Some Cain and Abel Business

July 23, 2018:

Matt, Foggy, and Claire discuss how to protect their new informant in the Mexican Cartel.

//Luke's Bar in Harlem. //

Best bartenders in the city.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Frank Castle, Phil Coulson, Kinsey Sheridan

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Luke's new bar is nicer than his old one. And it's nicer by far than Josie's, that former haunt of Foggy Nelson, Matt Murdock, and the people who drifted in and out of their lives. This new place was made with the best that a billionaire's money could buy, and with tender craftsmanship and attention to detail that some might not ascribe to the literally tough-as-nails Luke Cage.

But it's also shuttered and empty. There's a metaphor in that for whatever it is that these heroes (?) are slowly building among themselves in the aftermath of the Hell's Kitchen bombings. It’s a structure defined and dominated by a lack, or void.

Each of them is perpetually busy in their own ways. Chasing leads, tending to the injured and bereft, safeguarding the remains of their neighborhoods from the vultures in thousand-dollar-suits.

But Claire Temple called Matt Murdock with some news — big news, she said, in a way that made it clear it wasn't the type to share over the phone.

And so here they are, in this empty bar. Matt is once again in t-shirt and jeans; he hasn't replaced his old wardrobe. Where would he even put it? He looks rough: his stubble is veering towards an outright beard, and there are half-moons under aimless eyes for once unguarded by spectacles.

But he seems to be taking at least some pleasure in the fact that the only two other people in the room know his secret. He's not at the bar but behind it, playing a role he'd never be able to swing if the people with him weren't all-in on his strange second life.

"Beer, wine, cocktail?" he's asking the pair, a specter of a smile on his features. "Pick your poison."


"Why couldn’t Luke have moved his bar to Hell’s Kitchen?"

Foggy’s complaint is delivered as he sags into a stool, pulling off his messenger bag and letting it drop to the stool beside him. He runs his hands back through his hair, pulling the shaggy, leonine mop back behind his ears. He glances toward Matt, and then to Claire, and both earn a light, but tired smile.

He speaks to Matt now, "I’ll take a beer."

He then reaches into his bag for his yellow legal pad, and a pencil, and he flips to a fresh page."


Well, maybe not /big/ news, but important news. And the need for some assistance. Claire doesn't have the looking around curiosity of someone making their first visit to Luke's Bar. She does have a vaguely bemused expression on her face at the sight of Matt doing his best 'Yes, I am old enough to know that there was a time girls were ga ga for Tom Cruise shaking up drinks because of some movie' best at the bar. "Cafe Cubano. I think I would be living on caffeine, vending machines, and bodegas if it weren't for Emery."

The nurse settles onto the stool beside Foggy's and puts her med kit down on the free stool beside her. As if proximity to Matt = Impending Injuries.

It's a fairly understandable instinct.

Foggy pushes his hair back and Claire reaches up to pull the tie out of hers after a long day. "At least here I'm closer to my mom's, which means I can bring you boys food if you agree to help Ricky out."


Not only does millennial Matt Murdock's pop culture competency stretch as far back as the early Tom Cruise era, it doesn't go forward much further than 2001 for reasons that may be obvious. Last Star Wars movie he saw? Phantom Menace. No wonder the poor kid's as fucked up as he is.

He smiles a little, tired but affable, and nods to each request. Foggy's is easiest: just the quick uncapping of a local brew that's slid over the bar counter right towards him. He'll uncap another for himself before turning to Claire's. "Good thing Luke's got a mean espresso maker back here," the blind man says has he navigates the bar with an ease he'd never show in daylight hours, or with anyone but the strange little circle he's built over the last two years.

Claire winds them around to business. "I think my partner and I will agree that we aren't above accepting food in trade for our expert legal counsel," Matt quips as he begins stirring the sugar into the cup with rapid whorls of the spoon. But it's not all levity. "Look, the fact that he phoned in that anonymous report, and that he'll be coming forward and turning himself in — it's all good for him."

