Balls The Size of Texas OR Telepathic Eye Borrower

February 13, 2018:

Owen has a meeting with Matt Murdock to see if he can't help Luke get his bar rebuilt. In the process he silent whisper fights with Stephanie and makes wildly inaccurate guesses about Matt's abilities.

Nelson & Murdock

Have you not watched the Netflix Daredevil show? It's Nelson & Murdock's office, a very low key joint in Hell's Kitchen where two lawyers and their assistant work.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Luke Cage, Danny Rand, Jessica Jones, Kinsey Sheridan, Wilson Fisk

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Owen Mercer's hastily constructed second chance at life is falling apart. The bar where he worked is a now smoldering pile of ashes. He managed to make it through one encounter with the bat folks without outright picking a fight with them. He started using heroin again, something he swore he was done with in this new life. He is seeing an occasional supervillain, whom he is secretly spying on for the government and he just nearly got in a physical fight with her. His clean start is officially dead, time of death let's be judicious and say February 2018.

Focus Mercer.

The death of his new life not with-standing, Owen still tries to do something good. Luke placed a hell of a lot of trust in him without any reason to, and Owen would like to pay that back somehow. He knows the situation is messy with the bar, and he knows some of the background as to why. He would talk to Luke about it but last he saw Luke he was doing his best to crawl into a bottle and far be it from Owen to get in the way of anyone's drinking.

So he made a plan. Get in touch with the lawyer, the 'blind' one, and see if he can't find out what the holds up are and find a loophole. Luke might be too honest for such things, but we all know Owen doesn't suffer from such hangups. There is also that little detail of Matt's actions during the fire. Owen has remained mum about that, and will to his dying breath. If there is one thing Owen will never do, it's reveal a cape's identity. He has the full weight of what happens when identities leak hanging over him, and one is more than enough in that case. But beyond just wanting to reassure Matt that his secret is safe, Owen has some thoughts to offer there as well. So he setup an appointment for some time during regular office hours and manages to actually not be late.

Entering the office, Owen looks to most people to be in better shape than he has been. His hair is somewhat neat, his clothes clean and his face no longer looks like a swollen purple and yellow bruise explosion. But Matt being Matt isn't fooled by the visible externals. The smell of the whiskey in Owen's coffee cup is strong. The remnants of party drugs (oxy, coke) are not new for Owen, but heroin is something, that if Matt recognizes, that is new. The usual cigarette smoke smell might mask that, but probably only for so long. His heartbeat and biorhythms would seem to indicate he's not currently on anything right now though.


It's been nearly a month since an unnatural winter slackened its grip on New York, and the city has returned to some semblance of normalcy. And with the return of one of its principal partners after more than a week spent in Gotham, the offices of Nelson & Murdock are doing much the same. Foggy is in court today, likely handling the seemingly endless fallout that comes when your biggest client is involved in the collapse of the city power-grid during an epic blizzard.

And Matt? After weeks of battling a spectral wolf, a demon bear, a deranged robot, a killer A.I., and most recently a goddamn dragon, Matthew Murdock may have finally found his saturation point on his own special brand of nigh-on-suicidal adventure. That may explain why he's busily burying himself in brailled-out memoranda and legal briefs. For all the strangeness of the past month he doesn't look much worse off, or like anything other than what he presents himself to be: the slightly scruffy, soft-spoken, and perpetually bespectacled blind attorney. "Hey Steph," Matt calls out, pushing himself to a slow rise from his desk. "Do you have that case cite from the prosecution's brief we were talking about? Ah, Lawrence v. Jacobs?"

That's about when the cocktail of scents Owen trails with him hit him, stringing along with them a familiar heartbeat. For all that he has been a very busy boy, Matt's thought a lot about that hellish night during the blizzard's height. What it might mean that he exposed himself to a near-stranger, even if a friend and employee of someone he likes and trusts. What he might have done differently, if anything. In his more optimistic moments he's told himself that it will all sort itself out in the end.

Very little in Owen's current presentation lends itself to that rosy view. A man given to subtle expressions by nature, he waits for Owen to introduce himself, or Stephanie to do the same, before he even expresses even a hint of awareness that someone new is on the scene.


