Hello everyone! I completely fell in love with Daredevil after binge-watching it. This idea has been knocking around in my head for a while now. It explores the aftermath of Fisk's demise. I hope the twist my OC brings is fresh and new to all of you, it's an extremely complicated relationship which I found fun and challenging to write.
Disclaimer: the characters and events depicted in this fanfic belong to Marvel. I write this story purely for the purpose of my enjoyment. (And yours, hopefully)
'Welcome to the 15th Precinct
The Pride of Hell's Kitchen'
She glared at the sign hanging over the Sergeant's Desk.
In Riley's line of work she's seen how far humanity can decline. There are some days where she doesn't know if she could ever forget the crime, the murder, the abuse, the depraved act she witnessed.
She probably hasn't even scraped the bottom of the barrel yet.
But that sign. She used to believe in it. See it every time she walked into the station, have a glint of her hope in her heart that at least they were doing the right thing. You could forget the politics, the rulebooks, and the discrimination; as long as you believed you were doing this for a cause far greater than you.
Don't forget the crazy. Namely; the masked man, or 'Daredevil', as he preferred nowadays.
She'd spent two weeks in the hospital, most of it in a medically induced coma, after a sniper bullet shot her a centimeter too close to her right subclavian artery, the night the Russians blew to kingdom come. She had blamed him for hospitalizing her until she knew otherwise. That night was the closest she'd ever come to the enigma.
The day Detective Hoffman walked in and said the seven words that sent tremors through the precinct for months to come, was the day the sign lost all meaning to her.
"I would like to make a statement."
She'd seen him, moving like an apparition, blood spray on his terrified face. Prior to that; she'd seen things, heard things that made her unsure if she could wholly trust the policeman next to her. He'd confirmed that.
The Feds came next. She'd seen that too. When she refused to sit uselessly in a hospital bed and find out what the hell was going on at the station.
A part of her wished she hadn't.
Nearly half the officers in the precinct were arrested for corruption.
A few months had passed since that fateful day. People still whispered about Fisk. It wasn't as bad as the first month, where she heard nothing but the asshole's name in her ear every goddamn hour.
She ripped her gaze from the sign and walked to the elevator. "Knight!" Alfonso Valentin jogged over and gave her file in one hand and a coffee in another. "Another missing girl. Same circumstances as the previous one. White, mid-20's, last seen outside a bar on 43rd."
She smiled; "Thanks Alf."
"You're welcome. And you're late again, sergeant says that's your last warning."
Riley yawned and rubbed her eyes. "Can't sleep." The insomnia had started after she almost died, and there was still discomfort when she moved her right arm.
"You alright?" He asked genuinely concerned. The Sergeant was persistently trying to get her into trauma therapy. She didn't find the idea of talking to a stranger on a plush couch about her problems very appealing, however.
"Yeah, yeah. I'll be fine. Get going Alfie, and don't overwork yourself, Maggie wouldn't want you strung out on your anniversary."
He smacked his forehead. "Oh crap! Thanks for reminding me!" She laughed, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. "Oh and the trial has been pushed to 11am."
"The jewelry store heist, gotcha."
He hurried off to his desk, most likely to book the dinner reservations he should have made a month ago.
Nonetheless; everyone was trying to move on. Crime rates had fallen when its Kingpin was arrested. People often gossiped that the Devil of Hell's Kitchen had a hand in Fisk's demise. But one thing the masked man did not anticipate; when you overthrow the King, its chaos.
And Riley was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Riley loved her job. She did. But to say work hasn't been fun the last few months was a grand understatement. The station was stretched thin. And Riley was forced to undertake several positions she had never expected to have. Without the benefits of a raise either. If she wasn't training rookies, she was doing the patrols on the graveyard shift, all that on top of her the cases she caught on vice. She didn't know why she didn't just quit and form a PI Firm.
Because you're a stubborn son of a bitch. And quitting sounds a lot like giving up to your ears.
She skim read the missing person's report at her desk. A CI had tipped her about a reopened pipeline for human trafficking at the dockyard on the East Hudson. The missing girls were connected to that. The informant wasn't the most reliable individual, but she was eager to give Riley the info in exchange for her probation reduced.
