|I Moderate (i_moderate) wrote in we_archive,|
@ 2006-08-03 00:22:00
|Entry tags:||barbara gordon, matt murdock|
i_object A Hero Revealed [log]
Who: Babs and Matt
When: the morning after this
Where: Matt's apartment
Summary: Babs confronts Matt on a little suspicion she has.
She truely hoped that Mr. Murdock wasn't surprised when she rapped sharply on his door directly the next morning. She gave him time to wake up and eat breakfast, but no more than that. Babs was tense, and having more and more things piled on top of her already large pile wasn't helping.
At least this was one thing that could be solved. Hopefully quickly and with this one visit. Then she could get back to her clock tower and check problem number gazillion off of her list. It would be back to Jack.
Babs knocked on the door again and then settled her hands back into her lap, right on top of the pile of materials she'd brought along with her.
Matt had been in the shower when he heard someone banging on his door. The good thing about his apartment was that there were no doors. Sounds travelled quite freely off the stone facade. Shutting off the water, grabbing a towel he had hanging nearby, he dried off quickly, then wrapped the towel around his waist.
The second knock, he realized was low. Not at a person who was standing's height. Barbara Gordon. It had to be. Keeping one hand on the towel, Matt opened the door a little.
"Mr. Murdock." Hands were placed on wheels when the door opened and she had to resist the urge to move into the room without being invited in. She was anxious.
She looked up at him, completely unphased by the fact that Matt wasn't completely dressed. She was used to things like that and she was on a mission. There were things to be discussed. "Morning. I was wondering if I could come in?"
"Yes, please come in." Matt stepped back, opening the door wider so she could come in, then shut it behind her. Had something happened at Arkham? It sounded as though it was urgent, whatever it was. Especially since she had shown up on his doorstep.
"Go ahead in to the living room." The sun was pouring in through the large window along the east side of the apartment. "I'm...uh...just going to pull some pants on. I'll join you in a minute."
Babs simply nodded and made her way through to the living room. She appreciated the relatively simple layout of the apartment, it made it easy for her to navigate her chair around and she supposed it made it easier for Matt to get around too.
She reached the living room and quickly placed herself on one side of a coffee table. It was thankfully clear and the things she'd brought with her went on top of it.
There was a simple digital voice recorder with speaker and a small folder with a few glossy papers sticking outside the edges. Pictures. The rest of her materials were all in her mind, consisting simply of questions. Babs had quite a few of them and she wanted them all answered.
Looking around the apartment, she couldn't see any evidence of disturbance or forced entry. It was rather clean and tidy though lived in, probably again helping Matt get around easily. But that cleanliness only added to her suspicions. She folded her hands again.
Matt hastily grabbed clothes out of his cupboard. He didn't exactly bother with checking the little braille tags in them, but he had a pretty good guess that he hadn't grabbed something entirely henious. Jeans and a tailored t-shirt.
He couldn't find his sunglasses fast enough. The scars around his eyes were visible and his blank, milky stare sometimes made people uncomfortable. But this was Barbara Gordon. He sort of knew her. She had come over early enough to catch him slightly off guard.
Zipping his fly and pulling on his shirt, Matt walked out to his living room, running his fingers lightly along the wall as he went.
"Sorry about that. What can I do for you?"
He navigated around her chair to sit down in one of the leather armchairs. If this was important, he couldn't waste time with the formality of making coffee or something. Perhaps he would offer later.
Unfortunately Babs didn't have the time to mince words. Had she not felt the need to be on duty around the clock back at her tower then she might have tried to ease into this slowly, but not as it was. She needed to be watching her cameras, not to mention feeling the need to call the manor and check to see how Helena was holding up. Alfred had called that morning to tell her that it was a bit more than just simple sprains Babs felt bad for having let the girl make her way home alone.
Helena. The reason she was here in the first place. Someone had brought Helena to this very apartment last night, and Babs was not disinclined to think that it had been Matt. But when she'd turned her cameras on the complex last night she hadn't seen Matt. She'd been able to see Helena leaving from the roof, but looking inside she'd only seen a few blury images of what looked like your typical vigilante.
Babs liked to know about all the vigilantes on her turf.
