|Matt Murdock (damngoodlawyer) wrote in chances_rpg,|
@ 2022-05-21 10:47:00
|Entry tags:||mcu: matt murdock, mcu: may parker|
WHO: May Parker & Matt Murdock
WHERE: A bookstore
WHEN: Sunday, May 22
WHAT: Random run in
STATUS: Completed via Gdoc
May really was happy despite the horrible news Peter brought to San Francisco. She couldn’t be there for Peter in their world, but she could love him to bits in their new world. Still, she worried about one of them vanishing one day, which was why she clung to Tony and Bruce working on figuring out things. She trusted those men with her life; more importantly, she trusted them with Peter’s. She believed they could find a way to make their situation permanent. The alternative was unthinkable. Nonetheless, her mind couldn’t help dwelling on Peter being alone at home when she didn’t keep busy, which was why she was currently at the bookstore. Books comforted her.
After an hour, she finally chose one and headed to the cafe area for tea.
No matter how often he wandered into one, Matt was no stranger to confused whispers or the feeling of people's eyes on him as he picked his way through the rows of shelves. They were among the main reasons he usually ordered books online or checked out audio ones from the library, but this had been a special order that was nearly out of print. The person at the counter made awkward, stilted small talk as he paid, but that didn't stop Matt from being his usual disarming self.
He considered just leaving, but the allure of fresh roasted coffee was too strong, so he deviated away from the exit. Before he could make it to that particular counter, however, a familiar fragrance wove through the rest and carried his attention away. He was already smiling faintly as he redirected his steps for the third time to approach May's table. "Pardon me, miss, but is this seat taken?"
May was sipping her tea and flipping through a magazine when Matt found her. She looked up and smiled when she recognized the man who helped her nephew in their world. She had him over for food when he first arrived, but they hadn’t caught up since then. “Matt!” she said, excitement evident in her voice. “Sit! How are you?”
A few deft movements collapsed his cane quickly before Matt took the proffered chair. He slid it onto the table without bumping into her saucer or anything else already on there and set his bag on the floor. "I've been all right, for the most part. Mostly sticking around my apartment, but that's mostly because I picked up some transcription work while the Powers-That-Be figure out a way for my bar license and accreditation to translate to this world. What about you? And Peter? I understand he's been going through a tough time recently."
May’s smile faltered when he mentioned Peter going through a hard time. She knew her kid was trying to put one foot in front of the other, but he had been through a lot in his young life. “How much do you know about it?” She asked softly. She wasn’t sure who had been on Stephen’s post.
"Not a whole lot," Matt admitted. He didn't have to see to notice the change in her demeanor. There was nothing subtle about her sad, quiet tone. "I knew something was going on because of Strange's post, but it takes a lot more work for me to keep up with other people's replies, so I usually just focus on my own thread, so to speak."
“Well…” Where to start? She paused and sipped her tea to gather her thoughts. “He went back to our world. It was only a day to me, but it was months for him. During that time, he was outed as Spider-Man, which you already know. But after he was cleared, some villains were brought into our world from other dimensions with other Peter Parkers. He didn’t want to send them back to die so he came up with a cure for their conditions. Unfortunately, one of them betrayed him and…” She took a deep breath. Her death was both real and unreal to her. She felt the heaviness of it, but at the same time, it was like it happened to someone else. “The Green Goblin killed me,” she continued. “I was trying to save Peter apparently and…well, I am just glad he is okay. Physically anyway. After that, Peter teamed up with the two other Peter Parkers and they did manage to cure the villains, but more were coming and Peter asked Dr. Strange to make everyone forget Peter Parker.” Tears welled in her eyes at this part of the story. “So my baby is alone in the world. I can’t stand it.”
This wasn't a courtroom, so Matt didn't have to moderate his reactions. His brows shot toward his hairline and threatened to disappear into it. A cold stole through his chest and gut. As much help as May kept saying he'd been, Matt thought she was giving him way, way too much credit. Ripples of familiar guilt spread through his head, and he took in a shaking breath before reaching out and putting his hand over the back of hers. "I have no way to wrap my brain around the complexities of time and relativistic memory, but that can't be easy for either of you. You know he's not, though, right? He's not alone here, and that has to count for something. Those things happened to him, and he has to carry those memories around, but he's got you now. You get to help him through what happened. That's important. As bass-akwards as this place is, at least you have this."
She accepted his hand with gratitude. “That’s what I keep telling myself. Some days it works better than others.” She cleared her throat and gathered her emotions. “Thank you for asking about him,” she added. “It helps knowing so many care about him here. He has prom coming up, you know. He and Dee will have a wonderful time.” Well, they would so long as the magic cooperated, but that was another worry altogether. “But, honestly, enough about us! How are you?”
Matt smiled a little and gave May's fingers a gentle squeeze before releasing them. She was stunning and charming, yes, but very taken. He could entertain a little harmless flirtation every now and then without causing any heartbreak. "I went to an all-boys Catholic school, so proms and dances were a thing whispered of in reverent tones behind magazines of dubious content, let alone provenance." A slight exaggeration, not too far off the mark for his actual high school experience. He should have expected the cross examination. It was a little embarrassing that it still caught him off guard. "Me? Settling in, for the most part. I found a job with a transcription service, working from home. It's as close to law as I can get without my license. Guess it's a little tricky having two Matt Murdocks running around in the universe. But it's nice basically getting to set my own hours, rather than navigating a new office space—physically and mentally."