Who was running it again, no one knew. Rumor had it was the Italians, restarting their ventures in Hell's Kitchen after the Russians went kaboom. But with Fisk's nefarious actions exposed and thrown into the harsh white light (the man himself awaiting trail)—it was open season.
At 11:30 am Riley and Alfonso sat in a pew in the courtroom waiting for the trial to commence. It was the trial of a jewel store heist from a month ago, one of the more straightforward and non-violent felonies she'd dealt with in recent months. They had an unimpeachable witness and they both agreed the conviction was a slam dunk.
"District Attorney Moors, what's up?"
"There's been a slight delay; Ainsley isn't going to make it."
She smirked; "That's a shame I was looking forward to rubbing our win in his face."
Alfie chuckled beside her. Detective and defense attorneys were known not to get along. "Who's he getting replaced by?"
"Let me see." Moors fumbled in his pocket for his phone and pulled out the names of the replacement lawyers; "Murdock and Nelson."
Similar looks of confusion crossed Riley and Alfie's face. "Who?"
She heard a steady tap-tap she had not noticed before. She glanced behind her; a man with longish blonde hair, pink dress shirt, blue tie, and grey suit drew beside them. Another man held onto the crook in his arm, similarly dressed, subtracting the pink shirt for a white one. He wore dark-red, almost black sunglasses, and carried a white cane in his other hand. Blind.
The blonde man smiled brightly; "Actually it's Nelson and Murdock. Good morning everyone," he greeted boisterously. They stared at him blank-faced. He cleared his throat hoping to alleviate the awkwardness, "Yup. We're just going to take our seats now."
Foggy 'steered' Matt to their oak desk on the right hand side of the court room in front of the pews. He didn't have his best friend's super-power senses but even he could feel the prosecutions' eyes pinprick the nape of his neck.
He took one look at their client and immediately doubted said best friends super senses. Once they settled into their seats and took out contents of their briefcases, he leaned to Matt conspiratorially.
Ever since the Fisk scandal put their firm's name in the limelight they had gotten the occasional walk-in, (he still had to bribe Brett's mother for first-pickings however) that didn't mean everyone who came to them for representation was an angel.
"Okay buddy, I know you're a human lie detector, but are you sure about this?" He opened the file that Karen complied for them on short notice. "Our guy's a convicted felon; B&E, larceny. I thought we were only looking for exclusively innocent clientele."
Matt had his hands clasped together on the desk, calm as still water. "He didn't rob the store himself. But I have a feeling he's protecting someone."
He couldn't be bothered to ask how he knew that, not now anyway. It was most likely a long-winded explanation that would only result in more confusion and unanswered questions. Would probably make him think about Matt's alter ego (a baffling discovery he was still reeling from and had yet to come to terms with) which was never a topic of conversation either man liked discussing unless completely necessary.
He gave a small shrug, "I don't know. Not the kind of question you ask without raising suspicion." Then he titled his head a fraction, his chin following, only recently did Foggy understand that Matt did the gesture when he was listening to every microscopic detail around them and even further than that. The scope of the radar sense was still a mystery to him.
Three months ago he was a normal guy-blind, but normal. How did I miss this?
He deduced Matt was eavesdropping on the DA and the two detectives. To Foggy their mouths moved, words he could not hear being exchanged. The female detective with the dark brown hair felt his gaze, the sharpness of her blue eyes made him look away. Foggy was all for finding shortcuts and loopholes in the law if it helped them, but this felt a little too much like cheating.
Matt finally spoke up; "We have the evidence to undermine the prosecution."
Foggy cleared his throat, blew out a breath, and stretched his arms. Best damn avocados in the city he chanted in his head. "I open. You close."
They fell into general rhythm of the trial, much like how you tie your shoe laces. Matt liked to imagine he and Foggy were a boxing partners in the ring tagging each other when it was their turn to spar with the opponent.
The energy in the room shifted with expectancy, curiosity, and doubt at the blind lawyer who stood before the prosecution's witness (which had them overtly confident of a win, from what he heard).
They clearly had no idea what force they were up against.