She held up a hand, a gesture for 'just a moment', and then pulled out the pictures she'd brought with her. "There was a man in your apartment last night. A man and a woman. The woman was in black leather, about 5' 11", dark haired, strong. The man was in red leather. Probably about your height. He was wearing a mask with... looks like horns on the top. I got a call and I was worried that maybe your place was in trouble, you know Jack's still on the loose."
Aha. That's why she was here. Matt leaned forward in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees, and his chin on his hands, listening to her description. The rustle of paper - heavy paper - made Matt sit up straight suddenly. "You have pictures?" No one had ever gotten photographs of Daredevil before. Not even Ben Urich. Not to say he didn't try.
Matt didn't answer her right away. Though his eyes were expressionless, his jaw tensed as he thought. It could have been translated as concern. He had to skirt this somehow. However, she sounded like she wouldn't leave until she got an answer about the supposed intruder.
"I can assure you that the man you saw here last night had permission to be here. The woman was injured and needed assistance." That should at least explain some of it. Matt didn't like the idea that there were cameras trained on his apartment. It spelled out invasion of privacy and voyeurism in his mind. Especially when one had a secret identity that was about to not be so secret any more.
Babs watched his face carefully, looking for signs of change. But his eyes were deadened from the scars and blindness, that made it hard to discern any signs of deception. It was frustrating, especially since she wasn't necessarily satisfied with the answer he'd given.
It was at least a start though. "Were you here when it happened? When the woman came in? And do you know the man, I have to admit that I would love to know more about him. I think I can recognise the woman from the pictures, but not the man." She looked up from the pictures. "How do you know him?"
Matt felt like he was on trial. He shifted slightly in his chair. "I was not. The man is a vigilante from New York. Hell's Kitchen, actually. That was my neighborhood where I grew up. He goes by the name of Daredevil."
He really wished to see those pictures.
"Daredevil," Babs repeated. She looked down again, matching the name to the figure in the picture. Not a bid fit, not bad at all. Now she only wished that these pictures were something of a better quality. She wanted sharp, high quality shots. Wanted to be able to make out the insignia on his chest and the expression on his face.
She frowned ever so slightly even though it didn't matter, Matt couldn't see her face anyway. "And you just let him use your apartment to bring injured fellow vigilantes to? That's... very nice of you." Babs bit the inside of her cheek. "I'm not big on coincidence."
"There is such a thing as a good samaritan." Matt liked Barbara Gordon. But he didn't like being backed into a corner like he was now. He could hear the doubt in her voice. "I'm not big on the idea of someone having survellience pictures of my apartment, Ms. Gordon."
Matt knew the easiest thing to do would be to tell Barbara the truth. So far he hadn't told her the complete truth, but it wasn't far from it. No, he wasn't here as Matt Murdock last night, he was here as Daredevil. As a lawyer, he was pretty good at talking people out of what they wanted to believe. However, in his experience, when people came to him about Daredevil, they were pretty set in their ways. Exhibit A: Franklin Nelson.
Not thinking, he struck the same position in the same exact chair as he had last night - leaning back, elbows on each arm of the chair, fingers steepled in front of him. It was a habit of his to sit like that. Not knowing what the pictures looked like, he couldn't know if Babs had a pictures of Daredevil sitting there in the same exact fashion.
"I have survielance video and pictures of every where in the City, Mr. Murdock. You're not special, last night just happened to be your night," she said simply, completely aware that he was a lawyer and she was potentially in breach of some law somewhere. But Matt knew about this already, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to him.
Then she looked back up at him, lips pursed immediately. She didn't like being lied to, no one in the family did really. Instinct as Batgirl might have had her throw a suspect against the wall, Batman would have done the same thing, but here she had to stay calm, keeping her hands folded in her lap.
"You two are about the same hieght, and evidently you must be close. Same seating habits as well." She raised an eyebrow. "Now, I know in court you'd refer to that as circumstancial evidence, but I think there could be some weight to it."
Babs slipped the pictures back into her folder. "I'm not interested in hurting you, exposing you... any of that. I'm just curious... maybe too curious for my own good sometimes, but this is a mystery for me. And whoever this Daredevil is he's working alone in a place he's not native too. That's never good. I can't help but think he'd want to network with fellow vigilantes. It helps to have the right friends, especially when the police here decide to go on an anti-vigilante craze, it always happens."
