Author's Note: Hi everyone! I'm so glad you guys are enjoying the story! I'm working really hard to keep Sarah as realistic as I can, and Matt too. As you'll soon see, they are still not super friendly, and it's a really fun challenge to write two characters that I personally like, but who as of right now don't particularly like each other. Let me know what you think!


Chapter Three: A Deal with the Devil

Sarah tucked a few strands of dark hair behind her ear with a shaking hand and took a deep breath before she began speaking.

"I could, uh…I could hear you in the next room. When you were at the office last night."

He nodded. "You were hiding under a desk."

Sarah squinted at him. His face was serious but she had the unsettling feeling that he was mocking her.

"Right," she said reluctantly. "Well, I overheard what you were asking that guy when you were, um…" she trailed off uncomfortably. Snapping his fingers like glow sticks.

Matt looked away. No, she had to remind herself. He didn't look anywhere. He just turned his masked face away from her. She thought was interesting how he still went through the motions of someone who didn't want to meet her eyes, even though he couldn't see them.

"Questioning him," he quietly finished for her. Not exactly the phrase she would have picked. He turned his head back to her. "What about it? I don't suppose you know the answers?"

"No," She answered quickly. She definitely did not want to give him the impression that she knew things and was keeping them from him. "But the thing is…he was right. No one at the company is in the know about what's going on. Torturing employees and clients for information, it—it's not going to do anything but put whoever is in charge now even more on guard."

She saw Matt grit his teeth, but he didn't argue.

"What's your point?"

"I think maybe I could help you find the information you're looking for," she said hesitantly. "Without making them suspicious."

He smirked. "I thought you were just a secretary?"

"I am. That's kind of the point. No one's looking at me."

He didn't say anything, which Sarah took as a sign that he was considering it, so she continued.

"The other employees, and the clients…they talk in front of me like I'm not even there. And usually I—I try not to listen. I don't want to know what kind of things they're…" she trailed off, not wanting to get into the dicey dealings of her coworkers. "But I can start listening. And—and I deal with tons of paperwork every day. A lot of it's stuff that I'm supposed to shred. I'm not really sure what all would be helpful, but there has to be something?"

"And you think you can get that information to me without anyone noticing?" he asked doubtfully.

Sarah thought of the employees that passed by her desk every day with only a cursory leer or dismissive glance, if they looked at her at all. Clients were the same. Half the time they didn't acknowledge her even while they were making an appointment with her. She generally considered their indifference to be a small blessing.

On the other hand, Ronan and his sneering, excessively close attention to her daily activities popped into her mind, and she felt a flicker of doubt. But she couldn't back out just because of her sleazy supervisor.

"Yeah. I think I can. I'd be willing to try."

"You do realize this is dangerous, right? If they catch you doing anything to hurt the company, they're probably not going to suspend you with pay," he said harshly.

He was right. For every rumor Sarah had heard about Daredevil and the violence he inflicted, she could think of just as many rumors about her employers that were equally terrifying. And those ones she knew were true.

"Yeah, I get that," she said. "I'm—I'm telling you that I'll do it anyway."

He nodded, but he was still frowning doubtfully.

"I'm going to guess you aren't doing all of this out of the goodness of your heart," he said. "You want something in exchange."

Not killing me would be nice, she thought, but decided against putting that idea into his head.

"Take them down." Her voice sounded shaky, and she took a deep breath to steady it. When she spoke again, she was surprised at how forceful she sounded. "The whole company. Make it so they can't just switch names and pass the reins to a new leader again. I want out, for good, and the only way I can do that is if you tear the whole place down. Past the point of rebuilding."

After a few moments, his mouth quirked up into a hard smile, almost more of a grimace.

"That, I can do," he answered. The hard edge to his voice sent a shiver down her spine, and she had no doubt that he meant what he said.

"Okay," she said. "Then…it's a deal?" Her voice involuntarily turned upwards at the end of her sentence, making it sound like a question.

