Strictly for Self-Defense

Familiar and comforting, Karen’s keyboard clacked. A light breeze rushed through the open window. The late afternoon sun, falling into Foggy’s office, was warm on Matt’s back. Companionable silence hung between them as they worked through the files, occasionally broken by a request for advice or an opinion or by a silly joke.

For once, the city was quiet. Wordlessly, Matt begged her to stay peaceful, to not rip him away from Foggy’s side now. No more appointments were on their schedule and the weekend lay ahead. As soon as they were done with this case, they could fall into Friday night, like the bright eyed students they once were - and sometimes wished they could be again.

When the sun set, Karen bid her goodbyes.

“Leaving your poor bosses?” Foggy whined.

“Yes,” she said shamelessly. “I got a date.”

“Oho,” Foggy said and added generously, “Alright. I’ll allow it. But I want deets on monday!”

Karen laughed. “We’ll see.”

Karen packed up. When she was done, she waved and smiled.

“Bye, guys,” she said. “Do nothing I wouldn’t do.”

“Not that this narrows anything down, you crazy chick,” Foggy said, earning himself a light slap, “but we’ll try.”

The door fell shut behind Karen, leaving Matt and Foggy alone in the office. They were busy for another two hours, but Matt thoroughly enjoyed working with Foggy. When they finally were done, Matt felt accomplished.

Reviewing their notes and their opening statement, Foggy grinned. “We’re awesome,” he said.

“That we are,” Matt said. “Call it a night and have a drink? Just us?”

“Like in the good old times,” Foggy said. “Oh, wait…”


“How about we go to the gym?”

“The gym?” Matt’s brows flew up in surprise.

“Yes, we could start those self-defense lessons we’ve been talking about,” Foggy said. “Something always came up, but tonight we’re both free, Karen is on her date so she doesn’t have to watch you beat me up…”

“... I wouldn’t beat you up!”

“I know, Matt!” Foggy laughed. “Just a joke. But what do you say?” Playfully, he lifted his fists and hopped around. “You and me? Fogwells?”

Matt swallowed. While he was well aware that he had promised these lessons, he didn’t like the thought. Fighting belonged out into the night, high onto the city’s rooftops or deep into her dirty alleys, not into their cozy office. It was for people who knew the darkness, real darkness, not just the lack of light. People like Matt whose hands were dirty anyway so they could dirty them some more to solve a problem. Not people like Foggy who solved problems with wits and words.

“I don’t know, Foggy,” Matt said. “I feel more like drinking and chatting today.”

“Alright.” For the fracture of a second there was a hitch in Foggy’s breath which would have been a disappointed sigh had Foggy not suppressed it. But the smile was audibly in his voice so Foggy tried hiding it. A stab of guilt pierced through Matt. But he’d make it up to Foggy, buy him a drink at Josie’s and maybe - after enough alcohol - go to a Karaoke bar with him.

“Sorry,” he said with a soft smile. “Some other time, okay?”

“Hey, no problem, buddy,” Foggy said. “Maybe I’ll ask the others again.”

Frowning, Matt halted. “The others?”

“Yeah, Luke, Jess and Danny have been showing me some things,” Foggy said with a shrug. “I explained I wanted to learn how to defend myself, but you’re very busy. They’re really good! And strong! Man! Jess can throw me! Well, Luke and Danny probably could, too, but they didn’t. Speaking of Danny! He’s all…”

“They shouldn’t have!” Matt said this faster than he could stop himself. Did he always sound like a territorial dog, snarling in the face of intruders?

Foggy fell silent at once. It took a while for him to speak again, stunned as he was by Matt’s outburst.

“What? Why not?”

Damn. What a good question.

“We… well,” Matt stammered. “Obviously, it’s very dangerous… erm… if you - as an average person - use the techniques of people with superpowers. Unlike Jess, you can’t throw a grown man. Unlike Luke, you don’t have impenetrable skin. And unlike Danny, you can’t summon a magical fist of chi when things go south.”

Foggy chuckled. “Well, duh,” he said. “We’re not idiots, you know? If a fight ensues, my main goal is getting away. We took into account that I’m not a powered person. They showed me some useful things, I think. Especially Danny.”