Matt shifted out of the aforementioned position he had been seated in. Honestly, he didn't like skirting the truth with Barbara. And by what she said, and how she said it, she had an idea already. As Foggy often commented, Matt couldn't detect his own bullshit. Foggy wasn't here to remind him of that. He had to do it himself.
Almost instantly, he dropped his stony demeanor. "I'm sorry, Ms. Gordon. You see...I've had trouble in the past with reporters wishing to expose Daredevil. It's not good for my law firm, my cases, or my clients if it gets out that vigilante justice is what I do in my spare time. The piano, maybe. But not being a vigilante." He pressed a hand to his temple, leaning his elbow up on the chair's arm again. Trucks were making morning deliveries at this hour. Despite being so high up in the apartment building, it sounded like huge crashes of thunder to Matt with every bump the trucks went over.
She smiled, one that would have put someone at ease under normal circumstances. "I'm not a reporter." Her hand went out, finally going towards the small tape recorder she'd brought along with her. With one finger she pressed play.
"Oracle, it's Huntress."
"What's going on? Do you need backup?"
"I... I fell, while on patrol. It's... not too bad. Just a sprained wrist and ankle."
"I-I... just need some advice here. I need to get home and my work will need to be notified. There was someone else there who helped me up, and patched me up a bit. But... well, does--"
The tape cut off just before Bruce's name was mentioned. Babs pressed the stop button and looked back at Matt.
"Far from a reporter, Mr. Murdock," Babs said again. "The last thing I want to do is expose you."
Matt leaned forward again after the tape stopped. "I heard the entire conversation on the phone last night. I take it you're Oracle?"
She'd known it was going to happen, and the only reason she'd decided to come over was because she trusted Matt. And if she held his identity and he held hers, then there was leverage on both sides. She didn't plan on giving him a reason to use that leverage against her, and as she'd said, she had no plans in exposing him.
"I am. That's my codename," Babs said. "I'm a network facilitator for superheroes around the City." That was the best way to put it, she thought. Network facilitator sounded rather professional. "Many of them report back to me each evening and I do a good deal of research and directing for them. In many cases I find crimes or possible trouble spots and then send them out to investigate."
Matt nodded. He wouldn't use this information against her. The trust was mutual. He knew she wasn't lying about exposing him. He still didn't like the cameras on his apartment though.
If she had come to recruit, he wasn't sure how much he liked the idea of reporting to one person every evening. It was one of the few reasons why he had never joined the Avengers when they invited him. He liked being independent. Occasionally he worked as a team with Spider-man or the Black Widow (though, she was a long story), but he never devoted himself to anything past that (as Natasha was always ready to inform him). He kept to the Kitchen. He had his own style and method of taking care of business. But, as much as he despised admitting it, there were some times when he couldn't do it himself. Such as the incident at Arkham. Or something as simple as following the guy in the blue shirt when that was all the information he had to go on.
"That would explain the equipment in your tower...and the files." Speaking of, he reached over and tapped the stack on the coffee table. "What else do you have here?"
It explained a lot of things, and it was better than the excuse that she was just a simple librarian with many, many resources and good researching skills.
She looked to the files. "Not much, it was just the pictures and the voice recorder. Well, and it's very possible that I pulled a few biographical hits on you as well, but nothing you need to be embaressed over. I just wanted to get a bead on what I was dealing with."
A bemused smile crossed Matt's face. Biographical information about him? Here in the City already?
"Did you find out all you needed to know? Anything else you need for your files?" It wasn't said accusingly - just amused. He'd supply her with select information that wasn't included in the files if she needed it. He knew all about having information ready on file.
"And, now that you know I run around the city at night in red leather, you don't have to call me 'Mr. Murdock'. That's only for the courtroom. Matt is fine. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea? Hard liquor?" In truth, Matt was just looking for an excuse to stand up and walk around.
Babs laughed slightly now that the mood was a bit lighter. "I would have taken the hard liquor a few nights ago. Tea is fine for now, thanks."
A pause. "I wouldn't have been so forward on the manner a few nights ago, but... my place was broken into. I'm on rather high alert right now." She owed him that much of an explanation she felt. After all, she'd just completely invaded the last shreds of his privacy. He had the right to know why.
"I'll try to put a cap on any further questions for now. I've asked you plenty."
