1963-10-20 - Watch Your Mask
Summary: Daredevil and Spider-Girl reconnect after Daredevil's rescue from the Hellmouth.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
daredevil anya 


A single candle didn't feel like much, not considering everything he did to stay alive. The solitude of St. Anthony's past 11 pm didn't feel like it used to. Matt Murdock used to come here to feel solace, to clear his head, to keep himself centered.

Instead, it only magnified the screams. The candle no longer reminded him of the people he'd lost. Instead, it reminded him of the slugs, the demons, the horrible things that he'd seen and done in order to stay alive.

It was entirely possible that the church would never mean to him what it once did.


Shaving his head bald was the only way to get the stink out. He'd washed and washed, every crevasse over and over. He'd trimmed his finger and toenails down to the quick; it wasn't until cold steel separated the hair from his scalp that the stench finally went away.


The Devil of Hell's Kitchen, perched high atop the roof of a midrise on the outskirts of the Kitchen, is silent. The sounds of the city drip away piece by piece, horns and voices dropping away as he filters them into silence, one after the other. There are only a handful of sounds he's listening for. The telltale 'thwip' of webbing through the air. The sound of gloves grasping hold of a brick wall. A voice. At some point, if he's patient enough, one of them will surely ring through the din.

And so, he waits, finding peace in the ticking of the clock on a mantel piece across the street. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.


"No no no, you piece of shit," Anya's Spanish rings out in strident negation. Except she isn't shouting. She's muttering. Under her breath. Several blocks away. The sounds come in to focus, and it's running footsteps, a man's heavy breathing, and the whooshing of a small woman swinging from a very thin line of webbing. The rush of air around her is distinctive, the guttering flap of her outfit where it isn't quite skintight.

Anya lands by planting both feet in the creeps back, driving him down into a faceplant, stunned and disoriented. She webs his hands behind his back and rifles through his pockets, turning out several little baggies of smack. "Who's your supplier, Jorge? You're small time. Who gave you this crap?" She's still speaking Spanish, but it sounds like Jorge isn't recovered enough to talk yet - obvious to anyone who could hear his heartbeat. He's one notch away from sleepytown.


Spare costumes, and spare tools. Murdock is silently thankful that, two years ago (to his memory) he decided to be prepared.

Several blocks downtown. Makes sense. Hudson yard, not the prettiest place after hours. These are the thoughts that rifle through Daredevil's head as he leaps from building in a graceful swan dive, only to fire his grappling club at a billboard high atop a neighboring building. He may not have webbing, but his mode of transportation tends to be decidedly similar in nature.

With light footfalls, he comes to rest upon the roof of an MTA bus heading down 10th Ave. "Easy, Spider-Girl," he whispers to himself, while honing in on the sounds like radar. "Sounds like Jorge's inches away from sleepy town."

At the mouth of a side street, he leaps from the roof of the bus, rolling when he strikes the ground to mitigate the impact shock.


While Anya isn't exactly new to heroing with two to four years under her belt, depending on how one counts it, she definitely underestimated the kind of hit Jorge could take. On the other hand, she's not completely clueless when he only groans without even trying to roll over. "Dios mio, Jorge. I thought you could take a hit." She's actually switching languages now, back and forth, like so many first generation kids. Assuming he'd do better upright, Anya picks him up with zero visible effort and props him in a sitting position into the corner made by a dumpster and the alley wall.

She snaps her fingers several times near his head, a distant noise for Jorge, or a sound like gunshots for someone focused on her. Then she taps his cheeks. "Come on, cabron. We don't have all night."


"Best thing you can do right now?"

Daredevil appears in the alleyway, having hidden the flinch behind his mask. Footfalls carry him closer. "Let him go. He won't stop selling. So you track his ass and find who's supply him. Then you track them and find out who's shipping in." He gestured toward Jorge with a gloved hand. "Or, just web him up and call the fuzz. Move on to the next one. These pushers are a dime a dozen anymore."