A tense silence stretched between them.

"Deal."

Matt stood up suddenly, and Sarah flinched. He circled around the couch she was sitting on and she apprehensively craned her neck around to keep him in her line of vision. He strode over to her kitchen counter, where he picked up a flip phone she didn't recognize. She was dying to know how he moved around like that, how he knew where things were. Maybe he wasn't really blind? It seemed unlikely. But, then again, a blind guy being able to fight like he did seemed unlikely, too. The curiosity was almost unbearable, but she didn't dare ask.

He crossed back into the living room and held the phone out to her. She took it, wincing when she saw how badly her hand was shaking. She hoped he didn't notice.

"Program your number into the speed dial," he ordered.

Sarah looked down at the phone warily. She opened the contacts list and noted that there were only two numbers saved in there. Neither one had a name next to it, and she wondered how he knew which one was calling him. Maybe no one called him. He didn't seem like the chatty type. Maybe he only called other people. Probably to threaten them, she thought resentfully.

Her fingers paused as she got to the last two digits of her number, and she briefly considered putting in fake ones. By the time he tried to get in touch with her and realized it was fake, maybe she could have figured out another solution, found someplace safe for her and her father to hide…

She glanced up at Matt, who was still standing over her, waiting silently. He didn't seem to notice that she had paused. No. There was no way she'd be able to hide from both the company and the vigilante, and take care of her father on top of that. Reluctantly, she keyed in the last two digits of her real number.

She flipped the phone closed and held it out to Matt, but he shook his head.

"Go get yours."

Sarah stood slowly, not sure where he was going with this.

"It's, um…it's in my bedroom," she said hesitantly. He jerked his head toward her bedroom door, which she took as the go-ahead to go get it. When she got to the doorway, she heard him speak behind her.

"I'll trust that you're smart enough not to grab anything else while you're in there. That includes the stun gun in your top drawer."

Sarah bit her lip. It really was freaky how he knew that. Maybe he had searched her apartment while she was passed out and found the stun gun. Somehow, she doubted that was it. She quickly grabbed her phone off the charger on her nightstand and returned to the living room, now carrying a cell phone in each hand.

"Use mine to call your own."

Sarah wasn't thrilled about this speaking-only-in-commands routine he was doing, but it was better than his previous speaking-only-in-threats tendency, so she did as she was told. She hit the third speed dial on his flip phone, then the call button, and within a few seconds her own cell phone lit up and started ringing.

She looked up at him, raising her eyebrows questioningly.

"Just making sure you didn't accidentally put in the wrong number," he said in a deceptively light tone. Oh. So he had noticed her hesitation while putting her number in. Of course he had. What didn't this blind guy see?

"Right," she said uneasily, disturbed by the fact that he had seen through her potential plan so quickly. "So…if I find something, I should call you?" The idea of calling up the vigilante on the phone was strange to her.

"If you want. But I'll be stopping by often enough that you should be able to tell me what you've found in person."

Sarah raised her eyebrows. "Stopping by like…um…the unannounced kind of stopping by?"

"Probably."

"Don't you have criminals to be catching?" she asked nervously. "Or, laws to, like…litigate, or something? Do you really have time to be popping up here unexpectedly?"

He snorted. "I'll make time. You know my identity. You know who my friends are. Do you really think I'm just going to take it on faith that you'll keep as tight-lipped as you're promising, Sarah?"

Sarah sighed. She wasn't sure what she had expected. "That's great," she muttered under her breath.

Matt held his hand out expectantly for his phone and Sarah reached out to give it to him. She was surprised when instead of taking the phone, he moved lightning fast and grabbed her wrist, yanking it so that she stumbled closer to him.

His grip was very loose, not the vice-like grasp he had used earlier, but the sudden proximity was threatening enough to make up for it. She was now only inches away from him, and if he hadn't had a mask covering his eyes she would have had to tilt her head far back to meet them. He held her wrist against his chest, preventing her from leaning away. She stood frozen, her heart racing as he bowed his head slightly until his mouth was directly next to her ear.

