Matt began to get nervous when Audrey didn't show up at the law office after school.
"She's fourteen, Matt. She probably went home with a friend and forgot to tell you," Karen said after about an hour.
"She wouldn't." Matt didn't try to hide his worry.
"Maybe she told you and you forgot." Karen's heartbeat was easy, but her voice betrayed concern. "You've called her?"
"About ten times," Matt said. "It rings then goes to voicemail."
As if magically awakened, matt's phone rang. He snatched it so fast the air nearly vibrated, and out it to his ear so hard that had he not been Daredevil, he would definitely have gotten a bruise.
"Mr. Murdock?" He recognized the voice as the office secretary at Audrey's school. "This is Mrs. Hollis."
"Yes. What's wrong?" He pressed his phone into his ear, willing the secretary to say 'nothing, Audrey got such good grades we're keeping her here,' or even 'Audrey is failing and we're keeping her for extra tutoring.'
"We were hoping you might tell us. Audrey was not at school today." The secretary's words hung in Matt's ear. Matt said nothing, but felt his breath catch. "Mr. Murdock?"
"Thank you. Audrey didn't come home, either," Matt said. "It's not like her- Mrs. Hollis, I'll have to hang up." Matt didn't wait for her to respond.
"What's wrong?" Karen asked. "What's going on with Audrey?"
"She didn't go to school." Matt gripped his desk, the corner digging into his fingers.
"Matt, go home. We'll look for her," Foggy said. There was an imperceptible wink in his voice, something that said 'we both know Daredevil will be looking for Audrey tonight.'
"We can't file a police claim until... Is it three days?" Karen's voice was breathy, pale. She cleared her throat and got herself together. "Of course, we'll look for her. Matt, you don't have any more appointments today. Go on."
Matt grabbed his white cane, reflex holding up his act. "Yeah," he said. "He tapped to the doorway, where he hesitated. "Don't call me," he said, and flew out the door.
Once he was far enough away, Matt sprung into action, ditching his suit for his Daredevil costume. Daredevil jumped rooftop to rooftop over Audrey's route to school, calling her on her phone and praying her ringer was loud enough. Or on at all.
In the end, it wasn't her ringer that alerted him to where she'd been; it was the smell of her lunch slowly curdling on the sidewalk. He dropped down to the edge of the crosswalk, garbage cans surrounding a familiar backpack. He opened it, and the first thing he touched was a braille book. Definitely Audrey's, then. His breath caught and his heart pounded.
Deep breaths. Maybe she's okay. In Matt's world, though, it was always the worst outcome. He took in a deep breath through his nose, trying to see whether there was anything he'd missed. He took off his gloves and swept his hands over the street.
He found what he'd missed. A feather, as long as his whole hand, from his wrist to the tip of his middle finger. It had been anchored from blowing way by Audrey's backpack. He brought it to his face and smelled it, conventional fears of disease gone with the wind. It smelled like a horse.
A flying horse? Matt could believe weirder things. He looked for more, and sure enough a few others were left behind. The feathers chilled him. Who but a super villain would have a flying horse? So Audrey hadn't been kidnapped by your average mugs.
Suddenly, his mask seemed suffocatingly close. He pulled it off, not caring on the empty street. The wind whistled by his ears, bringing the sounds of the city to him. The cars and the people and the crashes of who-knows-what. Five years, he'd kept Audrey safe from the things that went bump in the night. He wouldn't break that streak. Matt cupped his bare face in his bare hands, and promised himself that whatever it took, Audrey was going to be safe in his arms.
Matt tugged on his mask and gloves. He stuffed the feathers in his billy club holder beside his cane. How to track a flying horse? Take to the skies.
Daredevil's silhouette danced over New York City's skyline, searching for his lost angel.
Daredevil followed the faint trail of feathers, lodged into chimneys or fire escapes. He wasn't sure, at first, that he wasn't tracking some random pigeon that happened to smell like a horse, but when he found a feather almost as long as his forearm he figured that he was really on to something. He tracked the trail for hours, and soon the smell of horse mingled with the scent of the sea. He paused in a tree to collect his bearings. He'd run out of buildings to jump on hours ago, and didn't want to be caught.
He sniffed the air, searching for another feather. Instead, he smelled metal. That somehow also smelled like a sheep. A metal sheep, but not one that was made of metal. A real sheep, with metal wool or something. Which confused him. The scent mingled with the sound of teenagers laughing and singing. Singing? And the scent of a campfire. Was this where Audrey was? He tried to listen, but he couldn't focus. Whey would they take her to a summer camp?
Daredevil snuck by the metal sheep wool. It was draped over a tree. He had no time to examine it. He snuck by a few buildings, and froze. He could hear Audrey. She was singing around the campfire. She didn't know the words-Matt in fact, had never heard the song before (it seemed to be about grandmothers dressing for war)-but he couldn't mistake Audrey's voice. She seemed to be having fun. Had she been drugged? Were all the other kids also drugged? Confused, he stepped on a twig, which snapped.
With warriors' reflexes, everyone sitting around the campfire turned. A few weapons popped into existence that Matt was positive had not been there before. He smelled brass that smelled brassier than any other brass.