Matt’s nostrils flared. Sharply, he sucked in air and tried to remain calm. The whole thing bugged him and he did not want Foggy to know. But he also could not simply let it slide.

“Still,” Matt said. “We need to make sure they didn’t do any damage. Let’s get our gym clothes.”

“Damage?” Foggy laughed in disbelief. “What damage could they possibly have done?”

“I don’t know,” Matt said. “A weakness, a mistake in the defense techniques they showed you. Something that leaves you vulnerable which they did not consider because they don’t have to worry about it.”

From underneath Foggy’s desk, Matt retrieved Foggy’s bag. He pushed it into Foggy’s hands and ushered him towards the door.

“But…” Foggy wanted to argue, but Matt was not having it.

“Let’s get our gym clothes.”


That had worked better than Foggy’d thought. Of course, Matt’s ego would not accept anyone but himself supervising Foggy’s self-defense. But Foggy’d not expected to get Matt into the gym so fast.

To be honest, he was not keen on fighting. But being an inhabitant of Hell’s Kitchen and being Daredevil’s friend was a bit dangerous. In addition, he hoped it would help him understand Matt better. The guy was Foggy’s best friend and to Foggy’s relief they had mended their relationship, but there was a part of Matt’s life that was still a conundrum to Foggy. Maybe a self-defense lesson could help with that. Well, and if Foggy got to see Matt close up, out of breath and in his hot training outfit, that was just a bonus.

Apparently, most people had different things to do on a Friday night. Matt and Foggy were alone in the gym. Foggy put their bags on a bench while Matt carried over two large training mats and pushed them together on the ground.

“Aww, we won’t go into the ring?” Foggy pouted.

“No, on the mats it will hurt less when you go down,” Matt said.

“Don’t you mean if I go down?” Foggy asked.

“No,” Matt said, grinning broadly. “I really don’t.”

What an asshole. Too bad I love him. Stop that! Not the time.

Foggy shook his head as if to chase the thoughts away. Patiently, he waited until Matt was content with the set up.

After they had positioned themselves, Foggy cleared his throat.

“Beginner’s level, yes?” he reminded.

“Of course,” Matt said.

A second later, he attacked. It was a light punch, especially when considering the notable strength Matt wielded. So it wouldn’t have hurt much, had it landed. But Foggy caught Matt’s fist in the open palm of his right and slapped Matt’s arm away with the left.

Laughing at Matt’s astonished look, he said, “Yeah, Jess practiced that with me forever. You know to find the balance between blocking not firm enough and too firm, thus hurting myself.”

“Yeah,” Matt grumbled. “I see.”

Mood darker, Matt took a stand in front of Foggy again. A bit nervous now, Foggy lifted his arms into the high guard pose Danny had shown him. This time, Matt took more momentum. It still wasn’t a full force attack, but Foggy did not think he could stop it. So he dodged. It was close, but he made it.

He tried his best not to laugh into Matt’s confused face.

“Luke said that if something comes at him that can actually hurt him, it’s most likely so dangerous that he evades it.”

“Hmhm.” Matt was visibly annoyed.

But Foggy went on, “Yeah, he says the trick is to wait long enough so the attacker can’t adjust the direction of his punch, but not too long as not to be hit after all.”

“Interesting,” Matt pressed out between gritted teeth and got into position again. “Ready?”

“Um, I guess?”

Playtime was definitely over. Foggy steeled himself, but did not really expect to defend himself successfully a third time. However, he did. Maybe the effect of the unexpected or the anger was still working on Matt. Maybe Foggy just got lucky. But whatever it was, once more Foggy could evade Matt’s fist. As Danny had shown him, Foggy dodged and swerved right back as soon as the punch met the air. To his own surprise and to Matt’s, he actually managed to get a kick against Matt’s hip in.

Matt tried and failed to keep the surprise and the annoyance out of his expression. He turned his face away and walked to his bag.

“Not bad, huh?” Foggy said smugly.

That was satisfying. Of course, he knew that he could not beat Matt in a fight. But Matt apparently was stunned by what Foggy had learned. Indeed, it took Matt a moment to answer.

“I don’t know,” he finally said, pulling his water bottle out of his bag.

“What do you mean?” Foggy laughed, though he was starting to get irritated. “Three attempts, three misses. What they taught me, works.”

