Chapter 7: Not Lies, Never Lies
She'd expected the visit, known there were things that couldn't be said in front of Foggy, or at least couldn't be said until they'd been properly thought through. Maybe that didn't know they needed to be said until later. She'd known he would come. What she hadn't expected was that he'd come to her front door.
Murry knocked on her door, grunted at her when she opened it, and left, revealing Matt Murdock. She stared at him quizzically for a moment, taking in that he wasn't wearing red, and then stepped aside to let him in.
Navigating each other was easier when they didn't have to pretend. He didn't have to wait for her to verbalize the invitation, and she didn't have to rush to clear her gun off the table, lest he gropingly stumble upon it.
He tilted his head slightly in its direction, and she remembered she'd profiled that he would have a moral compunction about killing. There were some lines even vigilantes wouldn't cross.
That she herself, in the course of her job, was willing to cross them, she hoped would not hinder the development of their relationship.
"Would you like a drink?" she said to his back, and did not wait for an acknowledgement before fetching glasses.
He sat on her couch, gingerly, but with more grace than he usually allowed himself to display, and she settled beside him, drawing her knees up and turning to face him fully.
"What do you want to know?" she asked.
He hesitated, and when he spoke, she had a feeling the question was not the one he'd intended on leading with.
"You told me you came here at the suggestion of a friend."
She took a sip of her whiskey. "I did not tell you that friend was Tony Stark."
"You said you'd lost someone."
It was her turn to hesitate. He would know if she was lying, but it wasn't a story she wanted to share. Nonetheless, "He was my patient. I…specialize, if you can call it that, in PTSD, but it would be more accurate to say I specialize in enhanced humans with PTSD."
"People like me," Matt said after a moment.
"People like you," she acknowledged. She took another sip of whiskey. "Not everyone…adapts as well as you to the changes in their body, in the way they see the world. It is possible, if one believes those changes are unnatural, to come to hate yourself for them, though they are entirely out of your control."
Matt's hands tightened around his glass. Erinn reached over and squeezed his wrist until he relaxed. As she sat back, she pondered the contact. It was not something she was used to, physical familiarity, yet with a blind man, regardless of his other abilities, it was unavoidable.
"This man," she continued, "could not come to terms with what had happened to him. Eventually, his resentment turned inward."
"He took his own life," Matt finished for her. She was grateful, and hid for a moment behind her glass, glad he couldn't see her expression. The pain was like a wave that welled up from within, and she had been unprepared for how to powerful it would be, though she understood, personally and professionally, that buried pain is often stronger than pain acknowledged.
A pressure around her own wrist, and she looked up to find that Matt had seized her in turn. "However much we try to help people, ultimately their decisions are their own," he said.
She nodded, acknowledging the wisdom in that, though the pain was still there.
"It was a true story then," he said.
"You're wondering how you didn't see I've been lying to you this whole time," Erinn said.
"The only thing I could think was that you haven't."
She cocked her head to the side. "I suppose not. Regardless, if you're worried I'm lying now, I'm not…though whether or not you believe that is up to you to decide."
"I think if you were trying to deceive me you'd have set a better trap than an offer of a single, professionally dubious woman's help and the threat of near exposure."
She laughed, brightly, and he laughed with her.
"It was not a good plan, I admit," she told him. "I came here with only Tony's backing. We knew we would need a better scheme in place before presenting it to anyone official, but we wanted to feel you out first. Then when Fisk tried to expose you – and I'd only just figured it out myself this morning – I couldn't think of any other way to save you than to expose myself."
"It worked," Matt admitted. "Though for how long…"
"I know," she said. "I may have given you more grief in the long run."
"But right now Fisk is our problem."
"Yes, though I still don't understand exactly what that problem is."
Matt thought about this for a moment. "Do you really think it matters, so long as we stop him?"
"If it is not only his endgame, but part of something larger, it matters a great deal."
"Then to discover what Fisk – or the Yakuza are up to…"
She nodded. "I've thought of that too. It may be better to let it play out."
Matt's hands tightened again. "And how many people will be hurt while we wait?"
Erinn set her glass down. "I have a theory. A theory that, in this at least, Murdock and Daredevil may need to remain separate. Daredevil does not need to let any of the things that may harm his city, or the people in it, go unchecked. But Murdock may need to reign in his personal vendetta, and watch the enemy, instead of attacking him."
"That's a fine line you propose," said Matt softly.
"For you, it was always a fine line, wasn't it?"