"Mr. Wells, you're sure this is the man you saw leaving the store at the time of the heist?" Matt pointed behind him at the window, not directly at their client (maintaining the pretext that he was entirely blind in every sense of the word).
There was a skip to his heartbeat, Wells tightened his fists and the pores on his palms burst open with perspiration when he answered yes.
He opened a file with his free hand, fingertips running over the Braille for effect, while his ears paid attention to the reaction of the prosecution. "Says here; you have a conviction for perjury is that correct? From 2004?"
"I knew about that, what is he playing at?" The female detective whispered to her partner, but there was a tremor of uncertainty beneath her firm tone.
Matt hid his triumphant smile, as he gave the room his closing statement. "And is Paul Wells really your name or is Lionel Tedici?" the jury held their breath— "As in: Lionel Tedici who is facing fraud charges in New Hampshire?"
The jury erupted in shocked murmurs, that were soft to everyone else but were a stampede to Matt. The detectives suppressed groans of frustration at their clerical error.
Foggy pumped his fist in victory beneath the table behind him. He shut the file with one hand, bowed his head slightly, and smoothed his tie against his chest. "No further questions your honor."
Moors ushered them into the corner of the hallway after the bungled trial. So much for a slam dunk conviction, she thought miserably. "Judge gave a recess but if we don't get any new evidence by tomorrow we have no chance."
"Great pep talk," she said dryly. "Don't worry, we'll get some evidence."
Outside, the pleasant, gentle summer wind juxtaposed her sour mood. Nelson and Murdock were shaking hands with their client Eli Somner on the sidewalk. Smug bastards. The small group was unavoidable however, as she had to walk past them on the way to the car.
Riley had no intention to interact but Alfie did on her behalf much to her chagrin. Nelson tapped his partner's arm when they shouldered past. Murdock was slightly taller than him, wearing a polished navy blue suit. Taking him in a second time; his stubble was almost artful, lips reddened and flushed from laughter, brown Cadbury chocolate hair tousled effortlessly. If she wasn't so angry that their case was on the verge of falling apart she might have found him handsome. And that annoyed her even more.
"You know your client did it," said Alfonso.
She vaguely wondered if Murdock could tell how people felt during a conversation just by their voice. Having never met a blind person before; there were a hundred things she never considered about them until that moment.
The corner of his mouth upturned, "My job is to make you prove he did it. That's the basis of our entire justice system."
Franklin nodded. She had to admit, the way they had coordinated and seamlessly melded their arguments together was impressive. If this was what was coming out of law schools nowadays she had to up her game.
"Without a credible witness your case is a mess," Franklin added.
Their arrogance was really getting on her nerves. But professionalism dictated she end this conversation before it turned ugly. "We'll see you here tomorrow, gentlemen."
Alfie volunteered to find the evidence. He returned to Eli Somner's residence to find the break-in tool or the stolen gems. It was either one of those or return to court with their tails between their legs. Luckily, they found the tools.
The next day, the defense called Riley to the witness stand.
"You found some new evidence last night," the blind lawyer remarked offhandedly, standing a few feet from the stand, he was looking (or not looking?) somewhere beside her ear.
"A duffel bag in a dumb waiter at the defendant's home contained tools such as glass cutters and hammers."
"Isn't it possible he could have used these items for other purposes?" Matt argued, his voice a crisp, clear staccato. She found it unnerving that she could not see his eyes, only her reflection in the lenses.
"In the same bag as the burglary tools we found shards of glass."
"So detective, you expect us to believe you found this new evidence yesterday just as your case was collapsing around you?" He queried doing a sweeping gesture.
This was the part she hated; when her credibility was put to the test. She was a good detective; she worked hard for years fighting discrimination in a career dominated by men. She was one of the youngest in her squad and she didn't get there by being a corrupt liar like her former peers. "It is the truth. Do you doubt our capacity to carry out a swift and fair investigation, counselor?" She bit out coldly.
His eyebrows rose slightly above his glasses, he laughed tonelessly; "In the light of recent events, can you truly blame the public's disillusionment with their demoralized police force? Is there even an honest cop left in the precinct?"
To hell with professionalism. Her face heated up, her mouth opened to protest when the judge slammed the gavel cutting her off.
