A/N: This is my first trip into the world of one of my favorite superhero shows. All local conditions have been researched to the best of my knowledge, but unfortunately, I have never been to NY, let alone Hell's Kitchen. Therefore I apologize in advance for any inconsistencies and hope that reading my story will still be fun. And let's face it, it wouldn't be much fun without a bit of fiction, would it?
Disclaimer: I don't own Daredevil or any character which you may recognize from the show or comics. They belong to their righteous owners. However, everything else is my own creation.
– Arrival –
Taking a deep breath, Johanna Lorenz leaned against the backrest of the cab and looked out of the window. It was a very nice view and she decided to come back to the Brooklyn Bridge in the next few days, from where she could see the Statue of Liberty. It was said the view was especially beautiful at sunrise, and since she was an early riser anyway, she would look up the times when the black sky would brighten and turn the night into day. Grinning, she also made a mental note to come back there at sunset. The scenery had to look even more spectacular against a blood-red sky. But first things first...
With an almost excited tingling in her stomach, she finally made it to Manhattan thanks to the cab and followed exactly with her eyes the route the driver took. Although she knew that she would never be able to remember all the buildings, prominent street corners and street signs by just one drive by, it was a very good memory exercise. And so she took in as many details as possible on the way to her accommodation.
"First time in New York?" the cab driver asked her at that moment and Johanna saw that he was watching her through the rearview mirror.
"Hmm. Who wants to know? Because you see, I don't like talking to strangers. My lawyer has strongly advised me against it..." She smiled at his reflection and got a quick laugh from him.
"I wouldn't recommend that in this town either, Miss. My name is Joseph Caden, Miss, and if you don't mind me asking, what exactly brings you to this city?"
Out of the corner of her eye, Johanna noticed that they were just passing by a park, but her eyes were resting on her driver. She didn't know him, but he made a relaxed and completely fatherly impression on her. Involuntarily, her lips curled into another smile.
"I'm Johanna and yes, this is my first time here in New York. I've made a bet with a friend quite a long time ago and today I plan to win it."
"That sounds mysterious. But I hope it's nothing illegal what you're planning?"
"Uhm... not really. At least not if he really has as much sense of humor as I think he does. Why do you ask, Mr. Caden?"
"Well, the address you gave me, Miss Johanna, is in Hell's Kitchen, and that's where the Devil comes to check on things that are wrong and illegal."
"Oh yes, Miss. The Devil of Hell's Kitchen. You know, he's kind of like the Avengers. Only in smaller. Not meaning that he's short in stature. I can't judge that, in the few photos on the news he looks normally built. But you know, the Avengers are probably out and about a lot, and the Devil is someone you have seen every night for quite some time now and he's keeping law and order here."
"Oh, yeah. If you're ever in trouble at night, and I imagine that will happen, because you're young, Miss Johanna, and it's your right to go out and hit the clubs and bars-"
Stunned by so much understanding from him for her mostly party-raving generation, she looked at him with raised eyebrows and laughed softly.
"-that's what we did then, too. But times are different today. You see, you are a pretty young lady, Miss Johanna. My grandson William would surely take a liking to you and would be happy to show you around town. He just turned 25 and-"
"Are you trying to set me up, Mr. Caden? I am shocked!" Johanna laughed heartily and shook her head. "Thank you for the offer, but I'm not here to hook up with an American boyfriend. That would be quite unfair, because I won't be here for more than a year. At least that's the plan."
"Ah, such a shame. He's a good boy, you know? But nevertheless, what I wanted to say is that if you have some trouble at night, make sure to call out to him. The Devil, you know? People say that if you call for him, he hears and comes to you."
With a nod she looked out the window to her left again and could now see the Hudson, whose water behind the piers seemed to glow because of the sun. "Thanks for the advice. Do you live in Hell's Kitchen, Mr. Caden?"
"No, no. My family has lived in Harlem for several generations. When I get you to your destination, Miss Johanna, I'll give you a card from me. It'll have my phone number on it. If you get bored in Hell's Kitchen, call me and I'd be happy to show you around my neighborhood."
"You or your grandson?" Smirking, she took her eyes off the water when the cab turned away from the riverside and saw a mischievous glow in her driver's eyes through the rearview mirror.
"You got me." The man laughed loud and then named a few bars she should avoid after nightfall.
Much too quickly, they finally reached Johanna's destination and Joseph Caden skillfully steered the cab into a parking space. She would have liked to talk to him longer, but she still had a tight schedule for today she had to keep to. And so she thanked him from the bottom of her heart for the nice conversation and paid for her ride with a generous tip. He still helped her to lift her big suitcase out of the trunk and said goodbye with a firm handshake.
Smiling, Johanna looked after him as he steered his cab back into traffic and put the promised card with his phone number in her handbag. Then, full of energy, she turned around and pulled her suitcase on the rollers behind her towards the entrance of the rented apartment.
She was glad that she didn't have to stay in a hotel. As soon as she entered the apartment, she felt the warm flair that she could only have guessed at from the photos. With a contented sigh, she closed the door behind her and took off her shoes after a quick glance at her watch. Yes, she still had time to freshen up and eat a little something to calm her stomach, which was just about to make itself felt with a soft growl…
About an hour later, she was on the road again. This time with lighter luggage but an equally clear destination in mind. However, the way there turned out to be a little more difficult than she had expected. Because if there was one thing she was absolutely not good at, it was reading maps!
"Oh come on." She shook the road map in her hands in frustration as if that would do any good. "That can't be that hard, honestly! It's all madly parallel here, not like in some German cities!"
But seeing something on a map and then standing in the middle of it had always been difficult for her.
"I swear, when the Avengers or whoever develops a superhero serum for us normal people, I want spatial awareness! Verdammter shit!"
Out of the corner of her eye she saw that a young mother looked at her in horror and quickly pulled her son away from her while passing by.
"Yeah, yeah, sorry, I'll stick with Scheibenkleister. At least then I can swear to my heart's content..." she muttered resignedly and decided to simply ask the next best passer-by for directions.
And she was really lucky – only twenty minutes later, thanks to a talkative elderly lady, she was finally standing in front of the entrance of the building where the sign of the law firm looked really good against the red background of the column to which it was attached.
"I'm proud of you, big brother," she smiled as she followed the engraving of the names with her fingertips. Then she entered the office building and thanks to his description, she quickly found the right office.
After listening for a few moments, Johanna was pleased to discover that, as she had expected, the office was abandoned and closed. The court date had therefore not been postponed. This meant that she had a little time left before they would come back and she happily set herself to work...