His voice is different. Dry, lacking emotion, as if he were just going through the motions. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course; he's working things out, which is a part of why he's here. A part of it though… yeah, a part of that coldness is shell shock. He's a changed man, and might be for life.


Anya doesn't have Matt's kind of hearing (who does, really?) but she hears him coming early enough to not be too startled by his voice. "Jesus, D, don't sneak up on a girl like that," she says, turning to face him with a smile. Everything about her is happy to see him, voice, body language, expression. "/You/ might get the webs next time you scare me like that. And yeah, I'm trying to jog his memory here, but I think I jogged him too hard. I mean look at him though. What is he? 250? 260? I figured he could take a punch from little old me." To most people her banter would be playful modesty, but Matt would be able to hear the desperate earnestness, coupled with the desire to have any kind of normal conversation with the man she just hauled out of hell.


"Had to do a lot of sneaking these past…" A pause. He's not quite ready to explain that part yet. "… recently."

Daredevil closes the distance. He reaches for an invisible zipper and removes one of his gloves, feeling for the man's pulse against the neck. "Well, his pulse is strong. You sure knocked the hell out of him though. Wouldn't be surprised if he's scrambled eggs for a day or so."

There is a bit of hesitation before Daredevil stretches the glove back over his hand. His face may be hidden by the mask, but he seems to look Anya's way for a few long moments. "Something tells me you throw a mean punch." He saw how she hauled them out of the hellmouth. Matt Murdock may not know much about her webs, but he's guessing they aren't that strong.

"Best bet here? Call an ambulance. Leave the dope. Like I said… these guys are a dime a dozen. Unless you know someone we can call to take care of him. Usually I just leave these guys for the boys in blue."

He'll let Spider-Girl make that call, in the end. However, there's that nagging reason that drove him here. He owes her an apology, yes, but she also expressed concern. He hasn't even had the heart to call Foggy and Karen yet, not until he can explain to them what the hell happened. That means his friends list is running a bit thin right now. Two years in hell, though? It's changed him. What he says next is an effort at humor, maybe even deflection through flirting, but it comes out entirely awkward and disassociated.

"Web me up, huh? I might, uh, not, take that the way you intended."

He's not hiding the wince that one prompted.


"Well, damn. I guess it's amateur night. You'd think I never hit a drug dealer before," Anya says with a laugh that would cover her nervousness for pretty much anyone else. She almost buys her own deflection technique. "Besides, I /like/ scrambled eggs. But nah. This is on me. He started selling down by the school. I lost my cool." She flexes her hands without realizing it. Fists, relax, fists, relax. The notion of 'losing her cool' sinks in and rides around a bit, suggests other contexts.

After a long moment and a hard swallow, she nods at his suggestion. "One second." The drugs are tucked away back in his pockets, and Jorge is trussed up in a more thorough webbing, before being tossed over her shoulder. The incongruity of it, the yuge guy slung over the young woman's shoulder who couldn't possibly be more than 110 pounds herself, is disjunctive. She takes steps toward the alley entrance while continuing the conversation.

The incredulous expression at his fumbled flirt is echoed in her voice, "Yeah, sure Dee. I really don't think this is as fun as it looks." She glances at the street, and then back to Daredevil. "Hang on, I'll be right back."

A webline shoots out and she's sailing across the street they're both hiding from. Jorge is gently lowered onto the hood of a parked cop car and the Spider-Girl launches straight back up into the night. When she's sure no one has a bead on her she doubles back and drops into the alley with Matt again, this time perching on the brick around eye level with him. Her feet are flat against the wall behind her in a wall crouch but her hands are free. "Speaking of eggs, have you eaten yet? You look like you could use some food."


Selling smack by the school. Matt shakes his head, silencing a long sigh. It's funny, to care about such things again. Seems so foreign. There was no heroin in the hellmouth. No schools, for that matter. Just… horrible things.