"Just to be clear, this agreement doesn't mean that I trust you," he said softly, but his undertone was unmistakably menacing. She could feel his hot breath on her skin. "If this is a trick, if it ends up backfiring on me, and especially if it pulls in Foggy or anyone else in my life…you will be the first person I come looking for. And you will not be happy when I find you. Do you understand me?"

Sarah breathing quickened and she avoided looking up at the man towering over her. She nodded hard.

"Y-yes. I understand."

His hand slipped over her wrist and took the burner phone out of her palm. Pocketing it, he brushed past her.

"I'll be checking in soon," she heard him say from behind her. Then the sound of a window opening, and she turned around just in time to see him catapult himself off of her fire escape.

Shakily, she sank down onto her couch.

It was difficult to process all of the things that had just happened. Was it possible that it was only the night before that she had reluctantly returned to Orion for that paperwork? The twenty four hours following could only be called a flood of crazy. She had witnessed a bullet-sprayed brawl. Hidden under a desk and prayed for her life. Discovered a vigilante's secret identity. Been threatened in an alleyway. Had a panic attack. Been threatened in her living room. Made a deal with a dangerous man to spy on other dangerous men. Then been threatened a bit more.

And now she was finally alone, but with the lingering warning that the masked vigilante could be lurking nearby at any time.

Sarah grabbed the glass of water on the side table and quickly drained it. As she set the glass down she decided maybe she could use something a bit stronger. She made her way into the kitchen and found the cheap bottle of red wine she had stashed on top of her fridge. She popped the cork and grabbed a wine glass from the cupboard.

As she took her first sip, Sarah wondered if anyone had ever had anything good come from making a deal with the devil.


Unbeknownst to Sarah, Matt was still lingering in the alleyway below, listening closely to the apartment he had just vacated.

He waited tensely, needing to make sure that she didn't immediately get on the phone and call her boss or the police. Despite her promises that she wouldn't tell anyone, and the steady, truthful heartbeat underlying her words, Matt was still nervous. No, not nervous. Completely panicked and barely keeping it under control.

He was reluctant to admit that despite his every attempt to make it seem otherwise, she still completely had the upper hand in this situation, even if she didn't seem to realize it. The threat of violence was the only leverage he had, while she had the ability to ruin his life and everything he had worked so hard for.

If she changed her mind for even a second, she could destroy everything. The police could show up at his doorstep. Criminals of any sort could show up at Foggy's or Karen's. The thought made his stomach churn. He tried to reassure himself that she had been telling the truth when she had sworn to keep his secret, but her motivations for doing so still weren't entirely clear, and it made him uneasy. She didn't seem to be malicious, but he didn't know her well enough to be sure.

Matt had been surprised when she'd refused his command for her to quit her job, especially given how clearly terrified of him she was. He was even more surprised when she had offered to spy for him. For her to be willing to work with someone she obviously feared and distrusted…he didn't know what leverage Orion had over her, what blackmail or threat they were using to keep her employed, but it had to be something bad if she viewed working with him as the better alternative.

He heard her move into her kitchen and open something. Concentrating, he inhaled. Red wine. Evidently she needed a drink after their encounter. He felt a small pang of guilt, but dismissed it.

There were times when Matt enjoyed threatening people. He could admit that to himself now. Something about the act made the devil inside him snarl and snap with approval. But intimidating an already frightened woman was the opposite of enjoyable. It made him feel like he was taking another step closer to the darkness he constantly circled.

Sarah represented a very real threat to him, that was true. But it wasn't a physical one, and he wasn't enthusiastic about exerting so much power over someone who was clearly nowhere close to matching him. He had been careful not to actually hurt her after she woke up. Hearing her heartbeat race in fear every time he got close to her was unsettling for him, but as much as he didn't enjoy threatening her, he also couldn't trust her. Not with the lives of those he cared about.

