A/N: This is my first story (written nine months ago), so please forgive the cheesy writing and any rookie mistakes. I promise I've improved slightly since then, as you will see soon. Thanks go out to ofcatsandwomen, who convinced me to finally stop stalling, and my sister, ModernScribe, without who's advice and red pen I would never have even started much less have finished. And as a thank you, she would like me to mention that although she has never written fanfiction, she does love to edit. Visit her profile if you need a stubborn editor.
Disclaimer: If I own Daredevil, someone had better tell me.
Chapter One: Homecoming
Matt Murdock hated plane flights. Planes always smelled of fuel and peppermint chewing gum. Combine that with the sounds of babies crying, loud engines roaring to be heard over the rush of wind, and snoring businessmen, and it was torture. Sometimes Matt was thankful for the accident that cost him his sight and enhanced his remaining senses, but this wasn't one of those times. All the blind lawyer wanted was to land. He closed his eyes and leaned back, blocking out the sounds and smells, thinking of the past week.
He had been in California defending a client. The trial had ended well, but it was a hard case. Matt had spent the last few months working on it and now that it was over, he really didn't know what to do with all his free time. At least that won't last long, He thought. Brian Etch has been arrested again. Brian Etch was one of Matt's clients. He was a reformed criminal who kept getting into trouble; he always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Matt was jarred out of his reverie by the man beside him jerking from his half-sleep with a snort. The man woke up just in time for the captain to announce they would land in ten minutes. Matt heard him mutter under his breath, "Excellent, about time." Silently Matt agreed with him. It had been a bad flight, even for him. They had spent half an hour on the runway because there were too many planes, and then run into multiply thunderstorms.
The plane landed in New York's airport with a skid. Matt could hear the wheels scrape the runway, the pilots straining to hold it steady. He stood up, waiting for the man beside him to get his luggage. "Do you need help, mister?" the man asked Matt.
"No thanks, I think I can manage." He replied, unfolding his white cane. Nice to know people care, he thought as he located his carry-on and left the plane.
At the gate's desk, a flight attendant stopped him. "Excuse me sir, would you like me to show you to the baggage claim?"
Okay Murdock, time to play normal blind man. "Why yes, if you would be so kind. You would be a big help. I am afraid that I'm not very good about looking where I'm going."
The attendant didn't laugh at his joke. He calmly took Matt's elbow, leading him down to the baggage claim. As he walked, Matt listened to the man's heartbeat. It was a habit. He can't be very old. Judging from my radar sense, he is about 5 feet, eleven inches. He has strong legs; I bet he's a runner. Matt didn't have time to ask, though, because they'd arrived.
"Here you are sir. Would you like me to get your bag?"
"If you would. It's a medium size, and has Matt Murdock written on it. It's not very heavy."
As the flight attendant went to search for Matt's bag among the hundreds of others, Matt headed to the nearest wall to wait. All of the sudden, a woman caring a bag ran into Matt's shoulder. Matt heard her mumble a "sorry", and then she pushed past. In her wake, the lawyer smelled the distinct smell of sulfuric acid combined with nitric acid. TNT. Matt thought quickly.
Matt decided to follow the person with the bag. He blocked out the smell of thousands of perfumes, cigarettes, and fast food, focusing on the little things. The smell of leather, of adrenaline, sweat. Finally, he smelled it. The distinct smell of explosives. Like a hound dog, Matt followed the person with the bag. As he got closer he heard the woman's heartbeat. It was faster than normal. Much too fast. He heard her pace quicken, her breathing become raspy. The woman is definably expecting something. Something that is going to be big. It's time for Daredevil to make an appearance.
Matt changed course, heading for the nearest men's bathroom. Don't rush. Keep calm. Don't let anyone suspect you. Matt ducked into the bathroom, listened for a moment to make sure no one was around, and after hearing only a small boy busy in a stall, rapidly changed into his costume, stuffing his suit into his carry-on. He was so busy changing, he didn't notice when his wallet slipped out of the pocket of his pants and onto the bathroom stall's floor.
Daredevil emerged from the restroom caring his bag. Got to find a place to hide this bag. If anyone found it – I don't even want to think about it. Once again he listened for the sound of onlookers. Daredevil listened, but he didn't hear the man passing a few yards away. His radar sense told him that a wastebasket was tucked into a corner a few feet from the entrance to the restroom. He darted to the basket and dropped his bag behind it. Now I really have to stay out of sight. I stick out like a sore thumb in this outfit.