Thankful that his fumble wasn't too terrible, he nods his head and hangs back in shadow, looking on as Anya sets up the drop. "Muy impresionante," he tells her when she returns. "You've got style, Arachnid. Usually I just… chain them up. Or drop 'me on the Precinct's sidewalk."

Rising, Matt steps up alongside where she's wall-perching, leaning a hand against the brick. At mention of food, however, he visibly grimaces. "Ugh. About that. I've… tried. Nothing's agreed with me. 'Cept cheap whiskey, and that's not exactly eating."

Something about scrambled eggs makes him recall Longshot's remark about rotten eggs, which reminds him of the sulfur, which reminds him of the slugs. Beneath the mask, his eyes twitch. "Maybe we should just start with coffee?" he asks.


"Gracias, Roja," Anya says with a wry grin, comfortable in her spot on the wall routine. "That's kinda my calling card now. Leave 'em on the car. Next to it." She chuckles. "Left a guy in the /back seat/ one time when the boy went for hot dogs. I'm proud of that one."

When Matt comes to lean against her wall, she studies him a long time, long enough that the silence might even be a little awkward. But then again, what's awkward between a couple of people who barely know each other, chit-chatting in skin-tight costumes in a back alley? Watching him, she becomes aware of the instinct to offer a comforting hand. She starts to reach out and pauses, not sure how he'll react, and then finally rests her hand on his shoulder.

"Ok, eggs are out. Not always the right thing. But if whiskey and coffee are in, maybe you're wanting to scour yourself out. And if that's the case, I only know one safe version of liquid drano. Tequila, and some burn-down-the-house tacos. We can start with coffee, but you let me know when you're ready for the drano."

Anya glances up to remind herself what street they're on and says, "For now, we could swing by St. Bernies over on 69th. They'll have free coffee out for the AA meeting tonight. My treat." Her fragment of trauma, a fractured figment barely worth mentioning compared to what Matt and Raven must be going through, is barely subsumed beneath Anya's veneer of do-do-keep-moving-do-more. To be fair though, she always feels better when she's helping someone else, and the prospect of helping Matt is already calming her, getting her racing heart under control, and giving her a healthy outlet.


In the back seat? Matt snorts, but it's a laugh. He hasn't shared a laugh with anyone, save Raven, in two years. It surprises him, so much that he stares off into the alley afterward, thoughtful about it all.

Which is why there is a flinch when Anya puts a hand on his shoulder. A flinch, but nothing more. His own adrenaline spikes for a moment, but there's more clarity to him now. The razor, the baths, even St. Anthony's and Jessica's cheap whiskey have helped to bring that about. He brings the opposing hand across to rest it upon Anya's, not wanting her to remove it for fear of him trying to crush her head again.

"You have…" His voice cracks, trembles momentarily. "…no idea how good all of that sounds. First though? I owe you an apology."

His words still seem empty, largely, but a fragment of life is slowly coming back to them. "That place. It was full of trickery. We saw friends, family, apparitions trying to lower our guard. When I saw you, it was… instinct. Just figured it was another demon trying to lower my guard."


Anya's smile falters for a moment at the sound of Matt's voice, and then the smile just dismantles. She's not tearing up yet, but she tries to deny the need for an apology, and then just shuts up. It seems like Daredevil needs this more than she does, and it feels good to just listen. When he's done, she tries again, "You really don't owe me anything Matt. Or well… maybe a round of applause. Obviously."

She snorts as well. Her bravado is only skin deep. It's hard to dissemble with the human lie detector. "Anyone would have fought back in that situation. The whole thing is a mess. I'm just glad I was able to help." She seems comfortable letting him press her hand into his shoulder, and she gives that shoulder a squeeze. "Besides, you don't hit that hard." She tries to keep a straight face, but fails.


That apology was what he needed, more than anything. He's also fairly hungry. That little tease about coffee, tequila and tacos has his stomach on the verge of growling.

"Bull," he answers, regarding his hitting power. A grin forms on the exposed lower half of his mask. Can he tell she's failing at keeping a straight face? Unclear.

