Sidebar
Roleplaying Log: Sidebar
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Matt & Foggy discuss their upcoming second trial of the century — and the direction of their firm — over drinks.

Other Characters Referenced: Bucky Barnes, Kinsey Sheridan, Trish Walker, Alison Blaire, Warren Worthington
IC Date: July 03, 2019
IC Location: Hell's Kitchen
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 24 Jul 2019 01:52
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 (Language)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's another late night for the Nelson and Murdock duo, so they come into the hipster bar Telluride just as things are really settling in for the long haul. There's about six parties in the joint — three filling spaces at the bar and the other three scattered about. Named after a Victorian mining town in Colorado of all places, there's something saloon meets gastropub about this whole place. It's unsettling considering that what feels like not too long ago the pair were still enjoying a questionable beer in the questionable establishment of Josie's.

Foggy takes a seat at the far end of the bar where it corners toward the wall. He lets Matt take the corner because it gives Matt the ability to, um, "see" the bar more easily. He's already ordered something on tap, asking with the order that it, "Please, not too hoppy." He grunts to Matt. "Hipsters and their need for bitter beers." Foggy's sounding old, grouchy, and a bit neglected. He hasn't worked this hard since the Barnes case, and before that… law school.

—-

There have been memorials, remembrances. But Matt has remained tight-lipped through it all, throwing himself into the work of this new trial of the century with all the driven, manic energy that had him out on rooftops for the last three years. He hasn't said a word, but it's hard not to see it in the downward tilt of his shoulders, the tightness of his jaw. The destruction of Hell's Kitchen was, in Matt's mind, his greatest failure. It's never going to be an easy anniversary

"Uh, I'll take a pilsner, thanks," Matt adds on with a lift of his chin in the bartender's direction. He manages a slight smile when Foggy quips about hipsters and their IPAs. "Yeah, a little bit of flavor goes a long way for me."

He's not so broody that he can't pick up on some of Foggy's tension. They know each other too well at this point. "You holding up alright, buddy?" he asks. "Almost done with the first mountain." Starting briefs have been prepared, a judge and a trial date are about to be set. After months of planning, it's really happening.

Foggy has learned not to draw much attention to this all — the fact that they're sitting in a bar so unlike Josie's that it might as well be in a totally different neighborhood. He settles into the stool, waiting for the beers to be delivered while he considers his knuckles. "I know, this isn't the right place, but I'm not sure it ever is going to be unless we go all the way over to Luke's." It's a helpful comfort, or at least that's Foggy's goal.

Then he shrugs his shoulder slightly under his suit jacket, and then reaches up to give his tie a bit of a tug. "Doing okay. Real glad we hired on some help, because I'm still drowning in paperwork. Everyone's drowning in paperwork. I got Harrison and Danders on some of the community cases, but they still like talking to Nelson and Murdock. It's really hard not to help the neighborhood when they ask, you know?" He rubs slightly at his mouth, and then looks up to Matt. "We heard anything yet on a trial date?"

—-

Matt's lips quirk at mention of Luke's. Luke and Jessica's domestic bliss is a bright spot in an otherwise devastating year. Matt has come to take a certain vicarious satisfaction in it. Besides, Luke's Harlem bar really does feel like home at this point.

At the same time…

"I — don't want to get on the subway."

Who has time, these days? Efficiency is the name of the game. Minutes saved are minutes that can be spent on legal research and legwork. Sure they've been staffing up, but this is the kind of case that belongs in a big firm — not their ragtag operation. They're managing, and managing well — but it comes with a cost. Matt gives a commiserating wince when Foggy talks about the community clients who miss their personal care. He feels that too. Moreso, because he's also scaled back on his nighttime adventures too. Yes, they're trying to save the city. Save the world! But can Hell's Kitchen — even this new and improved Hell's Kitchen — survive without the vigilance of Nelson & Murdock? Or Daredevil?

Maybe the answer is yes, suggests the crowd of happy hipsters around them.

