Disclaimer: I don't own Daredevil, Spider-Gwen, or any Marvel properties used in this story. I am not profiting from this fanfiction in any way.
1. I've blended elements from the Spider-Gwen comics with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Spider-Gwen, Matt Murdock is a a darker, villain character. I've seen one-shots tackling the idea, but I've never seen the idea explored farther than that.
2. I'm aware that in this fandom that each person tends to have a strong relationship preference. I've chosen Matt and Karen. I feel as if Claire Temple is too morally grounded to start a romance with Earth-65 Matt Murdock, and Elektra Natchios acts too independently to involve herself in Wilson Fisk's criminal organization.
3. Jessica Jones and Kilgrave's arc will be blended with the Daredevil and Spider-Gwen cast. I'm actually interested to write this. Kilgrave is a walking trigger warning, and the worst of his personality will be explored.
4. Spider-Gwen (Earth 65) is not likely to ever be adapted in the MCU, but being a long time fan of Gwen Stacy, I've always been quite fond of this alternate universe in the comics. I'm drawing a lot of inspiration from Emma Stone's interpretation of the character as well as the Spider-Gwen comics. I personally hated Kirsten Dunst as Mary-Jane, and it took reading the comics to actually warm up to the character again. For this reason, I will be using Zendaya Coleman as the face character for Mary-Jane Watson.
5. Finally, feedback is important to me. Let me know if there are elements you'd like to see explored in this story in the comments section.
Fallen From Grace
Hell's Kitchen, 2015
A melodic sound resonates, breaking the slumber of one Karen Page. Her head is searing in pain, and her body feels as if she's been thrown against a slab of hard concrete. Karen sits up in her bed, right hand reaching for her iPhone. She grasps the phone in her hand, dismissing the buzzing alarm with a tap of her thumb. Karen tosses her soft blue comforter to the side. She's searching her memory, trying to remember the events of the previous night. Karen remembers being at a bar with a man, Daniel Fisher - her coworker. She had been sipping on her first glass of Merlot. There was a second drink she had ordered. Karen's forehead creases as she tries to remember the second cocktail. What was it that she had drank? Karen cannot remember.
Karen tosses her legs over the side of her bed. Dear God, did Daniel actually stay over? Had they slept together? Karen feels the soft fabric of her polka dot blouse, and she glances down at her legs. Her black skirt is still around her waist, and her bright yellow pumps are still on her feet. Maybe Daniel had found his way home. Karen hopes. Oh god, does she hope. She's fully aware of how she can be once she crosses that fine line of tipsy to sloppy.
Karen breathes as she rises from the bed. She tip-toes out of her bedroom toward her living room. Daniel is passed out on her floor - in a pool of blood. Her legs stiffen underneath as her heart skips in her chest. Her legs buckle as her knees hit her carpet. So much blood. Karen's throat becomes tight as her eyes find a knife covered in blood. She reaches forward, fingers wrapping around the black handle. She lifts the knife to her eyes, taking in the blood stained blade. Someone murdered Daniel Fisher in her apartment. But why?
Karen's heart is racing as she remembers the email sent to her. The contents at the time had been so confusing to her that she'd alerted her supervisor. Then, there was all of the corruption Daniel had spoke of in Union Allied Construction. Her chest constricts as all of details connect together. Karen almost vomits.
Karen's eyes focus on the blood dripping from the knife's blade. She barely registers the pounding on her apartment door as man kicks it from his hinges. "Drop the knife!" The knife slips from Karen's hands as her gaze falls on a police officer. His gun is drawn as he approaches her. Karen forces her arms into the air as everything becomes real. Daniel Fisher is dead on her living room floor, and she's about to be charged with her murder.
"I didn't do this..." her voice is so thin, so desperate.
"Get on the ground!" the office commands. "Now!"
"I didn't do this!" Karen shouts as she lowers herself onto the blood stained carpet. "Oh god…"
The officer pulls her left arm behind her back, cuffing it as he take her right arm in his hand. He cuffs her right wrist, linking them both her wrists together in handcuffs. Her life seems to be slipping from her fingers as panic runs through her.
"No, I didn't do this!" Karen insists once more. "Oh god, I didn't do this. I didn't do this!"
"You have the right to remain silent," the officer's voice is hardened and cold. "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you…"
Her life is over. Tears sting her eyelids. Karen Page barely has the money to keep a roof over her head. How in God's good name could she ever afford an attorney with the skill to dismiss her case. Her life feels as it's disappearing almost as if she were already dead.
Foggy glances at his watch, frowning at the number on the dial. 7:50. He's running late again. If he's a minute too late, Reyes will have his head. Foggy breaks into a run as he climbs the subway steps. His hand grips his brief case as he reaches the last step. His eyes scan through the crowd of men and women gathered on the sidewalk. A red hand is flashing on the other side of the crosswalk. Foggy sprints through the crowd, bumping into several pedestrians as he makes his way through the streets. He glances at his watch again. 7:54.