The whole night he had kept Foggy and Karen's faces—or rather, the fiery, wispy approximation of their faces that he had to work with—firmly in his mind. The protective anger they evoked had made it easier for him to put his reservations aside and easily intimidate the thin girl even as he agreed to work with her.

He listened closely again, wincing as he heard her pour a second glass of wine. She padded into her room and he heard the springs in her mattress as she laid down. He focused on the electric pulse her phone emitted. She had taken it into the bedroom with her, but she wasn't using it.

He waited a few minutes longer, but the scene remained the same. Reassured that for tonight, at least, it didn't look like she was going to expose his secret, Matt headed towards home.


The next morning, Sarah's head pounded as her alarm went off. She fumbled to hit snooze on her phone's screen before the piercing ringtone could literally crack her skull open. A gnawing dread sat heavy in her stomach. It was a familiar feeling; she had occasionally gotten it in college on the mornings after she and her roommates had gone a little overboard at parties. Her hungover mind would be a few moments too slow to remember her embarrassing actions from the night before, but her gut wouldn't. Those first few moments after waking up were always awful, full of anxiety but with no idea why until her mind caught up. This particular morning, when the memory of the previous day finally came to her, it hit her especially hard.

Shit. This was way worse than in college. Back then, she'd wake up and wince as she remembered that she had vomited in the bushes behind Jimmy Caudill's house during a Halloween party, or that she and her friends had tipsily sang off-key ABBA songs for karaoke night in a bar that—as she would later be informed—some of her professors frequented. This time the memory was of her making a deal with the Devil of Hell's Kitchen to risk her safety trying to bring down an incredibly powerful and dangerous company. Definitely an all new category of shitty recollections to wake up to. To make matters worse, the decisions she had made last night hadn't even been hindered by alcohol; just her own desperation and possibly insanity.

Sarah groaned as she sat up. Maybe soothing last night's shock with a few glasses of wine hadn't been a great idea. She glanced at the clock and debated whether she wanted to shower before work or take those extra twenty minutes to sleep in. Figuring that twenty minutes probably wouldn't help as much as soap and hot water, she struggled out of bed. She stumbled to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Gatorade from her fridge, chugging it as she made her way to the bathroom.

Once she was in the shower, she was stuck with only her own thoughts to keep her company, and they weren't cheerful ones. She couldn't seem to banish the image of the black-clad vigilante with his hand on her throat. Why on earth had she agreed to work with him? What if she couldn't help him as much as he expected, and he decided to just take her out of the equation? What if Orion caught on and came after her or her father? Somehow she doubted that she was at the top of Matt Murdock's list of people to save.

Maybe, she considered, she could just call him up and tell him she had changed her mind. Hi Matt, I've decided I actually don't want to spend my time playing spy with a scary vigilante, but I promise I still won't tell your secrets, so there's definitely no need to unexpectedly check up on me. Sarah sighed. Any such conversation would undoubtedly end with him showing up at her apartment fairly immediately, and probably not in a friendly mood.

The subway ride to work was long and unpleasant. The nausea from her hangover had subsided, but was quickly replaced by an even worse twisting sensation in her stomach as she got closer and closer to work.

Maybe I should call in sick, she thought. For the rest of my life. But she knew that her bosses would come looking for her. Ronan would seize any opportunity to have to track her down at her apartment, and that was the last thing she wanted. Even if they didn't find her, Matt would.

She shifted uneasily in her seat and looked around the subway car. She wasn't sure what she was expecting—to see the masked man lurking behind the old woman and her shopping cart full of empty cans? Or the blind lawyer and his cane, staring sightlessly at her from the crowded platform? She really didn't like the idea of him dropping by whenever he felt like it.

Arriving at the office building, she keyed her employee number into the door panel as usual and made her way to her desk. Before she could even put her things down, Ronan materialized uncomfortably close to her, as usual.

"Sarah."

