Foggy Nelson walked into the offices of Nelson and Murdock only to find the famous Pepper Potts sitting in front of the desk of his partner, chatting casually about the business. Matt looked up when Foggy closed the door behind him and waved him over.
"Miss Potts, this is my partner, Franklin Nelson." Foggy shook her hand and gave her a please-call-me-Foggy before bringing in another chair from his own office. "Miss Potts said she wanted to talk to us about a business opportunity?"
"Yes, well." Pepper pulled a file out of her bag. "It's less of a business opportunity and more of a... change of venue?"
Matt picked up the hints and put the situation together. "Stark Industries wants to hire us?"
"Stark Industries wants to bring you into the fold of SI lawyers."
Foggy almost dropped the cup of coffee he was handing Pepper. "They WHAT?" He sat heavily in the chair. "I'm sorry, I almost thought you just said that Stark Industries wanted us to join your lawyers."
"You would be correct, Mr Nelson." She smiled. "Thoughts?"
Matt braced himself, ready to have to argue Foggy down from joining the same type of company lawyers that they had left to make their own practice. But instead, Foggy leaned back in his chair and frowned. "You do know about Landman and Zack?"
"She just nodded," Foggy said quietly in Matt's direction. "We left because they weren't doing what was right. Marshall, right, Matt?"
The corner of Matt's mouth quirked up in a grin. "'We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear…' Thurgood Marshall. They offered us a job after our internship, but… they were doing it for the money, not for the people. They didn't care about the little guy, the people on the streets."
Pepper laughed lightly. "I think you need to have a conversation with Cap sometime, Mr Murdock."
"Wait." Foggy held up a hand like he was in school. "Cap as in Captain America?"
The CEO smiled but ignored the question and stood, scooping up her bag. "I understand. You don't even have to tell me no. And if I ever need a lawyer, I know where I'm coming."
The door clicked shut behind her, and Matt started to laugh; Foggy's heart was beating like he just ran several miles.
"Don't get any ideas, Nelson. She's steady with Stark, or so I hear."
A moment later, Karen walked in. "Excuse me, but did I just see Pepper Potts walk out of our building?
The same night, Daredevil had a visitor down a dark alleyway. The instant he dropped down to land on the two men attacking the blonde jogger, the jogger reached out almost faster than Daredevil could follow and smashed the two men's heads together.
"What do you want?" The tall blonde man raised his hands in a gesture of goodwill, despite the unconscious men at his feet.
"My name is Steve Rogers. I'm part of the team called the Avengers." The fact that he was Captain America went unsaid, but not unknown. Matt couldn't say he hadn't been expecting this. "I know you're probably not interested in working with us-" Daredevil made an affirmative sound. "- but we'd like to invite you to train. And to be part of the team on missions here in the greater New York area."
The bigger man didn't wait for a response. "Here's an invitation. Stark's having a dinner this Friday. Just the team (except Thor), Miss Potts, and you." He was holding something out; Daredevil extended a hand and let Rogers drop the business card-sized invitation onto it. He nodded his thanks and started walking towards a fire escape near the end of the alley. "Um…" there was an awkward note in Steve's voice. "Nobody will be in their uniform, but, um, if you want to be that's okay."
"I'll keep it in mind." Daredevil swung up onto the fire escape, feeling Steve's eyes on him until he was out of sight.
Foggy walked into the office the next day to see honest-to-god Tony Stark sitting on Matt's desk. His best friend looked… bemused, but didn't comment. "Morning, Foggy. Mr Stark, Meet Mr Nelson. Foggy, Mr Stark wanted to try to talk us into coming to work for him, despite what we told Miss Potts."
"Um, wow. Okay. I mean, sorry." Foggy stuttered out. "Sorry, I'm just a big fan."
Stark smirked and hopped off of Matt's desk to hold out a hand to Foggy. "Nice to meet you."
Foggy shook his hand in awe. Matt's voice brought him out of his hero worship. "So, Mr Stark. Do you have anything to say that Miss Potts didn't already comment on?"
"Just one thing." Matt resisted the temptation to roll his eyes behind the red-tinted black glasses. "I'd like to extend an invitation to dinner at the Tower. Take you on a tour of our facilities." Tony reached into a pocket of his (ridiculously expensive, Matt could tell by the sound) suit and pulled out two cards. "One for each of you. Dinner is at seven, Friday. Dressy casual, be there or be square."
He popped up, gave an extravagant little bow, and walked by a shocked Karen and onto the street, climbing into an expensive car and pulling away.
Matt started to laugh. "Foggy, breathe." Foggy made a slightly strangled sound.