Steph had taken that month to heal up. Matt out of town for some, Batman pulling her off active patrol rotation in Gotham, Avengers being quiet (though that could very well be Tony's doing since he figured out she was injured), Stephanie had the luxurty of a late night nap after ninja-stalking a person for 'work'. Even if Matt hadn't commented on it, Steph might have been up to doing it anyway, what with that woman giving Jess a bit of a hard time AND being investigated for corruption. In her usual business suit, hair pulled up into a bun, Steph looks up from the computer at which she had been transcribing some handwritten things.

"Yes, Mr. Murdock," comes her reply, voice a little more serious than the high-schooler tone she normally runs; but only a little. She saves her file and keys the screen lock out of habit as she stands to fetch the requested file. Of course, that's when Owen makes his way into the front office and Stephanie looks over.

Were she a more controlled batling, with more years of experience under her belt, she could have controlled the outward flick of surprised recognition that widened her eyes. As it is, no amount of training would likely help her keep her heart from doing an uncomfortable little backflip in her chest.

"Good afternoon. Welcome to Murdock and Nelson. Can I help you?" she asks politely, tone even and polite and not uncomfortable in the slightest. It's the professional tone of a law firm's front desk receptionist greeting a complete and total stranger, because Stephanie Brown has never met Owen Mercer before, ever.

Matt totally believes Stephanie, doesn't he? #SoScrewed


Entering the office, Owen pokes around and makes his way in and at first gives Stephanie a normal, friendly smile. That lasts about two seconds. Then the recognition sets in, maybe set off by her own reaction. But Owen is much more controlled. He's played this game quite a bit so there is little in the way of exterior reaction besides his smile faltering ever so slightly.

"Good afternoon." He looks down for a nameplate or something that would tell him how he ought to address her, but doesn't find one. "I'm here to see Murdock." What is it about this crew that it's last name only? It just feels right.

He looks around trying to see if he sees Matt, trying to make sure he's in the right place. Or maybe if this is some joke? Or like weird Batman mind game? That's crazy right… right?


Yes, Stephanie. It's safe to say that Matt has noticed that nearly every single time someone pays a visit to the office, his intern knows them but pretends not to. #SoScrewedIsRight

It's only a three heartbeats after Owen calls for Matt that the man appears — there with one hand resting on the doorframe that opens into his side-office. "Hey, Owen," the lawyer says without missing (much) of a beat. His smile is brief and slight, but affable. Owen may prefer last names, and truth be told, Matt will often prefer them for walk-ins — but he met Owen at a bar. "Come on in. Luke mentioned that you or Bart might be stopping by."

A pause. "Coffee?"


No name plate unless Matt bought her one, which considering she's an intern he likely didn't. But, as Owen says he's here for Matt, Stephanie shifts her gaze to the appointment book on the side of her very neat and highly organized desk and the desk clock near it. Mercer, said her appointment book, at just this time too. Stephanie had NOT put the name into context when she took the appointment. Now, however…

Stephanie inhales to say that she'll let Mr. Murdock know, only for said lawyer to appear in the doorway and greet the appointment in a familiar manner. Just like with Jess. Stephanie puts on her best 'this isn't phasing me' smile as she moves to Matt. Her heart rate is NoT up with nerves at Matt knowing this 'stranger'. Nope, not at all. Nearing the lawyer, the blonde gently sets the edge of hte top side against the bottom of the hand that is on the doorframe.

"Here is the file you asked for, Mr. Murdock," is the verbal cue to explain what just touched the blind man. He'll have caught this tonal shift before: Steph has already mentally cued up how Matt takes his coffee and is waiting - with out trepidation #SoMuchTrepidation - for Owen to accept and give how he takes his own coffee. Or to deny, and which point, Steph will bring him water.


As Matt comes out, Owen lets out a breath, trying to refocus on his purpose for being there after having Stephanie's appearance throw him off his game. He smiles at Matt and is already moving away from Stephanie when he is asked in.

Owen doesn't obviously hold it against the blind lawyer that he has a coffee when offered, he just shakes his head and says "Nah, 'm good. I brought one." One that has a good double shot of whiskey in it to help Owen get through this day.