She jumped, feeling more skittish than usual. Ronan didn't bother hiding the glee in his eyes at having put her on edge.

"Jumpy this morning," he noted. "Didn't get much sleep last night? I hope you, uh, enjoyed yourself, at least." He stretched his face into what almost resembled a human smile and raised his eyebrows suggestively.

Sarah gritted her teeth and swallowed the urge to take two giant steps back. "Just under the weather, Ronan. I think I have a cold."

"Right, right, a cold. Well, I hate to put more stress on your already exhausted self," he said, his voice oozing with insincerity, "but these are the new security policies for the company. Put into effect thanks to our visit from the mask."

"The mask, of course," she said. Her eyes flicked down to where he was holding the packet in his left hand because his right arm was still in a cast. "How's that arm doing, by the way? Looks like he got you pretty bad," she observed casually.

He scowled, all traces of malicious glee gone from his face. Sarah bit back a spiteful smile as he slapped the stapled packet into her hand.

"Make copies and distribute them to the department heads. Get it done by eleven. All employees have to read and sign by the end of the business day tomorrow."

Sarah settled into her chair as Ronan stalked away, still slightly amused by his obvious fury towards the man who had broken his arm. Actually being at work and dealing with the sleaze she'd had to deal with every day helped to settle her anxiety, brought back her conviction that she was doing the right thing. This place and everyone in it needed to go down in flames.

She glanced through the packet, hoping to find something that she could pass along. There wasn't much. The security codes were changing, and employees would have to start wearing ID badges which would give them access to certain areas. She wondered how either of those were supposed to stop Daredevil from getting into the building. IT would be changing the passwords and security levels on all of the company computers. The rest of the packet was similarly dull. Sarah sighed in disappointment. There was nothing of use there.

The rest of the day was similarly disappointing. Employees and clients came and went, but nothing that came across Sarah's desk was remotely interesting or suspicious. She wasn't sure whether to feel frustrated or relieved that she hadn't found anything useful yet.

That night, she was on edge, expecting to hear a knock at the door—or window—or hear her phone ring. Or maybe to just turn a corner in her apartment and see him standing there. She didn't know if he would expect her to have information for him already, and she wasn't anxious to find out how he would respond when she didn't. But hours passed and he didn't appear, and she was finally able to fall into an uneasy sleep.


The next day was slightly more successful. A man called from the company that provided their security cameras and scanners, saying that he was about to fax over some forms that needed to be signed and faxed back immediately. The forms were standard orders for new installations and enhancements for their security equipment. But scanning through the list of new security cameras, Sarah noted with interest that only about half of them had been listed in the security update packet the employees were given. Furthermore, the cameras on the fourth floor were being switched over to a different kind. She quickly scribbled down the name of the new model so that she could Google it later.

What was the point of informing the employees about some of the new cameras, but not all of them? It almost seemed like they were looking at someone within the company. Luckily, that someone didn't seem to be the secretary. She was relieved to see that while there would still be two cameras in the lobby, they were to remain aimed at the front door and the elevator, with none over the front desk.

Sarah quickly wrote down the new locations on a post-it and stuck it in her bag before straightening the papers and bringing them upstairs.

That night she waited nervously again to see if the masked vigilante would show up. She was relieved that at least this time she had something to tell him if he appeared. New security policies weren't exactly a goldmine of information, but it at least showed that she was trying to keep up her end of the agreement.

But again, he didn't show. She let the relief wash over her as she got into bed, but it didn't last. She was sure that when he wanted to hear what she had, he would appear, probably unexpectedly.

The next day, Friday, he would confirm this suspicion.


Sarah was so lost in thought as she rode the subway home on Friday that she almost missed her stop. Grabbing her purse, she scrambled through the doors before they closed.

Her day at work had been stressful. Ronan had come and gone from his office more frequently than usual, constantly disappearing upstairs for long periods of time, and Sarah didn't know why. Whatever it was, it unfortunately seemed to have put him in an excited mood, which always led to him harassing Sarah just a bit more than usual. But at the end of the day when she brought him her time sheet he gave her credit for the full amount of hours she had worked, which was rare.

