Woah, what is this? An update literally two years later?
Hi everyone, as you might have guessed, this story has been dead for a while. I graduated High School and have been at college for the last two years. Obviously writing fanfiction was low on my priority list, and it still is, however...
I just want to thank Ryuno chu for being so incredibly encouraging and never giving up on me. Their messages have been what made me update. I already had this and one additional chapter written from two years ago that I never posted. I can't promise anything more after these two chapters, but who knows, maybe my love for Matt and Winnie will be rekindled. Either way, it's all thanks to them that I am even posting these.
So, without further ado, enjoy!
Chapter 5 - I've Got This Friend
After several tedious phone calls (informing her patients that because of a family emergency they would need to reschedule their meetings for the day) and one long call to Miranda, who had also been close to Rebecca, Winnie was officially out of things to do. She had tried to read the news on her phone or organize her bag, a lost effort really when she turned to the current desk sergeant for entertainment. They had struck up conversation, after a few awkward failed attempts by Winnie, and now another officer had even stopped to chat with them. It was good for keeping the blonde's mind off of the current predicament, even if the male officer who had joined them was a bit overbearing.
He was new to the force, a rookie, that had been brought in after the downfall of Frisk. Many of the officers had been exposed for taking bribes they were quickly kicked from the force, opening up new positions for young men and women like Officer Baker. With a wild mess of red hair and a smattering of freckles, he was undeniably cute but very obviously young. Perhaps not so much an age, but definitely emotionally. He wore a bright smile and spoke about how great it was to work on the force, to be doing the right thing and helping people. It was kind of sad, Winnie couldn't help but think. One day he'd realize how corrupt the system truly was.
Their conversation was interrupted by Rebecca suddenly coming around the corner, the two lawyers following her, before making a beeline for Winnie. The blonde had only just excused herself from the two cops when the tall brunette wrapped up her green-eyed friend in a tight hug, tears still covering her bruised cheeks and her pajamas in a messy disarray. "Winnie! You waited!" She sounded so absolutely relieved and Winnie felt better for having stuck out the rather long wait.
"Course I did. What kind of friend would I be if I just abandoned you with a pair of sharks." Winnie raised her voice slightly, a smirk playing on her lips as she watched the two lawyers chuckle at her barb.
"Oh come on Freddie, I thought we had something special." Foggy placed a hand over his heart as if wounded, but his smug grin said he knew exactly what he was doing. An indignant gasp was pulled from the young woman, who didn't pause before lightly slapping the blond lawyer's arm. Foggy just laughed in return before moving over to speak with the desk sergeant for some papers concerning a case or two they were working on.
Matt was quietly laughing at them, his hands resting on his cane as he came to a stop by their side. It was a pleasing sound, Winnie had to admit. She was only more determined to hear it again. "Oh my God, he called you Freddie. Remember in high schoo-" Rebecca began with a bright smile.
"Yes." Winnie tersely cut her off, a scowl replacing her previous smile. "Trust me, I remember."
Rebecca wasn't put off, in fact, she began to giggle happily. "You haven't changed much since high school. I'm really glad I called you… I'm so sorry we haven't kept in touch." Winnie was waving her off, knowing their loss of contact was as much her fault as it was the brunettes. They had simply grown apart, went different directions with the life, and there was nothing wrong with it.
"Don't worry about it; I'm glad you called too." She assured the girl without pause, glad to see the woman smiling after the awful experience she'd just gone through.
"This is the first time you've both spoken since high school?" Matt cut in curiously, eyebrows raised above his red glasses. Surprise colored his voice, prompting a small frown from the smaller blonde.
Rebecca answered quickly, a nostalgic smile on her face. "Oh yeah, it used to be me, her, and Miranda. We were our own little trio, close as could be. Of course, we kind of drifted apart after…" The brunette paused as Winnie stiffened up, as her old friend was nearing a dangerous topic. Quickly, Rebecca recovered from her blunder. "Well, I'm sure you know how it is when some of your friends go off to college and some don't." Matt didn't reply, just smiled softly and nodded his head.