One beat, and then: "But the kid helped rig a bomb in a school, Claire. He's going to do some time. We can protect him, and get him a good deal — but he needs to be prepared for that reality."


Foggy speaks toward Claire while keeping his eye son Matt, "I'm learning a lot about Matt each day. Like that he knows how to make espresso." Then he takes the bottle, breathing out a heavy sigh before he takes a swig. He looks weighted by something, glancing precariously toward the door before he looks back to Claire and Matt.

"I have yet to turn down food for services. How else do I say fed?"

Matt's honesty about Ricky's situation is met with mute, agreeable nods. He takes another sip of the beer before he speaks. "We're all dealing with realities, as harsh as they are. With his confession, we can probably get him a much lesser sentence."


Claire leans towards Foggy as Matt goes about working on making the drink. "Even if he doesn't technically know how, you know he'd figure it out if he'd been around one that was made right even once, just the scents." There's a little eye roll, but at least her tone is more (and still) bemused by Matt's gifts than anything else.

But! On to business and she straightens up. "Well gods bless your eternally hungry stomach. The good news is that Ricky's tia is a great cook and if you tell my mother this, I will have to end you, but she puts mom's empanadas to shame. As for Ricky and the case…"

Her shoulders hunch in a shrug before she leans forward, all contained intensity. "He's going to be dazzled. You're the lawyers for that terrorist guy. You were on tv and you got him off. And I know you'll do all you can for him, and I know you're good enough for that to be a lot. I think he can man up to do time. He's got the makings of a good kid and something to work towards while he's in there." She pauses then.

The focus that had been on both lawyers shifts somewhat, turning on Matt and all the heroics he's put on momentary vaction. "But how are you going to keep him alive? He knows players. He's a wedge into the cartels, Matt. The kids in his gang will be after him. The cartels. The guy behind all this.


Matt gives one of his first honest, true-to-God smiles in months when Claire calls him out for being a quick study on the alchemy of food. His eyebrows lift and drop in semblance of a shrug. Fact: the guy would have made a helluva chef if he hadn't opted to become a hobo-lawyer-dumpster-ninja. He stirs the sugary concoction into the espresso and slides a steaming cup down Clair's way. "Test away at that theory," he tells her.

The rest of it is more sobering, and it shows in the way that boyish smile fades. For one, being known as the lawyer for that terrorist guy was never something he imagined when he was an aspiring do-gooder with big dreams at Columbia law. For another… the kid Claire has taken under her wing is in a tight spot, and not just legally.

"If he comes forward with credible evidence against the cartel, I bet Foggy and I can keep him out of Rykers and in protective custody until the time of trial," Matt says, gesturing to his law partner with the hand not carrying his beer. "Where he gets put once his sentence begins is something we can structure into the negotiations. Maybe witpro. But — " Here, a grimace. "Testifying against the cartels — much less Wilson Fisk — it's a big risk. He'll have to watch his back the rest of his life. His 'tia' — anyone close to him, really — should consider moving neighborhoods. Or even getting out of New York altogether."


If only Foggy could call Matt a "hobo-lawyer-dumpster-ninja," but what does that make him? Instead all the Nelson half of Nelson and Murdock can do is take another swig from his beer and listen to first Claire and then Matt. The former draws a small smile from the weary lawyer. "Can we all hate that about Matt? Because I'm still pretty sure I burn coffee in a KEURIG."

Then he looks back toward Matt, expression becoming more serious again. "We'll keep him out. But yeah, his testimony is going to be necessary." Because, as Foggy told Frank Castle, he's here to get the verdict that Fisk deserves. As his mind drifts slightly to Castle, Foggy's throat bobbles a bit. He hadn't told Frank he knew who the mastermind was. Maybe he should have. That seems like something you shouldn't keep from the man who is out to make sure Fisk gets sentenced, and then killed before he can make it to Ryker's.

"I hear Gotham is nice this time of year."