Matt stood and went out to the kitchen. He pulled out a tea kettle, filled it, and set it on the stove, then pulled out mugs for tea. Finding the tin of tea bags, he dropped one in each cup.
Matt stopped, however, when she mentioned her place was broken into, concern crossing his face. "Don't even tell me. It was Jack, right?"
"Of course." Had her life suddenly become that predictable? For the moment, apparently. It would always be Jack. All the more reason to get things solved as quickly as possible. "He's having fun with this new King of Arkham facade. Did you see the flyer he sent out the other day... actually, dropped out. Threw it out of a helecopter. It's an invitation for those of the villianous persuasion to use Arkham as a safe haven."
He wouldn't have seen it, Babs knew, but the least she could do was tell him about it. Jack was his client after all, no matter how much he hated it.
Matt was listening for the tea kettle, but he shook his head. "My secretary picked one up and brought it to my office. I didn't read it though." He shoved his hands in his pockets and turned back into the kitchen, towards the stove. "Sonuvabitch," he muttered under his breath.
"Has there been any attempts to infiltrate? Or has everyone just been leaving it alone?"
Babs shook her head, and that was a slightly annoyed pout that came to her face. "We're going in, eventually. Right now we're working on survielance. Jack's got all the cameras in the place pointed to toilets. I can't see anything or read any lips like I usually would."
She could only quirk the corner of her lip when Matt cursed. Thank God he was doing it for her. Start her up at a time like this, and it was likely she'd lose all that hard won control.
The tea kettle began to boil, so Matt shut off the stove and poured out the water. Grabbing both mugs and a cup of sugar, he carried them into the sitting area. He held them down for Barbara so she could put them on the table - he didn't want to get any on her files.
Matt sat down in the chair he had been sitting in earlier. "Who else is there to go in? Out of curiosity."
"Seven, eight if you go in as well. Back down to seven if I keep one with me to help on surveilance." Babs rolled her eyes, imagining the reaction from whoever got that lucky job. It would most likely be Terry or Tim and she didn't imagine either of them would be very happy with that.
"Thanks." She picked up the mug of tea. "I don't even know when we'll be going in, so plans... might change."
"Keep me posted," Matt said. Pausing, he held onto his mug for a minute. "You aren't put off by a blind man going in on this, are you?" A small mischevious smile had quirked on his face. He was ready to defend himself. But he knew many who didn't know that he was Daredevil were skeptical upon first hearing that he indeed was.
Babs smiled, continued scooping sugar into her mug and looked up at him from underneath her eyelashes. "So long as you aren't put off by being led by a defenseless woman in a wheelchair?" She raised an eyebrow.
Matt's eyebrows went up. "You? Defenseless? I highly doubt that." The smile turned to a satisfied one. "Who else works with you? That's who I'd be concerned about."
"Two Batmans, Nightwing, Robin, two Huntresses, a Green Lantern, and Maxine," she rattled off, well aware that the only one he'd know was Max. "I, er... it would probably take awhile to explain all of them, but rest assured they're all competent, and yes... they can all defend themselves. I learned from the best," she said the last part rather proudly.
"Batman and Green Lantern are two of my world's best. There's this group, the Justice League of America, they're sort of... the elite, the one's people go to in a true crisis. They're both part of that group."
Matt nodded, his expression turning more solemn. "I was hoping to maybe hear someone I knew. Unfortunately I don't..." Other than Max. "Max...goes out and fights?" That might explain the conflict with Jack. She seemed like a nice kid - he couldn't picture her taking on hardened criminals.
Babs grinned. "I hear the disbelief in your voice. Don't worry, Max isn't going out and fighting anything. She's sitting behind a computer, nice and safe with me. Honestly, she's not much of a fighter as of now," she said. It wasn't a discredit to Max, just the truth. The girl was more valueable behind a computer desk.
"There're other heroes in the City, I just haven't been able to contact them all. It's hard to find them when they're only coming out once and awhile. I... don't suppose there're any you could send my way. Not to me but, to Oracle. There's a com device I could give you," Babs explained. "I'm a big believe in united fronts. You;d never believe it meeting the people I work with, but we all are."