She entered her apartment building distractedly, balancing a takeout box of Thai food in one hand and her mail in the other. She headed for the stairwell, reaching for the door just as it swung open and Mrs. Benedict hobbled out, followed closely by a familiar blind lawyer.

Damn.

Sarah held her breath, hoping that maybe by some miracle he wouldn't sense her standing there. She was soon reminded of why she generally didn't believe in miracles as Mrs. Benedict loudly greeted her by name.

"Sarah!" she rasped. "I was just thinking of you. One of my granddaughters is moving—to South Korea, can you believe that?—to go teach English, and she's leaving behind all of these boxes of perfectly good clothes that I know must be your size. You have to come over soon and look at them. There's tops, and skirts, and those tiny clubbing dresses. Do you like cardigans? Of course you like cardigans, who doesn't? They're an American classic."

"Um, I—"

"You remember Matthew Murdock, right?" Mrs. Benedict continued. "You met him on Tuesday. I don't think I introduced you. Matthew, this is Sarah Corrigan—" Sarah winced. There goes any hope of him not knowing my full name. "—she lives just down the hall from me. I know you can't see her, but she's just the cutest thing, trust me. She's got these big blue eyes and this long hair that I keep telling her would look so nice in a French braid. I'm always telling her. She doesn't listen."

"It's nice to meet you, Sarah," Matt said with a convincing smile. Clearly he was skilled at playing along like everything was normal. She supposed he had practice.

"Y-yeah. You too," Sarah stuttered, slowly taking a small step towards the stairwell.

Mrs. Benedict was too busy rifling around in the gigantic handbag she carried with her to notice Sarah's discomfort.

"Confound everything! I don't have my reading glasses. Matthew, I'm sorry, can you be a dear and wait for just a minute while I go grab them? I can't read a blessed word without them."

"It's no problem, Mrs. Benedict," he replied politely. "Are you sure you don't want me to go get them for you?"

"Oh, goodness no, honey. I can do it. Oh—Sarah will wait with you! You're not in a rush, are you?" she asked. Sarah, who was still sidling towards the stairwell, was caught off guard. She turned back to Mrs. Benedict.

"What? Oh, n-no, I can't," Sarah said quickly. "I, um, I really have to be—"

"Nonsense! Matthew is a guest, and you don't abandon guests in your lobby, you know that. I'll only be a moment."

"But—"

"I'd love the company," Matt said, smiling charmingly at Mrs. Benedict. He looked all the world like a respectable, charismatic lawyer.

It was so strange to see him in a suit and tie, wearing dark, round sunglasses instead of a black mask. Even the jagged cut on his face had largely healed past the point of being noticeable. He looked every inch a normal blind man, and it was impossible for her to reconcile the man standing in front of her with the one she had met in the alleyway earlier that week.

Mrs. Benedict beamed back at him. "Perfect. You two chat for a bit, you'll get along just great."

"I'm sure we'll find something to talk about," Matt said, his casual smile looking more like a smirk as he turned his attention to Sarah.

"I'm gonna take the elevator back up. Going down the stairs was enough for me today. Don't judge me. I'm old," Mrs. Benedict cackled, clearly oblivious to the tension in the room. "I'll be back in a flash."

Sarah watched helplessly as the elderly woman got on the elevator and pressed the button for her floor. When they made eye contact, Mrs. Benedict winked at her, and Sarah remembered with a sinking feeling how the older woman had hinted at wanting to set Sarah and Matt up when she had shared a cab with her. She wondered how long 'a flash' would actually be, and prayed it would be short.

The elevator doors closed, and the two of them were alone.

Sarah turned back to Matt, who was standing casually with his hands folded on his cane. The remnants of a smirk still lingered on his face.

"So, Sarah," he said. "How was work?"