Charlie watched as Daredevil came out of the bathroom. Just as I feared, he thought. He watched as Daredevil hid a bag behind the wastebasket. Charlie just stood there, looking at the bag for what seemed like hours. Finally Charlie couldn't take the curiosity any longer. He had to know what Daredevil had left.
Charlie went to the basket and picked up the bag from its hiding place. Hmm, what is this? Is this his personal belongings? Maybe it'll give me a clue to Daredevil's identity!
With a twinge of excitement, Charlie opened the carry-on. Inside he found a Dictaphone with a tape, a nice suit (he had suspected as much), a nice pair of sunglasses, an ipod with headphones, a cell phone (out of power), and some coins, but surprisingly no books or IDs. He put on the headphones and listened to the ipod for a moment. It was some sort of book that sounded like the law. He's a lawyer? He thought. Now I have to hear what's on the Dictaphone! Charlie rewound the tape and listened to the message:
Matt? It's Foggy. I tried to call, but your cell is off. I hope you get this
in time. Maxwell wants us to meet him to talk about his plea. I am going
to a movie with Debbie. See you when you get back from California!
The rest of the tape had a youngish man's voice dictating notes during some meeting. The voice had an educated sound to it, a pleasant baritone. After it finished, Charlie could only think, Interesting. So if this truly is Daredevil's bag, his name is Matt. He must be a lawyer, and he has a good friend named Foggy. He has also just gotten back from California. Suddenly, with a sense of purpose, Charlie put everything back into the bag, swung it over his shoulder, and started down the terminal.
Daredevil stuck to the shadows. He kept close to the woman with the bag, always making sure to stay hidden. The woman was crafty, but easy to track. Daredevil had no trouble following her. For some reason, a reason that Daredevil knew he wouldn't like, the woman stayed in the airport. She never left the building. Daredevil followed the suspicious person for fifteen minutes, and then she stopped. Right outside a janitor's supply room. What in the world is she stopping there for? The woman opened the door and went in, closely followed by the man in red.
Daredevil was suddenly hit by the smell of bleach and floor wax. For a moment he couldn't sense anything but the cleaning supplies. Then his other senses kicked in and he heard the woman setting the timer on a bomb. Immediately, Daredevil sprang into action.
Angelica Demon opened the supply closet's door with a single practiced movement. She was a professional, and she knew what she was doing. She wanted to make sure she did the job right. She wanted the money she was going to get with this job. Quickly and precisely, Demon armed the bomb. It would go off in five minutes. Just enough time for her to be out of it's range. She was old fashioned; she liked the excitement of running from a big BOOM. She didn't understand the people who used a remote. Where's the excitement in that? She would say.
Demon had just started the timer when a flash of red caught her eye. What the devil is that? Was the only thing she had time to think before a strong kick sent her flying. She registered a man, muscles clearly defined, dressed in a deep red costume, with two D's interlocked like chain mail embroidered with a lighter red thread high on his chest. The man's head was covered with the same material as the costume, and had two horns sticking out of the fabric a few inches above his eyebrows. He was a frightening figure. Ohmigod, it's Daredevil.
With that thought, Demon's reflexes sprang into action. She jumped to her feet, trying to block Daredevil's attack. I have trained long and hard. I can beat him. He won't stop me, not today.
Daredevil aimed another kick. The woman blocked it. Impressive. She's been trained, probably by the army. She's strong, as I suspected. She knows what she is doing. Her heart is speeding. Daredevil ducked the well-aimed punch and retaliated with a practiced jab to her left side. Once again it was deflected. Then Daredevil felt a hard whack on the side of his face. Okay, time for the billy club, she's getting rough. In one fluid movement, Daredevil pulled out his billy club from the pouch on his hip. He blocked the next kick with the billy club. This is going on too long; I have to end it soon! Daredevil aimed the throwing half of his billy club at the light switch. As usual, his aim was unfailing; the room was in darkness. Then he heard a voice.
"You think it is over Daredevil, but you are wrong. This is only the beginning – we will meet again. Angelica Demon always finds them again. But until then, here's a present. You have about thirty seconds. Cheerio!"
Typical, she had to be standing next to the door. Good job Murdock! Brilliant plan. Now you have to deal with a bomb AND a bad guy. Daredevil's quick reflexes acted without conscience thought. He grabbed the bomb and stuffed it into an old refrigerator someone had left there years ago, slamming the door closed. He was just in time. A few seconds later, the bomb exploded. Daredevil was sent flying into a shelf of paint, his ears ringing with the sound of the explosion. He couldn't hear anything; all he could feel was pain and all he could smell was fire and paint. He was just able to register someone leaning over him. Right before he fell into unconsciousness, he said, "someone find my billy club."