Once Matt is making his way back into his office Owen feels free enough to turn and give a Stephanie a quirked eyebrow and subtle two hands lifted gesture accompanied by mouthing "what the fuck?" which of course can't be seen by Matt but he would at least hear the 'f' slap of teeth on bottom lip. There is no malice per say in Owen's look to her, just genuine confusion of why she's here. A litany of taunts run through his mind, verbal barbs that are pure gold that will have to wait for another time.


"Well, look, come on in and take a seat," Matt says with a shrug and another brief smile. He then accepts the offered file with a little nod of thanks towards Stephanie and turns to make his way back into his modest office. Whatever feats he was showing off the day Luke's bar burned down, here he goes through the motions of a blind man navigating the vagaries of space. There's a grounding tap at the corner of his table as he approaches it, the careful placement of his hand on the back of his chair. When he settles into that seat, there's no ostentatious fumbling — but there is care and deliberation in each move he makes.

Is it all an act? Rote? A ritual? The stubbled expression says little, and if the eyes say more, they're masked by those two round, red lenses. "So," says the lawyer as he leans back into his chair, like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. "How've you been, Owen?" He has to fake the cool, but he doesn't have to fake the interest and mild concern — that comes naturally.

After all, Luke's life probably wasn't the only one that went to ashes in that fire.


I work here!
Nonna yer bizniz!

These are but two of the retorts that flip through Steph's mind as Owen turns to her and mouths an almost completely silent snap in her direction. Her blue-green eyes narrow sharply, softly glossed pink lips pull into an unfriendly frown. Lips, it must be noted that are purple-black when she's in her Other work outfit. The expression is so Bat, that it's not hard at all to image the cowl covering her eyes and the top part of her hair. Instead of any kind of verbal response, Stephanie brings up a hand toward her eyes, pointing at them to two fingers. Her wrist then rotates sharply so her fingers are then jutting over at Owen: I'm watching you!

And with that, Stephanie turns away to the counter where the coffee machine is. She's managed to get some cases of not name brand bottles of water, which she has in her copious amounts of free time #hahaFunnyBruh, she has peeled off the labels and replaced them with paper and tape labels with Murdock & Nelson's name, phone number, and logo on it. She collects a bottle from the mini fridge, replacing it with a room temperature one, after she fixes up some coffee for Matt.


The response from Stephanie merely gets a narrowing of his eyes and a middle finger behind his back as he makes his way into Matt's office, because Owen is a responsible, functioning adult-ish. He watches Matt with a quizzical look, trying hard to figure out if it is an act or what. Who knows how Matt did what he did that night, though Owen has some theories he wants to try, having Stephanie nearby is going to likely keep a lid on those.

Owen takes a seat and smiles tightly when Matt asks how he is doing. Without even giving a moments thought the automatic "I'm fine." comes out with not a trace of lying. Owen's gut response to anyone asking about his state is met with some variation of fine or good at almost all times.

"I was hoping we could talk about Luke's situation. I realize it might be.. private. And complicated. But I was named as an heir…?" No idea if that is the right term. Owen was too busy cracking jokes about it to learn the proper terminology. "Luke's all crazy talkin' about not rebuilding. I was hoping you could fill in some details?"


If Matt catches any of that interplay between his secretary and Owen, he doesn't show it. He leans back in his chair, clasping his hands over the run of charcoal-grey knit tie. He's not staring at the man, obviously, but there's still the sense of active, engaged attention as he listens to Owen cut to the chase of why he's here.

At the end, the lawyer puff out a quiet breath that flares his nostrils. "More than just private, Owen," Matt says with a note of resignation and apology. "Privileged. I'm Luke's lawyer, which means I can't talk about what we discuss in this office — with anyone. Even people he's marked as beneficiaries in his own will."

A beat, a shrug of bushy eyebrows over rounded glass-frames. "There are exceptions, but all of them are complicated and none of them fully protect Luke."

He knows Owen is unlikely to like that answer. He doesn't like that answer. Which may explain why there is a deliberative beat, and a careful addition: "Have you tried talking to him about it? Asking him the whys of it all."