"Murdock. Knight." He reprimanded in a deep baritone. "Please keep your personal opinions to yourselves."
Murdock's mouth twisted and he retreated from her; "Nothing further, your honor," he said emotionlessly.
After a short break it was time to hear the jury's verdict. Her heart was still pounding against her ribcage with adrenaline after the brief spat with Murdock. This was not her first rodeo, she had no idea why she let him rile her. There was just something about him that brought out unhealthy emotions from within her.
The juror stood, with the slip of paper that contained their verdict. She had seen hundreds of men, women of all ages, countless backgrounds and ethnicities stand at the exact same spot the man was and read out whatever was on that slip. But for the first time in a long time Riley found herself anxious to hear the words he was moments away from uttering.
"We, the jury find the defendant, Eli Somner: not guilty."
Riley groaned and slapped her head in her hands. The judge slammed the gavel and the trial was resoundingly over.
"Another criminal walks free," she muttered into her palms, royally pissed at how easily they had unwound a month of her hard work.
"We should get back," said Alfonso, equally disappointed.
She stood on the landing outside waiting for Alfie when someone tapped her shoulder. She was surprised at who it was. The last two people on Earth I want to talk too.
"Detective Knight. May I formally introduce ourselves; Foggy Nelson, Matthew Murdock."
Riley didn't refuse. She was an adult and this was just another part of her job. She accepted his handshake. When it was Matthew's turn her hand lingered in the air unshaken, a moment long enough for the situation to get awkward. She realized he couldn't see it. She immediately felt like shit.
Foggy saved her, "Hand," he whispered, but loud enough she could hear him. His eyes were narrowed at Matthew, smiling wryly, shaking his head slightly. Murdock simply kept his head level and lifted his hand for her to take.
"I guess we've been formally introduced," she said as bland as a salt cracker.
"Actually, my partner wanted to apologize for his outburst in the courtroom," Foggy swiveled his head to look at his partner. Silence. He nudged his shoulder to get him to speak.
"I'm sorry." A robot would have made that apology sound more sincere.
"Wow, you almost sound like you mean it."
He swallowed, the stony façade breaking, "I do, detective. What I said was out of context."
She pursed her lips. "Apology accepted. This has been delightful, but you'll have to excuse me." She bowed out of the conversation and went to join the flow of people.
She was stopped before she took five steps when her title was called out, "Detective, wait!" Riley glanced behind her; Murdock was lingering in the space between them, having released his hold on Foggy whom was shaking his head in disbelief.
She frowned at his lack of movement until it hit her he expected her to walk back to him. This was already overstepping their professional boundaries, but she returned to him anyway, wary but curious.
"I know you're in a hurry," he said. "But Somner is innocent."
Her patience with him was running thin. "Yes, Mr. Murdock," she nodded, Riles you idiot, he can't see that either. "We were all there, we heard the jury's verdict ten minutes ago."
"He didn't commit grand larceny, that doesn't mean he doesn't know who did it."
She folded her arms over her chest and studied him more closely; she didn't know what to make of this unexpected turn. "Go on."
"I think it would be worth investigating Somner's previous associates, perhaps family, anyone he's had close ties with in the past."
She stared at him; if he couldn't see her furrowed brows then he could hear the thick skepticism in her words. "And why are you telling me this? How do you even know this?"
He immediately diverted the query with a neutral smile, one hand in his pant pocket the other on his cane; "You're the detective, and I gave you lead."
She unfolded her arms restlessly, "You call that a lead?"
He shrugged. "I wouldn't know, would I? You're the detective." He smiled wickedly, as if he couldn't believe she was letting him off with that cocky remark. Unfortunately for her, it was unhelpfully endearing and coaxed a smirk from her.
She was glad he couldn't see it.
He closed both hands around the grip of his cane and drew imperceptibly closer to her. "I'll go easy on you next time," he whispered.
She groaned and rolled her eyes, remembering what kind of person she was dealing with and why they were natural enemies. "You know for a moment there, you were almost charming."
Then she saw Alfie waving her over. Riley bid farewell to Matthew Murdock. They had traded barbs and established a competitive relationship, but the verdict on whether she could trust his word remained uncertain.