Claire takes a sip of the drink and ends up making a face at Matt. A napkin is balled up and thrown at him. She's well past the point of having a guilty ping after an action like that - the blind guy can take care of himself. "Yeah, we can all hate that about him," she informs Foggy before telling Matt, "Thank goodness you're so brooding or we'd all have to resent the hell out of you for being good at everything. It's hard to reset someone that's so busy being relentlessly hard on themselves, though." Another drink before she puts the drink back down and sighs.

"I mean, great, get them out of town, but everyone knows everyone. And that's hard for a /lot/ of reasons. They might be willing to, and we might be able to hit up the rich guy to finance it, but testifying or not testifying won't matter. Even if he doesn't testify, he's a risk. He's already … the other kids, the children in his gang are getting taken out. The boy, their 'best bomb guy,' Tito was shot in the head, and he wasn't talking. I'd warn you two that you'll be in danger for helping, but I have a feeling you already know that."

She reaches up and rubs her face, hands lowering in time to see Foggy's adam's apple doing it's dance. "Yeaaaah. I'm not sure Gotham's much safer. You okay?"


Matt recoils a little but lets the crumpled ball hit him square in the chest. He could catch it, but wouldn't that just prove her point? "Hey!" he shouts, outrage all feigned, belied by the little laugh that comes with it. What she says next — about the brooding and self-flagellation — mutes some of that humor. It's been a rough couple of months for Matt Murdock, and though he's pulled himself back from the very brink it still shows: he could use a shave and a haircut and more sleep than he's getting. His lips press together and he listens to the rest of what Claire has to say.

Which is horrifying. Children — even ones who'd fallen in with gangs — being slaughtered one by one. "I'll see if I can be a little more proactive about it," Matt says, and by proactive he almost certainly means punchy. "Maybe it's possible to make whoever's doing this think twice about the execution spree. I'll talk with Ricky."

As for their being in danger, Matt puffs out a little chuckle that never quite finds voice. Always. But it's her perceptive question to Foggy that really catch his attention, playing as they do on the subtle notes of distress that he's been sensing from his best friend ever since he walked through the door of the bar. "Yeah, what's up, Fog?"


When Claire spots his nervous demeanor, Foggy shifts on his stool. He reaches up to brush back his hair again, despite the fact that it's neatly tucked behind his ears already. He looks from the nurse to his partner, and then he rolls the beer between his hands. "The Punisher showed up at our office yesterday…" He looks down at the beer. "Wanted to know why I had gone to see the Dogs of Hell."

His demeanor is one of someone who is having an internal struggle. "He knows that the Dogs weren't involved in the bombings… I told him what I learned from Leon and company, that they turned down good ol' Glasses when he came looking for someone to set the bombs." He hesitates, tapping the butt of the bottle against the bar top. "I think I may have sic'd the Punisher on the Mexican Cartel." He finally looks back up at Claire and Matt. "Promises he'll tell me what he finds out."


"And the cartels are where Ricky's ins are for Matt being proactive. He can help you with names and all of that. But that also means you may have just sicced him on the kid you just agreed to protect," Claire points out to Foggy. Because friends help each other with good news in these stressful times. She picks up her drink and clinks it against his beer in one of the world's most dour toasts. There's a long, shoulder slumping exhalation before she adds, "I think you chose a smarter drink than I did."


The Punisher showed up at our office yesterday… Foggy begins, and for a second that's all Matt Murdock can process. The moniker of a man who, in the span of just a few days, managed to bring unparalleled violence to his neighborhood.

During any other time, all those overheard police reports of the butchery Frank engaged in on the streets of Hell's Kitchen would have brought Daredevil literally swooping down on him.

But Matt has been distracted, fixated really, on many other things, and now the menace that is this Punisher has come to his home looking for his best friend. Where was he? Not in the office, that's for sure.

"Way to bury the lead there, Fog," Matt murmurs at first after taking a sip of his beer and setting it down on the counter. He tells himself it'll be just one beer tonight, though he's already thinking about the next one.

He reaches up to scrub his stubbled features. "So you found out from the Dogs of War " he struggles over that line, visibly, resisting the swell of righteous indignation, the powerful impulse to shout at his friend for being on the same block as the biker gang — " that James Wesley approached them about one of the bombs, and they turned him down." He's summarizing, slowly and evenly, to make sure he has everything down. Like, one might imagine, a lawyer taking a deposition from a witness.