"That was… Tony Stark! Of Stark Industries! In our office!" He slumped into the chair next to Matt's desk. "How come none of the fantastic people never stay to talk to me for longer than five minutes?"
Mat grinned. "You've just been invited to dinner at Avenger Tower, Foggy. And guess who else is going to be there?"
Foggy's heart sped up; Matt fought to keep from laughing at the reaction. Instead, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the business card that Steve Rogers had given him, handing it to Foggy.
"This is addressed to Daredevil. Who gave you this?" Matt took a second to confirm that Karen had stepped out of the office.
"Would you believe me if I told you it was Captain America?"
"Bull. Shit." Foggy looked at Matt in awe. "There is no way."
Matt nodded. "Apparently, the law firm of Nelson and Murdock has been invited to a team dinner with the Avengers and Daredevil, who they are looking to recruit as a trainee and occasional team member. Because this will somehow convince them to join Stark Industries' fleet of lawyers."
Surprisingly, instead of getting on Matt's case about not calling him the moment he stopped talking to Captain America, Foggy started worrying. "So what are you going to do? Go as Murdock or as Daredevil? Because if you go as Daredevil, they'll know something is wrong because we both know I can't lie that well."
"And if I show up with the Murdock card, they're going to put it together when Daredevil doesn't do his-" Matt did a handwave that Foggy took to mean "vigilantism" "- thing that night."
"So… if they're going to find out either way that you're Daredevil- wait, do they know that Daredevil is blind?" Foggy was sounding more incredulous by the second.
"No. I don't think so, at least not yet." Matt wrapped his fingers together, setting his chin on top of them.
There was a moment of silence.
"So who are you going as?"
"It's not a costume party, Foggy. I'm not 'going as' anyone." Matt grinned, holding out his hands for the two cards. "But maybe I could take both of my personas with me."
Slowly, a matching smile spread across Foggy's face. "This is going to be good."
On Friday night at six forty-seven, Matthew Murdock and Foggy Nelson stepped into the elevator at Stark Industries. They were dressed nicely, both in the nicest jeans they owned, Foggy in shirtsleeves and a vest, Matt in a black polo that didn't hinder any of his movements, his messenger bag draped over his shoulder with both the "Man in the Mask" and the "Daredevil" costumes tucked inside.
"This is going to be great." Foggy voiced for the thirty-fourth time. Matt couldn't help but smile; his partner sounded like a kid at Christmas.
"Excuse me, but would you be Misters Nelson and Murdock?" A distinctly British voice came from the corner of the elevator.
"That's us." Matt reached out with the hand not holding his cane and ran his hand over the floor buttons for the elevator. "There's not… Foggy, get us to the right floor."
"I will be taking you up. Mr Stark is expecting your arrival," the voice continued. "I am JARVIS, Mr Stark's personal AI."
"Well, um. Thank you, JARVIS." Foggy was fanboying already, Matt could tell. He smacked Foggy on the arm.
"I'm calm! I'm calm!" Matt was cut off from replying by the sound of the elevator slowing.
"Are the cards in the right order?" He held them out and Foggy checked.
"You're good. Ready?"
Matt smirked and gestured him forwards when the elevator doors opened, lightly taking his elbow while he tried to figure out the new space.
Tony's voice echoed through the room. "Nelson and Murdock! Great to have you!"
"Yikes," Matt murmured.
"What?" Foggy asked, turning slightly towards him.
"Is the entire room made of glass?"
Foggy took a second to look around. "Mostly, yeah. Why?"
"It's… really loud. And hard to focus on. It echos a lot."
Matt huffed. "That's what you're going to say? Weird? Lot of help you are."
But by then Tony had arrived. "Invitations? This is a high class party."
"He's wearing jeans and a polo, Matt. Told you that you were okay." Matt heard Tony snort, the sound bouncing around. Foggy held out his card as Tony led them over towards the couches where the others were.
"Okay, everyone. These are the lawyers that we're trying to bring into the SI business. This," he read dramatically off the card, "is Mr Franklin "Foggy" Nelson." He frowned. "Did you really write "Foggy" in on my expensive, personally made card?"
To Foggy's credit, he didn't flinch. "I'm a lawyer, I like things to be accurate."
One of the men (Hawkeye?) stifled a laugh. Tony gestured Foggy to a couch and Matt followed at his elbow. "Two steps down, couch on the right." Foggy said. Matt could feel the interested eyes following as he tapped the steps once to determine the depth.
"Card, Murdock." This time, Matt really did roll his eyes, squeezing Foggy's elbow as the man shook with hidden laughter. He made a split second decision and handed over the first card, almost - almost - wishing he could see Stark's face. As it was, the suddenly increasing heart rate and breathing was worth it.
