down. He can’t break free. Above him he hears a blade slice the air as it’s raised-
He hears a flurry of strange sounds that he thinks might be projectiles being fired, except they don’t sound like bullets. He hears them piercing cloth and skin, and opponents fall around him, unconscious and smelling of dendrotoxin.
There’s another person on the roof. Female, he thinks, but there’s something strange about her; her whole body emits sounds and vibrations into the air as if her cells are all shaking just a little. It was she who fired the projectiles, and as the ninjas turn to look at her, she yells and launches herself at them.
“Shield!” one of the ninjas yells. He uses the word again along with some Japanese, and suddenly the ninjas are gathering their passed-out brethren and clearly retreating, which is not like them at all. “Oh no, you don’t,” the woman growls under her breath, and Matt mind reels, because he knows that voice, the one he once knew better than his own, but it can’t be her; it isn’t her heartbeat...
He’s stumbling to his feet as the roof clears up. They’ve all gotten away; it’s just him and this mysterious woman with a voice like the girl who had been his friend and lover for four strange and wonderful months in St. Agnes, and a scent not unlike, but without the heartbeat he so clearly remembers laying by him.
And then, through the air around him stays still, his mask somehow lifts itself right off of his head and flies into her hands as she says, “We’ll finally know who *you* are at l-Matt?!”
It’s her. Not just the sound of her voice, but even the way she says her words. “Skye?” he gasps.
“Daisy, now, actually.” Still that same grin in her voice too. “I found my parents.”
Just then some sort of communication device on her belt comes to life. “Agent Johnson?” asks a male voice.
“Sir?” she picks it up and answers. “Turned out to be a false alarm; just more of these weird Japanese guys. They all got away, too. Again.”
“So long as they’re not increasing activity they’re still not the top priority. We’ve got another report. Up in Hartford. We’re pretty sure the ATCU is already en route. Please say you’re still in Brooklyn.”
“Chased them all the way to Hell’s Kitchen, I’m afraid. Listen, if the ATCU is coming up from DC and you leave now, you’ll get there first and you might just get to the new Inhuman first this time. Why don’t you just leave me here, pick me up in the morning? My orphanage was here; I know the neighborhood well; I’ll be all right until then.”
There’s more brief conversation, during which it dawns on Matt that by “shield,” the ninja probably meant S.H.I.E.L.D. There are rumors going around they didn’t fold in 2014 when they claimed they did, and it was the kind of organization a discombobulated Hand might conceivably flee from, if they didn’t want them finding out their secrets to immortality and altered heartbeats and similar. Which means he should probably flee too; who knows what they’ll do to him.
But he can’t believe Skye, or Daisy Johnson, if that’s her name now, would ever let anything bad happen to him like that. Once, she was the last person who ever would. Also, he wants badly to know what’s happened to her, why her body has changed so completely.
“All right, see you tomorrow.” She turns the device off and returns it to her belt. “Well, Matt,” she says to him, “I think we have some catching up to do.”
“Why on Earth happened to you?” he demands. “How’d you grab my mask like that?” He’s tempted to tell her what he can hear, just so he can ask about that too.
But then she asks in return, “And how are you able to come out here and be the Daredevil when I know you can’t see any of those ninjas you were just fighting? Hey…” Her heart speeds up slightly; the way it does is still familiar. “You didn’t happen to one day find yourself turning into stone and then bursting out of it with new magical abilities, did you?”
“No,” he says carefully, then decides if she knows this much, he might as well trust her with the rest. “But there were a few things back when we were in St. Agnes I didn’t tell you about.”
There’s plenty of time to swap life stories as they slowly make their way back to Matt’s apartment, although Daisy proves surprisingly good at getting from rooftop to rooftop with him, especially since she brought equipment with her. She doesn’t give up hope of his being Inhuman like her easily, even asking if he was absolutely sure he hadn’t turned into stone when he’d come into contact with those chemicals, even when he pointed out that other people involved had gotten them on their skin and had come out of it with only burns, when it should’ve either killed them or induced this terrigenesis she’s talking about. Even so, it’s nice to run into someone who isn’t Stick or Elektra and is completely unphased by learning he can hear her heartbeat, and she doesn’t even hold it against him that he didn’t tell her back when they were lovers. “Most people would be too scared to tell anyone, I think,” she says, “especially at that age.”
When he gets to his and Foggy establishing Nelson and Murdock, trying not to feel too much as he recounts events, she interrupts, “I admit, for the most part I haven’t kept track of you, but I do know your law firm’s history already, because we followed the Castle trial at S.H.I.E.L.D. I mean, we might not be that much like him, but any vigilante trial’s going to be relevant to our interests, since we kind of don’t have any authority letting us do what we do right now, though Coulson’s working on it. I liked that speech you gave, about heroes. I don’t know what you were thinking, giving it at the time and place you did, but I still liked it. I wasn’t the only one.”
