A/N: I couldn't resist, I needed Karedevil feels so I wrote this. Loads of angst, darkness and romance ahead.
This first chapter is told through Matt's point of view. I hope you'll enjoy!
P.S: Credits go to Fearwakes Icon for the cover, their Daredevil icons are absolutely STUNNING!
"I can't see the city anymore. All that I see are its… dark corners."
"No! Let me go, you bastard!"
Her voice reached his ears like a bolt of lightning: fast and without warning. He tried to focus on her voice, her frantic, raw voice, but the deafening beating of his own heart blurred her screams. Why the hell would she be in trouble? He had gotten rid of Fisk, he had made sure of that. Oh, he wasn't stupid. Hell's Kitchen was still rotten, slowly eaten away by criminals of all kinds. It wasn't the safest place on earth. But it was home. And she was family.
He drew in a deep breath and his feet led him to her. He jumped from roof to roof, his hands meeting brick and concrete. His lower jaw was lashed by the icy wind which whistled in his ears, but he only heard her voice. He had to.
"Easy girl, cooperate and I'll be gone in a minute..."
He stopped and hid behind a wall. They were on the other side of it. He could hear his low, threatening and arrogant voice and her erratic breathing. He was about to leave his spot when he heard a sharp yet muffled sound: she had hit him.
"You fucking bitch!" the man cried. He was hurt. And angry.
He heard her getting on her feet and grabbing her purse, but she then fell heavily, face down. "All I wanted to do was steal your fucking money, but now I gotta show you you didn't damage anything down there!" She bit him, struggled, insulted him.
He felt his blood boil underneath his flesh.
When he heard the metallic sound of a zip, he burst out of his spot and jumped on the man's back, jerking him backwards away from her. He took his wrists and pressed them, hard, mumbling in his ears the things he'd do to him if he ever touched her or anyone else again. He could hear the blood pulsing through his heart, wild, loud, dark. He had the devil in him. It coursed through his veins, waiting to be unleashed. He had been on the edge countless times, wishing to kill but fearing to give in, willing to protect his city but reluctant to sacrifice his soul. He could kill for her, just like he could kill for Foggy. But he had to pick his battles, and tonight was not the night he played this card. Not for a scumbag who was shivering under his deathly embrace, visibly eager to take on his heels.
"Leave Hell's Kitchen. If I ever see you again, I'll rip your heart out. Got it?" The man nodded and was ready to run when he punched him in the face, twice. One to punish him for assaulting her and the other because it felt good. The Devil of Hell's Kitchen had a reputation to uphold after all.
When the man was finally gone, she got up with difficulty. "I..." she began, unsure. "Are you my guardian angel or something?"
He smiled. He pictured himself as the Devil and she thought he was an angel. "If the kind of angel you believe in has horns and wears the color of hell and blood, then yeah, I guess so."
She wrapped her arms around herself and started to laugh, but suddenly he heard tears rolling down her cheeks and shivers covering her skin. He opened his mouth, hesitant, but she didn't let him talk: "I'm sorry I- I keep saying I don't need saving, and I hit that bastard in the balls, but I... the truth is, I... I would be dead without you. They would've found my corpse in a dumpster or whatever. I can't... I can't... I did it once, I can't do it again... Maybe I'll have to someday but... The guilt, the sleepless nights... It's so dark... I..."
He didn't understand what she meant. But then again, he knew she was hiding something from him. He could hear the lies because he listened to them, and that night at the office, when he had asked her if something had happened, she hadn't told him the whole story.
"The world fell apart."
He could still hear her broken voice flying in the air, so fragile, ready to crash and burn.
All of a sudden, she fell on her knees and began to sob. Thunder was roaring a few miles away and rain was on its way. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and tell her everything was going to be okay, but he couldn't. Right now, he wasn't his friend. He was Daredevil. And he couldn't let her know that. He couldn't put her in danger. This city made sure of that well enough on its own.
"Call your friends, the lawyers. They'll help you." He turned around and began to walk away when her voice stopped him in his tracks.
"Wait!" She stood up and dried her tears with the back of her right hand. "Angel or devil, thank you."
He smiled, walked on, and gradually faded away in the dead of the night. He ran, jumped, climbed as fast as he could, in case she called him.
"Karen?" he said, out of breath but trying to hide it with all his might. "Is everything okay?"
He heard her took a deep breath. "No, it's not. Can I... Can I come over?" He told her to call a cab and hung up his cell phone quickly. He still had a few blocks to go before getting home.