Coffee made and cold water fetched, Stephanie makes her way back into her boss's office. The water is offered to Owen, but if declined is sat on the edge of the desk near him before she moves around to the other side of the desk. There, she gently but dilberately moves through her and Matt's Here's Your Coffee Dance. It's a good dane where Steph sets the coffee down down gently then slides it against the side of his hand as she says softly to him: "Your coffee, Mr. Murdock."

Dance done, she steps back and away, waiting to see if she needs to bring these two anything else for their meeting.


Of course Owen doesn't like that answer, but it's not entirely unexpected. He's a lawyer. Luke's his client. Owen has watched enough Suits to understand attorney-client privilege. Yes, his legal understanding mostly comes from TV, because he's classy. He lets out a ragged sigh.

"Okay. Got it. But.. can I run some hypotheticals by you? And you might be able to offer those to Luke?"

Owen realizes that sounds like he's asking Matt to be unethical. Which is unlikely. Damn it! This is all purple princess sparkle Bat's fault. He had a plan! And now.. She's there. Standing. Being helpful. Ostensibly.


His thanks to her is tightly wound as if said through gritted teeth. He tries to focus back on the task at hand, but can't help look over at Steph, not wanting to talk while she's there.


"Thanks, Steph," Matt says, in his soft-spoken wont, when his intern nudges the coffee cup against his hand to alert him to its presence and forestall any unfortunate spills. It's said with genuine appreciation that softens what comes next: "Ah, would you mind giving Mr. Mercer here and I a few minutes? I'll circle back with you about the brief when we're done here."

And then the lawyer is settling his eyes once more on Mercer. His lips quirk at their corner. "Owen, privilege is a one-way street," Matt says dryly. "It restricts what I can say to you, or to anyone else. But you can say whatever you want to me, so long as you don't expect much of an answer back."

The hands clasped on his stomach — large, unlawlerly hands with nicked knuckles and calloused fingers — spread in invitation. "So. Shoot."


"Certainly, Mr Murdock," Stephanie agrees with a pleasant and polite helpfulness that is everything Matt has likely come to see as normal for the young woman. Which is likely the polar opposite for poor Owen, knowing her more as Spoiler than anything else. And even as she turns to leave the office Owen is given a sidewise glance.

Without another look back, even if she feels uneasy about leaving the poor, blind, defensively Matt Murdock alone with THAT GUY, Stephanie closes the door behind her with an audible but politely quiet *click*. Matt can hear her controlled, now less pained but still far too quiet and soft for a college intern, footfalls carry her back to her desk and the faint click of her short but manicured nails on her keyboard and she returns to work, motions occassionally halted by a phone call. As she was hired, Stephanie skillfully fields calls for the lawyers, taking messages, and answering quetions they've given her permission and information to answer.


Stephanie's tone and demeanor don't really surprise Owen. He's so used to the secret identity game that he would only be surprise if Matt were Spoiler. That'd be a twist he wouldn't see coming. At her exit, he allows himself the slightest eye contact. It's less annoyed now that he has recovered from the surprise.

Nodding as Matt explains to him how privilege actually works in the real world not the plot convenient world of legal dramas, Owen gets a more focused serious expression on his face. Right, he's here to help Luke, not pick fights with batlings.

"I know there are holes. In certain documents or paper trails. Things that might make it difficult for Luke to pursue a normal course of action here. What if I can fill those in?"

Gah, Matt is probably not going to like the sound of this option either. Owen somehow forgot that he is likely dealing with morally upstanding people who won't just let him forge shit or use his contacts to create identities.


Owen, in his own roundabout way, fesses up to the fact that he knows Luke Cage is not Luke Cage. That any amount of digging by the police or insurance investigators would reveal that there is no Luke Cage and end Carl Lucas behind bars. And then he offers to address this dilemma by, uh, forging shit and creating identities.

Any upstanding lawyer would, at this point, conclude the meeting and make it clear that Owen's insinuations are offensive and he's not welcome back. But Matt? Behind red lenses, Matt Murdock's eyes close, and his shoulders shake in the briefest, gallows-humored chuckle. "You're a good friend, Owen Mercer," he offers with wry, muted humor. "Look, I can pass Luke any message you like, though it seems to me you're fully capable of passing those messages on yourself. I really can't say anything about Luke, his situation, or his considerations as he thinks through what's next. That's for him to say — not me."