It was harder to tell what he was feeling, since they were in such a crowded place and Winnie was being bombarded with hundreds of different emotions, having to block them all out so she wouldn't be overwhelmed. Winnie wished to touch him, to see what he was really feeling, but decided that it would be inappropriate to grab the man's hand after just meeting him a few hours ago.
Foggy returned from speaking to the desk sergeant, a bundle of files under his arm, and quickly mentioned them returning to the office to discuss the potential charges on Rebecca and what needed to be done. Winnie took it as a chance to leave, since she had been up all night and needed at least a power nap, not too mention the growing feeling of suffocation being in such a busy part of the city.
She grasped Rebecca by the hand, taking a moment to assess the girl's emotional state. Although worry and sadness still coursed through her, she felt safe with the two lawyers and would be fine without Winnie for a couple hours. "I'll head back to your apartment and clean things up for you." The blonde decided, acting as if grabbing her friend's hand had been to get her attention and not the read her emotions.
"Oh no Winnie-"
"No buts," The blonde cut her friend off with a shake of her head, already feeling Rebecca's guilt. "And I'm going to grab some clothes from my place so I can stay over. You shouldn't be alone right now." There was a firmness to her tone that left no room for arguments and Rebecca simply nodded her head in acceptance, secretly relieved by Winnie's offer.
"It might actually be better not to stay there at all." Matt suggested slowly, but Rebecca was quick to shake her head.
The tall brunette seemed to swell up slightly, confidence briefly filling her. "I'm not running away from my own home. It's my apartment, the lease is in my name." Foggy and the blind lawyer shared a look (well, Foggy looked at Matt while the dark-haired lawyer simply cocked his head to the side) before they both nodded. They could tell their client wouldn't leave her apartment no matter what.
"Besides, I'll be there to keep her safe. If that asshole comes around I won't think twice about breaking his stupid face." Winnie assured them with a tight grin, her blood boiling all over again. She absolutely meant it. If Tyler came around, he wouldn't leave unless it was in an ambulance.
"Aaaand as her lawyer I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." Foggy declared dryly while Matt tried to hide a smirk. The four of them began to make their way out of the police station, and at the foot of the steps leading to the precinct, Rebecca gave Winnie another tight hug of gratitude.
Winnie had turned away and was about to walk home to her apartment to grab some clothes when Matt's voice stopped her. "Dr. Adalbern?" She turned back around to see he had followed her for a bit, leaving Rebecca and Foggy chatting a few feet away while simultaneously failing to hail a cab.
"Please, Mr. Murdock, Winnie is fine." She always insisted people call her by her first name, as she often told her patients to do so in order to create a more comfortable atmosphere. Matt seemed to appreciate it, as a smile spread across his face. It was still slightly reserved, but Winnie found it rather handsome.
"Then call me Matt. I was hoping we might talk again." He stepped a bit closer, cane lightly tapping on the ground as the distance between them disappeared. "Perhaps over dinner?" The blonde's heart thudded at the offer, surprised and deeply pleased by the man's advances.
Yet, she had a lot going on. Perhaps getting involved with her friend's lawyer wasn't the best plan. "Are you trying to ask me on a date, Mr. Murdock?" The way she purred his last name was absolutely intentional, especially after he had just insisted she call him Matt. Winnie always loved to tease the men she flirted with, as the chase was the majority of the fun. She couldn't just give them everything they wanted, not right away at least.
Matt seemed to pick up on this, because he was quick to give her a taste of her own medicine. "That depends, Dr. Adalbern," He began with a tiny smirk, head cocked ever so slightly to the side. "On whether you plan to say yes."
Winnie let out a breathy laugh, wishing to say yes, but knowing she probably shouldn't. Not yet, at least. "Talk to me when you've won my friend's case." She teased with a small smirk.
"And you'll say yes?"
"And I'll consider saying yes." She countered playfully, idly reaching out to straighten the man's tie, which had become slightly crooked. Matt let out a laugh now, a true laugh that made Winnie's heart pound and a grin spread over her own features. The blonde lowered her hand, preparing to leave things at that, but the brunette lawyer moved fast and grasped her hand before she could.