Foggy's legs cramp as he moves through the sidewalk. He can see a the District Attorney's Office just ahead, the dull grey building casting a looming shadow against the sidewalk. Foggy quickens his pace as his lungs burn. The last time he did this much cardio was his half-assed attempt at some pilates video with a girl from college. Foggy mentally represses the awful memory of tripping over himself and knocking his date's TV off its stand. His legs slow as he reaches the front door. He glances at his watch one last time. 7:58 - just in time to spare himself from another ass chewing from Reyes.
Foggy pulls the front door open with his freehand and grins as he steps inside. He passes the secretary sitting at the front desk and moves through a row of cubicles till he reaches his desk. He sets his briefcase down on the desk and draws in a deep breath. Coffee. Foggy exits his cubicle and moves back through the row of cubicles till he reaches a small table. A box of donuts and coffee maker sits next to a pile of paper plates and a tower of Styrofoam cups. Foggy lifts the lid of the box of donuts. There's one chocolate sprinkled donut left. Foggy grins to himself as he places the donut onto a paper plate. He grabs a Styrofoam cup from the top of the tower, and pours himself a fresh cup of coffee. His eyes are searching in vain for creamer when he hears a woman clear her throat.
Reyes. Foggy reluctantly turns to face his supervisor, holding the cup of black coffee in his hand. He forces a fake smile and manages to utter, "Good morning, Ms. Reyes."
"Good morning, Nelson," her chin is raised a tad too high as her eyes narrow. "It's nice to see you made it to work on time today. Let's make that a habit, shall we?"
Reyes crosses her arms as she looks up to him like a predator honing in on its prey. Foggy swallows the lump in his throat and asks, "Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Actually, there is," Reyes' painted pink lips curve into a smile. "I have a case for you. It's practically open and shut. The woman was found with the murder weapon in hand in her apartment."
"Hold up," Foggy says. "You want me to take on a murder case."
"Like I said, it's open and shut," Reyes says. "Not even you can mess this one up, Nelson."
The insult stings, but Foggy recovers with ease. "I'd be glad to take the case. Care to share the details?"
"Follow me," Reyes instructs. "Detective Stacy will brief you on the details."
Ice clinks as Matt Murdock brings a cocktail glass to his lips, scotch burning the back of his throat as he sips. He sets the glass on the table, testing it against the surface before releasing his fingers. The sound of pouring liquid and the thick scent of scotch are close. Matt takes the glass back in hand and sips the burning liquid once more. Fisk clears his throat in a gesture to call for his and Wesley's attention.
"There is a reason I asked you both here tonight," Fisk voice is quiet and rigid as it always is.
Isn't there always? Matt has always considered Wilson Fisk a client rather than a friend. Matt takes another sip of his scotch, searching for the perfect words. On one hand, he'd like to be blunt, but on the other hand, Matt does not wish to rattle Fisk's temper. He rotates the glass in his hand and finally speaks, "You disposed of Daniel Fisher and the meddling secretary, haven't you? What is the purpose of this meeting, exactly?"
"There have been some unforeseen complications," Fisk says.
"Complications?" Wesley scoffs. "We pinned the murder on the Page girl. She'll take fall."
"Your plan might have worked, Wesley," Fisk begins. "But, George Stacy is overseeing the case."
"And?" Wesley's whiny retort almost resembles the sound of nails on a chalk board.
"You misunderstand what kind of man George Stacy is, Mr. Wesley," Matt answers. "He's thorough with details. Even the smallest infraction will have New York's finest sniffing at our doors like hounds on a hunt."
"My men were careful," Wesley insists.
"Oh?" Matt says. "If you and your men were so careful, how did the embezzlement documents find their way into Page's email?"
Matt hears Wesley scoff and mutter insults under his breath. The two have never seen eye to eye, and Matt has always seen Wesley as a man lacking in common sense. To pin the murder on a simple girl was a simpleton's way out of a complex situation. Matt cannot say he's surprised, but the sloppy error is like to bite back if Stacy's forensics team unearth the documents. Matt laces his fingers together and leans on Fisk's dinner table.
"Let me propose an alternative solution," Matt begins. "I will go to Karen Page as her defense attorney and offer my services pro-bono. If Page still holds copies of the misplaced email, I will ask her to turn them over to me. We will pin the murder on McClintock and have a hired hit-man stage his suicide while he awaits trial."
Fisk's chair creaks as he shifts his weight. The room is a tad too quiet for Matt's liking as he waits to hear Fisk's opinion on his proposal. Wesley breaks the silence with a trite snort before speaking. "I don't see why we should bother fronting our expenses for a hit-man when Page is already charged with the murder."
"Because, George Stacy is the detective working Page's case," Fisk's voice is sharp as he verbally cuts into Wesley. "If he uncovers the misplaced email, he will stop at nothing to expose the men behind it. If you had bothered to pay attention, you would understand this."
There is a beat of silence before Wesley offers quiet, half-hearted apology. "My apologies, Fisk."
Fisk ignores Wesley's apologies as his fingers drum against the table. He heaves a sigh before speaking, "Fix this, Murdock. Throw McClintock under the bus for all I care. Just keep George Stacy off my doorstep."
Matt straightens his tie as he rises from his chair. "It will be my pleasure, Mr. Fisk."