Letting go of Anya's hand, he turns around and reaches toward her wounded shoulder. His fingers stretch, as if he can't quite see what he's doing, but when he touches, it's gentle. He only wants to see how bad it really is; how she responds to it. It can be telling. Matt is still stuck on paying his penance; as if he has to apologize to God for all of the demons he slaughtered.

Not the why. The how. He sacrificed something of himself in order to survive there.

"Coffee, first. Then, if I haven't tossed it all up? We can try the liquid drano. 'Fraid I didn't bring street clothes though. I, uh… hope you don't mind hanging out on rooftops?"


Anya's shoulder is probably even audible to someone like Matt. She's not greatly injured, but she had a bruise about the diameter of a baseball on her left shoulder. It's even a little stiff to the touch. She doesn't flinch away, especially because he's so deliberate about reaching for it, but she does grimace and snort, "Ok ok, it /hurts/. But it's fine," she says, trying not to laugh.

"Certainly not worse than what you got, Diablo." She reaches up to run a thumb along his bruised jaw line, gently, barely a feather touch. It's not even a romantic overture, but real concern is in her voice.

Anya turns and puts a hand on the wall behind her. "But coffee does sound like a good start. And I've never had a problem with rooftops." She starts to ascend, and then realizes she isn't sure how DD gets around. Turning back to face him on the ground she asks, "You want a ride, or…" She trails off, giving him room to decide.


Matt's jawline tenses while his lips form a thin line at her injury. "Maybe you should check out that free clinic in Harlem." The one with a don't ask, don't tell policy. Pretty good deal for vigilantes.

His jawline remains tense when she touches it, but his lips form more of a frown. He was a changed man in more ways than one. Those scars would be hard to explain. Chances are, he might not be able to take the Cavassini case, after all. It would be up to Foggy. Might not have been a romantic gesture, but he turns his face down a bit, and there is the briefest of smiles. Brief.

"Yeah," he agrees. "Let's try the coffee before I go for the tacos." He's already reaching for his billy club when Anya begins to ascend, and when she checks on him, he smirks. "Oh, don't worry. I've… got this."

With a heavy whirl, he swings his arm. There's a grunt - the motion hurts, soreness having taken over - but the detachable item is aimed true. It soars up past Spider-Girl, and ends up lodging itself against the rooftop and an exhaust pipe. Matt tests the slack once, before clicking the release and holding on tight when the device yanks him skyward.


"Cool!" Anya cheers in surprise when she sees the device work up close. She thwips to catch up, sticking the corner of the building but slinging herself up past the rooftop to get a bit of freefall before making her customary superhero landing next to Matt's exhaust port (only two meters wide!). "Alright, well, you know St. Bernard's right? It's this way. Just try to keep up!"

In reality she's only teasing. As they thwip and zip from rooftop to rooftop, she's constantly keeping an eye on the red devil to make sure he's ok. She hadn't missed his grunt on the way up, and while she wouldn't be so condescending to offer help /again/, she also seems to care. Weird.

As the crow flies, or the spider, as it were, it doesn't take long for the pair of them to find themselves perched on the steeple of St. Bernard's Catholic church in Brooklyn. "How about I get us the coffee? Probably easier for me to bring it back up." She produces a shoulder bag made of webbing that had laid flat against her back until now, deflated and empty.


"'Course I do," Matt answers, while jerking the club free and retracting it fully. "Father Barney. Good man. Unfortunate they placed 'Barney' at 'Bernards', but he really cares about Brooklyn."

At the suggest that he try to keep up, there comes another guarded grin. A challenge. Challenges like these are what kept he and Raven alive those long years.

"Juego encendido, la arana."

What follows is an impressive, albeit haphazard, series of club-slinging stunts that lacks the finesse of Anya's web slinging, but makes it for it in daring drops and wild acrobatics. His muscles are sore, but this? This brings them to life again. The fire he's become used to, pushing his body far past where it should go. He doesn't yet realize it, but he's probably doing lasting damage to himself.