As they walked back to the firm, he tilted his chin to Foggy. His friend's breath pushed through his larynx as he opened his mouth to say something; "If all cops looked like that, you should try a little harder to get arrested, Matty."
"Foggy," he sighed, but his face was already splitting into a smile.
Foggy nudged him playfully; he absorbed the impact and swayed with it.
"Aw c'mon, you did the hand move, you knew!"
Back at the precinct she reviewed the missing person's report from yesterday, which she finally had the time to get too. It was more of a pet project really. With the strict doctrine of their new captain (the previous one was arrested for taking bribes from Fisk) it was an unwise career move for her to divert her efforts from her given assignment.
But the tip her CI gave peaked her interest, and once you had Riley's interest it was enough for her to throw her weight into a case and relentlessly pursue the lead until the mystery was solved. Alfie joked that she had a problem; she liked to think she simply loved a challenge.
A college student had been snatched off the street outside a club on 49th and 12th. She was the first girl to go missing, the second girl less than a day later under similar circumstances. The kidnappers were getting bolder and they were fast. Captain Humphrey did not find her evidence credible and denied her the task force she requested to investigate the network before the girls traded too many hands and would be lost to the world.
But wasn't prepared to let this go and hand it over to Missing Persons.
Close to midnight, she pulled over the squad car five blocks from the dockyard.
Beyond the tall fencing, the shipping containers were stacked marching off into the murky darkness where the street lights did not touch. Their sharp square angles etched into the starless sky where the moon was a fading suggestion behind iron grey clouds.
Her body felt heavy in the body armour she wore and there was familiar cords of pain from the healed bullet hole in her shoulder. Nonetheless, her feet remained quick and light as she clocked her gun and followed along the perimeter. As she suspected, the guardhouse was empty. The fenced gate wasn't bolted, turning a blind eye or an honest mistake? She let herself in and observed the signage.
It was eerily quiet, and once or twice she found herself getting lost in the shadows, anticipating one of those shadows to be a lurking threat ready to attack her. It's happened before. When she wasn't careful. But she dealt with it all the same.
She continued sleuthing and the grunts of struggles loudened. She silently thanked her CI for the accurate intel. Riley flattened herself against a container and peeked around the edge.
Four women whimpered in terror before the mercy of four masked men, aiming guns at their heads to intimidate them into getting into the open container. Riley saw the college girl and the other one who'd gone missing. There were two others she didn't recognize, whose disappearances had probably never been reported. They stood apart from the missing girls, staring absently ahead with dead eyes as if they had been through this before.
"I told you bitches to get the fuck in!" Bellowed the one closest to the college girl, Natalie, was her name.
Those guns have to be loaded with blanks; no way would they leave a scratch or wound on the merchandise. She didn't want to take the chance however. Riley had to tamper down her anger, and her brain raced to formulate a plan of action. Perhaps this was an example of her youth, her inexperience but she would be damned if she let those dickheads at the precinct have the last laugh. She had been right about this hunch in the end.
Going in solo, guns and glory would surely end with her as target practice for those assholes. But back-up would take at least three minutes to arrive and anything could happen in three minutes. She radioed in anyway. If she went around she could attack the straggler with a chokehold and surprise the others. They wouldn't hear her coming-
A black shape flew through the air and struck the trafficker talking in the head.
They jumped like scared cats, swivelling left and right to locate the source of the shape.
"What the hell was that?"
Riley held her breath and waited, waited for what she knew was coming. He held them in suspense a moment longer.
The next projectile whacked the face of straggler she had intended to take out.
Daredevil soared down from atop a container, landing in the center of the four men.
The moonlight highlighted hints of his blood red tactical suit. She froze. Engage. Do not engage. Engage. Do not engage.
But he made the decision for her when he started to move.
Her jaw was slowly hitting the floor as she watched Daredevil singlehandedly take them out with Billy clubs and his fists. One of them tried to fire, he jammed their hand up and the shot exploded in the air, he threw them like a rag doll onto the cement. The first one he clubbed had recovered, they lunged and managed a clumsy right hook. Daredevil let him come closer and then did an impressive double kick that sent him sprawling. He finished him off with an uppercut that dislodged a few bloody teeth.