“Well,” he tells her, “my reputation may be gone to shit, but if you ever still want me as your lawyer, I should be available.”
Daisy turns more serious as she says, “I hope it never comes to that. But if it does, Matt, I’ll have no one but you. I don’t even care if Coulson wants to go to your sellout of a former partner-”
“He’s not a sellout!” His anger startles her; he forces himself to speak more calmly as he adds, “It…it wasn’t like that.”
“Really?” She recovers quick; she always did. “He ran out on you, deserted you in your time of need.”
“I told him to go. Even before then, I was a terrible partner and a terrible friend to him, and I pushed him away, to keep him safe; that’s the only good thing I’ve done for him since I became Daredevil. He needs to stay far away from me.”
He thinks she might argue further, she who always stuck to a point and never let it go. Or she might demand to know exactly how he was bad to Foggy, so she can argue why he wasn’t that bad.
But instead she just sighs, “Oh, Matt,” grabs him mid-stride, and pulls him into a hug.
It’s full, and fierce, and very her, and even with her strange new Inhuman heartbeat and biorhythms, and indeed a body that has changed into a soldier’s body, like his, he knows her. He can’t even remember the last time someone touched him outside fighting, and he sinks into it; he didn’t realize how much he needed it until this moment.
Tears well up; he can’t stop a couple of sniffles. “Shhhh,” she whispers, and she gently guides him down until they’re sitting down. She just holds him, taking his hands the way she used to do after sex, ready to give him what he might need to be okay without even thinking about it.
Eventually, when a few tears have been spent, and Matt is feeling slightly better, she says, “You know, I think that building we snuck into and fucked in that one time was built around here. I don’t see it now; I suppose it probably went down in the Chitauri attack.”
“Think just about everything on this block did. St. Agnes itself was badly damaged. They have almost everything repaired, but not quite. You want to see it?”
A pause, and then, “No, not just to look at it from the outside. If I’m ever here during the day I’d like to visit properly, but then again, I don’t know if those nuns would let me back into the place.” She laughs, but then says, “I do kind of think I went too far back then. I was so young and so convinced I was always right.”
“Like every good idealist that age.” Matt smiles just at the memory of it, her righteous anger, especially when she saw *anyone* bullying anyone else. Including the nuns.
“Matt, back then I thought virtuous Catholic boys like you were deprived idiots who should be seduced for their own good. I mean, that wasn’t the only reason I seduced you,” she hastily adds. “I really did like you and everything. But…
And you were good to me, Matt. I should’ve realized it even at the time; I’d already been reading horror stories online, of some of the ways other girls got introduced to sex, even if they weren’t raped or something like that. Boys that age really are such ignorant, selfish…and there I was, probably causing you a huge crisis of conscience, and you were being so kind…”
“You were good to me, too,” Matt says gently. “Those were the best four months I had at St. Agnes. Having you as a friend alone would’ve done that, and the sex…” He hopes the night’s dark enough to hide how much he’s blushing. “In the end, you…you taught me to love sex. Even now, I…I’m grateful for that.”
In the years since, of course, he’s been exposed to plenty of examples of just what could happen when lust ran unchecked. Starting in college, when too many nights he heard a girl protesting or crying. In law school, it became what he read about too, learning about some of the worst things humans could do to each other. At least after he’d heard one victim too young or maybe simply too many he started putting a stop to it regularly, but as Daredevil he came to the darkest depths of the city and was exposed to not just rapes, but exactly how nasty prostitution and trafficking could get, the kind of manipulation and casual disposal of women that didn’t always make it into the legal documents even when those responsible were prosecuted. All the ugliness, basically, that could come from men viewing women, or really anyone viewing anything else, as nothing more than pieces of flesh they could use to satisfy their lust.
He certainly never viewed Daisy like that, nor she him. If she sometimes viewed him as someone to save from his own religion, she never did a very good job at that; never objecting to his prayers any more than his running off to class even if she was skipping. And she was young. He can forgive.
Somewhere in front of them, where there’s likely open there now, there was once a newly built office floor on which two randy teenagers shared in the delights their bodies had to offer. When he thinks of that afternoon, and what it felt like to caress her skin, and that moment when they were both lost in pleasure together, and the closeness he felt to her when they laid against each other afterwards…no, Matt feels no more guilt over anything he did with the woman sitting next to him.
Who now is asking, “How did you drive him away, exactly?”
“Give me a little more time.” There have been too many feelings in the last few minutes. “Let’s get back to your story. So you called this guy Gordon, and he came back for you. Where did he take you?”
But he’s the one wrapping up his recent history when they descend from his roof into his apartment. “You say you walked in here and there she was,” says Daisy. “And then, look, here’s me, your high school version of her. Think maybe we’re about to run into that wild boy you talked about being involved with as an undergrad?”