Matt shrugs a little. "Looking like early August," he says of start dates. "We'll find out which judge was assigned our case soon. In the mean time, I was thinking we'd do a little more presswork. Lane's story was good but — do you think Mary could handle radio? Something friendly, maybe. Like Trish."

Matt's always viewed trials holistically. It's part of what made him so effective during the Winter Soldier trial. The press, public perception, the environment in which a trial takes place. It matters.

"Dude, who ever wants to get on the subway?" Foggy pauses, thinking that over, before he settles on, "Unless you're a tourists. Tourists love that." Then he settles into his beer once it arrives, sighing out a breath a bit. "But yeah, Luke's is too far. We should ask him to franchise."

But then that would be against the whole point.

So, instead, he takes a sip of his beer before he looks back to Matt. "Early August isn't that far away, man. Think we're going to be ready for that?" He frowns to himself. "Presswork, huh? You should take that. You've got a TV face. I can do the radio spots." He smiles broadly because he just managed to insult himself there, and he's kind of proud of it. Then he shrugs his shoulders at the question about Mary. "I think so. Got to pick our hosts carefully though."

—-

Matt chuckles a little at Foggy's quip about tourists and the subway. "Only because they don't know what all's down there," says the man with supersenses. Safe to say no one knows just how gross the subway is as well as Matt Murdock.

You've got a TV face, he says, and Matt rolls his eyes behind his glasses. "I'll take your word for it," he says. "But Trish Talk — that's public radio, Foggy. Why don't you give that one a spin with Mary, and I'll go and get my ass handed to me by the blondebots at Fox News. And Trish is about as friendly as they come."

It's only then that he mulls the bigger question. "I don't know if we're ready," Matt admits. "Mary is a good plaintiff. She's the right face for this. But we need more — more data points. There's a whole city of metahumans that have had to deal with shit their whole lives, and I feel like if we tap into that and can tell their stories, we're a lot of the way there. We just need to — find them."

"If you know what's all down there, you can keep it to yourself. In fact, you can take it to the grave. No one wants to know about those dark secrets." Foggy is confident in his desire to remain ignorant. So, he moves on fast.

"You just want to see if I can get over my Patsi crush and actually not gibber like an idiot on public radio. I'm onto you, Matthew Murdock." He takes a sip from his beer, settling into it now. It actually isn't bad, but he's not going to admit that. He's going to put up a fuss if anyone dares to ask him. "I'll get in touch with Ms. Walker." He knows that she's friends with Jess, but he'll keep it formal.

"I guess we did alright with Bucky's case and we sure as hell weren't ready for that one, I don't care what you say. You remember our first day? I sweated through my shirt." He takes another drink, tapping slightly at the glass once it settles into its simple cardboard coaster. "So, we walk in like we're ready and hope no one notices that we aren't."

Foggy mentions his one-time crush on the child star of, "It's Patsy!" and Matt Murdock can't help but crack a grin. It's good natured, but still at least a little bit damning. "She does have a nice voice," he says with a slight shrug. "Look, it's only fair if I have to take regular business meeting with Alison Blaire and her J-Crew boyfriend."

Foggy had his Patsy, and Matt had a serious celeb crush on Dazzler back in school. A complete discography was purchased, from her poppiest to her most avant-garde fare.

Comparisons of the Barnes trial to this one snuffs out that little flicker of mirth from Murdock. "We've come a long way since then," Matt echoes, a pensive crease bisecting his brow. "But the stakes are — higher this time."

One man's life seemed like the weight of the world back then. Now it's the actual world on the line, maybe.

—-

"I figure you'd be over that by now," Foggy quips back easily. "Or does it only deepen the pain of your unrequited love." He takes another drink from his pint glass. He presses his lips together thoughtfully before he turns his glass slowly around on its coaster. "She wants to hire us on retainer," he says, having missed telling Matt that. "Ran into her at that little bodega down the street. She was on a coffee hunt, which I thought was odd. Hell's Kitchen isn't her turf. But she wants to meet with us."