His head tilts to one side in the briefest intimation of a shrug. "Though, as the, uh, 'heir' to Luke's Bar, I can tell you that even a pile of rubble in Midtown Manhattan is worth millions to the right developer these days. Luke doesn't need an insurance payout to land on his feet. You want to help him — and I get it. I do too. But you don't need me to tell you that there are a lot of angles to all this."


Owen is glad to at least not be thrown out for suggesting a little forgery and other shenanigans. He is aware of most of Luke's past, not some important bits but the broad strokes of why the situation is complicated. He knows that he could solve for some of it. He also knows that Luke might pull an Owen and be a dick about him offering to help.

"Yea, well if I bring this up with Luke, I'm guessing it's gonna get blown up just about as fast as his bar. So I was hoping that I could maybe make something happen and you could present it?" Yea, that's a tall order from someone Matt doesn't know at all and especially considering his state.

When talk of the money comes up Owen's immediate response is "Yea but fuck the money." He realizes that's a little glib, even for him and he explains, "I just.. know what that bar was. I want to help the guy and he's not really open to me doing that right now."

A side glance at the door, and the vague image of Stephanie through frosted or obscured glass at her desk far enough away and Owen is tempted to shift topics. He tentatively starts, very quietly, "And thanks. We.. wouldn't have saved those guys that night without you. However… however, that worked."


Easy for you to say, you're not sleeping on Danny Rand's goddamn couch, is what Matt wants to say to the other man's flip, Fuck the money. At the same time, how much better off is Luke than this strung-out, tightly wound man in front of him. It doesn't take super-senses to tell that this guy has done some hard living of his own, and it's part of what keeps Matt from biting back the worst of his preferred reply.

He chooses other words instead — more constructive ones — and is about to actually say them before Owen takes the conversation along an entirely different tack. And there it is. Hopes that Owen had dismissed the sight of a blind Matt Murdock leaping over flames to rescue trapped tavern patrons as some sort of drug-and-smoke-induced hallucination are dashed. To his credit — and maybe against his better judgment — Matt doesn't even try to pass it off. There's a quick, tight twitch of his lips, the tap of his fingers once, twice on the wood of his table, and then a slight nod as he accepts the thanks.

Owen's right, after all. Super-speedsters or no, it was finding everyone trapped in that inferno that was the real challenge — one that Matt was almost uniquely suited to meet. "Yeah, I never got the chance to thank you for getting Kinsey out of there, either," he murmurs in reply, one corner of his lips curling in remembrance of just how unappreciative Kinsey was for the 'help' at the time.

He clears his throat, leaning forward and clasping his bruise-knuckled hands on the table. "As for how it works," he adds, features as opaque as ever, "that's complicated."

Three heartbeats, before he adds: "And private."


Moving past the topic of Luke for the moment being, though Owen will get back to that, Owen focuses a look of very intense interest at Matt. An eyebrow half cocked and his head tilted as Matt doesn't seem phased by Owen bringing up the incident at Luke's. He smiles a bit at remembering rescuing Kinsey, there may have been cursing involved.. that bit is a bit foggy for Owen. Convenient that.

"Yea yea, no worries. Though t'be fair I thought I was grabbing the /blind/ guy." Owen of course puts a little extra stress on the blind part, but not an overly sarcastic amount. He then charges right into his tinfoil hat theories.

"Alright so I figure it like this. Either you have balls the size of Texas and are pretending to be blind, but are actually some .. trained … something." Owen didn't get too great a look but the way Matt moved in a crisis was impressive, even for a non-visually impaired person, he's just not sure how he would categorize it. "And if that is the case, wow, that is insane. And kind of amazing. OR, option B is that you are actually blind but I'm gonna guess telepathic and able to see through other people's eyes?" So close! Though it does bring the kind of amazing Matt in Psylocke's purple bathing suit ninja costume to mind. Aaah!

"But either way, I just wanted to say I'd never say anything. For reasons that I'm not going to get into, it's… important to me."


Owen is speaking, but it's the voice of one Franklin Nelson that Matt hears most clearly, ringing in his head: Congrats, dude. Your life and freedom, my career, and everything we've built together — it's all in the hands of some junkie bartender. Way to go. You're a real hero.