"The Punisher came to the office to ask why you'd gone to see them, and you —" his brow knits, some of his bafflement and frustration coming to the fore. "You gave him intel on the cartel? Did he threaten you?"

It's a real, honest-to-god question. There's concern in his voice, but other things too, powerful undercurrents of emotion he's trying to suppress, at least for the moment.

He'll give us intel when he finds out, Foggy said. That's not the language of someone whose been threatened or bullied. That's the language of collaboration.


Claire's observations are not entirely unfounded; Foggy just hadn't made the connections. His throat bobbles again, and he nods. "We should get Ricky somewhere safe," he says, voice a bit croaky with those words.

He can almost hear Matt's thoughts, unsaid as they are. He tightens his grip around the bottle for a heartbeat before he relaxes once more. When he looks up, a shard of blond hair cuts into his somber gaze. "Pretty sure just being in the same room with the Punisher is a threat, but… no. He didn't directly threaten me. I mean, kept his hand resolutely gripping the gun in his pocket." At least, Foggy was pretty sure it was a gun. "But, he hadn't made up his mind about where I fell in whatever the hell he's doing around the Kitchen."

He taps his fingers lightly around the glass of the bottle, and then tips it back a bit, letting the faint grooves around the bottom roll along the bar-top. It's a distracting maneuver, trying to not look at Matt when he speaks next. "We're out to get Fisk, right?" He looks up at Matt, expression evermore serious. "That's what this whole thing is, right? When we narrow in on him, we're not planning to just lay down accusations without action, are we? We're going to defeat him; beat him down, get him arrested, and then get him convicted. That's our endgame."

His shoulders barely relax as he says the next words: "Castle can get us the information we need on the Cartel. So, I asked him to go get it."


Claire puts her drink to the side, all those little nuances Matt crafted to get the aromas and temperature just so likely go largely go for naught now that her attention is getting pulled into a tighter focus. Castle. Punisher. Hearing the different names bandied about, the tones both men take as they discuss him, the gun Foggy mentioned. A scowl spreads across the nurse's lips as an older memory of blood and chaos wells up to mingle with the more recent days and nights of trauma treatment after the bombing.

"Wait. THAT guy? We were elbow deep doing cardiac massages just trying to … " She stares at Foggy before her feet hit the ground. Those memories come with a surge of adrenaline as Claire takes a step or two towards the door before looking back at the avocados expectantly. And with more than a little frustration.

"You get what I've been trying to tell you, right? This kid Ricky? -He's- your way to get information on the gangs and up into the Cartels. And if your friend Frank ends up with that boy's name in his mouth …" She's not as good with the threats as her peer group. It's a problem.


Matt knows he has a tendency towards righteous indignation, and hypocrisy. His highly compartmentalized life makes those things recurring pitfalls, ready to swallow him up with one false step. And over the last few months? He's made a lot of false steps with people he cares about. To that end he's swallowed his concerns about Foggy's safety, chasing after biker gangs and what not — but…

"Fog," Matt says, grimacing and stepping backwards from the bar. "You pointed this guy — this loaded gun — at other people? So he could get us information?" He says it with something like disbelief. A hand steals up to his forehead, thumb and forefinger at either temple. "Shit, you know how he's going to get it. That's accessory to commit murder right there, you know that? Maybe involuntary manslaughter."

The hand that spanned his forehead balls up, becomes a fist, but remains where it is. "Okay," he breathes, almost to himself. "Okay." The sad-sack brown eyes he'd shut tight open then, stare sightlessly in Foggy's general direction. "Fog, I — I get it," he says, swallowing down much, but not all, of the anger he wants to let out. "There wasn't time to think. He had a gun. And even if he didn't, I'd get it. I really would. Hell, a few weeks ago I had two Russian mobsters tied up in my basement, and I was going to just straight-up murder them if James and Jane hadn't stepped in. I have a nuclear weapon burning a hole in my pocket, ready to destroy Wilson Fisk's world, and haven't used it because it yet because I haven't decided whether I'm willing to go as far as putting some extremely powerful homicidal maniacs on the warpath against him. But I've been sorely tempted. We all have."