When at last they arrive, he skids to a halt and clips the club onto his belt with a touch of flair. "Fair enough, but if you spill it, you're picking up your own dry cleaning bill."


Neither of them are out of breath, but Anya's body is thrilling at the fun of the swing through town. She raises her chin back in the direction they came from. "I liked that drop back there, Dee. What was that? Four stories? Five?" Anya adjusts her shoulder bag, steps over the side of the building, but then her head pops back up again. "Also, your Spanish is not completely mangled. Where'd you grow up?" She pauses to let him answer, and then disappears again.

One surprised voice with an Irish accent calms down almost immediately for having recognized who Anya is, easily identified as Father Barney of St. Bernard's. He agrees to send Anya off with a couple of styrofoam cups, but only after saying a quick prayer with her. It's short and sweet, they both say 'amen' and Anya is rising to the roof again.

"Here we go," she says, the smile audible in her voice. She has fashioned out of webbing a vertical cup carrier, the one cup resting on the lid of the other. "They only had the powdered creamer so I figured it was better black." She hands him one of the cups, and even through the styorfoam it's clear the coffee is only a few degrees shy of the temperature of the sun. Like Daredevil, Spider-Girl's mask only comes down to her nose, so she doesn't have to lift up a mask to blow on her coffee.


"Honestly?" answers Daredevil. "I didn't really see it." Not entirely a lie, but the dry manner in which he delivers it might be mistaken as a joke. "Let's go with four. The Lord loves a humble man."

When asked where he grew up, he grins. "The Kitchen. Spent a lot of time in Spanish Harlem, though. Dad was a boxer."

He waits patiently until she returns, though in truth, he has an ear trained to her at all times. Father Barney's prayer both soothes him, but it also draws fresh guilt from deep within. When Anya returns? It would seem the thrill of the chase has worn off.

"Thanks," he says, with a small chuckle, and reaches out to accept the cup with a thankful nod. "I rarely take cream, anyway. And sugar? Ruins it."

He blows on the coffee, but hesitates for a moment, not yet drinking. "Where'd you grow up, la arana?"


At the mention of Spanish Harlem, Anya's heart skips a beat as if Matt had just mentioned her boyfriend. The affection in her voice couldn't be more clear. "Oohh, I /love/ Harlem. All of it." She blows on her coffee again, still too hot for her. "I grew up in Brooklyn, technically, but I was all over. You know the expression, 'it takes a village'? Raising me took a small town. And that town… I have family all up and down the neighborhoods in Harlem, and I love every inch of that place."

Anya sighs as a fresh memory. "A few years ago I even got to meet Billie Holiday before she passed. She wasn't… you know, at her best anymore. The drugs… But she shook my hand. Told me to be good." She pantomimes the memory, taking Matt's free hand for a moment before releasing it gently.

"I'll never forget that moment. /That's/ Harlem to me, you know?" Her voice is rich with surprised emotion. She didn't expect to suddenly be choked up, but she doesn't bother trying to hide it. "My aunts took me to choir, and flamenco. My uncles-" she chuckles at the memory. "They'd take me to the boxing rings. The funniest part? I mean, I know it's all bloody, but it was kinda beautiful too, the way the boxers moved." She sets her cup down on a level piece of roof and stands up, doing a little boxing routine. It's not terrible, per se, but it looks a lot more like a graceful dance move than a fighting style.

Even her latina accent starts to become more pronounced as she relives the memories.


"Me too," Daredevil agrees, feeling a breath of fresh air he hasn't felt in, well, years. Memories flood back; of taking the bus uptown, listening to negro music in the street, feeling the plight and determination, finding motivation in it. His heart beats faster just thinking of it; the sights, the sounds, the smells. "It was like going on vacation," he says at first. "Like… like finding a whole other world, just a bus ticket away."