The lawyer lets out a sigh that turns into a half-hearted but fully exasperated chuckle that shakes his chest. "I don't want to get into specifics," he says with a simple shrug of his shoulders. "I —" he clears his throat. Even talking about his condition with anyone — much less a more-or-less stranger like Owen — is a challenge after seventeen years of relative secrecy. "I've tried my best to live a private life." Last year's international, social-media-fueled media circus around the Winter Soldier trial notwithstanding. "You've seen the headlines lately, Owen. I don't want to end up in anyone's registry, or on anyone's list."

Which is a partial answer of its own, then. Really blind, but some unspecified brand of weird. Of Owen's crackpot scenarios, it points towards Door #2. "Anyway," Matt say, hands briefly spreading. "I appreciate the sentiment. Return it, for what it's worth. I'm pretty good at keeping secrets too; comes with the territory."

Being a lawyer? Being a metahuman? All of the above?


"Murdock, that's fine. I don't need to know. Though seriously if ya ain't blind. Texas sized balls my friend." Most people would consider it at the very least bad taste, but Owen? He'd be hella impressed that someone would pull of a life long scam like that.

"And I don't want to see anyone end up on anyone else's list. I was too late for a friend, but I brought ya this." Here Owen reaches into an inside pocket, not really worrying that Murdock thinks he's pulling a weapon. "It's a mask. More importantly, it has anti-facial recognition tech built in to stop any electronic devices from id'ing you. And limited holo-casting to confuse onlookers."

He slides an envelope over to Matt, inside is a regular looking domino mask. He doesn't know Matt's other identity, or how Matt has kept his secret this long. "I don't know what you get up to, but I built this for someone else. Unfortunately I was a little too late to help keep his secret." That would be Luke, ending up on Fisk's list.


For whatever it's worth, when Matt takes that offered envelope and reaches inside, he doesn't pull the mask out to see with his own two eyes — he dips his hand inside to scan the contents' contours with his fingertips. The way a blind man might. It's a long couple of beats after Owen is done explaining what Matt has in his hands that he puffs a breath out of his nose. "Thanks," he says, his smile brief and faint but genuine. "I — ah, appreciate it."

And he does. But he still won't elaborate on what he does 'get up to,' any more than how he functions so well without his eyes. In fact, he lays the envelope — and this avenue of conversation — very deliberately aside, there on a far corner of his desk.

In part because Owen has taken them full circle, hinting at Luke Cage's sorry run of recent luck. It plucks at Matt's outsized sense of guilt. He told Cage to his face that he should never have let him confront Fisk without a mask, a secret persona. Of the party that raided Fisks' meth lab from hell, Matt was the ostensible leader, organizer, and most experienced vigilante. It was on him to make sure they were all protected.

"I know you want to help Luke," Matt says quietly, and somehow evenly despite the conversation's foray into the uncomfortably personal. "I do too. But I'm sure you know that this isn't about the insurance, at the end of the day. Luke knows several people who could front him the money to rebuild his bar easily, and who would probably count it a gift and not a loan. And Jessica Jones knows plenty more."

He leans back again in his chair, and shrugs his shoulders. "Like you said, Owen. Maybe it's not about the money. Maybe Luke is thinking through some other angles."


Owen doesn't know what Matt gets up to. Doesn't even know if he needs to put on a mask, but he's got a feeling it might come in handy. Of course Owen comes from a world of masks and capes so he's biased like that. He thinks in terms of masks and separating sections of his life. Of course Owen doesn't realize how many of his secrets Matt knows just by the nature of his abilities. He takes a big gulp of his Irish coffee as if to punctuate that thought.

"I do." Both wanting to help Luke, and understanding that it's not just insurance and paperwork. "I know." It obviously crossed his mind while he was staying at Danny's giant palace of a home that money might not be an issue?

"The bar. It was personal. It was not just the dude's business. It was his past." He frowns unsure of how much Luke has said about his ex-wife, ironically considering Matt knows more of the story than he does. "He's a mess right now and I just wanted to be able to offer the option. But.." Owen trails off. Luke didn't ask for this. And Owen has a feeling that Luke might be similar to him in someways when people offer to do 'helpful' things.