Matt took a sip of his tea, then rested the mug on the arm of the chair. "There's a woman from New York who goes by the Black Cat. I've encountered her once, but don't know where to reach her. Other than her, I haven't run into anyone else I know." He paused. "To be perfectly honest, I've never worked on teams. Teams that have come to me, I've turned them down. Mostly because I only patrol Hell's Kitchen, being that it's my home neighborhood."
He rubbed his thumb against his mug for a moment as he thought. "However...this is the City. Hell's Kitchen hasn't shown up and I have no neighborhood." His midnight patrols, for the most part, had been in vain. The changing buildings continuously threw him off. He'd broken up a few muggings and the most recent framing he'd encountered while on patrol with Huntress. There was unfinished business to attend to.
"Are you aware of the case Huntress and I encountered last night?" Matt asked, changing the subject suddenly.
"No, I wasn't able to get any of the details," Babs said, instantly switching into a more official mode. "She was hurt a little worse than she might have let on to you. Broken bones, not sprained. And then I think she might have gone into work this morning, so we didn't have the time to do a debriefing."
Babs examined the look on Matt's face. "It was serious, wasn't it? I... God, just please don't say the names Jack or Lex. Anything else I can deal with right now."
Matt had known Huntress's wrist was broken, but he didn't say anything to that. Instead, after taking another sip of tea and placing his mug back on the arm of the chair, he shook his head.
"No, not any of them, I don't think. Small time gangsters who think they're big. Apparently some sort of a set up hit. They shot a man's wife and left him holding the gun. Huntress and I took out about four or five of the thugs, but three of them got away in a car. The harbor was the last place I heard them before I went back to help Huntress." He was planning on going back tonight to get them. Today, he was off to find Wayne Scott, the man accused of murdering his wife. He had to defend the man. He was innocent beyond a doubt. There were two eyewitnesses - one being the defense attorney.
That was just about as good as hearing Lex and Jack's names. The docks, though supposedly just the section of town for clubbing and general fun having for the younger sect, were quickly turning into an area where the more dangerous aspects of debauchery ran ripe. Drinking, drugs, and more than the occasional death. Max and Terry had already been told that they were to stay out of the area.
"Problem... those small time gangsters are probably working for someone. Crime in the dock area is becoming a problem. I don't know why yet, but there's certainly a reason behind it," Babs said. "I'll figure out who... soon enough."
"I'm going down to the courthouse today see what the deal is with Scott. Police took him into custody when they arrived on the scene." Matt had been listening to the television in the apartment below him before Babs had shown up. No mention of any mob connections in the television report, but that wasn't on the minds of most newscasters.
"Speaking of, what time is it? I don't have my watch on." Matt could go into work late today. Karen wouldn't mind the extra two hours to gab on the phone without him in the office.
"About ten thirty." She had the curtosy to look properly sheepish here. "I was, er... anxious this morning. Left early." After all, she had caught the man coming out of his shower.
"You'll probably want to get going then, before they have the time to get up all that beurocratic redtap that police seem to love so much. And, I didn't mean to keep you from work." Babs smiled, beginning to gather up the things she'd spread across the table. "Good luck. You can call if you do run into any redtape... I can probably get you around it."
"Thanks. I don't have to be in until this afternoon. I was planning on taking the day off until this case cropped up." Matt set his mug on the table as he heard her shuffling to get her things. "Let me see you to the door," he said, pushing himself out of his leather chair.
"It's not a problem. Just what I do, mildmannered librarian gig aside." Clark wouldn't mind her borrowing his little catchphrase, or word, rather. He wasn't even here to mind it. Nothing else described her better.
She clutched her things in one arm while placing another on the wheel to steer and followed Matt. "Someone will be in contact. I'll need to give you a com."
Opening the door for her, Matt stood back to let her pass. A com would be good - better than the rate he was going now. But he still balked a little at the idea of being in this group. He had to swallow his pride eventually.
"You know where to find me." He stepped back, letting her go through the doorway. "Good seeing you, Barbara."
"You too. I hope our next meeting is under more pleasent circumstances."
She said it with a smile knowing that it probably wouldn't be true at all. Matt was the type of person she would never see for a casual lunch. He was... too much like Bruce for that, dare she think it. That was a good thing, of course, never an insult. Just a fact.
With a last smile and something of a wave she left his apartment and headed back down the hall to the elevator. Time to get back home, possibly for some sleep.