He runs a hand through his hair, and though his eyes are aimless, they signal thoughts racing behind them. "Right now, we're in the middle of deciding who we are, the kind of people we want to be, Fog," he murmurs. "Picking this Punisher's next victims for our own purposes — even if they're shitty people who do shitty things on the regular — that tips us pretty decidedly in one direction."

A glance to Claire, who is consumed with similar but more specific concerns. "We promised to take care of Ricky, Claire," Matt tells her with quiet certainty. "We're gonna keep our end."


Claire's flare of anger catches Foggy off-guard. He had expected anger from Matt, but coming from Claire knocks him a bit off-balanced. "I…" Then he looks to Matt briefly before stepping after Claire a bit. "Claire, no… look." Then he runs his hand back through his hair once more, looking down into the half-empty bottle before he turns slightly back toward Matt. His mouth tightens a bit at the accusation that follows. "That feels a bit hypocritical, Matt. Isn't the whole point of Vigilante Justice mean you're going to be racking up your own long list of crimes that have to be justified by ends, not means?"

Then he shifts slightly, shoulders weighted by his decision and the consequences it has brought him. He starts to wring his hands around the bottle, knowing the brown glass will hold up to his worrying strength. He listens to Matt's words, waiting for the incoming "but" that is undoubtedly on his friend's lips. When Matt gets there, Foggy's shoulders tighten. "They're Mexican Cartel, Matt… Cartel. It isn't like I pointed him somewhere that wouldn't have been a target of Daredevil at some point." His justification feels weak, wrong, and completely outside his actual frame of ethics.

He knows it. He hates that he knows it.

He puffs out his cheeks, shifting from foot to foot. "Look, I can find Ricky a safe house. This is my fault, I'll fix it."


Look, there's a lot there that Claire wants to respond to, even if she had started walking towards the door again. What stops her in her tracks, though, is the nuclear weapon comment. She pulls up, full stop, and jerks her head up. There's no turning around this time. Instead she just looks towards the ceiling and speaks quietly, "Dear god. I've come to that moment in my life where I have to wonder if my friend is being literal or figurative when he talks about having a nuclear weapon in his arsenal." There's a brief pause before she adds a just on the edge of whimpering, "I have friends that -have- arsenals."

The adrenaline is burning off quickly. She tilts her head back down to a normal angle and lifts her hands to rub at her face for a second. It's a chance to gather her thoughts before she faces the boys again. She rolls her shoulders before exhaling.

Question(ish) one goes to Matt, but the as for you? It's going to be for Foggy. "You're still deciding who you are? Or are you deciding how to still be that person when the world makes it harder and harder? As for you … " She points at Nelson. "You pointed a loaded weapon at the Cartels. One of those automatic ones that spits out hundrends of rounds a second. Is that weapon going to care if some of the people involved are children that might change? There's a world of difference in who's targeting them in this case."

That leads her to look back at Matt again, expression guarded. "Or at least I hope there still is."

But the the hands are going to her hips and Fogs? He's getting the full scale disapproving nurse treatment of a hard stare. "Damn right you'll find him a safe house. YOURS until this is better. That should give you incentive to keep this Punisher away from him, and a chance to work on his case. And you'll never know if I told his tia to use ghost peppers in what she's makes!"


This feels a bit hypocritical, Matt, says a Foggy beset on all sides. And you can see that Matt's first response is all indignation. His bushy eyebrows shoot up, his chin juts slightly forward, his whole posture is fight-ready. It never finds voice, and the second reaction just as visible, all sudden remembrance and puff of rueful breath. "Maybe," he says. Some of the ire leaves him with the admission, if none of the tension. "In fact, I can think of at least one person who would say definitely." And the fact that the person who would is the one person who's as close to him as Foggy doesn't help much.