For another rich person on retainer. Christ.

Mention of higher stakes has him sucking in a tight breath, and he scrubs both hands back through his shaggy hair — he needs a haircut. Again. "Yeah. Much higher stakes. Makes me sweat through my suit."

—-

Matt rolls his eyes behind his glasses at Foggy's ribbing. "I think Kinsey may join us for fireworks on the 4th," is his only offered answer. The idea of a blind man watching fireworks may seem like the setup for a joke, but it isn't. The electricity of the crowd, the bursts and booms punctuated by an ocean of gasps. Matt never missed it.

(Kinsey, however, will. She is called away last minute to Palo Alto on a business trip.)

"Huh," Matt says eloquently of Trish frequenting the Kitchen in the dead of night, thereafter busying himself with his beer. There may be more contained in monosyllable, but for now he declines to expand on it beyond: "Trish is good people. We should take her on."

And finally, on the matter of sweating through suits: "Walking down the block makes you sweat through your suits this time of year."

—-

"Oh good. Haven't seen Kins in a while." Not that Foggy has seen anyone but whoever works at N & M in a while. He's really overworked, underpaid, and could use a vacation — because nothing could possibly go wrong on some tropical vacation (cue amusing one-shot involving everything going wrong in the Bahamas).

Then at Matt's eloquent monosyllable, followed by confirming that they should take on Trish Walker, Foggy smirks. "Because what's one more client."

He snorts then, taking another drink of his beer. "Stop sniffing me, Murdock."

"Yeah, she's had a lot on her plate," Matt says softly. Someone who didn't know him as well as Foggy Nelson does might miss how weighted and fraught those words are, but then, Matt might not even say that much to hardly anyone else.

"Trust me," he says of his olfactory senses over a stifled, tight little chuckle, "if I could avoid it, I would." It's not easy having supersenses.

—-

What's one more client. "At least we're growing to spread the load a little," Matt says with a shrug, and some ambivalence. They aren't just two men against the world now. Nelson & Murdock now has a staff of seven and it's only growing larger. In some ways it's better, in others… something gets lost. "Besides, with Jess and all, Trish is family. Extended family. We can't tell her no."

Foggy's mouth settles into a thoughtful line, and he reaches over to give Matt a big, serious shoulder pat. He gets it. That's all that needs to be conveyed in this moment between brosbands — that's bros and husbands combined, for those who are missing the compound noun.

Then his friend rolls his eyes, muttering against his glass rim, "Some of us have normal everything. And the supersenser is bitching."

With a breath, he takes his drink and then startst o nod. "Alright, so… we take on Trish. Maybe we can give her a family discount, because dude… I don't know. Something." He drains the rest of his beer, makes a sound of satisfaction, and then stares at it. "I can afford another eight dollar beer, right?"

—-

Foggy pats Matt on the shoulder, and Matt 'looks' over his way with eyebrows lifted, a faint smile of gratitude on his lips. The truth about Kinsey is more complicated than a couple drifting, or even falling on hard times, but the gesture is still appropriate. And appreciated.

"Oh," Matt says with a sudden, skeptical jerk-back of his head. "We don't need to give Trish a discount. Patsy residuals. Save the discounts for the folks who can only pay us in chickens." Matt's generous, sure, but he's also class-conscious. Trish Walker isn't Hell's Kitchen; she's Upper West Side.

"So yeah," Matt says. "You can afford it, Fog. Beer's on Trish."

"Hey, it was just that one time," Foggy objects, even if he does fondly remember the two chickens — Harold and Maude (yes, he understands they were both females). Then he nods soberly. "But yeah. Did I tell you Mr. Hargraves came through? He needs to take his daughter off his will. I told him to sit on it for a few days, and maybe not make rash decisions because she got a tattoo."

Then he tips his glass to the bartender, indicating he's ready for a refill. "You ever wonder if maybe someone else should have won that case for Barnes? Between Stark, and Walker, and — how many rich clients do we have now? I feel like we're starting to become like that Hogarth firm."