Through their touch, she could feel him, his hope and curiosity, the edge of his attraction for her, and surprisingly, a small bit of suspicion. Winnie wasn't sure what the suspicion was about but chose to ignore it and focus on Matt's next request, which she also planned to deny. "Since dinner is off the table, for now, how about coffee?" His smile turned playful and Winnie suddenly wished to see his eyes, wondering if they showed the same mirth as his cheeky grin did. "I was hoping to get your professional opinion on Ms. Smith's boyfriend, since you offered."
She hesitated, knowing full and well that she was playing a dangerous game here, but the charming lawyer was hard to resist. Winnie began her reply in a rather serious tone. "I don't really like coffee," Matt's face fell a little, as did his emotions, which she still felt through their joined hands. "But I do love tea."
Without a second thought, Winnie dug through her purse to find a pen to use, keeping a hold of Matt's hand as she did. Finally, she found a suitable pen, which she then used to carefully write her phone number on the back of his hand with. It was only after she finished that she realized he probably wouldn't be able to read her number, let alone put it in his phone. "I guess Foggy will have to help you, uh, use my number and all… okay, this was way cooler in my head." She gave a large sigh, wanting to smack herself in the head. Way to kill the mood, nothing like reminding the hot guy that he was blind and couldn't read the number she had given him.
Matt brightened once he figured out what she had written on his hand before laughing at her awkward statement, undoubtedly knowing she was quite embarrassed despite being unable to see her face. "Don't worry, I think it's cute." He assured her in a teasing tone, giving her hand another squeeze before dropping it. "I'll call you when I get the chance." He assured her smoothly, his playful smirk pulling Winnie in even as he stepped away. "Walk home safe, Dr. Adalbern" Winnie quietly returned the sentiment before the dark-haired lawyer turned around and began to make his way back to Foggy and Rebecca, who had luckily just gotten their cab and not noticed the blind lawyers long absence.
Winnie watched the cab pull away before starting the way home once again, this time with a large smile on her face and warmth spreading through her chest.
Back at the office, Matt, Foggy, Karen, and Ms. Smith quickly settled in. Their client slowly explained to the two lawyers how the fight happened while Karen recorded the story on a legal pad to review later. Afterwards, they discussed what needed to be done; even though they had managed to get Rebecca released, her boyfriend could still prove to be a problem if he showed up again or decided to try and press charges. To avoid that, the lawyers discussed their options, ranging from Ms. Smith trying to take Tyler Munroe to court or to limit the damage and simply get a restraining order for the time being. The woman, obviously weary from the emotional events of the day, simply asked for some time to think about her options. Matt and Foggy told her it wasn't a problem, they would look into Mr. Munroe and some other options while she went home to rest. After the young brunette left, Foggy was quick to corner Matt in his office, Karen having said something about coffee before stepping out of the room.
"So," He began with an excited smile, curiosity thrumming through him as he took a seat on the edge of his desk. "I noticed you stopped to talk with Winnie before we left." Matt was quietly cursing his luck. Of course, his best friend hadn't missed his talk with the young woman, Foggy had probably been losing cabs on purpose to give Matt more time.
Despite his internal thoughts, the blind lawyer only gave a soft hum in response to his friend's words, casually leaning against the wall as he did so. It wasn't that he didn't want to talk to Foggy about Winnie, he just didn't want to deal with the 'I told you so's or, possibly, Foggy's judgment. Matt had decided that he would get close to Winnie, but he wouldn't start it off by telling her who he was. There was just too much that could go wrong and although he no longer believed she meant him any harm, he knew she was hiding something important. He had noticed the way Rebecca had slipped up earlier, the way Winnie's heart had started to pound and her muscles went taut. Whatever had caused the girls to grow apart had made the healer very uncomfortable, spiking Matt's curiosity. So, for now, he would simply try to get close to her the old-fashioned way: by being his normal charming self and getting her to open up.
He knew Foggy would stand by him no matter what, but he might not approve at the same time, even if he had given Matt the idea. When Foggy suggested he get close to Winnie, he had the best intentions of Matt finding someone like himself to be honest with. Unfortunately, that wasn't really Matt's plan. He was walking a fine line between right and wrong, he did so every day, but what he was doing with Winnie was different. This wasn't Daredevil playing her for information, this was Matt Murdock, and he wasn't so sure how he felt about it.