He looks down at the handshake, smiling warmly at it all. "Boxers have a respect for each other. I mean, the whole point of it is to beat the ever loving hell out of each other, but there's a respect there. A respect for the game, for the talent, for the hours spent working out, the focus, the…"

He suddenly finds himself choked up as well, remembering his father. The resounding sound of the bell those precious few times he allowed Matt to watch him fight.

The coffee forgotten, he reaches out a hand to try and snatch hers up. A knee jerk motion, of course, but he finds nothing. No, she's already standing. He can feel the wind moving around her, the subtle differences in air pressure as she punches into the night sky. He looks her way, sort of; a bit askance, as he's too distracted by it all to really make an effort at hiding the signs of his blindness. Eventually, he begins to laugh. "The flamenco!" he exclaims, and laughs further still. "The popcorn was… so… so bad, wasn't it?"


"The respect…" Anya says, mulling the word over. She'd never thought of the sport that way, but it sounds like it makes sense to her. "God, I'd never thought of it that way, but it really makes sense. They /did/ beat the hell out of each other, but for all that? It was like… you almost never heard of someone getting permanently hurt, you know?"

She steps toward making a playful attempt at some shadowboxing, and it's only then that she catches his strange posture. The body language that reminds her of the aunt who went blind. She stops cold, and says, "I- holy shit. I mean, ah, sorry. You're…? How?" She's trying to say and ask multiple things at once.

You're blind?

How's that possible?

Sorry for swearing…

Seriously. She's apologizing for cussing. Or would be if she could pick a sentence and finish it. "Dios mio… Daredevil, I'm not wrong, am I? You can't actually see me."


"Ezzard Charles, the 'Cincinnati Cobra'. Dad used to tell me about his fights with Rocky Marciano." He sits back, his head oddly canted, a goofy grin upon his face as he recalls the stories.

It all comes to a cold stop when she swears, stammers, and calls him out."

There ensues a long silence. Only a slim few know of his secret. His hand curls a bit more tightly around the mug of coffee, it's warmth something entirely unlike the dry heat of hell. A thing he'd become so familiar with.

Decidely, he sets the cup down upon the rubber and gravel rooftop. There is a long pause, before he reaches up to the open space of his mask. Fingers linger there for a moment, before he stretches the skin tight fabric away and lifts it from his face.

He's shaved himself bald, the only way to be rid of the stench that became a part of him over two years in hell. But when his face is revealed, marred and bruised as it were, it becomes apparent that his brown eyes, deep and with irises wide and dilated, stare haphazardly into the distance, seeing nothing.

"No. I can't," he admits. "But, la arena, I see you are… one of the good ones."


Anya his silent, watching him, not wanting to make herself more of a jerk already. Calling attention to someone's disability? Her Grandmother would be mortified. Luckily her Abuela wasn't here. She makes the smallest noise of protest, that he doesn't need to take his mask off, but her raw, human curiosity overpowers that impulse in a heartbeat. "I'm not good," Anya whispers. A catechism if there ever was one for a Catholic.

She takes her gloves off and tucks them into the waistband of her outfit. Hands bare, she reaches carefully with one hand to brush her fingertips lightly against Matt's cheekbone, then smoothing his eyebrow, hovering over the blank stare. Without even knowing she would do it, ever so lightly, her thumb draws the sign of the cross in the center of his forehead, just like on Ash Wednesday. Then she pulls him into a hug.

"What happened to you in there? How did I know to be in Central Park that night? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but whenever you're ready to talk… I'm not a priest, but I know what guilt feels like."


Not good. Matt can smell another Catholic a mile away, and that's without his superpowered olfactory glands.

It brings a very subtle, rueful smirk to his face, one that's stalled when she removes her gloves and touches him.

Pulled into a hug, it will become apparent just how different his body feels. No plush of fat, an unhealthy thing. Sinewy muscle and bone, like a Jewish war survivor who somehow replaced malnourishment with muscle.