"This says 'Daredevil.'" All the movement in the room stopped, becoming frighteningly still except the sound of low chatter and breathing echoing off the walls.
"Oh, did I give you the wrong one? I meant to do the other one first." Matt handed Stark the second card, this one labeled "Matthew Murdock", his face completely straight. "Damn this whole 'blind' thing, makes it hard to read the cards."
Foggy lost it, shoving Matt sideways and doubling over with laughter. "Matt, I thought you were going to give him "you" card first before you whipped out the alter ego thing!" Matt stumbled sideways and hit the edge of the couch, almost falling over as he lost his balance. "Oh, shit!"
"Claire's out of town; if you make me pull my stitches again, she's going to be so mad. And she'll probably make you fix it."
"Noted." Foggy grabbed his arm and Matt straightened up, tightening his grip on his cane. He slipped around the arm of the couch, sitting neatly on the leather surface and ignoring how rough the textured edges were under his sensitive fingertips.
"Questions?" Matt asked the room at large, letting his face fall over the edges of where they all were sitting. He took the time to listen to them, feeling heartbeats (Rogers' was particularly loud. Hawkeye and Black Widow's were so slow as to be alarming, and Bruce Banner's was also surprisingly slow. Tony's was exact and perfect and slightly muted under the humming of the whatever it was in his chest).
"Um, yes?" Tony blurted out. "Excuse me? You're Daredevil?"
Pepper seemed to be taking this all in stride; she handed Foggy a cup and set one on the glass coffee table in front of Matt. He picked it up carefully and took a sip, the cold water helping drown out some of the sounds and smells and tastes from all around him.
"Sorry, but you're blind!" Tony blurted out.
"Oh, by the way," Foggy butted in, "Your elevator doesn't meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards."
"True," Matt agreed. "We could sue you for that. We are excellent lawyers."
"Stop!" Tony begged. "You're a blind lawyer vigilante?"
"And he's Catholic, if you want to make things even weirder," Foggy said.
Black Widow cut into the conversation. "How do you do it?"
"It's complicated, Miss…?"
"Romanoff. You can call me Natasha." If Matt didn't have exemplary hearing, he would have missed the small sound Foggy made at this but as it was, it just made him laugh.
"It only works if I concentrate. Sort of an impressionistic painting."
"He usually describes it as "a world on fire." This seems to be a step up." Foggy commented dryly.
"It's like that, no matter how weird. I have heightened senses, everything. Just no actual… sight."
Pepper neatly cut into the conversation. "As interesting as this is, it's time to eat." Matt stood, finding Foggy's elbow and following him to the table. Five of the six Avengers, Pepper, Foggy, and Matt sat, filling the table. Matt ran a finger over the edge.
"Stark, is there anything in this room besides the couches that is not made of glass?" Stark did a double take, then shook his head.
"The bar is steel and glass. The fireplace is… something. Not sure what." Tony took a sip of wine.
Matt ghosted his fingers over the place settings, the locations of the glasses and dishes, mentally mapping their locations so he didn't have to focus so hard. They began to eat, chatting about Nelson and Murdock, about SI, and about the Avengers. Matt reassured a concerned Bruce about his stitches and that he did, in fact, have a good nurse who took care of it.
Ten minutes later, Hawkeye ("Call me Clint") broke. "Okay, I need a little more detail, Murdock. How do you do this without, you know, seeing?"
Matt smirked. "I use my ears. Everything else. Stark looked up the Murdock backstory, I'm sure. Actually, he probably remembers it happening. You're what, ten, fifteen years older than me? You would have been in your late teens, early twenties." There was a pause, as he considered this, then Matt continued. "When I was nine, there was an accident. I got hit by a truck."
"You pushed an old guy out of the way of a tanker of who-knows-what."
"Thank you, Foggy. Anyway, the chemicals spilled and it hurt like hell and I woke up blind in a hospital. But it sort of… enhanced the rest of my senses. So it makes up for it a little."
"How enhanced?" This time, it was Steve.
"Enhanced enough to know that you've showered twice today, but went for a run in between." Steve set down his fork. "I know that Clint is one hell of an archer because his fingers make a different sound on the table. I know that Natasha has at least six, possibly seven, knives on her right now because of the way the air moves around her."
Matt could feel Foggy smiling and the rest staring, although Pepper was smiling too, probably at the expression on Tony's face. "I know the whatever it is in Tony's chest has to do with his heartbeat and that Bruce spent time working with chemicals today. Something with phosphorous, even though he's washed his hands. I can tell that the wine you're drinking right now comes from a recycled bottle, not a new one and that whoever recycled it last did a poor job of sterilizing it."