One moment, she was but a woman trying to make it in New York, and the next moment, she's being escorted to her newly appointed attorney in handcuffs by two uniformed police officers. Karen hasn't a clue how the justice system works, but she's certain she never appointed an attorney to represent her. She'd always imagined she'd receive a court appointed attorney that would present her with an unsavory plea bargain. Perhaps this is how one meets a court appointed attorney. Karen isn't sure. All she wants is to wake up from whatever nightmare she's managed to crawl into.
The officer opens a door to the small, dreary room. They sit her down on a seat, removing her handcuffs. The guard reaches for a pair of cuffs attached to the table. Karen's chest feels tight. They're treating her as if she is some kind of monster. It's humiliating and dehumanizing. The door opens just as the officer is fascinating her last cuff to her wrist. Karen's eyes look to a man dressed in a expensive suit. His eyes are covered with red shades and in his hand is a white blind cane. The man feels his way to his chair, pulling it out from the table. He sits directly in front of her. He leans his cane against the table as he shifts in his seat.
Forgetting herself, Karen attempts to reach her hand out to introduce herself. Her cuff digs into her wrist as an officer gives her a warning look. She lowers her hands back to the table, the handcuff chains rattling against the hard, steel surface.
"Considering that my client's bail has been paid, I'm going to ask that you remove her restraints," his voice is assertive, commanding even.
"Sir, we were not informed that her bail has been posted-"
"I posted her bail upon my arrival," he snaps. "Remove her restraints. I don't wish to repeat myself again."
"Of course, Mr. Murdock," the officer says.
The officer goes to her, unlocking her restraints with a small key. Karen draws her wrist to her, gently massaging it with her free hand. The officer stands still watching her like a sentinel guarding a castle. Karen's throat is tight as she leans back in her chair. She keeps her eyes forward as he tries in vain to forget the watchful eyes of the two police officers.
"I wish to discuss my client's case alone," her attorney's pauses, waiting for a response from the officers. The officer's remain still as boulders, and when her attorney finally speaks, his tone is clipped. "Alone meaning now."
One officer's lips twist as he glares down at the attorney. He mutters "asshole" under his breath before he exits the room with his colleague. The officer slams the door in one swift motion, leaving Karen with alone with her attorney. Karen releases a deep breath into the air. She's fighting the tears that sting her eyes. Several question sift through her mind, but she can't seem to find a way to vocalize them. Karen collapses forward, elbows falling on the hard steel table as she cries into her hands.
"I didn't kill him I swear…" she says in between sobs as hot tears pour from her eyes.
"I believe you."
Karen raises her eyes to him. Her lip part as her eyes meet his red lenses. She wonders what his eyes might look like. Are they a crystal blue or a soft brown? Karen shakes that thought. Her heavy emotions have made her forget herself and her manners. This man has agreed to represent her and has posted her bail. The least she can do is thank him.
"Thank you," her voice is so soft, wistful even. "I...had expected to be appointed a public attorney. I'm not exactly sure why you are taking my case, but thank you."
"It is my pleasure, Miss Page," he says.
"Karen...you can call me Karen."
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Karen," he says. "My name is Matthew Murdock from The Murdock Law Group. I will be representing you. When you have time to collect yourself, I'd like you to walk me through the events that transpired between you and Mr. Fisher. As your attorney, I can only represent you to my best abilities if you are completely truthful with me."
Karen's mind flashes to the flash drive concealed under her floorboard. Her legs are stiff as she debates whether to reveal the contents of the drive to her attorney. She rubs her lip together as her eyes meet his red lenses once more. She parts her lips, words on the tip of her tongue. Those words catch in her throat as fear overcomes her. Her hands are shaking as she places her palms flat on the steel table. Karen swallows roughly, deciding to divulge the information.
"There's a flash drive in my apartment. It's the reason for all of this. I'm being framed, Mr. Murdock." Karen pauses, lowering her voice an octave. "I need that drive. If someone has the power to frame me, they'll have the police destroy it if they find it. Please, believe me."
"I believe you, Karen," he says. "There is a method of retrieving that drive. I will ask my private investigator to retrieve it from your apartment."
"You can't trust him," Karen says. "You can't trust anyone."
"Her actually," he corrects. "Miss Jones is diligent and her loyalties aren't tied to crime syndicates or to the authorities. I would never deliberately put a client in danger to win a case. You are safe with me, Karen."
His voice is so soothing to her. Karen looks to his red lenses, imagining soft eyes behind them. "Thank you, Mr. Murdock."
"You may call me Matt if you wish," he says with a smile.
Karen returns his smile, laughing slightly to herself. "Your firm is high profile. If people at work needed representation, they were always referred to you or Hogarth. I don't have money. It's not that I'm ungrateful or anything. It's just...why?"
"I saw an injustice," his words are smooth like silk. "Injustice is what attracted me to this profession. I only wish to make this right, Karen."
Karen lowers her eyes to her hands. She so eager to put all of her faith in this man, but part of her is hesitant. Her eyes raise as she studies his features. She makes a choice - the only choice she has. Karen Page will trust Matthew Murdock with the location of the flash drive, Daniel's confession, and every dirty secret she has buried in the confines of her mind.