Move your damn legs Riley, c'mon! But she couldn't.
He went on to deal with the other three. Her eyes flickered around trying to keep up with his rapid movements in the dark. He moved with brutal fluidity. It was both beautiful and cruel. And she could honestly watch him all night. He could anticipate his opponent's next move as if he could read their mind. Sense the wind in a punch rushing to him and break the man's wrist before it so much as came within three feet of him, then swipe his legs from under him.
No wonder those cops had their asses handed to them when they cornered him in that alley.
They were undeniably outmatched.
She wasn't keen to get beat up either.
Never losing a beat, he continued jabbing, ducking, darting into the air and going down low, only to come back up again with unrivaled force to knock out the next man.
He's just a normal guy beneath the red costume, and the horns. Horns for Christ's sake. But it definitely spurned the desired effect when the last henchman, seeing he had no chance, ran from him out of fear, screaming curses that he couldn't be paid enough to die for this.
Riley took the opportunity to truncheon him in the neck with the grip of her gun. It felt good to get at least one of them. While he was out she quickly handcuffed him and returned her focus to Daredevil.
"Go!" He yelled at the girls. They let out frightened cries but obeyed. He looked at where she was hiding but not quite looking, almost as if he knew she was there and waited for her.
Riley emerged from her position, pointing her gun, not to threaten them, but just so she had it ready for what came next.
They deafened her with their combined screech. She was in plain clothes but her badge was in view, hooked on her belt. Her flashlight sailed over their faces, and came to rest on the container Daredevil had perched on. She saw the sole of his foot flying into the air and she knew the chase was on.
"Back-up is on its way, get to the light, get out of here!" She ordered them and broke into a sprint in the direction Daredevil escaped from.
Yes, Daredevil had saved those girls. Yes, she had frozen and let him do the hard work. But what else was she supposed to do? Join him? She'd never hear the end of it at the precinct. The psycho in the red costume, whose loyalties and motivations no one could come to a consensus too? Not even her, to be honest. Cop-killer or hero? Terrorist or freedom fighter?
But every terrorist was someone else's freedom fighter.
And vigilantism was outlawed.
Riley ran between the maze of containers following the soft thud of the masked man's feet. She considered herself to be in pretty good shape but he was clearly in far superior physical health. She shot at his outline but he kept moving. There was only one way he was going to get out of the dockyard; The Hudson River or the fencing. Daredevil wasn't going to have anywhere to run once she had every single square foot of this place swarming with uniforms.
But then he slipped out of her line of view, almost as if she'd imagined him in the first place. She arrived at a crossroads, walls of containers on all four sides. Chasing him in circles only to get herself lost was doing no one any favors, she had those girls to get back too. She skidded to a halt and put her hands on her knees, gasping for breath. She was sweating beneath her vest.
"You can't run forever," she panted, knowing he could hear her, wherever he was hiding.
"I'm going to catch you, you son of a bitch," she promised. "And when I do, that mask won't protect you."
Matt crouched against a container not twenty feet from the police officer he had evaded. He listened to her threat, a faint amused smirk touching his lips. She meant every word. But the chase had tired her out. He could tell from the contraction and extension of her calves that she was an excellent runner. He thought he recognized her scent, after filtering through the last 48 hours he identified its bearer; Detective Riley Knight.
Her blood pressure was within normal range despite the strenuous exercise of chasing him. She was fit, and if she were chasing anyone else who lacked his parkour skills, she might have caught them.
He had known a female cop was watching, waiting to attack and arrest the traffickers on her own. Her heartbeat had been the steadiest in the perimeter, and only grew more restless when she saw him. She exhaled air with practiced cycles to calm herself. But her posture was what gave away her training; stiff shoulders, ram-rod straight spine to the point of overdoing it, an air of authority surrounding her.
Whether she was clean or dirty, (they might have gotten the bent cops under Fisk's payroll but he had no doubt they'd missed a few who had been clever enough to hide their tracks and minimize their involvement) he would have to ask Sgt. Brett Mahoney, (using Foggy's subterfuge and cigar bribes) and play it off as a casual inquiry.