“We’ll have to see that yet.” Matt took a swig from his water before returning to Foggy.

“We did see it, Matt,” Foggy said. “Literally seconds ago.”

“We didn’t,” Matt insisted as he approached Foggy, unnervingly slow. “You said your main goal in a fight was getting away.”

“Yeah.” Foggy shrugged. “So?”

“So,” Matt stepped closer before he whispered, “run.”

Everything happened so fast. While Foggy was still trying to process Matt’s command, Matt already lunged at him. It was not a punch or even a kick this time - Matt tried to grab Foggy. By some miracle, Foggy managed to evade Matt’s hand.

Foggy swerved sideways and tried to run. He did not really know where to, but it did not matter. Because he had not even taken two steps when Matt appeared in front of him. How did he do that? He’d been behind Foggy the fracture of a second ago.

Before Foggy could ponder this further, Matt’s foot hit the side of Foggy’s knee. Yelping, Foggy struggled, lost his balance and fell forward. Without much effort, Matt caught him. Easily, Matt pulled Foggy up before tackling him towards the ground. With an undignified “oof”, Foggy went down. Luckily, he’d not gotten far so his back hit the training mat which caused Matt to grin in self-satisfaction.

Matt climbed on top of Foggy. Victorious, he straddled him and with a very complacent expression circled his hands around Foggy’s wrists.

“Told you so,” he said. And damn, Foggy should be annoyed, but that wasn’t at all what he was feeling.

“In my defense,” he said, his cheeks heating up, “you cranked up the difficulty from beginner’s level to ‘your opponent can teleport himself through the gym’ level without warning.”

Matt chuckled. “No teleporting,” he said. “I’m just pretty fast.”

“You can say that again.”

“Why would I? You heard me.”

“Smart ass.”

Soft mat or not, Foggy’s back disagreed with lying on the floor and having a man, made of pure muscle, sitting on him didn’t help. So Foggy tried to get up. But Matt would not let him. Instead he leant down, bringing their faces close together. The iron grip and the smug way Matt smiled as he played out his strength, should be irritating. But Foggy had to admit it really wasn’t. It was in fact very hot.

The smell of coffee, sweat and Matt filled Foggy’s nose. Gulping, Foggy stared into Matt’ eyes, unseeing, unfocused, yet so expressive. The silence in the room was heavy with meaning, only Matt’s elated breath and Foggy’s own thundering heartbeat disturbing it.

“I do it,” Matt finally said.

Foggy opened his mouth to ask what exactly. But before he could word the question, Matt answered it, “I keep you safe. I protect you.” He all but growled when he clarified, “Not Luke, not Danny and not Jess. If she throws you again, I’ll throw her.

Amused, Foggy grinned. He wanted to say that he really would like to see that. But before he could, he found his mouth occupied otherwise.

Matt was pressing an insistent kiss onto Foggy’s lips. It was crazy and unexpected, but as if his body had waited for that very moment, it just went with it. Foggy’s eyes fluttered shut, his lips parted and his whole form went pliant underneath Matt.

Satisfied, Matt hummed, pushing his tongue into Foggy’s mouth. He let go off Foggy’s wrists, bracing himself on his left arm, while the right hand found its way into Foggy’s hair. With a sigh, Foggy let his now freed hands fly to Matt’s shoulders, holding on as if afraid Matt might disappear like a wild and wishful dream at daybreak.

But Matt went nowhere. Tender yet passionate, he kept kissing Foggy. His embrace was warm and safe, making Foggy forget their surroundings. For the moment, he even forgot why he would need self-defense lessons. After all, Matt was right here, making sure nothing bad could happen to Foggy.

When Matt finally lifted his head, his cheeks were red. His smile had turned from cocky to goofy and Foggy wanted to bathe in it forever. Foggy licked his lips, savoring the taste of Matt’s kiss a moment longer.

“Um, yeah,” Foggy stammered after a few seconds had passed. “I… guess you caught me.”

“I did,” Matt said softly and purred, “Does that mean I get to take you home and keep you?”

“Sounds fair,” Foggy said. “If that’s what you want.”

Matt’s gaze softened as he cupped Foggy’s cheek.

“It is what I want,” he said. “You have no idea how much.”

The End

Back to Daredevil

Back to Main Page