May chuckled at his description of his high school experience. “Do you think you’ll work with the government on getting your license again?” She sipped her tea, which was growing cold, but still tasted good. “I know not everyone trusts them.” She shrugged. “I guess I don’t either, but I must say I prefer this life to the one I’m going back to.”
His lips quirked in a dark smile, and he inclined his head. Her opinion was one he shared, the sentiment understandable. "Better to deal with the devil you know." Matt chuckled and leaned back to tap absently at the edge of the table. "I have been, though. I made the request as soon as I stopped freaking out. Who knows how long it'll take, though. If you think the law is a slow and squeaky wheel, bureaucracy is a—well, probably not an analogy mentioned in polite company. But, yes, I'd like to get back to practicing, if for no other reason than to be on hand if anyone tries to come after our little community in any way."
May’s nose crinkled at the sour thought. “The locals probably are getting sick of the mishaps, although it is not like we can stop them. We are as much victims to magic as they are.” She exhaled a sharp breath and then brightened. “But with you on our side, I’ve no doubt it will be okay.”
Right when Matt was about to downplay his own prospective contributions, a few things happened in quick succession.
A lady trying to navigate a huge stroller through the narrow space bumped their table. She apologized profusely, but not before May's saucer clattered right off the edge. Matt's hand shot out, fast enough that the dish landed in his open palm. There was a beat, wherein he realized what he'd done, and then he quietly set it back on the table as the lady moved on. Matt cleared his throat. "So, you and Bruce Banner, huh?"
“How did you…” May was used to people with powers, but she didn’t think Matt had any so his quick reflexes threw her off. “And you are trying to change the subject.” She pushed the cup to the middle of the table so it wouldn’t fall again.
"I…" Matt trailed off and fiddled with the edge of his sunglasses. Everyone seemed so upfront about the things they could do, practically from the word go. It hurt his head a little to think about another version of himself wandering around out there. He often wondered if he wore the Devil costume, too. Or used to. "I am blind, but the accident that caused it gave me… abilities. My senses sort of expanded, and my reflexes got better. Most of the time, I can play it off, like with the saucer." He rubbed the back of his neck. "Just good timing, or whatever. But the crashing china would've been too loud, too much. I heard the brick before it came through the window of your apartment—for example."
“There was a brick that came through my apartment?” May cringed. “Peter told me things got bad when people thought he killed Mysterio, but…” She sighed. “Thank you for trusting me, Matt. I won’t tell anyone. That’s your story to tell.”
He winced, but the guilt evaporated as soon as it formed. She clearly had spoilers for that possible future (present? past?). It's not like he made it worse. He sent a quiet smile in the table's direction before focusing on May again. "All that aside, I really am interested in the story between you and Bruce."
A dreamy expression crossed May’s face. Bruce was a definite bright spot in all the bleakness. “I met him here,” she explained. “I knew of him, of course, so meeting him was a bit strange at first, but he is such a sweet guy…we just clicked. He’s the most darling man, Matt. We’re neighbors and started talking through the network and then went on a few dates and the rest is history!” Her voice tinged with excitement and love. “What about you, hmm? Missing someone special at home?”
Love, no matter what age, really lit people up from the inside. Literally. The nimbus he saw around people got brighter when they were feeling things strongly. Matt hoped Bruce knew how lucky he was. May very evidently did. "Me?" Why did he keep saying that? "I have special people, but not in the romantic sense. With the life I chose for myself, I'm lucky just to have the people I do. God knows, I never made it easy on Foggy and Karen." He laughed dryly. "My romantic 'someone' had a bad habit of dying and trying to kill me. In that order."
“It is so hard for you hero types,” May replied. “But you still owe it to yourself to find happiness. I’m glad you have people even if your romantic ‘someone’ is complicated.” Dying and trying to kill him definitely sounded complicated. She didn’t envy a hero's life! “Your ‘someone’ came back to life?” It was something she couldn’t help asking about and hoped it didn’t come off as prying.
Again, the fact that this wasn't necessarily his world made his tongue a lot looser than it would have been otherwise. If Matt was quiet for a moment, it was only so he could collect the tangled threads of this story into something coherent. "We were fighting this organization called The Hand, ancient evil underworld kind of stuff. Anyway, she got between me and someone trying to kill me, and died instead. I carried that guilt and mourning around until I came face-to-face with her a few months later, resurrected by the very group that killed her in the first place, 'cause she was supposed to be their paragon warrior. And then we brought a building down on our heads, and I never heard from her again. Fun, right? Dating in modern times."
Nope, not coherent at all.
“They used her against you,” May said gently. “I’m sorry, Matt.” The story may have sounded crazy to someone who hadn’t lived in New York during an alien invasion or didn’t have a nephew with superhero abilities, but Matt’s story definitely fell in line with all the crazy May experienced.
"Not just the Hand." Matt sighed. They were ancient wounds. It had been a long time since he'd picked at them, and he wasn't in a hurry to reopen any of them. "It's fine, really. I rebuilt my life after that, watched over Hell's Kitchen when I could. And now I'm here, missing my friends, but doing what I can with what I've got all over again. Probably the same thing the rest of us are doing. But I interrupted your reading. I should let you get back to it. It was great to run into you, May. I'd love to do dinner again with you and Bruce."
She understood he probably didn’t want to get into it so she didn’t insist he stay. Instead she reached over and squeezed his shoulder. “We’d love that,” she said. “And it was great running into you too.”