Ripple Effect: Common Threads
"Right this way, Mr. Murdock." Mr. Lee paused, realized his momentary lapse of discretion, and continued, "Oh, pardon me, sir. Would you prefer to take my arm? The back workroom can be quite a jumble sometimes."
Matt Murdock smiled, nodded his acceptance, and reached out for Mr. Lee's upper arm. It would probably have been more comfortable for Matt to have placed his hand on the diminutive tailor's shoulder, but sometimes protocol takes precedence, Matt thought. He followed the little man through the narrow confines of the tailor shop, past the racks of suits waiting for their new owners, past the bolts of fabric and the humming sewing machines in the workshop, where a radio somewhere on a shelf squawked out tinny music. At the end of another corridor, Mr. Lee came to a halt, entered some numbers into a keypad, and ushered Matt into a room that seemed much quieter than the rest of the building.
"Got some new security, Mr. Lee?" Matt didn't recall the cypher lock on the "back workroom" before.
"These days, one can never be too careful, so yes, I put a lock back here to keep out anyone who might decide to wander too far looking for a restroom or something. I would hate for the wrong person to find out just how good a tailor I really am, and for whom." He laughed at his own little joke. "After all this time, it would be terrible for you to have to take your business elsewhere."
"Indeed it would."
Matt had attempted to make his own costume when he decided to avenge his father's murder, and used Battlin' Jack Murdock's boxing robe for part of it. Crime fighting was rough on the duds, and he'd soon worn them out. He realized that he was a better crime fighter than tailor, so he procured a Daredevil costume from a shop that made the costumes for wax museums and Halloween rentals. It really seemed odd to get a costume that was a takeoff on the one he'd made himself, but he had more practical things to worry about.
Things like practicing law with his partner and college roommate, Foggy Nelson. Their small time practice didn't bring in many high-paying jobs, and on occasion, Matt and Foggy would find themselves bartering legal services for some pretty bizarre things in lieu of cold, hard cash. That had been the case with Wan Lee, who offered them each a custom suit of clothes in return for helping him out of a jam with a testy landlord who had wanted to triple his rent without warning.
"Wow, Matt...I've never had a real custom suit before. I mean, I've had a couple of nice ones from the store that they altered to fit me, but nothing like this." Foggy was fondling the various fabrics that Mr. Lee had presented for their inspection. "Feel this, Matt! I didn't think wool could be this soft!" He grabbed Matt's wrist and shoved the bolt of textile into his hands. "This is a real dark grey, almost black, Matt. We're gonna look like bona fide lawyers for real!"
"Simmer down, Fog. Don't go getting all orgasmic about the merchandise," Matt chuckled. He'd never had anything but an off-the-rack suit from a cut-rate department store up until now, and honestly, he was pretty stoked about a new suit, too.
"Please, come back to the fitting room, gentlemen." Matt grabbed Foggy's shoulder and trotted along behind his portly buddy. Foggy had his fitting first; Matt could hear the tailor bouncing around the room, scribbling notes on a pad of paper. Then it was Matt's turn to be measured.
"Uh, Mr. Lee, please tell me what you're going to do before you do it. I'd hate to flinch and accidentally knock you over or something..."
"Not a problem, sir. Now, to which side do you dress?"
The suits had been fantastic. Foggy and Matt both returned for others over the years. What Foggy didn't know for a long time though, was that Matt had also entrusted his other suits to the nimble fingers of Mr. Lee. It had not been long before the costume shop closed where Matt had purchased his second outfit, when the owner was incarcerated for crimes committed as "The Gladiator". Mr. Lee had been so happy to serve the young lawyers, and Matt felt he was a trustworthy man. Matt outlined to Mr. Lee exactly what he wanted, and the tailor never skipped a beat when he confided in Matt that he should use red for his costume, rather than the yellow and brown. "You look like a bumblebee, not a devil... not that you would know, I suppose. Let me make you a proper costume. You want to scare these crooks to death, not make them die laughing, Matthew." Matt knew he had the right guy from that moment on.
Matt had almost put the costume behind him after he won the lawsuit against the tabloid for outing him as Daredevil, but recent events had forced him to return to his crime fighting nightlife. So, today Matt was there in Mr. Lee's workroom to pick up a new batch of costumes, as well as a new spring weight suit and a couple of shirts. They would be on the outside of the hangers that held his costumes, just in case anyone unzipped the garment bag hanging in his office. Mr. Lee could keep a secret, but Matt was never quite sure if Foggy might decide to take a peek at his new duds, and he couldn't risk having the office temp seeing what else was in the bag.