His answer doesn't come quickly. Instead, after a moments hesitation, he sinks into the embrace, letting his face rest into the crook of Anya's neck. "We survived," he answers quietly. Arms that were limp find themselves pulling against the woman's frame, seeking comfort. It was a comfort he and Raven were not awarded during their journey; always on guard, using closeness for warmth at night, and nothing else. "We did… anything we could to survive."

Mere words, but loaded with a sense of chastise that only a fellow devout believer would truly understand. Demon or not, he has blood on his hands. He went to a place of rage, of violence, that kept him alive… and nearly had him busting the skull of a friend.


Anya holds the embrace as long as Matt needs to. She won't be the first one to step away. "I don't think we're supposed to give up. Doing what it takes to carry on? I don't know. That sounds like the right move to me. Especially when you're looking out for someone else too."

Her own form against his is wiry and thin as well, but it holds within it the healthy vitality of a young woman in her prime. Not to mention the unnatural vigor of her mutation. Remaining present, she lets herself be a battery of stamina and positivity for him to draw on, silently willing him to accept her support. "I know I can't say anything to fix it all right this second, but remember that you did what you had to do. It'll sink in some day."


Matt holds tight for a long while, but when all is said and done, he pulls away and stretches the mask down over his face, fixing it carefully so that it isn't crooked, nor is his nose uncomfortable beneath the red.

"Coffee," he says, feeling all sorts of confused by the whole affair. He isn't one to so quickly reveal his face to another, at least not while gallivanting around as a Daredevil in red tights. It's a deflection, to be sure. His head is simply too messed up for him to allow himself to feel so much. So, with a gloved hand, he reaches for the discarded coffee and takes a testing sip.

It certainly wasn't Jones' cheap whiskey, but that's alright. It's warm, but more importantly, it's home.

"There… aren't many people I call friends, la arana," he tells her. "One of them had… powers similar to her. Guess the message got confused in the transmission." No other way to put it; Matt Murdock cannot explain the paranormal.

He lifts the coffee for another drink, considering everything. Then, he smiles lightly, and tilts his head slightly into Anya's direction. "Not complaining, though. I… enjoy your company."


Anya isn't one to fixate, and if her new friend needs to deflect, she lets him do it. She takes a step away as well, giving them both some breathing room, and gets her own coffee, finding it just cool enough to drink finally. "I'm not complaining either, ok?" She smiles again, almost experimentally. "It's good that you were trying to get help. That's the hardest part sometimes. Just asking for help. And I'm glad it was me, even if I will have some nightmares."

She tries to laugh it off, but it falls flat. Anya bulls ahead to leave the failed joke behind. "And I'm glad you found me tonight," she says, quietly again. "It's been a confusing couple days for me, and I can't even /begin/ to imagine what it's like for you. But I like your company too. Not too many people I can jump off of buildings with-

"/Fuck off/!" Anya's sudden outburst is such a non-sequitur, it's hard to imagine what it's related to. Except she immediately follows it up with a quick ball of webbing which ricochets off the roof right next to the spot where a couple of pigeons were coming in for a landing. Offended, the pigeons do indeed fuck right off.

"Oh man, I'm so sorry… I-" Anya sighs. She could not look or sound more embarrassed. "They're so gross." She hides her face in her hands, smothering her mortified laughter. It's been a night of complicated emotions."


"I'm glad it was-"

Daredevil's response is suddenly cut off by Anya's outburst. He knew the pigeons were there; he knew the webbing just missed them. He can hear their wings as they flutter away, frightened. And yet, he doesn't budge, not an inch. No, he observes, contemplating her reaction, how it's paired with her words. He can't rightly assume it has anything to do with the hellmouth and her brief (albeit frightening) experience within, but he knows a kneejerk reaction when he hears one.

"They are pretty gross, aren't they?" he asks quietly. Then, he sets the coffee down and scoots over closer to the Latina, smiling lopsidedly. "I mean, they go everywhere, and they shit on everything."

