Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. And, apparently unlike everyone else, I don't want to own these characters. I just don't want the responsibility, you see. So complaints about BtVS characters may be sent to Joss Whedon, since they're his responsibility, after all. Similarly, DareDevil is the responsibility of Marvel Comics and Twentieth Century Fox. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I get off scot-free, hahahaha! Mine is an evil laugh!
A/N: Very short, just popped into my head while I was working on something else. Post "Chosen" and post "Daredevil" (the film). Minimal spoilers for either, although slightly more severe on the side of BtVS.
"I'm tellin' you, B, I saw somethin' movin' up here."
"Faith - the entire reason we came here on vacation is because the demon community hasn't congregated in New York since the eighties. Even if you did see something, what makes you think it's something in our jurisdiction?" The older girl asked as the two slayers looked around the deserted rooftop.
"You know many other reasons red horned things'd be hangin' out with a bunch of ugly gargoyle statues?" Faith replied.
"I thought you said you weren't sure what you saw?" Buffy pointed out, rather annoyed.
"Yeah, but - look it gave me that weird feelin'. You're the one that's always tellin' me how I should trust those slayer instincts. Besides, this vacation concept isn't really workin' out for me. I need some real action before I go punch out a wall for the fun of it."
Buffy sighed and nodded. "Fine, we'll keep looking."
Suddenly, the two women heard the sounds of a battle floating up from a nearby alley.
"Over there." Buffy said, leading the way.
Leaping onto an adjacent roof, the two moved to the edge and looked down at the scene. There was teenage boy huddled against a dumpster trying his best not to draw attention as well as two demons having a serious brawl under the streetlight.
“You recognize the type?” Faith asked.
“No,” Buffy said tentatively. “Looks kinda like a cross between Clem and this turtle looking thing I saw Angel kill once. But it doesn’t look like they have any special powers or they’d be using ‘em on each other.”
“Right. Standard slice and dice, then.” Faith said with a grin, pulling her dagger from her coat.
Before they could move, however, a shadow spread over the demons and they stopped fighting to look up at the streetlamp. Perched on top of it, blocking out the light, was a man dressed in red leather with a horned masked on his head.
“What the hell?” Faith asked.
“He forgot to take off his Halloween costume?” Buffy ventured.
The two watched as the man dropped down on the two demons and immediately began the process of knocking them senseless. He was fast, and almost seemed to know what move the demons would make before they made it. His crimson baton was almost a blur as his opponents floundered under the blows. Turning he threw one demon down the far end of the alley and swept the feet out from under the second.
“Kid, get out of here!” He yelled at the teenager as he circled around the one on the ground. It slowly got back to its feet looking rather dazed while the kid disappeared around the corner. The demon charged horn-boy one last time, only to get methodically beaten down by the baton.
“Tell all your friends,” the man said, “stay out of Hell’s Kitchen.”
Finally, the demon slumped, unconscious, and the man looked around and slowly stretched the muscles in his neck. Turning, he pointed the baton at another rooftop and some sort of built in grappler fired, pulling him up into the skyline.
“Sweet,” Faith said with admiration.
“Come on,” Buffy ordered.
“Wait, what about the demons?”
“We’ll come back for them later, I don’t think they’re much of a threat to anyone at the moment. I want to see where this guy goes.”
They followed him across the rooftops from a distance for about five minutes before he stopped and approached a heavy door. Opening a panel beside it, he ran his hand down the side of three combination locks and quickly stopped each one at a precise moment. With that, the door opened and he disappeared inside.
Looking at each other in silent agreement, the slayers made their way to the door and examined the panel.
“I think I can crack this,” Faith said.
Buffy gave her an amused look.
“The many hidden talents of Faith Lehane, ladies and gentlemen,” she mocked.
“Yeah, like you never picked a lock when you were a kid.”
A few moments later, they stepped inside what looked like a cross between a gothic museum and an industrial size kitchen. Large statues that looked like they belonged in a European cathedral lined the walls around the door, while the walls farther in were almost entirely bare steel, a pair of red boxing gloves their only decoration. Only a few small electronics marked the house as a member of the modern world.
Turning the corner, they could see a large window out over the city at the other end of the apartment. Looking in one door Faith found a massive group shower, wondering what a single person might use it for.
Meanwhile, Buffy was rifling through a nearby cabinet.
“Jesus, this guy’s got more painkillers than John Bobbit.”
“Maybe that’s his problem,” Faith smirked, coming back out of the shower.
Together, they looked into the last room and saw a large rack of suits and other high end clothes against one wall.
“Armani - nice,” Buffy said, looking at one of the tags.
Finally, they approached something that looked like a giant metal coffin.
“You think he’s in there?” Faith asked.
“Don’t see where else he’d be. Let’s just hope this isn’t more vampire worshipping crap.”
“Yeah, various groups of idiots wandering around the world under the belief that vamps are god-like and misunderstood. Met a few in Sunnydale once - wasn’t fun.”
“Huh. Well, let’s see,” Faith said, leaning over to look through the window on top of the thing. “Yeah, he’s in there. I think something’s wrong with his eyes, though.”
As Faith turned back towards Buffy, her heel hit the side of the thing with a dull thud. In seconds the lid started to slide back and the two slayers fell into defensive postures side by side.
“Who’s there?” the man asked, sitting up from what they could now see was a giant water tank. As he turned, they could see his back and arms were covered in cuts and bruises. Buffy tried to puzzle out what he was as he cocked his head towards them, but never locked his gaze on them. “I can hear you breathing. Who are you?”
“I think you’re right, Faith, there is something wrong with his eyes.”