“Daisy,” he’s quick to say, “you are nothing like her. Alike on the surface, yes, but nothing more.” Though taking her, Elektra, and Roddy together as his three longest-lasting relationships, Matt might admit he has a type. Lately he’s even been aware that he was never more attracted to Karen then when she was showing her own wild boldness, even when it was defiance of his admonishments to her.
Roddy isn’t waiting for them; the apartment’s empty. A deep breath from Daisy, then, “So right now, you’ve got no clients, not even a practice, really, driven off your friends, and basically you’re at completely loose ends at the moment?”
“I’m not joining S.H.I.E.L.D.” No need for her to actually ask. “Or your Secret Warriors. Look, Daisy, I’ll never think you yourself don’t mean to do right, and I understand that a lot of the wrongs S.H.I.E.L.D. were driven by Hydra, but I still don’t trust your organization, and I’m not working with them.”
“Just like that?” she sighs. “No chance at bending? You used to scold me for that kind of attitude.”
“I can’t take a chance on this, Daisy. Your organization obviously isn’t anything small, if the Hand’s fleeing from it the way they did tonight; they’re in bad straits now, yes, and have their secrets that they'd want to keep from S.H.I.E.L.D., but they still don’t run from just anyone. And if you put me on that Index, I promise I’ll make their job of dealing with me as hard as possible.”
“I won’t tell anyone about you if you don’t want me to. I do appreciate why some people really don’t like that. Seeing how Lincoln struggled with it…”
She drifts off, and the reason why’s pretty obvious. “You miss him, don’t you?”
She nods. “I just nodded. You know, I think we might be in similar boats here. Grant Ward burned me pretty badly, and I thought after that I didn’t want to…but more and more I think, if Lincoln hadn’t run off after we took my mother down, we could’ve…”
Then she said, “Your former secretary. The one you obviously have some feelings for, even if the whole thing with Elektra made them more complicated. If you’re not leaving town with me, you should tell her.”
“Look…” he starts to protest.
“I know, I know, you sent them off for their own good. I understand why you did that, Matt. But it’s one thing with your former partner. He knew. He made his choice to walk away knowing the details. She, it sounds like, now thinks you’re a cheating liar.”
“And that’ll help her get over me. She may even be already, in...in which case she’s also better off being left to stay that way.”
“You think so? Sounds to me like she might see things very differently if she knew you’ve saved her life twice.”
“Or she might not forgive me for...for lying to her about it for so long.”
“Whether to forgive you or not should be her choice, and made with her knowing what for.”
She has a good point. And the thought of Karen’s forgiveness, even if just as a friend, even if she still kept her distance afterwards, well, that makes Matt think it might be worth it.
“Give it some thought. And maybe give S.H.I.E.L.D. some thought too. Like I said, I’ll keep your existence to myself at least until we happen to stumble back into Hell’s Kitchen again. Meanwhile…” her voice turns mischievous, and her heart spikes, again in a way not unlike it used to, “if it’s just the two of us, and all others are beyond our reach, I wouldn’t mind remembering old times tonight.”
He’s never said no to her, he realizes, and he’s not going to tonight. Not when he’s been so, so lonely, and days and nights when he’ll have the chance to be otherwise aren’t going to happen in abundance anytime soon. Not to mention it’s been nearly a year since he last had sex, and he doesn’t see many opportunities for that either in the near future. Plus the memories of her are so strong right now, and he wants them to stay a little longer, because for the first time in days he’s got a piece of his past that doesn’t cause him pain.
Also, he’s too aware that right now she is the only person in the world who can offer him complete understanding and warmth. Also, the only person whom not only can he trust, but he knows trusts him, and whose trust he knows he can take and never break.
Daisy isn’t throwing herself at him, the way she did when they were young. She’s standing near him, her heart and breathing going fast, and not like they used to, but Matt doesn’t think that’s because of the transformation, at least not the one brought about by terrigen crystals.
He can’t look her in the eyes, of course, but he takes the mask off, drops it to the floor, and raises his head back up anyway. “Yes,” he says simply.
It’s not like it was. Of course it isn’t; they’re both more than old and experienced enough to know they can’t return to the past. Her hands are cautious now, and while it’s actually less awkward than it was sometimes, they feel that awkwardness more. Her hears her distressed responses to seeing his scars, even though they’re all nonverbal. And of course, her body still vibrates on its own. But she still moans when he touches her, especially when he gets his mouth between her legs, and now he’s an expert as this, able to make her come with his mouth as hard as she once made him come with hers. Her hands on him still leave him drawn up and straining beneath her. Her arousal still feels the air; that’s one scent that hasn’t changed. Her blood is still hot and wild. And when he’s inside her, the clutch of her body still welcomes him home.