Still, even that admission needs to be qualified. "But if I'm a hypocrite, it's not because of — what I do in the streets at night, Fog," Matt says, trying to adopt that careful, lawyerly cadence he uses during his daytime life. For all that, some rawness creeps through, maybe even hurt. "Yeah, I've made mistakes, but I've also tried hold to the big bright line this Punisher seems to be zig zagging across left and right. And Danny, Luke, Jess, Six, they're all trying to do the same thing. It's not all — you can't just lump it all together."

And speaking of bright lines, Claire is asking him whether he actually has a nuclear weapon on hand. "Uh, figurative," Matt answers with a turn of his head towards the nurse. A beat. "…mostly." It seems like a necessary qualifier, given the sheer power his newfound 'friends' put on display last year in Queens. Her broader question, about whether they are struggling with how to keep to those bright lines when the world has literally gone to hell or reconsidering their commitment to keeping the lines altogether. "More on the deciding how than deciding who, Claire," he says, putting a staying hand up even while his features betray the inevitable 'but' that comes next. "But there's real debate. I mean, you were there at that meeting."


Claire's sharp-pointing finger sends Foggy back a step, his leonine mane falling hap-hazardously along his cheek and brow as his head drops a bit in a shamefaced response. His jaw flexes, biting back words he feels building up out of a defensive reflex — a reflex he has to control. He takes a deep breath, nostrils flaring. "I don't know, but he's not there to kill people." Not yet. "He's there to get answers, and answers I can use in a court of law."

Then his throat bobbles a bit when Claire, in her wisdom and rage, saddles Foggy with Ricky. He shifts uncomfortably, but nods. It's a quaint distraction from Matt's rebuttal, that has Foggy digging his hands into his pockets and expression looking grim. "I'm not lumping you with the Punisher, but sometimes we don't get to nitpick the flaws of our allies. The Punisher," and he grimaces his words as he says them, "at least is after bad guys, and Fisk is a bad guy."

Then he shifts slightly again, hands still in his pockets despite the fall of hair along his forehead. He says nothing else for now, listening to Matt's concerns and looking to Claire briefly.


Clairebear says, "Mostly figurative." Her weight shifts, centering her stance at her left hip as her right knee cocks to the side. Chin lifts, arms cross under her chest. "This world, these last few years. It's gotten so, so … big. We're still a neighborhood, though. A city. You, Jess, Danny, Luke … it's a lot easier to trust you than your 'mostly' just now. It's a lot easier to picture Hell's Kitchen -surviving- your fight than more and bigger weapons right now."

She turns her head to look at Foggy, then back at Matt. Her tone is softer than her stance, weary and stubbornly hopeful. "There's always been a debate. There's always going to be a debate. That's some Cain and Abel business, and older than that I'm sure. But you're two of the most frustratingly charming people I've met and honest to god lawyers. If /anyone/ can win that debate, with themselves and with the people around them …" Claire shrugs her shoulders at the men before semi-relaxing and approaching Foggy.

"Let's get you and Ricky together, then, and his aunt. Sooner than later. Because if your ally does end up coming to look for him, I want those debating skills working on his behalf. Because homicidal intent or not, I'd /really/ rather not hear about him dangling off a building to get information out of him."


We don't get to pick and choose our allies.

Foggy's words echo in Matt's brain. And really, they themselves are echoes of similar words he threw at someone in a recent fight over lines and where to draw them. "I hate it when she's right," he murmurs, seemingly to himself. Is he talking about Claire? Maybe — she almost always is right — and he is casting an appreciative look towards her when she gives them some of her brand of wry, tough, weary and love.

In the end, though, the brunt of his attention is fixed back on Foggy. "I get what you're saying," he says quietly. "Trust me, Fog, I really get it. I know we can't always pick and choose our allies, and that some of them are going to do things we won't approve of. But we can pick our favorites. You need intel on the cartel? You've got a bulletproof man, a martial arts master with a magic fist, and a super-strong P.I. who can fly." A beat. "Sometimes."