He wasn't so sure how he felt about her.
Matt would be lying if he said he wasn't attracted to her on some level. She was witty, a flirt, and a bit dangerous. Matt also liked how she had felt in his arms the night he carried her back to bed, her soft hair brushing against his cheek when she had shifted to lay her head on his shoulder. Yet the blind man had a feeling there were things she didn't tell him, like her vague claims that he couldn't harm her even if he tried. Their fight had haunted him, though not just because of the things she had revealed during the argument. Her fiery temper, which he had only briefly seen before on their first meeting, had flared to life when he had half-heartedly threatened her. Not only was Angel not afraid of him, she had actually threatened him in return! He wasn't used to anyone challenging him, especially tiny women that Matt could easily snap in two, so he had been equal parts annoyed, surprised, and, to his embarrassment, slightly turned on.
Despite how he may or may not feel about her, there was still the chance that she was keeping secrets from him. Granted, Daredevil hadn't told her anything about Matt Murdock - she didn't even know he was blind - so maybe his argument was invalid.
"Matt?" The brunette snapped back to attention when his best friend called his name, using a tone that meant he should have been listening.
Quickly the lawyer turned his head in the direction of Foggy's voice, a slightly guilty smile working its way onto his features. "Sorry, just have a lot on my mind. Especially with this new case." He added the last part innocently, not wanting the other man to know he was actually debating the morality of asking Winnie on a date when he didn't truly trust her. Was it bad to lie to her if she was lying to him? Even if he wasn't a hundred percent sure she was lying? He'd have to debate on it later.
"Mhm," Foggy hummed skeptically, the muscles in his face pulling into what Matt recognized as his 'I'm not swallowing your bullshit' face. "Well if you had been listening, I was offering to add her number into your phone for you. Kind of funny that she wrote it down. Does she just enjoy making blind people struggle or does she see it as some sort of challenge?" He could hear the dry humor in Foggy's voice as the man moved off the desk and held out his hand for Matt's phone, which the brunette handed over. He could actually do it himself, since he could feel the way the ink left numbers across his skin, but it was much easier to just let his friend do it. "Like, 'You can only date me if you're able to read my number'. Weed out the weak ones." Matt snorted softly and shook his head before holding out his hand for Foggy to read the number off of.
"I think she was just a bit caught up in the moment. She's very…" He couldn't find the word, still thinking back to his few encounters with the strange healer. Kind. Blunt. A bit awkward. She used humor to deflect and flirty comments to distract. She had trouble keeping her mind on one thing, always bouncing from one topic to another.
She smiled easily but was scared to let people touch her.
He wasn't sure she even knew she did it, but there had been times today when she had shied away from his and other people's touch. When he had offered his hand and she had moved a step back before taking it, when Foggy had come to stand beside her she casually swayed away, and while in the cab she had pulled in on herself so tightly. Her scent had never show fear, so he knew it had to be some sort of natural reaction, some hard ingrained habit for her avoid touch. He wasn't sure if it had to do with her ability or something else that had happened in her past, but he wanted to know. Especially since she had never shied away from Daredevil.
If Foggy noticed how quiet he had gone, he didn't comment on it. Instead, his close friend returned Matt's phone to his outstretched hand after adding Winnie's number before clapping him on the shoulder. "I know you're still suspicious, don't try to deny it. I'm also not really a fan of you starting a relationship with a handful of lies already under your belt," The blind man felt like sighing at his friend's reproachful words, having fully expected this talk, just not so early. Foggy had, of course, already picked up on the way Matt was avoiding the subject of Winnie and figured it out for himself. Sometimes he wondered how it took so long for his best friend to discover his secret identity when he was able to so accurately dissect everything else Matt did. "But I like Winnie, so I won't try to talk you out of it. If anyone can handle all your crazy, I'd put my money on her." Matt was surprised, he hadn't expected Foggy to give his stamp of approval on the potential relationship. After all, the brunette didn't have the best track record when it came to women and things were a lot more complicated this time around. "Besides myself, of course." The blond added jokingly.
"Oh yeah?" Matt chuckled softly, opening up the door to head back to his own office, feeling slightly relieved to have his friend's grudging approval.