She was 5'6 and wouldn't have been an issue for him if she tried to engage in combat in the midst of his takedown. He would've loathed tackling her to the ground though, since she was only trying to do her job.
He braced himself for her bullets, to taste the lead tinging the air. But her finger never stamped the trigger. She left him to do what he was good at.
Did she stop herself from intervening out of complete trust that he would accomplish what he set out to do that evening?
But she had helped him by catching that thug who ran scared. At least she could prioritize getting the traffickers over getting him. Though that alliance was short-lived the moment she started shooting at him.
He was unsurprised that the police still couldn't come to an agreement of what he was to the city, what he was trying to achieve. It was a thorn in his side, to have well-meaning officers mistrust him and defy him at every turn like he was the villain. But in their eyes he was. He wasn't something they were used too, or even wanted to welcome into Hell's Kitchen. They were the law and had always been.
But a little run didn't bother him.
Then; a sharp shooting pain snaked down his arm. He clenched his jaw and listened to his own biology. Flesh wound, two centimeters, right forearm. He sensed every ridge and valley the bullet made like the geography of a canyon as it tore through his skin.
But by now, pain was an old friend he welcomed.
He was almost impressed that she had nearly got him. If more cops had her aim, he might be dead already.
He heard the sirens arriving from the south west. Two cars. He could make it. Matt gathered his hunches and jumped to the next container. One police officer with a personal vendetta against vigilantes wasn't going to be a problem for him.
Riley caught her breath and went back to handcuff the thugs. The sirens wailed in the distance. She knew she was going to have a mountain of paperwork tomorrow and a meeting with Captain Humphrey that wasn't going to end well either. She was impulsive, disregarded procedure and almost got herself and the girls killed.
When she arrived at the open container she felt her boot step in something wet.
She looked down, the light illuminated what was unmistakably blood, as bloody red as the vigilante's costume had been.
Pulse skyrocketing, she drew her gun once more and stepped into the open space.
Four bodies lied on the cement, motionless, blank eyes reflecting the night sky.
The men she had seen Daredevil defeat were dead all around her.
By noon the next day the girls were returned safely to their homes after she procured statements from them. Natalie's parents thanked Riley profusely when they met her. She always found meeting relatives of victims to be incredibly awkward. It was either tears of joy or tears of grief and Riley liked none of those two scenarios.
She was the primary topic of gossip however. As predicted, Captain Humphrey requested a meeting with her immediately. She passed several individuals on the way to his office;
Alfonso. She had expected words of encouragement from him, but the look he gave her was as if she was staring at a complete stranger. Never in the nine years she had known him had he ever looked at her so coldly.
She ducked her head and kept walking. When she looked up she passed the booking desk. She saw the lawyers from the jewel-store heist. Could my morning get any worse? It took her a second to remember their names.
Foggy smiled at her. Matthew had a thin scar on his cheekbone which threw her momentarily. Did he get mugged or something? He didn't smile when she passed, but she did notice his bloodless knuckles wrapped around the top of his cane. She was too tired to care though.
"The masked man was on the scene when I got there," she stoically told Humphrey when he asked for a full report.
Frank Sinjon, glared at her from across the room, wiry arms folded tight, judging her. He had been the one Humphrey sent to fetch her from interrogation. He had it out for her since she personally arrested his girlfriend when she tried to run from the Feds. She did not trust him either, because how could he have no idea what Gale was up to?
"Can't do your job without a vigilante holding your hand, Knight?" He sneered. It was just like him to be petty and open old wounds. I guess everyone's still mad at each other, angry at the traitors we worked alongside and never saw or just ignored.
She had expected this reaction. Just not this soon. She was not in the mood for his bullshit after twenty hours of zero sleep. "Coming from the dickhead who can't do his job at all. 'This is all conjecture,'" she made air apostrophes, tossing his words back at him. "How does it feel to be completely wrong about your judgement? Again?" She referred to his choice of girlfriend.
"Hey! Not in my office!" Snapped Humphrey, slamming a giant palm on his desk before Frank retaliated. He stabbed a finger at her. "Knight, you're meant to be working DCU, not trafficking."
"Drugs, human trafficking, prosts it's all under vice."