“That’s because I’m blind, what the hell are you doing in my apartment?”
“Blind?” Faith asked, disbelieving. “No way a blind guy could fight like that!”
Buffy noticed his jaw clench as Faith mentioned the fight they’d seen.
“Back off, Faith, no need to antagonize the nice man. Let’s just all sit down and have a little chat.”
“Whatever, B,” Faith replied, keeping a wary eye on the man.
Buffy looked back at their host and waited for his reply.
“Fine,” he said. “You ladies want to turn around so I can guess dressed?”
Faith smirked as she and Buffy moved back out into the main section of the apartment. A moment later, their friend joined them, fully dressed, his hair still wet.
“So do I get to hear how a pair of college girls broke into my apartment, now? Or why, maybe?”
“I’m Faith. That’s B. Buffy, I mean. We saw you fighting in that alley tonight. Got kinda curious.”
The man hesitated for a moment, before coming to the conclusion that they'd already had the run of his apartment, anyway, so he couldn't exactly give them a fake name. “Matt Murdock. So you saw a complete stranger win a street brawl with two big guys and you followed him across town on the rooftops where you proceeded to break into his apartment?”
“So? This is Hell’s Kitchen - are you two insane?”
Faith bristled, “We can take care of ourselves.”
“Why did you leave them there?” Buffy asked.
Matt looked up, confused. “Who?”
“Those guys in the alley. Why didn’t you finish them off?”
“I’m not the bad guy. I don’t kill people.”
“Neither do we. Demons ain’t people,” Faith said.
“Demons? What the hell are you two talking about?” Matt asked, beginning to get really disturbed.
“No way!” Faith said. “You can NOT have spent all the time fighting those things without a clue what they were!”
“Wait -” Buffy said, “maybe he could. He is blind, after all, he wouldn’t have been able to see them. Who did you think you were fighting tonight?”
Matt leaned against the opposite wall with a growing feeling that the two actually were insane, but decided to indulge them for the moment.
“They were big, loud, smelled bad, and sounded like someone cut their throats open. And they had some kind of blades built into their gloves.”
This time, Faith laughed.
“What?” he asked.
“They weren’t wearing gloves, Matt, those were claws,” Buffy informed him.
“Yup. Floorshow tonight, two butt-ugly demons and red-leather horned mask guy.”
“And you two know about all this how?”
“We’re slayers,” Faith put in. “We fight demons. Professionally.”
“So it’s like a job?”
“More like a destiny,” Buffy said, “But we do get paid now, so that’s an improvement.”
“Right,” Matt said. “definitely insane. You girls wanna get out of my apartment, please?”
“We’re not crazy, Matt,” Buffy said. “And we’re not leaving until we find out exactly what your deal is.”
Matt turned and swung his cane around to tap the girl on the cheek, hoping they’d get the picture and leave, but instead she ducked it entirely and came up at him with a right cross that felt like a sledgehammer blow.
“Jesus! How the hell did you - ?”
“Slayer strength, pal,” Faith put in from across the room, “comes with the package. You believe us yet?”
“So you’re telling me demons are real?”
“Demons, vampires, things that go bump when you kill ‘em in the night. Just about anything you can think of, pretty much,” Faith said, grinning.
“Not leprechauns, though,” Buffy put in.
“Don’t confuse the boy, B, we still haven’t figured out what he was doin’ out there fightin’ ugly and uglier.”
“I was patrolling the Kitchen.”
“Going for a snack?”
“I think he meant Hell’s Kitchen, B.”
“Oh, right. So why do you patrol the Kitchen? What are you?”
“I’m a lawyer.”
Faith burst out laughing hysterically. “And you said we wouldn’t find any bloodsuckers in the Big Apple, B!”
“Hey!” Matt said.
Buffy just shook her head, exasperated. “What are you, really?”
“I’m a lawyer. Here,” he handed her a card from the counter, “Nelson and Murdock, Attorneys at law.”
“Alright, fine, you’re a lawyer,” she said, “but that’s not all you are. Unless I missed the part where Law school now teaches demon fighting 101.”
“I’m just a guy trying keep the neighborhood safe.”
“And you can’t do that without a mask?”
“You think anyone would ever seriously give a blind man a license to kill?”
“I thought you didn’t kill people.”
“I don’t like to. Sometimes it’s unavoidable.”
“So how do you do it?” Faith asked. “The fighting, I mean, what with the blindness and all...”
“When I lost my sight, my other senses started compensating for it. I pretty much hear everything within a few blocks of me. That’s why I sleep in the tank - to block out the noise. In close range my hearing’s good enough to be a sort of radar. As for how I can fight - I‘ve been training since I was fourteen.”
At that he hesitated.
“I’m not answering that.”
“Wait -” Buffy spoke up, “if you hear so well, how come you didn’t notice us on the rooftop where we were watching the fight.”
“Well, I was kinda distracted by the smell of those guys. And, unless I hear something that sounds unusual I generally tune it out. No other option in a city with this many people all around.”
Buffy nodded at that and turned to Faith.
“Come on, Faith.”
“You’re leaving now?” Matt asked.
“Unless you want me to stay,” Faith said suggestively.
Buffy rolled her eyes and cut the conversation off at the knees.
“We’re going back to finish those things off. When we get back home, we’ll have Giles station one of the new Slayers out here to monitor the demon population.”
“We’ll have her come by and say hello for us,” Faith purred jokingly.
With that, the two girls walked out back entrance of the apartment and took off across the roof. Matt Murdock stood speechless for a moment before shaking his head with a grin and moving back into his room.
“Well, that was certainly the strangest conversation I’ve ever had.”