He reaches for the glasses he'd discarded on the bar; his strange powers of echolocation giving him the gist of where they are, even if he has to fumble for them a little. "And you've got me too," he says as he puts them on. "You can come to us before you send some guy with a happy trigger-finger out there."

Claire's plan meets with a nod of approval from the lawyer, who's already moving out from behind the bar and grabbing his bag. "You guys do that. Just, don't be afraid to call for backup, right? Jessica Jones' cell phone is your friend."


Foggy has at least enough guilt — nowhere near as much as Matt, but a good heart's greatest setback is guilt — to look down when Claire lays down her expectations. He nods dutifully, tugging back on his mop of hair one more time. He's going to go bald if he keeps this up. "Alright, we'll get him settled into my apartment once we're done here, alright?" Beat pause. "Sorry, Claire. I had to think on my feet."

And that opens the door for his response to Matt. He turns to his friend, wishing he had his messenger bag on so he could grab for the straps as he often did when trying to fiddle. He'd have to settle for his pockets instead. "Yeah, well… those people didn't show up at our office at midnight, looking to figure out why I was palling around with some Dogs of Hell. He's going to kill them, you know… all of them. I don't know why, and frankly, couldn't give a shit as to why… but he's a serial killer whose set his eyes on the gangs of Hell's Kitchen. There's a pretty good chance he would have wiped out the Dogs and the Cartel before we could get any answers."

Foggy's jaw twitches a bit as he works through a frown. "I made a snap call. I had to. I put the Punisher on the Cartel's tail with the deal that he would get me evidence that was admissible in court so we can get Fisk through the system successfully, and then locked behind bars." He frowns. "Because that's the goal, right? Get the victims of Hell's Kitchen the closure they need?"


Claire reaches up to pull her hair up into a ponytail as they prepare to hit the streets again (bonus, far less likely to go bald than Foggy is). Because summer and New York may make excellent musical companions, but not such good friends for a walk through the city. Matt's comment on the flying PI's phone, though? She snorts. "Jessica Jones' phone sounds like Morgan Freeman. I think it's everybody's friend," she points out sardonically.

Tones shift swiftly, though, and she's looking sidelong at one Nelson. "I thought why was important in all this legal business. And helping the Kitchen heal? Definitely the goal. I just hope we can do it with as few bullet holes and body bags as possible. But I suppose we have a few subway stops to discuss the ripple effects and all that."

Lucky Matt! His friends are kind enough to spare him the olfactory wonderland that is the NYC transit system at the height of summer!


Foggy says he had to make a split second call, to sick an ostensibly 'bad' guy on some other bad guys. Matt doesn't have the heart — or the ethical standing — to protest much beyond what he's already said. He gives a nod that says, in not so many words: We're good.

"This city has seen enough body bags because of Wilson Fisk," Matt agrees with Claire, slinging his canvas bag over his shoulder and hefting his walking stick. "Thanks, Claire. For everything. I'm going to go to my contact at SHIELD and line up a witness protection agreement for Ricky. Forget a plea deal. We're going to get him and his family out of this. And if this 'Punisher' has anything to say about it, he can take it up with me."

He turns to Foggy then, even as he's starting to walk backwards (backwards!) towards the front door. His smile is slight, lopsided, but true. "And I don't know about Cain and Able, Fog? But you're my brother. This partnership of ours has taken a crazy new direction, but we're going to figure it all out. Promise."


The nod relaxes Foggy, and he breathes out a slow exhale. We're good. He shifts slightly in his footing before he tracks back to his barstool to get his messenger bag. He glances over toward Claire at her subway threat, and he drops his shoulders despondently. "I really hate discussing ripple effects," he says in a low, melancholic voice. Then he shuffles forward, bag now hanging off his shoulders.

He knows he is going to have to bear the weight of whatever Castle decides to do. His actions will be stains on Foggy's own guilt if Frank decides to make a decision that costs more than just a few gangbangers' lives. Matt's words though draw his eyes up toward his friend, and offers his friend a tight, but understanding smile. "Always knew you were going to cause me trouble, Matt."

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