He exhaled in exasperation. "You were assigned to the task force following the trail of the Chinese heroin, to work in conjunction with the DEA, not to go off on your own, with no back-up or reasonable plan. Have you lost your goddamn mind?" Cap. Marshal Humphrey was the type of man who could be as expressive as a block of granite then explode when you least expected him too. She had seen this coming however.
"I called for back-up, but they were late."
He shook his head and looked down. Any second now he was going to start yelling. "Oh so do you prefer to get killed?! Care to explain the streak of reckless behavior from you, detective? What about the jewel store heist you assured me you had in the bag? What happened there?"
I almost died! I lost my friends! I was betrayed! We all were! She wanted to scream at him. But instead tried to reason; "Last night was a recon mission, my CI was known to be unreliable, I didn't think I was going to catch anything."
"You must follow procedure," he broke the sentence into parts to empathize. "When Jonas captained this precinct he gave his detectives too much free reign, which led to the Fisk scandal that decimated our numbers by half."
If they weren't a dwindling police force she knew she would be suspended. He couldn't afford to remove her from her duties, despite her disobedience. Thus, he settled for merciless admonishment.
"Were you trying to be a hero, is that it? Because that is not what we are here."
"No," she said sheepishly, wincing at his comment.
"No, sir," she added grudgingly. "But I found them. I saved them." That had to count for something right? Weren't they still New York's finest? Didn't that mean something to anyone anymore? Maybe Murdock was right, the people don't trust us anymore.
He snorted, "You and your new partner; 'Daredevil'. Sounds like you didn't make the effort to catch him at all."
Now that's really not fair. "I did. But he's fast. You've seen the footage of him," she groused.
His bushy salt and pepper eyebrows raised high. "Are you telling me we should sit back and leave crime fighting in the hands of this psycho?"
"No. Sir. But he helped me get them, inadvertently." She couldn't dust off that fact like it didn't happen.
"And then you let him murder them—the traffickers you set out to apprehend! The one you handcuffed was in your custodyand now he's dead!"
Mistakes. So many mistakes. There was nothing left to say but the honest to God truth; "he didn't kill them, Captain. I watched him beat them up. I pursued him on foot. That's it. I swear he did not kill those men."
Humphrey waved this off. "Tell it to internal affairs, detective. We don't tolerate vigilantes. That's final!" He stabbed the table to make this point. "And I'm reassigning this case to Sinjon."
"What?" She burst out angrily; she threw her arm at Frank. "He never believed me in the first place—"
He shook his head again, and she braced for the blast. "It's out of your hands, detective! You get an assignment. You stay on it." He was good at doling out orders though, and if you teetered from them, then you threatened to break the entire system.
But it's already broken isn't it?
"You're the lead detective on the heroin task force. Be happy."
He tossed the case file to her like it was a handkerchief. It wasn't sealed properly so papers scattered when she caught it. She wanted to scream when she heard a low chuckle come out of Frank's mouth.
The Captain grunted in what she assumed was meant to be an apology. "Do the job that's been given to you, Knight. Is that so damn hard for you to understand?"
"Now we have to deal with the aftermath of your fumble. Get the squad into the briefing room, immediately. Can you do that?"
She nodded mutely. If their entire discourse had been a slap in the face, her cheek would surely be red by now.
The Captain stood at the front to address them; "after speaking with Chief Richards regarding the events that transcended last night we have come to a decision to form a task force to eliminate the menace who calls himself 'Daredevil'."
Riley's mouth dropped open. She tried to meet Alfie's eyes but he like everyone else was engrossed in the Captain's speech, not a sole naysayer was present in the room but her.
"So he wears a mask he thinks he can do anything" "unsolved murders lie in his footsteps, three months and still no one knows who shot our friends": a gist of the murmurs of agreement that passed between her colleagues.
Humphrey gave out orders, and assigned Alfie to head the task force, which explained his distant approach this morning. Every other detective on their own cases and task forces would simultaneously report to him.
It was all hands on deck to catch Daredevil.
And Riley was the only person who believed he was innocent.
Woohoo! I know, long chapter but I just had to get this down and posted. Please review and tell me what you think! Should I continue? :)