"Yeah," Matt says when Owen calls the bar 'personal' to Luke. A piece of his past. "Yeah, I know it." And he does. Not just because he knows the story of sadsack Carl Lucas, but because for all that he seems buttoned up, conservative, lawyerly here, Matt Murdock is at his core the same sort of creature as Luke. The sort who is, even now, considering using the sudden windfall that is Stark Industries' legal retainer to buy the old gym his mediocre boxer of a dad trained in each and every day.

He lets out a breath. "Look, Owen, I'm Luke's lawyer, and I'm just not going to recommend forgery to him," he says. What he leaves unsaid is: Besides, if I were going to go that route, I'd have my super-hacker girlfriend do it. His lips twitch at their corners. "I agree that rebuilding that bar may have, ah, therapeutic value. And I'd like to get him there. But it might be that a few things have to get squared away first."

A beat, a quick, wry smile. "Anyway, I mean it. You should pay him a visit and try to talk it out yourself. You might even find he's finally on the mend. The beginnings of it, at least."

Nothing like killing a dragon on a mission to rescue your girlfriend to snap you out of the doldrums, right?


It seemed like a good idea at the time. Ooh boy that's a refrain in Owen's life. Thankfully this not so great idea is less terrible than most of Owen's.. if that makes sense. He nods and agrees with Matt as he outlines the case for taking a more measured approach.

"That's fair."

Owen looks a bit chagrined as it continues to dawn on him that how much he would /haaaaate/ Luke doing this for him. Oh God, he's doing that good guy thing where you do good things for people that they don't want you to do! How did he comes to this?! Stupid heroes rubbing off on him.

"You're right. I should check in with him. Especially if he's past the trying to drink like me phase."

He pushes his chair back and stands up. He extends his hand and then realizes what he did, but keeps it there anyway, smiling. He narrows his eyes, because of course now he's thinking giant balls OR telepathic eye borrower? Those being of course the only options Owen is willing to entertain unless told otherwise.

"Thanks Murdock."


It may be a bad idea, and a blatantly illegal one. But it's also a well-intentioned idea, and that more than anything seems to color Matt Murdock's attitude towards the suggestion. "Drowning your sorrows for a while, blowing off some steam — they're not the worst ways to process loss," Matt says, pushing himself to a rise after he hears the scrape of Owen's chair along the floor. "Just as long as you do get back on your feet again."

Owen extends a hand unthinkingly, and then deliberately leaves it there. Matt? Without missing a beat, the lawyer extends his own and offers his own calloused hand in the bartender's general direction — a common preemptive move to preempt exactly that brand of awkwardness. "Thank you, Owen," he says with a smile, schooled to affability and drained of any tension. "Take care of yourself, will you?"


It's the use of your and you that catches Owen off guard. They're talking about Luke, but Matt is specifically using second person not third person pronouns. He is so distracted that he moves and shakes Matt's hand absently, perfunctorily. Owen tilts his head slightly and agrees belatedly "Yea.. that's true. But, he'll get back up. He's got some good people around him." And Luke does. From Danny and Jessica to Matt, Owen has no doubt that these people will help Luke through his crisis. But somehow Matt has him thinking about himself. His own current downward spiral that has a little to do with Luke's bar, but more to do with unresolved identity issues.

Again with the take care of yourself. It's so generic that Owen can't bristle at it. At the same time it's specifically the farewell you give someone you're concerned about. Owen replies slowly "Yea.. and you take care too." This is in reference of course to the mask and Owen's reason for giving it to him. Hopefully Matt can maintain his secret. He knows many capes do it all the time, but still someone this close to Jess and Luke, it's almost enough to make Owen worry. Almost.

He picks back up his cup and takes another sip of the now cooled coffee. And then he remembers who is waiting in the office outside. A longer exhale of annoyance is easy to recognize even without super senses though others might mistake it for something else. Opening the door, Owen mimes blowing Stephanie a kiss and says with his best sarcasm, which is fantastic grade A sarcasm, "Have a great day Sweatheart." With all the condescension and sexism that he can muster, and boy, it's a lot.

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