"Yeah, not sure if I ever told you, but I actually minored in 'Crazy Vigilante Best Friend'." Foggy snarked back, the blind lawyer able to read the smile on his face as his friend took a seat behind his desk. The brunette shot his friend a grin, some of the tension leaving his body at the lighthearted conversation. Things had been tense between himself and Foggy ever since his friend discovered his other identity, it was good to see they were getting back to the way they used to be. He was just about to leave the office when Foggy's voice pulled him back. "So you gonna call her?"
The blind lawyer casually switched the phone from hand to hand, pausing a moment at the open door to think. Would he call her? There was so much about her that was uncertain, maybe it would be best if he simply left her alone. If she was a threat, then leaving her alone would keep him safe, and if she really was harmless, then leaving her alone would keep her safe.
Then again, Matt never backed down from a challenge.
"I'll think about it." He replied with a thoughtful smile, leaving the office and traveling across the room to his own workspace. As he sat in his chair he heard Foggy scoff softly and lean back in his seat, the creaking of leather signifying his movement.
"Oh, I'm sure you will, Matty."
When Rebecca had finally returned from the lawyer's office, Winnie had just finished cleaning up the disastrous living room. She knew it'd be best to clean up the broken glass and put the furniture back in order before her friends return. The brunette needed no reminders of the violent encounter with her boyfriend. Rebecca gave her a soft, tired, smile before pulling the shorter blonde into a tight hug. No words were spoken about what Winnie had done for her today, no amount of thanks would really express her gratitude.
Alternatively, the two women ordered Chinese food and lounged on Rebecca's brown leather couch, telling stories and catching up with each other. Winnie was happy to hear that her brunette friend ended up going to culinary school before taking over her parents bakery, which resided in the small shop below her apartment. The bakery had been run by her grandparents and her mother, since her father had never been in the picture, until Mrs. Smith had sadly passed away only a few years after graduation. The blonde apologized for missing the funeral, as she had been off at college when Rebecca's mother had passed away, but Rebecca assured her that it was alright.
Winnie told her about college and her residential, how she now worked for a small mental health center as a psychologist, though she hoped to one day run her own private practice. She also spoke about her volunteer work at the orphanages and rougher parts of town, acting as a teen counselor for those who couldn't get a social worker to come speak with the kids as often as they needed. Rebecca complimented the blonde for her work, but Winnie simply waved it off. She was only doing what felt right. They also talked about Miranda and agreed the three of them would need to go out together very soon so that their trio could once again be reunited.
After they both finished their food and had cleaned up, Rebecca mentioned heading off to bed. Winnie was quick to agree and began to set up on the couch, since the brunette's apartment lacked a guest room and they were both too tired to search for the air mattress.
"Hey, if you need me for anything, I'll be right here." Winnie reminded her brown-eyed friend, noting the nervous way the woman began to pick at her nails. She probably would have trouble sleeping tonight and Winnie didn't want her friend struggling alone. "You don't have to do this by yourself. That's why I'm here." She reminded her friend gently, reaching out to softly touch her arm in comfort. Rebecca gave a tired smile in return, nodding her head before quietly wishing Winnie a good night.
The blonde lay awake as she stared up at the unfamiliar ceiling, shifting slightly to try and get comfortable on the leather couch. Her mind, unsurprisingly, drifted to her masked man. Although they had ended things on a rather sour note last time, she had still felt bad about just leaving her apartment without any word to him. She had written him a note, explaining she would be staying with a friend for a few days, then left her number in case he was badly enough injured to need to call her. It had been a last minute sort of action, one without much thought, but she didn't regret the spur of the moment decision. Sure, she didn't like Daredevil's obvious distrust after she had done so much to help him, yet she couldn't really hold it against him.
Afterall, Winnie knew he was right to distrust her.
Alright everyone, hope you enjoyed! I will post the next chapter in a few days after I clean it up and then possibly continue to bring the story to some sort of close? We will see, it all depends on the response I get, as well as if college will even allow me the time to type.
Once again big shout out to my biggest fan Ryuno, you have really brightened my days with your lovely words of encouragement. Thank you.