Chapter 4 Struggle

Claire wakes up the following morning feeling somewhat better than yesterday. She tries to get up only to be set back down. She looks over her shoulder to see Matt, he looks so peaceful, not like how he would normally sleep tense ready to make a move if need be. No, Matt looked, happy his facial features look more relaxed not stressed. Claire smiles then she slowly removes his arm from her stomach and she makes her way to her bag grabbing some clothes and then moving to his shower. Closing the door behind her she turns on the water letting the room fill with steam. Then she removes her clothes putting them near the trash bin and then she steps in she sighs. Her mind travels back to the previous night. Matt had kissed her and she loved it plain and simple. She had missed him when she was gone and she misses his kisses, not that she'd tell him.

Shaking her head, she finishes washing herself turning off the water and grabbing a towel. Wrapping it around herself she grabs her brush and makes it look decent. Once she's dry she removes the towel tossing it in his hamper then dresses, she is careful not to re-open her stitches, which Claire is surprised that she didn't last night. Looking herself over in the mirror she nods then gathers her dirty clothes and places them in a bag. She moves to his kitchen and makes breakfast. She smiles while she works. So, glad that it's Saturday. Claire is so lost in her thoughts that she doesn't even notice Matt until he wraps his arms around her waist.

"Shit, Matt! What is wrong with you? I could have hurt you." Matt chuckles, "I would have stopped you." Claire rolls her eyes returning to her task. Matt still hasn't let go of her, not that she cared.

"And, if I had burned myself because some vigilantly decided he wanted to hold me while a make breakfast?" Matt pulls back a bit then turns her around in his arms.

"Then, I would treat your wound like you do for me." He then kisses her on the cheek. Claire's cheeks heat up. She spins back around, removing his hands. "Go, take a seat. It's almost ready." Matt smiles as he takes a seat. Claire finishes off their breakfast with some cinnamon, taking both plates to the table and setting them down before she grabs to glasses of orange juice.

"This is amazing, Claire." Matt says after a while. Claire smiles and they eat in comfortable silence. Matt stands when he's done taking his plate over to the sink. Claire comes with hers and Matt takes it.

"You made breakfast let me do these." Claire nods she leaves him to do the dishes as she walks to his room to check her phone. No new messages from Danny, which isn't all that surprising given that he and Colleen are on a trip, but still she felt left out. Claire sighs and slowly lies down on the bed. She looks up and his white ceiling and her mind wonders back to what happened last night. Shaking her head she closes her eyes.

"You have something on your mind?" Claire jolts up, you would think she's be use to this by now (nope!). "Jesus, Matt! Seriously I know this is your house and all, but try not to give me a heart attack okay?" Matt gives a small smile. Claire rolls her eyes. The bed shifts as Matt lies next to her taking her hand in his. She turns her head to look at him.

"Matt, what are we doing?" She breathes. He looks at her with a blank expression on his face. "I don't know, Claire." She sits up letting out a frustrated sigh. She rubs her temple and shakes her head.

"You have to give me more than that. We can't just pick up where we left off." Matt rests his arm over his eyes. "So, you want to do what? Just start over? Because I feel like we have too, much judgement on both sides for this to even work."

"Damnit Matt! All I'm trying to do is move forward and you just can't seem to let go of the past! It really shouldn't surprise me, that you, Jessica, Luke, and Danny can't leave the past in the past. If no progress is made then were just going to go through the same shit we always do!" Claire gets off his bed and storms to the living room. She needed a beer and she was going to get one.

"Claire..." She pops the bottle open and takes a swig.

"Matt, I swear if you tell me that 'this how it has to be' bullshit I'm going to kick your ass." Matt scoffs.

"Claire, the last time we tried to make this work you criticized how I went about doing it, and now you come to me for my help with your friend who's also, a vigilante. I wanted things to work out between us, but you didn't really give me a choice."

"Me? Not give you a choice? For Jesus sake I was the one who had to stitch you back up! Being a former nurse, I've seen some crazy shit, but nothing compares since I met all of you! Matt, look I regret what I said to you the night you call and said goodbye, I wished I could have taken my words back then, because it was then when I thought I was going to lose you forever and I didn't want it to end that way. Yes, I criticized you and I'm sorry, I just didn't want to lose the exciting person I had ever met."

She puts her beer on the table and looks at the floor she hears his footsteps, but she doesn't move nor does she look up. She closes her eyes when she feels his thumb under her chin tilting it up.

"Claire, I forgave you a long time ago. The feelings that I have for you never went away I just wanted to keep you safe. I get that you can take care of yourself, and you don't really need me." Claire's eyes open she takes his face in her hands.

"Matt, don't say that I will still need you." Matt gives a small smile then leans in and kisses her. Claire's eyes close as she lets him take control of the kiss. He moves them so that Claire's hips meet his table which he lifts her up onto. Claire gasps at his sudden boldness, but she easily welcomes it as she runs her fingers through his hair bringing him a bit closer to her. Matt breaks the kiss and moves to her neck kissing and sucking on it causing Claire to moan. A short while after he makes his way back to her lips claiming them in a passionate kiss that makes Claire see stars. It's when his hands start to wander up her shirt is when she comes back to reality. She pulls back a bit.

"Matt, wait what is this what are we?" Claire asks breathlessly. Instead of responding he tries to kiss her again only for it to land on her cheek. She shakes her head. "No, Matt before we move forward we need to have a common ground." Matt then pulls back completely. Claire slowly eases herself off his table and then walks quickly to his room to gather her things. Grabbing her bag of clothes, jacket, phone, and purse she walks out and passed him. Matt grabs her arm gently. Claire shakes him off.

"I'm willing to try and make this work, but you're not there yet. So, when you're ready to try, give me a call." With that she leaves his place she hears something shatter in his apartment, but she keeps moving. Hauling a taxi to Harlem she takes her phone out.

"Hey, Misty it's me. I need some place to stay for a few days."

Hey, guys sorry for the late update, I had planned on getting this chapter out the same night as The Defenders, but it didn't work. So let me know what you thought of this chapter. Also if you have seen the Defenders tell me your thoughts was there something more you wanted out of it? I know I surely want some more of Claire and Matt, and maybe not so much of the focus on Iron Fist. Well, until next time...