He reaches out, hesitantly at first, and his fingers scrawl at the darkness for a moment before they find her hands. Complicated emotions, indeed. Matt Murdock is certainly full of them, especially after… so long on the other side.

"May I?" he asks, and stretches his hands out to feel for the edge of Anya's chin. Should she protest, he would certainly back away, but the blind man is looking for the edge of her mask, tracing his fingers along her chin until he finds the spot where fabric meets skin. There, unless argued, he will try and remove her mask as well.

After all, he'd never be able to nail her face in a lineup.


Anya's breath steadies quickly with his quiet tone, and she finally manages a soft laugh that isn't barely concealing restrained tears. She's herself again, for the most part, and she grins at his description. "They're honestly the worst," and it's fine that they're talking about pigeons, because sometimes a pigeon is just a pigeon and it's better than the alternative.

Anya doesn't shy away from physical contact typically anyway, and she doesn't seem to mind when Matt scoots over closer. She presses her shoulder to his affectionately, and only hesitates for a moment when he takes her hand, mostly out of surprise than any real concern.

His fingers at her chin find just skin, and that her mask only starts at her cheekbones. She doesn't pull away, but she reaches up to stop his hand by holding it against her cheek. "Um, normally I'd say no. Even as nice as this is. There are so many depending on… the other me, but I bet most of us in masks can say the same." She takes a deep breath, and reaches up to pull her mask off herself, finger-brushing her short hair back and out of her face again.

She smiles, her cheek pressing against his fingertips, and she says, "Just don't tell anyone what I look like, ok?"


Its a thing. Anyone who has ever become close with a blind person, whether in friendship or otherwise, there is always a moment where trust is earned in the observation of another's face by touch. By leaving his gloves on, Matt is showing a sign of respect - not to mention, Catholic restraint.

Besides, the gloves serve little to dull his senses.

"Don't worry," he answers, with a crooked smile. "I mean, if I tell… you can always tell."

The smile sobers, and he goes about the motions of feeling Anya's face. He traces her chin, touches her nose on either side, senses the way her cheek bones meet that which surrounds her eyes. Her temples. Finally, he draws his hands through her hair, just a touch, looking for whether it's thick, thin, or somewhere in between.

Matt laughs a bit, then removes his hands from her face, blushing under his mask. "Um. Thank you."


"Well, it only seemed fair," Anya says, having remained respectfully quiet while he 'saw' her face. "I was fixing your eyebrows a minute ago, after all." Her hair is thick, but cut short in the 'pixie' style. A fair amount of hair product is present too, but at least it isn't sweaty. Her mask is open at the top, making it more of a really wide hair band, pulled down over her eyes and nose.

Anya hugs her knees to her chest and heaves a big sigh. The expression seems like a reset, putting her back on her usually even keel. No, everything isn't right with the world, but Anya is at least getting back on track. Glancing over at Matt, she grins and nudges his shoulder again with her own. "Are you - are you blushing? What is this?"

She reaches up to touch the part of his cheek turned red, lit by the streetlights below. Her hands are bare, and she realizes too late that she's probably pressing a bruise. She winces and leaves off any actual pressure. "You match your mask now, Rojo."


You know that grin? The one that follows a good, hearty blushing? Prompted by a good shoulder bump. Yeah, that's the one.

"I, uh, shaved my head." A pause. "It smelled like that place." He's not sure whether the baldness looks good or not. Surely, he looks better with that mop, at least, according to the girls at Columbia.

He doesn't flinch at the touch. The bruises are worn with a mixture of pride and guilt, but at least for this moment? It's more pride than anything else.

"Usted tambien, arana."

Matt leans over to sneak a kiss up against Spider-Girl's cheek. Then, in the blink of an eye, he's gone. A swift vault forward, and he's over the edge of the roof. Two seconds later, there comes the telltale sound of a grappling club being released, followed by the 'chunk!' of hard metal against brick. There's no thud of impact; in the glint of streetlights, the man in red can be seen, swinging away.

Oh, and that cup of coffee? It's come with him.


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