Matt sat back and took a drink of water.
"Are you sure you're blind?" Clint asked, a note of humor in his voice.
"What, the sunglasses indoors at night and the cane didn't give it away?" Matt replied.
They finished eating, chatting amicably. Stark stood and offered a tour of the tower. Matt and Foggy agreed and the rest of the Avengers came with them. It took nearly an hour, walking through labs filled with strange-sounding equipment, floors full of cubicles, and the law offices of Stark Industries. They were… classy. Full of shiny equipment and ergonomic chairs.
"So?" Tony spun around, arms outstretched. "Pretty nice, huh?"
"Pretty nice, Stark." Matt replied, looking in Foggy's direction. "What do you think?"
It was quiet. Matt hoped, he prayed, that Foggy would say no. But if he said yes, he would go with him, provided Karen could come too. They were friends. That's what they did.
"As nice as it is," Foggy started, and Matt swelled with hope. "I much prefer having a office with our own names on the door. And you now, helping the underdogs, the people of Hell's Kitchen."
Matt laughed and held out a hand to fist bump. "I knew I would sell you on Thurgood Marshall yet. Sorry, Stark. But we're out."
Tony huffed. "Fine. Nelson and Murdock out. Daredevil?"
"Is this the end of the tour?"
"No," Steve interjected. "It's just where I take over."
They were shepherded back into the elevator, Matt holding the cane upright to take up less room. The doors dinged open and they stepped out. "We're a floor above where we were eating." Foggy said to Matt.
Matt nodded, then turned to Steve. "Is that your shield? It has this sound…" He cocked his head to the side. "Very distinctive."
Steve tapped it with a finger, causing the vibranium to lightly sing under his hand.
Matt held out a hand. "May I?" Steve nodded, then caught himself and verbalized.
"Sure." He held it out and Matt leaned his cane against the nearby wall, hands flicking over the hard, smooth metal. He tapped it again, listening to the light hum it produced.
"Nice." The lawyer held out an arm and located Foggy's elbow and they went for a walk around the room, Matt listening to the air and noting the temperature and the pressure indicating very high security around most of the equipment.
They walked back to the floor they had eaten on and ended up lounging on the couches before Steve breached the question again. "So? Will Daredevil be joining the Avengers?"
Matt hesitated. "Maybe. I have some questions first."
"When do I fight with them? And where? Because trust me, you don't want me trying to kill mutated bugs in Madagascar or anything. Actually, I don't really want to go anywhere outside the New York area."
"We'll limit your involvement to Hell's Kitchen, the greater Manhattan area, and dire emergencies. We also won't require you to fight during the day, if at all possible. You can also back out at any time, although please try to avoid us calling and you saying 'Hmmm, can't make it today.'" There was the scratch of pens as Steve and Foggy took notes. "Do you have a phone?"
Matt nodded. "A burner and a smartphone." He opened his bag and located both phones under the old Daredevil uniform, handing them to Natasha, who happened to be on the couch nearest him.
Foggy spoke up. "Don't use your superhero names; he uses audio assistance on the phone and it says your name when you call."
Steve wrote something else down. "Okay. We'll call you if we need you. What else?"
"Do I get paid? Food? Lodging? What if this interferes with my actual job? Because my livelihood and the livelihood of both my partner and our fantastic secretary are partially dependent on that." He stopped to consider. "And the people who we pay our law school loans to. They like us being on time." Foggy snickered.
"We can pay you. An hourly rate or a flat fee. Plus, you have access to food, housing, and medical care either here at the tower, at the mansion or wherever we are, and at the currently under construction training facility."
Matt smiled and poked Foggy. "Remind me to send them a sheet that has our fees on it." He turned back to Steve. "I'm sure we can work something else out based on that."
The Devil of Hell's Kitchen grinned. "We need a photo of us with the team for our secretary. She won't stop asking."
Clint laughed. "You drive a hard bargain."
"Good to know law school wasn't for nothing."
He could hear Foggy trying not to chuckle. "Yeah, the student loans wouldn't be worth it otherwise."
And an hour later, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson left the building with two cell phones containing numbers for all the Avengers, a promise of a contract for Daredevil, and a signed photograph for Karen.
I binge-watched all of Daredevil. And loved it. There's just something about Matt that makes me want to give him a hug or smack him. It's so great.
Anyway, I started of thinking of all these cool ways Matt and Co. could interact with the Avengers. And so now I have three or four Avengers/Daredevil things planned, but that meant that they had to first meet the Avengers.
There's also plans for at least one straight up Daredevil fic. If you have ideas for any of these, please let me know! I will be posting them on both and on AO3 (for the first time!)