"Daredevil?" The boy seemed to be respected by the others. He was tall and smelled like the sea. "What?" He positioned himself in front of the rest of the campers.
"Hi, Dad," Audrey said, obviously enjoying herself. "I told them you'd come."
"Daredevil is your dad?" A different kid, this one a lot shorter and wirier, laughed. "Cool. That's gotta be the coolest dad ever."
"You do see how ironic that sounds, coming from you, Leo?" The girl sighed. "Chiron, what now?"
"What's going on?" Daredevil was on edge. He had no idea what was going on. All he knew was that Audrey seemed to be waving cheerily.
"Daredevil?" A man that Daredevil hadn't noticed, Chiron, maybe, came forward. Daredevil could hear the clopping of hooves, and the man's voice was high above Matt's head, as if he were riding a horse. "Why don't you and Audrey come with me?"
Daredevil thought for a moment. Maybe it really all was fine. Audrey didn't smell different, though it was hard to pinpoint one scent by the campfire.
"All right," Daredevil said. People stepped aside as he went to get Audrey. He didn't want another moment before he had a grip on her. He put an arm around her shoulders and she held onto him.
"Piper, why don't you come along?" Chiron called back.
"Are you all right?" he asked once they were out of hearing range of the campfire. The songs had picked back up.
"Fine, Matt." Audrey breathed. "I told them you'd find me, though."
Chiron led them to a house. Matt muttered to Audrey to warn her about the porch steps, and followed Chiron inside.
"Who's that?" A surly-sounding man asked. "He's not a demigod."
"Demigod?" Matt asked. He wasn't about to dismiss it. After all, he knew a god personally. "Like Thor?"
"Oh, Thor," The surly man said. "My father would never let me do what he does. Odin is such a loose hand."
"Come with me," Chiron said. Matt and Audrey followed him into the next room. He stopped and turned to face Matt. Piper stood next to him. "So, you are Audrey's father?"
"Mr. Chiron," Matt said, trying to maintain more lawyerliness and protective fatherhood than angry vigilante, "you kidnapped my daughter. I think it would be more appropriate for me to ask the questions."
"By all means," Chiron said. "Go ahead." Chiron's voice was pleasant, and would have been likable was he not complicit in the kidnap of Audrey.
"Why did you kidnap her?"
"I must answer that with a question, I'm afraid," Chiron said. "When Audrey was younger, or even recently, did you notice anything strange? Anything trying to attack her?"
"Like the dragon when I was nine," Audrey said. "Or that one time last year when the old lady tried to strangle me with the scarf."
"Those are two things that happened, yes. But those are no reasons to kidnap a child." Matt tightened his protective arm around Audrey.
"Have you ever suspected Audrey of being different?"
"You mean the dyslexia? Or... What?" Matt felt emotions rise inside him, anger the most prominent. "That's no reason to-"
"No, although most demigods have it," Chiron answered. "No, about her being more than human."
Matt remembered, as if the memory had been handed to him, Nurse Aceso saying that Audrey was no average person, and the strange ease her adoption process had been. Nurse Aceso's strange aura, that he'd caught from Audrey a few times, more as she grew older.
"Yes," Matt said tentatively. "So?"
"This is Camp Half-Blood. It's a place for demigods." Chiron pawed the ground with one hoof. "It's a place for them to be safe."
"Audrey's part god? She's not..." Matt trailed off. Everything Chiron had said made sense, his heartbeat was steady, and flying horses? Centaurs? "What kind of god?"
"Greek," Chiron said. "She's the child of one of the ancient Greek gods. We don't know which. She hasn't been claimed."
"Matt?" Audrey asked. "Are they telling the truth?"
"His heartbeat checks out," Matt said. "It hasn't changed since we got here."
"So I'm part god," Audrey said. "Wow."
Chiron nudged the girl, Piper.
"Um, I'm Piper," Piper said. "And I'm a demigod too. I mean, pretty much everyone here is. If you overlook the nymphs. And satyrs. And- Well, you get the point." Piper's voice had a calming, hypnotic quality. "My mom's Aphrodite. Anyway, The demigod life isn't easy."
"What do you mean?"
"We have a scent that's attractive to monsters," Piper said. Matt couldn't smell anything, so he figured that maybe it was scent on the dimension of the gods or something. "They're more than likely to attack us may more than mortals. So at Camp Half-Blood, we stay safe. And learn to fight."
"Learn to... Oh, no." Matt sighed, and turned his head to Audrey. His heart dropped. She was almost his age when he'd gotten his super senses. She seemed so small. But she really wasn't. She was as tall as an adult, and could beat Foggy and Karen at arm wrestling.
"You dad didn't want you to fight," Audrey said. "You did anyway."
"That was different," Matt murmured, but he knew it wasn't.
"Why don't we return to the campfire and you can think this through?" Chiron asked. "You can look around, take it in. Process."
"They have really good s'mores," Audrey said. "Come on."
Matt closed his eyes under the mask. "Yeah," he said, "okay."
Finally, another chapter! Wow! Thanks for reading, love you all, I hope it doesn't suck.