—-

Matt winces and then smirks when Foggy mentions Hargrave. Hell's Kitchen may have been forever changed by the twin forces of Wilson Fisk's bombs and New York's rapacious real estate market, but there are still a small cadre of working class Catholic holdouts. The diehards. "I'm surprised you got him to sit on it," Matt opines before tipping back that beer he's been nursing and finishes it off.

He pushes his own beer forward and makes his own gesture for a refill, but throws Foggy a sharp 'glance' at that wistful remark on what might have been for their firm. "Hey, buddy, I seem to recall you being the one who wanted us to take our first corporate client," Murdock quips back. No, he's never going to let Foggy forget that he asked for the Stark account, but the ribbing is gentle enough. Besides, he follows it up with a quieter, more serious: "Barnes was the kind of case we ought to be taking. The cases nobody else may want, but that someone needs to champion. Everyone betrayed James. Even his own country."

Another beat. "But you may be right that it was inevitable after that," he concedes, as the bartender gently slides that fresh glass of draft beer up against his fingertips so he'll know it's there waiting for him. "The higher our profile rose, the bigger the temptations. At least we've kept it all — you know. Within a certain clientele of do-gooding."

Superheroes. Or the family of superheroes.

"I told him that I couldn't get to it for a few days," Foggy replies, and he smiles wryly. "It worked to get him to take a breath and decide."

Now he settles into his refill, and then he snorts slightly at the reminder of Stark. "Yeah, okay. But I didn't think that, that meant everyone would want us. It's like we're got beer-flavored nipples or something." Hello, 10 Things I Hate About You reference. He takes another drink from his pint glass, and then glances slightly toward Matt again. "Yeah, you're right. I've been thinking about that, too." He takes in a breath before he taps his fingers against the outside of his beer glass. "Do-goodery is all well and… good… but, eventually we're going to need to decide what Nelson and Murdock do, because I think we're even confusing the interns. Or maybe we're a little of everything kind of firm."

—-

Matt gives an appreciative sort of smirk when Foggy explains how he got Hargraves to back off disinheriting his daughter over some tattoos. Nice, it says.

The smirk widens into something baffled and incredulous when Foggy brings up beer flavored nipples. Yes, Matt, the 90s are back in Hell's Kitchen.

But what Fog is saying next cuts to the heart of it, the question they've been wrestling with for two years now. What kind of firm do they want to be? What kind of lawyers do they want to be? It's a question they've each posed different answers to at different moments over that arc, whether in thoughtful deliberation or simple action in the moment.

Here, and now, Matt mulls the question. "We should be whatever kind of firm the world needs us to be," Matt offers slowly. "Sometimes that's big civil rights claims like this one. Sometimes it's small-bore eviction cases. Sometimes, maybe, it's even Tony Stark. All sorts of people in need." That he says with quiet certainty. And why not? He hears those needs with uncommon clarity. "What are we going to do, Fog? Say no?"

—-

Whatever the world needs us to be.

There's something vigilante at the heart of that. Didn't Matt become Daredevil because that's what Hell's Kitchen needed? Foggy lets that roll about in his head while he takes another sip of his beer, frowning to himself. He scratches at the edge of his cheek before he shrugs slightly. "Yeah. You're right, man. We will be whatever our community needs us to be." Whatever that community is. He takes a breath, and then breathes it out with a laugh. "Nah, doubt it. We're not really the type to say no when we know the right answer is yes."

What Foggy says draws a helpless surge of affection from the blind man down the bar. It's one of the things Matt has always loved about his friend: that rock-steady, shoulder-the-boulder mentality. Not just for Matt, though lord knows Matt needs it, but for the wider world too.

We'll be whatever the community needs us to be.

"Yeah, they'll write that one on our tombstones," Matt says of 'not being the type to say no,' paired with a quick grin. "But if we're lucky, we'll do a whole lot of good, first."

And damned if he won't drink to that.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License