A few minutes after he arrived, light knocks resonated on the wood of his door. He opened it and immediately invited her in. "What happened?" he asked as he closed the door.
She looked down and bit her lip. She didn't know what to answer. She was hesitating. "I... I was assaulted. Few blocks from here. I was simply going home from Foggy's place and a random guy tried to steal my money. I hit him where it hurts and then he tried to... to rape me, but 'Daredevil' or whatever they call him came in and saved the day. And here I am, soaked to the bone, ashamed and terrified as shit."
He was genuinely surprised. He didn't think she'd tell him the truth right away. She was secretive, keeping what hurt to herself. Why the truth?
"You knew I was lying the first time I stayed here," she said as if she had heard his thought, "so I figured I should simply tell you the truth this time." She sighed and shook her head. "I'm sick of the lies."
He nodded. "Why didn't you call Foggy?" he asked, thinking: Why did you call me?
"Foggy would've felt guilty because he wanted to walk me home." She sat on his couch and covered her face with her hands. "And I... I feel safe with you. I don't know why, I just do."
His lips wanted to smile but his heart leapt in his throat. He sat next to her and took her hand. "I told you I would protect you Karen," he softly said, "and I swear to God I'll do all I can to keep that promise."
She sighed and simply said in a smile: "I know."
He could hear her smile. He could smell her fear. But he couldn't see her. He would do anything just to see her face for a few seconds. How he wanted to dive deep into her eyes and see the depths of her soul. It was superficial of him. After all, she was beautiful to him. Beautiful to hear, beautiful to breathe in, beautiful to talk to, to be around. Her looks didn't matter. But he wanted to finally put a face on her voice, he was dying to know the color of her eyes and the shades of her hair.
"Karen?" he asked.
"Yes, Matt?" she answered.
"Can I touch your face?" She seemed surprised and embarrassed, her heart hammered against her chest, faster and faster. "I don't mean to make you feel uncomfortable," he added right away, "I just think it's about time I knew what you look like. I can't have a stranger as a secretary in my prestigious firm, can I?"
She burst out laughing and seemed to calm down a bit. "Yes, boss," she quipped, "you can touch my face."
Slowly, he brought his hands to her cheeks and brushed her cheekbones with his fingertips, almost shyly. He focused on the sensation of her skin against his own and the curves of her face. His fingers traveled from her cheeks to the bridge of her nose, then framed her eyes and even felt the rapid flight of her lashes. He explored her eyebrows, her temples, and caressed the crown of her hair. It was straight and silky. Then, he hovered her lips and withdrew when he felt her hot breath licking his fingertips. "Sorry, that was a bit intruding," he gulped.
Karen laughed, visibly amused by his prudishness. "Yeah, that was something. I can now add 'received the blind's touch' to the long list of my qualifications."
It was now Matt's turn to burst out laughing, the feeling of her breath still printed on his flesh. "So... what do I look like?" Karen inquired.
"Beautiful," he let out.
She stiffened and he knew he shouldn't have said that, not now, not when she had just been attacked. What was he thinking? Plus, it wasn't the right time for him either. He knew he had "feelings" for Karen, but he couldn't quite define them. She was family, but she was definitely not a sister. He was strangely drawn to her but she was still a friend. But that didn't matter. All that mattered was that he was the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, he couldn't play the lovers, let alone Prince Charming. He was dangerous, and even though he had decided he would not shut down Foggy and Karen because he couldn't do it alone, it didn't mean getting involved in any other way. He had seen as much as a blind man can see how it turned out with Claire. "You should get some sleep," he said as he got up from the couch, "you can borrow one of my shirts."
"Like last time," she noticed. "Sad tradition."
It was, and a part of him wished she'd borrow his shirt for some other reason, the one he tried to keep in one of the dark corners of his mind.
He arranged his bed for her and sat down on the couch. He heard the rustling of the fabric against her skin and knew she was undressing. Tomorrow, his shirt would carry her smell and he would smell it for weeks, no matter how many times he would wash it. Perks or disadvantage of getting shady chemicals in your eyes. "Don't run away this time," he told her as she lay down on his bed.
"I will never run away from you, Matt," she said in a low voice, certain he wouldn't hear her.
But he did.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this short chapter, feel free to review! I have major plot twists in mind for this story, and fluff/angst coming for Karen and Matt ;)
PS: You can find me on tumblr, I'm care-devil (100% Daredevil/Kardevil blog).